Michel Anteby is an Associate Professor and Marvin Bower Fellow in the Organizational Behavior area at the Harvard Business School. He teaches in the School's MBA, doctoral, and executive programs, most recently the second-year MBA elective "Managing Human Capital" course, the doctoral "Design of Field Research Methods" course, and in the executive “Leading Change and Corporate Renewal” and “Talent Management” programs.
His research mainly examines occupational and organizational cultures. More specifically, he tries to understand how meaning is built at work and how moral orders are sustained. He has pursued these questions through the lens of diverse social groups (e.g., academics, clinical anatomists, and factory craftsmen). In doing so, he has looked at the many ways individuals sustain chosen cultures and identities: for instance, by engaging in collective forgetting or deviant behaviors. Field settings for these inquiries include whole-body donation programs, manufacturing workshop, and higher-education.
He is the author of Manufacturing Morals: The Values of Silence in Business School Education (University of Chicago Press, 2013) and Moral Gray Zones: Side-Productions, Identity, and Regulation in an Aeronautic Plant (Princeton University Press, 2008). His work has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Ethnography,Organization Science, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociologie du Travail. He serves on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science.
Michel earned a joint Ph.D. in sociology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris) and in management from New York University. He holds a MA in economics from the Sorbonne and a MPA from Harvard. He grew up in France, previously worked as a consultant (focusing on labor issues), and remains affiliated as a Research Fellow with the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations in Paris.
AOM Ethno PDW 2009-2013
AOM PDW 2013: Being There/Being Them: The Role of Self in Ethnography
Co-Organizers: Elizabeth Hansen and Curtis K. Chan Harvard University; Participants: Michel Anteby; Harvard Business School; Kimberly D. Elsbach, University of California, Davis; Gideon Kunda, Tel Aviv University; and Melissa Mazmanian, University of California, Irvine.
Timing and Location 2:45-5:15pm on Thursday, August 9 at WDW Yacht and Beach Club Resort, Room Asbury B
This workshop seeks to explore new directions in organizational ethnography, in particular addressing the scholarly discussion around the relevance of the ethnographer’s self. In many past ethnographies, the role of the ethnographer in the production of ethnography has been largely obscured. Although there has been movement towards more closely examining the ethnographer’s self in anthropological and sociological discourse, the field of organization studies has—for the most part—not yet undergone such a shift. We seek to encourage and improve the exploration of such directions in current ethnographic projects by discussing various perspectives on the role of the ethnographic self. Using an interactive format, the workshop will address two primary sets of questions. First, conceptually, what is the role of the ethnographer’s self in organizational ethnography? Second, what might be the implications of this role for the
way scholars produce ethnography, including the processes of choosing settings, designing research, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing?
AOM PDW 2012: Being There/Being Them: Ethnography Beyond Single Organizations
Co-Organizers: Hila Lifshitz-Assaf; Harvard Business School; Joelle Evans; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Michel Anteby; Harvard U.; Participants: Alexandra Michel; U. of Southern California; Siobhan O'Mahony; Boston U.; Tammar B. Zilber; Hebrew U. of Jerusalem; and Graham M. Jones; Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This workshop seeks to explore and discuss new directions in ethnography, in particular the relevance and challenges of moving beyond the organization as the main field site. Many scholars have called for a renewed attention to how organizations and organizational practices are embedded in broader social or institutional arrangements. Scholars have moved beyond the boundary of organizations in two major ways: by embedding the organization(s) studied within the broader context or by materially moving beyond the organization as a single site. We seek to encourage and improve the exploration of such direction in current ethnographic projects (dissertation, papers, and books) by discussing how to strategize these types of ethnographic approaches. Using an interactive format, the workshop will address two primary sets of questions: 1) How can ethnographers move beyond the organizations to make their work impactful to both scholars and practitioners? And 2) How might this influence the way we produce our projects? including choice of setting, data collection, data analysis, and writing processes. The session’s goals are to answer these questions, continue building a community, and importantly provide feedback to scholars engaged in ongoing project.
AOM PDW 2011: Being There/Being Them: Producing Ethnographies
Co-Organizers: Joelle Evans; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Hila Lifshitz; Harvard Business School; and Michel Anteby; Harvard U.; Participants: Daniel Beunza; London School of Economics; Karen Ho; U. of Minnesota; Paul M. Leonardi; Northwestern U.; Michael G. Pratt; Boston College; Ofer Sharone; MIT Sloan; and John Van Maanen; Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This workshop seeks to develop and improve ethnographic projects (dissertation, papers, and books) with an emphasis on the work of interpreting and representing ethnographic data. Ethnographic work has generally offered interesting and impactful contributions to literatures on labor, institutions, occupations, and teams and can lend itself to publications in journals and books. However, one of the main challenges faced by ethnographers is to translate rich and lively data into the language and codes of social sciences. Using an interactive format the workshop will address two primary sets of questions: 1/ how to interpret, make sense of and order rich data issued from fieldwork and 2/ how to manage the tensions between interpretive approaches and the norms for representing social science contributions. The session’s goals are to provide some answers to these questions, build a community, and importantly provide feedback to scholars engaged in ongoing projects. The participants have contributed to a variety of literatures (management, occupations, anthropology, sociology and industrial sociology) and have a broad experience publishing ethnographic work in a variety of formats (books, articles in management and sociology journals). They will discuss the common challenges of producing ethnographies as well as highlight issues related to these different types of contributions. The target audience is junior scholars who will be able to interact with seasoned colleagues and learn by doing, namely by discussing works-in-progress.
AOM PDW 2010: Being There/Being Them: Having Impact with Ethnography
Co-organizers: Alexandra Michel; U. of Southern California and Michel Anteby; Harvard U. Participants: Martha S. Feldman; U. of California, Irvine, Katherine C. Kellogg; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Karen D Locke; College of William & Mary; John Weeks; IMD; Mark J Zbaracki; The U. of Western Ontario; and Mark de Rond; Cambridge U.
This workshop seeks to develop and improve ethnographic projects (dissertation, papers, and books) with an emphasis on the projects’ impact. Current organizational research that relies on ethnographic data has proven varied both in content and format — spanning, for instance, literatures on labor, institutions, occupations, and teams as well as appearing in journals and books. Using an interactive format the workshop will address two primary sets of questions: 1) What makes ethnographies impactful to both scholars and practitioners? What are also important commonalities, regardless of content and format, of such ethnographies? And 2) How might this influence the way we produce our projects, including choice of setting, data collection, data analysis, and writing processes? The session’s goals are to answer these questions, build a community, and importantly provide feedback to scholars engaged in ongoing projects. The target audience are junior scholars who will be able to interact with seasoned colleagues and learn by doing (namely by discussing works-in-progress) as well as more seasoned scholars wanting to share their expertise. (Besides pre-registered participants, other participants are welcome pending room-capacity.)
AOM PDW 2009: Being There / Being Them: Writing Ethnographic Tales
Alexandra Michel (University of Southern California) and Michel Anteby (Harvard Business School). Presenters in the PDW included Beth Bechky (UC Davis), John Weeks (IMD), Martha S. Feldman (UC Irvine), Leslie Perlow (Harvard Business School), and Karen Locke(College of William & Mary). Following the workshop's description, three presentations are posted below.
PDW Description: This workshop seeks to develop and improve ongoing methodological projects relying on extended participant-observation (dissertation, papers, and books), particularly by contrasting types of ethnographic writing styles. Two main writing styles have been proposed (Van Maanen, 1988). A first style, labeled “confessional tales,” adopts “highly personalized” writing approaches, often with “self-absorbed mandates.” A key challenge with such a style is to aim for a sufficient level of universality while grounding the analysis in what can be seen as “interpretative” approaches (Marcus and Fisher, 1986). The alternative is to adopt a more “realist” style, namely “direct, matter of fact portraits of studied cultures.” (A third hybrid category, “impressionist tales,” combines confessional and realist style elements.)
Impactful ethnographers master both the data collection and writing processes. The workshop will address a number of questions around ethnographic writing including: 1) What forms of ethnographic writings have most impact? 2) What are the important features, regardless of forms, of strong ethnographic dissertations, papers, and books? And 3) How are the outputs composed? The panel consists of scholars who have published or acted as editors on such writing projects. The workshop is divided in three parts: 1) a general session addressing important aspects of contrasted participant-observant writing, 2) small break-out groups discussing participants’ projects, and 3) a general integrative session.
- A Conversation on Ethnographic Writing by John Weeks and Leslie Perlow