Monocultural to Multicultural

Chapter 14 of Organizations and Organizing poses a challenge to many of the organizational theories discussed throughout the book by highlighting the limitations that the reliance on past theories can have on the analysis of modern organizations. In particular, the chapter highlights academia’s current transition from monocultural to multicultural studies. The monocultural analyses that have plagued academia have “culturally circumscribed” our knowledge due to its almost sole focus on the study of contemporary American organizations created by mainly American scholars. Although it is true that American organizations have been extremely influential and innovative, it is entirely biased for organizational theory to rest solely on the study of one culture.

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Blame it on the Beard

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I am very excited to begin exploring my topic regarding the effects of gender inequality on Wall Street! I strongly feel that the absence of women on wall-street was a contributing factor to the great recession.  The next steps in my research required me to ask the following questions:

1.)    Why are women absent on Wall Street?

  1. I found a great book in the library called “Selling Women Short: Gender and Money on Wall Street.” Although this book was written before the recession, and thus does not draw a correlation between gender inequality and the recession, it is very helpful in describing why women are less prone to achieve advanced positions in finance. It brings up the idea of “pay for performance” on Wall Street. Continue reading

Lehman Sisters?

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“Having too many men involved in business might cause them to take more risks, and having more women would probably be good in lots of settings. Women are the brake pedal.” – Economist Terry Burnham.

Has anyone ever noticed how much testosterone is on Wall Street? Men are everywhere! Do you think that if more women had held upper level management, including CEO positions, in financial institutions across the country, that the financial crisis would have been less severe? After shuffling through various articles on the Freakonomics Blog, I was directed to a piece from the New York Times opinion section entitled, Does Wall Street Need an Estrogen Injection? I found this article intriguing as it focuses on more sociological and less technical causes of the financial crisis (more in my area of expertise!).

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Incubating the Infidels!

The collapse of Enron in Houston left around 4,500 employees without a job. Enron was known for hiring some of the best and brightest candidates in the country, so despite involvement in the fraudulent downfall of this corporate giant, these jobless employees were very smart, accomplished individuals. However, their association with Enron after the collapse tainted their reputations making it very difficult for them to obtain jobs in the Houston area. Without an income, these employees realized that re-locating might be their only option if they wanted to continue supporting themselves and their families.

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Dot Thompson Loves Org Theory!

Today Brooke and I entered Dot Thompson’s office to have a chat about research techniques for our paper. Our class has evidently been bombarding her office today because she knew exactly who we were and what we were coming to see her for.

Both Brooke and I consider ourselves quite experienced and familiar with the online databases so instead of requesting the usual “how-to” of online database research, we skipped to some very specific questions regarding our own individual research. In my paper I am utilizing an argument made by Milton Friedman in 1970 regarding the social responsibility of businesses. I was inspired by this piece after stumbling across a reference to it in our Organizations and Organizing textbook. It happened to be an article I had studied in my Business, Government and Society class so I was quite familiar with it. In my paper I want to cite an opposing viewpoint to Friedman’s argument. Dot helped me figure out how I could use our online databases to find critiques and opposing viewpoints to articles. She directed me to EconLit, an economics database, and we searched for articles that were not written by Friedman but that cited this specific article. It was very helpful to walk through this process with Dot because I was able to find both modern and past critiques from a number of different authors. I was luck to be  able to find success in my search and I walked away from Dot’s office very happy! This was a very useful experience for me and it will certainly serve to strengthen the counter-arguments raised in my paper. Thanks dot!

Leadership for Dummies!

I am the type of person that, whilst reading a book, I underline the quotes, statements and passages that I find particularly fascinating and interesting.  As I prepared to write this blog I skimmed through the portion of The Smartest Guys in the Room that I have read to date and glanced at all of the phrases that I had underlined over the past few weeks. I instantly noticed a trend. Everything that was underlined had to do with the PEOPLE. I am intrigued by Lay, Skilling, Kinder and all of the other actors. More specifically, the underlined material is focused on the personalities of these individuals as leaders in their various departments and divisions. They all assume very different and unique leadership styles.

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Where was the home of the DoDo Bird??

If you are wise enough to know about this extinct flightless phenomenon, you would know that it was confined to the island of Mauritius! I was lucky enough to spend a day in Mauritius last spring. Mauritius is a very small country located off the coast of Madagascar. It is a very unique place for a variety of reasons. First of all, Mauritius is well-known for being a very multi-racial country. A history of slave trades from Africa and India, in addition to vast and varied immigration movements, has made the Mauritian people nearly indistinguishable from an ethnical standpoint. European, Indian, African and Chinese influences are the most prominent, but decades of intermarriages have created a unique breed of people. Census commissioners struggle to classify the ethnic diversity of the nation. Most citizens are completely unaware of their heritage and background. The United States is another nation that is considered multi-racial, but when one is asked for his background/heritage, he is likely to know where his family descended from prior to immigrating to the U.S. The lack of identity amongst the Mauritian people makes it a very unique culture to study, albeit a very frustrating culture for census commissioners.

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