How Anthropology Can Explain Business and Life


Brought to you by Penguin.

From the bestselling author of Fool's Gold

To understand business, you need to think like an anthropologist.

Is your workplace riven by tribal conflict? Are your meetings governed by dozens of unspoken rituals? Is there something faintly religious about the way your colleagues worship the CEO?

If so, then you might need a lesson in business anthropology. For a century, anthropologists have had an unusual method: immersing themselves deep inside 'alien' tribes and uncovering, from the inside, how they tick. Today, a new generation of anthropologists are using this approach to explain modern businesses - revealing the hidden rituals that define what we buy, who we sell to, and how we work.

Now, bestselling author Gillian Tett reveals how this new wave of anthropology can help make sense of your business. She shows how thinking like an anthropologist can help you navigate a globalised economy, allowing you to get inside the heads of consumers on the other side of the world. And she argues that anthropology can explain your own workplace, too: by revealing why, say, your IT team seem to have such different priorities to you - or how to alter the behavioural patterns of your most perplexing colleagues.

Along the way, Tett draws on extraordinary stories from Tajik villages and Amazon warehouses, Japanese classrooms and Wall Street trading floors - all to reveal how you too can think like an anthropologist.

The result is a revelatory new way to view global business. In a short-sighted world, we can all learn to see clearly - using the power of Anthro-Vision.

© Gillian Tett 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021


  • Will turn your world upside down in the best possible way: fun, profound and bursting with important insights.
    Tim Harford, author of HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD ADD UP

About the author

Gillian Tett

Gillian Tett is the chairman of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US, at the Financial Times. Perhaps best known for predicting the 2007-8 financial crisis, Tett's bestselling book Fool's Gold was one of the definitive books on the crash.

Tett holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, where she studied marriage rituals in Tajikistan. Her work for the FT has taken her around the world - from Brussels to Tokyo to Moscow to New York - and won her numerous awards, including Columnist, Journalist and Business Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
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