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Digital ethnography: The next wave in understanding the consumer experience

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Davis Masten, Principal, Cheskin; Tim M.P. Plowman, Design Anthropologist, Cheskin


Aside of its academic form, ethnography has also become a fairly used

method in marketing (Mariampolski 2005), design (Wasson 2000), and more

widely, in the products and services creation field (Bauwens & Kloetzer 2013).

In the business context in particular, the numeric resources appear as a

resources for ethnography in order to work on many points that are specific

to companies’ businesses, such as temporality, and the articulation between

big data and thici data. A preliminary review of the literature reveals some

historical shifts since the early stage of the history between ethnography and

numeric data. The second part of the paper details two cases study of

ethnographic work using digital tools, and immersing in a digital field. Both

case studies are commented in order to understand what is the potential of

these approaches in innovation processes.





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