Category Archives: Management

Managerial Practice and Diversity Climate: The Roles of Workplace Voice, Centralization, and Teamwork

Source: Zhongnan Jiang, Leisha DeHart-Davis, Erin L. Borry, Public Administration Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, May/June 2022
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From the abstract:
Diversity climate—shared employee perceptions of the extent to which an organization is inclusive and fair—is of increasing interest to public administration scholars. While research has linked diversity climate to a range of employee and organizational outcomes, less is known about how common managerial practices affect diversity climate. This article addresses this gap by examining three such practices: workplace voice, centralized decision-making, and teamwork. Each is theoretically expected to act upon both the inclusion and fairness dimensions of diversity climate. We test these expectations using regression analysis of departmental-level data collected through surveys of four North Carolina public organizations. The results suggest that workplace voice and teamwork enhance diversity climate, while centralized decision-making diminishes it in workplaces with mostly white employees. Practically speaking, the results imply that common management techniques that benefit public organizations also foster positive diversity climates.

Is There a Glass Cliff in Local Government Management? Examining the Hiring and Departure of Women

Source: Lang Kate Yang, Laura Connolly, Jennifer M. Connolly, Public Administration Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, May/June 2022
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From the abstract:
Women are underrepresented in public sector leadership positions, including municipal management. We examine one explanation that may contribute to gender inequity in the profession—a “glass cliff” phenomenon whereby councils are more likely to hire women as managers during difficult times, increasing the likelihood for women to fail in the position. Using original observational data on municipal managers in Florida, we test whether municipalities are more likely to hire women during times of fiscal stress and whether women are more likely than men to leave the position if municipal finances do not improve. Our results show that increasing budget deficits are associated with municipalities hiring women as managers. Post-appointment, a lack of improvement in the deficit condition is associated with a higher probability of women, but not men, leaving the position. A glass cliff in municipal management could be one factor that hinders women from advancing within the field.

The Role of Gender in Government and Nonprofit Workplaces: An Experimental Analysis of Rule Compliance and Supervisor Trust

Source: Jaclyn Piatak, Jared McDonald, Zachary Mohr, Public Administration Review, Volume 82, Issue 3, May/June 2022
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From the abstract:
The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions persists. Existing research examines barriers women face in climbing organizational hierarchies, but we know less about women who break past the glass ceiling. Once women obtain supervisory positions, do they face additional hurdles in managing employees? Specifically, how does gender, gender congruence, and rule formalization influence employee rule compliance and trust? Using a survey experiment across both government and nonprofit contexts, we find that both men and women are more likely to trust men managers, but this gender gap is mitigated when rules are written. Gender congruence plays a role for rule compliance, where both men and women are more compliant when the supervisor matches their gender, while gender congruence is only a significant factor for enhancing trust for men. The findings advance role incongruence theory and have implications for the challenges women leaders face in terms of trust and rule following.

How to Be a Compassionate Manager in a Heartless Organization

Source: Liz Kislik, Harvard Business Review, May 5, 2022
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Being a compassionate leader is being a good leader. It can be hard to do that when the rest of the company’s culture seems to rely on favoritism or neglect. What can you do if you want to manage your team with compassion, but your leadership hasn’t bought into this philosophy? The author presents six strategies that will help you be a compassionate leader in a less-than-ideal environment. You can make a difference for your people and for the business, and eventually, others outside your area may come looking to see how you’ve been so successful and learn from your actions.

When Women Leaders Leave, the Losses Multiply

Source: Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, and Marissa Afton, Harvard Business Review, March 8, 2022
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Tens of millions of women have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic, many permanently. This has lowered women’s participation in the global labor force to a crisis level, but the impact goes even deeper. Since women leaders have more engaged teams and drive better job performance, the collateral damage includes loss of engagement and productivity from every employee who now won’t be working for a woman. Research by Potential Project confirms this impact, documenting that on the crucial leadership qualities of wisdom and compassion, women leaders rank substantially higher than their male counterparts and this translates to business and financial results. To leverage these findings towards more beneficial outcomes for all their employees, organizations should promote principles and practices that: promote gender equity, develop compassionate leadership, and increase learning through intentional peer coaching and advisory circles for men and women.

What Stops People on Your Team from Leaving?

Source: Sabina Nawaz, Harvard Business Review, March 14, 2022
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A standard approach is to conduct exit interviews to understand why employees are resigning and devise a solution. But narrowing in on why people leave may extract a price: neglect of loyal and engaged employees who want to stay in the organization. Instead, managers should spend just as much time understanding why employees choose to remain in the company through “stay interviews.” These discussions involve asking key questions to your loyal employees that tackle common retention issues. These questions include: What’s your frame of mind today? Who do you feel connected to at work? What barriers can I remove for you? What new thing do you want to learn that will excite you and help you grow at work?

The Real Secret to Retaining Talent – The subtle art of making people feel special

Source: Roger L. Martin, Harvard Business Review, March–April 2022
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In today’s knowledge economy, employees with unique skills have a profound impact on organizations. It’s crucial to keep them happy. Many managers believe that compensation is the key (as the eye-popping rewards paid to employees in the upper echelon show). But truly talented people aren’t highly motivated by money. Feeling special is far more important to them. You must treat stars like valued individuals, not like members of a group, even an elite one. To do that, respect these three never-dos:

Never dismiss their ideas.
The Green Bay Packers learned this the hard way when they had a falling out with Aaron Rodgers because he wasn’t given a voice in decisions affecting his ability to lead his team to victory. The videoconferencing provider Webex made this mistake too; it gave no traction to a proposal for a phone-friendly platform made by star exec Eric Yuan, who got frustrated and left to start megarival Zoom.

Never block their development.
Enabling stars to keep growing will win their loyalty. But if they feel their way forward has been barred, they’ll take their skills to an organization they think will clear a path for them.

Never pass up the chance to praise them.

The Great Resignation or the Great Rethink?

Source: Ranjay Gulati, Harvard Business Review, March 22, 2022
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Unsettled by the pandemic, most people are considering our jobs with fresh perspective. Some are quitting, in what has been dubbed the Great Resignation. But, for many, it’s more of a Great Rethink. Do we really like our employers’ culture? Do we feel that we’re fairly treated and have the advancement opportunities we want? Most profoundly, does our work feels as meaningful as we’d like it to? For those answering no to any of these questions, research into “deep purpose” organizations has unearthed some strategies that individuals can use to find more meaning in their careers and lives. First, know your personal purpose and then evaluate whether you really need it on the job or can find it elsewhere. If you do, try job-crafting to align your responsibilities with that purpose and evaluate your boss and employer to make sure they can support you in that endeavor. If after all that you still cannot find meaning, it might be time to consider moving on.

Research: How Employee Experience Impacts Your Bottom Line

Source: Kate Gautier, Tiffani Bova, Kexin Chen, and Lalith Munasinghe, Harvard Business Review, March 22, 2022
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Executives might be more accustomed to seeing business cases and ROI calculations from marketing and sales teams, but they should start empowering talent departments to make their own case. Why? Because customer-facing employees and revenue are strongly linked, the authors find. In their research, stores whose customer-facing employee base was more tenured, had more experience in prior rotations, was higher skilled, and was more skewed towards full time, generated a 50% increase in revenue.

The Great Resignation Didn’t Start with the Pandemic

Source: Joseph Fuller and William Kerr, Harvard Business Review, March 23, 2022
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Covid-19 spurred on the Great Resignation of 2021, during which record numbers of employees voluntarily quit their jobs. But what we are living through is not just short-term turbulence provoked by the pandemic. Instead, it’s the continuation of a trend of rising quit rates that began more than a decade ago. Five main factors are at play in this trend: retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, and reluctance. All of these factors, the authors argue, are here to stay. They explore each in turn and encourage leaders to examine which of them are contributing most to turnover in their organizations, so that they can adapt appropriately as they move into the future. ….

…. Workers are retiring in greater numbers but aren’t relocating in large numbers; they’re reconsidering their work-life balance and care roles; they’re making localized switches among industries, or reshuffling, rather than exiting the labor market entirely; and, because of pandemic-related fears, they’re demonstrating a reluctance to return to in-person jobs.

By looking at how each of these factors has contributed to the Great Resignation, we can gain a helpful understanding of the forces that are shaping worker behavior today — and will do so for the foreseeable future. ….