1st Edition

Collaborative Ethnography in Business Environments

Edited By Maryann McCabe Copyright 2017
    150 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    150 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In a global and rapidly changing commercial environment, businesses increasingly use collaborative ethnographic research to understand what motivates their employees and what their customers value. In this volume, anthropologists, marketing professionals, computer scientists and others examine issues, challenges, and successes of ethnographic cooperation in the corporate world. The book

    • argues that constant shifts in the global marketplace require increasing multidisciplinary and multicultural teamwork in consumer research and organizational culture;
    • addresses the need of corporate ethnographers to be adept at reading and translating the social constructions of knowledge and power, in order to contribute to the team process of engaging research participants, clients and stakeholders;
    • reveals the essentially dynamic process of collaborative ethnography;
    • shows how multifunctional teams design and carry out research, communicate findings and implications for organizational objectives, and craft strategies to achieve those objectives to increase the vibrancy of economies, markets and employment rates worldwide.

    Notes on Contributors

    1. Introduction: Collaborative Ethnography: Intersection of Knowledge, Power and Emotion

    Maryann McCabe

    2. Humanizing Organizations: Researchers as Knowledge Brokers and Change Agents

    Robin Beers

    3. Success Despite the Silos: System-Wide Innovation and Collaboration

    Elizabeth K. Briody and Ken C. Erickson

    4. Collaboration for Impact: Involving Stakeholders in Ethnographic Research

    Jennifer Watts-Englert, Margaret H. Szymanski, Patricia Wall and Mary Ann Sprague

    5. Collaborating across and beyond the Corporation via Design Anthropology

    Alice D. Peinado

    6. Collaborating in Visual Consumer Research

    Russell Belk

    7. Backyard Ethnography: Defamiliarizing the Familiar and Understanding the Consumer

    Inga Treitler



    Maryann McCabe is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Rochester, USA, and Founder and Principal of Cultural Connections LLC.

    Increasingly anthropologists work outside academia with or for corporations, and must collaborate with others in the corporation—with management, vendors and consumers of differing orientations. In this, ethnographers encounter new frames of knowledge, deal with power relations and get caught up in emotional quandaries. This volume wonderfully illustrates the kinds of entanglements business anthropologists routinely encounter in their work. The range of authors presented here will be especially helpful to business anthropologists, students, marketers and consumer researchers, offering diverse perspectives for understanding consuming culture.

    - Timothy de Waal Malefyt, Fordham University School of Business, USA

    Collaborative Ethnography in Business Environments is one of those rare edited volumes we should all have on our shelf. McCabe treats us to an eloquent analysis of knowledge, power, and emotion in collaborative work, interwoven with examples from her own considerable experience. The masterful and beautifully written introduction alone would make the volume a must-have for scholars and students, but its coup de grace is that the authors gathered together in this volume are established names working at the intersection of anthropology and business.

    - Patricia Sunderland, Practica, LLC; co-editor of Handbook of Anthropology in Business