Teaching and Promoting Business Anthropology in Northeast Asia : Implications from a South Korean Case Study


Richard W. Shannon

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This paper introduces the field of business anthropology to international business scholars in South Korea, and explores questions related to the teaching and promotion of business anthropology in Korea and Northeast Asia. Business anthropology has taken off in the West since the 1970s. It provides rich insights for business and international business. Practitioners are highly valued by many high technology firms in the United States and Europe, including many of the most prestigious companies. The field is commonly unknown to business scholars in Northeast Asia. After presenting the study’s research methodology, theoretical background, literature review, research contexts and relevant background on anthropology, international business and international studies, the study follows with a case study of business anthropology education at the Graduate School of International Studies at Pusan National University. The case study explores how well business anthropology has been received at the school and investigates possibilities for increasing the teaching of the subject there. A broader issue is how the tools of business anthropology can be developed within GSIS and PNU to better meet the needs of Busan’s businesses and industries. Finally, the research considers the question of how business anthropology can be promoted in Northeast Asia through various means.


 I. Introduction and Research Methodology
 II. Theoretical Background and Literature Review
 III. Research Settings and Contexts
 IV. Anthropology, Applied Anthropology and BusinessAnthropology: What are TheyIV. Anthropology, Applied Anthropology and Business Anthropology: What are They??
 V. The Structure and Relations of International Business, International Studies and Anthropology in Northeast Asia and Beyond
 VI. Findings and Discussion: Teaching and Promoting Business Anthropology in Northeast Asia
 VII. Conclusion


  • Richard W. Shannon Professor, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea


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