What is Organisational Anthropology?

Organisational Anthropology is different from sociology. This is particularly obvious when one compares the prose of the two methodological approaches to the study of informants. However, in layman's terms, Organisational Anthropology is an interpretative research approach based on ethnographic methods. In our case, the study of organisational life that is centered on understanding the organisation member from their point of view.

The strength of ethnography is its concern with detail: ethnographers focus on limited settings, routines, everyday life, and strive to understand ‘the native point of view’ – what their subjects think they are up to. Such an approach tends to shy away from the sweeping generalisation, the big statement, but it is also in its power to puncture inflated or overstated ideological points of view, to bring to the surface hidden or obscured meanings, and to offer images, interpretations and acts, that if nothing else, will allow an informed debate (Kunda, 1992:23).

Kunda, G. (1992). Engineering Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.