Tag Archives: Competition

Social Capital in Global Citizenship

mathias-sager-social-capital-mobiity

Content:

  • Matching national and organizational cultures
  • Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal levels
  • The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’
  • Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Matching national and organizational culture

According to Nahapiet & Ghoshal (1998), social capital is “the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and derived from relationships” (as cited in [1]). However, it is not enough to design global leadership development programs with the goal to share knowledge according to national cultures in multinational enterprises (MNEs) without carefully making sure that the program also matches the organizational cultures involved (Espedal, Gooderham, & Stensaker, 2013).

Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal level

How the built social capital is prized depends on context. For example, Singaporean bureaucratic and political elite prizes social and cultural capital from the US, UK, and Western Europe highly as a result of Singapore’s unique history [3]. In academia, it is known that the apt use of researchers’ social capital in the form of international research networks helps significantly in achieving excellence [4]. On the other hand, global mobility experiences that come with a personal value such as new perspectives and knowledge about different cultures and systems can be not valuated as social or cultural capital by the home environment and therefore doesn’t get utilized by the respective institutions and organization [5]. There can be even biases on individual, organizational, and societal level because of strong interpersonal and intergroup processes preventing non-discriminatory perceptions of the intercultural aspects they are confronted with [6].

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’ describes the behavior of individuals who aspire to grow their professional global connectivity but remain emotionally relatively uninvolved locally [3]. In the case of expatriates, they can be conflicted between resistance and acceptance of the new culture as part of incorporation its possibilities within themselves [7]. For people from collectivist cultures, the loss of their societal embeddedness might not be felt as compensated [7] by the newly gained increase of social capital from a global perspective. Money can replace social capital in the sense that knowledge transactions can be bought anywhere (e.g., banking, legal, and medical services, etc.), independent of location [8].

Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Social capital networks reinforce themselves [9] and education, financial means, and access to information and communication technology determine to what level talent can be optimized [10] . To get access to global social capital, globalized forms of education to foster global citizenship is recommended by the UN [11]. Often international assignments don’t necessarily lead to returns home and can result in onward mobility and international careers within a community, which shares a culture of global nomadism [12] that is of horizontal multi-cultural nature [13]. The alignment of an individual’s lifetime stages and an organization’s strategic direction can be helped through a mentoring, mutual help in storying and career/goal alignment that is managed by a well-integrated Talent and HR Management practice [14].

References

[1] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[2] Espedal, B., Gooderham, P. N., & Stensaker, I. G. (2013). Developing Organizational Social Capital or Prima Donnas in MNEs? The Role of Global Leadership Development Programs. Human Resource Management, 52(4), 607-625. doi:10.1002/hrm.21544

[3] Sidhu, R., Yeoh, B., & Chang, S. (2015). A Situated Analysis of Global Knowledge Networks: Capital Accumulation Strategies of Transnationally Mobile Scientists in Singapore. Higher Education: The International Journal Of Higher Education And Educational Planning, 69(1), 79-101.

[4] Jacob, M., & Meek, V. L. (2013). Scientific Mobility and International Research Networks: Trends and Policy Tools for Promoting Research Excellence and Capacity Building. Studies In Higher Education, 38(3), 331-344.

[5] Complex Professional Learning: Physicians Working for Aid Organisations. (2018). Professions & Professionalism, (1), doi:10.7577/pp.2002

[6] Carr, S. C. (2010). The psychology of global mobility (pp. 259-278). New York: Springer.

[7] Soong, H., Stahl, G., & Shan, H. (2018). Transnational Mobility through Education: A Bourdieusian Insight on Life as Middle Transnationals in Australia and Canada. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 16(2), 241-253.

[8] Minina, A. (2015). Home is Where the Money is: Financial Consumption in Global Mobility. Advances In Consumer Research, 43393-398.

[9] Young, J. (2017). All the World’s a School. Management In Education, 31(1), 21-26.

[10] Yaffe, D., & Educational Testing, S. (2011). “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”–A Salzburg Global Seminar. Policy Notes. Volume 19, Number 2, Spring 2011.

[11] Gardner-McTaggart, A. (2016). International Elite, or Global Citizens? Equity, Distinction and Power: The International Baccalaureate and the Rise of the South. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 14(1), 1-29.

[12] Findlay, A., Prazeres, L., McCollum, D., & Packwood, H. (2017). ‘It was always the plan’: international study as ‘learning to migrate’. Area, 49(2), 192-199.

[13] Colomer, L. (2017). Heritage on the move. Cross-cultural heritage as a response to globalisation, mobilities and multiple migrations. International Journal Of Heritage Studies, 23(10), 913-927. doi:10.1080/13527258.2017.1347890

[14] Kirk, S. (2016). Career capital in global Kaleidoscope Careers: The role of HRM. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 27(6), 681-697. doi:10.1080/09585192.2015.1042896

 

Mobility and Global Talent Management (GTM) Strategies

mobility-expatriation

Summary. The increasing number of expatriates reflects the need for multinational enterprises (MNEs) to compete in a global knowledge economy. Despite high pressure, mobility program cost management practices are often weakly formalized. To take full advantage of international assignments, the assignees’ gained knowledge should be matched with required job competencies. The ratio of parent-country nationals (PCNs) at subsidiaries is influencing business performance. Also, besides defensive and retaliatory actions, relational measures can be used to maintain access to social capital in case of poaching in the host country. Finally, intercultural training based on clearly defined goals for business and leadership development purposes can increase the success rate of international assignment significantly.


Over 200 million extra-national employees worldwide

The number of employees assigned to foreign countries in 2013 was 214 million people, tendency increasing [1]. This article focuses in places on a multinational enterprises (MNEs) setting of interdisciplinary digital businesses from a Japan perspective (with global reach) that is heavily relying on knowledge and relationship-based intangible data assets.

Room to evolve in aligning the role of mobility with talent management

The information technology industry continues to be a growing sector with fierce competition and cost pressures [2]. While almost half of IT companies do not systematically measure international assignment costs, companies respond sensitively to cost factors. For example, as a reaction to surging residence costs for expatriates, Japanese companies in 2014 sent 10,000 employees less to China than still in 2012 when the number was at 57,000 [3]. Also, an international assignee attrition rate that could be problematic for a company when too high seems to exist in the IT sector, with survey results reporting a 25% of assignee loss as compared to overall survey respondents’ average of 14%. Generally, assignee’s increase market value serves as an explanation for their moving on to better career opportunities outside of the firm. The Japanese tenure- rather than market-value-based employment system [4] could mitigate that risk though. On the other hand, some Japanese expats may not return due to concerns with too much discriminating, rigorous, and long working hours required in the Japanese working world, as a popular Japanese blog suggests [5]. In any case, to mutually benefit from mobility programs, both the employee and the firm should be able to count on HR’s ability to match the expatriate’s knowledge with job’s required competencies [6]. Furuya (2007) suggested the deliberate and proactive use of appropriate HR policies and practices (e.g., job analysis) that help realize the advantages of global assignments [7]. Indeed, successful mobility has become a barrier for Japanese MNEs; yet formal programs are rarely in place [8].

One out of five Global Mobility Trends IT sector survey participants responded that they do not know their business need for internationally experienced talents [2]. Not enough parent country nationals (PCNs) at subsidiaries is curbing business performance; too many PCNs, however, let performance decline due to increasing resistance against loss of local identity [9]. The APAC region’s (IT) companies see Brazil and second, Taiwan as their favorite destinations for foreign assignments beyond 2015 [2]. From a host country’s perspective, e.g., Taiwanese firms seek Japanese employees’ knowledge [10] and increasingly poach Japanese workers [11]. For MNEs, relational actions such as alumni to keep access to human social capital might be an additional alternative to overly defensive or punitive measures [12].

Need for intercultural training

20% of international assignees reported difficulties in acclimating to the new culture. Also, people from strong cultures like China and Japan tend to stick with their compatriots [13]. Therefore, intercultural training [2] and/or timely termination (in case of issues) of expatriate projects are crucial to avoid relational damage [6]. Also, separate but integral goals and strategies for business and talent development should be defined in Japanese MNEs mobility programs [14]. Sufficient language proficiency has to be fostered too to enable an efficient knowledge transfer [15].

References

[1] Employee Mobility and Talent Management. (2013, September). The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Retrieved from https://bccjacumen.com/employee-mobility-and-talent-management/

[2] BGRS. (2016). Global Mobility Trends. Insight into how 163 Global Mobility leaders view the future of talent mobility. Retrieved from http://globalmobilitytrends.bgrs.com/#/data-highlights

[3] Cho, Y. (2016, July 07). Japanese expats being priced out of Shanghai. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved from https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Japanese-expats-being-priced-out-of-Shanghai

[4] Watanabe, M., & Miyadera, H. (2017, October 11). Moving Past Japan’s Archaic Employment Practices. Brink Asia. Retrieved from https://www.brinknews.com/asia/moving-past-japans-archaic-employment-practices/

[5] Lund, E. (2016, Jan. 30). 5 reasons why Japanese expats say sayonara to their homeland for good. Japan Today. Retrieved from https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/5-reasons-why-japanese-expats-say-sayonara-to-their-homeland-for-good

[6] Tungli, Z., & Peiperl, M. (2009). Expatriate practices in German, Japanese, U.K., and U.S. multinational companies: a comparative survey of changes. Human Resource Management, 48(1), 153-171.

[7] Furuya, N. (2007). The effects of HR policies and repatriate self-adjustment on global competency transfer. Asia Pacific Journal Of Human Resources, 45(1), 6-23.

[8] Global & Regional Mobility for Japanese MNCs – Leverage your talent pool in Asia. (n.d.). Mercer. Retrieved from https://www.mercer.co.jp/events/2016-jmnc-iap-rap-seminar-singapore-en.html

[9] Ando, N., & Paik, Y. (2014). Effects of two staffing decisions on the performance of MNC subsidiaries. Journal Of Global Mobility, (1), 85. doi:10.1108/JGM-08-2013-0051

[10] Kang, B., Sato, Y., & Ueki, Y. (2018). Mobility of Highly Skilled Retirees from Japan to Korea and Taiwan. Pacific Focus, 33(1), 58. doi:10.1111/pafo.12108

[11] Tabata, M. (2012). The Absorption of Japanese Engineers into Taiwan’s TFT-LCD Industry. Asian Survey, 52(3), 571-594.

[12] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[13] Holmes, R. (2016, June 6). Innovating mobility services in Asia Pacific. Relocate global. Retrieved from https://www.relocatemagazine.com/innovating-mobility-services-in-asia-pacific-rholmes.html

[14] Jagger, P. (2017, March 23). Bridging East to West – Japan Inc’s Top 3 HR Priorities for The Year Ahead. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bridging-east-west-japan-incs-top-3-hr-priorities-year-pichaya-jagger/

[15] Peltokorpi, V. (2015). Corporate Language Proficiency and Reverse Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations: Interactive Effects of Communication Media Richness and Commitment to Headquarters. Journal Of International Management, 2149-62. doi:10.1016/j.intman.2014.11.003

Global Talent Gender Gap

mathias-sasger-gender-talent-gap

Content

  • The case for gender egalitarianism
  • Prestige economies and cultural tightness
  • Functional literacy and inclusiveness
  • Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles
  • Humanitarian principles and global egalitarian mindset

 


The case for gender equality

Although women represent half of the population in education and global workforce at career start and mid-level management, men outnumber women in all sectors’ leadership positions. The role of female talents in future leadership is a critical challenge [1] for the growth of economies [2]. A study among a big sample across 26 countries found that work-life balance, commitment, and turnover thoughts are related to perceived job autonomy that is, for women, mediated by present gender egalitarianism [3].

Prestige economies and cultural tightness

Prestige governs economies, causing countries with high expenditure in research and development to have comparatively fewer female members (e.g., Japan with 11.6% female researchers, and only 9.7% professors), while low-expenditure nations (e.g., the Philippines and Thailand employ female researchers beyond 45%) [4]. To stay with the example of Japan, nations with similar challenges related to vocational stereotypes, job availability constraints, traditional bias and a collective mindset, even when not having as much government promotion of female employment as Japan, tend to have fewer women in corporate executive positions. Roibu and Roibu (2017) ascribe this to the strictness of how social and work rules are enforced [2]. Indeed, cultural tightness, i.e., the fierceness of norms, contributes to explaining why some organizations in some countries are less successful in advocating women leadership than others [5]. However, the finding of male domination in higher leadership positions seems to be more generally a phenomenon somewhat independent of nationality, culture, and even legislation for gender equality [4].

Functional literacy and inclusiveness

Fast technological change can negatively pronounce skill deterioration during work interruption, such as caused by maternity leave [6]. Also, education needs to be carefully analyzed regarding whether it is suited to improve social inclusion or whether, in contrast, aggravates competitive exclusivity [7]. For example, functional literacy programs shouldn’t be designed as a reading and writing capability only, but as emancipatory enablers that integrate reading, writing, and socio-economic and political understanding for democratic participation and the self-efficient creation of social networks and wealth [8].

Strength-based approaches to fostering “female” leadership styles

Some woman may be more sold on power-promising, rewarding, and recognizing careers [4] and learn how to play the neo-liberal corporate game. Many, on the other hand, do also keep a philanthropic attitude that might not be come to success in an economy that rewards competition [9]. Leadership styles are evolving though, and the value of emotional intelligence is bringing female leaders, albeit slowly, into pole positions [10]. Strength-based approaches to talent development can help also preserving gender-specific genuineness throughout personal careers [11].

Humanitarian principles and global “female” mindset

The human species can change its mindset, and a female leadership style based on humanitarian principles might be precisely the fit for an increasingly globalized and cooperating world [12]. Millennial women are expected to have a high interest to play a global role [13]. Already existing transnational women’s movements [10] may additionally help to boost self-esteem to create more egalitarian local and global environments.

 

References

[1] Andrews, S. (2017). Leadership, EQ, and Gender: Global Strategies for Talent Development. TD: Talent Development, 71(2), 7.

[2] Roibu, I., & Roibu, P. A. (. (2017). The Differences between Women Executives in Japan and Romania. Oradea Journal Of Business And Economics, Vol 2, Iss 1, Pp 81-90 (2017), (1), 81.

[3] Halliday, C. S., Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., Ordonez, Z., Rogelberg, S. G., & Zhang, H. (2017). Autonomy as a key resource for women in low gender egalitarian countries: A cross-cultural examination. Human Resource Management, 57(2), 601-615.

[4] Morley, L. (2014). Lost Leaders: Women in the Global Academy. Higher Education Research And Development, 33(1), 114-128.

[5] Toh, S. M., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2013). Cultural constraints on the emergence of women leaders: How global leaders can promote women in different cultures. Organizational Dynamics, 42(3), 191-197. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2013.06.004

[6] Jung, J. H., & Choi, K. (2009). Technological Change and Returns to Education: The Implications for the S&E Labor Market. Global Economic Review, 38(2), 161-184. doi:10.1080/12265080902891461

[7] Appleby, Y., & Bathmaker, A. M. (2006). The new skills agenda: increased lifelong learning or new sites of inequality?. British Educational Research Journal, 32(5), 703-717.

[8] Kagitcibasi, C., Goksen, F., & Gulgoz, S. (2005). Functional adult literacy and empowerment of women: Impact of a functional literacy program in Turkey. Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(6), 472-489.

[9] Morley, L. (2016). Troubling intra-actions: gender, neo-liberalism and research in the global academy. Journal Of Education Policy, 31(1), 28-45.

[10] David, E. (2010). Aspiring to leadership …… a woman’s world? An example of developments in France. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, (4), 347. doi:10.1108/13527601011086577

[11] Garcea, N., Linley, A., Mazurkiewicz, K., & Bailey, T. (2012). Future female talent development. Strategic HR Review, (4), 199. doi:10.1108/14754391211234913

[12] Werhane, P. H. (2007). Women Leaders in a Globalized World. Journal Of Business Ethics, (4), 425. doi:10.1007/s10551-007-9516-z

[13] Stefanco, C. J. (2017). Beyond Boundaries: Millennial Women and the Opportunities for Global Leadership. Journal Of Leadership Studies, 10(4), 57-62. doi:10.1002/jls.21505

Job analysis and its role in global talent management (Incl. insights from Japan)

1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management

2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions

3. Towards systematic talent identification

mathias-sager-talent-identification.jpg


1. The role of job analysis in Global Talent Management

The identification of talent is a central aspect of Global Talent Management (GTM) practices in multinational enterprises (MNE’s) [1]. Job analysis respectively competency analysis constitutes a required input for talent identification [2]. However, traditional job analysis that has represented a fundamental necessity for many HR activities seems to have become increasingly outdated [3]. Indeed, the number of current articles about job analysis is decreasing, while, in contrast, related fields such as competency modeling and work analysis describing more broadly and evolving organizational roles are trending [4]. The relative popularity of competency models may be explained by its alignment with organizational strategy and related performance goals [3].

The diminishing relevance of the use of job analysis results such as job descriptions, may come from the shift towards recruitment strategies that are led not by vacancies but rather by onboarding talents to be able to fill strategic roles when they arise. Therefore, rather than looking at existing job tasks, companies strategically may look, especially concerning their leadership competency profiles, for visionary talents who are well connected, cross-culturally skilled, and whose values match well with the firm culture [1].

Another essential consideration in evaluating the utility of job analysis in Talent Management is the level of detail that is elaborated to describe job requirements. While more holistic approaches result in more generic and abstract information convince through their cost-efficiency, the gathering of more detailed data is supporting the judgment process of what specifics contribute to the overall ratings of importance [5]. Researchers argue that the psychometric quality of competency models decline when judgments are based on broad job descriptions [3].

2. Japanese tendencies and the focus on people vs. positions

Japanese talent acquisition practices are strongly shaped by domestic approaches [6], which the interview results of this study also confirm. The identification of skills, abilities, knowledge and other characteristics (KSAOs) informs talents identification. Although methods such as, e.g., job analysis [1] focusing on jobs as a starting point for Talent Management are a promoted view [7], Japanese (multinational) companies tend to work the other way around, i.e., starting with people and then figuring out where to go with the workforce.

The concept of lifetime employment is still alive in Japan. When keeping people is an overarching goal of an organization, job descriptions, and missing job descriptions respectively would limit maneuvering room. Line managers’ expectation rather than job requirement and talent assessment documentation is determining who’s considered to be a talent suitable for what position. This relational focus on work, however, is an important aspect of complex job roles in general and everywhere [8]. However, a tendency towards influencing employee behavior subjectively from manager’s perspective versus a more objective reliance on job descriptions [9] was identified a specific feature of Japanese talent management.

While modern talent approaches may shift from input to a more output-oriented view [7], past achievements (e.g., education and type of university), as well as seniority, are decisive for the employee payments and promotions [10]. On the other side, HR positions often get occupied by staff who is rotated, even against their will. The interview repeatedly pointed to the need for more education to address the lack of HR and talent management capabilities as measured against good global practices and evidenced anecdotic by especially young talents who seem to expect more consideration for their career aspirations. As for job analysis, inexperience, in contrast to carelessness, would not necessarily have to result in low quality judgments though [5].

3. Towards systematic talent identification

Job analysis can uncover needs for improvement in work environments [11] and have positive effects on talent management, such as objective and talent-focusing development. Improper job descriptions leaving employees unclear about their duties and competencies can also lead to legal issues [12]. As, for example, Hitachi demonstrated, the implementation of systematic talent identification and evaluation can improve multinational operations [10]. Albeit talent selection by fixed job characteristics might have become an insufficient method [13], the usage of some work profiles to create good matches between individuals and jobs would be advantageous for staff and organizations alike [14]. A better (psychological) understanding of strategic jobs from an organization’s HR perspective would for sure help underline the importance of talent management [15] in achieving the increasingly complex and global organizational goals.

References

[1] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[2] Lucie, V., Hana, U., & Helena, S. (2016). Identification and Development of Key Talents through Competency Modelling in Agriculture Companies. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Vol 64, Iss 4, Pp 1409-1419 (2016), (4), 1409. doi:10.11118/actaun201664041409

[3] Stevens, G. W. (2013). A critical review of the science and practice of competency modeling. Human Resource Development Review : HRD Review, 12(1), 86-107.

[4] Sanchez, J. I., & Levine, E. L. (2012). The Rise and Fall of Job Analysis and the Future of Work Analysis. Annual Review Of Psychology, 63(1), 397-425. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100401

[5] Morgeson, F. P., Spitzmuller, M., Garza, A. S., & Campion, M. A. (2016). Pay Attention! The Liabilities of Respondent Experience and Carelessness When Making Job Analysis Judgments. Journal Of Management, 42(7), 1904. doi:10.1177/0149206314522298

[6] Conrad, H., & Meyer-Ohle, H. (2017). Overcoming the ethnocentric firm? – foreign fresh university graduate employment in Japan as a new international human resource development method. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 1-19. doi:10.1080/09585192.2017.1330275

[7] Henry Stewart Talks (Producer) (2012) David Collings: Talent management [Online video]. Retrieved from http://hstalks.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/main/view_talk.php?t=2206&r=587&c=250

[8] Schein, E. H., & Van Maanen, J. (2016). Career anchors and job/role planning: Tools for career and talent management. Organizational Dynamics, 45(3), 165-173. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2016.07.002

[9] Sanchez, J., & Levine, E. (2009). What is (or should be) the difference between competency modelling and traditional job analysis? Human Resource Management Review, 19(2), 53–63.

[10] Yamaguchi, T. (2014). Standardizing HR Practices Around the World. Harvard Business Review, 92(9), 80-81.

[11] Ishihara, I., Yoshimine, T., Horikawa, J., Majima, Y., Kawamoto, R., & Salazar, M. (2004). Defining the roles and functions of occupational health nurses in Japan: results of job analysis. AAOHN Journal, 52(6), 230-241.

[12] Smith, K. J. (2015). Conducting Thorough Job Analyses and Drafting Lawful Job Descriptions. Employment Relations Today (Wiley), 41(4), 95-99. doi:10.1002/ert.21479

[13] Using Rough Set Theory to Recruit and Retain High-Potential Talents for Semiconductor Manufacturing. (2007). IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on, IEEE Trans. Semicond. Manufact, (4), 528. doi:10.1109/TSM.2007.907630

[14] Sharp, P. (2011). The LIFE Technique – Creating a Personal Work Profile. Electronic Journal Of Knowledge Management, 9(1), 57-72.

[15] Becker, B. E., & Huselid, M. A. (2010). SHRM and job design: Narrowing the divide. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3), 379-388. doi:10.1002/job.640

Talent (on other than the individual level)

mathias-sager-team-talent.jpg

Some job performances (e.g., the financial results created by investment bankers) is often depending on external factors and is therefore at least difficult to explain and can serve as a reminder that causes of performance often need to be found on other than the individual level alone. This is interesting as it leads to less intuitive notions of talent such as team talent. Also, example conditions under which collective talent may develop best are discussed in this article.

Talent analytics and the search for the ‘why’

Big data analysis can reveal accurate prediction of outcomes, but it often cannot provide meaningful insight into and interpretation of the underlying or antecedent causes. Talent Analytics (TA) is considered a promising use of big data in HR management [1]. Obstacles such as breaking through data silos need to be overcome to harness the full potential of big data analysis. The same might be true for understanding more complex interdependencies that lead to organizational performance. Not only individual performance but the environment in which it occurs is determining results. For example, N’Cho (2017) has found that companies with more audit committee members were able to create higher profits; possibly a non-intuitive fact for many.

Team talent

The most innovative shop doesn’t generate revenues without marketing [2]. From an organizational perspective, team talent as distinctive to individual talent may be an interesting concept in the way that it is a team commonality. Consequently, group incentives have proven to increase the efficiency of collective efforts (e.g., through reduction of so-called free riding), especially in the knowledge economy [3]. Evidence of studies of Major League Baseball teams also supports the concept of team talent. Allocation of profits is closely linked with the distribution of productivity, and it seems that eliminating weak links in favor of a more homogeneous team is significantly driving team improvement [4]. The celebration of stars should not neglect the appreciation of the importance of the supporting B players as they overall contribute far more to a firm’s durable performance [5]. According to the Peter Principle, leaders often remain at positions in which they are overwhelmed, an impression the financial crisis could not correct. From that perspective, it’s not the leaders who matter, but the people who are competently doing their job [6].

Encouraging and competitive environments

There is compelling evidence that trust between managers and staff dramatically increase shareholder return. If employees are not regarded as relatively fixed resources to exploit, but rather as a human potential to develop [7], their performance increases [8]. Talent has become an even more valuable asset than capital itself [9] and needs to be kept free, encouraged, and heard because control is diminishing is potential [10] However, in contrast, on CEO level, competition to control for the risk of misreporting showed to be good advice [11].

Entrepreneurial talent

Entrepreneurial talent that is mainly characterized by a well-connected network around the company founders was identified to account for the organizations’ profitability and financial success [12]. In that sense, entrepreneurial talent provides another example for relationships with factors other than skill-level measures that determine talent and related business performance.

Photo credit: geralt (pixabay.com)

References

[1] N’Cho, J. (2017). Contribution of talent analytics in change management within project management organizations The case of the French aerospace sector. Procedia Computer Science, 121625. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.082

[2] Loyd, S. (2002). Has talent, needs customers : An engineering lab profits from its first strategy experiments. Strategy & Leadership, (3), 34. doi:10.1108/10878570210427936

[3] Meagher, K., & Prasad, S. (2016). Career concerns and team talent. Journal Of Economic Behavior And Organization, 1291-17. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2016.05.019

[4] Schmidt, M. B. (2009). The nonlinear behavior of competition: the impact of talent compression on competition. Journal Of Population Economics, 22(1), 57-74. doi:10.1007/s00148-006-0104-9

[5] DeLong, T. J., & Vijayaraghavan, V. (2003). Let’s Hear It for B Players. Harvard Business Review, 81(6), 96-102.

[6] Why Incompetents Will Always Rule the World. (2009). Inc, 31(3), 22.

[7] People principle will reap rewards Why people and strategy are not mutually exclusive. (2002). PERSONNEL TODAY -SUTTON-, 16.

[8] Steenburgh, T., & Ahearne, M. (2012). Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works. Harvard Business Review, 90(7/8), 70-75.

[9] Martin, R. L., & Moldoveanu, M. C. (2003). Capital Versus Talent: The Battle That’s Reshaping Business. HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, (7). 36.

[10] John Alan, C. (2002). “I Didn’t Know” and “I Was Only Doing My Job”: Has Corporate Governance Careened out of Control? A Case Study of Enron’s Information Myopia. Journal Of Business Ethics, (3), 275.

[11] Marinovic, I., & Povel, P. (2017). Competition for talent under performance manipulation. Journal Of Accounting And Economics, 641-14. doi:10.1016/j.jacceco.2017.04.003

[12] Mayer-Haug, K., Read, S., Brinckmann, J., Dew, N., & Grichnik, D. (2013). Entrepreneurial talent and venture performance: A meta-analytic investigation of SMEs. Research Policy, 421251-1273. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.03.001

Developing Distributed Leadership (DL) for Social Change

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(1) Distinct Co-operative Governance Challenges, (2) Distributed Leadership (DL), Self-awareness, Servant Leadership, and Safe Learning Spaces, (3) Empowerment for Service, Democracy, and Value-based Management, (4) Accountability for Strategic Leadership Processes: “Leading is a function, not a status.”

Distinct Co-operative Governance Challenges

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Co-operatives that are run according to cooperative principles, face distinct challenges compared to governments or for-profit organizations. About 90 percent of contemporary leadership research is not directly relevant for the NGO context. [1]. Furthermore, the available approaches to co-operative leadership need to be tailored according to organizational structure and maturity, economic sector, and membership size [2].

In a time of mystification and celebration of top-down leadership [3], capitalist shareholder dominance, and the absence of teaching foundations of cooperative democratic principles in schools, NGOs and Co-ops nevertheless continue to prioritize cooperation, especially by democratic and participatory principles that foster the inclusive membership’s well-being beyond pure business goals (Pinto, 2011). The cooperative governance model developed over decades by the CDS Consulting Co-op [29] has proven to provide leadership guidance to meet these unique needs by structuring governance elements into the four pillars of (1) teaming, (2) accountable empowerment, (3) democracy, and (4) strategic leadership. The following selected possible leadership program aspects are recommended to address the governance challenges of early-stage, still small cooperative organizations with a diverse and growing volunteering membership base.

Distributed Leadership (DL), Self-awareness, Servant Leadership, and Safe Learning Spaces

Protagonist leaders not sharing appropriately information are roadblocks to the active participation of co-leaders (e.g., other board members) and other members as everyone is supposed to participate in the democratic process [29]. Mutually owned solution development involving all stakeholders (i.e., diverse member categories and other stakeholders in a multi-stakeholder cooperative) cultivate creativity [28]. The risk of stakeholders pursuing their individual career goals at the cost of enhanced social networks and shared knowledge has to be prevented [16]. Cooperative enterprises require concerted collective action [17]. Such a collective capacity [1] is necessary to sustainably pool resources and know-how and can be addressed by the distributed leadership (DL) paradigm [18]. Co-ops may foresee to offer leadership education that is addressing the dimensions of DL, which are “bounded empowerment, developing leadership, shared decision and collective engagement” ([19], p. 693).

A higher self-awareness may be needed for individuals to make sense of the broader cooperative perspective [20]. DL suggests a culture of intensified inquiry among individuals [21] that can be positively influenced by increased self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and creative behavior among the members. A co-op can consider administering the validated DL instrument as the basis for its leadership development [22]. Especially at early stages of forming an organization, group coaching as proposed by Fusco, O’Riordan, and Palmer (2015) [23] to develop authentic self-leadership within the team can be an appropriate activity as well. Servant leadership characteristics showed global validity and could inform the coaching approach and the creation of safe learning spaces for experimentation [20], which can be of high value especially in multi-cultural and human-oriented communities [24].

Empowerment for Service, Democracy, and Value-based Management

It was a misbelief that paid Board members would remain solidary to volunteer work [4]. Rather, a study with students found that independent commitment to service provides for meaningful learning experiences and collaborative capacity building [5]. Democracy offers a meaningful collective leadership approach [6] that can enhance innovative behavior and commitment among the members who have the possibility for representation in the governance of the organization [7].

The members need to be offered the potential for own socio-economic success as a result from collective operation [8], best based on a stakeholder analysis allowing for alignment of different members’ incentives [9]. Engagement comes from understanding the purpose, vision, and values of the organization [10]. Indeed, value-based management helps to create a shared sense of belonging to all stakeholders [11], which is vital team-building success. More specifically, a formal value statement can help keeping up values required for shared leadership development. A clear positioning against external competition might eliminate internal competition [12], which can be achieved by training [13]. Another proposition is journaling to analyze how members experience their service contributions, a measure that has been able to confirmed the joy of service [14].

Accountability for Strategic Leadership Processes: “Leading is a function, not a status.”

Every minute of volunteering should be appreciated, and different levels of engagement between and within members over time accepted. Therefore, rather than defining and assigning roles and responsibilities to which it could be challenging to adhere to, accountability should be promoted. That way leaders can freely emerge without conflicts with non-matching role descriptions [2]. As Cannell (2018) [15] puts it aptly, “leading is a function, not a status.” Any, and especially also young members should be encouraged to self-nominate for leadership and management roles [16]. Technology can support strategy processes, planning, budgeting, member and associate management, as well as communication and media [25]. The Social Change Model of Leadership offers a framework on which leadership development programs could be built on to facilitate value-based collaborative group processes for social change [26] and the encouragement of new leaders [27].

References

[1] Dragoș – Cătălin, A. (2013). Non-Governmental Organization Leadership And Development. A Review Of The Literature. Manager, Vol 17, Iss 1, Pp 145-161 (2013), (1), 145.

[2] Whittle, K. (2018). Who’s afraid of leadership? Key lessons for co-op leaders. Retrieved from https://www.thenews.coop/125400/topic/business/whos-afraid-leadership-key-lessons-co-op-leaders/

[3] Bennis, W. (1999). The End of Leadership: Exemplary Leadership Is Impossible Without Full Inclusion, Initiatives, and Cooperation of Followers. Organizational Dynamics, 28(1), 71-79.

[4] Pinto (2011). Leadership, capacity building and governability in cooperatives. Swedish Cooperative Centre. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/social/meetings/egm11/documents/Costa%20Pinto-Leadership,%20capacity%20building.pdf

[5] Dooley, J., & Shellog, K. (2016). Social change model of leadership development: A 20-year legacy and future considerations. Campus Activities Programming, 49(5), 20-25.

[6] Smolović Jones, S. )., Smolović Jones, O. )., Winchester, N. )., & Grint, K. ). (2016). Putting the discourse to work: On outlining a praxis of democratic leadership development. Management Learning, 47(4), 424-442. doi:10.1177/1350507616631926

[7] Rustin, M., & Armstrong, D. (2012). What happened to democratic leadership?. Soundings (13626620), (50), 59-71.

[8] Kuria, N. C. (2012). Harnessing the co-operative advantage to build a better world. United Nations Expert Group Meeting and Forum. Retrieved from https://social.un.org/coopsyear/documents/KuriaCooperativeLeadershipandGovernanceAddisAbaba.pdf

[9] Wilson, N. A., Ranawat, A., Nunley, R., & Bozic, K. J. (2009). Executive summary: aligning stakeholder incentives in orthopaedics. Clinical Orthopaedics And Related Research, 467(10), 2521-2524. doi:10.1007/s11999-009-0909-4

[10] Smith, C. (2015). Exemplary leadership: How style and culture predict organizational outcomes. Nursing Management, 46(3), 47-51. doi:10.1097/01.NUMA.0000456659.17651.c0

[11] Current state of research into co-operative management. Context, and future vision (2009). University of Leicester. Retrieved from www.pellervo.fi/pp/110esitykset/current_state_davis.ppt

[12] Maner, J. K., & Mead, N. L. (2010). The essential tension between leadership and power: When leaders sacrifice group goals for the sake of self-interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology99(3), 482-497.

[13] Tomlinson, C. A. (2017). Shining a Light on Leadership. Educational Leadership, 74(8), 91-92.

[14] Buschlen, E. L., & Reusch, J. (2016). The Assessment of Service Through the Lens of Social Change Leadership: A Phenomenological Approach. Journal Of College And Character, 17(2), 82.

[15] Cannell, B. (2018). Co-operative leadership: How should it work in practice? Retrieved from https://www.thenews.coop/125421/topic/business/co-operative-leadership-work-practice/

[16] Espedal, B., Gooderham, P. N., & Stensaker, I. G. (2013). Developing Organizational Social Capital or Prima Donnas in MNEs? The Role of Global Leadership Development Programs. Human Resource Management, 52(4), 607-625. doi:10.1002/hrm.21544

[17] Di Ruggiero, E., Kishchuk, N., Viehbeck, S., Edwards, N., Robinson, K., Riley, B., & Fowler, H. S. (2017). Alliance members’ roles in collective field-building: an assessment of leadership and championship within the Population Health Intervention Research Initiative for Canada. Health Research Policy & Systems, 151-11. doi:10.1186/s12961-017-0265-x

[18] Hristov, D. (2017). Distributed leadership : lessons from destination management organisations.

[19] Hairon, S., & Goh, J. P. (2015). Pursuing the Elusive Construct of Distributed Leadership: Is the Search Over?. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(5), 693-718.

[20] Creating a learning environment for transformation: A case study of a course in sustainability leadership. (2013). Leading Transformative Higher Education Olomouc: Palacký University.

[21] Sloan, T. (2013). Distributed Leadership and Organizational Change: Implementation of a Teaching Performance Measure. New Educator, 9(1), 29-53.

[22] Jønsson, T., Unterrainer, C., Jeppesen, H., & Jain, A. K. (2016). Measuring distributed leadership agency in a hospital context. Journal Of Health Organization & Management, 30(6), 908-926. doi:10.1108/JHOM-05-2015-0068

[23] Fusco, T., O’Riordan, S., & Palmer, S. (2015). Authentic Leaders are… Conscious, Competent, Confident, and Congruent: A Grounded Theory of Group Coaching and Authentic Leadership Development. International Coaching Psychology Review, 10(2), 131-148.

[24] Hirschy, M. J., Gomez, D., Patterson, K., & Winston, B. E. (2014). SERVANT LEADERSHIP, HUMANE ORIENTATION, AND CONFUCIAN DOCTRINE OF JEN. Academy Of Strategic Management Journal, 13(1), 97-111.

[25] Sinclair, I., & Matlala, M. (2011). The use of technology and leadership in enhancing strategic cooperative policing within the SADC region. International Journal Of African Renaissance Studies, 6(1), 47. doi:10.1080/18186874.2011.592391

[26] Iachini, A. L., Cross, T. P., & Freedman, D. A. (2015). Leadership in Social Work Education and the Social Change Model of Leadership. Social Work Education, 34(6), 650-665. doi:10.1080/02615479.2015.1025738

[27] French, A. (2017). Toward a New Conceptual Model: Integrating the Social Change Model of Leadership Development and Tinto’s Model of Student Persistence. Journal Of Leadership Education, 16(3), 97-117.

[28] Broussine, M., & Miller, C. (2005). Leadership, Ethical Dilemmas and ‘Good’ Authority in Public Service Partnership Working. Business Ethics: A European Review, 14(4), 379-391.

[29] Cooperative Governance – 4 Pillars Cooperative Governance (n.d.). Retrieved from  http://www.cdsconsulting.coop/cooperative_governance/4pcg/

Compassionate leadership: If we all ‘lead,’ we don’t need ‘managers’ anymore

There are significant differences between leadership and management

In our contemporary world both leadership and management may be required and co-exist in different situations, but the identification and understanding of their distinguishing features is important if we want to use both of them effectively and eventually think about shifting the emphasis towards managers who are real leaders too.

Having been in diverse leadership and/or management positions in educational institutions and schools, business and consulting firms, military/public service organizations, media and communication practices, as well as leisure/sports clubs and civic movements over the last 20 years, I’ve reflected on the difference between leadership and management from many different angles. I’m always coming back to the conclusion that the concepts of leadership and management are not as related as the popular interchangeable use of the terms might suggest.

The ultimate market-participating organizational SMART goals versus dreams and visions

Like a path is leading to a different place, or a sheep can be led into a stable, human leadership can be defined as leading something or somebody towards a certain direction. It is said that leadership requires meaning; meaning that is represented and communicated through goals. Although managerial and leadership goals should always be believed to be achievable, the type of goal formation process and quality of goals themselves involved in leadership and management differs significantly [1].

A leader typically is self-guided by intuition and his intimate moral understanding, while a manager is hired by the board of directors pursuing shareholders interest for securing maximized return on their investments. In case of doubt or conflict, the financial interests always have to succeed over other values in a for-profit organization. Manager’s success is measured by how accurately they achieve the business goals. The more long-term, the less predictable the attainment of goals becomes. Leadership tolerates not directly measurable long-term results [1]. Managers, in contrast, for above reasons preferably are to set short-term goals. To ensure that goals are as clear and realistic as possible, so-called SMART goals are commonly used in the corporate world, which ought to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Leaders may not only not have SMART goals, but even allow more vague dreams and visions that are often requiring significant imagination.

There is a difference between the concept of power based on formal authority and influence through inspiration

One broad approach is to define leadership as the interpersonal dimension of management that comprises the “ability to inspire confidence and support among the people who are needed to achieve organizational goals” ([2], p. 5). Frequently leadership gets confused with authority, seeing power as being based on formal roles. The formal assignments of a manager or officer let people notice legitimacy and comply with instructions because of fear of negative consequences in case of non-compliance [3]. When saying that leadership requires power, it is, however, not this authoritarian capability of incurring costs (for example in the form of punishment) for the people who refuse to obey [1]. Authoritarian regimes as examples of tight leadership in the form of control and prescription are generating poor results for the people. Instead, it is the ability to inspire for a voluntary fellowship by unforceful means that is resulting in individual prosperity, well-being, and peace through personal self-determination and fulfillment. Real leadership allows people self-leadership.

Leadership goes beyond the leadership aspects practiced in business administration

When the sum of the leadership structures followed by society is called culture [1], then the sum of management structures of market-participating organizations can be seen as the economy. Leaders create culture through the leadership structures they leave behind ([1], p. 11), while managers build administrations through the organizational patterns they establish. This thinking is in line with the terminology used in managerial education, where the top courses for aspiring or acting executive officers award for the title of the Master of Business Administration. Increasing parts of businesses consist of technology and digital resources, whereas human aspects tend to be further pushed into the background. Emotional and organic elements are taken out from the management of resources in favor of optimal planning accuracy. Again, although there may (but doesn’t have to) be some deal of leadership involved as well in steering a business, a real leader would never be reduced to be an administrator in that sense.

The irrelevance of leadership in the management of expectations

As Rudy Giuliani once put it, leaders first figure out what’s right, and then explain it to people, as opposed to first having people explain it and then just saying what they want to hear ([2], p.3). Indeed, managers tend to behave in a manner more or less in line with the management style endorsed within their country, industry or organization [4]. Firms choose new executives whose values are consistent with their own. If an executive is not filling the role as expected, he will be replaced with somebody who adheres more closely to expectations. From that perspective it is essential to have a rider, to use this metaphor, who holds the reins of a horse put before a cart, but any other rider who follows the relatively simple rules how to guide a horse and carriage can carry them as well. You can even let a child play the carter. It can be observed that the horse’s, respectively the organization’s personality, to come back to the organizational context, is actually more important than the “leader” himself [2].

Leaders emerge when there is an urge for change or the need to resolve a crisis or conflict

Leadership creates change, often of dramatic dimensions, such as when completely new market dynamics are developed, societal perceptions are shifted, or more diverse cultures emerge. Management on the other hand often is concerned about maintaining predictability and order [2]. Let’s think about why and how changes are managed in organizations. A big part of organizational administration deals with tracking changes to protect the status quo of power balances and interests of stakeholders and resources that contribute most to the profitable business. Such times of contentedness and stability are not calling for leaders whose strength is to move towards widening the range of beneficiaries. It is the time of crisis, in which leaders emerge. Managers monitor operational excellence of their subordinates typically in periods of economic strain. Charisma arises when there are heightened levels of distress among an increasing number of people that can be of not only financial but also psychological nature, constituting an individual and collective crisis of meaning that demands answers. If the problem is sought to be solved by somebody else, the ground is fertile for people to follow a leader who convincingly directs toward a comforting solution [3]. It has to be carefully evaluated whether these promises are meaningful and serving the common good, or whether there is an overemphasis on leader-reliance for whatever reason. Leaders are also required in situations of conflict. Conflict as the opposite of leadership is characterized by the absence of a functioning leader-follower relationship, typically because of disagreements related to a common course of action [1].

There is little leadership required and even possible in corporations

Following the argumentation so far, it is conceivable to suggest, assuming a bit a black and white perspective, that in organizations, at ordinary times there is little leadership required and even possible. Instead, what is required is a disciplined management that administers an organization to stay on track without visioning any significant change that would require leadership. Abraham Maslow regarded leaders as self-actualizing individuals who are self-determined, independent of culture, and following their inner guidance to help their fellow humans. For a leader of such qualities a narrow corporate environment likely would be unsatisfying at least and possibly over longer or sooner and would also be ethically conflicting. Executives of big corporations have contributed to the mistrust in corporate ethics due to their perceived focus on self-promotion and excessive greed. What seems to be required is more compassionate leadership in the service of others respectively in the view of the broader society and humanity beyond an institutional context [5].

The difference between moral, ethics, and professionalism

Ninety-nine percent of the global wealth is controlled by the top one percent of richest people. The issue is that this causes, for example, the daily death of tens of thousands of innocent children who are left without the necessary means to survive, such as food or health care. Unfortunately, as long as it is a tolerated practice that the already highly concentrated wealth is invested almost exclusively in opportunities that further accentuate this income and wealth inequality, there is little hope that compassionate (moral) and ethical leadership will prevail. Corporate social responsibility struggles to demonstrate a positive impact on the single measure bottom-line of financial profit generation, why it remains not much more than an afterthought. On the one hand, public relations and marketing communications of organizations increasingly use language that includes terms like ‘sharing,’ ‘love,’ ‘community,’ and ‘better world for all,’ to brand themselves socially towards consumers who are willing to pay a premium for such labels. This is true even for industries such as tobacco and arms. On the other hand, corporate ethics training is poised to be mere professional instruction on how to operate within legal constraints without jeopardizing business performance. This may be diligent management to serve capital, but not leadership to improve the human condition.

Shaping the role of genuinely great managerial leadership

Again, in all kinds of organizational settings, there may be a necessary mix of administrative and leadership qualities at work, suggesting a combined role of a ‘managerial leader’ [2].

Maybe the understanding of managerial leadership as based on self-actualization could further evolve to increasingly focus the help of other people in the organizational context while also not losing sight of the fairness towards and the well-being of people in the broader national societal and even global humanitarian context. Importantly, we should not forget that such a broadening of the benefits of leadership requires courageous first-/early-moving followers, who lead others not to remain passive bystanders but to support change towards growth and development of all actively. Asking managerial questions for organizational survival is foundational, but without further questioning on what basis, to what extent, and at whose cost, it is difficult to see real leadership added to management. The more inclusive and compassionate questions get expanded to the scope of all humanity, the greater the leadership involved.

In the current economic and competitive context, cooperation may indeed risk losing some battles in the field of short-term inter-organizational rivalry. However, already today more than ever, genuinely great managerial leadership also can become a competitive advantage and an opportunity for priceless emotional rewards for our all well-being. I think we are on the way to return to a more overall life-relevant philosophical understanding of leadership in which everyone’s full human potential is embraced. In that sense, leadership beyond management is relevant and possible for all of us. If we all assume a managerial leadership role, we don’t need managers anymore. Let’s take the chance.

References

[1] Paschen, M., & Dihsmaier, E. (2013). The psychology of human leadership: How to develop charisma and authority. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

[2] DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

[3] Doyle, M. E., & Smith, M. K. (2001). Classical models of managerial leadership: Trait, behavioural, contingency and transformational theory. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/leadership/traditional_leadership.htm

[4] Dorfman, P., Javidan, M., Hanges, P., Dastmalchian, A., & House, R. (2012). GLOBE: A twenty year journey into the intriguing world of culture and leadership. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 504–518.

[5] Soni, B., & Soni, R. (2016). Enhancing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Effective Leadership. Competition Forum, 14(2), 259-263.

(Platform) Worker Co-ops as a Solution for Business Ownership Successions. The Context in Japan.

mathias-sager-platform cooperativism Japan

Introduction

The percentage of employees employed by small and medium enterprises (SME’s) decreased from 80% to 70% in the last 20 years. Issues regarding the ownership succession of businesses are essential in the light of an aging society and the need for sustainable socio-economic development. The SME Cooperative Act of 1949 is for small and medium enterprises that lack financial resources in the conduct of joint businesses based on a spirit of mutual-aid to raise their economic status. The creation of a worker co-operative law would allow the further formalization of the opportunity of business conversions into worker cooperatives in any business sector. Business successions to employees would create a fairer economy where the trinity of ownership (investors), management (managers), and value creation/utilization (workers, users) is balanced for the benefits of its active membership.

Number of SME’s in Japan has fallen by 1 million during the last 20 years

It would be great if we could already discuss co-operative ownership succession of large organizations. However, I’m not aware of a “buy-twitter-initiative” in Japan so far. So, the more immediate opportunity for Platform Cooperativism may lie with small and medium businesses. Over the past 20 years, the number of SMEs in Japan has fallen by about 1 million and the number of SME employees decreased from 80% to 70% percent of overall employment (White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan 2016). I am not sure how much the demographic challenges of the aging society would be the cause of such a decline in the digital sector especially, as increasing eliminatory market dominance of the big corporations is an inherent feature of many digital platforms.

Opportunity for ownership succession to employees

I experience that Japanese observers are regretting the disappearing of SME’s due to a lack of successful succession management. A similar issue represents the continuing rural exodus. There is mentioning of that when the business successions among SMEs are becoming issues, business successions to non-family persons, such as employees, are increasing (Kubota, 2010). So, I feel there are lots of opportunities to promote the co-operative way, although the predominant family business succession models are to the family or third parties other than employees and are separating ownership and management. Japan is currently still one of the few developed countries without a worker coop law, which is certainly not helpful.

For example, in agriculture, the succession and inheritance aspect is (globally) less researched because there is a view that family farming is heading towards extinction anyway. However, as still many farms are owned and managed by families, there may be renewed interest in intergenerational and intra- and inter-family cooperative solutions such as worker co-operatives.

Japanese business cooperation

Japanese small businesses are typically strongly cooperating and sub-contracting between companies, also for the rehabilitation of (struggling) small enterprises. There is a system of Small and Medium Enterprise Cooperatives based on the SME Cooperative Act from 1949, facilitating small and medium enterprises that lack financial resources in the conduct of joint businesses based on a spirit of mutual-aid to raise their economic status. The joint business cooperatives are, e.g., joint store associations, chain business associations, joint investing companies and voluntary groups.

The Japanese business system, also described as “co-opetition”, a mix of severe competition and collectivist Japanese culture, may be a fertile ground for #platformcoopjp. On the other hand, tendencies of specializing employees to contribute to a collective raise the question of how easily employees can assume initiative and more active (intrapreneurship) roles in case of becoming part of an employee-owned/managed organization.

https://www.facebook.com/platformcoopjp

The Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) Consortium is continuing to collaborate and research for the exploration of opportunities in applying co-operative (platform) solutions to business successions and share the lessons learned also outside of Japan.

For an overview of Japanese socio-economic situation and the #co-operative landscape, please see the following articles (https://www.mathias-sager.com/2017/10/19/cooperatives-in-japan-article-series-overview/)

 

References

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (2016). White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan 2016. The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency

Kubota, N. (2010). 非親族承継における所有と経営の分離. 日本経営診断学会論集, 9145-151. doi:10.11287/jmda.9.145

Escaping (Psycho-)Logic Traps for Better Solutions

mathias-sager-pschologic trap escape 2

Summary. Social traps are situations in which individuals take rational (and often egoist) short-term decisions that, however, lead to negative collective results in the long-term. Some psycho-(logic) traps involve an isolating and limiting view on available behavioral choices. Because everyone needs to feel competent to take future action, the failure trap lets people deny their potential for further learning and engage in task-irrelevant actionism. The sunk cost fallacy is such an example in which, due to already made investments, there is a reluctance to change the unsuccessful course of behavior. Most social issues are not unfortunate events; they have to do with whether we base our solution design on observations rather than assumptions, and whether we accept our duty to act as if we trusted others, although there is always evidence for peoples untrustworthiness. Rather than limiting our fight for survival on individual competition, we can act as institutional entrepreneurs, guiding groups, and societies towards a better future.

Continue reading Escaping (Psycho-)Logic Traps for Better Solutions

Save Net Neutrality

Your internet connection might slow down after December 14th.

On that day, the FCC will vote on Ajit Pai’s proposal to reverse Title II in the Communication Act.  Title II ensures that the government monitors all ISPs, so they cannot throttle your connection or charge you more money. If Ajit Pai’s plan passes, then internet providers will be able to block or slow down whatever websites they choose.

This could potentially cause a lot of websites to lose traffic and revenue, and it changes the freedom of the internet.

Since only five people on the FCC can vote (and there’s a good chance that the three Republicans will vote for Pai’s plan), it’s up to the public to stop it.

Internet neutrality infographic.png

Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

mathias-sager-cooperative learning.jpg

Human interactions don’t lack technical but rather cooperative communication skills. The good news is that pro-social behavior can be learned. Collective argumentation is one means to scaffold learners’ engagement in group work. Also, the negotiation of values is vital for achieving a shared sense of agency and accountability between teachers and students. In computer-enabled learning, consequential engagement in the form of enabling equitability and showing the benefits beyond single contributions, as well as using game formats are promising pathways to progress cooperation in learning environments.

Continue reading Scaffolding Cooperative Learning

The People’s Disruption: Platform Co-ops for Global Challenges (November 10-11, 2017 / The New School, New York City)

 

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The People’s Disruption: Platform Co-ops for Global Challenges

November 10-11, 2017 / The New School, New York City

The first platform cooperativism event in 2015 popularized the #platformcoop concept, and the conference a year later brought together co-op and union leaders to push the model forward. This third event will zero in on ways that platform cooperatives can help to address some of the future’s most urgent challenges. The fairer digital economy we need is already emerging, but it won’t happen on its own. That’s where you come in.

  • Learn about new platform co-op projects that are shaping this emerging ecosystem, from blockchain-based financing to user-owned clouds
  • Reflect on research about platform co-op experiments in recent years
  • Confront growing challenges from artificial intelligence to global governance
  • Join leaders from co-ops, industry, labor, and social movements—from Associated Press to Black Lives Matter—to raise the scale of our ambition

Platform cooperatives are poised to be a dynamic, transformative force in building a more equitable economy for people across various income, race and class strata, starting with the most vulnerable populations. This is a political and economic movement that can disrupt Silicon Valley’s disruptors by shifting the focus toward fundamentally fairer forms of ownership and governance. Over the past few years, the burgeoning of platform co-ops, community currencies, worker’s tech, the solidarity economy, and B Corps have shown us that alternative economies are not only necessary but possible. Come help us make platform cooperativism part of the new normal.

Convened by

Trebor Scholz, Camille Kerr, Nathan Schneider, Palak Shah
Featuring

Alicia Garza / Felicia Wong / Brad Burnham / danah boyd / Joseph Blasi / Pia Mancini / Yochai Benkler / Juliet Schor

And many more: platform.coop/2017/participants

Sponsored by

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Also, don’t miss:
Platform Coop 2017: Technology Afterparty

(November 12, New York, NY)

An after-party for #platformcoop-obsessed tech developers and platform designers to come together and learn from one-another, connect, and co-create.
Register here —it’s free.
DazzleCon ’17

(November 15-17, Portland, OR)

Still accepting applications! If you’re a post-revenue founder interested in learning more about creating a more inclusive and ethical type of funding, be sure to visit www.zebrasunite.com.

More Information and Apply
Tenerife Colaborativa 2017

(November 23-27, Tenerife, Spain)

An opportunity to discover the keys that encourage economic paradigm shift and to explore initiatives that lead to practice.

More information and Registration

7 WRONG Reasons/Excuses for Why We Cannot Change for a Better Cooperative Economic System

1 – We shouldn’t complain about capitalism, if we use it

I heard this mean argument recently. Did we choose to be born into that system? That’s like telling the unfortunate living in smog; they shouldn’t complain about the polluted air if they breathe it.

breathing capitalism

2 – Communism isn’t better than capitalism

Did I say anything about communism? I’m talking about Cooperativism. Co-ops can be for profit. The same business models as today can be run democratically. The only difference would be that profits are not exclusively going to a handful of investors valuing short term profits over long-term employment, but would be re-invested into the company and its people who create the value of the organizations with their daily work. Aren’t many of today’s corporations branding themselves as being cooperating, socially responsible, caring for the community? Why then don’t we get a share and vote then? Because that would be the true meaning of community.

cooperatiism as alternative

3 – We cannot treat people equal

Yes, and no. Again, I am not talking about a system without performance-based incentives. We all learn in sports how to be fair losers.

Value creation has to be re-defined. Today, helping rich people avoid taxes is rewarded generously while cleaning up a the dirty environment, caring about weak and sick people, and helping a hungry child has to be done largely as unpaid volunteering.

Humans are relatively equal; there is no reason to make racial differences. The differences that matter are made by external circumstances, such as education, support, and fair treatment. Different talents and ambitions are fine though. Co-op members can democratically determine what efforts are incentivized in what way.

similar and different

4 – Governance by the people ends in chaos

Like in a state democracy with millions of citizens too, a cooperative membership for efficiency reasons can vote for major decisions only, and elects a representation for managing the enterprise. The good thing is, the management would act on behalf of the members (workers, consumers, producers, etc. who are actively involved and interested in the organization in the long-term) rather than on behalf of profit-maximizing outside shareholders.

your vote is your voice

5 – Cooperative decisions are too slow

Of course, a dictatorship may provide for faster decisions. Have you already campaigned dictatorship? Who would you currently choose? Ah, sorry, we don’t have a saying in that.

Feasibly administering elections and voting is possible. As a Swiss, I know what I’m talking about.

democracy or dictatorship

6 – People don’t want to engage

With a balance between responsibilities, accountabilities, and competencies (!) people are willing to assume all of these. Also, a cooperative would educate for active citizenship rather than investing into advertising and luring people into passive consumerism. Cooperative values motivate to engage for individual and collective well-being.

consumerism

7 – We cannot change it

A couple of dozens of people own the wealth of half of the world population. 1% percent own the same wealth as the rest 99%. The net worth of the world’s billionaires increased from less than $1 trillion in 2000 to over $7 trillion in 2015, so the gap between rich and poor is growing up dramatically.

The rich are worried more and more as their oligarchic power increase becomes more obvious to more people. It looks like they think only a global war will hinder the awakening of the masses and defend their illegitimate privileges.

The current world order is keeping the majority of people poor and uninformed enough, or happy enough so that they don’t take action. War will serve the same end.

We can change it, if we spread the word for workplace democracy and support the cooperative movement. The five firms worth most and extracting most value/profit are all IT/Internet businesses (Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft). Maybe it’s not too late to claim back in minimum the virtual world with its increasing real effects on our daily life and the future of our children. (Please see https://www.mathias-sager.com/category/growth-enablement/initiatives/products/)

keep out

Richer and richer

Ha ha, Gupta style (listen to the audio). A poem from my Indian friend Gupta san who still thinks he can better the world. Goooo, Gupta san!

Who has the money?
The rich who get richer and richer.
Who is financing new businesses?
The rich who get richer and richer.
What kind of businesses do they finance?
Profitable businesses that make the rich and richer.
That means businesses where the rich get more out of it than they put in?
Yes.
But who then puts in more than they get out of it,
so that the rich can get more out of it than they put in?
The planet and the poor.
That’s how the environment and society do pay the rich
who get richer and richer.

Too Much and “Good” or “Bad” Emotional Intelligence / Empathy

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High levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI) are generally associated with high performance and success. However, there might also be a kind of emotional overthinking with adverse effects on work performance. And, EI is not in itself a “good” or a “bad” personality characteristic.

Continue reading Too Much and “Good” or “Bad” Emotional Intelligence / Empathy

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI): Not Just the Sum of Individual EI

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Summary. Collaborative learning and teamwork play a significant role in learning and work performance. Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) has positive effects on learning and performance dynamics in learning and collaborating teams, which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior. Therefore, the potential of CEI should be harnessed by further integrating it into work-relevant learning curriculums.

Team Learning for Team Performance

Despite or because of the controversy related to how Emotional Intelligence (EI) is positively influencing performance, potential beneficiaries such as Learning & Development and HR functions need to be considerate about what measures they take [1]. Organizational requirements shifted increasingly towards increased requirements for team work [2]. Similarly, in educational settings, collaborative learning is considered playing a decisive role in learning performance [3]. EI is a concept that is associating affect, cognition, and socialization [4]. It is possible to develop, e.g., through cooperative learning as several studies found [5] [6]. Team based learning becomes most effective if sufficient female participation in teams is created, which brings in the female tendency for increased emotional awareness and male’s heightened appetite to proactively guide the team [7]. Researchers suggests that emotional intelligence can culturally differ, following the logic that the social environment, as it is the topic of social cognitive theories, determines how for what emotions awareness and regulations are created [8].

Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a Team Ability

Studies confirm the correlation between the gender ratio and collective intelligence [9]. They define Collective Emotional Intelligence (CEI) as a group’s ability to create a collectively normed management and expression of emotions and emphasize its importance for teamwork quality [9]. It becomes evident that there is an interrelationship between the positive effect that EI can have on aspects of dynamics in learning teams [2], which reinforces EI as a contributing factor to successful organizational behavior [10]. Individual EI without integration into the group context is not a guarantee for teamwork as emotionally intelligent individuals may situationally choose competition over cooperation, depending on their strategic benefit assessment [11].

Reported decreases in empathy over time in medical school were successfully addressed by implementing further team based learning [4]. And another example represents the reported need for and success of EI as an integral part of work-relevant learning curriculums [12]. It will be interesting how evidenced-based research and organizational needs will stimulate each other. 

References

[1] Leimbach, M. P., & Maringka, J. (2010). Invited Reaction: Developing Emotional Intelligence (EI) Abilities through Team-Based Learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 21(2), 139-145.

[2] Clarke, N. (2010). Emotional Intelligence and Learning in Teams. Journal Of Workplace Learning, 22(3), 125-145.

[3] Moore, A., & Mamiseishvili, K. (2012). Examining the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Group Cohesion. Journal Of Education For Business, 87(5), 296-302.

[4] Borges, N. J., Kirkham, K., Deardorff, A. S., & Moore, J. A. (2012). Development of emotional intelligence in a team-based learning internal medicine clerkship. Medical Teacher, 34(10), 802-806. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.687121

[5] Goreyshi, M. K., kargar, F. R., Noohi, S., & Ajilchi, B. (2013). Effect of Combined Mastery-Cooperative Learning on Emotional Intelligence, Self-esteem and Academic Achievement in Grade Skipping. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 84(The 3rd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance, WCPCG-2012), 470-474. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.586

[6] Marta, E., Diego, M., & Miguel A, M. (2016). El Aprendizaje Cooperativo y las Habilidades Socio-Emocionales: Una Experiencia Docente en la Asignatura Técnicas de Ventas / Cooperative Learning and Socio-Emotional Skills: A Teaching Experience in Sales Techniques Course. Formación Universitaria, (6), 43.

[7] Dunaway, M. M. (2013). IS Learning: The Impact of Gender and Team Emotional Intelligence. Journal Of Information Systems Education, 24(3), 189-202.

[8] Sung, H. Y. (2015). Emotional Intelligence and Sociocognitive Skills in Collaborative Teaching and Learning. New Directions For Teaching And Learning, (143), 61-77.

[9] Curşeu, P. L., Pluut, H., Boroş, S., & Meslec, N. (2015). The magic of collective emotional intelligence in learning groups: No guys needed for the spell!. British Journal Of Psychology (London, England: 1953), 106(2), 217-234. doi:10.1111/bjop.12075

[10] Tofighi, M., Tirgari, B., Fooladvandi, M., Rasouli, F., & Jalali, M. (2015). Relationship between emotional intelligence and organizational citizenship behavior in critical and emergency nurses in south east of Iran. Ethiopian Journal Of Health Sciences, 25(1), 79-88.

[11] Fernández-Berrocal, P. )., Extremera, N. )., Ruiz-Aranda, D. )., & Lopes, P. ). (2014). When to cooperate and when to compete: Emotional intelligence in interpersonal decision-making. Journal Of Research In Personality, 49(1), 21-24. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.12.005

[12] Singh, P., & Dali, C. M. (2013). Need for Emotional Intelligence to Develop Principals’ Social Skills. Africa Education Review, 10(3), 502-519.

The threat to Net Neutrality is just a symptom, not the disease

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Summary. The economic system isn’t a neutral one, so how can the Internet be? Or does anybody know an example of a multi-billion marketplace like the Internet that is accessible for free? I usually get in contact with some banks, landlords, and the like if I want to open my brick and mortar store somewhere or access any valuable resources. Even in the backmost corner of the forest every square meter is taken. Why should that work differently for online stores as these are turning over real money? Regulation of competition will, at best, only slow down the loss of Net Neutrality a bit.  If we want an economy that’s letting us to neutrally participate rather than compete by financial means, we have to choose, for example, more the co-operative over the corporate legal form (http://ica.coop/en/what-co-operative). It’s not only about a handful of organizations deciding about the Internet though. Today, all economy (and life) is involved in and (partially) reflected by the virtual world too. Therefore, it is a fundamental political decision to take beyond just a specific and temporal protest.

Continue reading The threat to Net Neutrality is just a symptom, not the disease

People (and auditors) generally see what they are looking for

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“People generally see what they are looking for and hear what they listen for.” – Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). This is also (or especially) true for the marketplace of audit reports.

Continue reading People (and auditors) generally see what they are looking for