Jeanette Blomberg

Contributed Articles

10 Years of EPIC, Part III: Jeanette Blomberg

JEANETTE BLOMBERG IBM Special Session: 10 Years of EPIC Part 1: ken anderson, Intel Part 2: Hiroshi Tamura, Re:public Inc. Part 3: Jeanette Blomberg, IBM Part 4: Simon Roberts, Stripe Partners Part 5: Panel Discussion...

A Seat at the Table of Social Change through Service Design

JEANETTE BLOMBERG IBM Research CHUCK DARRAH San Jose State University Services and access to them are related to core societal concerns such as sustainability and the role of families and communities in people’s lives, themes of enduring concern to the discipline of anthropology. Our aim in this paper is to begin to outline arguments for why anthropology and the EPIC community more broadly should have a prominent seat at the table of understanding and engaging social change emanating from innovations in the service economy. The discourse on services advises that we are in the middle of a major transformation akin to the move from agriculture to manufacturing, where modern economies are becoming service economies and people’s relations to material possessions are being reconfigured through services. We suggest that if a major shift is underway in how people get on in the world then it is incumbent upon the EPIC community to consider the opportunities and limitations for shaping this transformation....

Considering Ethnography in Various Business Settings – What Is Success?

Moderator: TRACEY LOVEJOYPanelists: GENEVIEVE BELL, JEANETTE BLOMBERG, TIMOTHY MALEFYT, RICK E. ROBINSON Between Hype and Promise: Two Decades of Becoming JEANETTE BLOMBERG The invitation to participate in this panel has been an occasion for a personal reflection on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re heading. The “we” here is not all encompassing, but instead references the people with whom I have shared all or part of a journey that began more than two decades ago. I want to begin by recounting a recent conversation I had with my friend and colleague, Lucy Suchman. Having been at IBM Research for about a year, I was telling Lucy about all the press coverage I was getting, you know the – surprise, surprise, anthropologists at Big Blue – sort of thing. Lucy smiled and reminded me of the file she’d been keeping for the last couple of decades, now quite hefty, with articles proclaiming the discovery of anthropologists or ethnographers in the corporate world. We had a good laugh, sighed, and then wondered...

The Coming of Age of Hybrids: Notes on Ethnographic Praxis

JEANETTE BLOMBERG It has been nearly 15 years since Donna Haraway wrote in Simians, Cyborgs and Women that, “In so far as we know ourselves in both formal discourse and in daily practice we find ourselves to be cyborgs, hybrids, mosaics, chimeras.” While Haraway’s referent was not the community of practitioners, scholars and change agents assembled for the EPIC conference, her attention to the particular arrangements of material goods, human labor and social relations in processes and histories that have consequences for people’s lives resonates with the themes addressed in the workshops and with concerns that bring many of us to this conference. In this talk I will explore how ethnographic praxis is constituted in and through our focus on the here and now of everyday practice by which logical divisions and dualism such as material – social, virtual – real, local –global, spiritual – secular are unmasked. Recognizing both our hybrid subjects and our hybrid identities, I will suggest we turn the analytic lens on ourselves...

Trajectories of Change in Global Enterprise Transformation

JEANETTE BLOMBERG This paper reports on the efforts of a global IT services company to transform the way it delivers IT outsourcing services. The change initiative was designed to bring about a radical transformation in the how work gets done across the enterprise with the expected benefit of delivering greater service quality and reliability at a lower cost. In addition, the standardization of processes and tools would allow work to move more freely from one location to another thus creating flexibility to meet changing demands. Based on a study of the impact of this initiative on four global delivery centers we explore how change occurs within organizations both as an ongoing achievement and as the result of explicit corporate initiatives. Taking account of the particular historic, geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural characteristics of individual delivery centers we trace trajectories of change with the aim of providing both a broad synoptic view given these differences in delivery centers characteristics and a detailed...

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