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Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

**Antropología Business Anthropology de negocios** Issue Edición No.4 4| |Noviembre November 2020 2020

Methods for Identifying Client Needs

Start Future Studies

Gamification

Visual Analysis

Understanding the Client

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Treasure |1


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— Staff — Founders: Giovanna Manrique y Natalia Usme. Editor in Chief: Natalia Usme. Art Director: Camila Youngerman. Columnists: Jesús Contreras, Daniela Moreno. Translator: Natalia Usme Proofreader: Carolina Serrano.

* Follow us on Social Media! Facebook: Flipa Consultora Twitter: @FlipaConsultora Instagram: @FlipaConsultora Youtube: Flipa Antropología de Negocios Web: Flipa Consultora Flípate © Magazine, Novermber 2020. Issue No. 4. All rights reserved. Flípate Magazine is not responsible for the publication or distribution of international editions, unless the edition has been authorized by Flipa's administrative staff. Do you want to receive the magazine, or send us some comments? Please send an email to contacto@flipaconsultora.com

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Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

EDITO�AL — Issue No. 04 —

* Let’s imagine that you are walking through the jungle. You hear the birds sing, and you feel the heat in your body. Suddenly, in front of you, you see a rolled paper on the floor. When you open it, you realize that it is a map; you need to follow a series of steps to find a treasure. The question is: will you accept the treasure hunt mission? Often, the business world faces a jungle-like adventure when developing strategic plans, working towards digital transformation, or within innovation projects. All of these encompass new territories to be explored, where teams need to find or build their own maps. In this issue, our authors share how they have managed to find the hidden treasure through innovative methodologies such as gamifi-shadowing, future design, and image analysis. *

Founder.

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RE AD ME p06

Embracing our Roots to Envision our Future By Daniela Moreno.

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Ready or not, here I come, it’s time to play! By Natalia Usme.

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The White Apple Myth By Jesús Contreras.

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Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

Our writers Natalia Usme. Business Anthropology Manager and Co-owner at Flipa Consultora. She is the pioneer of Business Anthropology in Colombia. Natalia has more than 8 years of experience. She focuses on designing present and future strategies for companies. She has a Master of Arts in Applied Cultural Analysis from Lund University in Sweden. At Flipa, she leads international and national projects. Natalia is part of the committee of the Global Business Anthropology Summit (GBAS) as a contributor. She is also an international speaker.

Daniela Moreno. Anthropologist from Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. Her work focuses on social innovation projects in the public and private sector. She aims at understanding citizens, unveiling existing gaps and problematizing inequalities to co-create and develop initiatives with stakeholders.

JesĂşs Contreras. Founder of the GOST Project, an initiative that uses photography as an instrument for change. He holds a B.A in Communication, Social and Cultural Anthropology. JesĂşs has more than 10 years of experience on media. He specializes in print journalism and photography. In 2008 he won the National Journalism Award in Venezuela with mention in Photography. He focuses on visual arts, culture and inclusive education.

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Issue No. 4

Embracing Our Roots to Envision our Future By Daniela Moreno.

6 | FlĂ­pate Photo by Wherbson Rodrigues on Pexels


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

I

found an encrypted photograph at my mother’s house. It was on one of those photo telescope keychain viewers. When I took a look at it, I immediately recognized my mother. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ She was 18 years at the time. Her hair looked a bit wild. She was wearing a blue satin blouse with printed circles, faded jeans, and black sneakers. My grandmother was next to her, she had a typical eighties hairstyle and wore a floral dress.

have changed on a social, political, economic, and even a technological level. I believe that understanding these transformations can help us imagine what the future of work will be like in Colombia and globally.

This photo was taken at my grandmother’s house, when my family lived in Moniquirá –a village located in eastern Boyacá, Colombia–. Although we are a large family, we have always been very close. So, we created little souvenirs, like the photo, as nostalgic milestones for the future.

I want to start by sharing my mother and grandmother’s work experience. On one hand, my grandparents were farmers. They grew and traded potatoes, onions, some fruits, and vegetables. Their work required a great amount of physical effort, with shifts that could last up to 16 hours. Their tasks were carried out in mixed spaces; they lived and worked on the farm, and their sons and daughters had to work alongside them. Furthermore, the job lacked (and still lacks) social security benefits.

When I asked my grandmother about the story behind the picture, she told me it was taken in 1986 when my mother decided to emigrate to Bogotá in search of a brighter future. My family wanted to have a memory of her farewell. I was a child when my grandmother told me this anecdote, so I did not quite understand why my mother felt the need to migrate to another city. I will use this anecdote to analyze the historical peculiarities that surround the notions that Colombian citizens have about work. At the same time, I will explore how these dynamics

Upon arriving in Bogotá, my mother managed to access higher education and get a job that guaranteed economic stability for many years. Unlike my grandparents' case, my mother's living and working spaces were physically separated, allowing her to make a clear distinction between work and family relationships. My mother was an employee and had an indefinite |7


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Photo by Ryanniel Masucol on Pexels

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Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

* The only data we have about the future comes from what we know about our past and present. * term contract. Therefore, she worked eight-hour shifts and was entitled to social security benefits thanks to the Colombian labor laws of that time. Understanding how history changes is the only tool we have to anticipate the future. Humans are not inclined to completely repeat history, but only small patterns of it. For this reason, it is essential to identify and analyze the signals that may seem strange or rare; these will allow us to understand how changes are produced within the work realm and the patterns that we are repeating. This way, we can prepare for the futures that we want.

What could we do with change signals? The only data we have about the future comes from what we know about our past and present. That is why it is essential to have a critical and reflective perspective on history: we need to take a look at changes through time and systematically organize this information to generate strategic questions that help us anticipate the future. In her article, Five principles for thinking like a futurist (2019), the executive director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), Marina Gorbis, invites us to think about the current state of things to imagine our possible futures. As a first step, Gorbis invites us to raise two fundamental questions: what is happening here, and why is this happening? For Gorbis, every little thing could be a signal of change and future behaviors. A technology, application, product, service, experience, anecdote, or personal observation

could be a sign of change; they all could be pointing to new ways of acting and thinking. We could even find these signs in a research project or a prototype, as well as in a news item or a simple piece of information that "shows us something different" (Gorbis, 2019, p. 5). The second step is to conduct research to identify and classify the signs that come from the past and the present. People are sign-makers: they create stories, actions, and words that signify something to someone. As Amy Webb –founder and executive director of the Future Today Institute– explains, the point is to strategically identify the contradictions, inflections, practices, hacks (when socially established norms are broken), extremes, and oddities that humans create. By doing so, we can organize and categorize these signs and identify the actors, places, beliefs, and concepts that are interconnected (Webb, 2017, p. 57). The third step means answering the right questions: 1. What could this change represent and what is this sign telling me? 2. Where is this change taking me, and what other changes are being revealed? What is this creating for the future? 3. In ten years, how is the world going to be if the signal gets stronger? 4. Following this sign, will the world change for better or for worse? Do we like this or not? |9


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With these questions, we could anticipate multiple and polyphonic futures: those we want, those that are probable, and those that could happen. The answer to these questions will allow us to generate strategical actions that prepare us for those futures. Going back to the reasons that led me to write this article, I will now focus on the change signs that we are receiving concerning the new ways of working. Remote work has seen an increase since the pandemic began. My personal experience reflects this fact: I am a freelancer (that means I don't have a stable job). I also study remotely with a flexible schedule –that sometimes gets a bit too flexible. On top of that, I am responsible for my social security payments. Although I have well-defined roles within my work environments, at times, I feel that my relatives end up becoming my colleagues. Why? Because I live with them, we share time and space. This is a sign that shows an abysmal change compared to how my mother used to work back in her day. Conversely, my grandmother and I share similar issues when it comes to our ways of working. For example, she did not have a strict schedule, and this “flexibility” often required her to work long hours. Additionally, her job and her home were located in the same place, and her co-workers were her sons and daughters –with whom she also shared the house. Although it is very important to bridge the historical differences between both of us, it is also crucial to highlight that our work practices reflect changes regarding how work itself is valued, executed, evaluated, and regulated throughout time. Analyzing both cases means understanding the signals that we are facing towards the future of work. In my case, adding to what I mentioned, my work is linked to technological phenomena such as hyper connection. I ask myself: what impacts has remote work brought? Where are these changes taking us? From my perspective, the flexibility of remote work is contributing to informality and instability, both common issues in the 21st century. If this were the case, then we may ask: do we like or dislike these signs? What can we do about them? How could we shape a better future of work? 10 | Flípate

People are full of signs. Our history and our present tell us how our futures could be. It is worth taking out our photo telescope keychain viewers to identify these signs and patterns we tend to repeat. By doing so, we can embrace our past and present to design the futures we want. �


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

* Designing the products and services of the future means identifying the historical signals that humans repeat within their contexts. *

REFERENCES

Gorbis, M. (2019). Five principles for thinking like a futurist. EDUCAUSE Review 54, no. 1 (Winter 2019). Retrieved on October 16, 2020, from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/3/five-principles-for-thinking-like-a-futurist Vejar, D. (2014). La precariedad laboral, modernidad y modernización capitalista: Una contribución al debate desde América Latina. Trabajo y sociedad, (23). 147-168. Webb, A. (2017). The Flare and Focus of Success Futurists. MIT Sloan 58, (4). Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-flare-and-focus-of-successful-futurists/

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Issue No. 4

Ready or not, here I come,

it’s time to play! By Natalia Usme.

12 | Flípate Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

Gamifi-shadowing: a mix between gamification and participant observation for a strategic approach If you ever played hide-and-seek, then you felt the adrenaline rush all over your body and your breathing slowing down to avoid making false moves that could expose your hiding spot. I enjoyed feeling like an invisible fugitive and, when the moment was right, racing to the home base and yelling, “free!” to win the game. As you see, playing hide and seek is a matter of strategy. One must know how and when to play so one can win. Today I want to show you how to win by mixing two methods that are traditionally considered as belonging to different worlds. The first one is gamification –generally used by strategists and experts in this technique–, and the second is participant observation –originated in Anthropology–.

Let’s play: the beginning of the project It was an April afternoon when I found out that my company, Flipa, was going to develop a change management project for one of the world’s leading multinationals. Our goal was to provide employees with the right tools to adopt a new digital product as part of a larger digital transformation process. That was when I realized it was going to be an advanced level “game”.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels

My role as a player was leading the three stages of the project: researching, designing and developing, and implementing the strategies. Our team was diverse: we had designers, communication specialists, and me, the business anthropologist. Each one of us had a superpower that helped us win the game. | 13


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To understand who our client was, we started with a netnography, that is, a qualitative online research of its website and its internal and external social media. Our goal was to distill the corporate messages that the company wanted to send about its organizational culture. We also conducted participant observation –shadowing– at different offices and in corporate events. We applied both methods over the first month of the project. As you see, developing a corporate ethnography does not take months or years: it must be agile and deep. This strongly depends on the skills of the players who conduct it.

game with the satisfaction and self-fulfillment of obtaining rewards, so it is easier for them to incorporate the new knowledge or behavior into their everyday life.

By the third week, we had gathered the insights for the storytelling strategy of the project. That same week we designed the main visuals and the reasons-to-believe (or key messages) that we wanted to share with employees. In line with this, we designed an omnichannel strategy that included:

How did we design the gamification strategy for our project?

◊ a communications plan ◊ an internal service design for the change management ◊ an analog and digital training program for leaders and employees ◊ a digital and analog gamification strategy

By the fifth week, we had released the first communication pieces and we began the training process so that the company could see the results from Business Anthropology. So, we carried on applying our strategies. By the fourth month, we wanted employees to experience the gamification strategy we had designed for them.

What is gamification? The first element I want to put on the table is that gamification is anything but a simple game. It is a strategy based on a leveling-up approach that leads participants to learn new concepts or behaviors. The purpose is to transform people, guiding them from state A to B. The first level starts with basic concepts and language that is easy for participants to understand. The second introduces players to more complex elements. The degree of difficulty keeps increasing at every stage. Simultaneously, each level has a reward strategy. Players receive prizes when they get positive results. Cognitively, participants associate the content of the 14 | Flípate

A network effect takes place in the minds of the participants: “I am rewarded for learning, so what I am discovering through the learning journey must be positive.” Indeed, designing a gamification strategy requires strict ethical guidelines because one is introducing new behaviors for others to adopt, so players must benefit from what they are learning.

The first step was reviewing the results of the semi-structured interviews and the participant observation we had conducted. It is worth mentioning that we developed an ongoing ethnography throughout the project: we researched and, in parallel, designed, tested, and implemented. Furthermore, we had the advantage of “living” at the client’s headquarters, so everything we saw, felt, ate, and did was registered in our field diaries. Upon checking on the insights we had gathered, we noticed a pattern: the client’s organizational culture wanted to “look” young, and this was evident in its employees’ behaviors, habits, and speeches. For instance, employees swore that all the workforce was millennial. However, when we analyzed the data, we saw that this was not the case. Nevertheless, the client wanted to believe this, so it became a part of a collective speech for them to feel “young.” Bearing this and other elements in mind, we realized we could use the “imaginary of youth” to generate employee engagement towards our gamification strategy. Our dynamics had to convey a cool, party-like, and cheerful message. We generated the basic concept of the gamification strategy from those ideas. Thus, we created five playing stations: the first one was a giant Jenga (alluding to young people’s party games), the second was a memory game where players had to find pairs of matching images, the third was a puzzle, and the final two alluded to the employees’ inner child.


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

Step 1: prototype My first recommendation is to create a sketch for each game and test it on a small group of future players. We did this in our project to determine the success criteria, such as content relevance, engagement levels, if the instructions were easy (or not) to understand, and the initial results of the reward system, among others. Once we received feedback, we applied the necessary changes and created the final version of each game. The gamification took place at different events held at the company’s headquarters in Colombia and Peru.

* Gamification is anything but a simple game. It is a strategy based on a leveling-up approach that leads participants to learn new concepts or behaviors. *

Step 2: let’s play We assigned a team member from Flipa at each one of the five stations. Every game intended to teach employees something about the digital tool. In the first station, we used a teaser or an intrigue-element to develop a quick introduction about the digital tool. The gamification dynamic was based on a hopscotch, also known as golosa, luche, avioncita, or rayuela in some Latin American countries. Participants had to answer trigger questions correctly so that they could move on to the next level. During this process, instructors encouraged them by using positive, supportive, and motivational keywords. The remaining four stations provided more details about the tool through a range of activities that followed the same patterns: basic, intermediate, or advanced level content, gamification exercises, and a reward system.

Mixing gamification with participant observation As I mentioned earlier, corporate ethnography differs from street ethnography. The former, especially at multinational companies, is in constant movement and change. The ethnographer relies on the employees’ working schedule –such as lunch and active breaks, as well as other factors. That is why we decided to take the gamification event as an opportunity to conduct participant observation. How? There was a trained team member at each station who would apply | 15


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this method throughout the game. This person was in charge of analyzing certain factors based on a guide we provided, focusing on: ◊ the language that the employees used to refer to the digital tool ◊ the team dynamics generated as the concepts got more complex ◊ the employees’ non-verbal language ◊ others

Using this gamifi-shadowing methodology, as we call it in Flipa, we succeeded in teaching concepts that were crucial for the change management project. Besides, we also gained a strategic advantage by being able to foresee possible user needs, stoppers, and gaps that could create pains related to the digital tool. We did this over the fifth and sixth months of the project. Although it was a quick execution, the results had profound inputs for the long-term strategy. So, it’s time to play, are you ready? �

* Corporate ethnography entails dynamism and strategy. * 16 | Flípate


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels


Issue No. 4

The White Apple Myth

By Jesús Contreras.

18 | Flípate Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels

ower is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new P shapes of your own choosing.

— George Orwell, 1984

A myth is a narrative that helps us understand the world and essential aspects of society. The white apple myth was coined on January 22, 1984. On that day, Apple Computer presented its Macintosh 128K to the world with an advertising spot that was broadcasted nationwide by the American network CBS during the Super Bowl XVIII. This event served both as a pop-culture milestone and a power move from Apple. The ad’s plot takes place in a futuristic city that evokes Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The opening scene shows a group of minions with shaved heads, grey outfits, and expressionless faces marching down a hallway in unison. They are walking into an auditorium where a giant screen broadcasts an authoritarian leader’s speech. Suddenly, a blonde woman in colorful clothes bursts onto the scene. A group of policemen chases her, while she runs towards the screen. She wears a white tank top with a Macintosh silhouette and an apple printed onto it. She carries a hammer in her hands. Upon reaching the end of the corridor, she throws it against the giant screen, creating a jarring explosion that

silences the auditorium. This 60-second ad takes place in a totalitarian regime that exerts excessive discipline and control over its citizens. This allegory to George Orwell's 1984 seeks to represent nonconformity, creativity, and freedom –notions that are re-oriented towards the realm of technology. This innovative visual proposal went far beyond selling computers by focusing on symbols and signs –that is, the client's culture–, and creating new consumption habits. It also represented Apple’s reinvention.

Companies Need to Research in Order to Create An organization’s ability to generate productive and sustainable results depends on its capacity to read the context and the people to whom its product or service is directed. By doing so, the company can detect and use the signs and symbols that make up the customer's culture and integrate these insights into its strategic framework. Visual analysis is one of the methodologies that facilitate sign and symbol detection. | 19


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* Companies could use symbolic analysis to detect customer's perceptions of products or services. * In fact, what Apple did with its 1984 ad was playing with signs and symbols. According to a New York Times article from March 1984, the famous advertisement campaign was created in response to a Harris poll conducted in September of the previous year. The study evidenced Americans' concern regarding the impact of technology on their privacy (Burnham, 1984). So, Apple used a woman throwing a hammer as a symbol of divergence. A symbol that sought to tell customers that Apple was their friend –not their oppressor– and wanted to join them in creating new realities. The ad became iconic thanks to the branding strategy that Apple created for the Macintosh 128K. This is how symbols are born: when companies repeat a message in the collective imaginary, it starts to make sense for the masses, just like a “hit” song that plays incessantly in our heads.

The method The convergence method created by Gilbert Durand is one of the techniques that companies can apply to evaluate and analyze images. It separates images into two categories: Diurnal Regime and Nocturnal Regime. These regimes are based on thought patterns that people recognize at a cultural level. The images that belong to the diurnal regime encompass symbols that are easy to identify. According to Durand (1981), cultures influenced by this regime prefer human figures, 20 | Flípate

meaning that they tend to elevate their heroes and their feats through a bodily approach. Such was the case with Apple's 1984 ad. The human figure embodies ideas such as “good” and “evil”; for instance, there is a heroine whose feat is to free the auditorium from the control and extreme surveillance of the leader. On one hand, the diurnal regime presents three types of symbols: those that grant human faculties to an animal, those that evoke the night and darkness, and those that tune into the course of time. For example, in the diurnal regime, the image of the black horse is an animal symbol that represents darkness and hell, evoking an affective theme that represents the fear of the passage of time (Durand, 1981). Let's make an analogy of this symbol within Apple’s ad. The black horse of hell can be associated with the police officers chasing the white apple (the heroine of the story). From my point of view, Apple's fear of losing its market share is revealed in this scene. On the other hand, the nocturnal regime turns the negative value of the symbols from the diurnal regime into something charming. Let’s continue analyzing the image of the policemen (the black horse symbol) going after the woman: Apple’s fear of a popularity decline was turned into a rebirth through the heroine’s actions. In fact, the company increased its revenue after airing the ad (see more about Apple's market awareness in 1984 in Rodríguez, 2014).


Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

Now, what if you used this methodology for your business projects? You could analyze images from the client's everyday life, or even from the products and services that your company sells. This method could give you direct inputs on how the target audience perceives them. You could extract images from social media or your company’s website. Images can come from all kinds of sources because, as art historian Erwin Panofsky said, pictures always transcend the aesthetic. We could apply Panofsky’s approach in our business strategy: it is known as iconological-iconographic analysis.

Step by Step 1. Pre-iconic description: firstly, you should select three to five images and classify them by themes –for example, characters, settings, and objects. If you are conducting a workshop with your client, you could start by explaining how you have organized the images. 2. Iconographic analysis: ask your clients to identify and describe how the images are “speaking” to them. You can ask them: who or what are they seeing in the image? How and when is the image taking place? What are the key actions shown in the pictures? After applying this technique, share the results with your team, and focus on finding patterns within the mental models of your clients. For instance, if your team is designing a new type of computer, you can use images from the prototypes, the people who are going to use it, or even the accessories that it will have; delve into the meanings that they have for the final target. Remember to ask your client to be descriptive. This will help them articulate what might seem obvious but is not.

input for your project –both in the design, the experience, and even its communication.

The Myth in the Innovation Experience Often, companies make assumptions about their target audience. By applying analytical methodologies like the ones I have described in this article –especially with the help of a business anthropologist– will allow them to think outside of their “assumption box.” Stepping into the human realities of the client means finding connections and opportunities by linking context, client, and product. Going back to the story I started with, Apple's white apple myth shows us how, by identifying the notions that customers had about technology, the company was able to build new ideas for its target audience. What started as a simple commercial became the entry ticket for a digital and cultural transformation. Just as Prometheus gave fire to humans –representing progress–, Apple gave us the Macintosh. This is why true innovation focuses on humanizing design and the strategy behind each product or service. �

3. Finally, conduct an iconological analysis. This phase is carried out with your team and consists of interpreting what the image symbolizes based on the patterns you identified from fieldwork. Here, you may use Durand’s image convergence method, which explains the universal codes or patterns found within human imagination. The key is asking yourself what type of codes the client is associating the images with, and how can you strategically use this | 21


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Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels

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Business Anthropology Methodologies for your Business

� Business Anthropology is a powerful tool for understanding what the client thinks of a specific technology and designing solid business strategies. � REFERENCES

Burnham, D. (1984). The computer, the consumer and privacy. New York, EEUU. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/04/weekinreview/the-computer-the-consumer-and-privacy.html Castiñeiras, M. (2007). El método iconológico de Erwin Panofsky: la interpretación integral de la obra de arte, Introducción al método iconográfico. Barcelona. Ariel. Retrieved from https://antropologiaunfv.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/castineiras-gonzc3a1lez-manuel-antonio-introduccic3b3n-al-mc3a9todo-iconogrc3a1fico.pdf Durand, G. (1981). Las estructuras antropológicas de lo imaginario. Paris, Francia. Taurus Ediciones. Orwell, G. (1943). 1984. Retrieved from https://www.philosophia.cl/biblioteca/orwell/1984.pdf Rodríguez, D. (2014). IBM y Apple, una historia de amor y odio. Madrid, España. Retrieved from https://www.libertaddigital.com/ciencia-tecnologia/tecnologia/2014-07-20/ibm-y-apple-una-historia-de-amor-y-odio-1276524193/

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— Issue No. 4 —

— Business Anthropology —

Profile for FlipaConsultora

Flípate Magazined Ed. 4: Business Anthropology Methodologies for Organizations.  

In this edition we share the roadmaps to three methodologies of Business Anthropology that you can use when designing your product, service...

Flípate Magazined Ed. 4: Business Anthropology Methodologies for Organizations.  

In this edition we share the roadmaps to three methodologies of Business Anthropology that you can use when designing your product, service...

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