Beyond the macro picture of change in the Indian public sector triggered by economic deregulation and restructuration, the variegated experiences of employees exposed to organizational changes remain hidden and masked. Through a reflexive inquiry about my experience of participating in a managerial implementation of a performance management system in an Indian public sector organization, I write this autoethnography to bring forward a personal narrative of embodying change at work. I do this by revealing how my cultural, social, and political experiences during that episode of change were manifestations of being and constituting organizationally intended as well as non-intended changes. The writing process involved in bringing out the personal narrative unravels the contours of my relationship with organizational actors such as the employees, the union, and the management, to eventually understand their impact on my experience of change. The narrative analysis of the ethnographic memoir has helped me consider my insider knowledge, realization, and reflection as opportunities to retell the macro (view of change) in terms of the interconnected individual subjectivities. Thus the autoethnographic effort is directed to tease out the associated meanings of embodying change at work by thinking with the narrative, rather than using the narrative to think. The broader goal of this inquiry is to draw ethnographic implications for working lives exposed to organizational changes.


Autoethnography, Change, Work, Public Sector, India, Narrative Analysis, Personal Narrative, Ethnographic Memoir, Qualitative Methodologies

Author Bio(s)

Saikat Chakraborty is a PhD candidate in the organizational behaviour area at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India. His research interests include dignity at work, labour process, employment relations and organizational issues associated with informal workers, with methodological interest in qualitative research. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: saikatc@iima.ac.in.


I thankfully acknowledge the doctoral programme funding and library support provided by Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad for providing the scope and opportunity to write this paper. I also thank Sally St. George and Ronald Chenail for taking an interest in this paper and providing valuable direction towards developing it. Declaration of Conflicting Interests. The author declares no conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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