Every Executive Should Be Focusing on Culture Change Now

Source: Rose Hollister, Kathryn Tecosky, Michael Watkins, and Cindy Wolpert, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 10, 2021
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To make transformation a reality in their businesses post-pandemic, leaders must build a strong culture to support it.

…As the global community emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders must lay the foundation for their organizations to thrive in a very different world. The pandemic accelerated three interlinked types of transformation affecting every industry: the adoption of digital technologies, the development of new business models, and the implementation of new ways of working. Most companies are now engaged in one or more of these types of transformation. Businesses that aren’t — whether because they have ignored the signals or have failed to adapt quickly enough — risk becoming obsolete. …

What You’re Getting Wrong About Burnout

Source: Liz Fosslien, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 26, 2021
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The burnout crisis is here, but many managers are failing to address the root causes of stress for employees.

…As an expert on emotions at work and head of content at Humu, a company focused on workplace behavioral change, I help leaders and managers improve well-being within their teams. Over the past year, burnout has become a top concern within organizations, and for good reason. In 2020, 71% of employees experienced burnout at least once. Across Humu’s enterprise customers, 62% of employees have reported feeling overwhelmed by work responsibilities, and 32% have said they are emotionally drained. And research from Qualtrics shows that stress and burnout are the main reasons people are thinking of leaving their jobs in the coming months and year — a time economists have already dubbed “The Great Resignation.”

In response, many leaders have started offering additional vacation time, established “no meeting” blocks on the calendar to give employees a break from back-to-back video calls, and encouraged people to take breaks throughout the day.

These are all helpful measures, but on their own, they’re usually not enough to turn things around for exhausted employees. That’s because work overload is only one cause of burnout. Too often, organizations fail to acknowledge — let alone address — other dimensions. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, the first clinically based measure of burnout, also measures cynicism and feeling ineffective at your job. And our research at Humu shows that lacking a sense of meaning and not receiving the emotional support you need to thrive are also strongly related to feeling stretched too thin….

The Future of Work: Exploring the Post-Pandemic Workplace from an Employment Law and Human Resources Perspective

Source: Isaac Mamaysky, UC Davis Business Law Journal, Forthcoming, 2021

From the abstract:
In March of 2017, when we were blissfully ignorant of what was to come in that same month a few years later, an associate professor of political science named Robert Kelly was being interviewed on BBC from his home office in South Korea. About a minute into the interview, his four year old daughter pranced into the room, in the most literal sense of the word, followed by her little brother in a baby walker and, shortly thereafter, Kelly’s horrified spouse, Kim Jung-A, who scrambled to collect the kids and close the office door.

That viral BBC interview, which now has tens of millions of views on YouTube, took place long before our collective experiment in working from home. While Kelly’s experience was truly novel in 2017, it feels like just another day at the office in 2020. If we have not personally had a kid “bust down the door,” as my toddlers like to say, during a Zoom call, then we have seen someone else’s kid do the same. While Kelly’s interview may have still gone viral if it had happened today—this was live on BBC, after all—the whole thing feels far more familiar than it once did.

COVID-19 has upended the workplace as we know it. Employment experts widely speculate that certain industries have fast-forwarded in the direction of working remotely by years. If the future of work for many employees is primarily virtual, what challenges does this entail for employers? What new rights might employees have coming out of the pandemic? In industries that continue operating in person, how should employers accommodate vulnerable employees who request to work remotely? What about non-vulnerable employees who are simply afraid to come in?

While analyzing these and related questions, this article explores the arguments for and against remote work. It goes on to show that the “hybrid workplace,” in which more people work from home more of the time, is our likely future. The article considers the new challenges this raises for employers and the new rights that it bestows on employees. The article concludes by arguing that giving employees choice about their work location is a mechanism for employers to avoid potential liability while boosting workplace morale and increasing productivity; creating a win-win for employees and employers alike.

The Dark Side of Leadership and Workplace Mistreatment: A review of Creativity and Innovation

Source: Vahid Mehraein, Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, no. 1, 2021

From the abstract:
The critical role of social influence in determining creativity and innovation is undisputed in the scientific circles of organizational behavior. Research has typically tended to focus on positive leader behaviors and positive social influences on creativity and innovation and has generally concluded that such behaviors promote these often-desired outcomes. In contrast, our work takes an unorthodox approach by bringing together research on the dark side of leadership and workplace mistreatment to join the conversation of creativity and innovation with darker perspectives of leadership and organization. In this study, we begin by defining the dark side of leadership and then provide a comprehensive systematic review of 163 empirical studies that address this topic. These studies address 35 leadership and workplace variables (abusive supervision, authoritarian leadership, aversive leadership, close monitoring, coercive power, conflict with co-worker, controlling supervision, counterproductive work behavior, defensive silence, despotic leadership, destructive leadership, directive leadership, hubristic leadership, incivility, jeer pressure, knowledge hiding, laissez-faire leadership, linguistic ostracism, Machiavellian leadership, management by exception (active), management-by-exception, management-by-exception (passive), mobbing, narcissistic leadership, organizational politics, ostracism, overconfident leadership, passive leadership, psychopathic leadership, relationship conflict, self-serving leadership, sexual harassment, supervisor undermining, workplace bullying, workplace deviant behavior) known to predict negative employee and organizational outcomes. This paper reports the main effects but also summarizes the results of mediating and moderating variables and provides useful taxonomies. Finally, recommendations for future research directions provide insights into areas worth considering.

Abusive Supervision and Employee Empowerment: The Moderating Role of Resilience and Workplace Friendship

Source: Ayesha Arshad, Peter Y. T. Sun, Fabrice Desmarais, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, March 30, 2021
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From the abstract:
Several studies have explored why employees leave their organization in the face of abusive supervision. However, there is a lack of research on what makes employees continue with employment despite being affected by abusive supervision. This study responds to the calls made to analyze multiple mechanisms that employees use to cope with abusive supervision. It addresses this gap by examining employees’ psychological and social resources that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. We specifically consider employee psychological and structural empowerment, as well as resilience and workplace friendship. This is a time-lagged study using a sample of 146 postgraduate students who have a minimum of 2 years of work experience. Utilizing the tenets of conservation of resources theory, we find that damage to psychological empowerment plays a significant role in diminishing the work engagement and creativity of employees, as compared to structural empowerment. We also find that workplace friendship plays a significant role in weakening the damaging effects of abusive supervision on structural empowerment. Future studies should consider other psychological and social mechanisms that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. Moreover, organizations should work toward developing a culture of sharing and support between coworkers.

Abusive supervision and workplace deviance: the role of negative reciprocity

Source: Guglielmo Faldetta, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Volume 29 Issue 4, July 2021
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From the abstract:
This study aims to explore the process that, from abusive supervision, leads to the different kinds of workplace deviant behaviors, using the norm of negative reciprocity as the main mechanism that can trigger this process.

This study is based on a literature review from organizational behavior and reciprocity fields and builds a theoretical model on the relationship between abusive supervision and workplace deviance within organizations.

This study develops a theoretical model where abusive supervision causes a feeling of injustice, which can motivate employees to seek revenge in the form of workplace deviant behaviors. Moreover, negative direct balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and minor interpersonal workplace deviance; negative direct non-balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and severe interpersonal workplace deviance; negative generalized balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and minor organizational workplace deviance; negative generalized non-balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and severe organizational workplace deviance.

Previous studies have used negative reciprocity as a moderator, but for the first time, it is split in direct and generalized and in balanced and non-balanced. In particular, when direct negative reciprocity is present, the revenge will take the form of interpersonal workplace deviance; when generalized negative reciprocity is present, the revenge will take the form of organizational workplace deviance. On the other side, when balanced reciprocity is present, revenge will take the form of minor workplace deviance, while when non-balanced reciprocity is present, revenge will take the form of severe workplace deviance.

Introduction: Youth Organizing in the U.S.

Source: Hahrie Han and Ester Fang, Forge Organizing, August 19, 2021

In all of these stories, young people’s creativity, moral courage, and commitment enabled them to turn the resources they have into the power for change.

….In this issue, we have brought together a diverse group of youth organizers from across the United States to tackle the critical questions facing the field. What innovations are young organizers bringing to the movement, and what strategies are they pursuing to build political power? What kinds of organizational structures have youth organizers built, how are they forging a relationship between movement and organization-building work, and how are they navigating the tension between revolution and reform? Where are they collaborating across generations, and where are tensions emerging? Youth and adult organizers alike must examine these questions if we want to build organizations with enough power to address the cascading crises facing our world today. …

Articles include:

The Long Arc
Scott Warren and Greisa Martinez

Greisa Martinez Rosas on the importance of personal transformation, the long arc of the movement for justice, and how United We Dream’s strategies are shifting with the new administration.

Oakland Students Turn the Tables
Sonja Kaleva and Lukas Brekke-Miesner

How Oakland Kids First built youth governing power during a pandemic

Youth power requires more than electoral organizing
Michael Carter

Our electoral organizing model increased turnout, but young people of color deserve more.

Young People Will Carry Us On
Tynetta Hill-Muhammad and Makia Green

Tynetta Hill-Muhammad on why she sees young people as the foundation of the abolitionist movement, the work BYP100 does to transform the personal into the political, and the challenges and opportunities of working cross-generationally.

Transforming youth-led organizing in the digital age
Fred Pinguel

While technology is transforming grassroots organizing in incredible ways, the core of our work is still relationship building.

Progressive Organizers Must Redefine Success in…
Kiersten Iwai

I want the rest of America to see the rural America that I see: the queer and trans youth and youth of color refusing to be ignored and the young people demanding progressive change in order to save our planet and humanity.

From Demanding to Commanding Power
Geordee Mae Corpuz and Saa’un Bell

We must find ways to transform the whole system, not just change policies. That will never happen unless we change the people, the culture, and the power young people of color have over their lives.

“Make the status quo unlivable”
Emma Jewett and Scott Warren

Providence Student Union’s Emma Jewett on empowering young people to take action, navigating relationships with adult allies, and why youth organizing is such a powerful mechanism for change.

Advocacy Within the School House
Khin Mai Aung and Greg Fredricks

How Generation Citizen is pushing civics beyond the classroom to the community

How YDSA Will Grow Post-Bernie
David Duhalde and Sarandon Elliott

YDSA National Coordinating Committee Co-Chair Sarandon Elliott talks about the opportunities and challenges facing YDSA in this moment, her plans to help grow the organization over the next year, and the difference between socialist organizing and other forms of campus activism.

From Climate Strikes to the Union Hall
Teresa-Marie Oller , Travis Epes, and Maria Brescia-Weiler

Young workers are key to building the labor climate movement.

Commentary: Youth Organizing in the U.S.
James Lopez

We must build young leaders to make mass organization possible.

Unions and Inequality over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data

Source: Henry S Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko, Suresh Naidu, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 136, Issue 3, August 2021
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From the abstract:
U.S. income inequality has varied inversely with union density over the past 100 years. But moving beyond this aggregate relationship has proven difficult, in part because of limited microdata on union membership prior to 1973. We develop a new source of microdata on union membership dating back to 1936, survey data primarily from Gallup (N ≈ 980,000), to examine the long-run relationship between unions and inequality. We document dramatic changes in the demographics of union members: when density was at its mid-century peak, union households were much less educated and more nonwhite than other households, whereas pre-World War II and today they are more similar to nonunion households on these dimensions. However, despite large changes in composition and density since 1936, the household union premium holds relatively steady between 10 and 20 log points. We use our data to examine the effect of unions on income inequality. Using distributional decompositions, time series regressions, state-year regressions, as well as a new instrumental-variable strategy based on the 1935 legalization of unions and the World War II–era War Labor Board, we find consistent evidence that unions reduce inequality, explaining a significant share of the dramatic fall in inequality between the mid-1930s and late 1940s.

They’d rather quit than end the remote work dream

Source: Sophia Epstein, Wired, August 17, 2021

Not a day goes by without another company announcing a delay in its return to the office. Chevron, Facebook, McDonald’s, even JP Morgan, have all pushed back their plans to later this year or even 2022. But pressing pause may only postpone the fallout from employees who have grown used to the perks of remote work. …

…Remote work during the pandemic provided some people with their first taste of better work-life balance, and unprecedented time to spend with their families or hobbies. Now they aren’t willing to let it go. According to data shared by global job site Indeed, searches for remote work have increased by more than 500 per cent since February 2020. And job postings mentioning remote work have increased by 180 per cent, now totaling ten per cent of job posts on the site….

COVID-Related Labor Arbitration Awards in the United States and Canada: A Survey and Comparative Analysis

Source: Richard A. Bales, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2021

From the abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 has changed working conditions for millions of Americans and Canadians quickly and dramatically. Employers responded by requiring employees to quarantine, implementing workplace COVID policies, disciplining employees who violated those policies, changing work schedules, cancelling leaves or vacations, and furloughing or laying off employees. Unions have challenged many of these actions, raising a variety of novel issues that are now being resolved through labor arbitration. This article surveys those labor arbitration awards and then comparatively analyzes the awards from Canada and the United States.