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2014/2015  BA-BHAAI1004U  Corporate anthropology and organizational ethnography

English Title
Corporate anthropology and organizational ethnography

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Course period Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Dr. Ginger Grant, Sheridan Institute of Technology
    Patricia Plackett - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
  • Experience economy and service management
  • Organization
Last updated on 04-04-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
  • describe the importance of an interdisciplinary lens in analyzing an increasingly global business context.
  • have broad comprehension of concepts, theories, models and frameworks necessary to analyse the relations between different cultures when addressing ethical dilemmas
  • synthesize data through intense interaction between the researcher and the field
  • discuss the evolution of participant observation, informal interviews, semi-structured interviews in light of the increasing level of globalization of business
  • recognize and describe cultural patterns, interpret nuanced metaphors and set cognitive frameworks in a cross-cultural context
  • describe the growing importance of cyber-ethnography and the mapping of social networks, content analysis, behavioural profiles and socio-demographics
Course prerequisites
This course should be accessible to all undergraduate students, especially those who are considering graduate studies.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam
Number of mandatory activities: 1
Compulsory assignments (assessed approved/not approved)
Mandatory Mid-term Assignment: Students should review Chapters 2-5 of “Salsa Dancing”, in order to complete a research ‘daisy’ for review and be prepared to present their findings in Class 5.
Home Assignment:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
Students are introduced to the practice of applying anthropological theories and methods in problem-solving activities for private and public sector organizations. The course will explore two new fronts in business administration: (1) human capital and organizational management and (2) the use of anthropological and ethnographical methodologies in organizations. Tools such as psychographics, organizational analysis, espoused values mapping, participant observation, cyber-ethnography (mapping social networks), communication channels and personal and collective values within an organization will be examined.
In addition to the Mid-term Assignment for which students will complete a research daisy drawing on four chapters of the Salsa Dancing text, there is a Preliminary Assignment in this course. For this assignment students will view eight Ted Talks and compare and contrast them in order to answer several specific questions. Students should prepare to present their findings in class

Class Schedule
Class 1Why Qualitative Research? Why Salsa Dancing? What Anthropology and Ethnography have to teach business?
Setting the Stage – Combined Field Work Methods’**
Class 2Power and Emotion
Class 3Preliminary Assignment
Class 4Context-Sensitive and Actor-Centered Analysis
Class 5Mandatory Mid-term Assignment Presentation
Class 6Meaning Making
Class 7Multivocality
Class 8Reflexivity and Positionality
Class 9Social Innovation and Phronesis
Class 10Creative Strategy and Organizations
Class 11Comprehensive Review
** Students will be assigned groups on the first day of class and tasked with defining a current business challenge from an organization. The students will approach the challenge based on the theoretical materials covered in class and present their findings.
Teaching methods
Lectures, seminars, discussions and presentations. Students are expected to be active participants in the learning experience. The importance of clear and concise written and verbal communication will be stressed throughout the course. In addition to the material covered in the texts, students will develop hands-on skills in analysis, participant observation, group dynamics and formal business presentations. Each lesson contains a lecture, possible group presentations and discussion.
Further Information
Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 3 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.
Expected literature
Ybema, Sirek; Yanow, Dvora; Wels, Harry and Kamsteeg, Frans. Eds. Organizational Ethnography, Studing the Complexities of Everyday Life. (2009). London: Sage Publications. (259 pages)
Luker, Kristin. Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut. (2008). Cambridge: Harvard University Press. (225 pages).
Last updated on 04-04-2014