Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category
If you’re needing new orgtheory related content and we’re too slow to provide it (I keep telling Fabio he needs to post more!!), then I have a couple of suggestions for you. Over at Charisma – a new-to-me blog about consumer studies – David Stark has a post about how people’s unique standpoint relative to the market influences their reactions to and valuation of market assets. He points to three papers, two of which he coauthored and another by Elena Esposito, that focus on different aspects of people’s observation of markets. In the last paper, he and Matteo Prato refer to the “viewpoints effect” as the tendency for people’s attention to certain salient attributes to determine how they’ll react to other assets.
One’s assessment of an issue is shaped by one’s viewpoint, given by one’s contingent portfolio of attention. We hypothesize, specifically, that two actors who assess a given situation vis-à-vis a similarly (differently) composed portfolio of other situations are more likely to autonomously converge (diverge) in their interpretations of the given situation.
Over at the very new Organizations and Social Change blog, my coauthor Ed Carberry writes about the relationship between executive compensation and corporate tax deductions, noting that Facebook received a tax refund by simply deducting executive stock options as an expense. He notices that this is a standard accounting practice that allows companies to get a big tax break. He also, rightly I think, observes the unfairness of this particular tax deduction.
Interestingly, three leading scholars of compensation, in conjunction with the Center for American Progress, have put forward a very simple proposal relating to taxes and stock-based compensation practices like stock options. They call it “inclusive capitalism.” Essentially, the idea is that if a company does not provide stock-based compensation for most of its employees, it cannot deduct any gains that any of its employees receive from this type of compensation, including executives. Sounds like a socialist plot to intervene in the free market? Think again. Health care and retirement benefits currently operate according to the same rules. If a company wants to grant health care to only its executives, that is completely legal. However, if it does so, it cannot deduct that cost from the company’s taxable income. We can do the same exact thing with stock-based compensation. This will either dramatically increase federal tax revenues or propel a more equitable distribution of stock-based pay.
Both posts are worth reading.
Posting will be light until January 2, 2013. If you want to write a post or two, send me an email with a short description. Long as it is is academic and fun, I’ll seriously consider it. In the Winter, we’ll have posts on the following:
- a new book forum will be annnounced
- digital natives vs. computer literacy
- my endless anxiety about neo-institutionalism
- progress in network analysis
- The Hobbit was no Phantom Menace, but I’m still disappointed
- a possibly cool research result
- historians and the antiwar movement
- the tragedy of the Fabios
Have a happy Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Winter Solstice/Hibernation.
Q. You are interested in factors that determine whether particular musical styles, genres, etc., will gain mass appeal — or remain circumscribed to a small niche. Have you discovered something about the process of “influence” or “contagion” that the social network scholars have ignored or underemphasized? What does your work tell us about the role of networks in shaping popular tastes?
A.The most common way for music to blow up from a small scene into global pop is for a controversy to erupt. Music history is littered with examples of “moral panics”: be-bop jazz was blamed for white-on-black race riots in the mid-1940s, just as rap music was blamed when riots erupted in Los Angeles following the Rodney King trial. In both cases, sensationalized news reports and especially a focus on the “dangerous” elements in the music attracted young people in droves. Moral panics, like magnets, repel and attract. This is also true when disputes involve dueling scenes, like the fights between “mods” and “rockers” in the U.K. in the early 1960s or the battles between fans of heavy metal and punk that played out on the pages of Creem magazine in the early 1980s. It is equally true when outsiders attack: the Parents’ Music Resource Center’s efforts to ban heavy metal and rap music resulted in those Parental Advisory stickers. When rock fans staged the infamous Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park they may have kept disco in the limelight for an extra year.
The interview is filled with lots of other insights. Self-recommending!
We are thrilled to announce that there is a new member of the Orgtheory Crew – Katherine K. Chen. Katherine is well known to loyal readers as a guest blogger who writes on ethnography and professional issues. Katherine is a leading organizational ethnographer. Her book, Enabling Creative Chaos, is an award winning analysis of the Burning Man organization. She has also published in Qualitative Sociology, American Behavioral Scientist, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Katherine has taught at Harvard and William Patterson University and is now on the faculty at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. I’ve known of Katherine and her work for over a decade, so it’s a real pleasure to have her join the Crew. So let’s give a hearty welcome to Katherine!!!
Henrich Greve has a blog!! We’re happy to welcome Henrich, an ASQ editor and prolific organizational scholar, to the blogosphere. Henrich’s posts discuss the practical implications of papers recently published in organization theory journals. In this post he discusses an ASQ paper by Matthew Bidwell about the performance and pay of external hires versus internal hires. Here he draws on a paper by Elizabeth Boyle and Zur Shapira to assess how organizations manage risks through incentives and monitoring. And in this post he talks about the implications of his own research on corporate deviance and legitimacy loss to assess how Carnival’s CEO handled the recent shipwreck of the Costa Concordia.
If you’re an organizational scholar this is a must-read blog.
The orgtheory staff tries to keep it fresh with a mix of sociology, management, economics, and poli sci. We toss in book discussions, current events, and guest bloggers. We’ll even do requests. What do you think we should do more of? What social science trends need discussion? Professional issues? Feel free to use the comments section.
My good friend, Charlie Bertsch, has an excellent web site called Souciant. It’s high quality essay writing – personal observations, politics, and modern culture. The site has a great crew of writers. A few recent examples:
- Death of a Promise Keeper by Charlie Bertsch- a tasteful reflection on having a neighbor who is very different than you.
- Withering Away of the State(s) by Mitchell Plitnick – what happened to the two state solution?
- The Supreme Leader’s Muzak by Cameron McDonald – what tyrants listen to.
Check it out – I know you’ll find something that you like.
I’ve recently enjoyed Thought Catalog, a website that runs short pieces on various topics. Run by young Brooklynites, the focus is definitely sex and dating, but there’s lot of good stuff in other genres:
- A nice feature on digital artist Jon Rafman, who Teppo mentioned.
- Breaking up with your Blackberry.
- The Chuck Klosterman Fan Club.
- Classical music conundrum.
- Two North Korea documentaries.
- On being a trombone player: ” Pulling out a trombone at a social gathering generates zero enthusiasm.”
Pieces range from introverted to funny to angry to horny to clever. Recommended!
Thanks to Michael Ryall for guest blogging here at orgtheory. Mike’s guest stint was short but provocative. Well, he enjoyed blogging enough to get involved with strategyprofs.net – so you can continue to follow him there.
OK, and while I’m advertising – here are a few posts that orgtheory folks might be interested in:
- Mike Ryall on whether strategy is a social science or a debate club.
- Freek Vermeulen got some hate mail and posted about the “deifiction of Steve Jobs.”
- Here’s Russ Coff on whether corporate strategy still matters.
- Steve Postrel wrote a response to Russ’ post, “corporate strategist agonistes.”
- Here’s a post about Sid Winter’s excellent talk on the cult of the lightbulb, and a post about strategic management on crack (or wikipedia).
A quick plug. I’m involved with a new blog project, strategyprofs.net. The co-conspirators there are Russ Coff (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Karim Lakhani (Harvard), Steve Postrel (UC Irvine), Mike Ryall (University of Toronto), and Freek Vermeulen (London Business School).
The goal of the blog is to bring a whole whole new set of strategy scholars, practitioners and conversations onto the web. Obviously, orgtheory has featured plenty of strategy conversations and posts (to say nothing of the evil twin, O&M) – so we’ll be linking to orgtheory very frequently.
[And, as for me, orgtheory.net will always be my home. I'll be as active as usual around here - for better or worse.]
Here’s a post by Steve Postrel on “John Sculley, path-dependence and the great man theory.”
The ‘Organizations, Occupations and Work’ (OOW) section of the American Sociological Association now has a blog. Be sure to check it out: oowsection.org.
It’s my pleasure to announce that Hilary Levey Friedman will be guest blogging with us. Hilary is a sociologist who focuses on childhood, health, and education. In addition to writing academic articles in Childhood and Qualitative Sociology, Hilary is also an accomplished public intellectual whose work appears in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and Education Next. Welcome!
We’ve discussed before Revolutionology, a blog written by Berkeley soc grad student Ryan M. Calder. Since we’re near the end of the Gaddafi regime, it’s worth checking in:
- Remembering Anton Hammerl, journalist
- Would people accept a Gaddafi immunity deal?
- Social solidarity in the midst of revolution.
Good work – and stay safe!
Random fact: Here’s the list of the top ten web sites that refer people to orgtheory. I’ve removed portals, like Google or Twitter, and self-referrals, people clicking around inside orgtheory:
- Marginal Revolution
- Scatter Plot
- Jeremy Freese
- Organizations and Markets
- Crooked Timber
- Chris Uggen
- The Sociological Imagination
- Andrew Sullivan
- Econ Job Rumors
- Inside Higher Education
I should remove Crooked Timber, because that’s mainly Kieran. #11 is The Grad Cafe, which links to grad skool rulz. The break down: Sociology (5/10), economists (3/10), general academia (1/10), mass media (1/10). I counted Crooked as sociology because it’s Kieran. Interesting that even though the blog is run by 3 b-school profs and 2 org sociologists and a dude named Omar, the only management related blog is Orgs and Markets. Going down to the top twenty or thirty referrers, you get some more sociology (A Budding Sociologist/Dan Hirschman), economics (Econjeff, Econlog), and political science/theory (Jacob Levy/Monkey Cage).
Shamus, I accept your challenge. We shall race to see who gets banned from China first. The rules:
- Goal: The winner is to be the first website that, according to The Great Firewall of China, cannot be reached from servers in the five areas of Beijing, Shenzen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, and Yunnan. We’ll use these url’s: “orgtheory.wordpress.com” and “scatter.wordpress.com.” At present, the orgtheory URL is still accessible from all monitoring stations.
- Rules: You can’t directly ask to be banned or have a friend alert the censors. You can’t just rename your site “facebook.com” or otherwise pretend to be an already banned website. The spirit of the game is to be banned for the ideas found on orgtheory and scatterplot.
- Starting time: We start at midnight (EST) on a day that we agree on. We’ll be on the honor code We’ll take the word of the first blogger or commenter who finds that the site can’t be reached via The Great Firewall website.
- The stakes: If orgtheory wins, Shamus Khan donates $50 to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. I will make a similar donation to a charity of his (or Scatterplot’s) choice.
We attracted the Iranian propaganda people yesterday. So today, I have a new project: get orgtheory banned from China. According to the Great Firewall of China, the billion people of China still have access to orgtheory. That suggests that we aren’t edgy enough at this blog. To correct that:
- Ai Weiwei was unjustly persecuted. Free him and his friends.
- Falun Gong is nothing to worry about.
- Indigenous Tibetan culture should be preserved and celebrated.
- If Taiwan wants to be independent, that’s ok.
- Maybe the government should have been nicer to the Tiananmen protesters.
Let’s see how long this takes.
This summer, the Grad Skool Rulz will reach its conclusion. I don’t have much else to add after five years of writing on various aspects of graduate training. I will collect all the Rulz into a document that will be available for download. The original Rulz will be left on the orgtheory website for those who prefer the blog format.
The Grad Skool Rulz book will be an edited collection of the blog posts plus an introductory column. As I begin assembling the document (28,000 words right now), I’d like your opinion on what I have not discussed. I will also add a few sections on post-docs and the tenure track. If you have truly internalized what was important in the Grad Skool Rulz – being professional, publishing, etc. – then you’ll likely be ok on the tenure track.
But there are some specific things, like how to assemble a tenure dossier and so forth, that I can now write about and that aren’t covered in the Rulz. If there is any topic that you think should be included in Grad Skool Rulz: Blunt Advice for Graduate Students with Special Bonus Rounds for Post-Docs and Junior Faculty, please send me email or put it in the comments. Thanks for reading!
I’ve decided to start twittering again. It’ll mostly be orgtheory links, but also occasional links & commentary on social science research, with a few more fun links. @fabiorojas
So, orgtheory.net turns five years old today. Thanks, all, for contributing (guest blogging, commenting, reading etc)!
Here’s what contributors, friends, commenters and readers had to say about the blog.
For better or worse, this thing we call orgtheory.net has been around for almost five years. So, since that mega-anniversary is coming up in two days, we want to hear what you think about the blog.
Click the link above and answer those two questions. We’ll reveal the answers in two days. Whether you hate or love the blog, let us know what you think!
I just looked up orgtheory.net on technorati (a blog search engine), and it appears we are in good company — with a celebrity gossip blog, an ultimate fighting blog, a book blog, a blog about the oil business, etc. And, good to know that orgtheory has the same amount of “authority” as those blogs (listed here).
Peers also listed below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »
So, I did not know him personally and I’m late on this one — but, given that I linked to (and read) Arts & Letters Daily frequently, I think a quick orgtheory bow to Denis Dutton is appropriate. He passed away earlier this week.
Nominate your favorite posts in the comments.
Have you ever asked: What would Omar do? Answer: Get married to Jessica Collett!
Bruce Kogut has a post at Socializing Finance that might interest many readers.
The Organization and Management Theory (or OMT) division of the Academy of Management has a blog. And orgtheory’s very own Brayden is the editor (chair/or something equivalent). The latest post is an interview with Jane Dutton, University of Michigan.
It’s great to see the OMT division blogging. I know there are active discussion boards and email listservs within the Academy of Management, though I believe this is the first AOM division with an official blog (though I haven’t checked, probably some dormant ones out there). I’ll definitely be linking to any interesting content.
So, for what it’s worth, I think there are two keys to blogging nirvana — these points came up in my comments during the AOM blogging session that Chris Marquis and Andy Hoffman organized in Montreal a few weeks ago: 1) lots of semi-interesting content (with an emphasis on lots), and 2) “voice” and having an angle.
I don’t think “institutional” blogs/bloggers are in any way hampered in terms of ensuring lots of content, but I do think that institutional blogs definitely are a different type of animal altogether when it comes to voice. Institutional bloggers are obviously acting in a role, and this role tends to set boundaries for the types of things these bloggers can and do post about (for example, probably no ferret posts — hmm, that’s a good thing, perhaps orgtheory needs an institutional affiliation), there are expectations in terms of professionalism, tone and voice, understandable problems with any type of evaluative content or strong opinion, etc.
For the above reasons many institutional blogs often turn into message boards (listings of conferences, special issues, links to papers, advertising etc), which obviously serves an important purpose (and as readers know, we also do our fair share of this type of posting). But I think it is also important to, somehow, build in some mechanisms (or whatever) that allow for voice and perspective, some kind of unique angle. (Undoubtedly the new OMT blog will find novel ways to do this.) So, what are good examples of successful institutional blogs (perhaps ASA’s Contexts)? Which institutional blogs do you follow regularly and what specifically makes them successful?
First, I’d like to thank Nick Rowland for a stimulating series of posts on the sociology of technology. Great job. Second, I’m going on blogcation until July 1. I’m prepping for the move back to Bloomington, I have a round of field work, and a high school reunion. That won’t leave time for much blogging over the next few weeks. Third, if you want to chat or meet, email me. I’ll be in Ann Arbor for the rest of June and sporadically in July. Then, I’ll be at GenCon, the Association of Black Sociologists, and the ASA meetings (see the sessions on collective action and mathematical sociology) in August. If you are at any of these events, I’d love to meet you.
Claude Fischer has a blog! The blog is named after his new book, Made in America, which comes out this week. Both the book and blog look like fascinating reads. This post questions the myth of American individualism (it turns out that on a number of indicators Americans value personal liberty less than their Western peers). Here he talks about how America has become more religious over time. And, my personal favorite, he wrote a post on three lessons from baseball. As you’d expect from Fischer, his commentary is empirically-driven and always enlightening.
The mechanics, dynamics, and vicissitudes of peer review have always been a hot topic around these parts (e.g. here and here). In fact, one of our most famous posts consists of an indecent proposal to reform the peer review system. Usually clarion calls for radical revolution in the peer review process come from a shared intuition that really good, really innovative papers, can get squashed by the forces of homosocial reproduction, cognitive blinders and plain old inefficiency that are inevitably bred by a system in which producers are their own critics.
I have always been skeptical of the “radical inefficiency” viewpoint, challenging people to show me that brilliant, path-breaking paper that was never published in a top journal due to the recalcitrance of short-sighted reviewers (with the lone Akerloff example predictably thrown in my face). But I do recognize the validity of the question behind these complaints.
It turns out that PNAS which has three separate submissions tracks (one traditional, one “self-promoting” and the other “friend-promoting”), provides a window with which to answer the following question: would it make sense to lower the average quality of publications if that meant that a few more highly innovative papers–papers that would not have made through the standard peer review channels–would find a home in a high impact journal? The results of a recent analysis suggests that the answer may be yes (I think registration is required to take a look at the story).
The study finds that the top 10% (in terms of citations) of papers that are published as either “contributed” (where the NAS member gets her own reviews–from presumably friendly peers–and submits those along with the papers) or “communicated” (where an NAS member does the favor for a non-NAS colleague) tend to have more impact than the top 10% of “regularly submitted” (blind peer review, editors in charge of getting reviewers, etc.). This is in spite of the fact that regular papers tend to have a greater overall impact (when considered as a whole). The authors of the study interpret this is a tradeoff of overall quality for the chance to sneak in a truly revolutionary “hit.” So there might be something to those complaints after all…but of course, there are always those pesky butterflies.