This chapter introduces a program for studying work developed by Harold Garfinkel, starting in the early 1970s. This program takes its point of departure from an understanding that social action is accomplished. In part, Garfinkel aimed to study specific occupations, including professional and scientific occupations that require extensive training. He emphasised ethnomethodology's interest in “the what” of work: the specific activities that make up the ensemble play of music, the performative conduct of legal cases or laboratory experiments, and the working-out of mathematical problems. In addition to addressing the particular problems attendant to studying such specialised competencies, Garfinkel also addressed the embodied, sensual, and interactional work of producing “naturally organised ordinary activities”. The chapter addresses specific themes involved in the studies of work program, such as “instructed actions”, “asymmetric alternates”, “perspicuous settings”, the “unique adequacy of methods”, and the development of “hybrid studies”. It concludes with a discussion of some of the difficulties the studies of work program presented for following through on Garfinkel's ambitions. The chapter thus provides a basis for examining contemporary studies of work in subsequent chapters.