Helping Organizations to See “What Was” and “What Is”
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.
KeywordsMaterial Handler Occupational Injury Cultural Transformation Cultural Responsiveness Plant Floor
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