What is Organisational Anthropology?


Organisational Anthropology is a way of studying organisational life, otherwise known as organisational ethnography. It is an interpretative research approach, based on scientific description and interpretation of employees and their work environment.


Our study of organisational life is focused on understanding and interpreting employees from their own point of view. This enables us to approach and use ethnographic methods as a science that helps organisations to make sense of the meanings of their cultures and subcultures through a refinement of dialogue and constructive debate. According to Kunda (2006):

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 has also in its power, the ability 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, 2006:11).

Kunda, G. (2006). Engineering Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Our niche areas of work:

Diversity First conduct critical organisational ethnographic research on emerging issues in relation to our key areas of expertise:


Organisational culture

Organisational subcultures

Organisational microcultures


Demographic diversity

Cognitive diversity

Worldview diversity

Hiring for diversity

Frontline diversity

Cross-cultural management

The Subjective Employee Experience

Managerial ideology

Normative control

Employee health and well being


For a confidential discussion, please email us directly at connect@diversityfirst.com.au. We will be in touch!