Entries for August 2006

a reminder of cultural differences

Even within the state of Ohio, there are important cultural differences -- the ones that originate in popular culture, as experienced by people of different ages. We are well into the arrival of Generation Y on our college campuses, and this year's edition of the Beloit Mindset List allows us a small peek into the reality of our entering undergraduate students.

I wish there was a "cheat sheet" for college professors about currently popular music. I used a CD from my car as background music before my first class started on Tuesday afternoon, and the first song on the CD (not the one I wanted to play, but it started playing unbidden, before I could figure out the upgraded interface on the touchpanel that controls the classroom technology) was Russ Freeman's "Anywhere Near You" from his album drive. Within 3 seconds, my students were making jokes about "hey, it's the WAVE!" This was not the first impression that I wanted to make.

But of course, I have no idea if playing "Breaking Free" from the soundtrack for High School Musical would be more hip, or just a sad, outdated attempt at appearing to be able to connect with college sophomores.

How do generational differences become apparent to you in your workplace? What helps bridge generational differences?

welcome, first year students!

My daughter and I enjoyed the last Wade Oval Wednesday last night, featuring Revolution Pie, a Beattles cover band, and we certainly noticed the return of Case students to University Circle. To facilitate Orientation activities for Case's 1,031 newest students, there is a large tent on East Boulevard, next to Kelvin Smith Library and across from the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Welcome, to all those students, and congratulations to the Office of Undergraduate Admission staff who brought us such a diverse class!

PS -- don't miss the last Wade Oval Wednesday, coming up on 8/30, and featuring a favorite from Parade the Circle -- the Steel Drum PANic Band!

how to use voicemail productively

There's a lot I don't agree with in Guy Kawasaki's recent post, Twelve Things to Learn This School Year (yep, there are 12, even though the title is 10 things, and I'm just the kid of prof to niggle you about stuff like that). Like his point #4, suggesting that students should never make time to go to office hours or work in study groups --I disagree, quite vehemently. I also have some serious quibbles with his assumptions in #10, though I agree with his main point that learning to be a team player is important. I have NO idea who he is talking about in #11; none of MY colleagues have ever pasted textbook passages into THEIR Powerpoints...

However I definitely agree with his point #12, learn how to leave a good voicemail:

"First, slowly say your telephone number once at the beginning of your message and again at the end. You don’t want to make people playback your message to get your phone number, and if either of you are using Cingular, you may not hear all the digits. Second (and this applies to email too), always make progress. Never leave a voicemail or send an email that says, “Call me back, and I’ll tell you what time we can meet.” Just say, “Tuesday, 10:00 am, at your office.”

Finally, I absolutely agree with his concluding comment. Go, read it. Then come back here and tell me which of his points you find compelling.

Nurturing Identity, Professional Identity

In the body of this blog entry are the slides from my presentation today at the Academy of Management, with Latha Poonamallee. The presentation focuses on our ideas about how individuals develop or customize for themselves a new identity, focusing on the data from our interview study of how working professionals take on the identities of working mother and breastfeeding mother (or not).

(The study is still underway, and so if anyone viewing this entry is planning to participate in the study, we would ask you not to click through on any of the links below until after you have been interviewed. Thanks in advance!)

In the slides, there are a few links, which I am reproducing here so it is easier for readers to just click through and read the links:

Click through to read all the slides (either in PPS or in JPG), which are less about breastfeeding advocacy, and more about the experience of identity transitions...

Continue reading "Nurturing Identity, Professional Identity"

I'll be heading to Atlanta soon for the Academy of Management

I’ll be facilitating a roundtable in the ODC doctoral consortium on Saturday, and participating in the ODC board meeting on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, I’ll be giving a presentation with my colleague Latha Poonamallee as part of this symposium:

Program Session #: 676 | Submission: 12162 | Sponsor(s): (GDO, CAR)
Scheduled: Monday, Aug 14 2006 12:20PM – 2:10PM at Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Inman

She’s Having a Baby!?: The Transition to Motherhood and Working Women’s Identity and Careers

Chair: Judith A. Clair; Boston College
Chair: Danna Greenberg; Babson College
Discussant: Laura Morgan Roberts; Harvard U.

In this symposium, we explore how women make decisions about, move through, and negotiate identity and career as they consider getting pregnant, and progress through their pregnancy and childbirth at work. While as scholars we theorize about the implications of having children for women’s careers, we less commonly discuss or study this “middle period” when women move from “working woman” to “working mother.” We view this period as consequential for women in that it sets the course for the future relationship women have with their careers and organizations. In addition, we find the identity and career issues as women make decisions about and move through pregnancy (and their bodies literally “blossom” before their own and co-workers’ eyes) to be rich with possibility for theory building. In addition to building scholarly knowledge, further insight into this period of working mothers’ lives holds practical implications for women and policy makers as women’s decisions and experiences have implications for their work identities and careers. Our goal during this symposium is to spark interest among scholars to further explore the dynamics of pregnancy decision making and the movement through pregnancy and childbirth in the workplace and its implications for working women.

Better Later than Earlier? Age at First Birth and its Impact on Perceived Career Success
Author: Jamie J. Ladge; Boston College
Author: Monique Valcour; Boston College

Private to Public: Emerging Images and Identities for Pregnant Women in the Workplace
Author: Danna Greenberg; Babson College
Author: Judith A. Clair; Boston College

Nurturing Identity, Professional Identity: Breastfeeding and the Return to Paid Employment
Author: Sandy Kristin Piderit; Case Western Reserve U.
Author: Latha Poonamallee; Case Western Reserve U.

and on Tuesday my colleagues will present a paper on which I am a co-author, as part of this symposium:

Program Session #: 992 | Submission: 14998 | Sponsor(s): (GDO, CAR)
Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 15 2006 8:30AM – 10:10AM at Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Cairo

Women Above the Glass Ceiling: Collusion, Voice and Exit

Chair: Susan Mary Vinnicombe; Cranfield U.; [E-Mail This Contact]

Hewlett and Luce’s (2005) recent study suggests that women are leaving the corporate world (off-ramping is the term they use) in greater numbers than men. An alarming finding from their study is that when these women want to get back into the corporate world (on-ramp), zero per cent of those who were previously in the business sector want to return to their former employers. Such a finding indicates that the women were not happy with their experiences in their organisations. The kaleidoscope career model (Mainiero & Sullivan, 2005) suggests that women face three career issues (authenticity, balance and challenge) that they then shift for a best fit at different career stages and thereby create different patterns, much like the kaleidoscope does. In mid career women are coping with family/relational demands and hence issues of balance move into the forefront. They continue to seek challenge and authenticity, but those issues make way for the need to achieve balance. In late career, women have resolved the balance issues to a large extent and the questions of authenticity take center. They continue to wish for challenge and want balance, but authenticity moves to the forefront. Researchers seem to agree that the mid life stage involves a re-evaluation and rebalancing of both personal and professional aspects of a person’s life. However, there are very few studies that have attempted to understand the nature and components of this rebalancing act.

Women Above the Glass Ceiling: Collusion, Voice and Exit
Author: Susan Mary Vinnicombe; Cranfield U.
Author: Halla Tómasdóttir; Cranfield U.

Turning a Blind Eye: Executive Women Conforming to the Gendered Organization
Author: Nurete Leor Brenner; Case Western Reserve U.
Author: Lindsey Godwin; Case Western Reserve U.
Author: Diana Bilimoria; Case Western Reserve U.
Author: Deborah A. O’Neil; Case Western Reserve U.
Author: Sandy Kristin Piderit; Case Western Reserve U.

Women Above the Glass Ceiling: Exit
Author: Deirdre Anderson; Cranfield U.
Author: Val Singh; Cranfield U.
Author: Susan Mary Vinnicombe; Cranfield U.

Women Above the Glass Ceiling: Voice Through Women’s Corporate Networks
Author: Val Singh; Cranfield U.
Author: Susan Mary Vinnicombe; Cranfield U.
Author: Savita Kumra; Oxford Brookes U.

If anyone would like to see a copy of either presentation, please comment here, or send me an email.

Saving Peter's leg

Be sure to click through and read Kelly’s blog entry about Saving Peter’s leg. Such good work she is doing in Uganda!

See also my post from back in April about the Global Night Commute and the demonstration of support from Clevelanders. It includes links to a DVD and bracelets you can buy to support the work of IC's work in Uganda. I own a copy of the main DVD, and would be happy to lend it to anyone I know.

my colleague has promised me the last chapter...

... of our edited book on transformative cooperation by no later than August 13. I’m hoping to receive it by August 9, but we’ll see.

I just got the most reassuring email ever from the publisher, at Stanford University Press. I just need to keep being persistent, and practicing pronoia, and this book will be published in 2007.

If you would like to receive a copy of the table of contents via email, please comment on this post.

why reducing unsustainability fails

From John Ehrenfeld, a just-released Change This manifesto:

Beyond Sustainability: Why an All-Consuming Campaign to Reduce Unsustainability Fails

After a quick skim, this looks like a must-read. What do you think?

Best Buy's best bet: Results Oriented Work Environment

I missed a really interesting NPR piece while I was out of the country, focusing on how Best Buy has implemented flextime. Here's the link to the audio of Wendy Kaufman's report. (The story is just over 3 minutes long, and includes an introduction by Renée Montaigne.)

Listening to the piece makes me long to learn more about how this change is really rolling out within the company. I assume that it is overseen by the company's top HR officer, Lori Ballard. I wonder how I could get connected to her for an interview that would let me write a little mini-case for my course next spring... any suggestions?