Ethnography is a social science

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Is a qualitative research method often used in the social sciences, particularly in anthropology and in sociology. It is often employed for gathering empirical data on human societies/cultures. Data collection is often done through participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Ethnography aims to describe the nature of those who are studied (i.e. to describe a people, an ethnos) through writing. In the biological sciences, this type of study might be called a "field study" or “case report” both of which are used as common synonyms for “ethnography” this study analyzes the life style of different ethnic groups.

Ethnography is a social science research method. It relies heavily on up-close, personal experience and possible participation, not just observation, by researchers trained in the art of ethnography. These ethnographers often work in multidisciplinary teams.

Ethnography methodology is not usually evaluated in terms of philosophical standpoint such as positivism and emotionalism. Ethnography need to be evaluated in a different manner such as substantive contribution, which is defined, as does the piece, contributes to our understanding of social life. Aesthetic merit, reflexivity, impact and reality.

There are different fields when dealing with ethnography searches; these fields are cultural and social anthropology. The cultural field is the typical ethnography which is a document written about particular people, almost always based at least in part on epic views of where the culture begins and ends. Using language or community boundaries to bound the ethnography is common. Ethnographies are also sometimes called "case studies.” Ethnographers study and interpret culture, its universalities and its variations through ethnographic study based on fieldworks. Ethnography is a specific kind of written observational science, which provides an account of a particular culture, society, or community. Sociology is another field, which prominently features ethnographies. Urban sociology in particular is associated ethnographic research. Sociology deals with situations that we handle in our everyday routine.

“Who is managing ethnic and cultural diversity in the European Condominium? The moments of entry, integration and preservation”.

Toggenburg, Gabriel N. 2005. Journal of Common Market Studies 43 (4) 717-38.

This article addresses such issues as cultural diversity and its value to the EU, this explores the responsibilities that the EU entails in the management of the system proposed by the same taking into account the constitutional management of the EU.

On the basis of the citizens and their potential contribution to growth compared to third world nations, integration and preservation, which is characterized by the commitment of the members of this. Is resolved from the main layers of interaction between members of the EU in relation to ethnic minorities and other nations, each layer contains different concerns but in it the growing European map is inherent in managing diversity.

Sovereignty over the minority is no longer seen in the areas of government, polycentric is a growing need and interest in public affairs, in fact the idea of competition matters do not correspond to European legal reality, but the fact that it loses relevance does not mean that the legal notion of competition has become redundant. The system offer a reliable distribution of powers with regard to member states that maintain “master of treaties”, but according to the relevant question here is not who's in charge of each policy area, but what means can be used and with what purpose? According to this new idea of a Europe with multilevel structure as a creative policy that provides new channels of interaction, it is not coincidence that the idea of incorporation has become a search for anti-discrimination or social inclusion, and this was the European response to growing layer politics, and all this management of diversity. This trend attracts and brings together the old and new minorities, and EU citizens who migrate, as these two parts represent a potential.

The concept of EU citizenship brings concerns about European migrants and their protection as a minority, and the major European treaty with Third World countries can be taken as signs of EU civism.

An overview of European diversity management must not be in a regime of strict division of groups such as a suggestion in which the EU is accountable for the protection of old minorities. Some differences between migrants and the old minorities are obvious, because the migrants, and new minorities are the disadvantages of being stigmatized as different, and for older minority disadvantage being different to most, so that the terms “new” and “old” are related arbitrarily.

According to the terms of the court, tourists and people traveling with studies in the EU must be considered as recipients of services who benefit from the rules because since the early nineties this covers people who study or by different groups, is deemed to have ceased their economic activity.

Do You Think The Entry And Integration Of New Members To The European Union Are Processes That Promote Diversity? Or, On The Contrary, Strive To Homogenize The European Society?

Politics in the anti-discrimination field is dominated by the European layer of government, ART 13 EC that provides a legal basis to combat discrimination based on sex, race, religion, etc. For those living in the territory of the EU, the guarantees for the old and new minorities are seen in new implementations as the prohibition of harassment, discrimination in the private sector, or discrimination of any kind. The main emphasis of the law is very clear it is the integration of migrants and minorities in society.

At the time of preservation, the union shows sympathy for the constitutional power, sharing the meaning of cultural diversity, and that if its base is multi ethnic, his government should be equal, the state is within its rights to provide guarantees for the intervention of these groups in the education, law and public service.

One might say that the European Union operates in a system that sought to make integration, respecting the origin and identity of this member, as is required to this in order to maintain the diversity among states.

These skills are then organized into three layers:

  • Entrance, which is the free movement of citizens, migrants and minorities.
  • The integration of all citizens of European states, migrants, immigrants and minorities.
  • The preservation of all citizens of their original cultures and beliefs should be respected and supported in all areas that come under the hat.

Establishing a model then both economic as political based on multiculturalism.

In order to supplement my answer I leave these videos from the European Association for Viewers Interests (EAVI)

European Year of Intercultural Dialogue - Brussels Debate 1

European Year of Intercultural Dialogue - Brussels Debate 2

European Year of Intercultural Dialogue - Brussels Debate 3

European Year of Intercultural Dialogue - Brussels Debate 4

Publicado por Jennifer Soto en 15:49


Managing Diversity

The object of these papers is to show how the organization's commitment to diversify (CEO commitment, human capital, internal and external corporate communications and suppliers diversity) can lead them to achieve a competitive advantage and a superior financial performance. In the same way it shows the costs that this commitment takes within itself, and how that may affect the shareholders wealth.

The authors believe that there's an "invisible asset" (The commitment to diversify) the one that takes an organization from a standard position to achieve and sustain a position of competitive advantage, and that's why the industry leaders have made of diversity a high priority in every line of their organizations.

There are a variety of resources that are the source of organization's competitive advantage, but the resource must be valuable, unique or rare, difficult to acquire or imitate for competitors, and it cannot have close substitutes in order to become a foundation for sustained competitive advantage. For the study of diversity as a source of competitive advantage, they focus on the organization's network of executives, employees, and suppliers as human capital.

They consider three areas where diversity, in the form of human resource capital, may contribute to competitive advantage.

  • Decision quality: From the boardroom to the front line.
  • Connecting with costumers.
  • Innovating.

But for other side there are costs related to diversity, such as an increase in the costs of communication within the workforce, decrease group cohesiveness, result in higher employee turnover, reduce incentives for cooperation, and resentment among groups. Hence the costs of diversity are likely to outweigh its benefits when there is only superficial commitment to diversity.

They realize thru a statistical analysis that there is only a slight evidence of a significant profitability advantage in any one year, but in the long term it shows a superior financial performance for organizations with a high commitment to diversity.

Diversity is a source of competitive advantage only when it represents a deep commitment to the inherent values, beliefs, and behavioral norms of the organization.

The following actions are likely to increase organization-wide commitment (e.g., Jayne & Dipboye, 2004; Schueffel & Istria, 2005; Sutton, 2001):

  • Demonstrate how diversity ties directly to the organization's business strategy to provide a foundation for linking the diversity initiative to organizational success.
  • Line management, instead of the human resources function, must own the diversity strategy.
  • Set clear targets, translate them into specific action plans, and evaluate the effectiveness of the plans.
  • Treat human capital as a source of competitive advantage.
  • Begin the recruitment process early.
  • Emphasize team-building and group process training.
  • Reach out to multicultural consumer markets.
  • Identify and cultivate a diverse group of suppliers.
  • Emphasize the fairness of the diversity program to build support and mitigate potential negative reactions from both majority and minority groups.
  • Prepare for conflict.

Is diversity management at IBM a source of competitive advantage? why?

Diversity is a source of competitive advantage only when it represents a deep commitment to the inherent values, beliefs, and behavioral norms of the organization. Must be embraced as a culture of their own, not just as a program of the HR department.

They consider three areas where diversity, in the form of human resource capital, may contribute to competitive advantage.

1. Decision quality: From the boardroom to the front line: Organizations want a wider range of leadership skills, work styles, perspectives, and expertise, as well as increased representation of women and minorities among board directors (Lockwood, 2005). Opinions of a culturally diverse workforce can lead to higher quality decisions (Cox, 1994; McLeod, Lobel, & Cox, 1996). Diverse teams can boost performance because they are more likely to have access to the breadth of information necessary to solve complex problems (Leonard, Levine, & Joshi, 2004).

2. Connecting with costumers: A close match between employee and customer demographics may improve performance by reducing communication costs among people from the same racial, ethnic, gender, or age group (Leonard et al., 2004). At Procter & Gamble, the point at which a consumer selects a P&G product instead of one of its competitors' is known as the “first moment of truth.” Winning the “first moment of truth” is most likely to occur when marketing and sales teams have a similar perspective as prospective customers (Schueffel & Istria, 2005). In many cases, employee's social ties may help to attract and retain customers (Leonard et al., 2004).

3. Innovating: Minority opinions stimulate creativity and divergent thought, which, through participation, manifest as innovation (De Dreu & West, 2001). Thus, creativity and innovation are enhanced when all human resources, including a multicultural workforce, are employed (Cox, 1994). Great ideas still come from people….The challenge is to create the right environment to encourage innovation and ideas. The diversity of people in a corporation promotes innovation because it achieves greater diversity of ideas. There is a link between diversity and innovation that's not theoretical - it's real. (Walkup, 2003, p. 97).

Complying with all aspects mentioned above, you may notice that IBM qualifies for the diversity in the form of human capital resources as a source of competitive advantage.

Following is a video that illustrates this.

Do You Think The Ibm Case Reflects A Strong Organizational Commitment To Diversity? Why?

For meaningful commitment to occur in an organization, employees must understand and embrace the business case for diversity. It is not sufficient for top management to enumerate generic benefits of diversity.

IBM expanded minority markets dramatically by promoting diversity in its own workforce. The result: a virtuous circle of growth and progress.

“We made diversity a market-based issue … It´s about understanding our markets, which are diverse and multicultural” Gerstner

IBM commit to their human capital resources by actively recruiting and retaining people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or disability.

There´s a couple of factors that an organization needs to successfully make corporate changes, and at IBM the diversity task forces benefited from all.

  • Strong support from company leaders.
  • An employee base that is fully engaged with the initiative.
  • Management practices that are integrated and aligned with the effort.
  • A strong and well-articulated business case for action.

“It became clear that workforce diversity was the bridge, in other words, greater diversity in the workplace could help IBM attract a more diverse customer set.”

Managing diversity is one of the core competencies used to assess executives' performance at IBM.

Senior management is responsible for communicating its belief in diversity and diversity management to all employees in the organization. The CEO and other top executives must be passionate about and create a culture of inclusion.

IBM demonstrated this type of commitment in 1995 when then-CEO Louis Gerstner formed eight executive-level task forces, which focused on attracting members of different minority groups, keeping them engaged, and retaining them (Gunther, 2006).

Following is a video that illustrates this.


  • Slater, Stanley F., Weigand, Robert A., Zweilein, Thomas J., 2008. “ The business case for commitment to diversity”. Business Horizons 51: 201-209.
  • Thomas, David A., 2004. “Diversity as Strategy”, Harvard Business Review, September 2004, 98-108.

The Past and Future of Immigration to Canada.

Verbeeten, David. 2007. Journal of International Migration & Integration, 8(1): 1-10.

The document discusses immigration to Canada, and begins by mentioning that this was one of the biggest in the twentieth century.

Immigrants poured in order to find a new life, becoming farmers, be quiet. The twentieth century has been one of the most warlike of history is therefore natural that in this century where most excelled this phenomenon, since in the interwar period can increase the migration process because the political causes of these times are not the best and people are forced to get refuge or asylum in other parts of the world.

Immigration also occurs for many reasons, cultural, socioeconomic, household, domestic conflict, generalized disasters, among many others. This document is not in charge of analyzing the causes, or why this phenomenon occurs, is devoted to study immigration as a fact in itself.

As Canada becomes a federation with the highest immigration process, this begins to adopt restrictive policies, laws which are accepted in parliament, since they are directly to entrench the concept of sovereignty of each State, setting their own criteria for entry into the country, and is established after the Second World War, "the principle of absolute state, sovereignty with regard to admission of foreigners"

It was made clear then, the first of May 1947 that Canada had every right to select people who were going to enter this nation, and is not a fundamental right of every foreigner have the privilege to enter Canada, admission or restriction is domestic politics and is subject to review by the parliament of Canada, which raises a "point system", is a selection criterion that considers the capabilities and relies on the labor market needs and emphasis occupation, education, age, mastery of English or French, among others. And everyone who enters Canada is rated by the same standards of the points system and the list of priority occupations.

From here arises the question, Do you think the Points System in Canada is meant to protect the country's SOVEREIGNTY? or, is it just a deliberated form of discrimination? why?

I think all countries are in the full right to protect its sovereignty and choose its policies of restriction. I think the points system is a success because it guarantees a nation with more chance to shine before others; the system makes reference to some really important points, which ensures that people who migrate there will not become a social burden, on the contrary will be a boon for the state.

Sounds like a smart way to protect national sovereignty, and that currently the migration process cannot be stopped, and no country can claim uniculturalism when the world changed, globalization is advancing, and multiculturalism will be always wherever we go, even more "in the country with the highest immigration rate per capita in the world"

On the other hand answering the question, I don't think it is a deliberate form of discrimination because the Canadian points system, isn´t based on issues such as race or religion among others, but rather on issues that seem completely acceptable and logical.

Continuing with the document and returning to the issue of immigration to Canada, we see continue global development trends since the '50s until today, have been immigrants from postwar and societies affected by it, as also by the economic downturns, political instability, and today, we can say that immigration is presented by the need of people to explore other frontiers. And with the countries development, migrants are increasingly accredited; you can then repeat the history of the twentieth century, when millions were able to enter Canada.

To conclude, below is a link to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) which had published a video that has as main objective to let people know Citizenship is not just about numbers. It's about people, which explains and shows my answer.



PIC 2:

Expatriate Assignments And Overseas Experience

Is a process in which an individual is contracted by a foreign country to work for an international business based on his or her knowledge and skills in a particular field. In this process this person has to be able to adapt to a different culture, a different environment in able to succeed as a person in various tasks or important positions.

An expatriate is very different from an immigrant. First of all, most expatriates do not plan on residing permanently in the country that they are called to work for. All this individual has to do is work as a trainer or for lack of better words a “coach” to train or develop skills for workers that are introduce to new duties, and these worker will later replace the expatriate once they learn everything they have to know about their new task in their position. Once the training is over, the individual will return to his or her homeland. In case an expatriate decides to stay and reside in the new country permanently it's necessary for them to fix their immigration status to obtain permanent residency for practical purposes. This way, the expatriate can commute back and for without having any problems.

An immigrant, on the other hand searches for a better future and his well-being. An immigrant usually plans on residing permanently in this foreign country and sometimes paying and suffering a high price.

In international business there are four types of expatriate assignments. They are: long term expatriate assignment, which is defined as a contract for a long period of time. Short term on the contrary is for a shorter period of time. International commuter refers to a person that commutes back and for between two places in short periods of time. A frequently flyer is a person that is constantly flying back and for between two companies.

The process of expatriate has its ups and downs on both sides of the parties. Overseas experience could be very good for a person that is being expatriated because this could help them gain experience and have knowledge of different ways of working in a big company, but sometimes that experience could turn into a bad experience due to the cultural shock that most people experiences. For a company that is in the process of expatriating this could also bring its ups and downs. Some of the main goals that a company will try to reach throughout a year are maintaining control, constantly professional development by sharing knowledge and skills for workers that are in training of specific skill. Sometimes these demanding goals could be very expensive for companies.

Explain one of the causes for expatriate assignment failure and provide 3 recommendations to address it.

The high rate of expatriate failure among multinationals companies have several factors: the family situation, lack of cross-cultural relational abilities, the short duration of overseas assignments, problems of repatriation, overemphasis on the technical competence criterion to the disregard of other important attributes such as relational abilities, and inadequate training for cross-cultural encounters. In the European multinationals, three additional factors enhanced the incidences of success: their international orientation, longer history of overseas operations, and language capability. In the Japanese companies, two other factors that accounted for the lower failure rate were selection for overseas assignments and the role of the family. On the basis of these findings, studies have suggests that to enhance expatriate success and minimize failure, multinationals have to adopt a longer-term orientation with regard to expatriate assignments and provide support mechanisms at corporate headquarters to allay concerns about repatriation companies can also develop a more international orientation; and provide more rigorous training programs to prepare expatriates for cross-cultural encounters.

Studies have found out that family situation is the main reason for failure in the process of expatriate assignments. The problem causes a lack of concentration among managers not allowing a high efficiency in their duties. Cultural shock is also one of the most important reasons why multinational companies suffer failures in expatriate assignments. Exposure to a different language, different culture sometimes can be very hard for the manager to adapt.

One of the recommendations that seem to be helping multinational companies with the failure is helping the manager by providing information about the country that they will reside. Prior to their department managers should educate themselves with cultural information such as language, food and different habits that the other country has.

About their family situation it would be recommended for their family to go along with them. Sometimes this could be very expensive but what multinationals are worry about is efficiency in the manager duties.


Expatriate assignments and overseas experience PPT presentations from groups 011 and 015

What Makes Management Style Similar and Distinct Across Borders? Growth, Experience and Culture in Korean and Japanese Firms. Lee, Jangho, Thomas W. Roehl, & Soonkyoo Choe. 2000. Journal of International Business Studies, 31(4): 631-52.

In this paper, the authors compare the styles of two Asian business systems (Japanese and Korean) Both countries have substantial differences in styles of management, in order to compare they introduce two sources of convergence.

  • Firm size (Measurable by sales)
  • Globalization (Measurable by exports ratio)

There are two approaches to make differentiations between countries, by one hand it's the convergence that assumes that as countries develop, management systems will converge to a model found in developed countries; and by the other hand is a cultural approach that is based on the assumption that a wider set of cultural norms in each society is a powerful force for differentiation across borders, and that once a set of institutions and styles to match the domestic culture are imposed, there will be resistance to changes as the country develops or as the firm receives exposure to international markets.

Management style is operated along eight dimensions, strategic goals, environment analysis, technology and manufacturing, buyer supplier relationship, closeness to customers, marketing, human resource management, and international orientation

Here, some of those:

The similarities in international environment and the intense competition between them are important reasons for converge.

What is isomorphism? Do you think organizations change management styles to adapt to the environment? Which environment is stronger: national environment or international environment?

Isomorphism is a "constraining process that forces one unit in a population to resemble other units that face the same set of enviornmental conditions".

According to the ecological view of the organization, “organizations are symbolically or institutionally isomorphic to the environment” in that “organizations adapt to each inconsistent environmental demand symbolically, by creating a substructure that deals or pretends to deal with the problem” (Hannan and freeman 1989, p.94). Meyer and Scott (1983) suggested such a connection between an organizational structure and environmental elements.

That if I believe it? Yes, even more, I am quite sure.

We live in a constantly changing world in the midst of rampant globalization processes, with customers, suppliers, and organizations, which due to their levels of expertise are becoming more demanding and which cannot afford to lose time waiting because of the efficiency and effectiveness of all processes in their daily life, therefore an organization that does not have the skills to learn in an effective and agile way of their environment is doomed to disappear because it will not be able to react to a constantly changing world, and much less to make the right decisions to adapt to the environment.

In that order of ideas, the local korean industries had to adapt their management skills to the needs of the domestic environment, and the internationalized ones to the requirements imposed by the international competition.

The field of intensive international competition environment requires participants to solve a variety of tasks regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. In addition, because the Koreans came late to participate in international competition, had to experience more pressure to improve their management in a short period of time. And last but not least is that Koreans Firms are competing, in industries (Consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, and shipbuilding) whose rival is leader.


  • The chart was made based on the information given in the main article.
  • J. DiMaggio & W. Powell, "The iron cage revisited" institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields", American Sociological Review, 48 (1983), 147-60.

Publicado por Jennifer Soto en 18:54


Is Guanxi still working, while Chinese MNCs go global? The case of Taiwanese MNCs in the UK”.

Chen, I Chun Lisa and Easterby-Smith Mark. 2008. Human Systems Management 27: 131-142.

In the Chinese business context The Guanxi can be defined as scheme of cooperation based on reciprocity and commitment among the parties who share a business relationship. Similarly, the concept of guanxi can be used to understand how relationships can be carried in a society in order to avoid conflicts within it as a way of understanding beyond business relationships between people.

In that sense, the concept can be approached from 3 perspectives that vary according to the relationship level between individuals in a society.

1. The first level has been called Expressive ties, and consists of a set of rules that must exist in order to fulfill the needs of a family and close relatives.

2. The second level has been called the mixed ties and makes reference to relationships between neighbors and friends and it's related to both expressive and instrumental ties.

3. The third level and the most fragile has been called Instrumental ties, and are based largely on equity principles and are most common within the relations with strangers.

However, it is important to say that the conceptual framework should not be limited to connections, given that seeks to understand how guanxi determining the business and social interactions of individuals. This understanding has been termed Renqing and has established itself as a mechanism to prevent co

nflicts in a society and achieve goals. In order to stablish Guanxi is necessary the development trust among the parties, mainly in Taiwan, given that some studies have found it as fundamental mechanism, which makes personal relationships, works.

WHAT IS the relevance of Guanxi and the existence of Chinese business networks as supporting factors to the internationalization process of Chinese COMPANIES?

As research findings, the paper highlights that guanxi is a key factor in the internationalization of Taiwanese MNCs as well as IHRM practices. One can see that most of the companies surveyed are located close to the market, a decision based on their networking orientation and markets. This behavior is explained by the interest of the companies of establish business relationships, strategic alliances and provides a better guanxi.

The empirical studies in South East Asia found that Taiwanese MNC´s utilize individual foreign direct investment while expanding their foreign operation and the search and build local networks. (H.Zang)

When the overseas Chinese invest in South East Asia, they implement the same strategy in parent country. The extra firm level utilizes cooperative strategies, which are underpinned by personal relationships between Chinese businessman and top politicians in the host countries. The process of politicizing business through extra firm networks and political economic alliances is particularly important in many South East Asia countries where the lack of well defined legal systems and institutional structures.(H.W.-c.)

In relation to the IHRM practices, although the guanxi has been an ongoing feature of the Taiwanese model of management, sometimes they would find it inconvenient in recruitment process as people who are recruits guanxi network can enjoy a marvelous privileged position in the organization as which is regarded as a barrier to being more competitive. At the end the survey indicates that Taiwaneese managers delegate their trust in the british IR managers given the unfamiliarity about the british industrial relations. However, is important that these managers demonstrate their abilities in order to gain the trust of their superiors.


PIC 1:

PIC 2:

VIDEO: Got Guanxi?