National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
As organizational anthropology has matured, work on processes, diversity and change continue to be bedrock in the field but the twenty-first century brings additional concerns about globalization, technology, capitalism and power. This paper discusses recent trends in organizational anthropology and how anthropologists are working to better understand complex organizations and their place and importance in the world. From work on valuation, worth, culture flow, stakeholder perspectives and trust to increased study of new organizational forms and human-technology interaction, anthropologists are using assemblage, complexity, new institutional and other theory to understand the shifts in organizational structure, governance, mission and work. Anthropologists are conducting more work that focuses on the large and complex internal/external environment of the organization. They are studying global processes such as transnational organizational consensus building (Garsten and Jocobsson:2011), how tools encode multiple cultural values (Batteau and Villegas: 2016) and analysis of power structures and processes of social control (Tett: 2014). At the same time, there has been world-wide growth in the field of business anthropology. Pojed et al (2016) estimate over half the applied anthropologists in Europe are working in business anthropology. In Asia the last 15 years have seen significant increase in conferences and publications. In India, one of the world’s largest consumer bases, anthropologists are pushing to increase the training of business anthropology in departments across the country (Khan et al: 2016). Organizational anthropologists are contributing their knowledge to a worldwide conversation on globalization, capitalism, technology and the future of work.