Ethnographic Investigation term paper

There are two types of investigation: open (when participants are informed about the experiment and investigation) and closed (participants are not informed about the experiment). Given the value of the first, it may be noted several of its obvious advantages for the investigation:

1) unlimited number of issues related to access to the researcher’s field of experiment (baseline experiment);

2) direct contact of the researcher with the object under investigation;

3) the possibility to vary the course of the investigation in accordance with tasks and level of progress of the investigation process;

4) use of full-level investigation methods. (LeCompte, 1999)

Open ethnographic investigation should be applied when there are specific goals and objectives that are clear for both the researcher and the participants of the experiment. Closed investigation is always conducted in the case when it is necessary to get more confirmation of the established hypotheses, as well as to track the necessary hypotheses in natural environment, not limited by scope of the investigation. Such ethnographic research can be more efficient due to more natural behavior of people or groups, as well as the ability of the researcher to hide some problems in the project, related to the organization or participants behavior. Thus, this kind of research can be applied in the case of the need to track specific targets in the environment most close to the natural, as well as to confirm the relevance of problem raised by the author. (LeCompte, 1999)


The investigation was open and included 40 participants. After confirmation of the participants, all team members were involved in the experiment, in the individual and group information sessions. Data were collected by trained researcher on the basis of interviews, as well as questionnaires needed for the collection of objective and subjective description and better understanding of the practices. In the study were organized sections summarizing daily activities for each member separately, consisted of 15 to 50% of the team members. In general, it was held 3 2-hour planning meetings and 4 30-minute meetings.

The interviews were conducted with 19 members of the team during the 27 general and 5 special interviews aimed to obtain necessary data. The sample was convenient and informal interviews were completely spontaneous, partly initiated by the participants. Existing interviews were conducted with selected participants on the basis of partitioning roles in the team. In the interview participants tried to express accumulated opinions and views, to reflect their opinions on the issues and conflicts arising within the team. Introductory interviews (lasting up to 15 minutes) were aimed to get general information about the participants, their histories, motives for work, etc. Detailed interviews were used to express ideas of the conflicts, arising in the process of work. Participants were asked to discuss broad themes (such as team communication, interpersonal relations and team roles) and behavior in conflicts in particular. Interviews were recorded and then written down to be analyzed. Individual comments were written immediately after the interview.

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