Management

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    How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

How to counter the exhaustion of always having to be positive with customers

When was the last time you voluntarily lent a hand to a co-worker? If it is not something you do very often, it is time to start. In addition to generating goodwill between you and your colleague, there are a whole range of other advantages. The most important ones are the ability to protect yourself against emotional demands at […]

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    Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Since May 2016, we have led an academic research project to develop a new approach to measuring corporate culture. This research has produced the Unobtrusive Corporate Culture Analysis Tool (UCCAT).

UCCAT is a theoretically based and scientifically tested methodology for analysing and benchmarking corporate culture. Uniquely, rather than gathering employee interviews and questionnaires to assess culture, UCCAT analyses publicly available […]

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    Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

Naps in the office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

We have just spent a week visiting Shenzhen, China, to see the headquarters of one of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies – Huawei. Since its founding in 1987, Huawei has grown to become one of the world’s largest telecoms companies, with revenue of $75 billion. Globally it employs 180,000 with nearly 60,000 of these based at the […]

How the UK came to adore branded wine Le Piat d’Or

It was 1974. The UK market for wine was beginning to move. Branded contenders were making swift headway amongst unsophisticated UK wine drinkers. Key contenders were German, Blue Nun and Black Tower. And Mateus Rose from Portugal was also courting UK consumers. Despite these incursions, the market was still predominantly French with wines from across the channel in widest […]

Ethnic discrimination during resume screening: Mind the job

In many European countries, the employment rate of ethnic minorities is low, which is worrisome given the risks of social exclusion and poverty. The overall weaker labour market position of ethnic minorities compared to ethnic majorities is attributed to a lack of human capital (job competencies) as well as to labour market discrimination (unfair treatment).

This blog post focuses on […]

The value of good management

Ask any sports fan about their favourite team and they will usually spend half the time either cursing or extolling the manager. The manager is apparently responsible for every loss, and perhaps even the occasional victory. On the other hand, many people also have an ingrained cynicism about the fads and fashions of management thinking. For example, there’s an […]

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    A quality certificate increases trust and donations to a charity

A quality certificate increases trust and donations to a charity

When donating to charities, people expect their money to be spent wisely. However, since donors are not the recipients of final goods and services, they cannot easily assess their quality. Given that large scandals involving charities are covered in press again and again (for example, Kids Company in UK in 2015, or Unicef in Germany in 2006), the reported […]

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    How audiences come to embrace and support new products, ideas or politicians

How audiences come to embrace and support new products, ideas or politicians

During the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016, the media greatly downplayed the chances of Donald Trump’s electoral success, because many of this candidate’s proposals seemed unfeasible, or improbable. What political pundits had overlooked, however, was the power of emotions.

More recently, in the UK, Theresa May’s supposed “inability” to show emotion to the public proved fatal in the elections, and […]

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    Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Buffer: ‘Why we abolished the office and became a fully remote team’

Two years ago, our already fully remote team of then 50 people decided to close down our only remaining tie to the traditional workforce, a small office in San Francisco. Here’s why we decided to be a remote company in the first place, how it’s going for us, and what’s next for a company with no office.

First, let’s look […]

How to reduce burnout in the workplace

A striking work-related problem which continues to stimulate the interest of academics and practitioners alike is the rise in burnout among the working population. Burnout refers to a situation in which employees are emotionally exhausted (drained and lacking energy,) and depersonalised, that is, they have developed a cynical attitude towards their job and the people associated with it — […]

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    Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

Purpose and trust are valuable antidotes to relationship conflict at work

How do we improve performance? Do we cut costs and focus on efficiency? Invest in sales, technology or marketing? Should we develop our existing product suite or start from scratch on something new? Do we grow local market share or explore uncharted territories?

We need to prioritise our outcomes and allocate our resources as a leadership team. This is task […]

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    Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

Companies should promote online knowledge exchange among employees

It’s 10a.m in London, and while sipping on your morning coffee, you’ve connected with the team in Hamburg, put queries to colleagues in the Middle East, and checked in with Hong Kong. In just a few hours, your inbox will be brimming with “howdy’s” from the other side of the Atlantic as the New York office wakes up.

Connecting with […]

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    How to build ‘ambidextrous’ teams that innovate for now and for the future

How to build ‘ambidextrous’ teams that innovate for now and for the future

Organisations are being implored to “innovate or perish” but that is easier said than done. One of the challenges of innovation in organisations is ensuring that the quest for innovation is balanced between improving existing offerings where the company has a strategic advantage (known as exploitation), whilst also striving for the big, new ideas that prove game-changers (exploration). The […]

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    Uber: How inappropriate comments can take on unforeseen significance

Uber: How inappropriate comments can take on unforeseen significance

The widely reported resignation of Uber board member, David Bonderman, following his words at an all-hands staff meeting in June 2017 offers an exemplary case of controversy in corporate ethics and culture.

I revisit the event to analyse how these remarks were treated as ethically accountable conduct, and how such conduct takes place and is seen to happen within workplace […]

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    The art of choosing social influencers to sample and talk about a brand

The art of choosing social influencers to sample and talk about a brand

It’s no secret that sending spices to cooking bloggers, makeup samples to YouTube-tutorial stars or the hottest headphones to pop idols is a great way to increase sales.

But how do you know which recipe maven is going to maximise your product and yield new customers? The most fabulous recipe is no help if no one sees it. A persuader […]

Slacking it? The problems of technology at work

Slack, if you have never come across it before, is an instant messaging application. As the company itself explains, it is ‘team communication for the 21st century’ and one intended to result in work having ‘less email’ and becoming ‘more productive.’ They claim that their ‘customers see an average 48.6% reduction in internal email.’ We can all relate to […]

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    Innovative firms need managers who are somewhat sceptical of innovation

Innovative firms need managers who are somewhat sceptical of innovation

What organisational conditions nurture creativity and promote innovation? Steve Jobs—whose track record suggests that he could have answered this question authoritatively—asserted once that “killing good ideas” is “a hallmark of great companies.” Bob Sutton relates the incident as part of an argument that, while the ability to generate good ideas obviously is important, focus and discipline in deciding which […]

How employees can age successfully at work

In the media and in politics, sustainable employability is an ongoing issue. As the official retirement age is raised more and more by policymakers, people are wondering to what extent this will be feasible. Are ageing workers able to adapt to new working conditions and situations? How can we keep older employees motivated and enthusiastic about their work? How […]

Employers may discriminate against autism without realising

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people connect and relate to others and also how they experience the world around them.

Most non-autistic people are not aware of the complex ways in which autistic people* experience the world and are not adequately prepared for interacting or working with autistic people. Autism is a ‘hidden’ disability, with no […]

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    Social media and successful retail operations in the hyper-customisation era

Social media and successful retail operations in the hyper-customisation era

Social media in the age of ubiquitous computing connects people, enabling them to share personal and professional experiences. Back in the beginning of the 21st century, businesses did not pay much attention to social media, considering it as a personal space for a network of people to hang out. From 2010 on, social media platforms have elicited attention as […]