23 February 2009

Ethnographic research: a key to strategy

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Ken_anderson
Ken Anderson, a senior researcher and anthropologist at Intel, wrote a short article for the Harvard Business Review on the importance of corporate ethnography:

“Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself. The ethnographic work at my company, Intel, and other firms now informs functions such as strategy and long-range planning. […]

By understanding how people live, researchers discover otherwise elusive trends that inform the company’s future strategies. With smartphones, for example, we can contrast the technology perspectives of teenagers, who have used cell phones since they were in elementary school, with those of older generations, who came to them only after becoming proficient with PCs. Our job as anthropologists is to understand the perspective of one tribe, consumers, and communicate it to another, the people at Intel.”

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