Entries by tagonline

Is Meritocracy Dying – Or Was It Just a Myth All Along?

An organizational culture that values meritocracy sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, we want to be hired, evaluated, and promoted based on our own merits – as opposed to non-performance-related factors such as our race, our gender, our network, or our political skills. It’s all about getting what we deserve because of our performance. Scan […]

Headquarters Versus Local Overseas Offices – Worlds Apart?

Here are some comments I have heard over the years from executives sitting in regional or headquarters locations about local managers in their subsidiaries: They don’t seem to want anything to do with Corporate. Why can’t they trust us? Don’t they see that they have to follow corporate rules and that they are part of […]

Boss, Manager or Leader?

After reading two excellent books with the word “boss” in their titles (Robert Sutton’s “Good Boss, Bad Boss,” and Linda Hill and Kent Lineback’s “Being the Boss”), I became intrigued with the connotations of this term, and how a boss differs from being a manager and a leader. Sutton, Hill and Lineback don’t really make […]

Shadow Work and Shadow Staffs in Organizations

I recently came across Craig Lambert’s book Shadow Work, in which he describes all those unpaid tasks we perform on behalf of businesses and organizations – from self-service ATMs, supermarkets, and gas stations, to shopping web sites. He places the blame with our sleep deprivation and our stress levels partially on these businesses, stating that part […]

New Year’s Resolutions, Managers and Nudge Strategy

About this time of the year, popular magazines are filled with articles about helping you make sure that your New Year’s resolutions stick this time. In their best-selling book Nudge, Professors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein show that an effective way to change people’s behavior is to “nudge” them, rather than say, demand big changes in […]

Nasty or Nice in the Workplace?

When I worked for Citibank in the eighties as a young professional, I used to tell my friends that the corporate culture in Citibank taught me to be rude. In those days, Citibank was known to be aggressive and even arrogant, and one survived only by adapting to this rough-and-tumble environment. Corporate cultures have become […]

In the Work Place, Is It Better to Receive Than to Give?

By now, students of organizational behavior are probably familiar with Professor Adam Grant’s research on givers and takers, which he has summarized in his book Give and Take (Grant, 2013). Grant has found that people have three general interaction styles: taking, giving and matching. Takers, according to Grant, like to get more than they give. They believe […]

Networked and Mentored

Frank, a management consultant with his own independent business, believes in networking especially as a source of potential clients. His week is filled typically with lunches with potential and former clients, and evening meetings with various business groups, e.g., other consultants, business networking events, etc. Fortunately, Frank is very extroverted, and he loves schmoozing and […]

How Am I Doing? 360-Degree Feedback in Asia

I recently returned from Singapore, where I taught an executive MBA class in Global Leadership to a group of mostly Asian managers and executives. As part of the course, they were required to participate in a 360-degree feedback process using a a popular instrument, the Leadership Practices Inventory (Kousez and Posner, 2012). For many of […]

East Is East … But Is the Twain Meeting?

Are differences across cultures diminishing? With globalization and the dominance of U.S. culture over the past few decades, several of my students and as well as managers I have discussed this with believe that they seem to be. For example, Alex is a Singaporean human resources manager working for a French company based in Singapore […]