Anthropology in Business (20 Sep 2005)
Shop Talk discusses the anthropologists who no longer observe tribal people out in the jungle, but watch us instead.
These days we're the tribal people, it's us they're observing as we go about our daily lives and over the past few years especially, what we do and why we do it is becoming of increasing interest to business.
Accountants, for instance, how they react to a mountain of emails; why middle class mobile phone users in China take their phone to the temple to be blessed; how we do the shopping.
It's all grist to the mill of running a company or selling us things. And it gives busy executives an insight into the real world that people like us inhabit.
But does it really work or is it another passing fad in the world of marketing, like the focus groups many people think it's replacing?
And is persuading people to buy things they probably don't need really what anthropologists ought to be doing?
Dr Simon Roberts
Ogilvy and Mather
Professor Patrick Barwise
London Business School
Professor Richard Harper
Article URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/shoptalk/shoptalk_20050920.shtml
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