In this article I argue that organizations are cultures and, as such, when we study organizations, we should employ integrative intercultural ethnographic research methods that are reflexive and flexible. More specifically, through an intermingling of narratives, my personal reflections, and secondary scholarly research, this article briefly details my ethnographic study and explores the importance of viewing organizations through an intercultural lens. I also argue for including the study of organizations in considerations of intercultural communication. In addition, I examine two concepts that are important for intercultural communication studies, the concepts of reflexivity and flexibility in ethnographic research, and I thereby argue for the importance of these concepts when studying organizational culture.
Finally, I share reflections of my experience researching an unfamiliar organizational culture (an activist organization) and present my most significant findings from my study while foregrounding the important impact of careful attention to reflexivity (including positionality and recording emotions) and flexibility in ethnographic intercultural research. It is important to note that this article’s main purpose is reflection on my intercultural ethnographic research process and methods. This text is not a traditional reporting of research study findings. My reflections, as detailed in this article, present specific findings about my research (rather than findings of my research study). Thus, this article is a process-centered text, rather than a product-centered text. The process-centered approach is particularly appropriate for this article due to its reflective nature and is useful in encouraging a more introspective examination of my intercultural ethnographic study.
Jones, Natasha M.
"Methods and Meanings: Reflections on Reflexivity and Flexibility in an Intercultural Ethnographic Study of an Activist Organization,"
Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization: Vol. 5
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/rpcg/vol5/iss1/2