Business Anthropology

»Most companies claim to put the customer first.
It’s a bit like claiming to be ethical for doing things that are in your own interest.«
Executive Agenda, 2009

Associate professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar, PhD, holds an MA in anthropology and has, throughout her career, developed new aspects of business anthropology. This is a discipline whose methods have been widely used across the entrepreneurial sector for over 30 years in:

  • Marketing research
  • Conceiving business models with higher added value
  • A more integral approach to internationalisation
  • The study of organisational culture
  • Excellent leadership analysis

Among the commissioners of business anthropology services are numerous successful companies: Apple, Coca-Cola, Pizza-Hut, McDonald’s, Unilever, General Motors, HP, Microsoft, Nokia, Canon, Ford, IBM, Xerox, Ikea and many others. Perhaps the most renowned is the case of the biggest computer processor manufacturer, Intel, that cooperates with anthropologist Genevieu Bell (watch video of her speech). The key advantage of business anthropology methods is that they are applicable to any business sector.

Business anthropologists decode the rituals in the corporate world and focus on researching the needs, desires and habits in consumers (marketing, sales, development of products and services, strategies of market approach) and employees (HR leadership, organisational climate). Business anthropology methods deal with business challenges as a whole, encourage development of innovative and market-focused business models, systematic monitoring of relations with stakeholders; thus they contribute to the development and strengthening of brands, to increase in sales and sustainable growth. The methods complement classic analyses with a unique freshness and innovatively chart blind spots in comprehending consumer habits. At that they facilitate continually awareness that a product or service has no purpose without a buyer. The most successful companies enjoy trust from all stakeholders.

Associate professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar, PhD continually aims to upgrade business anthropology with aspects of multi-capitalism, business totality (incorporation of all levels of complexity and complex environments) and authenticity (training individual and company genuine competences). She conceives business anthropology – an established discipline – in terms of harmonising incongruences, linking with external environments and creating new social and cultural ecologies in companies.

The director of Molga, associate professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar, PhD actively integrates the principle of multiple intelligences, i.e. the interrelation of rational, emotional, spiritual and physical intelligence. The concept of physical intelligence is developed in resonance with the stress-relief training and the idea of understanding the human as a phenomenon of continual growth.

Intellectual service for developing human potentials
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