25 January 2012

Does corporate ethnography suck?

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In this first piece, Sam Ladner examines the different temporal conceptions of ethnographic fieldwork in industry and academia:

“Academics frequently criticize corporate ethnography simply as “too short.” But this is just as shallow an insight as is the idea that culture=consumerism. Academics, of all people, should know that culture drives practice. The rapid pace of contemporary corporate life clearly and reasonably demands shorter time horizons for any research project. It is more than obvious that time differs in academia.”

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Sam Ladner’s post lead to an extensive discussion on anthrodesign, with contributions by such people as Uday Dandavate, Tricia Wang and Melissa Cefkin.

In Part 2, Sam will discuss how corporate ethnographers can avoid compromising research.

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