This blog discusses the importance of being politically skilled within work organizations. Organizational science researchers have highlighted the importance of political skills in being effective in the workplace. There is a body of research to show that those who have strong political skills tend to be better performers and enables the organization to be more effective. This blog describes the behaviors of politically skilled individuals and describes the positive outcomes associated with political skills. The blog also describes how organizations can implement interventions to enable employees to hone political skills.
In line with our critical thinking approach, in this blog post we want to look beyond the traditional management understanding of organizations as machines. Sociology has a long tradition in offering theories and systems of thought on how societies, organizations and teams work and relate to each other. One of these approaches is social systems theory. Carlton Clark has a look at this grand social theory and its implications for management practitioners.
Life as a working professional involves taking risks, enduring frustrations, and recuperating in the face of failure. However, not all people are born with a high level of emotional resilience, nor is everyone given the training and support to develop it later in life. As a manager, however, you can take individual and organization-wide steps to foster employee resilience. While some individual employees will always be more naturally resilient than others, with proper supports in place your entire team can be resistant to set backs, and motivated in the face of challenge and change.
The capability to lead and influence people is essential for success even beyond management. Professionals without a formal leadership role find themselves more and more often in situations where it is key to deliberately influence people, teams, divisions or the whole organization. Thus despite – or perhaps precisely because of its great relevance, leadership is often seen as something mystic. This impression is reinforced by a large number of popular business bestsellers about leadership, CEO biographies, and executive consultants who rely on individual experiences and anecdotal evidence when writing and talking about leadership. These sources generally provide only a limited informative value and therefore are of questionable use for the development of leaders and professionals.
High-quality decision-making matters. Evidence-based Management is an easy to apply approach that helps management practitioners to make better decisions. I got the chance to talk to Michael Vodianoi from ScienceforWork and Northmark Talent about the benefits of an Evidence-based Management approach in Human Resource practice. In our discussion Michael provides valuable insights about the principles underlying evidence-based HR, its practical benefits and how it can be applied in daily business.
Successful management arguably involves constant re-evaluation and seeking of new methods when challenges arise. One of the most recent trends that has grabbed the attention of practitioners has been the idea of “nudging” in management. Based on a groundbreaking book in behavioural economics, “nudging management” promises to help solve organizational problems by relying on subtle “nudges” or shoves to behaviour, which promise to better align worker behaviour with organizational goals.
In recent years, there has also been a focus on the destructive side of leadership and how dysfunctional leaders can undermine an organization’s value. In fact, empirical research has focused on the personality characteristics of flawed leaders and have pointed to negative personality traits as predictors of leadership derailment (Hogan & Hogan, 2001; Kippenberger, 1997). There appear to be several personality traits that are related to leader failure yet the three that are consistent across all studies are narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, referred to as the “Dark Triad” (Paulhus & Williams, 2002).
Organizations utilize personality inventories such as the Five Factor Model of Personality for a range of purposes including selection and recruitment and employee management. Over the last twenty years, HRM scientists and practitioners have identified the Five Factor Model as a useful tool in predicting employee performance across a range of jobs and settings. This blog post describes the Five Factor Model also called Big Five and how the model can be utilized to increase organizational effectiveness.
When employees embark on a training course, the most important criterion for success is that they transfer the skills they have learned back on the job. There has been much research on those factors that lead to employee training and development success. However, learning transfer is still an issue within the Human Resource Development (HRD) community.
From a practitioner’s point of view, academic disciplines especially from the social sciences may at first sight not seem relevant to the daily practice of administering and leading a firm. However, the field of sociology (or the study of society, social institutions and social relationships) is extremely influential and useful for business management.