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Spring 2020 Author’s Call: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XIX
The Refractive Thinker® Vol XIX: Social Media
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RT Vol X: Special Military Edition Video
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SummaryPublish date: August 7, 2019. Join founder of the Billionaire brand, UGG Boots, Brian Smith and our contributing scholars as they discuss doctoral research regarding the effective management of a diverse and global work force. The focus is on the contributions diverse cultures make to enhance working together in the business landscape. This volume will continue to shape the conversation of future success in business leadership around the world.
Business is about learning about people and ourselves along the way. It doesn’t matter whether the product is a new shoe, a new device, or a new idea, every new paradigm follows the same growth curve, from conception to adulthood. Whether raising a child or an entrepreneur, the process is remarkably similar—both take hard work and determination. We have to navigate through our expectations, unshakeable optimism, and grinding endurance in the face of unforeseen setbacks
(For the entire foreword . . . see the book).
Believe in the power of the universe, the power of partnerships, and the power of you. Each of us should work to be successful and happy, but having given it our best shot, we must sit back and enjoy both what we have and what we’ve created, no matter how it turns out. The secret is in the relationships and friends we have developed along the way, the true fulfillment of an entrepreneur’s dream.
Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is “performance that supports the social and psychological environment in which task performance takes place” (Organ, 1997, p. 95) and behavior that “lubricate[s] the social machinery of the organization” (Bateman & Organ, 1983, p. 588). It is behavior that helps organizations and individuals. Williams and Anderson (1991) organized OCB into two categories based on the target of the behavior: OCB directed towards benefitting the organization (OCBO) and OCB directed towards benefitting individuals (OCBI).
OCB positively impacts organizational effectiveness measures such as job satisfaction, improved productivity, increased efficiency, reduced costs, increased customer satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, happier, more enthusiastic employees, better quality work, and a positive impact on the organization’s profits.
This author (Curry, 2016) sought to determine whether two forms of individualism (vertical and horizontal) and two forms of collectivism (vertical and horizontal) could predict OCBO or OCBI. Vertical collectivism (VC) is a cultural pattern where individuals view themselves as part of an in-group, focus on in-group goals, and accept hierarchy and inequality while for horizontal collectivism (HC) individuals see themselves as members of an in-group of similar interdependent individuals who value equality (Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, & Gelfand, 1995). Vertical individualism (VI) is a cultural pattern where individuals see themselves as autonomous from the group, focus on achieving individual goals, are self-reliant, value competition and expect inequality while for horizontal individualism (HI) individuals view themselves as autonomous from the group, is self-reliant and value equality (Singelis et al.) Both forms of collectivism (VC and HC) and Vertical Individualism were significant predictors of OCB directed towards the individual (OCBI). Horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism were significant predictors of a combined OCB scale, OCB-Total, since the original OCBO scale proved unreliable, but neither form of individualism was.
Throughout this author’s time in the workforce beginning as a grocery store clerk through a military career to transitioning to a government contractor position, my coworkers continue to come from multiple generations. Knowledge flow, or lack thereof, had the potential of ensuring the respective successes or failures or each job and in retrospect, of each business. The challenges of ensuring an organizational culture that can function well with the multigenerational workforce in the reality of global organizational challenges and knowledge management needs are the focus of this chapter.
Using the lens of refractive thinking, the challenges are not just how the different generations function as an integrated team or how they communicate in a global environment through multiple locations. The challenges include the generational differences to build on a culture making it capable of supporting the team as well as the work in support of the customer requirements and the organization. Knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer are methodologies that can support the refractive thinking organization in this challenge.
Improving retention rates and decreasing voluntary turnover could be beneficial to the organization. Among teachers, the turnover is the rate of departure of staffs employed in a school for any amount of time, (Oke1 et al., 2016). When leaders effectively focus on a retention strategy that includes implementing a culture in which employees want to stay, the organization will be successful (Ng’ethe, Namusonge, & Iravo, 2012). This chapter may assist the leader’s development of employee retention strategies.
Current literature and studies since 1990 detail reasons why employees fail to assimilate within a given culture (McLaren, 2011). Day-to-day operations, decisions, and operating practices influence the employee’s basic assumptions and reflections of the culture (Porter, 2013). Actualization of values occurs during the intentional use of values to drive alignment between what is said and what is done (Ledbetter, 2005). From HBR to Forbes, articles cite the role that senior leaders play in shaping and environment, and the role the senior leader should play when living out the culture (Giberson et al., 2009).
This research sought to understand the conditions that exist when senior leaders make decisions or exhibit behaviors that are contrary to the culture and values that they state. The researcher postulated that the results of this study are four-fold. Organizations can use the results to develop a framework whereby more emerging leaders can learn to lead mismatches between the stated culture and espoused values, and the culture experienced. Second, organizations can use the results of this study to benchmark their culture or identify inconsistencies as they relate to its practices. Third, this study can help the conditions that exist when senior leaders’ actions are incongruent with the stated culture. Finally, four, this study can influence an organization to implement learning in its efforts to reduce turnover, increase retention, and become an employer of choice (Kier, 2019).
Actions taken by Kaepaernick and Benson demonstrate the severity of repercussions. President Trump’s rhetoric has escalated racism, hatred, and bigoted musings. Is it possible that situations such as the Unite the Right political rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina could have been avoided by engaging in dialogue on sensitive topics? Is there a fine line between freedom of speech and undiscussable hot topics? On the political stage, it is compelling that undiscussable topics be discussed if we are to explore solutions to real problems as a society and a nation. Purposely sidestepping dialogue hinders forward progress toward solutions. Will potential consequences of avoiding the elephant in the room outweigh one over the other? Given the information in this chapter through the eyes of a refractive thinker, it is indeed a possibility.