Course Title: Anthropology of Services

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Anthropology of Services

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


620H Business IT and Logistics


Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Bonna Jones

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5791

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 108.17.68

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no prerequisites for ISYS2414 as it is an introductory course at the postgraduate level.

Course Description

In this course, ISYS2414 Anthropology of Services, we concentrate on language, change/transformation, and ethnography as method, all in the context of the need to manage complexity and complex systems.
As a student, you will have the opportunity to:
• Develop your knowledge of how language works as a system and what constitutes a discourse event (e.g. symbol, word, narrative)
• Learn about change and transformation processes in individuals, organisations, fields and society
• Learn about ethnographic methods and how to apply them to real world settings
• Study real cases and complex events
• Use an anthropological approach to ask about complex services and what constitutes success in services management

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Creative Business Solutions
Interpersonal Skills Development
Social networking
Strategic thinking

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

Explain a holistic view that integrates language, change and complexity, into a perspective that enables us to understand services

Show how ethnographic methods can be applied to conduct research in the management of complex services

Explain how an anthropologist of services adds value to organisations, fields and society-at-large

Collect qualitative data, undertake analysis and write narratives that integrate both qualitative and quantitative data


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities will enable students to develop skills in:
• Case study approaches
• Report writing
• Education and training awareness
• Project management
• Questioning approaches
• Writing
• Independent learning
• Topic and issues development
• Peer coaching and career development.

Overview of Learning Resources

In this course published resources are used, including those obtained by subscription through the RMIT University Library and those freely available on the Internet.

Overview of Assessment

The purpose of the assessment tasks is to give you the opportunity to put your learning into practice and to work with other students in the course. As a special feature of this you will begin to learn the skills necessary for Iater study in SYS2401 Social Networking Analysis.