Artistic drawing showing a person's face in a haze

Toxic Management

Sociologists Martha Crowley and Randy Hodson conducted a study of the organisational dysfunction at General Motors. In a climate where people feared job cuts, every layer of management was afraid to report problems upwards, as there were many examples of people who had been fired after raising issues. Their case study of this company has broader implications, as the conditions and attitudes they examined are not unique to General Motors.

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How to Improve Your Focus

Your Social Science Snack for the week is about using social science to become more aware about mental wellbeing.

Psychologist Wendy Hasenkam has conducted research on how to improve mental focus. She argues that “The more focused we are, the more successful we can be at whatever we do.” She shows that the ability to focus is like a muscle that you can train. There are four key ways to achieve this, centred on better breathing methods and a deeper understanding of our thinking patterns. Continue reading “How to Improve Your Focus”

Social Science Quote of the Week: Diversity

This week’s Social Science Quote comes from Sociology Professor Martin Ruef. Ruef has studied why some small businesses succeed while others fail. Looking at historical data, he finds that two variables matter most to business success: social support and diversity. Diversity can include cultural, occupational or socio-economic differences. The crucial point is knowing how to manage and resolve conflict. Get more social science quotes and tips on our Instagram @SocialScienceInsights Continue reading Social Science Quote of the Week: Diversity

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How Social Science Can Improve Executive Relationships

French researcher Jacqueline Fendt argues that academic research on businesses is not practical enough in its focus. She argues that management education would be improved with a stronger focus on the everyday realities of Executives.

She also advocates using more qualitative research methods and case studies, rather than statistical surveys. This would improve in-depth understanding of how management is actually carried out in the real world. So how do social scientists carry out this type of work? One method we use is called ethnography.

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Why Women’s Leadership is a Business Asset

By Zuleyka Zevallos, PhD

Social science studies find that male bosses are more likely to judge the competence of women managers using a skewed view on gender. In practice, this means organisations are missing out on a proactive approach to leadership.

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