Management

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 […]

How to avoid becoming the next late-night punchline

It was a shocking scene, and it achieved instant liftoff in cyberspace. For days on end in April, the video of a bloodied passenger being dragged off a United Airlines plane by his arms seemed to play in a continuous loop on the internet, social media and cable TV.

The predictable result was a full-blown reputational crisis for United – […]

Meaningless work threatens job performance

Open, transparent communication across the organisation is generally associated with improved employee motivation and organisational outcomes. For supervisors, the question arises how to deal with rather inconvenient information, such as in the case of a project failure. Informing employees after significant investments of time and effort might lead to negative effects on subsequent work motivation, one could argue. To […]

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    Conflict mediators who use a dose of hostility can be surprisingly effective

Conflict mediators who use a dose of hostility can be surprisingly effective

When might adding negativity to an already hostile situation lead to reconciliation — not escalation — of conflict? Imagine two siblings locked in a heated argument. Parents of quarrelling siblings often find themselves shouting a curious phrase to quash these conflicts: “I don’t care who started it — both of you go to your rooms!” At first blush, this […]

Boomerang employees: should you welcome them back?

It’s 4:45 PM on a Friday, you’re about to head home, and then your phone buzzes. You look down to see a text from a previous employee that hasn’t been in contact since departing several months ago (sans a LinkedIn request). He says he just wants to “catch up”, but you suspect another angle. Ten minutes into a coffee […]

Re-inventing management research with learning expeditions

Between 11 and 15 June, a group of French academics participated in a learning expedition in Tokyo called #visualizinghacking2017. The event was organised by the Research Group on Collaborative Spaces (RGCS), an academic network that focuses both on the study of third places and collaborative spaces (e.g. coworking spaces, makerspaces, fab labs and hackerspaces) and their use as possible boundary spanners and levers of […]

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    How to turn a brand’s friends (and detractors) into evangelists: The case of Canadian wine

How to turn a brand’s friends (and detractors) into evangelists: The case of Canadian wine

Organisations ranging from giants such as Apple and Amazon to small wineries and fashion boutiques regularly commit resources to persuading others to tout their innovative products. The results of these efforts are often mixed – some can build a passionate following that spreads news of how groundbreaking or remarkable a product might be, and some waste resources on customers […]

It’s ok for leaders to have a sense of humour

A good sense of humour is often regarded as an important factor for successful leadership. It is an important way successful leaders motivate their followers and gain their support. For example, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was hit by an egg thrown by an angry protester in a rally. He responded humorously and said “this guy owes me bacon […]

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    Why do supply chain technologies sometimes fail to improve a firm’s performance?

Why do supply chain technologies sometimes fail to improve a firm’s performance?

Many technologies typically referred to as supply chain technologies (SCT) are increasingly being adopted by firms to manage their supply chains. The underlying premise is that they can help improve communication among supply chain partners, which will enhance supply chain efficiency, thus creating value for shareholders. However, in spite of the potential benefits of SCT, these technologies are not […]

Economic shocks affect how a CEO is evaluated

Between May and December 2008, Western Digital, one of the largest computer hard disk manufacturers in the world, experienced a severe shock*. Its stock price fell from $37.53 to $11.45. In 2009, the company reported in its proxy statement that it used discretion, as opposed to objective performance metrics, for evaluating its CEO. In 2008, it had not used […]

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    Using big data to transform operations management: Hype, hope or has-been?

Using big data to transform operations management: Hype, hope or has-been?

The impact of technological innovation is a hot topic in the 21st century. Debates around Big Data (BD) and the technology revolution keep trending. Ignoring the scale of the social changes and organisational disruption created by the apparently exponential growth of technology and the information that has become available to individuals and organisations is impossible. Of particular interest to business […]

On family leave, companies ‘step up’ to fill the vacuum

Google the phrase “lean in,” and almost the first thing that pops up is Sheryl Sandberg’s name. No surprise there, since the Facebook COO wrote a 2013 best-seller with that title urging women to accept no limits on their talents or ambitions.

In February, Sandberg offered up another two-word exhortation: “step up.” This one was aimed at companies like the […]

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    Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

Some tech devices try but fail to make us minimize our carbon footprint

For a couple of weeks now, I am the proud owner of a wireless wrist device that tracks my physical activity, heart rate and sleep. It gives me real-time feedback and nudges me towards a healthier behaviour. Along with the device comes an app that allows me to monitor my weight, calorie- and water intake. The app further provides a […]

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    To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

To improve change management, the NHS needs to discard outdated models

Reacting to political, financial and societal pressures, the NHS is an ever-evolving organisation, with its staff experiencing change at an increasing rate. So common, change is now seen to be a fact of working life within the NHS and therefore change management a key aspect of any manager’s role.

When we talk about change management in the NHS, it is […]

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    Using third-party endorsements to build a brand’s reputation: The case of British chocolate

Using third-party endorsements to build a brand’s reputation: The case of British chocolate

Endorsement and certification of brands have hit the mainstream, being used by both small firms and large multinationals in multiple product categories. Even old established global brands, such as Cadbury Dairy and Kit Kat chocolate created by Quaker businesses, are being offered with a certification label – the Fairtrade label. But what purpose do these certification labels serve? Who […]

Dissolving the line between client and staff spaces

In corporate offices, clients traditionally occupy dedicated and contained spaces that are segregated from staff areas and amenities. These spaces are designed as microcosms for meeting and entertaining, often contained in the most desirable parts of buildings with the best views and with the most luxurious interior design. This approach carefully plans a sequence of arrival spaces and ‘protected routes’ […]

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    Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Can philosophy teach us anything about leadership and management?

Philosophy can teach us much about leadership and management, but you would not guess it from the two recent books by Robert Spillane and Jean-Etienne Joullié, Philosophy of Leadership (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Philosophical Foundations of Management Thought (Lexington). The premise of each is this: the roots of our thinking about leadership and management reach deep into ancient times, and we […]

Performance needs purpose

We’ve all met the eye-rollers. The leaders who say ‘business-is-business’ and ‘people work to get paid’. The ones who leave ‘pastoral care’ to the HR team down the hallway. Because there’s work to do and money to be made…

When it comes to engagement and motivation, they’ve got a frustratingly clear view: they’re firmly in the driver’s seat with performance-related […]

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    Increasing foreign competition pushes family members out of firms

Increasing foreign competition pushes family members out of firms

When competition from abroad increases, family firms are more likely to fire senior managers who are members of the family than those who are not relatives. What’s more, these firms are more likely to replace the unrelated managers who were fired with executives from outside the family. Meanwhile, leadership jobs previously occupied by relatives are left vacant. These are the central findings of my […]