Each of these associations sometimes congregates over 100 something companies of qual researchers using ethnographic/qual methods in commercial research. This is obviously not the only one way, but one way for employment of business anthropologists. I strongly believe an association being formed to certify business anthropologists should make a bridge with AQRs all over the world.
Business anthropology opened a door to the students in anthropology although some of them may still get employed in the academia field. Your own experience has added another case in the line, right?
Please allow me to pipe up in response to this thread (I am new to the group!). I am very intrigued by the idea of an Association for Business Anthropologists and would be very happy to assist in planning, etc. I am a passionate Business Anthropologist who has yet to find her niche and strongly believe that strength comes in numbers (an Association would certainly allow for that). Additionally, the greatest challenge I have faced upon graduation from my Master's program in '08 (graduated with a M.S. in Applied Anthropology with a business focus, just for you to have some background knowledge about me) is communicating/translating the skills of a Business Anthropologist to positions marked for those in mainstream fields. It seems that Business Anthropologists need to come together and create a fabulous marketing plan to educate businesses and HR representative and execute it across the U.S. and world!
Regardless, I look forward to getting to know you all and participating in this forum. I am always interested in knowledge sharing, brainstorming and chatting about anything related to Anthropology!
Lauri M. Lillie, M.S.
I too am a new member to the group and thought I would throw in my story as an anthropologist employed in the business world. I am in the writing phase of my PhD in anthropology (with a consumer focused dissertation), and I work for General Mills in their Consumer Insights division. I also worked for 3 years as an Ethnographic Analist for a research supplier called The Hartman Group based in Bellevue, WA. Most of the people I know (myself included) who are anthropologists who work in business contexts didn't actually plan careers in business, but had somewhat circuitous paths, which makes it hard for me to give advice to aspiring business anthropologists! I will just say that there are opportunities out there and it seems to me that those opportunities are growing in a time when academic opportunities seem to be shrinking. I think that ways for aspiring business anthropologists - through a forum like this or an association are positive ways to help prepare and connect people interested in the field. I am happy to talk more about my particular experiences if anyone is interested - feel free to send me a message!