Institutional ethnography: an alternative way to study M&As

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review

  • Rebecca Lund
  • ,
  • Janne Tienari, Aalto University, Finland
The study of M&As is dominated by positivist and functionalist world views and the use of quantitative methods. Although extant research also uses qualitative and mixed methods, it can be criticized for viewing its subject matter through an abstract and external lens. The researcher is placed in an analytical role and destined to draw (what appear to be) generalizable conclusions one the basis of transactions and change processes that they have not experienced first-hand as participants or observers. This kind of research also tends to be overtly reliant on the perspectives and perceptions of managerial respondents. This leads to another bias in the study of M&As: an managerial one. These critiques are an important step in pinpointing some of the problematic aspects in the field, which we suggest can be part remedied by institutional ethnography developed by Dorothy Smith and her colleagues. In institutional ethnography the notion of objectification is applied to describe research processes like those that have been found to dominate in scholarly work on M&As. In this chapter, we offer an outline of Smiths critique of objectification, elucidate how institutional ethnography seeks to address it, and point to some of the problems in M&A studies identified through this lens. Finally, we argue why institutional ethnography, in comparison with other methods of inquiry, is particularly fruitful in the study of mergers and acquisitions.
TitelThe Routledge companion to mergers and acquisitions
RedaktørerAnnette Risberg, David R. King, Olimpia Meglio
Udgivelsesår1 jan. 2016
ISBN (trykt)978-0-415-70466-3
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-0-203-76188-5
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2016
SerietitelRoutledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting


  • Critical studies of organizations and management, Instituional ethnography , standpoint epistemology, sociology for people

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