Ethnographic Findings in the Organizational Theatre

Jacob Buur, Rosa Torquet

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


In the quest for engaging ethnographic insight in organizations on a more fundamental level than mere ‘innovation drivers’, theatre offers ways of triggering a change in conversations through emotional engagement. This paper discusses the impact of using theatre with professional actors to convey the outcome of ethnographic ‘user studies’ to industry and academia. In a project on indoor climate control with five company partners, the field studies brought about controversial findings, like ‘Indoor comfort is what people make’ – as opposed to something fully controlled by technology and ‘provided’ to inhabitants. We explore how theatre improvisation can convey such findings and
thus support the provoking role that ethnography may play in organizations. Based on the study of two theatre sessions, we will articulate the importance of balance between playful and serious, of explorative discussion, and of supportive event planning and space layout to achieve audience engagement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnographic Praxis in Industry Conference. Conference Proceedings
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)143-160
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEthnographic Praxis in Industry Conference - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 15. Sep 201318. Sep 2013


ConferenceEthnographic Praxis in Industry Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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