Anthropology of Business and Organization, Introductory Course

Course content

In recent decades, anthropologists have specialised in studying contemporary organisations and economies. The field includes studies of cultural patterns and forms of organising in private as well as public and non-governmental organisations. This introductory course covers a variety of topics related to the study in as well as of organizations, including: organisation and culture, management and leadership, design and innovation and employment and labour markets. The course also explores how organisations engage with changing markets and policies in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Sustainable Development Goals. Such Corporate responses are analysed in light of a range of anthropological theories on social organization, community-building and politics. By including both classical and more recent anthropological literature, as well as reports and case-studies, the course provides empirical and theoretical insights into how organisations work, how they relate to localized as well as globalized contexts and how they anthropologically can be studied and developed. Throughout the course, we will also interrogate how corporate practices and business models may shape solutions, create new dilemmas and contribute to debates about how businesses operate in society

Learning outcome


At the end of the course students are expected to:


  • Identify key research areas and issues in business and organizational anthropology as a broad field.


At the end of the course students are expected to:


  • Demonstrate insight into ‘classical’ as well as contemporary ethnographic research in the field of business and organization.



At the end of the course students must be able to:

  • Identify relevant ethnographic data, methods and theory in the study of complex organizational and business processes in contemporary markets.
  • Analytically, critically and practically engage with relevant issues in the anthropological field of business and organization

The course will be based on a combination of lectures and seminars where students are expected to contribute actively through group work, discussions, readings as well as oral and written presentations.

See Absalon

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Length: Portfolio exam can be written individually or in groups of Max. 4 students. Portfolio exams consist of 2-7 submissions. For MA students, there is a submission more than for BA students, i.e. if the BA student has to submit five submissions, the MA students must submit six submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must be max. 30,000 keystrokes for one student. For groups of two students, Max. 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students, Max. 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students, Max. 50,000 keystrokes. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment. For groups with both BA and MA students, the same number of submissions is required as for MA students. The assignments are assessed jointly with a single grade.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See description of learning outcome. Formalities for Written Works must be fulfilled, read more: MSc Students/ BA students (in Danish)/ exchange and credit students

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 133
  • Exam Preparation
  • 32
  • English
  • 207