Researching 'care' in and around the workplace

Andrew Smith, Linda McKie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this research note we critically consider the concept of 'care' both inside and around the workplace. Care, we assert, is ever-present in the workplace and evident in friendships and wider social relations. Moreover, many organisational policies and practices provide a framework within which caring may take place or be denied. 'Organisation carescapes' is introduced as a conceptual framework, which we argue can aid the identification and analysis of 'care' in employing organisations. Drawing on exploratory interviews, we discuss the implications these had on future stages of the research project in terms of our use of language and ways of conceptualising care at work. We explain how we operationalised the concept of care at work through the development of a questionnaire, which sought to map the care policies and services offered by a range of employing organisations. Furthermore, we discuss the appropriateness of the critical incident interview technique in uncovering the cultures and practices of care both in and around the workplace. Hence, through our conceptual and empirical research, we seek to bridge the sociologies of work and care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Research Online
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • carescapes
  • research methods
  • care
  • employing organisations


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