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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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Etsy is proof that our economy is experiencing a biological event

June 16, 2014


The Guardian | Aaron Hurst

Hurst reports that in today’s society and economy, we are seeing a pattern of changes happening across many industries. This change is one that focuses on employees finding their purpose in the workplace, and building loyalty in their community and with customers. Using research done by Justin Berg, Jane Dutton, and Amy Wrzesniewski at the University of Michigan, “we now understand that people generate purpose through relationships, personal growth and doing something greater than themselves. They are also finding that it is vital to our wellbeing, as well as productivity.” According to their research, if we want companies to thrive in this economy, we need to become a society organized around people and not around systems.

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Our New Faculty Co-Director, David Mayer

June 16, 2014


By Janet Max Next month, Associate Professor David Mayer will begin his tenure as Faculty Co-Director, serving alongside Professor Robert Quinn, and replacing Gretchen Spreitzer, who is stepping down as she begins her Sabbatical.  Professor Mayer joined the Center for Positive Organizations in 2010, a year after he came to the Michigan Ross School of Business. […]

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When Compassion And Profit Go Together: The Case Of Alice Cooper’s Manager Shep Gordon

June 13, 2014


Forbes | Ruth Blatt

Blatt describes how successful business leaders use both compassion and generosity. This article highlights the importance of bringing all of one’s qualities to the table, without leaving anything behind. Shirli Kopelman, faculty director of business practice at the Center, agrees that “the combination and strategic focus is what enables great negotiators to create value.” She points out that in order to be successful, one cannot be “either genuinely compassionate or strategic,” but instead, “great negotiators do them both.” It’s very important to “integrate various personal and professional roles,” so both people can walk out of a negotiation as “winners.”

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What Good can Positive Business Accomplish in the World?

June 10, 2014


Positive Psychology News Daily | Giselle Nicholson

Nicholson has attended many business conferences, and after attending our Positive Business Conference in May, she has no doubt that she’ll return to the next one. She says that the “quality and accessibility of speakers was high, the content was thought-provoking, and my fellow participants were highly engaging.” She describes the conference as “unique” and good at addressing many “themes and solutions.” She also sums up many of the key points from Ross professors and Fred Keller.

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Negotiate from the Inside Out

June 9, 2014


Harvard Business Review | Shirli Kopelman

Shirli Kopelman, University of Michigan management professor, is receiving a lot of attention from her book, “Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business.” Her blog in the Harvard Business Review, shares the benefits of negotiating genuinely. “Being genuine means you get to be the best you, realizing greater success on all levels — financial, personal, and professional.”

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Mindfulness, purpose and the quest for productive employees

June 3, 2014


The Guardian | Amy Westervelt

Westervelt’s article describes how companies are searching for ways to generate purpose and passion in their employees to stop the increasing turnover rate in many jobs. Jane Dutton, professor of business administration and psychology at University of Michigan, focuses on the importance of relationships in positive organization. Dutton comments that, “If you have positive connections between employees, that means it’s also probably easier to cultivate meaning in the work they’re doing.” On the same note, “if employees feel they have a purpose, it’s easier for them to cultivate positive connections with each other.”

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