Context, and the ‘Emic/Etic’ Contrast Revisited for International Business & Management Research

Reflections from Social Anthropology on Evolution of Intellectual Ideas and the Illusionary ‘Shared Etics’

  • Wed 6 Dec 17

    13:00 - 15:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr David Guttormsen

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

Centre for Work, Organisation and Society is delighted to welcome Dr David Guttormsen to our weekly research seminar series to present his paper, titled ‘Context, and the ‘Emic/Etic’ Contrast Revisited for International Business & Management Research: Reflections from Social Anthropology on Evolution of Intellectual Ideas and the Illusionary ‘Shared Etics’'.

Event abstract

Drawing upon linguistic anthropological theory, this seminar explores new perspectives on ‘context’, by putting into question, and going beyond, the ‘emic’/’etic’ opposition as commonly understood in International Business & Management (IB&M) literatures. Our analysis suggests that the North American dominated IB&M research field can learn from intellectual developments in Social Anthropology, which are in turn drawn from linguistics. We argue that the pursuit of ‘shared etics’ as a cross-cultural research strategy, prevalent in positivistic and hypo-deductive frameworks for understanding and researching culture, is misguided. We argue for a full recognition of the definitional sovereignty of different ‘emic’ systems, and argue that this perspective has the potential to bring dramatic change to our conception of research.

Speaker biography

David S. A. Guttormsen is an Assistant Professor in International and Cross-Cultural Management for the Department of Communication and Culture, BI Norwegian Business School. David earned his PhD in Politics and International Studies from The University of Warwick (UK) and obtained an MPhil in International Business from the Leeds University Business School (UK). He also holds an MA in International Relations (University of New South Wales, Australia); a GradCert International Relations (Curtin University of Technology); a BCom in Public Relations and Management (Curtin Business School, Australia); and a PGCert in Higher Education Professional Practice (Coventry, UK). Prior to joining BI in 2017, David worked as Lecturer in International Business (equivalent to Assistant Professor/Førsteamanuensis) at University of Exeter Business School (UK) and Lecturer in International Management at Coventry University Business School (UK). He has also taught and supervised MBA (corporate executives) and MSc dissertations at Warwick Business School (UK), The University of Warwick (UK), University of Birmingham Business School (UK) and University of Leicester School of Management (UK). David remains External Associate at Warwick Business School and Visiting Researcher at Leeds University Business School (UK). David has previously held visiting research positions at Seoul National University (South Korea), Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong), Helsinki Business School (Finland) and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO, Norway).

Related events