What is the mission of universities?

Some time ago, I had a chat with a co-worker. His lecture contract ends this year. The department is happy with his performance. He is happy teaching, even though he has a very high teaching load. His performance is great, he is satisfied with his job. Only one factor, unrelated to productivity, is the cause…

Types of Social Networks

I’m co-teaching the course Culture, Engagement, and Connectivity in the master Learning of Organization offered by the school of education and public policy at Northwestern’s University. For the virtual office hour I have been asked about what other social networks exists, those that do not involve humans. While my expertise is within human social networks,…

About Jerks and Negative Nancies at Work

Uber, the hail riding company, has been criticized for its culture and leadership style. Often the negative anecdotes I hear about working at US companies center around the benefits and performance focus, it’s often the interpersonal relationships that have more far stretching consequences, as Uber helps to illustrate. Working at a performance drive company is…

How to Teach the Unknown

The slides are available via slideshare. On June 1st I was invited to speak as a panel member at the LELLE conference. The conference was part of the EU funded research project ‘Let’s learn to Learn’ . I titled my talk “How to teach the unknown“. A bit of a mouthful. I introduced the talk…

Social Network Theories

I have often been confronted by colleagues with the argument that social network analysis is only a method. Over time I became more annoyed with that point. Social network analysis goes beyond this. Yes, it is a method, but it is also a perspective, a framework, with which the world can be analyzed. To underline…

Let’s not benchmark

Benchmarking is comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and best practices from other companies (Wikipedia) The goal is to measure how well one is doing compared to the industry’s best, to discover why they are the best, and to copy. But in here lies the problem. When you copy a competitors…

Work Engagement Networks

Are you dreading to go to work every morning looking forward to your weekend, maybe secretly looking for other jobs? Or do you have the opposite feelings for your work: Looking forward to the daily work challenges, mundane tasks, and colleagues? Most of us are somewhere in the middle, as different tasks need to be…

Stimulating Adaptive Expertise

Most individuals chose to attend higher education institutes to set the foundation for becoming an expert. Educational institutions are set up to help individuals achieve this aim. Much expertise development literature focuses on the development of ‘pattern recognition’ as the main path towards expertise. Individuals can make use of various extensively researched activities to achieve…

May I ask you…?

Multidisciplinary teams are a common sight in many work settings such as hospitals, business, and universities. a common problem is that team members exchange information with each other, but don’t distribute their information exchange evenly among team members. Information exchange can be asking for information, but also without a request giving new information to others. This research found that adaptive experts, team members who are flexible and can deal effectively with unfamiliar situation, develop more information exchange relationship. Managers can stimulate adaptive expertise by allowing employees to work on a variety of tasks and master diverse skills.