The Laurits Andersen Foundation has granted funds to the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, for a three-year fully funded PhD position in the field of business and organizational anthropology. Applicants are now invited to submit proposals for doctoral research that must fall within one or more of the areas mentioned below. In accordance with the remits of the foundation, the general expectation is also that the research proposed will place special emphasis on its practical significance and value to Danish business. This means that successful proposals must reflect a clear academic interest in seeking general insights of a theoretical nature within the field of business and organizational anthropology, as well as pointing to the practical significance of the research.
The five areas of research mentioned below are stipulated by the Foundation; the subsequent texts under each heading indicate possible interpretations for anthropological research. Proposals may to suggest other perspectives, as long as they relate specifically to one or more of the five headings. Proposals must specify both the empirical case to be studied and the general insights expected, just as the practical relevance in terms of results and audiences must be explicitly considered. Applicants are advised to study the more detailed account of the basis for this PhD call which may be found here:
1. Efforts to make better use of natural business resources. In areas such as design, innovation, user involvement and strategic development, anthropological research is already providing input into how Danish companies can take that crucial next step further up the value chain and move away from the production and sale of basic goods and services and toward more refined, focused, flexible products that generate greater value on the global market. Further research needs to be conducted and even more examples identified in order to support this interdisciplinary field. What are the current challenges and how may they be overcome?
2. Technical and scientific studies and experiments aimed at, or involving, potential improvements to production. Anthropological expertise is increasingly incorporated into the development of technology and products: from the inclusion of user perspectives at the innovation stage, to communication between the different professions and their languages and approaches, to the work of fine tuning and organising new forms of production. This largely practical application of anthropological expertise has emerged from the discipline’s research methodology and analytical approaches. Which are the next steps in terms of the theoretical and practical contributions of anthropology in this field?
3. Testing the practical value of inventions or methods of production. The anthropological approach to inventions and production considers “practical value” as openly as possible, and this may lead to new perspectives for innovation and strategy. It can draw on anthropological studies not just of technology in a narrow sense, but also on the anthropologies of economy and finance, of social organisation and bureaucracy, and of policy, implementation and evaluation – to mention but a few. All of these perspectives may shed new analytical light on current challenges for and in Danish companies, what they do, and the changing environments in which they operate.
4. Studying practical business problems of a general nature. The original anthropological interest in the internal functioning of companies – including their ‘organizational cultures’ – has gradually been complimented by a stronger interest in how companies interact with society: not just relationships with other companies, customers and suppliers, but also with other ‘stakeholders' in civil society and politics on a local, national, and global scale. As businesses become more clearly visible as social actors, what are currently the most pressing ‘practical business problems of a general nature’, and how may anthropology help explore, challenge, and rethink the manner in which problems and solutions are defined and handled in this field?
5. Studying markets abroad and how to prepare them for the introduction of Danish products. The study of social and cultural variation across the world is fundamental to anthropology and of obvious relevance to Danish businesses in the global marketplace. The ‘globalization’ of business is itself a theme for anthropological exploration; this may involve following value and production chains through their many stages and localities, the changing practices of global financial services and products, examining the importance of the global movement of labour, and new forms of cultural diversity in the workforce. Studies in this field is of growing relevance, both theoretically and practically.
At the time of application, applicants must possess a postgraduate degree in anthropology or a closely related discipline from a Danish or international university. In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study program the applicant must have completed a two year MSc degree program, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level. Prior knowledge of Danish language, society, and business is an advantage, but not a requirement. Work experience from business or other relevant professional practice will also be considered an advantage.
The application must include a description of the doctoral research project proposed, not exceeding 12,000 keystrokes (typically 5 pages) including footnotes, but excluding the literature list. Please refer to the full call of this position for further application requirements.
Applications (proposal and all annexes mentioned) should be submitted no later than 1 November 2017 at 12:00 noon Danish time (GMT+1). Personal or skype interviews with prospective candidates may be held. Employment should commence on 1 January 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter.
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.
Additional Salary Information: Figures in US$ are approximate and indicate the annual salary. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3 year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation may include teaching.
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About Dept. of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
The Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen is one of Europe's largest anthropological research institutions, with a research and teaching staff of about 30, approximately 600 students at the BA and MA levels, and approximately 30 PhD students. In addition to the BA and MSc in Anthropology, the department also runs a vocational MA program in the Anthropology of Health and contributes to two cross disciplinary MSc programs in Global Development and Global Health.