What is a researcher? A personal manifesto

Thinking in terms of a business and design context, what is a researcher? There is no one path, no one exact job description, no one single approach or professional charter to follow. Among the many variables that can shape this are the individual’s background and training, personal philosophy and worldview, and years of experience. For…

User Experience Research at SpendWell – My First 3 Months

Three months ago, I started a new job as user experience researcher at SpendWell Health, a start-up here in Portland, OR. SpendWell is building an online marketplace where people can purchase routine health care services directly from providers with upfront prices. Individuals with access to SpendWell as a benefit of their insurance plan can search…

[Book Review] Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector by Sam Ladner

I always eagerly anticipate new contributions to the field of business and design anthropology because it’s an area of practice that is still growing and could use as much thoughtful ideation around its identity, values, and application as it can get. My hope for new books, articles, blogs and other forms of idea-sharing in this…

Register for Ken Erickson’s Webinar on Business Anthropology

Originally posted on Welcome to the AAA Blog:
Join Dr. Ken C. Erickson this afternoon at 2pm ET for Webinar Wednesday! Registration is required, webinar is free: http://bit.ly/1lU3FNY Doing “Consumer” Anthropology, Warnings and Advice* Whether its burgers or Boeing, anthropological technique and theory have found significant purchase in the business world. Sometimes. The questions Anthropologists…

Getting at the Heart of Consumer Understanding: Cheap, Fast and Tactical Isn’t the Answer

Originally posted on anthrostrategist:
Sitting in a meeting not long ago, I couldn’t help overhearing someone comment that the presentation of the rationale for a campaign they had just sat through was too “academic”.  What struck me was the distinction he made between academics and “real businessmen” like himself.  The word “academic” is, of course,…

Announcing the Release of a Special Theme Issue on Practicing Anthropology in the Private Sector

I’d like to announce the release of a special issue of the journal of Practicing Anthropology dedicated specifically to the practice and application of anthropology in business settings. The special issue, which can be found online here, was co-guest-edited by me and Dr. Amy Goldmacher. The authors who contributed to the issue are Jo Aiken,…

Insights from a Discussion of the Non-Linear Path to Practicing Business Anthropology

At the recent Society for Applied Anthropology annual meetings in Albuquerque, NM, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel session with three other up-and-coming anthropologists who work in business and design. The session, entitled “Coming of Age in the Corporate Context: Exploring the Non-Linear Transition from Student to Practitioner and Back Again,” was…

Business Anthropology Roundtable: New Voices, New Destinations, New Futures

At the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meetings in Albuquerque this past March, I participated in (and chaired) a session entitled “Business Anthropology Roundtable: New Voices, New Destinations, New Futures” with five fantastic, up-and-coming (women!) business anthropologists. Click here to visit the SfAA Podcast website, where the audio recording, introduction notes and panel bios have…