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Map value transformations in a global interconnection. How sensory experiences and cultural interpretations shape concepts of “ethical diamond” and “mining work ethic”.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DiaEthic (Map value transformations in a global interconnection. How sensory experiences and cultural interpretations shape concepts of “ethical diamond” and “mining work ethic”.)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-07-01 do 2022-06-30

The issue being addressed by DiaEthic is to retrace the cultural interpretations that, from the mine to retail, enrich the ethical value of diamonds. This project aims to develop multi-sited ethnographic research from the diamond mines in Northwest Territories and in some Italian jewelry stores. The methodology proposed highlighted how the concepts of ethics linked to the diamond become legitimate and recognized among participants in markets. DiaEthic aims at validating a methodology that might be used in different ethnographic and economical contexts where traditional categories are contended by emerging ones, such as sustainability, ethical production, consumption, and novel interpretations of luxury and quality in a variety of sectors.
The importance of this project consists of: • studying the workplace practice allows highlighting the ways people work usually differ from the organizations’ description of the work in organizational charts. By analyzing the workers’ perceptions, companies can better understand their perspectives to improve working and innovation and maintain trust within the workers to prevent conflicts. • Studying the concept of ethics, also related to the concept of sustainability, and systematizing a methodology to study the interconnection between different scales, obtained in the distance between different points of view of different subjects, it is possible to highlight not only cultural gaps but also the possibilities of encounters useful to increase eco-strategies by promoting social cohesion and economic development. • In DiaEthic the gender dimensions are important to investigate the impacts of the mine on the native communities’ traditional family structure. • A new anthropological analytical tool (Deep Cultural Implementation Model) applied to consumer research has been adopted to explain the targets and the company’s emic point of view. • Create a website on which to communicate data collected (see Periodic report – FINAL; https://pric.unive.it/projects/diaethic/home).
During the two first years of the Fellowship, Dr. Armano presented the results of her research in progress at UBC through seminars and articles (see Periodic report – FINAL).
Dr. Armano conducted her ethnographic research in Yellowknife where she met some indigenous people (elders and women) whose perspective was important to understanding the impacts of the mine on their communities. Gender dimensions were a fundamental feature in the monograph. Other conversations included the geologists and indigenous miners. The conversations with indigenous needed some cultural mediators.
Prof. Finotto and Dr. Armano scheduled a project for the Night of Researchers at UNIVE. To make the ethnographic documentation accessible to a wide audience, they involved an artist with whom they communicated data collected during the ethnographic research also through images. The pictures were also used by Dr. Armano to create the website (https://pric.unive.it/projects/diaethic/home).
The research conducted by Dr. Armano might allow the department of management and the whole university to capitalize on her experience when it comes to analyzing very distant –geographically and culturally– fields. Her work has been the center of a workshop on the 10th of June 2022 that brought together scholars from different fields and universities on the merits and the methods of the project. Dr. Armano plans on developing and distributing the proceeds of the workshop to gather an international network of scholars around themes of ethics and novel research approaches and methods to face the critical aspects of research designs like the one she developed and conducted.
Dr. Armano’s work allowed the department at UNIVE to: Explore the possibilities of the ethnographic method in management and business research, with particular attention to observation and interviews. The department relies on qualitative and quantitative approaches and on a multiplicity of methodological stances; the experience Dr. Armano had in Canada and the training in anthropology and ethnography allowed personnel in the department to grasp the nuances and specificities of a long-term commitment to the field and to develop the skills necessary to face research designs based on an extensive ethnographic data collection;
• Ethical concerns, sustainable practices, and strategies today are of paramount importance in management research. Recent literature underscore the superficial nature of the debate on sustainability in the management field. The "concept of presbyopia" developed by Dr. Armano allowes us to frame the objectives of management research involving ethicality and sustainability.
• The research raises the question regarding global consumers’ expectations of the veracity of advertising narratives extolling ethical and sustainable practices of corporations operating in extractive sectors. The assumption highlighted is the crucial question of the division between knowledge and real context, the distance between which seems to be bridged by trust in narratives in which certification assumes a crucial role. Starting from this assumption, the researcher’s work addresses issues on climate, environmental changes, industrial and societal needs posing the following question: How can we deal with the over-representation of good corporate practices and the under-representation of bad practices, and what can be improved starting a bottom-up perspective? Dr. Armano’s research stimulates a more inquisitive study about what ethical and sustainable practices mean for local people and how these considerations can be assumed by corporations. These issues encourage the reimagining of different environmental management and social practices based on local people's knowledge as possibilities to drive innovations and bring benefits to society.
• Dr. Armano’s methodologies and approaches enhanced in her research, can be used by large and small organisations in a variety of industries and sectors. Taking a whole-system approach, she has designed and delivered tools useful to increment business strategies that improve operational efficiency. Using a design perspective, Dr. Armano can deliver suggestions to companies to enhance customer and employee experiences to improve sales, service, and business development. Dr. Armano’s anthropological role can be balanced among management consulting, strategic planning, marketing strategy, project management, B2B and B2C sales, and business development.
• Dr. Armano’s results contribute to the social awareness of improving the well-being and health of citizens and future generations. Her research aligns with the issues of clean energy transition and it stimulates new reflections on the use of renewable energy sources.
• Dr. Armano had the possibility to share her results with some companies which can be considered potential users of the project/research results. She has designed and shared an approach to understanding the interdependencies between different kinds of consumers and specific organisations which aimed to develop and deliver consistent customer experiences.
Canadian mine