Observation as photography: A metaphor

  • Hervé Laroche ESCP Business School, Management Department, Paris, France
Keywords: Observation, Photography, Methods, Publishing, Forensics, Art

Abstract

From its invention in the middle of the 19th century to the present date, photography has generally been considered as a highly reliable means for capturing data about a wide range of objects and for a huge variety of purposes. Though debated, photography’s relationship with reality is specific and powerful. Because of its long and rich history, photography has encountered many problems and challenges observation methods and practices in management studies. Taking photography as a metaphor for observation in general, this article explores the successive steps of a research project relying on observation. Taking photographs is capturing data; reading photographs is analyzing and interpreting data; and showing photographs is presenting the findings in publications. For each stage of the process, various issues are discussed, drawing on the scientific, forensic, artistic, or vernacular uses of photography. Particular attention is accorded to key examples in the history of photography. This article is an invitation to reflect on observational methods and practices in a non-demonstrative, heuristic manner.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References


Antonioni, M. (Dir.). (1966). Blow up [Film]. Carlo Ponti Production & Bridge Films.


Barthes, R. (1980). La Chambre claire. Notes sur la photographie. Gallimard.


Chéroux, C. & Ziebinska-Lewandowska, K. (2015). Qu’est-ce que la photographie? Xavier Barral/Editions du Centre Pompidou.


Dufour, D. (2015). Introduction. In Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 5–7). Le Bal/Xavier Barral.


Eijkelboom, H. (2014). People of the twenty-first century. Phaidon.


Evans, W. (1971, August). Boston Sunday Globe. A-61.


Evans, E. (2017). Le secret de la photographie. Entretien avec Leslie Katz. Editions du Centre Pompidou


Geimer, P. (2018). Images par accident. Une histoire des surgissements photographiques. Les Presses du réel.


Girardin, D. & Pirker, C. (2003). Controverses. Une histoire juridique et éthique de la photographie. Actes Sud/Musée de l’Elysée.


Journé, B. (2005). Etudier le management de l’imprévu: méthode dynamique d’observation in situ. Finance Contrôle Stratégie, 8(4), 63–91.


Kitajima, K. (2009). The joy of portraits. Rat Hole Editions.


Langley, A. & Ravasi, D. (2019). Visual artifacts as tools for analysis and theorizing. In T. B. Zilber, J. M. Amis, & J. Mair (Eds.), The production of managerial knowledge and organizational theory: New approaches to writing, producing and consuming theory (Vol. 59) (pp. 173–199). Emerald Publishing.


Lavoie, V. (2017). L’affaire Capa. Le procès d’une icône. Textuel.


Lebart, L. (2015a). 1903 – Alphonse Bertillon. La photographie métrique de scènes de crime. In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 17–36). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Lebart, L. (2015b). 1903 – Rodolphe A. Reiss. Traces, taches, empreintes … Découvrir des détails invisibles à l’œil. In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 37–60). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Lebart, L. (2015c). 1902–1939 – L’homme du suaire. La première «photographie de crime». In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 61–80). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Mathieu, G. & Stofleh, B. (2012). Observatoire Photographique du Paysage. Retrieved from http://www.opp-gr2013.com/


Méaux, D. (2019). Enquêtes. Nouvelles formes de photographie documentaire. Filigranes Editions.


Mercier, H. & Sperber, D. (2017). The enigma of reason. A new theory of human understanding. Allen Lane.


Morris, E. (2011). Believing is seeing. Observations on the mysteries of photography. Penguin Books.


Morris, W. (2019). L’essence du visible. Exhibition, 18 juin – 29 septembre 2019. Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.


Nickerson, R. S. (1998). Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology, 2(2), 175–220. doi: 10.1037/1089-2680.2.2.175


Petiteau, A. (2015). 1914 – La guerre vue du ciel. Avant et après un bombardement. In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 81–106). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Quintard, C. (2018). Voir pour savoir. Les Grands Dossiers des Sciences Humaines, 52, 15–16.


Réponses Photo. (2017). n°305, août. p. 38. Retrieved from https://www.viapresse.com/anciens-numeros/abonnement-magazine-reponses-photo


Royer, I. (2020). Observer la matérialité dans les organisations. M@n@gement, 23(3), 9–27. doi: 10.37725/mgmt.v23i3.5341


Sandberg, J. & Tsoukas, H. (2020). Sensemaking reconsidered: Towards a broader understanding through phenomenology. Organization Theory, 1(1), 2631787719879937. doi: 10.1177/2631787719879937


Shore, S. (2004). Uncommon places. Thames & Hudson (1st ed. 1982, Aperture).


Shore, S. (2017). The selected works 1973–1981. Aperture.


St. Pierre, E. A. (2018). Writing post qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 24(9), 603–608. doi: 10.1177/1077800417734567


Sternfeld, J. (1997). On this site: Landscape in memoriam. Chronicle Books.


Sugimoto, H. (2016). Theaters. Damiani.


Vansteenwinckel, S. (2019, January 22). Interview par Cilou de Bruyn. L’oeil de la photographie.


Weizman, E. (2015a). 2009 – Le livre de la destruction. Inventaire par le gouvernement palestinien des bâtiments détruits suite aux attaques israéliennes. In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 187–198). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Weizman, E. (2015b). 2013 – Attaque de drone à Miranshah. In D. Dufour (Ed.), Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 199–214). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Weizman, E. (2015c). Notes sur les pratiques forensiques. In Images à charges. La construction de la preuve par l’image (pp. 231–234). Le Bal / Xavier Barral.


Woods, P., Galimberti, G. & Shaxson, N. (2015). The heavens: Annual report. Dewi Lewis.

Published
2020-09-30
How to Cite
Laroche, H. (2020). Observation as photography: A metaphor. M@n@gement, 23(3), 79-99. https://doi.org/10.37725/mgmt.v23i3.5513
Section
Invited Contribution