Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the diverse and strong emotions experienced by the researcher when conducting an ethnographic study in an organisational setting. Design/methodology/approach: In this paper extracts from research diaries written over a three year organisational ethnography study period are presented to the reader. Findings: This paper provides an insight into the range of emotions that are experienced throughout the various stages of the research process from securing access, to conducting fieldwork and writing up research for publication. Research limitations/implications:Although this paper focuses on organisational ethnography, comparisons are drawn with related disciplines and as such, this paper may also be of interest to those conducting ethnographic studies in other fields. Practical implications: It is hoped that the sharing of emotional experiences will better prepare new organisational researchers for the emotions they may experience in the field. Social implications: Originality/value:There is a recognised need for more sharing of emotional experience in organisational studies. It is hoped that this paper goes some way to highlighting these emotional challenges and providing a catalyst for other researchers to do the same.