Entries in "teaching"

December 31, 2007

my first 2008 trip to Cleveland

I'll be in Cleveland Jan 7-15, 2008. Places you might find me:

* at the Peter B. Lewis building on the Case campus, for work
* at Sergio's or That Place on Bellflower
* at Phoenix on Lee for tea on my birthday
* at the UUSC on Saturday night for Joe Jencks concert
* at a doctoral student's final qualifying meeting
* headed back to the airport after lunch on the 15th

June 21, 2007

benefits of daily writing

Liz Strauss has written a neat post on reasons to write which echoes my post from a while back about why I ask students to blog. Although management is often described as primarily an oral craft, I continue to insist to my students that the ability to write well is a great ace in the whole. That skill impresses others who value critical thinking and attention to detail, helps one make a good first impression, and sharpens the ability to think analytically and critically. All this is true not just for current students, but also for those who are already in the workplace. If you're not happy with your writing skills, then take Liz Strauss' advice, and begin a daily practice -- it can only yield positive rewards!

May 20, 2007

academic rhythms

Last month, one of my old posts which received a very high number of hits was the one on work rhythms of academic and professional life. As a followup, I thought I'd write a bit about why I haven't posted in about a month, and comment on the academic rhythms of the end of the semester.

In a nutshell: students don't realize that when they finish their final papers and exams and presentations, a professor's work has just begun!

My last post was April 10. On April 12, the drumrolls of grading began, as my first student teams began delivering presentations to their classes about their final projects. This required that I send each team feedback on their presentations after class -- emails that require tactful phrasing, indeed.

By April 19, I began receiving end-of-semester papers. While I am fortunate to have teaching assistants for both of my courses, I still need to be involved in the grading process, which also takes time.

Classes ended on April 26. Then I needed to pull together my grading spreadsheets, deciding on a final point scheme for class participation, and resolving any problems with missing grades (it always happens, and not just because a student didn't hand anything in). By this point, I also had to deal with two teams in which the members gave each other less-than-satisfactory peer appraisals -- which means that I had to talk to everyone on each of those teams. This is no easy matter when students are cramming for finals and don't want to take time out to visit with a professor in her office.

I extended the deadline for final papers in one of my classes until April 30, which meant that the TA and I had less time to turn them around and get grades back to the students. On May 5 and May 7, those same students delivered presentations to their classmates in lieu of a final exam. There were 26 presentations in all over the 2 dates, and I had to grade all of those and enter the scores into Blackboard (our online course management system.) I finally filed grades on May 14.

For the rest of last week, I took time off, recuperating from the push of four 60-hour weeks in a row. While 60 hours of work in a week didn't seem like a huge burden when I was a college junior taking 21 credits, that was almost half a lifetime ago. Perhaps I'm also wiser, in recognizing the need for my body and my brain to recuperate after running such a mental marathon.

And if anyone comments to me that "it must be nice to have the summer off" I may just bite off their head. The ambitious list of papers to write and projects to wrap up that I composed in early January will be coming back to haunt me this summer. It is nice to be able to work at a coffeeshop or at the library or out on our screened porch, but I definitely have work to do this summer, and less time off than I'd like.

April 02, 2007

Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value

I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)

I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)

The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.

Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.

At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.

November 10, 2006

a noble profession

Which is the most noble of professions? Certainly, medicine is a top contender -- and one of the reasons is the Hippocratic Oath. In the next 100 years, though, it's possible that management will give medicine "a run for its money", so to speak. Here's a quote from my colleague, Julia Grant:

"all business schools are under an imperative to try to get better at teaching strong ethics, at teaching strong business values that do have to do with creating a better world. Business cannot be just about profit."
(from Peter Krouse's October 28 article in the Plain Dealer, "Honor among managers")

The dean of Thunderbird, the Garvin School of International Management, told the story of Thunderbird's new oath during the BAWB conference in Cleveland last month. Some are skeptical about the ability of a voluntary oath taken by students at one management school to change the practices of managers around the world. Normally, I'm known for my skepticism. In this instance, though, I believe it's more important to match the high intent of those students with practical actions which will reinforce their intent.

I'm lining up beside those recent Thunderbird graduates who signed their oath, and beside any Weatherhead students who will draft and then sign our own version. I will do whatever I can to make management practice more ethical, day by day, so that we can truly say, 100 years from now, that management is a noble profession.

November 06, 2006

responsible capitalism and ethical behavior in the face of discrimination

One of my posts from last spring which gets a lot of traffic is on responsible capitalism and ESOPs. This morning I decided that I wanted to reinforce the connections between responsible capitalism and individual proactive behavior in organizations.

What is responsible capitalism? William Pfaff wrote about it in 2002 in the International Herald Tribune (and Common Dreams provides the text online). He provides a history lesson, distinguishing responsible capitalism from the popular capitalism that was championed by Henry Ford. Responsible capitalism is about more than simply paying workers well so that they can afford to buy the products they make in their workplaces. It is about decisions for the long-term benefit of all, rather than for the quarterly earnings reports. It probably even involves regulation of businesses, rather than assuming that the invisible hand will always reward the companies which act ethically.

In business schools, there is a trend to return to the teaching of ethics. We now realize, after Enron and Worldcom and other scandals, that we have not done enough. It is not enough to assume that all our students have already learned the Golden Rule. It is not enough to mention ethics at the beginning of the semester. It's not even enough to address it through one required course in the MBA curriculum dedicated to ethics in business.

I have always discussed ethical issues in my teaching of organizational behavior, and I'm sure that I will continue to improve the effectiveness of those discussions. Last week, in MGMT 250, both class sessions were focused on ethics.

Click through to read more about students' responses to Thursday's class session.

Continue reading "responsible capitalism and ethical behavior in the face of discrimination"

October 20, 2006

Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs

This is a quick, reflective post in the role of the web in general, and blogs in particular, in how adults learn, make and keep connections to friends and family, and get things done (both for heir hobbies and avocations and in their paid work).

Yesterday, I taught a MGMT 250 class session on the training design process. Twelve different student teams prepared and delivered 3-minute impromptu speeches on different training methods. The list of 12 different methods included: distance learning, learning portals, and at least one other method that involved the use of technology in some way. I was really struck by how differently this semester's group of 40 students respond to the different training options, in terms of their perceived advantages and disadvantages, than the group of students I taught back in 1998 or 1999 when I first came to Case Western Reserve.

I think I first started using blogs as one way of getting students to capture and share their reflections with me and with their classmates sometime around 2002 or 2003. Lots more students, this fall, have some previous experience with blogging. But there are still some who don't blog, and may not read any blogs on a regular basis. At the other end of the spectrum, there have been a few students in my class who were very internet-savvy in high school, learned to do web design for fun, and then converted their new skills into a way to make money. Things are clearly changing.

And yet, our local paper of record still seems to portray the dominant culture image of blogs -- they're just personal diaries on the web, they're not worth reading, they aren't going to change the entire media industry.... all while developing their own site for the newspaper, which now includes blogs by a few reporters.

I just came across Mena Trott's blog recently (click through to read more)

And will someone please post a comment on this entry, so I can be reassured that the Blog@Case spamfilter isn't overfunctioning again?

Continue reading "Mena Trott evangelizes personal blogs"

September 08, 2006

Another semester of students begin a blogging experiment

Yesterday, Jeremy Smith gave a fabulous presentation on blogging using the Blog@Case system to interested students in MGMT 250 and 251 this fall. He discussed why it is useful for professionals to maintain a blog, explaining the merits of controlling one's online brand. He also walked through how to start up a blog on the Blog@Case system, how to categorize or tag a blog entry, and how to manage comment spam. Many thanks to Jeremy for a well-organized, crisp, and informative presentation!

If any of my readers are interested in following the MGMT 250 students' blog entries, here's a link that will aggregate all entries that are tagged "MGMT250" (note the lack of space in that tag): topic=MGMT250

Here is the equivalent link for students in MGMT 251: topic=MGMT251. This fall, students in 251 will be starting topical blogs, in pairs or trios... the assignment has been modified slightly, so that there will be more than one student contributing on the same approved topic. I hope that the added number of entries on the same topic will help students find ways to draw traffic to their blogs. I will post later in the semester introducing the topic of each of those focused blogs, once they have an initial effort at relevant entries under their belts.

If you are curious about why I encourage my students to learn how to blog, you might be interested in reading this entry of mine from about one year ago.

September 04, 2006

changing the world, and expanding academia along the way

The past graduates of the Ph.D. program in organizational behavior are certainly impressive. You may have read recently about the two projects on which I collaborated with current students, recent graduates, and colleagues, which were presented at the Academy of Management in Atlanta. Last fall, I wrote a little about working with recent graduate Ned Powley, who taught two sections of MGMT 250. (This fall he will be joining Leslie Sekerka and Frank Barrett, also graduates of our Ph.D. program, on the faculty at the Monterrey Naval Postgraduate School.) In May, I participated in the graduation ceremony for Latha Poonamallee, who will be "CEO" for the simulated companies in MGMT 250 this fall, and who is also teaching two SAGES First Seminars in the Case undergraduate program. She is also my collaborator in the founding of NEOBEAN. Our recent graduates are certainly poised to change the world through their teaching, writing, and activism.

So too are our current Ph.D. students. For example, one of our students, Bonnie Richley-Cody, has coauthored a very exciting book.

Continue reading "changing the world, and expanding academia along the way"

August 23, 2006

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.

July 28, 2006

online impression management

I attended a UCITE seminar yesterday given by Jeremy Smith and Heidi Cool. It included a brief overview of how to use websites and blogs to help raise your online professional profile. While the audience for the session was primarily faculty and administrators, I believe that much of the same ideas apply for management students.

Jeremy promises an audio file of the session soon, and I hope my students will listen to his pitch, which focuses on the importance of understanding and shaping the information that potential employers will find about you if they google you before inviting you in for a job interview. Many students do not understand that things they write on their social blogs or on facebook may be visible to employers and help shape others' impressions of them.

Heidi has also provided some useful tutorials on the Web Development blog, including this on how to learn HTML and this followup on how she completed her suggested homework assignment. Heidi has also made a number of other valuable contributions to the Web Development blog, so if you are thinking about developing your own website, be sure to poke around!

What do you think -- is it important for a prospective employee to have an online presence? Why or why not? Do you google prospective employees? When and why?

April 28, 2006

farewell, MGMT 251 students

Yesterday was the last class of the semester for both sections of MGMT 251 students. As is our tradition, the teaching team spent most of the class session listening to students give "one minute speeches" in which they identify highlights of the course experience, and recognize classmates who contributed to their learning.

For many of the students, their team project performing an analysis of a local company as a potential employer was a highlight. Some students noted how much hope they felt about learning that the Cleveland area is still home to so many different types of employers that appeal to their desires for career opportunities and positive workplace cultures. The companies that were profiled included...

Continue reading "farewell, MGMT 251 students"

April 19, 2006

managing impressions online

There's a recent thread in the Case Forums protesting the actions of a university staff member who has apparently used photos posted on Facebook as evidence in writing up a student for underage drinking. Case is by no means the first organization to use Facebook material as evidence... see this Wikipedia entry. It just brings home to me again how important it will be for us to make sure that future students understand the need to present themselves professionally when online.

April 10, 2006

how do you track your progress toward your goals?

No time for part 2 of the Anne Lamott blog today -- sorry. Things are humming in my life, but I'm hoping to find time tomorrow to write up my thoughts, before the vividness of the experience fades!

In the meantime, let me briefly mention that I have been experimenting lately (as you can see from the righthand column of my blog) with an online service called 43 things. On Thursday I will introduce it to my students in class, as a way of helping them to make sense of why the plans they set up for themselves last December may not have worked as intended -- and of helping them to stay focused on their goals, keep track of their progress, and give themselves credit for their accomplishments.

I really like the 43things system, even though it's less structured than a Getting Things Done approach or a Covey Seven Habits approach. For students who are online all the time, often from different computers, I think that using this kind of organizing might work even better than keeping a paper planner.

I'd be curious to learn how my readers track progress toward their goals.

  • Do you use a paper planner?
  • Do you keep your calendar on your computer?
  • Is it online so that you can access it from several different computers?
  • Or do you sync your computer with a Palm or other handheld, or with a cellphone or something?
  • How do you schedule things into your planner in a way that allows you to give priority to important but not always urgent tasks?
  • When you feel yourself getting into a cycle of fighting fires, how do you choose to respond so that you retain a sense of efficacy?

March 31, 2006

lectures via iTunes?

Jeremy Smith writes that Case has been accepted into Apple's iTunes University program, which sounds exciting... as long as it doesn't mean that students stop coming to my class.

I think this is great for large lecture classes, where students might not always get a chance to ask questions. For discussion oriented classes, though, nothing can really substitute for being in the room as the discussion happens. That's why I disagree with the highlighted principle in this teaching manifesto", which asserts that professors should not force or blackmail students "into coming to class through devices such as sign-up registers, pop-quizzes, unavailability of class material in print, etc. Design the course such that students who prefer so can follow the course without attending any lectures." I would argue that the way around that dilemma, at least in classes of under 50 students or so, is simply to avoid lecturing. Instead, work on problems, discuss cases, let students ask questions... then it is worth their while to come to class, and the incentives that you give them just provide some encouragement for doing so.

February 18, 2006

innovations in motivating employees

This is the second of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is optional, and tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.

The second student I am highlighting is David Hastings, whose blog will focus on Innovations in Motivation. He has made two entries so far, and has generated a total of seven comments, which is impressive! Please click through to read his thoughts on businesses that buy lunch or dinner for employees. Do you have any suggestions about techniques your employer has used to try to motivate you? Whether they have fired you up or burned you out, David wants to know about them. Read his entry on perks and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The first entry in my series highlighting students' blogs, which mentions Danny Pho's Exciting Companies in Northeast Ohio, is here. Did anyone guess the answer to his teaser post about a technology company based in Northeast Ohio, with employees working in Europe, Japan, and other foreign locations? Here's a hint. Click through to read his entry and give him any comments you have about this company.

February 15, 2006

NEO's exciting companies

This is the first of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.

The first student I'm highlighting is Danny Pho, who has chosen to focus on exciting companies in Northeast Ohio. As a native of the area, Danny wants to reverse the negative self-talk that he has heard for most of his life about Cleveland, and demonstrate to his fellow 20somethings that there are really cool places to get a job in Northeast Ohio.

Do you have suggestions for him about companies he could profile? Are you looking for a little free publicity about your company, which might help you recruit some outstanding Case students in a year or two when they graduate? Would you be willing to talk with Danny by phone, or meet him at Arabica? Please leave him a comment and welcome him to the blogosphere.

December 23, 2005

People will listen when they're ready... above all, listen.

"People will listen when they're ready to listen and not before. Probably, once upon a time, you weren't ready to listen to an idea than now seems to you obvious, even urgent. Let people come to it in their own time. Nagging or bullying will only alienate them. Don't preach. Don't waste time with people who want to argue. They'll keep you immobilized forever. Look for people who are already open to something new.

When presenting a new idea, you don't have to have all the answers. It's better to say 'I don't know' than to fake it. Make people formulate their own questions. Don't take on the responsibility of figuring out what their difficulty is. We each internalize information differently. If you don't understand a question, keep insisting they explain it until it's clear. Nine times out of ten they'll supply the answer themselves.

Above all, listen. Your close attention is sometimes more important than your articulateness in winning converts. And learning is always a good thing."

-- Daniel Quinn

October 12, 2005

article about SAGES in the Observer

There was an article in the campus newspaper last Friday with two key words in the headline: SAGES and disappointing. I could not get a sense of how typical the varied reactions to the program have been, though it seems important to find out. It might be easy to dismiss student complaints about the program as just stemming from Case's broader student culture of criticism and complaint, but it's hard to say whether the squeaky wheels are attracting the reporter's attention, or if there are not many students out there singing the praises of their First Seminar instructors.

If SAGES is a change initiative, bumps along the road to implementation are to be expected. How do we make sense of this feedback? Do we need to adjust our marketing so that it gives more of a sense of realistic preview? Do we need to provide more training and support to SAGES instructors? Do we need to surface the enthusiastic voices so that they cannot drown out the naysayers? This would make an interesting consulting project for an action research team.

August 25, 2005

I'm not the only one experimenting....

Youngjin Yoo will also be using blogs again in his classes this fall, and he's also teaching a hybrid online/face-to-face Saturday MBA course.

Short blog entry today because I want to get some more research done before I meet our new MGMT 250 students next Tuesday!

August 24, 2005

what is it about college that helps students learn?

Oops, I missed two full weekdays of blogging? To be honest, I've been holed up in the library, getting up to speed on the literature in developmental psychology and adult learning and development. I'm writing a research proposal to gather data on the general topic, "what is it about college that helps students learn?" Specifically, I'm applying for approval from the Case IRB to analyze which elements of the MGMT 250-251 course sequence have the most powerful impact on students. I want to know how much students are improving in their critical thinking skills, systems thinking skills, and emotional intelligence. Do they really become self-directed learners by the end of their sophomore year? If so, what is it about their experience which helps them to develop, and if not, what else might we try so that they will gain the skills needed to be self-directed learners?

So far, the most useful resource has been the book In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life, by Robert Kegan. Kegan proposes a developmental model for human beings, and asserts that by the end of adolescence, most of us are firmly beyond the second stage of development of our consciousness. We enter into college at the time when we should be solidifying our grasp on the third stage, or order of consciousness, which Kegan calls "traditionalism" ( see figure 9.1, pp. 314-315 in In Over Our Heads). My aim for our undergraduates in management is that by the end of four years of college, they should have a firm grasp of traditionalism, and be moving beyond it into the fourth order of consciousness, "modernism" in Kegan's framework.

The thing is, Kegan's ongoing studies show that most people are not at this forth order of consciousness when they enter graduate programs, even if they are in their thirties or forties. So my dilemma is whether I am setting expectations too high for our undergraduates, or whether we as a society are not setting expectations high enough?

It's a very valuable exercise, to be framing this research. It is pushing me to be explicit about the kinds of skills I expect our undergraduates to be developing, not just in laypersons' terms, but in terms of what scholars have concluded are common patterns of intellectual and moral development.

August 02, 2005

Deye mon gen mon

"Deye mon gen mon" is Haitian saying which translates as "beyond mountains there are mountains" and the saying is explained in this way: "as you solve one problem, another problem appears, and so you go on and try to solve that one too."

Mountains Beyond Mountains is a book by Tracy Kidder which tells the story of Paul Farmer, a doctor who works at Harvard and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and at Zamni Lasante, a clinic he founded in the mountains of Haiti.

This book was selected as a common reading for the Case community for the coming academic year, the fourth year of our common reading program. My colleagues selected this book to inspire, I am sure; Case is involved in a variety of ways in fighting poverty and disease, and recently won a multi-million-dollar grant to do research on fighting tuberculosis, and there is much work left to be done. First-year students were invited to submit essays in response to several prompts, and upperclass students were invited to address equally tough questions.

I will be taking the book with me on vacation for a slow rereading, since it was almost too intense to absorb on my first read, back in June. [I did eventually write up an answer to an essay question; see my post from several months after this one, on my areas of moral clarity.]

By the way, this idea of a common reading is not Case's innovation. Duke students were invited to read the same book last summer, and this year Case students will be joined in spirit by members of the LaRoche College community in Pittsburgh, by campus residents at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and by first-year students at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, among others.

July 18, 2005

internet soap operas and academic integrity

I have not been involved in new student orientation this year, for the first time in several years, and it feels strange to be denying myself the pleasure of advising incoming first-year undergraduates about course selections. So it is that I learned by reading my RSS feed of Planet Case that incoming students like Colin Slater are being introduced both to Blog@Case and to conversations about academic integrity by watching tv or movie excerpts (48 Hours for Colin, and Cheaters for one of the other new students who commented on Colin's post).

I came across Colin's post on Saturday, and when I came back to it this morning, it was after reading this old Wired article from May 1997 about the internet soap opera that was the early years of the WELL. The article is looooong, with hints of the essence of more recent internet phenomena like Meetup, Livejournal, and delicious, and it made me long for the same kind of rich insider history to be written about the Cleveland Freenet, which was a part of my online initiation back in the late 80s when I was a Case undergraduate. (There's a brief history of CFN here.) What I realized is that the history of another online community is being made as you read and comment -- the history of Blog@Case, which allows a management professor to welcome a new freshman to campus without even meeting him in person.

One of the premises of the early life of the WELL community is that electronic conversation flows better when the people engaging in the conversation online occasionally meet in person also. I hope that Colin and I will run into one another on campus sooner or later... we might discuss academic integrity, or what it takes to make a healthy blog community. Perhaps he'll share his opinion on Bruce Katz's statement (commenting on his firing of a prominent WELL employee) that "I do not believe that everyone knowing everything about everyone is a necessary condition for community." I expect that the incoming class of 2009 can teach older generations like mine a fair amount about the finer points of participating in the blogosphere and other online communities.

I am pleased to learn that we are introducing our newest students to the principles of academic integrity via a conversation, rather than a simple statement of expectations. This choice makes clear that there is more to academic integrity than avoiding plagiarism or cheating. It suggests that students are our partners in upholding a key value of our academic community -- the value of honoring the contributions that others make to our learning, by giving credit to them for the ideas they have authored, and not claiming authorship for ideas that are not our own. I hope that students will also learn that part of demonstrating academic integrity is refraining from expressing ideas as your own if you do not actually believe them. Holding onto a dissenting opinion and elaborating on it in a constructive way is part of how knowledge grows... saying what you think the teacher wants to hear just to get a good grade is not.

July 05, 2005

Vanderbilt follows my lead

The dean of Vanderbilt's business school invited all his MBA students to read Tempered Radicals this summer, according to this Business Week article. The book is based on interviews conducted and analyzed by Debra Meyerson with individuals who exerted quiet leadership within corporations, finding ways to express their personal values and identity within businesses' supposedly impersonal domains.

The spring of 2004 is the last time I offered students the option to read this book for class credit, and their reactions were very interesting. Some students were surprised that the businesspeople interviewed in the book were willing to stay with their company because of the small battles they had to fight to have their beliefs recognized as valid. Others were unable to imagine being in the minority for any reason. Undergraduates truly do span a range in their desire for conformity or uniqueness.

The theme of changing an organization based on principled action from the inside is an important one, and I'm glad to know that Meyerson's book is still receiving endorsements in high places.

April 07, 2005

here's an update from Duke on their iPod experiment...

... which it sounds like we at Case could learn from. Read the update by a blogger who works in Student Affairs at Duke!

March 11, 2005

A little bit of background

What would you like to know about Prof. Piderit? Here's what I can tell you for now:

As of March, 2005, I was an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management at CASE, in Cleveland, Ohio. I do research on how to make businesses and other organizations more humane and productive, and I teach primarily in our undergraduate and PhD programs.

At that time my blog's tagline read "where she will blog, if she gets promoted" which shows that I was a little bit insecure about the fact that I was still only an assistant professor. We have a long tenure clock at Weatherhead (up to 9 years), and I have had a few years that didn't count on my clock, so I went up for promotion to associate professor without tenure in the summer of 2005. The promotion finally went through in the summer of 2006, which means that I'll be eligible for tenure sometime before the summer of 2009. Given that I came back to campus and began teaching in 1998, it sometimes feels like I'm "behind" my peers, but I try to reassure myself that "slow and steady wins the race" because I would really like to remain in this community.

My research website is hopelessly outdated, although my faculty profile has some updated information about completed projects, and my NEOBEAN site is developing nicely. NEOBEAN is a major action research project of mine, along with the other co-founder, Latha Poonamallee.

I'm on Ryze, and also on LinkedIn.

I blogged on livejournal for a few years before the Blog@Case platform was created at Case Western, and some of my old entries there demonstrate that I like to read, and not just business books. Another entry shows that I sometimes participate in internet memes, like the "100 things about me" meme.

I'm a wife, mother, cat-lover, and Cleveland Heights resident, so I may occasionally write posts in this blog about marriages, babies, and other significant community events that are not directly career related.

Oh, and I blog so much because I'm an insomniac and we have high-speed wireless in our home, so I can cuddle up with the cats and the laptop in the wee hours of the morning and do some warmup writing before moving on to my almost neverending list of writing, research, and teaching tasks. I have even, in the past, required my students to blog -- here's why -- or offered them the opportunity to blog about a specific busines topic, as a way of developing an online brand of expertise. Here are some examples of their work: here, and and here.

I also experiment with the use of other online tools to help my students learn managerial skills, like goal setting and progress tracking. In fact, I use the 43 things website myself -- here are my goals.

March 02, 2005

Another professor writes about getting students blogging

I found this guy, from the University of Michigan's IS department, via the Scobleizer.