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Research Briefs – January 2015

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Jan. 2015   

 

 
 

In This Issue…

  1. Is Transparency a Recipe for Innovation?
  2. Building the Blue Team: Using Conflict Management Concepts with Canadian Forces Personnel Overseas
  3. Flashback Feature:
    Gender Differences in Union Membership Status: The Role of Labour Market Segmentation
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Is Transparency a Recipe for Innovation?
Dr. Bastiaan Heemsbergen, Organizational Psychologist

Innovation is a key driver in organizational sustainability, and yes, openness and transparency are a recipe for innovation. But, according to Tapscott and Williams, "when it comes to innovation, competitive advantage and organizational success, 'openness' is rarely the first word one would use to describe companies and other societal organizations like government agencies or medical institutions. For many, words like 'insular,' 'bureaucratic,' 'hierarchical,' 'secretive' and 'closed' come to mind instead."(1) And yet a few months ago, The Tesla Model S just became the world's first open-source car. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motor Vehicles, shared all the patents on Tesla's electric car technology, allowing anyone – including competitors – to use them without fear of litigation. Elon wrote in his post "Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology."(2)

In the public sector, terms such as open government, citizen sourcing, and wiki government are also akin to the notion of open innovation and transparency. As Hilgers and Ihl report, "a good example of this approach is the success of the Future Melbourne program, a Wiki and blog-based approach to shaping the future urban landscape of Australia's second largest city. The program allowed citizens to directly edit and comment on the plans for the future development of the city. It attracted more than 30,000 individuals, who submitted hundreds of comments and suggestions (futuremelbourne.com.au). Basically, problems concerning design and creativity, future strategy and local culture, and even questions of management and service innovation can be broadcasted on such web-platforms."(3) The authors suggest that there are three dimensions to applying the concept of open innovation to the public sector: citizen ideation and innovation (tapping knowledge and creativity), collaborative administration (user generated new tasks and processes), and collaborative democracy (improve public participation in the policy process).

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Building the Blue Team: Using Conflict Management Concepts with Canadian Forces Personnel Overseas
Tim Gushue, Major (RCAF-Retired), 2013

This article will discuss how familiar private and public employment sector conflict management concepts, practices and training were applied and adapted by the Department of National Defence's Conflict Management Program to prepare military units and individuals for the exigencies of overseas operations. In particular, it details the experience and level of success of implementing interest-based conflict management tools into teams deploying for overseas missions.

Meet the Blue Team and the Red Team
In war games, exercises and military operations, the contesting sides are often designated as the "Blue Team", the friendly forces – our own and our Allies, and as the "Red Team", the opposing forces or enemy.

The Blue Team does not derive its strength solely through the weight of numbers or through superior weapons and technology. The Team's morale, cohesion and confidence in itself, each other member, and its leaders, are all key human dimensions factors which contribute to a decisive, and cost-effective, war-winning pre-condition: unquestioned mutual reliance or trust. When the Department of National Defence's Conflict Management Program started, we believed that conflict management tools which supported the development and strengthening of trust within individuals and units comprising the Blue Team, would increase their level of mission success and reduce the human cost.

>> Read Article

Flashback Feature:
Gender Differences in Union Membership Status: The Role of Labour Market Segmentation
Pradeep Kumar, David Cowan, 1989

The purpose of this 1989 paper was to study the key determinants of the union status of workers in Canada and to evaluate the relative significance of labour market segmentation by gender, in explaining the lower incidence of unionization among Canadian women. Using a unique micro data set, this study assesses the respective roles of demographic/human capital factors and the industry-occupation of employment in explaining gender differences in union membership in Canada.

First, a union status probability equation is estimated on a pooled sample using explanatory variables such as age, sex, marital status, education, job tenure, province of residence, part-time/full-time status of the worker, and industry and occupation of employment, on the assumption that only intercept coefficients differ between men and women. Following this, separate equations are estimated for males and females allowing for differences in slope coefficients. Next, we estimate three separate union membership status equations based on the pooled sample of individuals of both sexes. The first equation contains only demographic/human capital factors as explanatory variables. The second equation adds controls for occupation of the individual to the demographic/human capital vector of variables.

Finally, the equation is augmented with controls for industry of employment. The estimated coefficient on the sex variable in the three equations is compared to evaluate the role of industry and occupation of employment in explaining the differential in the extent of unionization between men and women. As well, the likelihood ratio tests are performed to test the joint significance of industry, occupation and human capital/demographic variables as predictors of union membership.

>> Download Article

  

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