‘Working with Generation Y & Generation Z’- engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice

srishtiThe younger workforce, Generation Z and Generation Y, is driven by technology, as an outcome they believe in multitasking and approaching projects in different creative vantage ideas; and likes to experiment and discover new styles and solutions to problems and difficulties as they are driven by their inner need for a sense of purpose, this approach of mavericks is what is required for new businesses. Generation Z has been attracted by the companies that embrace advanced technology and that have created new styles of working internationally, as a result this generation is making a substantial move away from the old and conventional forms of jobs, as they are very entrepreneurial and they believe in engaging in multiple jobs with various career paths. As mentioned earlier, India has roughly 65 per cent of its population below the age of 25 which makes a huge population of India as generation Z category. Sixty-nine million of them reside in urban areas. These young people have a very different childhood to the one their parents experienced. Generation Z is ambitious and competitive in nature. Today, Indian companies have realized the importance of having the intrapreneurial culture and generation Z will be the next intrapreneurs for the corporates and those companies who could channelize them well will be at a competitive advantage. Focusing on the intrapreneurial culture in India organizations; this article from the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies explores the challenges faced by the Indian organization while working with generation Z intrapreneurs.

Abstract

The article explicates that Indian organizations have started engaging generation Z intrapreneurs, but they face challenges while engaging them. It has been observed that leaders and managers often find generation Y and generation Z difficult to manage; one of the reasons being the difference in attitude of the younger generation as instead of traditional monetary incentives, they value passion, purpose, flexibility, transparency, collaboration, trust and autonomy. The organizations that desire to be entrepreneurial, need to learn how to engage, inspire, incentivize and motivate this younger generation intrapreneurs; as this may require organizations to re-think and make changes in the existing organizational structures.

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Click here to read A Qualitative Exploration of the Challenges Organizations Face while Working with Generation Z Intrapreneurs for free from Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies!

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Optimal Salesforce Sizing and Compensation Cost

[We’re pleased to welcome back Pankaj M. Madhani, Associate Dean and Professor of ICFAI Business School (IBS).  Dr. Madhani is the author of “Optimal Salesforce Sizing and Compensation Cost: A Mathematical Approach” which appeared in Compensation and Benefits Review and is currently free to read for a limited time. From Madhani:]

CBR_42_1_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

Each year businesses across the globe spend a massive amount on salesforce investment. The salesforce is the engine that drives not only revenue of organizations but also represents a large percentage of total costs for sales organizations. As such salesforce is a sales generator as well as a cost generator. Deciding on the proper size of the salesforce is a strategic management issue because it has major impact on sales organization’s revenues, cost and profits. A properly sized salesforce maximize the economic return on investment of selling resources. Determining the most appropriate salesforce size is dependent on a number of factors, such as stages of business life cycle, the use of selling partners, sales carryover rate, productivity of salesforce, and turnover of the sales staff. Hence, looking into complexity and interdependency of these issues, there is need of an analytical model to estimate optimal salesforce size.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Salesforce is one of the most important strategic levers for improving growth, market share, and profitability of sales organizations. However, sales organizations often use decision rules that rely on common sense rather than precise analytics to determine how large their salesforce should be. This research provides an analytical model for practicing managers to determine optimal size of salesforce based on a three-year ROI. This model eliminates two most common errors i.e. type I and II errors and thus help sales organizations make good salesforce sizing decisions. Type I error refers to over sizing error while type II error refers to under sizing errors. With use of the model, salesforce sizing errors could be avoided to boost top line as well as bottom line performance of sales organizations. The model developed in this research mathematically calculated ROI for different break-even ratios and across various levels of sales carry over. This relationship provides a valuable criteria check of whether a salesforce may be undersized, oversized or optimally sized.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

With optimal salesforce sizing decision, organizations could improve their performance by changing their salesforce size at a right time. Yet, there are many internal and external factors impacting sizing decisions such as strategic objectives, product maturity, competitive environment, market trends and financial goals. All these factors together determine optimal ROI for salesforce investment. Thus, there is need to empirically establish relationship among these factors to identify mediating variables.

Pankaj M. Madhani earned bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and law, a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and a PhD in strategic management from CEPT University. He has more than 30 years of corporate and academic experience in India and the United States. During his tenure in the corporate sector, he was recognized with the Outstanding Young Managers Award. He is now working as an associate dean and professor at ICFAI Business School (IBS) where he received the Best Teacher Award from the IBS Alumni Federation. He is also the recipient of the Best Mentor Award. He has published various management books and more than 300 book chapters and research articles in several refereed journals. He has received the Best Research Paper Award at the IMCON-2016 International Management Convention. He is a frequent contributor to Compensation & Benefits Review and has published more than 20 articles on sales compensation. His main research interests include salesforce compensation, corporate governance and business strategy. He is also editor of The IUP Journal of Corporate Governance.

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High Quality Through Transformational Leadership

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Lotte Bøgh Andersen of Aarhus University, Bente Bjørnholt of VIVE–The Danish National Welfare Research and Analysis Center, Louise Ladegaard Bro of Aarhus University, and Christina Holm-Petersen of VIVE–The Danish National Welfare Research and Analysis Center. They recently published a paper in Public Personnel Management entitled, “Achieving High Quality Through Transformational Leadership: A Qualitative Multilevel Analysis of Transformational Leadership and Perceived Professional Quality,” which is free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Andersen reflects on the motivation for pursuing this research:]

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What motivated you to pursue this research?

The purpose of many public organizations is to deliver services to citizens and users. As suppliers of (e.g.) daycare, education and elderly care, public organizations play an important role for the welfare and development of individual users – and for the society at large. It is therefore not unreasonable to request high-quality services, or to expect that “good leadership” matters in this regard. But what is professional quality? Does all professionals in an organization have to have the same understanding of “quality” in order for the quality-level to be high? And what can leaders actually do to increase a shared understanding – and high levels – of quality? These are some of the questions that we strive to answer in our research.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

While the understanding and levels of professional quality were central to our paper, we were also interested in the number of employees which a given leader oversees (also known as span of control). This is because many (Danish) leaders in later years have experienced merges, resulting in fewer leaders and broader spans of control. The article thus contributes with knowledge about whether span of control is important for the effects of leadership.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

We wanted to understand the quality concept as seen by the leaders and employees; to explore the daily lives and interaction of leaders and employees; and to examine the potential importance of the number of employees per leader. We therefore decided to conduct interviews and observations in a number of public service institutions with varying sizes of spans of control. We find that shared understandings of quality matters for the levels of quality; but also that this understanding does not necessarily have to be in terms of specific output- or outcome measures. In most of the organizations with high levels of quality, there is a shared focus on the work-processes – such as reflected practice and professional discussions. Furthermore, we see a more shared understandings of professional quality and higher quality when leaders use transformational leadership. This type of leadership is, however, most prevalent in organizations with medium-sized spans of control.

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Launch of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy!

SAGE is excited to announce the newest addition to our scholarly collection, Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy, which launched on January 9th, 2018!

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgEntrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy (EE&P) is USASBE’s peer-reviewed opportunity for entrepreneurship educators to both publish their scholarship and showcase their practice. EE&P aims to provide a forum for the dissemination of research, teaching cases, and learning innovations focused on educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.

SAGE invites all interested parties to read and submit to this wonderful new addition to academia! To read the latest issues click here. To submit click here.

Eye-Tracking Methodology in Organizational Research

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Martin Meißner University of the Southern Denmark and Josua Oll of the University of Hamburg. They recently published an article in Organizational Research Methods entitled “The Promise of Eye-Tracking Methodology in Organizational Research: A Taxonomy, Review, and Future Avenues,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Meißner recounts the events that led to the research and the significance it has to the field:]

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What motivated you to pursue this research?

Self-report methods continue to be widely used by organizational scholars, although their limitations are well-documented. Explicit calls have therefore been made for more frequent utilization of behavioral data and building on multi-method data sources. In this context, eye tracking (ET) represents one promising source of behavioral data. ET is widely employed in disciplines such as psychology and marketing, but only rarely used in organizational research. The paucity of ET studies in organizational research is surprising as other disciplines have used ET in areas of high relevance to organizational research, such as information search and decision-making, learning, training, and expertise. Furthermore, technological advances in recent years have greatly lowered the barriers for using eye tracking (ET) as a research tool in laboratory and field settings. Given that the costs for ET equipment are on a steady decline and that data quality and ease of use have also improved considerably over the years, we argue that the time is right to expand the standard methodological tool kit of organizational scholars by bringing ET to their minds and hands.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

The most challenging aspect was the development of our integrative taxonomy for eye tracking research. Several ET taxonomies already circulate in the literature but these usually approach ET from a very specific and quite narrow angle. The challenging part was thus to bring those different perspectives together and integrate them in such a way that the full methodological scope of ET comes across clearly.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Our research is innovative in the sense that we introduce ET, and thus a new mode of behavioral data, to the field of organizational science. We further offer a novel taxonomy for ET research that integrates the more specific perspectives on ET as presented in prior work. Our paper serves as a knowledge brokering paper that reviews and synthesizes past research, and provides future avenues for the application of ET in organizational research. We therefore hope that our work will stimulate the organizational reader’s imagination and motivation for using ET and thereby contribute to the method’s future dissemination and to the advancement of organizational science alike.

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Case in point: A Company Goes Green to Become a Better Competitor

[The following post is re-blogged from SAGE Business Cases. Click here to view the original article.]

Sustainable business practices are good for the environment, but can they also be good for a company’s bottom line? Instead of lowering the costs of its services, leading express courier DHL is setting itself apart from the competition by working to promote sustainability in Asian supply chains. Collaborating with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to establish the Sustainable Supply Chain Centre of Asia Pacific, DHL believes their green approach will benefit not only the planet but also their business, industry, and higher education.

Case and Point 2Examining DHL’s decision, Deborah de Lange wrote a case study for SAGE Business Cases, enabling students to consider how sustainability is applied in a global marketplace and how multiple stakeholders, including civil society organizations, can influence business. We are pleased to share our interview with Deborah, an assistant professor of Global Management Studies at Ryerson University, as the latest installment of our Case In Point series, containing insights from thought leaders in business and management. Read her interview below and check out her full case study, “Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability: DHL, the National University of Singapore, and the Asia Pacific Sustainable Supply Chain Centre,” which is free-to-read for a limited time.

1. Your case focuses on DHL’s partnership with the NUS to create the Sustainable Supply Chain Centre of Asia Pacific. Can you tell us a bit more about DHL’s and NUS’s roles as stakeholders in this partnership?

The university is part of a government strategy to make Singapore an international logistics hub. Partnering with DHL is aligned with this mandate. DHL gains business in Singapore and develops a launch pad into the very large Asian market, it builds its brand with students who are the next generation customers, and has access to a capable student labor pool. NUS gains a partner in DHL with international reach who will hire its students and as mentioned reinforce a goal for Singapore.

2. Can you explain briefly the three pillars of sustainability (social, environmental, economic) and how they interact with each other?

Sustainability is about incorporating social justice and consideration for natural systems into positive economic outcomes with future generations and a long-term view in mind. Societal actors together with the natural environment are a firm’s stakeholders and thus, sustainability requires a stakeholder perspective. This has not been a past focus, thus having led to many of the negative consequences we are experiencing today. A firm normally requires profit to reinvest in its development for improved products, services, and operations. Unfortunately, corporate governance has been weak and as a result, profits have not always been reinvested for these purposes and, instead, have excessively lined the pockets of those who have been in control. This corruption of capitalism is a core issue. In many ways, the concept of sustainability represents the resuscitation of capitalism.

Profitability must include a calculation of all of a firm’s costs, not just the ones that the taxation agency, shareholders, or the auditors can quantify. If a firm is truly operating profitably, it does so on a triple bottom line basis meaning that it takes into account social and environmental costs. In fact, a sustainable firm can be more competitive because it produces socially and environmentally attuned offerings. A firm is embedded in the society and natural environmental in which it operates so, if it operates in harmony with these facets of life, it will serve them better and derive economic benefits as a result. Sustainability offers a positive feedback loop for a firm, once it figures out how to operate sustainably. This has been challenging because of past paradigms that dominate our economic landscape. However, we know that the ability to learn, adapt and change is primary for survival and this is what sustainability ultimately means.

3. Can you talk about the relationship between sustainability and a “race to the top”?

A “race to the top” essentially means that firms compete on producing better products and services under improved labor and environmental conditions. This concept is associated with a circular economy as stated in European Union strategy and in the United Nations Global Compact principles, underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under this paradigm, firms compete on ever improving labor and environmental standards. The resulting sustainable products and services support a higher standard of living, for obvious reasons that consumers, communities and the environment benefit from them, and produce positive externalities for more sustainable development. It is like a positive upward spiral where one positive activity spurs many others. Firms that collectively compete on this basis reduce the phenomenon of the “Tragedy of the Commons” rather than aggravate it. They may even give back to and enhance the commons. Ultimately, the pie increases with a race to the top and sustainable development. Everyone gains from this, including firms and their stakeholders.
This contrasts with a “race to the bottom,” where firms narrowly obsess over lowering costs without considering a more holistic view inclusive of revenue and profit growth. They ignore social and environmental consequences, leaving society to pay for the firm’s costs. As an exemplar, we can think of the outsourcing that has occurred to enormous production facilities where thousands of people spend their days under soul-crushing circumstances, and the consequent negative externalities – consequences for workers’ health, families, communities, and beyond. Lowering costs to an extreme may conveniently increase profits in the short term, but this does not support growth in the short or long term because revenues are often stymied by a lack of investment. It makes sense to reduce costs associated with useless slack relating to over paid corporate executives and their perquisites, but it does not make sense to reduce costs that represent beneficial investments fostering growth. Firms must understand the balance that this entails. They must also understand that their activities have grave consequences for the societies that host them and that there are consequences, as a result of those costs that they did not recognize – the consequences return to haunt them. Think of an economy-wide death spiral where negativity creates more consequences that are negative. Ultimately, firms need strong corporate governance supported by boards of directors possessing sound judgement together with robust internal risk management and information systems.

In fact, many firms prefer a race to the top and are moving in this direction, but they would like local governments to support their initiatives on a broader politico-economic and consistent basis. This means that governments must develop and maintain long-term policies focused on sustainable development. For example, subsidies must go to strategic sustainable infant industries on a predictable basis but must stop when these industries are mature enough to stand on their own. Otherwise, they crowd out the next generation of technologies leaving firms that are “too big to fail” and competition too weak to fill the gaps. Governments must resist particularly powerful special interest groups and their corporate lobbies. Instead, by working towards a circular economy, governments support sustainable development and diversified leading edge economies. They align with the most sustainably competitive businesses that would contribute to improving their societies. Our future generations deserve a better world and our economies can work toward this principle with longer-term view.

4. As we continue to globalize, how important would you say it is for business students to learn to consider sustainability in their decision-making?

As suggested by the previous comments, sustainability means survival. Business students need to understand sustainability as not only core to strategy but, critical for the survival of their organizations, whether for- or non-profit. All of our organizations are embedded in societies and the natural environment. If you destroy your fish bowl, you no longer have one to live in. Unfortunately, we are facing an Anthropocene where humans are determining the fate of the planet. On a positive note, this means that our choices make a difference, but we have to collectively make the right ones every single day. Business students have to learn to make sustainable decisions in keeping with concepts such as the circular economy, the principles of the Global Compact, and the UN sustainable development goals.

Learn more by reading the full case study, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability: DHL, the National University of Singapore, and the Asia Pacific Sustainable Supply Chain Centre from SAGE Business Cases, open to the public for a limited time. To learn more about SAGE Business Cases and to find out how to submit a case to the collection, please contact Rachel Taliaferro, Associate Editor (rachel.taliaferro@sagepub.com). Read the last Case In Point post, titled Managing Inventory to Maximize Profit.

 

The Impact of Religion-Based Caste System on the Dynamics of Indian Trade Unions

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Jatin Pandey and Biju Varkkey of the Indian Institute of Management. They recently published an article in Business & Society entitled “Impact of Religion-Based Caste System on the Dynamics of Indian Trade Unions: Evidence From Two State-Owned Organizations in North India,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Pandey reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

Caste and trade unions are two important stratification schemas prevalent in India but their interaction has been under-researched. Ramaswamy’s study in South India, which was conducted in 1976, had dealt with the issue of caste and trade unions directly and was based on empirical data collected from the unions of textile workers in Coimbatore. After that, there has been passing references to caste as an important facet in unions or opinion pieces by authors based on their personal observations; but there had been a paucity of studies, which look at the interface of caste and unions based on systematic data collection and analysis.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings surprise revelations?

Gathering data on the sensitive topic of caste was the most challenging. The political undertones of the topic make people skeptical about discussing it freely. In our research, initially, the trade union members negated the influence of caste in modern times however as we continued with the interview they revealed that caste not only had an impact in the workspace but their social space as well.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Caste is a very sensitive and politically active topic in India and while interviewing researcher must be aware of these controversies and tensions. Continuous engagement with the respondents, developing trust and having an open communication regarding your intentions as a researcher aids during the interview process. Once the respondents get to understand that you are a “researchers” and not “politicians”; they open up easily and reveal data in the form of lived experiences and actual stories that provide rich data useful for in-depth studies. Also, it is not a good idea to start with the questions on caste during the initial phase of the interview, it’s better to start with topics like trade unions and then move on to caste

 

 

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