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Helping Organizations to See “What Was” and “What Is”

  • Elizabeth K. Briody
  • Robert T. TrotterII
  • Tracy L. Meerwarth

Abstract

One member of our research group, Elizabeth Briody, had the unique experience of conducting anthropological fieldwork in GM manufacturing plants at two different points in time: the mid-1980s (as a sole researcher) and the mid-2000s (as a research-group leader).1 She did so from the standpoint of an “insider” (a full-time GM researcher) whose job was to design and conduct organizational-culture research. In each case, the research approach was exploratory and inductive. The focus was on understanding GM’s manufacturing culture generally, including the ways work was organized and coordinated and the ways plant personnel perceived that culture. The methods used in the two studies were the basic research methods used in ethnographic research (e.g., interviews, observation). The plants involved were located in Michigan. Thus, there were some important baseline similarities in the two research designs.

Keywords

Material Handler Occupational Injury Cultural Transformation Cultural Responsiveness Plant Floor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Elizabeth K. Briody, Robert T. Trotter II, and Tracy L. Meerwarth 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth K. Briody
    • 1
  • Robert T. TrotterII
    • 2
  • Tracy L. Meerwarth
    • 3
  1. 1.Michigan State University, Northern Arizona University, Wayne State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Anthropology DepartmentNorthern Arizona UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Consolidated Bearings Co.Cedar KnollsUSA

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