Stemming from Harold Garfinkel, Ethnomethodology is PIPEs preferred approach to inquiries into social interaction and professional practices. It is a methodology that analyzes and describes the various methods members use in a social group to maintain social order and sensibility of their everyday worlds. Ethnomethodology aims to understand and explicate how our taken-for granted reality is constantly being produced, managed, and negotiated in everyday activities. It is important for this approach to understand that humans are competent and everyday experts and in their everyday life they are resourceful.
In regards to professional interaction order this means that the research PIPE carries out explores the membership knowledge in a given practice, fx health workers care of patients, teachers methods in classrooms, designers developing new technology. PIPE not only look at the practitioners but also on the members of a given interaction, fx patients, learners, users of technology etc.
Conversation analysis is a research approach that analyses social interaction but with a particular focus on language. It is not the structure of language that is of interest, but rather how language is used in the form of requests, complaints, proposals or accusations. (Sacks, Schegloff, Jefferson and others).
The study of talk-in-interaction can be the most ordinary everyday situations. According to a conversational analysis approach, social actions hold some sort of significance to those who initiate them. This can be discovered through careful examination of the ways social action become significant through talk. Conversation analysis, therefore, explores the hidden rules, meanings or structures that create such an order in a conversation.
The aim for PIPE researchers in using conversation analysis is to determine how participants in natural conversations understand and respond to one another, and how these sequences of talk-in-action are generated thus revealing significance.