Why workplace diversity efforts struggle

August 19, 2014


Writing for Fortune, Anne Fisher quotes CPO Faculty Co-Director Dave Mayer on the difficulty of achieving true workplace diversity:

“People have all kinds of assumptions about what ‘affirmative action’ or ‘diversity programs’ mean,” notes David Mayer, one of the study’s authors, who teaches management at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Unfortunately, plenty of employees think it’s about hiring people who are less qualified, just because they’re a member of a minority group.”

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Leadership Through Hope: Lessons From Reggae Music

July 31, 2014


In her leadership column for Forbes, Ruth Blatt mentions Oana Branzei’s chapter in Jane Dutton and Gretchen Spreitzer’s new book, How to Be a Positive Leader:

“Leaders who are able to truly have a long-lasting influence are those who give us hope. In a chapter in the recent book How To Be A Positive Leader, professor Oana Branzei of the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University defines hope as the belief that people and situations can and will change for the better. Political leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela or religious leaders like Mother Theresa and Archbishop Ddesmond Tutu had their powerful impact because they convinced others that a better future was possible and doable.”

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POS at AOM! Gathering of POS Scholars and More

July 15, 2014


By Janet Max Are you a POS scholar?  Are you attending the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management? AOM 2014 features more than 25 sessions with elements related to Positive Organizational Scholarship.  Sessions include  “Thrive! Energizing Ourselves and Others as Academics,” “The Conditions for Compassion,” and “An HR Perspective on Coping and Stress […]

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Opening the books: should all staff understand company finances?

July 9, 2014


The Guardian | Amt Westervelt

Open-book finance has the ability to break down the divide between workers and management, and to increase productivity. Wayne Baker, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, teaches open-book finance, and says that over the past few years, there’s been increased interest in understanding this practice. He explains that “It’s a big change, but companies that do it achieve efficiencies and engagement at such a high level that it’s really worth it.” Ari Weinszeig, co-founder of Zingerman’s, explains how this practice has helped his company immensely — “When people know what the game is, they play better,” because when you teach everyone in the company how the business works, they “pay attention in different ways,” because “they feel like they’re part of a team that helps that work.”

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How Paying It Forward Can Help Your Company

July 7, 2014


Inc. | Will Yakowicz

Wayne E. Baker, professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Nathaniel Bulkley, who consults on organizational effectiveness issues for Innovation Places, have done research that proves the success of using two types of generalized reciprocity at work to create a cooperative culture. “Pay it forward, where someone helps another person and that person assists a third, and reputation rewarding, where a person who is known to pitch in receives more from co-workers than less helpful colleagues.” They conducted this research on MBA students, and found that after the initial required assigned to “pay it forward” and help fellow students, along with asking their own questions, the students continued to use this practice. “Over time, rewarding reputation and paying it forward may have created a virtuous cycle of cooperation,” the two write. Many other companies have also started to use this strategy, and the results show nothing but success.

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At Zingerman’s, Pastrami and Partnership to Go

July 5, 2014


The New York Times | Jennifer Conlin

The unique business model that focuses on employee’s wellbeing and engagement, used by Zingerman’s, has been studied by many people, including Wayne Baker, professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, who has turned this research into four case studies. The longstanding successes Zingerman’s has had, and their employee and customer satisfaction, has proven that their business model is one that companies should strive to adopt and implement. This business model is “one that has produced impressive growth while engaging employees who enjoy the opportunity to help run the businesses and even to start new ones.”

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The dark side of workplace happiness

July 1, 2014


The Guardian | Amy Westervelt

A focus on workplace happiness and engagement is becoming more popular as companies are starting to discover the benefits of having happy employees. Professor Kim Cameron explains, “Money follows positive, virtuous practices.” However, there needs to be a balance to make sure keeping positivity in the workplace stays professional.

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The Paying-It-Forward Payoff

June 30, 2014


HBR | Gretchen Gavett

Research done by Wayne E. Baker, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Nathaniel Bulkley of Innovation Places’, shows the power of “paying it forward.” “Essentially, paying it forward is cognitively easy, at least compared to remembering who is helpful, and how often. ‘The sole requirement [of paying it forward] is that a participant be aware of his or her own experience,’ they write.”

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Should We Evaluate Queen + Adam Lambert The Same Way We Evaluate Iggy Azaelia?

June 24, 2014


Forbes | Ruth Blatt

After Adam Lambert filled in for Freddie Mercury on Queens latest tour, the reviews of the performance “were mostly ecstatic.” This brought up the question of whether one can “evaluate the effectiveness of a mature organization using the same criteria we use for upstarts.” Ross professors Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron’s study of “Organizational Life Cycles and Shifting Criteria of Effectiveness: Some Preliminary Evidence,” was used to answer this question.

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Happy employees are healthier (and cheaper)

June 18, 2014


The Guardian | Amy Westervelt

A study conducted by The Ross School of Business and Humana shows that happy employees perform better and cost less for the company. Companies are using an employee happiness survey, developed by Professor Kim Cameron, to measure employee attitudes. Using Cameron’s survey and applying this research has proven to lead to meaningful savings in the long run.

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Guest Feature: Positive Relationships at Work Microcommunity 2014 Meeting

June 16, 2014


By Sucheta Nadkarni (Drexel University), Rajashi Ghosh (Drexel University), Ilene Wasserman (ICW Consulting), and Lyndon Garrett (University of Michigan)

Old memories were rekindled and new thoughts forged when scholars interested in positive relationships at work came together in the second meeting of the Positive Relationships at Work (PRW) Microcommunity at Drexel University in March. This meeting was designed to build on the inaugural meeting held in March 2012 and strengthen the foundation for a thriving and self-sustaining research community. Thirty-five scholars at different stages of their careers (senior faculty/practitioners, junior faculty, and doctoral students) from across the United States and Canada gathered to engage in out-of-the-box ideas, help each other tackle tough research questions, and develop new friendships and collaborations.

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