Category Archives: pithy expressions

Powerful Committees Aphorism

Someone asked me why a particular committee had not done a task that impeded the progress of a mutual friend.

I said:

“Because powerful committees grow thick skins.”


Leave a comment

Filed under Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), pithy expressions, writing

Data Collection Aphorism

An anthropology colleague asked me to do a brief explanation of network analysis and theory for a field research class (Thanks Ned Searles!).

One part of teaching I love is when the process of vocalizing ideas leads me to say something I never heard but sounds good.

Today, in discussing the options for types of data, and thinking about survey versus participant observation, I said:

“Data that is easy to collect is not always the data most worth collecting.”

I was thinking about how much of the research grind, especially in an ever bigger and more status-conscious world of publishing we live in, is driven not by good questions, but by available data.

Leave a comment

Filed under pithy expressions, Research, social theory, sociology, words

“Oportunistic Ethnography”

Fun new Social Science jargon: “opportunistic ethnography.”  Translation: you never know when you, reader, are going to be my next data point.


Hat tip to Tracey, Jarvis and Phillips who mentionted this in “Bridging Institutional Entrepreneurship and the
Creation of New Organizational Forms: A Multilevel Model” in Organization Science Vol. 22, No. 1, January–February 2011, pp. 60–80

Leave a comment

Filed under pithy expressions, sociology, words, writing


So I like to make little contributions to language.  I think it comes from a punning family and then marrying into even more of one.  Or maybe it is a function of the mild learning disability.  Words and phrases always look a little off.  I tend to break them down into their components and then think of alternate meanings.

A very off color example.  Virginia is discussing a blog that tracks authors’ submissions to agents.  It is called a “query tracker.”  I quipped: “Is that a way to monitor short gay people?”

Anyway, in my writing group someone was complaining about multi-tasking and hos distracting it is.  Amen!  I rpelied that she should “unitask.” A quick google search reveals it is a company.  It is also a term the productivity crowd picked up on.  “7 Unitasking Tips.” Rats.  I was hoping to coin it.

The only silver lining is that I meant it as half serious-half snarky.

My defintion:

Unitasking: To achieve multi-tasking’s promise, and to live in the mental space of multi-tasking, by pursuing many tasks one at a time. Anyone can do things sequentially and methodically.  Only a recovering multi-tasker can frantically maintain a zen-like state of self-induced stress while unitasking. The key is to think of ten things you should be doing at once, and then proceed to do them one at a time.


Filed under pithy expressions, words, writing

New words- Digindigenuous

I like to play with words.  When obtuse or overly specialized, this can become jargon in the worst sense of the word: words which deliberately obfuscate and insulate insiders.  When there is a new experience, a new phenomenon, the desire to name wells up and starts playing with words.

Operationalize is jargon.

Podcast is not.

I have seen people refer to the residents of virtual worlds (aside from editorializing them as geeks or nerds) as residents, digital natives, and so on.

Perhaps there is a whole category of practices and objects that are digitally native.

Hence, I humbly offer digital+indigenous= digindigenous.

Digindienous is not short and sweet, but it has a certain rhythm in saying it.

Maybe there is something better?

Digigenous?  Sounds like stuttering
Digenous?   Sounds to much like disingenuous.


1 Comment

Filed under digital culture, pithy expressions, words

Busy Summer

A very busy couple of weeks is coming up.

1) Participate in Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) at the Academy of Management. One is about using Facebook in the classroom; the other is about business solutions to poverty. For the second, I want to lead a discussion about how the current interest with microfinance and social entrepreurship leaves out important questions of power and class. Discussing worker control of companies in Argentina, Europe, and the US, I want to broaden the view of this topic to bring class and conflict back in.

2) Present “Brokerage and/or Closure” at AOM. This is a visual paper that is based on a chapter of my dissertation. The paper found that radical ideas were more likely for people in brokerage positions; however, those ideas were harder to see adopted even controlling for position. Also, final network position was most influenced by action- by having ideas- as opposed to structural inertia.

3) Present “Coors and the Dualistic Strategy of Social and Political Engagement” as part of a symposium about Robert Brady’s work on Business as a System of Power. David Jacobs at Morgan State U is organizing this symposium. This is my first foray into Critical management studies.

4) Comment on a paper about Weber as part of “Sociology classics and the future of organization studies.” The paper is by Stewart Clegg and Marc Lounsbury, two scholars whose work I have admired. So this should be a real treat. I mean, people who_want_ to discuss Weber. Joy!

5) Get ready to teach “Six Degrees of Separation”; “The Rise of the Network Society” ; and “Managing organizational Change.”

6) Finalize my PhD Defense for Sept 25th at IESE in Barcelona Spain.

And, of course, develop new research projects. More of that to come.

Leave a comment

Filed under conferences, pithy expressions