Re: Anthropology and organizational culture

BethJT (
6 May 1995 05:15:57 -0400

David H. Tobey asked for some of references on the anthropology in/of
organizations. Here are a couple you might find interesting:

1. Joanne Martin, Cultures in Organizations: Three Perspectives. 1992.
Oxford University Press.

This author isn't an anthropologist but her book does an interesting
comparison of various cultural approaches to organizational studies. She
is quite critical of the simple minded approach to culture evident in some
earlier studies and identifies some good recent material.

Dana Farnham (DANAFAR <>) noted:


<Of course, anthropological interest in organizations dates back
<to W. Lloyd Warner's involvement in the Hawthorne studies during the
<1930s. He set up the first anthropological management consulting
firm and originated a subfield called industrial anthropology.

A short but interesting commentary on the Hawthorne study and doing
research in organizational settings is:

2. Helen B. Schwartzman's book: Ethnography in Organizations. 1993.
Sage, Qualitative Research Methods Series #27.

You might also look up the current anthropological literature on work
practice & related areas by people like Brigitte Jordan (Institute for
Research on Learning), Lucy Suchman (Xerox PARC), and others.

Good Luck,
Beth Tudor