Organisation and Economy (OREO)
What is attention economy? How can sustainable futures be designed? How is behavior turned into money? These and related questions are what researchers from the Organisation and Economy (OREO) Researcher Group strive to answer.
The Organisation and Economy (OREO) Researcher Group works with a broad range of issues relating to organisation(s), markets, and political economy. We work across different scales covering social processes within and between organisations, as well as the relationships among organisations, citizens and consumers, and society more broadly.
The group has a particular interest in changing organisational forms, such as how networks, infrastructures and emerging economic forms develop in different social and cultural contexts. We also investigate how contemporary business models, forms of management and modes of governance are related to emerging technologies and the potential influence of corporate businesses on contemporary societies, policies, and futures.
The researcher group builds on the anthropological tradition of economic anthropology, including the field of business and organisational anthropology. We study how economic imaginaries migrate and ‘colonize’ other social domains, and discuss emerging economies and alternative and critical approaches to growth. Research on organisation includes empirical studies of individual organisations and their recent complex and global forms and explore the concepts of organisation, government and politics theoretically.
Researchers in the group conduct ethnographic fieldwork based on a range of classical as well as experimental research methods. We work with digital ethnography, data scraping, ‘meeting’ ethnography, co-creation, intervention, often in collaboration with external partners.
We have researchers working in private corporations, consultancies, startups, NGOs as well as in national and international government bodies and institutions. We also do fieldwork among various groups of consumers and in the intersection between markets and politics.
Read more about research themes, teaching and activities below.
The groups’ research can be divided into the following broader topical areas:
‘Emerging economies’ encompasses research on a range of economic forms, embarking on the classical broad understanding of economy in anthropology. We work with changing forms of capitalism (e.g. finance and surveillance) and their moral, social and political implications and we investigate types of business models (prediction products) and currencies, forms of payment (behavioral data) and changing consumer roles. Finally, we study emerging social and sustainable visions of circular and non-growth economies and corporate social and sustainable policies.
Key words: Surveillance capitalism, circular economy, sustainable economic forms, digital economy, attention economy, corporate governance.
Technology & Politics
Anthropologists have long attended to the significance of technological objects, broadly construed, but more recently have come to explore the specific materialities of technologies as actors in the world. Researchers within this cluster examine the definition, design, production, and use of technologies, the ways they are integrated or mobilized within organisations, and how technologies are intertwined with new forms of business and government. We also work with engineers, computer and data scientists, among others, both ethnographically examining their practices and contributing to interdisciplinary research and development.
Key words: Digital technologies and infrastructures, tech business models, new organisational forms, forms of government and governance, networks.
Future & Design
In the past decade, a reorientation of design has emerged at the intersection of design studies and social theory, displacing the focus of design from objects and services towards its world-making capacities. Design, in other words, is ontological and future-oriented in that it gives shape to particular forms of existence. Within this field, we work with various anthropological approaches to design, focusing on design as either an object of critical inquiry (anthropology of design), a field of practical engagement (anthropology for design), a model for disciplinary rethinking (anthropology as design), or an opportunity for transdisciplinarity (anthropology with design).
Key words: New leadership, future making, prefigurative designs, sustainable futures, marketing entrepreneurship.
Work & Diversity
Rooted in meticulous ethnographic research in local and transnational organisations, researchers within this cluster examine how various organisations work towards defining and mobilizing new commercial, social and political agendas. We focus on different formations of work, the internal workings and policies of organisations, and the intertwined relations between corporate communities and the wider society.
Key words: Formations of work, new organisational forms, public professionals, labor politics, social politics of corporations, work-based political identities.
The OREO group teaches a variety of courses within the broader fields of Organisation and Economy and the group is responsible for teaching the specialization in Business and Organisational Anthropology (BOA). We have an introductory course in the autumn semester and one or more advanced BOA courses in spring.
Master students and anthropologists working outside of academia engaged with topics related to the group’s interests are warmly welcomed as associated members of the group.
M: +45 60 86 52 63