EPIC is Our Community

Maria Bezaitis, EPIC Board President I entered the field of applied ethnography in the mid-90s. For me the point was never about practicing my academic training, or having a career that academia couldn’t provide. The point was always about who I got to work with and the dynamism we experienced doing the work because we were inventing it together. For better and for worse perhaps, that spirit has stayed with me, motivating my career choices after E-Lab and anchoring my work at Intel. One of the most important lessons I learned at E-Lab, which flew in the face of my…

Yes, Virginia, We “Do Ethnography” in Business Schools

by Gary F. Gebhardt, HEC Montréal One of the most common questions I get at EPIC is, “You do ethnography in business schools?” So ken anderson invited me to write a response to this recurring question. I’ll break the response into three topic areas: (1) the use of ethnography and its status vis-à-vis research on management; (2) where, why, and how we teach ethnography in the classroom; and (3) some of the challenges and opportunities of ethnography in management research and business school education. Ethnography and Research on Management First let’s consider some history. Oxford University was founded in 1096.…

Building a Useful Research Tool: An Origin Story of AEIOU

by Rick E. Robinson, SapientNitro It is awfully nice not to have to invent a basic tool over and over again. For ethnographers, coding and categorization is work that has to happen whether you are studying housework or neurosurgery, with novices or experts, in an exotic location or in suburban Ohio (no offense to my friends and family in Ohio). A coding structure is one of the most basic and useful tools you ought to have. Devising one that works with your data can be a great deal of work—finding and maintaining the right level of abstraction, setting parameters that…

Could Communication Overload Result in Police Mistakes?

by Sally Applin, University of Kent, Canterbury – Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing The United States is in the midst of a new chapter in policing. In several very public cases, police have made fatal errors with regard to identifying criminal suspects and have shot and killed unarmed citizens by mistake. Societal outrage, protests and debates have ensued as these types of episodes continue to occur, reigniting important conversations about racism, socioeconomic divides, and policing budgets. Unfortunately, there is a major aspect of contemporary law enforcement that rarely makes an appearance in the ongoing conversations about policing; the communications…

ken anderson / A Profile

by Mike Kippenhan [based on an interview with ken at the Intel Jones Farm Campus, Hillsboro, Oregon, August 25, 2014] “Nobody liked them. No sense of humor.” These days ken anderson may not talk much about the French ethnographers he interacted with in Portugal’s Azores—or about his dissertation research at all—but when he does, his observations are acute. ken, now an ethnographer in Intel’s Cultural Transformations Lab and an EPIC board member, had an unusual approach to the work on that trip. “We were just laughing at everything because we didn’t understand what they were saying,” he said. “We thought…