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Content about Labor

January 11, 2013

This Wall Street Journal broadcast emphasizes the mission of higher education with military personnel. In short: Facilitate transition to civilian life, strengthen resilience, influence mission readiness.

Military skills are valuable to civilian employers. But retired Army Colonel Garland Williams tells MarketWatch Radio's Adrienne Mitchell vets need to learn how to communicate those skills to prospective employers. Click the link below for the podcast:

December 1, 2011

From a practical perspective, asking if an organization that fits its environment will perform better than an organization that does not seems to make as much sense as asking if an individual who is qualified for a job will perform better than a person who is not. However, in the world of organizational studies, structural contingency researchers give considerable thought to understanding the environmental factors that influence organizational effectiveness, while often failing to prove a connection between fit and performance (March & Sutton, 1997) and not adequately considering managerial choice as a factor driving organizational fit. Contingency theorists argue that an organization that adapts to its environment will perform better than an organization that does not (Donaldson, 1996) and that mismatched characteristics within organizational configurations will prevent an organization from achieving natural harmony with its environment that will lead to better performance (Mitzberg, 1981). 

October 21, 2011

For as long as we have been around, humans have organized to survive, accomplish goals, build societies, and win battles. Even though organizations played an increasingly definitive role in human activity as history advanced, organizational theory did not emerge as a field of inquiry until the mid twentieth century. Since then a confusing array of disparate perspectives have emerged to compete for attention in a fractious field. Some of these competing views seem to prove partially valid in some situations, but most have failed to meet the demands of empirical analysis and increasingly dynamic environments (David & Marquis, 2005). Today, organizational theorists attempt to provide people with ways to understand, predict, and influence behavior in organizations (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005) by adapting flexible frameworks that can explain dynamic organizations in dynamic environments. 

August 23, 2011

Decades of research into student attrition offers a bevy of conflicting causes and cures for dropouts. However, the consistent factor most research identifies as a key antecedent to student persistence is faculty.

Considering the faculty connection to student persistence, the University of Phoenix College of Undergraduate Business and Management (UBAM or college) conducted internal research to determine best practices for fostering adult-student goal commitment at its San Francisco Bay Area campus. This paper reviews key lessons and limitations the current attrition literature offers for meeting student persistence initiatives in adult higher education environments, summarizes results from focus group research into best practices for helping adult students to achieve academic goals, and proposes research projects for discovering antecedents to adult-student persistence.

Decades   of research into student attrition offers a bevy of conflicting causes and cures for dropouts. However, the consistent factor most research identifies as a key antecedent to student persistence is faculty.

June 29, 2011

Organizational development practitioners are shifting from episodic change to continuous change process to enhance adaptability in increasingly turbulent environments. Although some researchers tend to present episodic and continuous change processes as mutually exclusive, both appear to be different perspectives on the same phenomena. Episodic change processes provide a macro level perspective on planned processes leaders implement to address failings, threats, or opportunities. Continuous change provides a micro level perspective on the unplanned changed processes that naturally occur through the dynamic interaction of people, process, technology, and environment. This paper compares analyzes episodic and continuous perspectives on change, concluding that understanding the definition, theoretical foundations, and practical applications of both provides leaders with a more complete picture of change that helps them to more effectively manage adaptability in turbulent environments.

June 28, 2011

Historical approaches to planned change typically offer prepackaged processes for driving changes to achieve organizational goals. However, the complexity of dynamically interacting and divergent forces at work in and around organizations limit the possibility of selecting one single approach for a change intervention. Seo, Putnam, and Bartunek (2004) offer the concepts of duality and tension to explain the dynamics of change and the implications of divergent approaches to change. A dichotomous perspective does not adequately represent reality, but dualities serve a valuable function for helping change practitioners to understand that managing duality is a key to “grasping the complexities and dynamics of planned change” (p. 102). To understand the key perspectives that have guided OD, I will consider key OD perspectives through the concept of dualities. I will then consider central debates and assumptions of OD change approaches against the duality and tension framework suggested by Seo, et al, and will conclude by suggesting that a dichotomous perspective can be limiting, but offers a way to understand how to balance multiple dualities that underlie complex change dynamics.

June 1, 2011

In "Organizational design: fashion or fit," Henry Mintzberg (1981) explores the natural configurations of organizations that result from elements of structure and situation to discover that consistency, coherence, and fit are the keys to successful organizational design. Mintzberg asserts that problems in organizational design come from two mistaken assumptions: 1) that organizations are alike, and 2) that effective organizations have coherent component parts. Rather, organizational characteristics fall into natural configurations, which are simple structure, machine bureaucracy, professional bureaucracy, divisionalized form, and adhocracy. Mismatched characteristics within these configurations will prevent an organization from achieving a natural harmony. To design effective organizations, managers must achieve a proper fit of organizational characteristics. This précis  will summarize Mintzberg’s article to find how harmonizing organizational parts may lead to organizational success.

May 17, 2011

Neuroscience is demonstrating that theorists like Freud, Piaget, and Erikson were wrong when they concluded that adulthood marked the end of development and the beginning of decline to death. To the contrary, emerging discoveries are showing how adulthood is a time of new possibility with immense potential to nurture.

April 29, 2011

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January 14, 2011

Regardless of his pioneering role in revolutionizing psychology in the second half of the 20th century, Abraham Maslow seems to have become a regular target of both criticism and disregard in academic and scientific circles. This rejection invites inquiry into why controversy surrounds one man's vision for a psychology to help people grow toward and transcend "full humanness". This paper reviews Maslow's needs theory against modern perceptions and criticisms, discovers a seeming disconnect between Maslow and his interpreters, and proposes a new perspective on Maslow that might align textbooks with Maslow's intent so researchers can attempt to measure a holistic dynamic process rather than a rigid and fallacious metaphor.

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