Equality v. Twitter

By Michael Johnson (PhD Student at UMass Boston, OSC Track).

Are you kidding me? You mean to tell me there isn’t at least one highly qualified female in the United States who could serve on Twitter’s board of directors? Many people have asked this question over the past few weeks. And yes, at least according to Twitter CEO Dick Costoloit, no qualified females are available for this position.

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Blogging Highlights: Occupy and Boost Revolution

This week, we recommend articles that touch upon organizational miscues and what they can learn from each other and a ‘Boost’ to business models.

The Occupy movement could have learned a thing or two from the Civil Rights Movement (CRM):  The Occupy movement, with all its zeal and popularity, allegedly had vague goals, little political buy in and an undefined end game strategy.   The CRM, in contrast, did have defined goals including equality in education, with strong political support to achieve racial equality.  Essentially the CRM, according to orgtheory.net ‘s article did the occupy movement reject the civil rights movement? “was… highly bureaucratic in that they set a vast apparatus (the SCLC) to collect funds, conduct litigation, and distribute resources.”  The CRM adopted a structured organizational model that served them well, whereas the Occupy movement deliberately chose to be fragmented and decentralized; perhaps to their detriment.

The Boost Revolution: What would happen if a company shared ideas with its competitors, explained its strategic thought processes on social media and gave away certain services and products?  According to C.V. Harquail, this is a recipe for success.  In her TED talk and on her blog , she explains the profitable virtues of becoming a Boost company, which are based on three principles: 1. Boost relationships by turning competitors into partners through a shared community of commerce. 2.  Boost skills by ‘working through problems out load’ on social media to share problems and solutions.  3. Boost products through ‘compound gifting’ by giving away certain products and features.  Sounds strange?  Maybe, but as she points out it has worked for many companies including Etsy, Dropbox, and AirBnB.

Lost in Publication: Why we are losing knowledge while gaining publications in organizational research

By Suhaib Riaz.

The scenario is familiar to most organizational scholars who regularly attend academic conferences, seminars, workshops etc. in our field. You walk in to a session with seemingly interesting topics and scholars, and settle in for an inspiring scientific conversation. Except that it doesn’t happen. Something stops everyone from that conversation: Publication. What should have been a conversation about knowledge-seeking quickly turns into a conversation on publication strategies.

The problem is so endemic that it is accepted as common practice; the stark contrast is only made apparent when one compares norms with other disciplines, such as the natural sciences. When I talk to scholars in natural sciences about the importance of discussions on ‘publication strategies’ in their field, I encounter genuine surprise and a polite request to explain what I mean. Apparently, in their sessions, the primary conversation is about how to get better research done. Not how to get it published. The latter remains a distant endnote. Importantly, this distinction in conversations exists despite the fact that the natural sciences are also grappling with various pressures related to productivity.

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21st-Century Company Town: The End of Privacy?

By Michael Johnson (PhD Student at UMass Boston, OSC Track).

Would you want to live just footsteps away from work? The question stayed in my mind as I read the recent Wall Street Journal article about Facebook’s plans to build a “394-unit housing community within walking distance of its offices” that will include amenities such as an “on-site café, convenience store, resort-inspired pool, rooftop entertainment deck, etc.” (Albergotti).  Facebook corporate headquarters are located in Menlo Park, CA, an area with high real estate values and a shortage of housing.  The lure of a one-stop work-life environment can be incredibly attractive to today’s workers who want a company that is accommodating to both their personal and professional needs.  With many companies vying to attract and retain talent, Facebook is taking a popular strategy to a new level.

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Tough Times…Britney says, “Work B#tch!”

By Nick Stewart (PhD Student at UMass Boston, OSC Track).

You better work b#tch, you better work b#tch,
Now get to work b#tch!

Britney Spears, lyrics from her new song…you guessed it! “Work B#tch”

Through the penmanship and performance of politically pointed music or through visible endorsements of political campaigns and nonprofit organizations, celebrity entertainers have a long history of engaging in the arena of politics and social issues. In 1939, Billie Holiday made use of symbolic imagery to comment on racism and lynching through the song “Strange Fruit”. Recently, rapper Macklemore tackled issues surrounding same-sex marriage and homophobia through performance of the song “Same Love”. Marketers can attest to the power of endorsing ideas, political or not, by those with elite social status. Britney Spears is unquestionably one of the most internationally recognized entertainers alive today (both famous and infamous). Spears, oh I can’t help it, Britney, has a forthcoming album which launched a promotional single recently. Her new song “Work B#tch” has hit the airwaves.

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