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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Technologies of coffee making and drinking at the workplace and in break rooms provide us with field-internal analytical devices for organizational research. Drawing on five ethnographic stories—prohibited coffee cups in an insurance office; coffee machine battles in a TV studio; the simulation of coffee sociality in a software company; turbulences between two work break shifts in a department store; and the exclusive coffee club in a data services company—this chapter argues that analysing organizational life through the lens of coffee provision is not without pitfalls, but can nevertheless give us useful access to an organization’s inner workings.

Keywords: coffee, coffee machines, ethnography, organization, work breaks

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