MSc Business and Organisational Anthropology

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Business and Organisational Anthropology is an optional specialization programme within the structure of our general MSc in Anthropology.

To complete the programme the student will need to choose one optional anthropological course within this field of expertise. Furthermore, the fieldwork and master thesis must also concern subjects related to business and organisational anthropology. At the end of the master programme the students who have completed these requirements can ask for a special certificate in Business and Organisational Anthropology along with the general master degree diploma.

Study Programme

Business- and Organisational Anthropology (BOA) studies business activities and life in organisations by anthropological methods and theory.

Anthropological theories of culture and social organisation have already for many years inspired business professionals to pursue in-depth understanding of human, social interaction.

Anthropological studies of:

  • organisation
  • social hierarchy
  • gender
  • communication,
  • ritual
  • creativity
  • performance
  • economic exchange
  • knowledge-formation

- and many other forms of human action have informed industries and organisations worldwide to enhance and develop their production in an often more sustainable and resilient direction.

Business strategy, management theory, design methodology, HR workrelations and organisational practice have for several decennia drawn on ethnographic methodology to produce and analyse data on the needs and concerns of stakeholders such as clients, employees and end-users.

BOA builds on this research as well as on classic ethnographic methodology and anthropological theory to equip students to pursue their own well-informed ethnographic research in Denmark or elsewhere in the world.

Often working in collaboration with organisations in public enterprise, design companies, engineering and other business sectors, students build and analyse their own ethnographic data, thus contributing to a better understanding of the lives, perceptions and needs of clients, end-users and other stakeholders.

By deepening understandings of what has often been called "the human factor" in business, students not only contribute to concrete innovation processes and product development in enterprises and organisations, but also add their findings to the growing field of BOA scientific research.

Graduates of BOA work in such diverse fields as design & innovation, HR consultancy, public sector services, marketing and social advocacy.