This chapter describes a methodologically innovative action research project, the “Essence of Tesco,” in which managers from the Asian subsidiaries of the British multinational retailer Tesco plc worked in concert with an academic team to generate cultural data about their own organization through ethnographic research. The objective of the project for Tesco was twofold: (1) to understand and evaluate the core practices that make up the essence of Tesco’s home country advantage, and (2) to identify sources of learning from Tesco’s Asian subsidiaries to aid in reinvigorating its core in light of increasing competition in its home market. However, from an organization studies point of view, the project illustrated ways in which researchers can work together with managers to document and analyze the culture of an organization, rather than prioritizing researcher perspectives. In this chapter we describe the project, document our methodology and consider the advantages of insider ethnography in providing multiple perspectives and strategically valuable insights for the global firm. In conclusion, we discuss the implications of the study, not only for researchers looking to conduct qualitative research on global organizations and for practitioners looking to apply ethnographic techniques, but also for the relationship between researchers and managers during the process of study.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Companion to Anthropology and Business|
|Editors||Raza Mir, Anne-Laure Fayard|
|Number of pages||23|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Series||Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Marketing|