Kindness and organizational behavior.


THE DOCTORAL PROGRAM AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL in Organizational Behavior “trains scholars who are able to draw on the concepts and methods of psychology and sociology in conducting research on behavior and management within complex organizations. Special attention is given to studies that bridge the gap between research and theory on one hand, and constructive organizational practice on the other.”

What about kindness? I don’t see a model for that, and the case studies are inconsistent. Can you prorate it? Can it be amortized over, say, one to eighteen or twenty-one years, or the minimum legal drinking and/or voting and putatively adult age, according to whatever state law, of one’s child, whichever comes first? And if so, what are the exceptions and can they be mitigated? I’m looking for footnotes, and don’t see any.

Presented jointly with the Department of Sociology, Harvard Business School lays it out:

  • Cross-group relations, stress, and the subsequent effect on performance
  • Internal group dynamics of corporate boards of directors with a particular focus on the psychology of board membership, speaking up behavior, and board process in decision-making and conflict resolution
  • How organizations manage tensions that arise between social missions and financial objectives and on the conditions under which organizational mission diminishes versus enhances effort and commitment of members
  • Psychological tendencies and collaboration with dissimilar others

When all is said and done,

  • The program prepares students for careers as researchers and teachers. Program graduates will be comfortable working either in disciplinary departments or in professional schools—especially schools of management.

But what about the SWAT issues associated with automatic weapons in educational surroundings?  Oh, wait, you said disciplinary departments or in professional schools, especially schools of management.  Sounds like overwrought HR to me.

The kind ones end up running elementary schools. Showing up to try to teach math to 14-year-olds with smartphones. Quietly shepherding the high school library with Dewey Decimal.  Your thoughts? I’m too messed up to get it exactly right.  Not just yet.

Photo by Caio Collaro