Simon Roberts of Stripe Partners continues his three part series on ethnography.

In the first two posts in this series he examined ethnography as practiced in two different contexts – the (1) market research (MR) industry and (2) corporate R&D labs.

He argued that ethnography in ‘MR’ has been devalued as a serious approach to understanding the world through lazy and incurious application. He suggested that ethnography had fared rather better in corporate R&D environments but that challenges exist there too.

This third post makes five initial suggestions for strengthening and developing ethnographic practices in a context of change:
1. Redouble efforts to understand systems and their dynamics: revel in cultural flux
2. Embrace technological tools but don’t forget that the situated observer and analyst remain at the heart of the ethnographic endeavour
3. Show your workings – or don’t hide behind the interpretation
4. Simple doesn’t mean the same as simplistic
5. Ethnography should act as the start point for collaboration