Ethnoventionist research: Definition and explanation

Ethnoventionist research: Definition and explanation


What is ethnoventionist research?

Ethnoventionist research is based on ethnographic research, which is a qualitative method where researchers observe and/or interact with a study’s participants in their real-life environment and context.

Ethnoventionist research goes one step further and creates interventions or where the researchers actively get involved by first developing an ethnographic or grounded understanding of a situation from the inside whilst aiming to actively change and manage to situation using the feedback from the study whilst it is ongoing.

Whilst ethnographic research is relatively passive and based on observation and interaction, ethnoventionist research is aimed at creating change.


This relatively new approach is not only interventionist but is pretty managerial in its approach. As such it is restricted by the understanding, assumptions, values, beliefs, emotional reactions and thinking of the researchers. Additionally, the perspective the researchers tend to use is usually both managerial and biased towards the needs and desires of the organisation.



Van Marrewijk, A., Veenswijk, M., & Clegg, S. (2010). Organizing reflexivity in designed change: the ethnoventionist approach. Journal of Organizational Change Management.

van Marrewijk, A. H., Veenswijk, M. B., & Clegg, S. R. (2010). Ethnographers, clinicians and ethnoventionists. Organising reflexivity in design oriented change programmes. Journal of Organizational Change Management23(3), 212-229.

Ripamonti, S., Galuppo, L., Gorli, M., Scaratti, G., & Cunliffe, A. L. (2016). Pushing action research toward reflexive practice. Journal of Management Inquiry25(1), 55-68.

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