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Published on August 3, 2014

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BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY: BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY S S BAGCHI Who Employs Ethnologists?: Who Employs Ethnologists? Anthropology for Businesses • August 3, 2014 2 Microsoft Intel Citicorp AT&T Kodak Sapient Hauser Design Boeing Motorola Walt Disney Adidas Samsung Carlsberg General Mills Hallmark Travel One Hanseatic Group Manchester Memorial Palisades Pharmaceuticals Celanese Corporation …and the list goes on BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY: COLONIAL RULE: BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY: COLONIAL RULE European colonial interest – international trade Early 19th century - East India Company First Independence Movement in 1857 dsFrances Buchanan - an ethnographic survey to inquire into the conditions of the inhabitants of Bengal and their religion. Nigeria, a National Anthropologist for research purposes “for the solution of pressing questions… traders working for the good of Africa,” Lever Brothers and John Holts BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY: COLONIAL RULE: BUSINESS ETHNOGRAPHY: COLONIAL RULE Colonial Social Science Research Council (CSSRC) in Great Britain from 1944 to 1962 practical research in the colonial era CSSRC became tainted – business interest Business ethnography surfaced in US in the 20th century. Business Ethnography - US: Business Ethnography - US US - industrial revolution during the latter part of the 19th century A theory of organization known as scientific management Frederick W. Taylor - engineer Activities of both workers and managers should be determined by “scientific” methods Thorough investigation of the skills and actions The theory of “economic man” That individual employees would respond rationally to economic rewards by increasing their productivity to maximize rewards to themselves. The trick was to find exactly the right kind and amount of incentive—sufficient to motivate the worker effectively but not so generous as to detract from profitability. No unions interfering with the plan to optimize the productivity of the workforce. Business Ethnography - US: Business Ethnography - US Prior to the 1930s, manufacturing companies did not have industrial unions Unions were organized along trade lines not industry carpenters, glassblowers, shoemakers automobiles, steel, textiles Craft-based organization of production High-quality products but slow and not suited to mass production for large national markets. Craft-based TU who could join the trade how they would be trained what they would be paid Business Ethnography - US: Business Ethnography - US Managers of manufacturing industry wanted to keep unions from organizing the less skilled production workers. A period of serious labour-management members of trade unions regularly going on strike against their employers and violence sometimes breaking out. No federal law ensuring the right to form a union arrests and charges with crimes such as conspiracy. Business Ethnography - US: Business Ethnography - US Trade unions declined in influence as the managers wanted One effective approach to avoiding unionization was a benign theory of management known as welfare capitalism Management treating the workers well and they were contented Labour strife subsided and unions did not grow Economic boom years of the 1920s Improving workers' quality of life - Housing for workers, flower beds, parks, and libraries and elementary schools for the workers' children. “sweetheart deals” Union movement did not advance in the 1920s Stock market crash in 1929. The Hawthorne Project : The Hawthorne Project Western Electric Company (now part of Lucent Technologies) at its Hawthorne Works near Chicago A series of experiments aimed at increasing the productivity of the workforce in 1924. Both the influence of welfare capitalism and Frederick Taylor's scientific management movement. How to improve working conditions so that worker fatigue and dissatisfaction would be reduced (welfare capitalism) A single variable (such as factory illumination) could be manipulated to make this happen (scientific management). The Hawthorne Project : The Hawthorne Project Relay Assembly Test Room (RATR) experiment. A group of women were isolated in a laboratory where their conditions of work and output could be measured carefully. The experimenters then varied the working conditions, giving the women rest breaks, snacks, incentive pay, and then gradually withdrawing each of these, while they measured the number of relay assemblies each woman produced. Same mysterious results emerged—productivity was sustained or increased no matter what the experimenters did to working conditions. The Hawthorne Project : The Hawthorne Project Psychologist Elton Mayo The women had developed a distinctive social system, and this system itself had become part of the production process and was no doubt contributing to the enhanced level of productivity that was being observed in the experiment. Not one variable (illumination) but relationships among variables in the social system and what their effects on production might be. Uncovered the tendency of workers to band together as a means of defence against anything that might be perceived as a - the worker's social system or social organization Friendship with Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown W. Lloyd Warner – RB’s student – Australian Murngins . Fathered industrial or organizational anthropology. . The Hawthorne Project : The Hawthorne Project A complex piece rate incentive scheme Guaranteed a minimum hourly wage in exchange for a minimum daily standard of production (the “bogey”), plus an additional sum that was determined by the amount of output produced by the entire group in excess of that which was guaranteed by the minimum hourly wage. Should encourage workers to maximize their efforts up to the point at which fatigue and discomfort inhibited additional production. Slower workers would be spurred on by those in the group who worked faster. The Hawthorne Project : The Hawthorne Project In reality, however, the piece rate system had exactly the opposite effect to what the managers envisioned. Workers had their own notion of a “fair day's work. Workers produce enough required to produce bogey. Anything produced in excess of this minimum was frowned upon and negatively sanctioned by the group. If a worker set a fast pace and produced more than the minimum standard, he was subjected to verbal abuse (for example, called a slave), “binging” (using the thumb to snap the third finger against the violator's arm), and eventually, the most dreaded punishment—ostracism or virtual banishment. Often the workers would produce their quota early in the day and then subtly scale back effort in the afternoon while enjoying one another's company (all the while keeping an eye out for management). Workers' belief that a higher daily rate of production would prompt management to raise the bogey, cut the hourly rate, or lay off some of them. During Great Depression is not surprising that workers feared such actions from management. The Hawthorne Project: Human Relations School: The Hawthorne Project: Human Relations School Based on functional equilibrium theory Viewed human organizations as integrated social systems Each individual was seen as being tied to the whole yet still having his or her proper place and function in the system. Conflict between management and workers was seen as pathological, reflecting the disruption of an equilibrium state, and was to be ameliorated by making adjustments in the pattern of interaction among individuals and organizational structures. A disruption of the equilibrium state would affect worker morale in a negative way, and this in turn would interfere with efficient production. HRS - Aimed at creating harmonious worker-manager relationships that would ensure optimal productivity in a company. Management needed to adjust its relationships with workers to ensure the former result, not the latter. Prominent in American industry for the next 20 years Conrad Arensberg , Elliot Chapple , Burleigh Gardner, Robert Guest, Solon Kimball, Frederick Richardson, Leonard Sayles, and William Foote Whyte Sears, Roebuck & Company, the Container Corporation of America, International Business Machines (IBM), Inland Steel Container Company, Libby MacNeil and Libby, Bundy Tubing Company, and the Eastern Corporation. Welfare capitalism – resisting unionization The Decline : The Decline Around 1960 Significant changes in the social, political, and economic context of the United States Industrial ethnography entered a prolonged period of decline. Fieldwork outside US – funding creation of a “real anthropologist.” Those conducting research in the United States (such as the industrial anthropologists) were relegated to a second-class citizen Some became professors in business schools Frederick Richardson, William Foote Whyte, and Leonard Sayles Others started businesses or became business consultants Burleigh Gardner and Eliot Chapple No new generation of industrial anthropologists. The Theoretical Shift : The Theoretical Shift The Human Relations School and functional equilibrium theory were incompatible increasingly characterized by severe labour-management conflict and strife. During the recovery from the Great Depression the previously harmonious labour relations disappeared Labour agitation mounted as workers were called back to their jobs Roosevelt, concerned that labour unrest could derail the fragile recovery, sponsored collective bargaining. National Labour Relations Act in 1935 gave workers the right to bargain collectively. The unions began to make serious headway toward their goals of improved wages and working conditions for unskilled workers. The modern union movement was born. The Theoretical Shift : The Theoretical Shift Industrial sociology Contingency theory what is happening in an organization through correlations among formal variables such as organizational structure, technology, and the environment. quantitative data drawn from large surveys of scores or hundreds of organizations and rigorous statistical modelling of survey results. Political and Ethical Issues : Political and Ethical Issues 1960s and early 1970s – ethical issues - counterinsurgency programs in the developing world (Project Camelot) Turned ethnographers away from government service Multinational corporations also were identified as potentially dangerous sponsors. Negative consequences of industrialization, including increasing poverty, new disease threats, and the disintegration of traditional social supports. Political and Ethical Issues : Political and Ethical Issues Nestle – introduction of costly infant formula Affordability in the Third World – dilution of formula, contaminated water, unsterilized bottle, failure to switch back to breast feeding infant diarrhoea, malnutrition, and outright starvation. Triggering a massive global boycott of Nestle products. American Anthropological Association (AAA) PPR in 1971 – no clandestine research The Fragmentation: 1960–1980 : The Fragmentation: 1960–1980 Demise of the Human Relations School, Marxist and neo-Marxist critiques of industry at home and abroad, the ethnography of industrial occupations and professions, and the study of industrialization processes outside the West. Academic anthropologists/ ethnographer did not practice inside corporations, but studied them from the outside a) Marxist Critique of Industry : a) Marxist Critique of Industry Negative consequences of industrialization at home and abroad Radical critique of the existing industrial order and to a cultural analysis Marxist, neo-Marxist, and post-Marxist theory. Mode and relations of production within capitalist economic systems the way in which economic value and surplus value are produced and social relations between management and workers. Management diverts a portion of the value to enrich itself and to enhance the enterprise. Management assumed that less skilled workers did not have much need for intellect on the job in an age of automation Ethnographers found just the opposite workers brought their intelligence with them and used it to solve work-related problems that management could not or would not address. a) Marxist Critique of Industry : a) Marxist Critique of Industry Louise Lamphere's study of a New England apparel factory labour intensive industry and strategies managers use to maximize profit. The key managerial approach to ensuring a reasonable profit is maintenance of low wages. The hiring of marginalized workers (women and immigrants) locating plants in low-wage areas are managerial tactics used to ensure low wages. “reserve army” of the unemployed ready to go to work when needed Women workers continue to be responsible for domestic production (house-keeping and child rearing) - “doubly exploited,” Union organizations take advantage of women's plight when attempting to organize groups of workers simultaneously deny women leadership roles within the organized labour movement b) Occupations and Professions : b) Occupations and Professions Between 1960 and 1980 - members of skilled industrial occupations or professions – unlike deskilling Like a small-scale societies - a unique system of meanings, practices, and a language. A collective identity and a common life Work culture studies Herbert Applebaum defined as a system of knowledge, techniques, attitudes, and behaviours appropriate to the performance of work and social interactions in a particular work setting. b) Occupations and Professions : b) Occupations and Professions Work culture studies Herbert Applebaum studied construction workers Relationship between the technological requirements of an industry and the nature of its work culture. They know their business better than anyone else, and they thus control the work process, with an emphasis on quality. If a general manager places too much emphasis on speed, the worker is likely to walk off the job. Workers gain the respect of others through the quality of their finished work, consider themselves to be the peers of the engineers and other overseers. It is the craftspeople and their supervisors who make most of the decisions at a work site, on friendly terms with the workers Workers also determine whether or not conditions are safe enough to commence or continue working. These conditions create a highly satisfying work culture that they control. No deskilling in the construction work. Construction workers have maintained a high level of skill in which workers control much of the work process and trade unions have great strengths. c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West : c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West During the 1960s and 1970s – nations just beginning to develop an industrial infrastructure. Convergence theory Societies around the world would become ever more similar to one another in their ways of life, based on the technological imperative of industrialization. Traditional agriculture to modern industry (that is, large-scale mass production) as the primary mode of production Technologies of industrialization would require parallel changes in society and life style breakdown of the extended family migration from rural to urban areas, the congregation of populations in urban centres, the need for increasing discipline of the workforce, mandated formal education for children, and similar occupational structures. Production on a mass scale at certain concentrated locations (for example, factories, mines, mills) - migration The industrial requirements for literacy - formal education for children - schools teaching discipline to the future workforce. c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West : c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West Critique of convergence theory, based on historical specificity and cultural relativism. Carol Holzberg and Maureen Giovannini's 1981 review Various aspects of their traditional social structures and life-ways may complement industry. Clifford Geertz demonstrated that indigenous entrepreneurs can play a crucial role in economic development; Max Gluckman showed that dual economies, in which indigenous people straddle two economic worlds (the village and the urban centre) can coexist June Nash's work explored the role of traditional cultural forms such as rituals in easing the transition to industrial life. c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West : c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West Diffusion theory, adoption of innovations Principal theory of modern marketing discipline. Often, unintended (and negative) consequences have been the result. Pertti Pelto studied the introduction of snowmobiles to reindeer herders in Lapland. More reindeers could be herded Snowmobile itself frightened the reindeer, and this new stressor tended to deplete the herds overall. Consequently, a de facto class system of haves and have-nots emerged in a society that traditionally had been more egalitarian. c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West : c) Industrialization Processes Outside the West Thomas Rohlen ethnographic work on a medium-size Japanese bank - cultural logic of Japanese organizational structures and practices Edward Hall - “primary message systems” theory - Beyond Culture (1976) and The Dance of Life (1983) Role of space and time as contextual dimensions of communication; standards in the world of international business monochronic and polychronic time time experienced as linear and segmented versus time experienced as cyclical and nonsegmented ) high-context and low-context cultures cultures in which most of the informational content of a message is embedded in contextual variables versus cultures in which most of the information is explicit and encoded in language Helping businesspeople to translate and interpret communication processes and events across cultural boundaries and to prevent cross-cultural misunderstandings. Alvin Wolfe developed the idea of a new level of sociocultural integration above the level of the nation-state in the 1970s. African mineral extraction industry 1980s to Present - Globalisation: 1980s to Present - Globalisation Fordism structures and ideologies generated by mass production as an economic system, whereby the producer (Henry Ford) determined nearly everything about the products that were made and consumers had no choice but to buy what was put in front of them. “post- Fordist ” of late 20th century producer was no longer king. Instead, consumers were recognized as the crucial actors under the rules of the “new economy,” in which services often generated more revenue and employment than goods, and the knowledge content of a corporate asset often was more valuable than its tangible matter. 1980s to Present - Globalisation: 1980s to Present - Globalisation More Ph.D.s than academic vacancies Pressure to seek external funding – applied era Interdisciplinary domains opened opportunities through business-related research and practice organizational behaviour and management; ethnographically informed design of products, services, and systems; and consumer behaviour and marketing. a) Organizational Behaviour and Management : a) Organizational Behaviour and Management A conception of formal organization as “society writ small,” thus constituting a site for the production and reproduction of distinctive localized systems of meaning and practice (culture). Problem of labour-management strife from functionalist theory to the post- Fordist way. Ethnographic interests in post- Fordist capitalism: organizational cultures in technology-based firms, boundary-crossing in a global context, regional perspectives on work and corporations. i) Organizational cultures in technology-based firms: i ) Organizational cultures in technology-based firms In the 1980s - concept of “corporate culture” The first wave - organizational behaviour - “native's point of view” Corporations as complex configurations of interacting technical and managerial subcultures. Kathleen Gregory - ethnoscience ethnography to uncover “native view paradigms,” The way technical professionals inside Silicon Valley computer technology firms understand their social worlds. Frank Dubinskas , a biotechnology start-up firm Conflict between executives and PhD molecular biologist the goals of research, how to make choices among projects, whether research direction should change, and which projects should be dropped. Two subcultures frequently conflicted in ways that thwarted the company's performance. Elizabeth Briody and Marietta Baba late 1980s General Motors's difficulty repatriating managers from overseas duty. i) Organizational cultures in technology-based firms: i ) Organizational cultures in technology-based firms Julian Orr (late 1980s) - Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on Xerox repair technicians. Once a service technician himself, Orr was interested in why service technicians were able to repair technologically advanced copiers in about 95% of all cases, usually without much or any resort to the company's expert help system, even though they had little if any knowledge of the physics or engineering underlying the machines. After following pairs of technicians for about 3 weeks, Orr discovered that they solved difficult machine repair problems by telling each other stories of past machine failures and finding in their stories diagnostic and procedural clues about how to proceed with the present case. Significantly, these stories were not only ones that the technicians themselves had experienced but ones they had learned from their colleagues through war story swap meets that took place whenever technicians gathered informally (for example, at training sessions). The company had no idea that this knowledge resource even existed. Xerox modified its practices based on Orr's findings by equipping all technicians with mobile radio phones so that they could communicate with one other and with roving “tiger teams” more readily. Triangular relationship between the technician, the customer, and the machine, such that the customers became a source of knowledge about machine misbehaviour and technicians became a source of knowledge about customers. A movement within American corporations known as “knowledge management.” ii) Boundary Crossing in a Global Context : ii) Boundary Crossing in a Global Context In the 1990s, focus more on cross-cultural phenomena in corporate settings- firms based outside the United States - firms whose globally distributed employees work virtually. Tomoko Hamada describes a case of alleged (and ambiguous) sexual harassment within a Japanese-owned plant in the United States. An American female factory worker first aligns with her Japanese bosses in preventing formation of a union at the plant, for which she is rewarded with promotion to supervisory status. The woman is put off by Japanese methods for training junior members of the management team that she finds insulting, and she also is shunned by her former American peers who believe she has turned on them. In the end, the woman files a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Japanese plant manager, which is settled out of court, forcing the manager to return to Japan in humiliation. How different parties' perspectives form and evolve as they interact with one another, shifting individuals' self-representations in the process. ii) Boundary Crossing in a Global Context : ii) Boundary Crossing in a Global Context Carla Freeman the pink-collar female informatics workers of Barbados - a quasi-professional identity vis -a- vis their blue-collar sisters toiling in nearby factories. Cool look and disciplined habitus . Women engage in regular global shopping trips to purchase materials. The informal economy of trade in clothes supplements the low wages earned in the formal economy, while the low-priced fashions allow the women to stock their closets with an array of stylish outfits. The informal economy thus supports the formal one, and it appears that the latter could not be sustained without the former. Production and consumption processes mutually reinforce one another while being enmeshed in global flows of goods, services, capital, and people. Interrogates the relationship between the workers' clothing preferences and managerial intentions to discipline and control their female subordinates. iii) Regional Perspectives on Work and Corporations : iii) Regional Perspectives on Work and Corporations Warner’s tradition but modernized it by reflecting new themes of global integration Geographic areas that generate distinctive economic forms, such as Silicon Valley with its high-tech startups . Early 1980s Kathleen Gregory's dissertation, titled Signing Up: The Culture and Careers of Silicon Valley Computer People . Long-term ethnographic research in the Silicon Valley region and on studies of specific firms such as Apple language and culture of high-tech work is permeated with a sense of “doing good,” a social construction with roots that connect Silicon Valley to notions of technical “progress” grounded in the Industrial Revolution. Chuck Darrah‘s informatics iii) Regional Perspectives on Work and Corporations : iii) Regional Perspectives on Work and Corporations E. Gabriella Coleman writes about the practices of hackers affiliated with Linux. Linux is a firm whose productive output depends primarily upon the voluntary contributions of thousands of software developers working together over the Internet to generate technically excellent and economically competitive software that is used by major global corporations such as IBM. Linux-based products now are competing with Microsoft on the open market in a David versus Goliath-style drama. Linux grew out of the open source code movement – free software guaranteed by an ingenious legal instrument called the “ copyleft .” No one can copyright code that has been copylefted , so it remains free. The hackers are motivated to high levels of performance because of their love of programming—for them it is a means of artistic expression and a means of technological innovation. Due to the copyleft and the Internet over which code is shared, there has been an explosion of free software projects, each of which is like a miniguild . The projects turn out to be the central organizing mechanism through which the miniguilds are embodied—each has its own source code, technical documentation, organizational structure, technical emphasis, computer language preference, and style of development. Coleman points out that with Linux, there is no commodification of software, yet the products still circulate in the market. Further, the technology does not set the moral or social aspects of work; these are shaped by the community of practice (that is, the hackers). She also argues that the hackers' high performance proves that intellectual property protection is not a requirement for the creation of cutting-edge technical products. The hackers are not in a crusade against capitalism, but neither are they reifying it. Rather, their work appears to represent a “qualified means” (perhaps an alternative) by which participation in the market can best be carried out. b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems : b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems Warner's tradition “design ethnography,” - Lucy Suchman and Rick Robinson – Sapient Ethnographically informed product, service, and system design (including work systems). Marriage between ethnography and design Many other things can be designed—work processes, organizations, cities, policies, anything that humans can make or imagine. b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems : b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems Suchman (1979) machine intelligence – Videotaping pairs of users attempting to make copies of documents using an expert help system comparing the users' conversations and actions during this process with the machine's automated instructions. Contrasting the two points of view side by side (those of the users and the machine), Suchman portrayed communication breakdowns between them as humans moved fluidly among several different levels of conversation while the machine was severely limited to producing responses that its designer had programmed into it in anticipation of stereotypical responses that users “should” make. b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems : b) Ethnographically Informed Design of Products, Services, and Systems Interdisciplinary teams involving anthropologists and representatives of other disciplines (for example, psychologists, designers, engineers, even clients) The goal is to know both what the consumer is doing and why he or she is doing it, and from this base of knowledge to create new ideas for product and service design concepts and improvements. Integrating ethnography into the design and development of new products, services, and workplaces or practices. Susan Squires (2002) - Go- Gurt , a yogurt-based snacks the boys do not eat the “wholesome breakfast” that Mom prepares; Mom eats it herself, apparently unaware of what she is doing; the boys actually eat other, not-so-wholesome food (purchased by Dad), or nothing at all.... Later, at one of the boys' schools, Squires finds that the boy who ate nothing is consuming his lunch at 10:30 a.m. Squires provides a contextual analysis of this, plus other field data, relating her discoveries to structural strains in American society that working women's realities against older values regarding protection of family members. The outcome of the research is a new product, Go- Gurt , a yogurt-based snack that tastes good, is nutritious, and can be consumed on the go. c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing : c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Post- fordist era - e ver -intensifying competitive pressures - value of consumers need for creative exchanges with them Marketing - the description of consumers' decisions to purchase products, who buys what, and what factors influence the purchasing decision. Consumer demographics was the predominant methodology. The emerging theory of consumer culture - Russell Belk, Melanie Wallendorf , and John Sherry Jr. Following modern consumers into cyberspace, adapting their methods as they go (for example, “ netnography ,”“cyber-interviewing.” c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing : c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Understanding of the culturally constituted world in which consumer meanings are constructed How those meanings may be moved to products by savvy marketers who can endow products with a sacred aura through creative advertising campaigns - McCracken's model c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing non-Western societies. : c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing non-Western societies. Africa Asia Eric Arnould -West Africa - the notion of “preference formation” how a consumer develops likes and dislikes, an idea that is central to diffusion theory Comparing the standard Western view of this construct with both a local construction that is compatible with premarket sociocentric values and an Islamic ethnonationalist view, in which individuals achieve status through innovations based on “ Meccan ” goods. The Theory of Shopping , Miller connects shopping to sacrificial ritual. Sacrifice has two central features it places the sanctifier in a relationship with a transcendent entity and thereby sanctifies the former, it marks the transition from production to consumption (for example, firstfruits sacrifice). In shopping, which usually is carried out by women, the shopper is linked through bonds of love and devotion to a family, either an existing family or one that she hopes to have one day. It is the underlying relationship that guides the woman's purchases, which are thoughtful and thrifty. And as in sacrifice, purchase of the commodity transforms it from an object of production to an object of consumption. c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing : c) Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Steve Kemper (2001)- presentation of goods by advertising firms to traditional populations in the developing world. Pressed powder and scents in Sri Lanka The economic powers in the village (senior males) could interpret certain products (cosmetics for young women) negatively, and refuse to provide monies for purchase, unless their advertisements are culturally sensitive. The effective advertisement used neither the “global” image of a sophisticated urban woman nor the potentially condescending “local” image of a traditional village girl, but rather created something that captured both the “local idiom” while managing to be “generic” at the same time— the “ sidevi look,” which combined images that are modern enough to be attractive to a young woman but still innocent enough to avoid offending her father. Advertising in the developing world create images that blend local and generic themes - the end result is neither the global homogenization that is feared nor the local uniqueness that existed in the past. PowerPoint Presentation: What customers want from a product and what companies think they want can be totally different, but it can take an ethnographer’s lens to learn why. …But, Why Are They Hiring Ethnographers?: …But, Why Are They Hiring Ethnographers? Ethnographers are trained with a number of useful skills: Communicating in a globalized world Avoiding preconceptions and recognizing varied perspectives Seeing the “big picture” Gathering, integrating, synthesizing and analyzing data Working within and obtaining funding for structured budgets 46 Communicating in a Globalized World: Communicating in a Globalized World 47 Written Communication Ethnographers explain the subtleties of daily life in diverse cultures. They make complex research findings comprehensible to a wide audience. Many ethnographers have become successful authors of both fiction and non-fiction for the general public. Michael Crichton, Ursula LeGuin , Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Verbal Communication Ethnographers learn to communicate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and places, studying an incredible range of populations, from displaced immigrants to CEOs of international corporations . Communicating in a Globalized World: Communicating in a Globalized World 48 Example: Multicultural and multinational products Ethnographers in Intel's People and Practices Research division immerse themselves in potential markets in order to understand local wants and needs. A number of Intel's innovative and successful technological models have been developed for China’s emerging markets based on ethnographic research by Intel anthropologists. Avoiding Preconceptions and Recognizing Varied Perspectives: Avoiding Preconceptions and Recognizing Varied Perspectives 49 Example: Stock options are not savings The Sapient consulting firm found that stock options and traditional financial savings options are viewed differently. Stock options are often seen as “play money,” or money for luxuries, not necessities. The result? Sapient’s client incorporated these findings into their business plan and website design. Seeing the “Big Picture”: Seeing the “Big Picture” 50 Use of a holistic approach They take into account all variables at all levels—a perspective that is not always emphasized in other disciplines. For instance In product development, seeing the big picture might mean figuring out all the ways a product fits into the environment and lives of various consumer groups. Holism is essential in the new economy Rapid fluctuations in the current economy mean it is important to understand how global changes can affect local communities and how best to adapt to these changes. Seeing the “Big Picture”: Seeing the “Big Picture” 51 Example: Engineering with people in mind Engineers are trained to look at technology, while ethnographers are trained to look at all the ways that different people use technology. Motorola anthropologists studied pager use among teenagers and discovered that, while teens used pagers to keep in touch, they also used them as fashion accessories. The result? By combining engineering expertise with ethnographic data, Motorola developed trendy, colorful pagers. Seeing the “Big Picture”: Seeing the “Big Picture” 52 Example: Holistic insights into finance Dr. Gillian Tett is a journalist for the Financial Times, but she started off with a doctorate in anthropology. She predicted the current economic crisis several years before it occurred and has since written extensively about how the crisis happened in the first place. Tett was named the Journalist of the Year at the 2009 British Press Awards and the British Business Journalist of the Year in 2008. Gathering, Integrating, Synthesizing and Analyzing Data: 53 Example: Disney increases viewership Disney hired a team of ethnographers to help it rejuvenate its appeal to a stagnating audience: 6-14 year old boys. Boys tend to be less open than girls in regular surveys, making ethnographic methods better for understanding their interests. The result? Disney created a new television channel, Disney XD, tailored toward the interests of boys. Disney has also seen a 10% increase in male viewership. Gathering, Integrating, Synthesizing and Analyzing Data What Can Ethnographers Do for My Business or Non-Profit?: What Can Ethnographers Do for My Business or Non-Profit? 54 Assess and adapt workgroup practices, product designs, environments or project strategies in a rapidly changing and risky market Analyze product usage, consumer mindset, brand appeal, research data and donor motivation Mediate workplace relationships to increase efficiency Communicate effectively with diverse audiences such as consumers, donors, clients, shareholders, internal staff and members Organize and manage large, complex projects with stakeholders representing a wide range of interests Perform objective, goal-oriented evaluations and risk assessments Write proposals and obtain grants or other sources of funding

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