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Workplace Ethnography - Assignment Example

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The organization under examination is a public accounting firm. The specific population area within this organization being analyzed is the accounting firm’s computer department. …
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Workplace Ethnography
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Workplace Ethnography

Download file to see previous pages... Within this company description includes the prevention of company financial waste through developing accounting procedures that reduces and discovers these elements within corporate and business partners. The firm also functions to aid companies in detecting potential fraud based activities through providing internal auditing services that allow companies to self-regulate themselves and meet government accounting standards and regulations. The general functionality of the accounting firm can be understood in terms of its modes of investigation, as it works to evaluate and examine corporate and business information systems to ensure that the accounting procedures conducted therein remain functional and efficient. In these regards, entities within the firm also investigate management procedures and a variety of internal control mechanisms to ensure functionality and adherence to regulation. While these are the general company operations, there also exist specialized entities within the firm. In these regards, the firm has separate sections that work to aid corporate and business entities in terms of environmental accounting, information technology, and general compliance. Physical Description The physical description of the workplace environment has a number of elements that can be symbolically interpreted. As the firm is large it is divided into departments. Each department is located within a different section of the organization, divided by either long hallways or situated on an entirely different floor of the building. It seems there are few qualitative assumptions that can be made regarding the placement of the differing departments, as in the past they have been changed without few if any functional change. The firm’s computer department, which handles both internal computing needs as well as the external company needs, is situated centrally so that the other departments are able to access it with alacrity. It seems that other departments are located adjacently to each other along lines of efficiency. For example, the special service divisions are located next to each other. Furthermore, the higher level executive offices are situated on a floor that is literally above the lower level offices. In these regards, one can symbolically interpret the placement of these offices above the rest of the company as a means of indicating that the individuals residing therein are both hierarchically above the rest of the company in terms of power and control, as well as being located there for the practical purpose of workplace efficiency. In terms of the computer department of the accounting firm, cubicles are built in a square like section with four individuals connected through a compartment that is divided into four contiguous units, separated by a divider. Each unit is contains desk space and a computer for the employee. There is minimal qualitative purpose for the individual employees being situated together in a unit, as oftentimes individuals who are responsible for different elements within the computer division are grouped together. Rather, placement is determined based along space needs and employee seniority. Surrounding each department are office units. In the office units are managers and supervisors of the specific accounting departments in which they surround. The qualitative significance of this placement can be determined to function by allowing employees efficient access to the office units, which are enclosed to add increased privacy. Their position on the exterior of the department room also allows the managers and supervisors inside a privileged perspective on the on-goings of the department floor. This can be argued to function to motivate employees to at least give ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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