Witches, Business & Culture: Anthropologists as Professional Strangers in the Boardroom

  • Michael Schönhuth The University of Trier


This article collates personal insights from 30 years of research and consultancy in organisational anthropology. It has two target groups in mind: on the one hand, students who, after completing a degree in anthropology with a more classical focus, are wondering what they can do with and how they could ‘sell’ their professional skills outside the academy, in the field of organizational consulting or organizational development. On the other hand, it wants to open the black box of anthropological methods and procedures for decision makers in organizations, enabling them to decide whether and when the use of anthropological expertise in their own company is worthwhile, especially in times of global flows of people, goods and communication. Here, the free-flying witch stands as a metaphor for the anthropological position as a professional stranger at the interface of the corporate world.