12 July 2008

Fighting IT failure with ethnographic research (podcast)

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Michael Krigsman (CEO of Asuret, Inc.) spoke with Dr. Natalie Hanson, a corporate anthropologist and ethnographer employed by SAP. Natalie manages a team of 30 people in the company’s global Business Operations group.

Many IT failures are ultimately rooted in negative organizational culture and related political dynamics. For example, failures can arise when critical information is not shared across internal corporate boundaries (or even among members of a single team).

Solving these problems can be difficult because cultural issues are hard to measure and transform. Ethnographic research methods offer a way to gain deeper insight into organizational dynamics that contribute to failed IT projects.

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