An ethnographic exploration of knowledge practices within the Queensland Music Festival
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the utilisation and application of reflexive ethnography as an interpretative methodology for researching knowledge practices within festival organisations. Design/methodology/approach – The ethnographic approach incorporates two methods of data collection in the research design; participant observation and in-depth interviews. Findings – The research identified that knowledge management practices and processes are often invisible to festival staff when they are embeddedwithin a cohesive organisational culture. Ethnography enables the researcher to make explicit the tacit and normalised ways of working that contribute to the success (and failure) of festival organisations to manage knowledge. The immersion of the researcher in the ethnographic process provided a rich understanding of the relational dimension of knowledge management that would be difficult to elicit from in-depth interviews alone. Research limitations/implications – New fields of study require a range of research methodologies to inform theoretical and practice-based knowledge related to event participation and management. This article contributes to the growing event management literature through a unique focus on ethnography as a research method that offers a deeper understanding of knowledge practices within festival organisations. Originality/value – Limited research has applied an ethnographic approach to festival and event management. This article builds upon early adopters and provides critical insight into the benefits and constraints of ethnographic research.