Corporate use of ethnography
Technolory Review has a short account of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC> organized by ethnographers at Intel and Microsoft. I'm looking forward to read the proceedings. Among the purposes quoted, there are: "understanding emerging markets, such as developing economies, digital health care, and the digital home (Intel)", "find out how meaning manifests itself in people's live, and ethnography is a good way to get at that (Cheskin)". Though, I am a bit unconfortable of this huge mess:
Internal debates aside, ethnography is gaining credence in the corporate world as a form of market research. Ethnography focuses on a qualitative examination of human behavior. In a corporate setting, ethnographers typically examine how people treat a product, say, a mobile phone, in the context of their lives. Ethnographic researchers at the EPIC could be divided into seven general types: sociologists, human factors and computer interface specialists, computer scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, MBAs, and design specialists.
Why do I blog this? Although I think using corporate ethnography might be a good idea and even though I like multi/interdisciplinary things, I am wondering how all those people (interface specialists, computer scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, MBAs, and design specialist) make sense of the 'ethnography' methods.
Connected: Anne has a good post related to these issues.