World Futures Review September Special Issue: How to Teach Foresight?


wfra_10_3_coverWorld Futures Review features a special issue for September entitled, Foresight Education! How should business schools incorporate foresight education and other topics are addressed.  Several abstracts are featured below. Please note that the full articles will be free to read for a limited time.



“Why All Business Schools Should Teach Foresight: Perspectives from More Than a Decade at the University of Notre Dame”


This article advocates that business schools include a formalized foresight educational experience more widely in their curriculums. As a group charged with educating business leaders of tomorrow, the cultivation of the skill-set and mind-set necessary for anticipating change and positioning organizations for future success and survival should no longer be left to chance. For the past decade, the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has required all undergraduate students to take a course titled Foresight in Business and Society. During this time, the Mendoza foresight faculty team has gained perspective on the design and value of a futures research learning experience for our students. Five underlying design principles are presented that have shaped the delivery and execution of the course these revolve around: developing great leaders, confronting ambiguous questions, experiential understanding, rigorous exploration, and anticipation as a force for good. As with any design-based perspective, the article concludes with challenges and pitfalls in recognition that the process is not always linear or smooth. But to other educators on this journey, the challenges are manageable and the promise and prospects for students makes it worthwhile.


Most fields of study have introductory textbooks with the word “principles” in the title: “Principles of Economics,” “Principles of Ecology,” and many others. The principles explained in these textbooks are the core unifying and ordering concepts for their respective fields. They provide a frame of reference for students who are new to the field and taking the first steps toward mastering it. The abundance of “principles” textbooks and long history of the use of core principles in education suggest that a clear set of unifying principles may be a useful way to teach students how to productively think about and understand complex topics. This article identifies and describes a set of core principles for thinking about the future based on a review of more than 50 years of published futures research literature. The ten principles are as follows: The future is (1) plural; (2) possible, plausible, probable, and preferable; (3) open; (4) fuzzy; (5) surprising; (6) not surprising; (7) fast; (8) slow; (9) archetypal; and (10) inbound and outbound. The principles are described and their potential educational use is discussed. Core futures principles may be useful for introducing students of all ages to thinking about and preparing for the future.

“School-Wide Foresight Education: All Together Now!”

Textbooks Desks Tables Classroom GuiyangSchools are better when futures studies are included in the curriculum. This is not common today but can become common with creative and persistent effort. A plan is offered for systematic and sustained promotion in the nation’s K–12 school system. Examples are provided of projects for age appropriate employ throughout K–12 schooling.

World Futures Review (WFR) seeks to encourage and facilitate communication researchers and practitioners in all related fields. WFR relies on its readers to provide the necessary balance through their responses to controversial or one-sided material.

To submit your work to this journal, check out these guidelines!

Future photo attributed to Free Photos

Notre Dame logo attributed to Free Photos.

Idea photo attributed to Free Photos.

Classroom photo attributed to Free Photos.





What Goes Unsaid: Studying Nonverbal Behavior in the Workplace

2177716513_8732301485_zEffective communication between employees is integral to the performance and success of any organization. Communication between individuals is much more complex than it may appear on the surface, with nonverbal cues adding depth to interactions beyond verbal exchanges. As a result, it comes as no surprise that studies of employee communication cannot be complete without considering the implications of nonverbal behaviors. In a Journal of Management paper published this year entitled “Nonverbal Behavior and Communication in the Workplace: A Review and an Agenda for Research,” authors Silvia Bonaccio, Jane O’Reilly, Sharon L. O’Sullivan, and François Chiocchio argue that nonverbal behavior should be further integrated into organizational research. The abstract for the article:

Nonverbal behavior is a hot topic in the popular management press. However, management scholars have lagged behind in understanding this important form of communication. Although some theories discuss limited aspects of nonverbal behavior, there has yet to be a comprehensive review of nonverbal behavior geared toward organizational scholars. Furthermore, the extant literature is scattered across several areas of inquiry, making the field appear disjointed and challenging to access. Current Issue CoverThe purpose of this paper is to review the literature on nonverbal behavior with an eye towards applying it to organizational phenomena. We begin by defining nonverbal behavior and its components. We review and discuss several areas in the organizational sciences that are ripe for further explorations of nonverbal behavior. Throughout the paper, we offer ideas for future research as well as information on methods to study nonverbal behavior in lab and field contexts. We hope our review will encourage organizational scholars to develop a deeper understanding of how nonverbal behavior influences the social world of organizations.

You can read “Nonverbal Behavior and Communication in the Workplace: A Review and an Agenda for Research” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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*Employee image attributed to jeanbaptisteparis (CC)

Read the Latest Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly!

Current Issue CoverThe September 2016 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now published online and can be accessed free for the next 30 days! The September issue includes a 60th anniversary essay from Karl E. Weick of the University of Michigan, addressing the experience of organizational inquiry. The abstract for the essay:

Jerry Davis’s (2015) question “What is organizational research for?” is ill-served by the narrow answer “settled science.” Constraints of comprehension may give the illusion that organizational research represents settled science. But the experience of inquiring actually comprises a greater variety of actions that increase the meaning of present research experience and the contributions it makes. I discuss acts of conjecture, differentiation, attachment, affirmation, complication, discernment, interruption, and representation to illustrate that meaningful contributions are generated by actions associated with connecting perceptions to concepts. ASQ’s 60th anniversary is an opportune time to make these interim contributions more explicit.

In addition, the articles in the September issue address topics like whitened resumes, forecasting the success of new ideas, and combining the logics of industry and culture can lead to new possibilities for organizations. You can read the latest issue free for the next 30 days by clicking here.

Want to keep up with all of the latest Administrative Science Quarterly publications? Click here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also find more Administrative Science Quarterly content on the ASQ Blog here, as well as the Organizational Musings blog from Editor Henrich Greve here.

Read the March 2016 Review Issue of Family Business Review!

4875652467_2579f7b518_zTo celebrate Family Business Review’s inaugural review issue, the March 2016 review issue will be open for the next month. In the issue’s  editorial, entitled “Oh, the Places We’ll Go! Reviewing Past, Present, and Future Possibilities in Family Business Research,” authors Jeremy C. Short, Pramodita Sharma, G. Thomas Lumpkin, and Allison W. Pearson dive into why this is such an important issue:

You might wonder why we believe now is a particularly promising time to conduct the first review issue of FBR. To understand this question, we would like to backup and take a brief look at the places this research stream has been. While there were only 111 peer-reviewed articles on family business before January 1, 1970, the pace of knowledge creation in this field accelerated in the 1990s yielding over 2,000 articles Current Issue Cover(Sharma, 2015). In the past 5 years between 2010 and 2014, over 4,000 family business articles were added to the knowledge pool. At this rate, the current decade will likely yield over 8,000 new peer-reviewed journal articles on family business. The increased interest in this field has also yielded returns in the quality of research output. Craig, Moores, Howorth, and Poutziouris (2009) observe that family business research is at a “tipping point” with an unprecedented acceptance in top-tier journals.

With the rapid growth of research in family business across multiple disciplines and outlets, coupled with the growing interest from around the globe (Woolridge, 2015), the field needs a review issue dedicated to unifying the research trends and ideas, looking both historically and toward the future. As the premier journal in family firm research, FBR is uniquely positioned to take that role. While review articles have appeared intermittently over the years, FBR’s 25th anniversary issue published in March (2012) started us along the trajectory of a dedicated review issue to take stock of past research and determine interesting future possibilities for impactful research.

This review issue includes five articles that critically examine 774 scholarly publications to identify the gaps between “what we know” and “what we need to know” concerning key topics and methods of interest to family business scholars. This particular collection of articles places us in the center of the family business research universe because of the breadth and relevance of topics reviewed.

Click here to access the Table of Contents of the December issue of Family Business Review, which will be free to access for the next month. Want to know about all the latest from Family Business Review? Click here to sigh up for e-alerts!

*Reading image attributed to Sebastien Wiertz (CC)

Do New Sports Facilities Prompt New Business in Local Communities?

14962586954_71434f3054_zHow well do new sports facilities promote economic growth in a community? Recently published in the Journal of Sports Economicsthe article “Do New Sports Facilities Attract New Businesses?” from authors Kaitlyn Harger, Brad Humphreys, and Amanda Ross seeks to answer this question by analyzing how many new businesses open following the opening a new sports facility in a community. The abstract for the paper:

We examine the impact of new sports facilities on new businesses, an unexplored Current Issue Covertopic in the literature. We use data from the Dun and Bradstreet MarketPlace files to examine how new sports facilities affect nearby business activity in terms of the number of new businesses and workers. We find no evidence of increased new businesses openings after the opening of new sports facilities in 12 U.S. cities in the 2000s; employment at new businesses near new facilities is larger than at new businesses elsewhere in the metropolitan statistical area; this increase cannot be linked to businesses in any specific industry.

You can read “Do New Sports Facilities Attract New Businesses?” from Journal of Sports Economics free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Sports EconomicsClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

Indian Entrepreneurship and Its Varied Manifestations: A Historical Perspective

5003583610_0eb2f34028_zStories have always captured the imagination of man. Be it timeless epics, like the Mahabharata and Ramayana, or more recent books, like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Steve Jobs’ biography, well-told stories have the ability to capture their audience’s imagination. And while fictional stories engage readers’ imaginations, true stories can inspire readers to act. As a result, looking back at true stories and history specifically relevant to entrepreneurship can be a valuable perspective to take in the study of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, the historical lens has been has been neglected in the past.

A recent article from Journal of Entrepreneurship entitled, “Indian Entrepreneurship through a Historical Lens: A Dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi ,”  highlights themes of relevance to the study  of Indian entrepreneurship. The author of the article Raj K Shankar has identified five themes from a review of academic literature. The five themes are: business history and entrepreneurship, context and entrepreneurship, caste and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in emerging economies, and entrepreneurship research using historical methods. The author argues that research in these areas can benefit immensely when looked at through a historical lens. The article also includes views from a dialogue with noted business historian, Dwijendra Tripathi, which help bolster the arguments.

Current Issue CoverWith growing entrepreneurial accomplishments, India has gained the notice of many nations and companies around the world as a country with high entrepreneurial potential. As a result, it is important to understand and catalyze entrepreneurship, not only as a discipline of academic curiosity, but also as a field of pragmatic importance.

The abstract for the paper:

History arguably is most suited to inform entrepreneurship and its varied manifestations. It is equally well placed to address entrepreneurship’s primary challenge—longitudinal work in context. Despite repeated calls for this, it has remained a plea. Extant literature review provided five themes, which researchers can use to begin to look at entrepreneurship through a historical lens. These are: business history and entrepreneurship, context and entrepreneurship, caste and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in emerging economies and entrepreneurship research using historical methods. A dialogue with India’s pre-eminent business historian Dwijendra Tripathi adds perspective to the considerable potential these themes present for entrepreneurship research through a historical lens. Indian entrepreneurship provides context to this perspective and reinforces this need. Furthermore, the five themes provide research gateways for scholars in both business history and entrepreneurship.

Click here to read Indian Entrepreneurship through a Historical Lens: A Dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi free for the next two weeks from the Journal of Entrepreneurship.

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*Meeting image attributed to Michael Cannon (CC)


What Can Leaders Learn from Rock Climbing?

25285219503_a885d3f520_z[We’re pleased to welcome Diane Bischak and Jaana Woiceshyn. Diane and Jaana recently published an article entitled “Leadership Virtues Exposed: Ethical Leadership Lessons from Leading in Rock Climbing” in Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.]

Diane has been an avid participant in rock climbing for many years, a sport which has a very tangible leadership element. She was wondering if the lessons she had learned about leading in rock climbing could be applied to business, which (operations management in particular) she teaches. She asked me, a strategy and business ethics professor, to explore that with her. Having tried rock climbing and also participated in wilderness expeditions both as a leader and a team member, I was immediately interested—because leadership clearly matters, in business and beyond.

The exposed nature of leadership practices in rock climbing makes them highly observable, unlike leadership in business and many other contexts where such practices are mostly opaque to researchers who typically are outsiders to organizations they study. So we pursued our analysis to see what we would find, with a focus on positive practices guided by leadership virtues.

Three findings were particularly surprising. First, the parallels between rock climbing leadership and business leadership are closer than one would think at the first glance, given the strong cognitive component and long-term orientation of rock climbing leadership. Second, rationality, which is often not recognized as a leadership virtue at all, appears to be fundamental to virtuous leadership in rock climbing, and also in business. Third, we did not detect confirmation for the notion of leaders as servants in the rock climbing world. Rather, leaders and JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpointfollowers achieve best outcomes (successful climbs over the long term) by trading value for value, instead of leaders merely serving the needs of their followers.

We think our findings suggest practical implications for leaders in business and other realms by emphasizing the trader relationship of leaders and followers, and rationality—adherence to facts by the means of observation and logic—as the fundamental virtue guiding sound leadership practices. Rest of the virtues, such as honesty and justice, are derived from rationality.

As for research, we hope to see further qualitative and quantitative studies of the leadership virtues we identified in the context of rock climbing, including textual analysis and surveys.

The abstract for the paper:

Leadership clearly has an impact on organizational outcomes, and previous research has revealed the antecedents and consequences of leadership styles and the effects of leaders’ personality traits. We focus on an area that has received much less attention: ethical leadership practice and the virtues that guide it. Following the positive turn in leadership research, we examine what constitutes virtuous action of leaders. We draw on observations made in a novel realm, rock climbing, and integrate them with the literature on leadership virtues while drawing parallels to business. We identify six essential virtues at the core of the ethical leadership model we propose: rationality, honesty, independence, integrity, justice, and pride. Three of these—rationality, independence, and pride—are not conventional virtues, but we suggest that they are critical for ethical leadership, as is the standard of human flourishing and the leader’s relationship with followers as a trader of values. Our analysis is summarized in testable propositions.

You can read “Leadership Virtues Exposed: Ethical Leadership Lessons from Leading in Rock Climbing” from Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

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