Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Are you courageous enough to break the barriers that prevent you from getting back to a job after a career-break?

There has been a new trend about working women taking career break and re-entry of these women. For women, taking a career break generally means taking time off for maternity leave or stepping back from the workplace to look after children. The high levels of anxiety around this are unsurprising. Career breaks are a fantastic tool to allow workers to take time out of the office for family, children, study, travel or a whole host of other reasons, but it sometimes leads to something adverse for many women. These talented returners, after re-entry, cannot find meaningful and challenging full-time work. 

The employers generally form the view that women returners are not a homogeneous group and the length of their career break appears to play a key role in the re-entry process; the longer the break the greater the impact. Women who interrupt their careers experience downward mobility in salary and status. Also, such career breaks counteract career development due to the lack of support mechanisms, such as flexi-time schemes, part-time work, and insufficient training.

An article from the journal ‘Metamorphosis explicates that once a woman has invested many years in a career, figuring out how to take time out and then return to a role that’s comparable to the one she left (or as comparable as you want it to be) requires more than confidence and enthusiasm.

A career break creates a knowledge gap, a deficit in confidence, and other opportunities. Greater the break, the greater will be the impact. In today’s globally competitive market, knowledge constantly makes itself obsolete with the result that today’s advanced knowledge is tomorrow’s ignorance. Thus employers tend to believe that the skills of such women have become obsolete and are required to be re-trained.  

The article also talks about some recent global studies which show that women continue to increase their share of managerial positions, but the rate of progress is slow, uneven, and sometimes discouraging as they face barriers created by attitudinal prejudices in the workplace. The article further concludes on the note that Women, who are currently on a career break and are thinking about their re-entry, need to be motivated to be courageous enough to break the barriers that prevent them from returning. Also, the corporate sensitivity is to be enhanced for such an issue and people should become more understanding and receptive towards this trend.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Is Knowledge Management Process an effective tool for building dynamic capabilities?

With the increasing market dynamism and global competition, the topic of dynamic capability has carved a significant place for itself. It has become a need of the hour rather than an option to ensure firms growth and competitiveness. This intensifying need has garnered the strategic concern towards the question: What facilitates dynamic capabilities?

Knowledge management has been advocated as effective predictor of dynamic capabilities. Knowledge based resources act as a base for facilitating knowledge flow in organizational learning processes, which forms an essential mechanism for building dynamic capabilities. These thoughts emphasize the role of knowledge management process in leveraging, integrating, and reconfiguring knowledge-based-assets that is significantly associated with dynamic capabilities.

An article from the Emerging Economy Studies explicates that firms are more likely to develop dynamic capabilities when they possess intellectual capital, defined as sum of organizational knowledge resources which lies inside as well as outside the facets of the organization. And Knowledge Management Process mediates the positive linkage between Organizational Capital and Dynamic Capabilities.

Knowledge management process is constructed as, the process of acquisition, application and transfer of knowledge-based-assets to achieve the firm’s goal. Knowledge acquisition refers to the process of acquiring new knowledge by an organization from data, information, or knowledge available within organization. Knowledge application refers to the process focused on the actual usage of knowledge to perform certain tasks. Knowledge transfer refers to the process focused on the exchange of knowledge from individuals to groups or from one individual to another or else from one group to another.

Firm’s knowledge resource forms a basis for building capabilities through fostering knowledge management processes that support new knowledge flows and constitute a basic mechanism for developing capabilities.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

“Does self-knowledge help a manager to become a successful leader?”

The development of self-management skills is one of management best practices for those people who have decided to become more productive employees. While companies tend to spend large amounts of money and energy to provide their employees with special self-management skills & training, each worker can personally organize self-assessment surveys to define whether he or she has the required skills set. 

In one of the books published by SAGE Publications, “Manager to CEO” author Walter Vieira has dipped into his experience during a career spanning over 40 years as a corporate executive, management consultant, and teacher working across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Through this book he explicates the notion that for achieving growth in life, one need to be proactive and should always remain open to the concept of Self-development. “Self-development depends on self-understanding. Everyone has both weak and strong points. It is important to come to terms with oneself to recognize the qualities that must be changed or overcome and the strengths that can be emphasized and better utilized. Greater self-knowledge helps you to put your best qualities together to form a more unified, integrated whole. 

The book is a guiding star for managers aspiring to become CEO’s. It elucidates that to become a successful leader every manager should adopt a habit of self-analysis and self-examination. Self-awareness not only helps managers identify gaps in their management skills, which promotes skill development, but also helps them find situations in which they will be most effective. Self-awareness also assists them with intuitive decision making, and aids stress management and motivation of oneself and others. 

The book is a guide to understanding and surviving in the corporate environment. Designed to give professionals a comprehensive overview of the modern workplace, it also covers a wide range of other issues that managers face in organizations as they move up the corporate ladder.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Dangerous Art of ‘Impression Management’

Impression management is our desire to manipulate others’ impressions of us on the front stage. It refers to determining the impressions others form of them regarding their behavior, motivation, morality, and other characteristics such as their intelligence and future potential. It has been found that there are differences in the impression management strategies used by women as compared to men.

Women in Western context use lesser impression management strategies than men. Some of the constructs closely related to impression management are self-monitoring, self-presentation and influence tactics (or impression management behaviours). There are two types of impression management strategies— soft impression management and hard impression management strategies. Hard impression management strategies include direct and aggressive impression management strategies such as assertiveness, sanctions, upward appeal, blocking, self-promotion and intimidation. Soft impression management strategies include indirect and subtle impression management strategies such as ingratiation, coalition, exemplification and supplication. Particular combinations of impression management strategies lead to specific outcomes.

Appropriateness of the influence tactic is an important dimension for the choice of impression management strategies. Indians avoid hard impression management strategies as compared to Dutch and Americans. Assertive and task oriented impression management strategies were perceived as more effective by American and Swiss managers as compared to Chinese managers. Thus, hard impression management strategies may be perceived as more effective by low power distance cultures as compared to high power distance cultures. Women displaying authoritarian behaviours face perceptions of lesser effectiveness than their male counterparts. Women use charm, appearance, ingratiation and compliments as impression management strategies, which are soft impression management strategies. Women are perceived as more effective when displaying behaviours which are considered appropriate based on gender stereotypes. Therefore, from an effectiveness perspective, women would tend to choose soft impression management strategies over hard impression management strategies.

Thus, a specific impression management strategy cannot be used with similar results across situations. Therefore, actors would need to actively choose impression management strategies in each situation. Read more

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