Business Anthropology

Brian Moeran

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    This essay outlines the overall scope and location of business anthropology within the overall field of the discipline. It outlines its foundations as an applied form of anthropology in early developments in the United States (in particular, in Western Electric’s Hawthorne Project and the Human Relations School at Harvard University), as well as in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, before turning to five areas of research and practice: academic ethnographies of business practices, regional studies, case studies developed by practitioners, theoretical applications, and methods. The essay then asks what a future program for business anthropology might look like and suggests four areas for theoretical development against a background of education, engagement, and comparative work. These are an examination of structures of power in, between, and dependent on business organizations of all kinds; cross-cultural comparison of work cultures; attention to the materials, technologies, and goods with which business people engage and which afford their organizational forms; and explicit attention to cutting-edge fieldwork methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEmerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences : An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource
    EditorsRobert A. Scott , Stephen M. Kosslyn
    Number of pages11
    Place of PublicationHoboken, N.J.
    Publication date2015
    ISBN (Print)9781452216454
    ISBN (Electronic)9781118900772
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 15 May 2015

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