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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Basic differences between managing information and managing knowledge? Is it necessary that we try to "get inside people's heads" to capture it?

Information and Knowledge are two interrelated concepts. Information is processed data that has the capacity to give form or shape to a matter or to the mind. Formation of matter can be appreciated in the way that “messages passed from Genes instruct the cell machinery to build an organism” (Campbell J., 1982). Shaping of mind happens when information reaches the receiver with a purpose and makes some sense to him. Shaping of mind leads to creation of Knowledge within the receiver that enables him to make intelligent decisions. Ever since Information Revolution, Information is accepted as the key organizational resource whereas it’s only recently that Knowledge has been given a similar status. Eventhough both Information and Knowledge gives strategic advantage to the organization, their management process differs greatly.

Basic Goal:
Information Management involves managing the collection, storage, processing and analysis of organizational information in such a way that it leads to efficient decision making. Here, the importance is on what shapes the decision making. Focus is on how IT can be effectively utilized so that the business uses the latest IM tools and systems that bring in competitive advantage and adaptability.

Knowledge Management on the other hand focuses on gathering together of all the specialist knowledge that the organization has accumulated throughout its history and coordinating the knowledge integration process towards a self building knowledge framework. Here, the focus is on how an organization can effectively utilize and reuse the knowledge that has already aided in decision making on a previous assignment. Strategic advantage is realized by building up of codified expert knowledge in specialized areas such as production, sales, services etc.

Efficiency Considerations:
Efficiency in Information Management is realized when the Information processing framework is able to deliver the right information at the right place at the right time in the right form and at the right cost. Focus is on selecting cost effective IT that would help realizing the ROI within the budgeted limits.
Efficiency in Knowledge Management is realized when there is effective integration of expert knowledge by minimizing knowledge transfer through cross-learning across the functions (Grant R.M. 1996). This means, when a programmer wants to know about the standard SSL based encryption technology used by the company, he can just log in to the company Knowledge System and search for experts in that area and get the help online.

Knowledge Management systems are designed and implemented in organizations with the goal of making the expert knowledge freely available to everyone in the organization, irrespective of the hierarchy. When you want a specialized knowledge, you need not run looking around for people, its there in the Knowledge framework. Only effort required is to login to the system and search for it. So, there is no need to “get inside people’s head” to capture knowledge. But, yes you have to if you do not have a KM system in place.

1. Campbell J. (1982). Grammatical Man. Information, Entropy, Language and Life. Simon and Schuster, New York.

2. Grant R.M. (1996). Towards Knowledge Based Theory of Firm. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 17

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006

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Motivation studies indicate that not all people are motivated by the same factors or rewards

Motivation is a very important psychological driving force that every individual require to complete an effort. An effort well done, leads to better performance and due satisfaction of one’s unfulfilled need. As we see from Maslow’s need hierarchy, this unfulfilled need belongs to various categories from physical (lower order) to mental (higher order) (William C., 2007, p. 419). Rewards is one of the various means that managers can use to motivate his workers. Tangible rewards such as bonuses, pay, vacation etc satisfy lower level needs of people while intangible rewards such as allowing worker to do challenging and responsible task satisfy one’s need to have a sense of accomplishment and achievement. In many cases, a manager has limited options available as a set of rewards depending upon the business environments.

From the theories of motivation that William describes in his textbook, I think Reinforcement theory (William C. 2007, p. 433) can be successfully applied by a manager in a situation of confined set of rewards. He may use the Integrated model for motivation (William C. 2007, p.443), to identify critical and observable performance related behaviors such as increased sales target, increased company revenue, successful execution of a tasks in a given timeframe etc. From this data, he may then lay down the rules or “schedules of reinforcement” that define when and how he may provide the rewards or consequences such as promotion, pay, time-off, support for education, bonus etc. For example, he may schedule the limited promotions available to be delivered, say, when the employees perform exemplary performance after 3 repeated projects and they need recognition for their accomplishment. Not every employee can exhibit this behavior, so such a fixed ratio reinforcement schedule will ensure that the positions are well utilized.

In case of fixed pay structure, he can schedule the pay to happen at every acceptable performance during a fixed timeframe (fixed interval reinforcement). This satisfies the basic lower level need of all the employees, and he should ensure that the employee receives the pay only if he does what he is expected to do, consistently. All employees exhibit need for time-off for the hard work they have done for a specific period of time. Time-off can be scheduled in the variable interval reinforcement format to reinforce this behavior. For example a full week paid time off during any time of the year. Time-offs can also be scheduled in the variable ratio reinforcement schedule format, where he gives chance for the employee for a full week paid vacation package after a major company profit, the profit amount being a variable one. Many companies offer education support programs wherein they sponsor the entire college study or Masters program. Since its an additional cost to the company, the option is usually limited to highly industrious and promising employees who would like to expand their expertise, thus contribute to the company by higher studies. This is a fixed ratio reinforcement, where the consequence happens after an expected employee behavior.

Reward based motivation, especially applying the Reinforcement Theory, aids in reinforcing critical performance related behaviors and are particularly useful when there is a need to schedule the rewards scheme based on the occurrences of the behaviors. One great advantage of this method is that it is simple to apply and monitor.

1. Williams C. (2007). Management: Motivation (4th ed., ch. 13). Thomson South Western.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006

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Reengineering New York Public Library (NYPL)

After analyzing the NYPL website (, it becomes clear that the Digital Library project is a part of a bigger reengineering initiative that has been in place in NYPL for past few decades. NYPL has realized the importance of refining its business processes by implementing efficient process automation systems. They have done extensive work on analyzing the current library process and work flows to build IT based business process automation systems, mainly the integrated web-portal that automates major activities such as Search, Borrow, Reserve, Renew, Providing one-stop access to the services of Branch and Research Libraries, Supporting collaborative and learning activities with focus on diverse groups (NYPL website, 2007). The basic goal in implementing the Digital Library, as defined in NYPL website, is to act as a “gateway to The Library's rare and unique collections in digitized form, free” – is a newly identified requirement that required a lot of changes in the current process designs as well as building of new process models, for e.g. web based information search and retrieval system that supports efficient way to handle fragile and old works. This is evident in the way that NYPL created a separate web domain for this initiative ( This initiative thus supports Hammer’s first Reengineering Principle – finding innovative way to do business process and getting away from the routine and far less efficient process models . The old process requires physical storage and care of the deteriorating historical collections, less efficient ways of searching through them manually and distributing them for research and knowledge assimilation. In the reengineered system, the whole process is replaced with a web-based process automation system that supports efficient storage, sorting, searching and retrieval.

The Digital Library system is well organized around outcome and not just individual line of tasks. Here, the importance is on establishing an integrated IT solution that focuses on the quality and efficiency of the process to deliver immediate service to the visitor, rather than work trail involved in common library system - This is in accordance with the second principle. The first two principles thus focus on “compressing linear processes or work trails”. The heart of NYPL’s digital library system is a well structured Information Architecture that supports timely processing of information within the system. This Information Architecture is nothing but NYPL’s centralized data-warehouse and the coordination mechanisms that control the validity, integrity and timely flow of relevant information between sub-processes. This integrated Information processing approach thus seems to support the third and fourth rules – i.e. to Incorporate information processing capability into the processes that creates the information and Link decentralized parallel processes by effective information integration. For e.g. the search process for, say “African Personalities”, takes in the input information, performs parallel search across the differing subject areas available in the data-warehouse, links the results and then generates a web page that is formatted subject-wise.

The fifth principle says - Build in decision making points where the work is done in a process. This is again supported by NYPL’s digital Library in many different ways. One good example is where the user has full control to decide on what to search (Photographs) and how to search (search by caption, subject-wise, author-wise etc). The decision made is processed there itself and request is served on the spot. The search in turn can decide on what search method it should use – an indexed search or a heuristic search. The last principle speaks about Capturing Information once and at the source. This is actually made possible by the Centralized data warehouse which is accessed by NYPL’s reengineered business processes to store and share information, thus reducing data redundancy. For example by capturing (scanning, importing and uploading) and storing the old manuscript and its related information in the common data warehouse, any business process, say a normal search & query process or a pay & print process, can access it simultaneously without any contention.

-What additional improvements could be made to further refashion the project to integrate the ideas of process improvement?

Definitely there are areas where we can apply further process improvements such as follows :

1. Integrating with the Research Libraries and Branches so that the subject matter is further categorized.

2. Administration and content management capabilities that enable building of process controls that builds in static and dynamic data pumped to the website.

3. Extensive shopping cart facilities that can sell, resell and negotiate with other popular online stores via web services. This is one of the major sources of ROI for NYPL.

4. User rating capabilities which allows user to provide constructive feedback.

5. Personalized section for the users where they can login and set personalized web pages and customized searches.

It may be noted that any call for process improvement leads to a new reengineering initiative that has a huge cost, time and effort attached to it. NYPL should utilize its established process improvement methodologies to do a cost benefit analysis to make sure that the project is both financially and behaviorally feasible.

1. Hammer M. (1990). "Reengineering Work: Don't Automate, Obliterate". Harvard Business Review.
2. NYPL. (2007) NYPL Website. Retrieved on February 27, 2007.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006

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Personal Internet Usage at Workplace

a Director of Security for your organization, what policies or plans could you implement that might help control or diminish personal Internet use at the workplace? Do you trust that employees will use common sense and good judgment, or will you risk employee backlash when they discover that you’re implementing monitoring software?

Personal Internet usage is one of the identified performance constraint in any organization. It affects work process efficiency and might jeopardize company‘s secure information. Checking personal mails, chatting, viewing unauthorized websites, playing games etc are common “behaviors” exhibited which has a direct impact on worker productivity and performance. It affects the organizational goal when this activity leads to poor quality of work, increased cycle times, loss of vital organizational data to outsiders and breakdown of organization wide Information Systems by virus attacks and spam mails. At the same time, allowing employee to use internet to explore more about his work area skills, will lead to increased productivity. With this view in mind, as the Director of Security, I will attribute the kind of control process to be applied here as greatly related to the “Behavioral Control”, where we track and monitor employee’s actions to see whether it’s good to support the organizational goal (William C. 2007). I would also be inspired by Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints to see this behavior as a constraint that need to be controlled and coordinated in such a manner that expected goals are achieved (Goldratt E.M. 2004).

First of all I will analyze the work processes of each work group (e.g. Developers, Analysts, Supervisors, Managers, Data Entry operators, Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), Support Personnel) and identify their “level” of need to access the internet. For e.g. the Developers, Analysts, Supervisors, Managers and executives need to have access to all the Technical reference web-sites, popular search engines and general commercial websites that they use to benchmark and study. For Data Entry Operators, CSRs and Support Personnel, access will be restricted to a single Search Engine (Google) for accessing authorized websites and Internal Technical References. In general, access to all personal banking websites, porn sites, cultural websites, games web sites, chat sites, popular e-mail websites and messengers is restricted to all employees. The idea is that the work process involved and the nature of internet access required to perform that process efficiently, is identified. Accordingly, standards are set so that every work group member is expected to follow it. Here, the goal is to avoid "misuse of internet"(constraint) and thus reduce the cost incurred via loss of relevant company information (Spoofing, Phishing, Key Logging etc) and compromised company wide Information system (Viruses, Spams, Network Clogging, SQL Injection attacks etc). The standards will be mapped to Firewall rules where the internet access rules for each work group will be defined. Each user access to the internet is checked against the rules and is given warnings when that access is outside his list of authorized access. When the warnings exceeds a limit, the user’s internet access is automatically locked and further disciplinary action is taken (corrective action ).

The control policy that I described above is not a hidden process that the employees are not aware of. It involves both control and monitoring components. Every employee knows the standards and they know that their need to access internet for improving their job performance is already provided and anything more than that is not acceptable. I don’t think in such a case there is need for any negative reaction. Yes, absolutely, I trust that employees will act according to their conscience and make intelligent decisions to maximize their productivity.

1. Williams C. (2007). Management: Control (4th ed., ch. 16). Thomson South Western.
2. Goldratt E.M. (2004). The Goal. A process of Ongoing Improvement (20th An. ed.). North River Press.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2007

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Spend Money or Loose It

Viscione’s article (as in Refernce section) pictures out how important is designing and implementing a continuously improving budget process, for any business firm to survive. He warns all business firms either small or big to build its budgeting system right from the beginning of first year of its inception. He suggests many helpful hints that a manager should consider to build and maintain a healthy and long-term budget system to manage money. The basic steps towards this are to allocate time and resources for formulating and evaluating targets of expenses and revenues, summarize the targets and increase the likelihood that the targets will be achieved (means targets should not be viewed as a “forecast” but something that he has to make happen), develop alternatives to each target, apply control measures to monitor progress each month or quarter and take corrective action if its deviates from the original goal of achieving profits from the targets (Viscione, 2000 ). This is the basic regulatory feature of any control process. In this case, we regulate and control the use of money.

My experience with directly involving in the budgeting process is very little, but I can easily relate what I understood from the article to one of my previous employer where I worked as a Project Leader. The organization structure was highly Bureaucratic in nature with the Governor on top followed by Chief Minister, then Secretaries for each specialized state department and the whole bunch of bureaucratic positions such as Directors, Joint-secretaries, Under-secretaries, Project Managers and other employees.

For applying the above mentioned steps to the fullest potential, the manager (the officials till the Under Secretary level, where I worked) should have strong support from his top management to oversee and delegate the budgetary responsibility. The responsibility and commitment should be clearly defined so that each budget category (sales, new product development, departmental projects, employee training for latest technology usage, facility improvement etc) is assigned to an appropriate manager who has full faith in the control process. The state budgeting process is greatly influenced by political and interest groups (citizens, industries, project agencies). This indirectly builds in top level support for the budgetary process. The budgeting process should not make everyone feel that he is the controller, even the manager. There should be generally one controller such as the President or CEO or sometimes a designated official called CFO. In my organization, the IT secretary was the person who had the powers to deal with budgets in the IT department. He devises the strategies for the department and allocates budgetary provisions for each department functions and for various projects. The IT mangers or the directors are given responsibility to set the targets and establish timeframes to achieve them. The idea is that the strategic planning and delegation should always come from the top level. The role of the manager is to make sure that the targets are achieved as assigned to him and take actions when budgetary system warns of a crisis.In this effort, it is useful for him to be aware of the various stakeholders who are either involved in execution of the budgetary process or who are affected by it.

The internal stakeholders include the President, CEO, IT Secretary (in my organization) and CFO (I assume he is who is referred to as “controller” in the article) at the top level who develops and oversees the overall budgetary strategies. Down the levels, we have the individual managers (my IT Manager) who actually “operate” and implement the targets and the employees (including me) who execute the individual tasks towards target achievement. The external stakeholders include company shareholders (are interested in the ultimate profits that budgets brings in, for e.g. the interest groups who have influenced the State budget), banks (are interested in the amounts invested or borrowed), customers or citizens (interested in value addition and prices tagged to the products and services that the company deliver during that budgetary period), budgetary consultants (e.g. CPA who consults on imparting knowledge on building and reshaping budgeting strategies), market environments (that determine the target areas of improvement and thus amount of money to be allocated) and competitors (for benchmarking).

In my opinion, the bureaucratic or hierarchical structure, similar to the one which we had in the IT department, will tend to be more structured as far as setting up and controlling the budgetary process than a flat organization structure where everybody tries to (or sometimes has to) control. Also the manager will have clear responsibilities and boundaries to commit to. The IT department where I worked had department budgeting system which was integrated with the state wide Budget Information System. Each manager can login to the system wherein they can view the budget information for each project that they are handling, summarized target and timelines, monthly, quarterly and yearly projections of money usage per project, drilled down to project tasks. The system can also track progress as the project goes on through its life cycle and can warn him if the resource allocation deviates from the budgetary provisions and thus take corrective actions.

Viscione J.A. (2000). "Small Company Budgets: Targets Are Key". Harvard Business Review.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006
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Strategic Alliances - Review and Case Study

The goal of Milne et. al. article is to study how non-profit alliances lead to shape environment policy and market behavior. Focusing on this goal, they developed five hypotheses and conducted extended research to prove or disprove them, thus determining the true behavior of alliances that exist between non-profit and non-profit, non-profit and governmental organization and non-profit and for-profit business. The article states that the alliances are successful if there is smooth coordination at both inter-organizational and interpersonal levels, high level of mutual trust, similar organizational culture, commitment and goal congruence (Milne et. al, 1996). Based on the finding that “cross-sector alliances tend to be more formal in nature”, organizations can look forward for less uncertainty in the relationship by writing down mutually agreeable contracts that defines clear targets of achievement.

The most important finding that the article brings into light is that "cross-sector alliances are more effective". Take the case of a for-profit software firm X that enters into alliance with a non-profit open source firm doing research on Unicode standardization and Native language processing. They may enter into a formal contractual project say development of a public website that is in Hindi (the native language of India). X can take this opportunity to improve their public image by marketing the website as a major initiative towards bringing technology to the common people. In this process, they acquire the scarce technical knowledge from Y. X provides their business property and necessary funding for Y to setup its R&D center in X’s location. Y provides all required technical resources and training required to deliver the product. Y benefits from the “ abundant financial funding” and its ability to motivate its volunteers to do a remarkable social oriented service

Since the study finds that “lobbying and joint fund raising efforts within-sector organizations improve their political positioning”, differing organization types may refrain from forming alliance on such activities. While studying the effect of the partner firm’s ability to influence each other’s goals, the article points out that in an alliance consisting of a non-profit and Government organization, the former acts as a “change agent”, influencing the way that a particular legislative initiative is implemented.

Alliance formation between US Olympic Team (non-profit headed by The US Olympic Committee, USOC), Coca-Cola Corporation (for-profit) and the American Red Cross (non-profit) can be analyzed to see how organizational alliances can be made successful in their respective marketing efforts. I think the way the alliance formed will be between Coca-Cola Corp. and USOC and between USOC and American Red Cross. The alliances can be analyzed and tabulated as follows -

Organization - Alliance Partner

Motivation for Success

US Olympic Team - Coca Cola Corp.Propagating the US team spirit via extensive global advertising programs arranged by Coca-Cola. Various Ads and commercials can be produced including the athletes and nation’s major strengths. Sufficient funds raised via the alliance.
US Olympic Team - American Red CrossTrusted support in case of life saving and other emergency situations.
Coca Cola Corp. - US Olympic TeamBeing able to sponsor the most prestigious international team for the most watched global event.
With the official Olympic sponsor tag, they can market their products effectively.
American Red Cross - US Olympic TeamOpportunity to utilize its volunteer expertise to cater to the event’s life saving needs and the goodwill generated from the humanitarian efforts.
Organization - Alliance PartnerDetermining success or failure of marketing efforts:
US Olympic Team - Coca-Cola Corp.Marketing efforts can be measured directly by the contractual agreement between the USOC and Coca-Cola Corp.Mutual trust, commitment towards delivering the values of the ads, commercials and smooth coordination of activities should determine the success or failure of the respective marketing strategies.
US Olympic Team - American Red CrossMutual trust, commitment and goal congruence in supporting the nation’s cause.
Organization - Alliance PartnerEffect of organizational culture on the interest in forming alliances
US Olympic Team - Coca-Cola CorpUSOC being a non-profit and Coca-Cola being a for-profit, they have two different organizational cultures which is difficult to coordinate. According to the article, they would need to enter into a formal contract which clearly defines the mutual interests, goal and coordination mechanisms. Through well coordinated alliance, they can each look upon the success of their individual marketing strategies.

US Olympic Team - American Red CrossUSOCand American Red Cross, both being non-profit, has greater similarity in organizational culture, structure, congressional influence and goal congruence. So the alliance can be more informal and the coordination mechanisms are less tightly controlled. Both of them will have greater interest in entering into alliance and marching towards success.

1. Milne, George R; Iyer, Easwar S Gooding Williams, Sara (1996). Environmental organization alliance relationships within and across nonprofit, business, and government sectors. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.
2. US Olympic team website. Retrieved March 18, 2007, from,
3. American Red Cross website. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from,

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008

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Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning - An analysis from view points of Mintzberg and King

1. The way strategic planning originates: Mintzburg states that strategies can originate as specific intentions of the leaders, as deliberate strategies which take a linear path. King, on the other hand states that strategic planning originates from the need to identify best ways to respond to organization’s vibrant environments, and are thus non-linear in nature. She is of the argument that sound exercise of organizational leadership cannot be considered as strategic planning.

I think both of their views might fall true or false in various situations of a non-profit or for-profit sector. For example, a for-profit organization like Microsoft can have strong impacts from its leader, in the way its strategy is built. The main reason behind this is the fact that the leader himself can bring about vibrancy in the current IT ecosystem. Whereas, in the case of, say, Mc Donalds, another for –profit, if the leadership decides to lay out strategic plan to popularize veggie sandwiches, it might not work out, even if it’s eco-friendly. Mintzburg’s view point seems not to hold in the case of non profits, since there is collective knowledge and expertise at the leadership level that calls for staying abreast of changes, as King points out.

2. Future Aspect: Mintzburg articulates strategic planning as what leaders plan to do in future without an emphasis on existing constraints. He assumes that the existing environment is more or less favorable. King on the other hand announces that strategic planning doesn’t attempt to make future decisions. Decisions are made in the present to select the best alternative to cope up with the changes.

Reflecting on the second key difference, Mintzberg’s view on future aspect of strategic planning can be seen in for-profit as well as non-profit organizations. For example, a non-profit organization such as the Open Source foundation may set a strategic plan such that all future applications are web service oriented and on demand based. In the case of a for-profit organization such as Coca-Cola, it cannot make future decisions about its product since the market is highly competitive and constantly changing.

Does nonprofit organizations with larger budgets, and for-profit organizations tend to do more strategic planning?

I don’t think so this statement is correct. I tend to be more supportive, though, of King’s approach that strategic planning arises from the need to face constantly changing business environments. The idea is that, the business needs to opt best alternative in a particular situation. Considering the service orientedness and voluntary nature of nonprofits, they are required to keep up with the changes to deliver what they believe is their mission. This is true for any organization whether it has a large or small budget. Seeing the excellent outcome of efforts put by nonprofits such as Red Cross, UNICEF and various other social service-oriented organizations, its hard to agree that they do not perform strategic planning. For-profit firms tend to do strategic planning more since they are compettitive in terms of making more profit. Even then, all of them do not necessarily do strategic planning in the right way.

1. King K.N.. (1998). Nonprofit World. How are nonprofits using strategic planning [and is it worth their while]?. Copyright Society for Nonprofit Organizations.
2. Mintzberg, H. and Waters, J.,(1985) "Of Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent," Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 6, 257-252

Personal SWOT Analysis

Personal SWOT analysis is a good “data collection and analysis method” that we can use to arrive at high performance goal oriented plans. I feel that this is something that we do unintentionally, many times, during turning points in our life. We don't do this process theoretically and we might be interested in deriving it in writing. Below is a sample SWOT analysis that one would probably do before completing any major educational endeavour. One's educational and career background, outlook of life, personal and family values, current opportunities and trends in IT and possible risks that one may face in upholding his/hervalues and executing his/her responsibilities in raising his/her family and being wise and informed human being – would be the major factors in the SWOT analysis. A sample SMART goal, as described below is based on the above analysis.

Specific Goal: Deliver High quality services as a knowledgeable Information Management professional, focusing on business systems redesigns, process improvements and value addition.

Measurable: The goal is measurable from the tasks and projects that he/she is assigned - whether it leads to continuous process improvements and the customer is highly satisfied. It can be directly compared to whether it supports my strengths as derived in SWOT analysis.

Attainable: The goal is attainable considering one's current educational and career background and the particular course content/program. The goal will provide options of being flexible by constantly reviewing the IT developments in various sectors and being prepared to switch to any sector as the job requirement comes up. This increases the attainability of the goal.

Realistic: The goal is realistic from one major view point. From one's experience, goal oriented educational program will shape one’s mind and will-power to reach his goal. Another factor that makes the goal realistic is the increased need of businesses to be stable by focusing on reengineering efforts.

Timely: The goal is timely in the way that it supports one's current intellectual level of understanding and comprehending systems with focus on quality and value addition. Considering the current IT scenario, all business firms focus on quality, value addition and process redesigns. Customer is at the forefront. This further supports the timely nature of the goal.

As the major part of making a plan successful, is developing commitment, one would need to constantly update his/her skills and being open to change as far the flexibilty allows to do.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008
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About surveys on International Business - Are you World-Minded?

One interesting thing that I have noticed about is that most of the business case surverys that deal with world-mindedness, stresses more on religious, cultural and racial factors (surface level diversities) which are always hard to deal with. Also, stress on immigrant jobs, national loyalty and patriotic feelings was relevant. I think most of these surveys brings into light one’s positive global outlook, his acceptance of diversities and willingness to adapt to the global scenario. It indeed tells us whether we are actually “world-minded”. It gives us insight to areas to work on for increasing our “global management potential”.

Some surverys suggests abolishing all national governments and replacing them with a single global government. The scoring system gives that a regular score. I don’t agree to that since it’s hard to change the beliefs, values and perceptions that form each nation’s culture. Rather we should support efforts of global organizations such as UN, WTO, WHO etc.

I have been in my native country, India, before I settled in US. I can say that there exists a huge cultural (work, values framework) difference between the two countries. It is interesting to note that companies like Infosys strives hard to cope up with the differing modes of operations in India and US. One big thing that has helped Infosys to remain competitive is its ability to adapt to the new culture and work environment.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008
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Interesting business case review - Taking a Business Decision based on Ethical intensity and Social Responsibility

This review of a chapter from a famous management book reflects on a sample business case when a company which was moving towards bankruptcy was offered a fundreaising deal which might help her to to be saved. Read along the review as how we could apply ethical intensity and social responsibility to attach points to such a decision making situation. This chapter is useful in business decision making process.

The problem here, is, whether accepting the fundraising offer from the FastCheck company will affect the goodwill and credibility of CAP. CAP on the other side, also need to avoid bankruptcy by accepting the offer. Deriving the ethical intensity will help CAP to choose the appropriate decision. Ratings on the six ethical intensity factors goes as follows -

Magnitude of consequences – 5 (The decision to accept the offer will be harmful to CAP's goodwill and harmful to poor families by getting them trapped to high interest rates and making their life miserable. Its will be against CAP humanitarian mission)

Social consensus – 4 (majority believe that accepting the offer is harmful)Probability of Effect – 4 (its almost sure that harm is going to happen)

Temporal Immediacy – 2 (people actually getting trapped or loss of goodwill will happen gradually)

Proximity of effect – 4 (CAP works closely with the low income group)Concentration of effect – 4 (on an average basis)

Total points = 22

The above analysis brings into light how ethically intense will be the decision to accept the offer.

The high point of 22 over 30 shows that the decision to accept the offer will not be wise, ethically. Particularly, high points on the first three factors (13 over 15) shows that the ethical intensity of the decision is high and that CAP should not accept the offer.


1. Williams C. (2007). Management: Ethics and Social Responsibility (4th ed., ch. 4). Thomson South Western.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008
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Applying Wanous Study to a Real Life Example in an organization

Employee resistance due to cynicism will be a major factor in any organizational change process. The negative affectivity (NA) (Wanous et. al, Jun 2000 ) and fear factors (psychological and desire based) are the reasons for this kind of resistance. My organization recently went through a major change process where the development team migrated from an easy to use version control system to a more wide-focused, process oriented Change management tool (Dimensions, from Serena). This process was a major change with lot of risk factors as it was done in the middle of the busy project cycles and tight deadlines. Let me try to reflect on the results of Wanuos study, how it makes sense to this particular change that my company went through.

Result #1: To reduce pessimism, all changes should be effectively communicated -

There was lot of fear factor in each team member as whether the new system will lead more work, waste of time in unnecessary documentation and increased project delays. But the management took efforts to conduct presentations and talks on how the new tool will refine the current process of version control and take it to a higher level of change management that actually simplifies the check-in/check-out process and moving the changes in more visual and controllable manner to the various testing,UAT (user acceptance testing) and production levels. The management was able to make the employees believe that the change was really beneficial for them to gain control of the development and deployment process, in the light of high growth rate that the company is experiencing.

Result #2: Involve more employee participation in the change process -

This was evident in the way that the whole team was involved in the migration and deployment process, providing feedback for improvement and having enough knowledge of the new system through training and hands-on live examples via a pilot system. This made employees to actually see the benefits and believe that the change process is necessary for their own good.

Result #3: Cynicism is negatively correlated with amount of previous organizational change and with the motivation to keep on trying to make change -

As far as previous change is concerned, there was no data available since this was a new of its kind throughout the company's history, so there is not much to think about in those lines. Yes, providing motivation was an important factor in the change process. Increased team member motivation to gain control over the whole process of version control and management, reduced the cynicism.

Result # 4: Increased level of pre-existing Cynicism leads to increased levels of effort from the change agents to effect the change -

There was no data available for this view point since this change was a new happening in the company.

Result # 5: Cynicism is positively correlated to decreased organizational commitment and increased grievance filing. -

In my company's case, organizational commitment and top management support was on a great level since the need was crucial to keep up with the current situation of effectively handling multiple large scale projects. Grievance filing seemed to have no place in the change process, although there was opportunity to provide feedbacks.

Result # 6: Stronger the Performance to Dollar link, the greater the effect of CAOC on it -

This was evident in the change process when the permanent employee staff passing remarks that "we are not paid extra time for the time we spend for extra research and insights to improve performance". While the contractual staff, who were paid hourly, found this beneficial since they can charge for each extra hour.


1.Wanous, et al. (2000). Group & Organization Management 132-153 25, no. 2, p. 132-153. Copyright Sage Publications, Inc.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008
Related websites --

Handling Employee Negativity in an Organization- Review of Case study

The Wanous study (as in referred article) brings out the importance of considering negativity of employees during an organizational change and find remedies for it. Its core focus is on cynicism, defining it as “pessimistic outlook for successful change and placing blame on the managers and union leaders who are responsible for the change” (Wanous et. al, Jun 2000). The article argues that other books and studies don't focus on what is cynicism all about, why is it formed and continue to exist in an organization, its effect on organizational change, how does individual employee motivation and efforts is linked to it and general rules of thumb for a manager to reduce cynicism during organizational change.

According to me, the large unionized firm that was selected as the sample group, was a prefect example for the topic that the authors were trying to sell. In a unionized firm, employee power and voice is tremendous. This sets up environment to study the behavior and effects of individual employee resistance and how it can be managed to reduce its negative effects. In addition, the sampling group consisted of varied employee, supervisor and union behavior, strong motivational factors that affected employees efforts, increased urge for “dispositional attribution” (which is the cause for blaming superiors), grievance filing and varied performance to dollar relationships that supported the study of cynicism about organizational change (CAOC).

These factors lead to the effective study and derivation of the following outcomes that are targeted at dealing with COAC -

  • All changes should be effectively communicated to all employees to reduce pessimism.
  • Allowing greater employee participation in change process decisions and making them understand the outcomes will make them blame less
  • Managers should acknowledge past errors and try to see from employee's eyes to understand the root cause of resistance and blame.

The article proclaims that it is based on the “action-research approach” (Likert, 1967), which focusses on individual employee efforts. So, given such a sample that has the above described qualities to be analyzed and studied, its logical that it lead to the intended outcomes that focuses on mitigating COAC.

1. Wanous, et al. (2000). Group & Organization Management 132-153 25, no. 2, p. 132-153. Copyright Sage Publications, Inc.

(c) Deepesh Joseph, 2006-2008
Related websites --