Competency Group: Business

Type: Process

Description: Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena and explore emerging and unmet needs.

Citation for DescriptionEthnography. (2011). Retrieved from Wikipedia,

Units: Qualitative assessment

Advantages: Exploration of ethnography of a customer group can give a competitive edge which caters directly to a community of end users. Looks at more than just what people say and also considers what they do.

Limitations: Can be logistically challenging to conduct large-scale ethnography studies.

Target Audience: Top management, Marketing, R&D

Relevant to Universal Design: Yes

Stages and Steps: 1.1, 1.2, 2.2

Free Resource: Frey, C. (2006). Innovation strategies summit: Ethnography and new product development. Retrieved from

Free Resource: Sanders, E. (2006, August). Special section: Ethnography in NPD research how "applied ethnography" can improve your NPD research process. Visions. Retrieved from