Corporate Anthropologists

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

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In an article entitled Corporate Anthropologists Jeniffer J. Laabs describes how the concepts of anthropology are being applied in corporate cultures to better understand the evolution of these cultures and to ameliorate the corporations' social organizations accordingly. This is accomplished by observing and analyzing correlations between corporate and national culture, and identifying the impact of interrelated culture variables in the corporate setting.

Corporate anthropology has been extremely effective in corporate America. By applying anthropological methodology, we have been able to gain insight into other cultures in order to accommodate corporations' international growth. Not only is this holistic approach a logical step toward corporate culture solutions, but it is also highly productive: the improvements that can be made in an organizational culture as a result of business anthropology studies benefit both the corporation and the individuals therein.

One specific corporate culture problem addressed by members of the field is the complications of cultural and social barriers in collaborative creativity.

Even in a group of people from the same cultural and social background, it can be difficult to ensure that they are comfortable enough to share their ideas and opinions openly. Corporate anthropologists have suggested developing a "culturally correct" way of achieving successful collaboration as the first step to a solution. I belive, however, that we should first develop a general model or method for accomplishing successful collaboration, and then proceed to modify and apply this method to be more culturally correct for such groups that require it.

Having been personally involved in the management and leadership of several social projects, I certainly recognize and perspective in maximizing the productivity of the individuals working as a group. I believe that America-especially corporate America-should become more aware of this need as well as of the advantages of a holistic approach to any matter.

Just as cultures tend to develop a variety of culture groups as they become more complex, so corporate cultures develop culture groups as they grow and organize. Since these corporations often accumulate a diverse staff, it is imperative to observe what occurs whithin the culture groups of the business. The behavior of the people in the culture groups that business anthropologists observe provide insights as to how the coroporation can adjust its programs and social organisation to get the most out of its employees.