Entries for June 2006

book in development: impacts of gender equity

I just read my copy of the newsletter for the Gender, Diversity, and Organizations division of the Academy of Management, which mentioned a very interesting new book which is in the development stages. It's called Living Life: Stories of Women, Men and Changing Roles in the 20th Century. The premise of the project is that stories about the progress of gender equity need to be told so that we can both cherish and protect these gains.

Click through on the book title to read more! There is an online survey that you can complete to share your stories with the project directors.

rethinking the pre-tenure process

A friend emailed me a link to a very interesting blog entry in an academic librarian's blog, commenting on the significant stresses that seem to descend on librarians pursuing tenure. Steven J. Bell asks an important question in his entry:

"Admittedly, the tenure track and its associated pressures are all about weeding out under performers to create an academic organization that benefits from having the best of the best. But what can be done to allow those on the tenure track to enjoy the process of research and publication, the way it was meant to be be experienced, without being made to feel as if they are on a vicious treadmill"?

I think it's time for this question to be asked in business schools as well. Some of the suggestions that Bell advocates for academic librarians might also be relevant in the b-school context, but we will have to come up with other remedies on our own.

I know that when the Weatherhead School here at Case extended the tenure clock from 6 to 9 years, one of the arguments for doing so was that the time that papers spent in review before being accepted for publication, and the time between acceptance and actual publication, had been increasing for the major journals in our field. I wonder, though, if this response of simply accepting the lengthening lead times and postponing the decision about a scholar's quality was really the wise choice. Perhaps we could instead lobby the major journals to set up a quick-response reviewing process, for those papers with authors who are untenured? Perhaps those papers could be given priority when moving from acceptance to publication? Since I have never edited a journal, I have no idea whether or not this kind of proposal would be considered realistic.

encouraging men to use flexible work policies

Lisa Belkin's column of June 18 in the New York Times provides a very interesting update on the efforts of a consortium of employers to share ideas about retaining and promoting qualified women professionals. The idea that I found the most creative was the reframing of flexible work policies which allow Lehman employees to work from home -- the policy is now framed to appeal to employees' patriotism, suggesting that testing work-from-home technology helps the company be prepared for another terrorist attack.

It'll be interesting to follow the initiatives that Belkin describes to see if they have the desired effects!

rare, but valuable

So, did anyone notice that I have not slipped back into anything approaching my old daily posting rhythm, since my return from Switzerland? I have been trying to build some new and healthier habits, which require spending less time with a laptop, and my posting frequency has suffered as a result. I may never return to daily postings, though -- thanks to Jim Eastman at Wine and Politics for posting a link to this entry at MarketingProfs.com about why blog post frequency is no big deal anymore. I find the reasons advanced in the entry for posting only when I have something important to say to my target audiences very persuasive!