Feeding Innovation in Business Anthropology

[pquote]Anthropology is a way of seeing and interpreting data, and it inflects everything I do.[/pquote]When I began working as a market research consultant, shortly after receiving my PhD, I knew that I would likely spend a good part of my time translating what I do to my colleagues. What I do now—writing surveys, conducting focus […]

Doing Good by Doing Well in Business Anthropology

It is axiomatic that educators hope that students use their skills to improve their communities. “Doing good” in the world outside of academia can often translate into “doing well” in academic work. This is the philosophy of Business Anthropology training at the University of Minnesota. The Business Anthropology course combines academic work and real-world problems […]

Cultural Change in Business School Curricula

Integrating multiple disciplinary approaches continues to be a challenge in higher education. Despite a growing number of disciplinary hybrids and many examples of successful multiple disciplinary teams, significant obstacles remain to creating integrated curricula. For me, this is a familiar challenge: Three years ago I began introducing design and anthropology to a business school curriculum. […]

Pathways to the Future

The business anthropology wave. For-profit business corporations are, along with nation-states, arguably one of the most powerful institutions shaping the modern world. My interest in business anthropology developed as I tried to study them, which began in the year 2000. I had just completed a theoretical book concerned with the movement of culture through the […]

Cultivating Opportunities

Enriching change through business anthropology. The discipline of anthropology is changing through a steady rise in anthropological practice. A network of anthropologists interested in the many facets of anthropological practice—including research, employment, consulting, and education—has formed and welcomes your participation. It is known as the Business Anthropology Community.[pquote]The Business Anthropology Community’s goal is to advance […]

Building on Consensus

Cultural analysis for managing risk and quality on transformative organizational projects. Studying cultural change is at the core of many ethnographers’ everyday work. We apply the concepts, methods, and tools of social science to the research, yet our perspective all too often remains that of a spectator analyzing from the sidelines. For anyone who wants […]

The Strength of Anthropology

Deciphering the Enigma of Social and Cultural Mechanisms [pquote]Anthropologists are still asked to resolve human problems as if there were some miracle solution… Anthropological answers are much more modest and often more effective.[/pquote]I still remember one of the first questions I was asked by a company manager. It was in the early 1970s, when he […]

Anthropology for the Planet

Partnering with business for sustainability. Although the US federal government under the Trump administration is working to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency and withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, there is hope. An impressive array of US corporations, institutions, and sub-federal governments are stepping up to affirm their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices and […]

Business Anthropology Comes of Age

Business anthropology is leading a future direction for anthropology and is asserting itself on the global stage. While its origins date to the 1930s (Jordan 2013, 9-22), business anthropology gained traction in the 1980s and ‘90s. Business anthropology is again on the rise: More companies are hiring anthropologists and the pace and volume of scholarly […]