• climate change,  Gary,  publications

    Complex systems science whitepaper (excerpts)

    There are numerous, in-depth reports about climate change from scientific communities and governmental committees.  Some of the most prominent are listed at the end of this paper.  Many reports detail the causes and outcomes of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and rising atmospheric temperatures.  Others, such as the 2018 special report by the IPCC, provide detailed scenarios for potential mitigation (slowing or ceasing CO2 emissions within given timeframes) and interventions (such as removing CO2 from the atmosphere.)  Due to the extent of existing climate science, this paper will focus on issues related to next steps, particularly with respect to human use of energy.  What would it mean to cease use of fossil…

  • executive coaching,  Gary,  publications,  Teresa,  toxic workplace

    Toxic Leadership in Context

    A sizeable body of research and other literature has been developing about toxic leadership and workplace bullying. Our earlier work found distinctions between tough bosses and true bullies in the workplace. A later study showed that military officers were able to clearly identify differences between tough but effective leaders, and toxic leaders. That work was extended into the organizational climates which seem to promote toxic leaders and bullies. Other colleagues have explored potentials for changes in bullying behavior through executive coaching interventions, noting that some executives simply lack awareness of their behaviors, or the effects on those around them. The focus of this paper is the synthesis of earlier findings,…

  • executive coaching,  HR consulting,  HR Investigations,  publications,  toxic workplace

    Are You a Toxic Leader or Just a Tough Boss?

    By Teresa A. Daniel, JD, PhD and Gary S. Metcalf, PhD As scholar-practitioners, this question has consumed our research agenda for the past several years. In an attempt to find answers, we have completed studies both in the corporate sector [i] and in a military environment (in this case, the U.S. Army). [ii] But what is it that toxic leaders do and why, you might be asking, should anyone care? Isn’t this just the newest buzzword in a long line of “hot” topics? Toxic Leaders—Who They Are and What They Do Whether they are labeled as toxic leaders (in a military context) or workplace bullies (in a corporate environment), they…

  • Gary,  organizational resilience,  publications,  systems

    Adaptive Capacity in Project Teams (Edson & Metcalf)

    Organizational resilience has become critical in today’s environment. According to Engelhardt and Simmons (2002): “The need for organizational flexibility to accommodate a changing world is well understood. Today’s high-velocity and competitive markets apply added pressure to adapt rapidly and perform at high levels. Technology is opening up new ways to compete while making old ways obsolete. These trends are recognized in strategic management theories that focus on constant change and speed” (p. 113). Some project teams were adept at overcoming adversity, while others were not. The project teams that adapted to environmental constraints were able to modify their behaviors to meet goals without losing their function, while others were not.…

  • executive coaching,  Gary,  HR Investigations,  organizational resilience,  publications,  Teresa

    Taming the Beast

    Although their approach is widely criticized, it is fair to say that bullies represent a functional part of many organizations. They come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and both genders. Bullying is targeted and abusive behavior. It is personally destructive and should have nothing to do with advancing legitimate organizational goals. Despite its negative connotations, though, anyone who works in an American corporation can easily see that arrogant and abusive leaders are frequently rewarded with promotions, increased pay and bonuses, as well as more power and influence. In a nutshell—bullying pays off. This paper will examine the ways American corporations unwittingly conspire to make workplace bullying a rational…

  • Gary,  HR Investigations,  news,  publications,  research,  Teresa

    Executive Perceptions about the Effectiveness of HR

    In 2012, a study was initiated to examine how senior leaders in organizations throughout North America perceive the effectiveness of human resources professionals. The overarching objective of the study was to identify the issues most responsible for creating conflict between executives and HR practitioners in an effort to improve the working relationship going forward. The study utilized a mixed-methods approach based on research conducted across three strategies of inquiry: (1) semi-structured interviews, typically lasting between 60 to 90 minutes, with 18 corporate executives located throughout North America; (2) surveys of 171 HR professionals conducted in two separate groups; and (3) a comprehensive review of the relevant literature. Six strategies emerged…

  • HR Investigations,  publications,  research,  Teresa,  toxic workplace

    Caught in the Cross Fire—When HR Practitioners Become Targets of Bullying

    Recent studies about the prevalence of workplace bullying have confirmed that between 27 percent and 35 percent of employees in the United States report that they have been the target of bullying at work. Although there are several studies of bullying among US employees at large, there are only a few that examine bullying and its impact among HR professionals. The most recent study found that 36 percent of the 526 practitioners responding to a LinkedIn poll reported that they had been bullied at work. In addition, a study conducted in 2008 reported a prevalence rate among HR practitioners of 80 percent. Of the 102 HR professionals completing the study,…

  • Uncategorized

    The dilemmas of a service economy

    One of the biggest challenges we face at the moment is the shift towards a service economy. Depending on the statistics that you read, about 70% of American jobs, and 80% of US GDP, are based on services.  It’s not much different for many other “developed” (3rd World, OECD…) countries.  That information, though, only generates a lot more questions. For instance: What constitutes services?  The answer varies a great deal.  In the broadest economic terms, activities get lumped into two very general categories:  goods and services.  Everything that is not a physical product can be considered a service.  Those get categorized and counted quite differently, though, by different organizations and…

  • Teresa,  toxic workplace

    Workplace Bullying in American Organizations

    For nearly two decades now, management experts, scholars, practitioners, and authors of popular business books have urged American employers to treat their employees with respect, engage in open dialogue, eliminate fear, and encourage employee input and feedback. At the same time, employers have also been encouraged to lead their organizations toward the creation of a fair and respectful culture—one that includes fairness, civility, and dignity for the employees who work there through effective leadership, employment policies, benefit programs, internal communication, and the like (Daniel & Metcalf, 2001; Daniel, 2003a, Daniel, 2003b; Daniel, 2006; Daniel, 2009b; Deming, 1982, 2000; Drucker, 1992; Goldsmith et al., 2003; Hartling & Sparks, 2002; Hornstein, 1996,…

  • Gary,  our values,  Teresa

    Our Values

    Our Values Through our work as both scholars and practitioners, we have come to the opinion that an almost obsessive focus on getting the culture right is the single best strategy to set an organization up for long-term success. For us, a positive and healthy workplace climate includes the following: A work environment that is respectful, flexible, fair, and inclusive; Capable leaders who inspire trust and who are uncompromisingly ethical; Supportive management who continuously coach and develop employees; Opportunities for employees to do work that feels meaningful; Frequent, transparent, and honest communication; Recognition and appreciation for good work; Opportunities for employees to grow and develop; and Accountability for adhering to…