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Journal of Social Sciences 6 (1): 99-112, 2010 ISSN 1549-3652 © 2010 Science Publications Cultural Issues in the Business World: An Anthropological Perspective Michael P. Lillis and Robert Guang Tian Department of Business, Medaille College, New York Abstract: The significance of cultural influence on business has been widely recognized in both academic and business circles. A number of authors suggest that an anthropological approach is the most appropriate way to study cultural factors and assess their impact on an organizational environment. This investigation draws attention to several important cultural issues in business utilizing an anthropological perspective. It probes the relationship between culture and human behavior,…show more content…
Anthropology, especially cultural anthropology, seeks to understand how and why peoples of the world differ in various ways as well as how and why peoples of the world share certain similarities. It is not at all unusual for people to assume that their own ways of thinking and acting are unquestionably rational normal or human. Cultural anthropological study provides us a look at the enormous variations in thinking and acting found in the world today due to the cultural differences and at same time anthropological literature has documented many different solutions generated for solving the same problems cross-culturally. Therefore, anthropologists do more than simply document the enormous variations in human cultures by identifying and describing the commonalities of humans amid the great diversity, which are the regularities found in all cultural contexts regardless of how different those contexts might appear at first glance (Ferraro, 2005). Anthropologists have traditionally used a qualitative research approach to study human behaviors in different cultures. Such an approach is well suited to many of the complex questions confronting researchers interested in quality and culture. Qualitative research, more than just a set of data collection methods, is an approach that seeks to understand events, activities, norms and values from the perspective of the people who are being studied, anthropologists refer this way of research as the Emic approach. Qualitative
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