An East Tennessee State University associate professor and associate chair has just written and published his third book.
Andrew Herrmann’s latest book, “Organizational Autoethnographies: Power and Identity in our Working Lives,” was published in May of this year.
“My latest book combines two of my loves: personal narrative writing and organizational communication research,” Herrmann said. “It is the first book solely dedicated to organizational autoethnography.”
According to Herrmann, autoethnography is a reflexive personal approach to research. It is writing and storytelling that connects and critiques cultural, social and political aspects of people’s lives. It also examines power and its effects on identity across a number of different work places and situations, including emotional and sexualized labor, gender and socialization in the military, the moment someone quits a job, working in a family business and more.
Herrmann has co-authored two other books in addition to this one, “Communication and Perspectives on Popular Culture” in 2016 and “Beyond New Media: Discourse and Critique in a Polymediated Age” in 2015.
“This book has very little connection to the other books I’ve written; however it is connected to almost all other published research that I’ve done, like journal articles and such, where I publish a lot of autoethnographic research,” he said.
According to Herrmann, his love of writing comes from his mother.
“I blame my interests on my mom,” he said. “She was a teacher and used to encourage my brothers and I to read. I’ve always been an avid reader.”
Herrmann is currently in his seventh year at ETSU. He was recently awarded tenure and promoted to an associate professor.
While some of the courses he teaches include a focus on organizational and business communication, Herrmann teaches a little of everything.
“I’ve taught a lot of independent studies in addition to communication that include everything from rock n’ roll to online relationships,” he said. “I teach pretty much whatever anyone is interested in.”
Herrmann also runs the Honors-in-Discipline and internship programs for communication studies.
According to Herrmann, a phrase by organizational scholar Karl Weick sums up his attitude about being an author. “How can I know what to think until I see what I say?” asked Weick.
“Writing makes things clearer,” Herrmann said. “For me writing is one of the best ways for us to understand ourselves and the world in which we live.”
For him, being an author is like having an eternal life.
“Sure, one day I’ll be dead, but my books and journal articles will live on, like zombies,” Herrmann said.