Setting Sail on Stormy Waters: On the Role of Organizational Ethnographers in the Age of Financialization

  • Galit Ailon


Current financialization marks a broad cultural shift in the economy. It also marks a cultural shift within organizations. Primarily, it seems to challenge the status of profit as an ultimate measure that no logic transcends, sanctifying in its place the concept of ‘shareholder value’. This article discusses this transformation and argues that it has two major implications for organizational ethnographers. First, it holds the potential for overcoming the traditional suspicion towards ethnography in the fields of business and management, and the accompanying wariness towards the type of social reflexivity that ethnography entails. Second, it raises new questions to be asked of the ethnographic method and how new cultural issues might be examined.