In this chapter I explain how I combine concepts and tools from institutional ethnography (IE) and institutional organisation theory (IT) in my PhD project. For my research, I explored the encounter between the Norwegian welfare state and people who lead transnational lives from the standpoint of bureaucrats working in the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). This chapter includes a discussion of how the traditions and epistemologies of (Nordic) IE and (Scandinavian) IT enable such a combination. Through two examples from my research, I illustrate how sensitivity to these theoretical strands influenced my methodology and analytical framework: (1) how my desire to undertake an open-minded exploration of the bureaucrats’ “everyday” combined with institutional and instrumental organisational elements shaped my interviews and the ensuing analysis; and (2) how my search for “institutional circuits” and traits of “institutionalisation” in NAV influenced the analysis and findings in a research article on categorisation of transnationals.
Talleraas, Cathrine (2019) Complementing theories: institutional ethnography and organisation theory in institutional analysis, in Institutional Ethnography in the Nordic Region. London: Routledge (51–64).