Insights Newsletter Archive

Civilization's collapse?, Imposter syndrome, Ethical lapses, Leadership lessons

01 Jan 2022
 
AOM Insights
 
 
Are We Ignoring Signs of Our Civilization’s Collapse?
 

Analysis of the near collapse of the Maya civilization in the second century, and its full collapse in the eighth, should sound alarms about our own society, according to AOM scholars.

An Academy of Management Journal article reveals that people who secretly believe their colleagues overestimate their competence may be more valuable than they realize. This finding challenges the common wisdom that imposter syndrome is uniformly harmful.

The more you feel like a professional, thinking you know all there is to know about avoiding influence from conflicts of interest, the more likely you are to put yourself in situations that can compromise your integrity.

Today’s leaders are making the same kind of bad decisions lamented by Sophocles 2,500 years ago in his tragic play, Antigone, according to an Academy of Management Review article.

When traumatic events like police killings of Black Americans happen, employees who identify with victims of the event often feel that they, too, are in danger. Those fears can spill over into the workplace, making it more difficult for employees to focus on their jobs.

With gender bias being widely viewed as an issue for white women, and racial discrimination seen as pertaining to black men, black women are often left in a void.

As organizations grapple with the Great Resignation, it’s more important than ever for leaders to foster a sense that employees’ work is meaningful. One way to boost employees’ feelings that their jobs are worthy is through measurement practices that help workers gauge the value of their work.

"Relational tension matters. And it matters maybe more than positive emotions. That can be surprising because there is a certain predisposition to believe in the power of the positive," an AOM scholar explains. "It's avoiding tension, a negative emotion, that matters the most.”

Knowledge errors—problems with incorrect, missing, or old information—often lead to action errors. In health care, that could mean giving a patient the wrong medicine or failing to discuss the most concerning symptom, AOM scholars say.

In democratic societies, new organizations addressing social causes need to create as much buzz as possible about themselves to gain attention and grow. New social ventures under authoritarian regimes, however, need to take a much different approach.

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