Monthly Archives: May 2009

Ethics Pledge at Harvard BS

A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality – NYTimes.com
What happened to making money?

I should write more, but a few issues come to mind.  First, it is a student-led program to take an ethics pledge.  Maybe this is a furhter data point of a generational value shift from Gen Xers to Millenials.  Second, surely it has the backing of faculty and administration, so Paris 1968 it is not.    Third, while I agree business should be couched in alrger discussions of common goods and shared prosperity, I am unsure how much tnagible difference a pledge makes.  Is there accountability?  Is there a community of conversation about what it means to enact this pledge to not advance “narrow” self interests?  I have the sense that it adances  a notion of ethical behavior as noble choices to choose rightly between A and B, where A helps starving orphaned baby seals and B is to make $100,000 for the shareholders and $10,000 for ego.

If you want to work to avoid narrow self interests in your company, rather than wiat for forced choices between altruism and enrichment, why not work to change the mission, compensation system, and culture of openness about how to make decisions?

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Filed under activism, Business, higher education

Social Entrepreneurs, Networks, and Technology

I am revising a draft of a paper about social entrepreneurs to give at EGOS.

Here is the core idea:

Broadly, I am trying to connect what is known about the research into new forms of organizing with internet with innovation and networks studies

Some baseline assumptions:

1) Innovators and entrepreneurs of any flavor are in a brokerage position and they engage in brokering behavior.   (Research by Burt, Obstfeld, Gargiulo, Hargadon comes to mind… I need to find others).

2) New ICT changes make #1 different.  Easier in some ways, harder in others.

3) Social entrepreneurs face special circumstances due to value orientation they use.  Social entrepreneurs solve social problems or market failures.  They move towards a new equilibrium.  The “social” of what they do emerges from social change processes unfolding in networks organizations, and institutions of contested agendas (or, formerly contested and now newly legitimate.  These include poverty reduction, public health, green design, education access, rural development, climate change, and so on.  Looks like usual suspects of civil society concerns.  But of course, it should.)

4) The process is usually gradual (uniform)- incremental innovations and experiments accumulate into profound change.  The initial recognition can then lead to rapid scaling and diffusion.

5)  To fully conceptualize the problem, we need to draw on four research streams: 1) entrepreneurship, 2) networks and innovation, 3) social movements, and 4) technology and socity.

6) A research agenda based on the assumptions and findings includes three questions:

  • 1) Do new technologies, by lowering search and coordination costs for actors, spawn more emerging or possible social entrepreneurs (as in, that is their intention)?
  • 2) Do technologies, through their ability to foster relations and community, create new value propositions?  Transparency, memory, search, and interactivity mean that thick webs of relations, which people value, can create new opportunities for social innovation or entrepreneurship.
  • 3) The same properties that create more potential social entrepreneurs and opportunities will also pose new start-up challenges because soc entrepreneurswill be more tied to the necessary networks and institutions that create legitimacy for the social of social entrepreneurs.

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Filed under activism, innovation, organization studies, organization theory, participatory technology, social innovation, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship [SiSe], technology

Victorian Grant Wordle

My wife, the great teacher and Victorian lit scholar, has a grant proposal. So, of course,I wordled it.

Voila!

Wordle: Victorian Grant

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Filed under Humanities, Research, visualization

I Heart Wordle

So, thanks to orgtheory, I found wordle.

It is awesome.

Here is the wordle of my delicious tags:

Wordle: Jordisunshine Delicious Tags

And recent paper

Wordle: Relational OrgTheory Paper

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Filed under Network Visuals, social bookmarking

Great Fashion+Hacker Blog

A student of mine for her final project creatded a blog about recycled fashion.

Ditch or Stitch!

Great name!

Happy reading.

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Filed under Creativity, digital culture, Hacker ethic, higher education, Information and Communication Technology