So many great movies are coming out this summer! As a big Star Wars and Marvel fan, I’m (of course) excited for the new Han Solo and Avengers movies. But I’m perhaps even more excited about the new Jurassic World movie. I loved the last film that came out a few years ago and am a fan of the entire Jurassic series.
Those who have read my blogs or have taken my classes know that I love to relate popular culture to organizational behavior, leadership and management concepts. For example, recently I facilitated a discussion for Saint Vincent’s Benedictine Leadership Studies program in which we explored transformational and servant leadership in the film Wonder Woman (Jenkins, 2017). I love watching movies and TV shows to see illustrations of concepts that I study and discuss in class. Music is also a big passion of mine, and I am often inspired by that as well (in a previous blog, I wrote about musicians Glenn Miller and Kenny Rogers in relation to leadership).
Most Ph.D. programs require that doctoral candidates pass a comprehensive exam prior to writing their dissertation. Ph.D. stands for “doctor of philosophy” and the “philosophy” that the doctoral candidate studies is typically the viewpoint of a particular specific academic discipline. In my case, I studied the “philosophy” of the management and organizational behavior (with concentrations in human resources and communication) academic disciplines at the University of Cincinnati. In my program, our comprehensive exams were structured like this: students chose to answer one of two questions in a secondary sub-field within management and two of three questions in their primary area of study within management. Students had four hours to answer each question and this portion of the exam took two days. Mid-week, students had a day break before being given a 48-hour portion of the exam where they had to evaluate a piece of research from their primary field, analyze the major findings, articulate what was well-done about the research and suggest what could be improved upon.
One of the most common questions that I get from incoming graduate students in the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program is “What books should I read to help me prepare for my classes?” While I don’t often tell them explicitly what books they must read before starting course work, I do recommend some that have been influential to my way of thinking. Goodreads.com is a popular website that many of my friends use to recommend books. Since I don’t have a Goodreads account, I thought I would share some of my recommendations here for those readers who might want to spend the rest of winter warm inside with some good books.
In my last blog, I discussed linking research to classroom instruction. In this blog, I advocate the importance of classroom learning to students’ lives and careers outside of (and after) their formal education.
As I often mention, I see myself primarily as a teacher, but an additional important role that I play is as a researcher. I only half-jokingly titled this blog entry as “joys” because, while research can often be very fun, it can also be quite tedious and frustrating.
Servant leadership is a popular term that many people hear discussed regularly in organizations. Yet, its meaning (and the expected types of behaviors in which a servant leader engages) has been simplified over time. I noticed this recently when re-reading Robert Greenleaf’s classic (2002; reprinted from 1977).
Engaging in the tasks that are listed on a job description likely comes to mind when many people hear the term “job performance.” Yet, engaging in these tasks is only part of how to define successful performance in the workplace.
Another aspect of being a successful performer at work is engaging in organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs for short). These are “voluntary” in that they are not listed on one’s job description, but organizations, coworkers and those individuals who perform them often benefit from these activities (LePine, Erez & Johnson, 2002).
Creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values all employees is crucial for organizations (and society as a whole). Yet, we constantly hear news of racism, sexism, bigotry, discrimination and other forms of marginalization in our country and in our organizations.
This summer, I’ve been quite busy working on projects and presenting at conferences related to the topic of intergenerational interactions at work, my primary area of academic research. While attending the Academy of Management annual meeting in Atlanta, the most prestigious international conference for management academics where a Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence student (Alperen Arslantas) and I presented on this topic, we interacted with many other experts in the broad field of management. Throughout this and my other experiences this summer, I’ve been contemplating the role of experts.