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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.


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.


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. […]


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.”


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.


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.”


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.”


UM biz center stays positive

June 1, 2014

Crain’s Detroit Business | Kirk Pinho

Crain’s Detroit Business shares Fred Keller’s, the Center’s first executive-in-residence, thoughts on his new position. “’There are a great deal of business leaders who are positive thinkers and just need a little encouragement to take those steps.'”


Michigan professor: Negotiation isn’t just for business

June 1, 2014

Detroit Free Press | Frank Witsil

Witsil shares his interview with Shirli Kopelman, Univeristy of Michigan management professor who studies negotiations. Shirli offers her views on negotiation, and gives a few words of advice, as well. She also gives a few comments about her book, Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business: “It’s framed for being yourself in business, but it applies just as well outside business. It’s a quick, fun, playful read.”


Invigorating the Workplace Though Connections

May 28, 2014

Terry Kosdrosky

Ever feel invigorated after an interaction with a co-worker — energized and confident to take on a challenge?

That feeling is real, the benefits are real, and companies need to do more to create these high-quality connections, says Michigan Ross Professor Jane Dutton.

Her research shows that interacting with others in ways that foster high quality connections at work does more than improve morale. It improves creativity, commitment, learning, and engagement. Organizations that figure out how to foster these interactions bring out the best in their teams and achieve better results.

“These short, momentary interactions with people at work are like vitamins — they strengthen and fortify you throughout your day,” says Dutton, the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration and Psychology. “The good news is that these connections don’t take a lot of time to build. They happen quickly, and small gestures pay big dividends.”


Positive Practice: Acknowledge, Affirm, and Amplify

May 22, 2014 | C.V. Harquail

In a post on her blog, consultant and scholar C.V. Harquail describes a three-step process–Acknowledge, Affirm, and Amplify–for “contributing ideas to a community while boosting someone else’s business at the same time.” Harquail suggests that this strategy “might create opportunities for the people you’re telling and the businesses you’re talking about.” To illustrate the process, she describes her use of it regarding Shirli Kopelman’s post on HBR Blog regarding her recent book, Negotiating Genuinely.


Vision – What it’s Not and Doing it Michigan-Style

May 22, 2014

Writing for Corp!, Sue Voyles covers the inaugural Positive Business Conference, focusing specifically on the power of Visioning:

“Dressed in jeans and a Camp Bacon t-shirt, Ari Weinzweig somberly reads from a couple of sheets of paper what sounds like a news account of his presentation at the inaugural Positive Business Conference at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business May 16, 2014. His presentation, “Creating a Vision of Greatness,” was part of the Positive Leader Briefings presented on the second day of the event, held May 15-17, 2014 on campus.”