How organisations unwittingly obstruct their own organisational change and other new research this month...

How organisations unwittingly obstruct their own organisational change and other new research this month…

The Oxford Review Vol 2 No 8


Research Briefings in this month’s Oxford Review:


Do workshops and classroom learning really help to develop ‘real’ problem solving skills and expertise?

Keywords: Education, learning, problem solving, skills development, experience, expertise, transfer of learning, 70:20:10

A new study has examined whether there is real transfer of learning from workshop simulations and learning to ‘real-time’ workplace practice and problem solving. For anyone in Learning and Development, the results are sobering, even from one of the top business and management schools in the world.


Does multi-tasking always impair performance?

Keywords: Performance, multi-tasking, learning, education, cognitive reasoning

The perceived wisdom these days is that multi-tasking degrades performance and that it is better to focus on one task at a time. This study looks at multi-tasking during learning and finds that multi-tasking doesn’t always impair performance

Do organisational change and tighter finances change an organisation’s culture?

Keywords: Change, culture, organisational change, organisational culture, fiscal restraint

The second myth-buster this month. There is a common perception that austerity and fiscal restraint; tightening budgets, cutbacks and reduction of staff as part of large scale organisational change damages or changes the organisational culture. This study looks at whether this is true with some surprising results.

How and why the MBA and management education needs to change

Keywords: MBA, management, management education, training, learning, practice intelligence

Thirteen years ago this year Henry Mintzberg published his book Managers not MBAs: A hard look at the soft practice of managing and management development ,in which he challenged the prevailing view that the recipient of the MBA was by default not only a rising star, but a fully formed and trained manager. Mintzberg argued that the MBA model was severely broken. This new paper by researchers  in the UK found that much business and management education and research is irrelevant and does not prepare managers and business leaders for todays business and management world. They explore why.

How business ecosystems form and the role of the ‘anchoring actor’

Keywords: Business ecosystem, complexity, diversity, trust

Much research and many organisations tend to focus on the thought that businesses compete, collaborate and grow as individual entities. The problem with this view is that it ignores the impact of the complex networks of social, economic, technological, political, educational, legal and other factors which support their development and growth. This new study looks at the world of the business ecosystem. This research applies to every sector and anyone interested in complexity will enjoy this briefing.

How design thinking is affected by culture

Keywords: Design thinking, culture, organisational culture, innovation

Design thinking has been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly for business and organisational problem solving. This new study due to be published shortly by researchers in Denmark has looked at how cultural knowledge shapes design thinking.

How leaders, managers and employees conspire to not resolve goal inconsistencies

Keywords: Leadership, management, paradox, sense-making, uncertainty

Messages and orders from leaders and managers create a world of meaning in organisations. Often however the messages managers send out can create a paradox i.e. inconsistencies, uncertainties and ambiguity that defy the prevailing logic within the organisation. These in effect, create uncertainty about the aims and goals the employee should have. This study looks at how leaders, managers and employees conspire with each other to to gloss over and leave logical inconstancies unsolved.

How organisations unwittingly obstruct their own organisational change: The case of introducing motivational interviewing to reduce sickness absence

Keywords: Sickness absence, resistance to change, organisational change

A new study looks at the experiences an organisation had of introducing a new working method for reducing sickness absence. The researchers however uncovered something much more fundamental – how organisations unwittingly obstruct their own organisational change.


How to investigate organisational culture from the outside

Keywords: Culture, organisational culture, research methods, market orientation, people orientation

An interesting new positioning paper has outlined some methods for investigating organisational culture from outside of an organisation (i.e. without having direct access to the staff and internal structure).


The drivers of innovation success: What predicts that an innovation is likely to be successful?

Keywords: Innovation, management, strategy, entrepreneurial culture

A new study is due to be published later this year that looks at the question of what organisational factors predict innovation success. This is really important for organisations. Understanding the organisational factors for innovation success helps leaders make better evidence-based decisions and makes those responsible for organisational development, change and management able to help craft an organisation that has a significantly greater chance of success with innovation.

Individual, technological and organisational predictors of knowledge sharing

Keywords: Knowledge management, organisational knowledge sharing.

A new study by researchers looked to identify the factors which are important for organisational knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing is a vital component of knowledge management and is often the part where things fall down in organisational knowledge management systems.

Understanding the connections between motivation and action

Keywords: Motivation, Creative Ability, Action, Behaviour

A new study has found that an old creative ability model, the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (the VdTMoCA) can be used to develop motivation to work with those with lower levels of creative ability and lacking in motivation to engage in work.


You can get hold of this and the entire back catalogue of research evidence here

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Review. He is also acknowledged to be one of the world's leading experts in dealing with ambiguity and uncertainty and developing emotional resilience. David teaches and conducts research at a number of universities including the University of Oxford, Medical Sciences Division, Cardiff University, Oxford Brookes University School of Business and many more. He has worked with many organisations as a consultant and executive coach including Schroders, where he coaches and runs their leadership and management programmes, Royal Mail, Aimia, Hyundai, The RAF, The Pentagon, the governments of the UK, US, Saudi, Oman and the Yemen for example. In 2010 he developed the world's first and only model and programme for developing emotional resilience across entire populations and organisations which has since become known as the Fear to Flow model which is the subject of his next book. In 2012 he drove a 1973 VW across six countries in Southern Africa whilst collecting money for charity and conducting on the ground charity work including developing emotional literature in children and orphans in Africa and a number of other activities. He is the author of The Ambiguity Advanatage: What great leaders are great at, published by Palgrave Macmillian. See more: About: About David Wikipedia: David's Wikipedia Page

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