Adapting Negotiations to a Remote World

Source: HBR IdeaCast, Episode 752, August 4, 2020

A conversation with Kellogg professor Leigh Thompson on how to avoid the pitfalls of virtual negotiations.

Leigh Thompson, professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, studies negotiations to understand the path to the “sweet spot” where all sides of the table come away happy. And she says there are more pitfalls on that path when more of us are working remotely and online. She shares how to overcome the common traps of virtual negotiations with trust-enhancing hacks such as E-charisma and language style matching.

Addressing Artificial Intelligence-Based Hiring Concerns

Source: Dave Zielinski, HR Magazine, Summer 2020

The honeymoon is over for the use of artificial intelligence in human resources. The introduction of a bevy of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools by industry vendors over the past few years was met with a buzz, and it was embraced by HR practitioners seeking to use machine-learning algorithms to bring new efficiencies to recruiting, employee engagement, shared services, learning and development, and other areas of HR.

But as the use of AI has grown, it has attracted more attention from regulators and lawmakers concerned about fairness and ethical issues tied to the technology. Chief among those concerns are a lack of transparency in the way that many AI vendors’ tools work—namely that too many still function as “black boxes” without an easily understood explanation of their inner workings—and that machine-learning algorithms can perpetuate or even exacerbate unconscious bias in hiring decisions.

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Will Change the Way We Work

Source: Theresa Agovino, Susan Ladika, Lisa Rabasca Roepe, Joanne Sammer and Rita Zeidner, HR Magazine, Summer 2020

…To assist HR professionals in a post-coronavirus world, we asked HR practitioners and other experts what lessons have been learned during the pandemic and what lasting impacts it will have on the way we work. From remote work to health benefits, employee morale to disaster planning, HR professionals are determined to help their organizations forge a new way forward. …

Facility-level Factors Associated with CNA Turnover and Retention: Lessons for the Long-Term Services Industry

Source: Katherine A Kennedy, Robert Applebaum, John R Bowblis, The Gerontologist, Published: July 29, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background and Objectives:
Certified nursing assistant (CNA) turnover and retention are critical aspects of facilities’ ability to provide cost-effective, high quality person-centered care. Previous studies and industry practice often treat turnover and retention as similar concepts, assuming that low turnover and high retention are synonymous. The study addressed the question of whether turnover and retention rates differ and if so, what do those differences mean for nursing home practice, policy, and research.

Research Design and Methods:
This study examines facility-level factors associated with CNA retention and turnover rates using 2015 data from the Ohio Biennial Survey of Long-Term Care Facilities, Ohio Medicaid Cost Reports, Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Report, and the Area Health Resource File. Using bivariate tests and regression analysis, we compare rates and the factors associated with retention and turnover.

Results:
The mean facility annual retention rate was 64% and the mean annual turnover rate was 55%. As expected, there was a statistically significant and negative correlation between the rates (r = -0.26). However, some facilities had both high retention and high turnover and some had low rates for both measures. Not all the variables that are associated with turnover are also associated with retention.

Discussion and Implications:
CNA retention is not simply the absence of CNA turnover. Given the differences, nursing homes may need to use strategies and policies designed to target a particular stability measure.

Upskilling Benefits Companies and Employees

Source: Kathryn Tyler, HR Magazine, Summer 2020

Training current employees helps companies meet evolving business needs and gives workers skills required to rise to new heights. ….

… By 2022, 54 percent of all employees will require significant upskilling, according to the World Economic Forum. Many companies have already made a commitment to train current employees to help them develop skills to meet the changing demands of their jobs. In the process, workers often acquire advanced digital skills that qualify them to be promoted to positions in high demand….

….“Generation X and Millennial employees rank ‘lack of career progress’ among their top reasons for leaving a job,” Aiken adds. “Upskilling reduces turnover.” ….

Why Retirement, Social Security, and Age Discrimination Policies Need to Consider the Intersectional Experiences of Older Women

Source: Ian Burn, Patrick Button, Theodore F Figinski, Joanne Song McLaughlin, Public Policy & Aging Report, Volume 30, Issue 3, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Population aging makes retirement security a critical issue. Unfortunately, retirement security is deteriorating over time, and there is a significant amount of income inequality in retirement (Poterba, 2014). Recent cuts to Social Security (e.g., the increase in the full retirement age [FRA], which is the age at which workers can retire with full benefits) partly drive the erosion in retirement security, and similar cuts may be forthcoming. Extending work lives into older ages is thus increasingly important to improve retirement security (Button, 2020; Maestas, 2010, 2018).

However, retirement security is significantly worse for older women, compared to older men, as older women face higher rates of poverty, especially at older ages. Figure 1 shows that poverty rates for older men are relatively consistent by age, ranging from 7.1% to 8.1%. For women, poverty rates start at 8.4% for ages 65 to 69 (compared to 7.1% for men) and rise to 13.5% for ages 80 and older (compared to 8.1% for men). This disparity in poverty rates may be increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current recession, as early evidence suggests that women ages 65 and older faced larger increases in unemployment rates compared to men and younger women (Bui, Button, & Picciotti, 2020).

In this report, we document trends and policies that contribute to the increased poverty faced by older women. We hope our examples of how older women face different experiences make a clear case for considering the impacts on older women, specifically, when setting policy.

A Female Policy Premium? Agency Context and Women’s Leadership in the U.S. Federal Bureaucracy

Source: Rachel Augustine Potter, Craig Volden, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Advance Articles, August 5, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Although there are descriptive and substantive benefits associated with women serving in leadership posts in the bureaucracy, we ask whether there is a policy benefit associated with women’s leadership. Simply put, is there a policy premium to having women as bureaucratic leaders? We focus on agency rulemaking, a policymaking activity conducted by nearly all federal agencies. Across three presidential administrations, we find no evidence of an across-the-board premium associated with women’s leadership. However, our results are consistent with a conditional policy premium—wherein women leaders are particularly effective in advancing ambitious rules and in shepherding rules through to finalization—in agencies that have a working environment that is supportive of women and, to some extent, in agencies that focus on women’s issues. One key implication is that, rather than working to tear down “glass walls,” reformers would be better served by improving the workplace climate for women within agencies.

Pathways to Modes of Movement Participation: Micromobilization in the Nashville Civil Rights Movement

Source: Larry W Isaac, Jonathan S Coley, Daniel B Cornfield, Dennis C Dickerson, Social Forces, Volume 99, Issue 1, September 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We employ a unique sample of participants in the early 1960s Nashville civil rights movement to examine within-movement micromobilization processes. Rather than assuming movement micromobilization and participation is internally homogeneous, we extend the literature by identifying distinct types of pathways (entry and preparation) and distinct types (or modes) of movement participation. Pathways into the Nashville movement are largely structured a priori by race, by several distinct points of entry (politically pulled, directly recruited, or professionally pushed), and by prior experience or training in nonviolent direct action. Participation falls into a distinct division of movement labor characterized by several major modes of participation—core cadre, soldiers, and supporters. We demonstrate that pathways and modes of participation are systematically linked and that qualitatively distinct pathways contribute to understanding qualitative modes of movement participation. Specifically, all core cadre members were pulled into activism, soldiers were either pulled or recruited, and supporters were pulled, recruited, or pushed. Highly organized, disciplined, and intense workshop training proved to be integral in becoming a member of the core cadre but not for soldier or supporter roles. We conclude that social movement studies would do well to pay more attention to variability in structured pathways to, preparation for, and qualitative dimensions of movement participation. These dimensions are critical to further understanding the way movements and their participants move and add insights regarding an important chapter in the southern civil rights movement. The implications of our findings extend to modes of movement activism more generally.

Why is the American South Poorer?

Source: Regina S Baker, Social Forces, Volume 99, Issue 1, September 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
While American poverty research has devoted greater attention to poverty in the Northeast and Midwest, poverty has been persistently higher in the U.S. South than in the other regions. Thus, this study investigates the enduring question of why poverty is higher in the South. Specifically, it demonstrates the role of power resources as an explanation for this regional disparity, yet also considers family demography, economic structure, and racial/ethnic heterogeneity. Using six waves (2000–2016) of U.S. Census Current Population Survey data from the Luxembourg Income Study (N = 1,157,914), this study employs a triangulation of analytic techniques: (1) tests of means and proportion differences, (2) multilevel linear probability models of poverty, and (3) binary decomposition of the South/non-South poverty gap. The comparison of means associated with the power resource hypothesis yields the largest substantive differences between the South and the non-South. In the multilevel models, adjusting for power resources yields the largest declines in the South coefficient. Binary decomposition results indicate power resources are the second most influential factor explaining the South/non-South poverty gap. Overall, power resources are an important source of the South/non-South poverty gap, though economic structure and other factors certainly also play a role. Results also suggest an important interplay between power resources and race. Altogether, these results underscore the importance of macrolevel characteristics of places, including political and economic contexts, in shaping individual poverty and overall patterns of inequality.

….Beyond these factors, this study focuses on the role of politics and policy via power resources theory (PRT). Here,power resources refer to class-based collective political actors, such as labor unions and parties, and the social policies they are able to institutionalize…

October 2019 pre-print version

Working Longer Versus Flexible Pathways in Uncertain Times

Source: Phyllis Moen, Public Policy & Aging Report, Volume 30 Issue 3, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The timing of later life-course work exits has enormous consequences for individuals and families, as well as for governments confronting population aging and corollary rising Social Security and health care costs. A seemingly obvious policy solution is to encourage Boomers and those following in their wake to work longer, postponing retirement from the labor market. To encourage ongoing labor force engagement, the United States has delayed full Social Security benefit eligibility to age 67, while simultaneously offering the carrot of greater benefits for those who continue working to age 70. Growing numbers of older Americans,…