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Picture the scene.  You’re sitting opposite your boss in the end- of-year performance review meeting.  It’s been a big year for you; you’ve worked really hard and you and your team have delivered great results, in some areas even exceeding targets despite a very difficult business climate.  Your boss looks up and smiles.  “You’ve done a great job this year Brian” she says “I am going to put you down as a 4”.  “A 4!” you cry indignantly “why not a 5? .  “Now you know that nobody really gets a five here…..”.   After further pointless argument you leave the room, determined to reduce the time and effort you put in next year.

The experience described above is not atypical; for many years an end of year appraisal — in which a numeric rating or descriptive equivalent on a scale is communicated from managers to their direct reports — has been the key event in the annual performance management calendar.  The ratings were perceived as a requirement for demonstrable compliance with employment legislation, especially if a problem arose with a particular employee.  Ratings were also perceived as providing “objective” inputs on which important remuneration and promotion decisions could be based and defended.

Once ratings were accepted as necessary, a substantial consulting industry arose to help organisations design and implement their own performance rating process.  Reports advised the adoption or change from five point scales to four and back again, and from numeric scales to descriptive equivalents – e.g., a 3 becomes “meets expectations”, a  4 “exceeds expectations” etc.   Significant resources were allocated to training and retraining managers to implement these processes.   While all of this was happening, academic research focused largely on studies of what rating systems and processes worked best, while too few studies looked at the bigger question of whether ratings should be used at all.

2015 has seen some really important changes in attitudes to performance ratings, in what may become an irresistible trend.  Most recently, HBR reports that “The move away from conventional, ratings-based performance management continues to gain momentum.  By November 2015, at least 52 large companies had shifted from the practice of once-yearly performance appraisals; estimates are that hundreds of other companies are considering following suit. A wide range of industries are represented.”

Ironically, the catalysts for this rethink have been Deloitte and Accenture, two consulting firms who would have been to the fore in the provision of advice on implementing ratings in the past.   Accenture have completely abandoned annual performance reviews for their 330,000 employees with immediate effect, confirming that “We’re going to get rid of probably 90 percent of what we did in the past”.   Deloitte announced in a HBR article in April 2015 that “we realize that our current process for evaluating the work of our people—and then training them, promoting them, and paying them accordingly—is increasingly out of step with our objectives”.  Both firms say they are adopting new processes that will involve more frequent feedback –“nimbler, real-time, and more individualized—something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past.”

There seems little doubt that few will shed a tear if the types of meetings described in the introduction become a thing of the past.  As researchers, we can’t but be excited about finding ways to make the performance management process more relevant to today’s business needs.  Of course, there is always a danger that those who embrace these trends without due consideration may be in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It’s worth remembering  that there is substantial research evidence to support retaining key aspects of the performance management process such as goal setting, where research clearly shows that employees who are working to achieve specific, challenging but achievable goals will be on average 16% more productive than others doing the same work, in the same conditions but without such goals.

Watch this space.

Dr John McMackin is a lecturer in our Human Resource Management and Organisational Psychology group in DCU Business School. He holds an MBA from Columbia University, New York and a PhD from the University of Oregon. His area of research is around change management, leadership development and strategic innovation.

For more details about the DCU Executive MBA, currently accepting applications, please visit the DCU Executive MBA course page.

As we approach the end of 2015, we look back on some of our highlights on our Executive MBA programme. Why not take a look here!

Down footballer Kalum King and former Dublin footballer Ross McConnell are the latest players to be awarded scholarships for the prestigious DCU Business School Executive MBA.

They follow in the footsteps of recent recipients of DCU Business School/GPA MBA scholarships, Fermanagh’s Chris Breen, Leitrim’s Rob Lowe, Westmeath’s David O’Shaughnessy and Dublin duo Coman Goggins and Barry Cahill.

Five county players in total have been awarded scholarships on this year’s DCU Business School Masters Scholarship Programme including Meath’s Niamh Lister who is the first WGPA recipient of a scholarship jointly funded by DCU Business School and DCU GAA Academy. Niamh will undertake an MSc in Business Management.

The five players being awarded scholarships will bring to 22 the total of GAA county players who have benefited from the scholarship programme over the last five years. Other notable graduates to date include Roscommon’s Tadhg Lowe, Leitrim’s Donal Wrynn, Kilkenny star Richie Hogan, Dublin’s Denis Bastick and former footballers Jason Sherlock and Justin McNulty.

As well as the two MBA Scholarships, two other county players, Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe and Monaghan footballer Shane Carey have been awarded Master’s scholarships to undertake MSc in Finance and MSc in Strategic Management respectively.

Speaking about the announcement, GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell said: “I’d like to congratulate all the players who have now commenced their various Masters Programmes in DCU Business School this year. I would particularly like to congratulate Niamh Lister on becoming the first WGPA recipient of a DCU Business School/DCU GAA Academy Scholarship.  These scholarships provide life-changing opportunities for the players, helping them in their personal development and to broaden their career opportunities. It is increasingly satisfying to consider that we are now celebrating the sixth intake under the joint scholarship scheme. I would like to wish all the scholars the very best of luck with their studies over the next 12 to 24 months.”

The Dean of DCU Business School, Anne Sinnott commented: “Our Scholarship Programme for GAA players began in 2010 in partnership with the Gaelic Players Association.  We are pleased that our relationship with the GPA will continue for the academic year 2015/2016.  This year we are delighted to announce that we have also partnered with the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) and for the first time will offer a scholarship to a Ladies Senior inter-county player.”

Chairperson of the WGPA, Aoife Lane added: “We are delighted to be associated with DCU, and particularly the Business School, who have so generously offered a postgraduate scholarship opportunity for WGPA members in collaboration with the DCU GAA Academy.  We are very grateful to DCU who have been so welcoming and supportive of our new organisation, which reflects their commitment to male and female Gaelic games in the University.  We look forward to working with the college into 2016 and beyond.”

DCU Business School’s mission is to educate leaders and professionals for the global marketplace. Through its teaching, its research and its engagement with industry, it proactively contributes to the development of individuals, industry and society.

DCU Business School is recognised nationally and internationally for the outstanding quality of its business education programmes.  Its teaching, learning and research activities are strongly influenced by the core guiding principles of relevance and excellence. Its programme portfolio is continually updated and expanded, and recent years have seen the introduction of a number of highly innovative programmes at Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate levels.

Applications for our full-time and part-time Master’s Programmes are now open for our September 2016 intake.

As the business world continues to recover from the ravages of the recent recession, many experts now warn that we are far from returning to a business-as-usual scenario. Whether it is Rita Gunther McGrath of Columbia Business School telling us that we have entered a new “transient advantage” era, Joseph Badaracco of Harvard calling it a new “Schumpeterian” recombinant economy or Scott Anthony of Innosight (Clayton Christensen’s consultancy arm) terming it the “great disruption,” few expect the old assumptions and formulas that brought success in the past to continue to be effective in the coming decades.

Richard Dobbs, James Manyika and Jonathan Woetzel of McKinsey have just published a new book called No Ordinary Disruption (New York: Public Affairs, 2015) in which they have identified “the four global forces breaking all the trends.” The four are (1) the shifting locus of economic activity and dynamism to emerging markets like China and India, and, more particularly, to about 400-500 cities within those markets, in what they call a “new age of urbanization”; (2) the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of technology, where the effects of ongoing, rapid advances in processing power and connectivity are being amplified by the big data revolution, the mobile Internet and the “proliferation of new technology-enabled business models;” (3) global demographics and the aging of the human population, where more than 60% of the world’s people already live in countries with fertility rates that have fallen below replacement rates; and (4) ever-increasing global economic interconnectedness and the  expansion in the flows of capital, people and information associated with it, where “south-south” flows between emerging markets have doubled their share of global trade over the last ten years. Taken together, these four shifts are producing “monumental change.”

To take just three examples of how rapidly and radically the world as we have known it up to recently is being transformed, in December 2014 “Cyber Monday” generated $2.65B in online shopping, but just a few weeks earlier on November 11th, China’s “Singles Day,” Alibaba recorded the world’s highest ever single day e-commerce trading total of $9.3B; earlier, in February 2014, Facebook acquired a 5-year old start-up for an amazing $19.3B, and in September 2014, the Indian Space Research Organization successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars, and for a total cost of only $74M, less than it took to produce the award-winning film, Gravity.

The big implication from No Ordinary Disruption is that all CEOs and corporate strategists will have to learn to “reset” the intuitions that up to now have been guiding their perceptions about future opportunities and challenges. “We have to rethink the assumptions that drive our decisions on such crucial issues as consumption, resources, labour, capital and competition.” According to the McKinsey authors, the era we have already entered is full of promise, but also more volatile and “deeply unsettling,” and for business leaders, the intellectual integrity to be willing and able to see the world as it really is, and the humility and persistence to keep learning, have never been more needed. The recent past is no longer a reliable guide to even the next 5 to 10 years, and imagination, not just experience, is now at a premium.

Professor Brian Leavy is a Professor of Strategic Management at DCU Business School and teaches strategy on the Executive MBA programme. Prior to his academic career, he spent eight years as a manufacturing engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation, now part of Hewlett Packard. Brian’s teaching and research interests centre on strategic leadership, competitive analysis and strategy innovation, and he has published over 80 articles, chapters and book reviews on these topics, nationally and internationally. 

To learn more about the Executive MBA click here

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Recent research conducted at MIT and Harvard University found that organisations with successful digital strategies were 26% more profitable than their industry competitors and generated 9% higher revenue from their employees and physical assets’ (Westermann et al, 2014).  In an age of disruptive technologies, constant global and organizational change, and the fast-paced erosion of competitive advantage, the implementation of a successful digital strategy promises enormous returns on investment for management.  McKinsey estimates that digital technologies have the potential to unlock between $900 billion-$1.3 trillion in value for work organizations (Bughin et al, 2012).

Digital strategies refer to the deployment of information technology (IT) systems, which combine social media tools, e.g. Facebook and Yammar, mobile computer applications, e.g. smartphones and tablets, and virtual data analytics, e.g. cloud computing, to leverage organizational value.  Successful digital strategies are allowing organisations to transform their entire customer experience, exploit greater value from organizational operations, and create new business models that reorder value chains and offer sustained competitive advantage.

Yet, despite such promises we know very little about successful digital strategy implementation, the key challenges organizations are confronted with in introducing digital technologies or the choices management must make to align customer and organizational needs with digital capabilities in order to maximize return on investment.  Considering the potential yields for ROI cited above, it is important that organizational leaders can embrace the opportunities inherent in a digital era whilst avoiding the pitfalls that can be disguised in such opportunities.

In order to answer some of these questions and further explore digital opportunities for Irish companies, last November the DCU Executive MBA programme, as part of the Enterprise Engagement module, visited digital companies in the San Francisco bay area.  Throughout the week our MBAs met with digital leaders from innovative companies such as RocketSpace, OnlyCoin, Cloudflare, and WePay and from more established technology-based companies such as Oracle, Salesforce, and Google.

dcu mba international trip

A key learning across all visits was the importance for organizations to rethink how their strategies can be leveraged to yield digital advantage.  Digital leaders need to move beyond the pursuit of a sustainable competitive advantage and recognize the transformative and ubiquitous nature of digital in restructuring organizational boundaries and hierarchies, recreating entirely new business processes, and creating a porous synergy between all organizational and societal stakeholders in order to support new value propositions and the development of a more transient approach to strategic advantage.

John Loonam is a Lecturer in Management on the Executive MBA Programme at DCU Business School.  He is currently a Special Issue Senior Editor on “Enterprise Social Systems & Organizational Change” with the Journal of Information Technology.

To download the Executive MBA brochure, fill out this quick form:

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We are delighted to advise you that Dr. Aurora Trif, lecturer in HRM in DCU Business School and a member of the LINK Research Institute, has been successful in coordinating a recent EU bid for a collaborative project that will examine precarious employment practices within new EU member states.

The title of the project is ‘The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations’.  There are 10 EU countries involved: the Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia).  DCU is the coordinator of the project, which is worth €339,000.

Aurora, who is the chair of the MSc in Human Resource Strategies Part Time Executive Programme, is especially interested in employment relations in Eastern Europe, workplace partnership and high performance work systems, and labour migration of highly skilled workers. She has been involved in several international research projects funded by the European Commission. Her research has been published in top academic journals, book chapters and for conferences.

DCU Business School wish her success with the project.

 

Sixteen graduating students made history in DCU this week when they became the first class to graduate from DCU Business School with a BSc in Aviation Management (with Pilot Studies).  The students, who have spent four years in full time study, have been hugely successful in securing employment with many taking up jobs prior to even completing their degree. The graduating class of 2014 included two students who have already completed their flight training. Cadets Sam Halpenny and Hosam Karim have both completed a 15 month residential, integrated course with Flight Training Europe (FTE) Airline First Office Programme, based in Jerez, Spain. The FTE Jerez programme takes students with little or no previous flying experience to the beginning of a career as an airline pilot.   DCU chose FTE Jerez as one of its approved flight training providers in 2012.

Dublin City University is committed to supporting the development of a dynamic aviation industry both in Ireland and internationally. In September this year, DCU established the Dublin Aviation Institute, through an innovative partnership with daa International. The Dublin Aviation Institute is a new joint venture designed to deliver global leadership in aviation education and research and is based at both Dublin Airport and DCU.

The Dublin Aviation Institute will enable students to experience a unique combination of academic excellence and a live airport environment, which will enhance and compliment their overall learning experience. It will work closely with industry partners to support the growth of the sector and the increasing professionalization of its workforce.

Earlier this year, the BSc in Aviation Management (with Pilot Studies) Degree Programme at DCU Business School was awarded the Overall Aviation Academic Education Award at the inaugural Aviation Industry Awards. This degree addresses gaps in the education of those entering the aviation industry: for those who wish to become commercial pilots, it offers a route to a professional qualification as a commercial pilot combined with a strong background in business education; for those who see themselves playing other roles in the industry, it provides the necessary expertise to maximise your potential in this ever-changing industry.

The Dublin Aviation Institute has been created through an innovative partnership between

Programme Director, Dr. PJ Byrne (centre) is pictured, with the class of 2014, each of whom graduated with a BSc in Aviation Management (with Pilot Studies).

The widespread adoption of social media is transforming the consumer-brand relationship. Social media is allowing consumers connect with other users, create, consume and control access to content (Hoffman and Novak, 2012). Research suggests that social media increases brand relationship depth and loyalty, and generates incremental purchase behaviour (Laroche et al., 2012; Kim and Ko, 2012; Pooja et al., 2012). It is not surprising therefore that commentators suggest that marketers should target social media users who are more likely to exert an influence on their network in order to facilitate brand recommendations (Iyengar, Han, & Gupta, 2009). But who are these influentials? Goldenberg et al. (2009) suggest that there are only two types of influential that impact information diffusion – innovators and followers.

influence definition

 

Our study looks at early users or in Goldenberg at al.’s terminology, innovators, of two social networking sites, Twitter and Google+, and the effects of personality and mode of information sharing on social influence scoring. Specifically, we look at:

1. How does (i) extraversion, (ii) openness and (iii) conscientiousness influence:

  • Information sharing behaviour
  • Rumour sharing behavior

2. How does (i) information sharing behaviour and (ii) rumour sharing behaviour impact social network site influence scores?

Early Twitter users were identified through a public list and through the joining date listed on user public profiles. As the study occurred during the Google+ closed field test, all users were deemed early users. Two discrete survey instruments were designed, one for Twitter and one for Google+ to provide for different SNS validation checks. To assess the personality traits of respondents, we tested extraversion, openness and conscientiousness with the scale of Gosling et al. (2003) while information and rumour sharing scale were extracted from Marett and Joshi (2009). The SNS score was the independent variable in our model and this was measured using two commercial SNS influence score providers, PeerIndex and Klout.

Our study hypothesized that that Extraversion and Openness were two personality traits that should positively influence both Information and Rumor sharing behavior (H1 and H2), while Conscientiousness would have a reverse effect on Information (+) and Rumor (-) sharing behavior (H3 and H4). We also hypothesized that both Information and Rumor sharing behavior should positively influence social network influence scoring. A structural equation model using AMOS was used to test these hypotheses.

AMOS

 The model suggests:

  • Early users of social network sites who are more extrovert or more open or more conscientious are more likely to share information
  • Information sharing and rumor sharing should be treated as two distinct constructs in the discussion of social network influence.
  • All three traits were negatively related to rumor sharing. Only the effects of extroversion and conscientiousness were significant.
  • Both information sharing and rumor sharing impacted positively and significantly on social network site influence scores.

While previous literature has suggested that it is difficult to identify market mavens (Goldsmith et al., 2006), early users of social media can be identified easily and conveniently. This may provide firms with the opportunity to target potential innovators and early adopters much more efficiently and thus accelerate diffusion of marketing messages. Our study suggests filtering these adopters by messaging behaviour may also be of assistance with a greater of emphasis of resources being placed on those social network users who share information rather than rumor. While identifying these potential influencers would seem to be more efficient than identifying mavens, further research is required to understand the most effective way and time to engage with them. Finally, it would seem social network influence scores provide useful signals for identifying social media users likely to share information. Social media users characterised by a combination of high influence scores and propensity for information sharing are powerful assets for firms, particularly if they have relatively large social networks. Engaging with these influencers represents a relatively low cost mechanism for indirectly reaching target markets through word of mouth on social networks.

The research was conducted by Dr Theo Lynn (DCU Business School), Dr Laurent Muzellec (UCD), Dr Barbara Caemerrer (ESSCA), Prof. Darach Turley (DCU Business School) and Bettina Wuerdinger (DCU Business School).

This blog post was originally published on The CrowdResearch.org blog, Follow the Crowd

DCU Business School offers full and part time Postgraduate Courses in Digital Marketing. Fill out the short form below to get Course Information:

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We are delighted to announce that we are holding an Information Session for our leading part-time Postgraduate Programme in Human Resource Strategies, this Wednesday at 5.45pm. This is a great opportunity to meet with current students and graduates of the course and DCU Business School faculty. You will also have the opportunity to attend a taster session on ‘Leadership challenges for HR Managers‘ delivered by Professor Patrick Flood.

The Irish HR landscape has dramatically changed over the past few years, so for this reason, DCU Business School has extensively updated the MSc in Human Resource Strategies programme.  The programme, which has been running since 1997, has established a reputation as the leading programme in Ireland for managers and professionals who are interested in pursuing a strategic approach to human resource issues in their organisations. It has attracted a wide variety of participants including human resource professionals and consultants, training and development professional, and employee relations specialists, in addition to line managers and those involved in managing their own companies.

The focus of the programme is closely aligned with CIPD’s HR professional map and contributes towards the development of the behaviours required to undertake key leadership roles in organisations. This will be achieved by a focus on the following areas:

  • Organisational Behaviour and Change
  • Talent Management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management and Employee Engagement
  • Employee Relations and Employment Law
  • Strategic Management
  • International HRM
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Research and Consulting Project

The tools and techniques that are used during the programme enable participants to gain insights into, and feedback on, their strengths and weaknesses in an environment that is removed from the political issues that may predominate in their own work organisations. These tools many include methods to explore learning styles, creativity and innovation, systems thinking, leadership profiles and team-working.

The MSc in Human Resource Strategies programme equips managers and professionals with the competencies needed to take on challenging roles in turbulent times. These competencies drive other skills and abilities including creativity, mental agility, balanced learning habits and self-knowledge. These higher level competencies are particularly critical for success at senior management level and are crucial to establishing personal credibility. A participant in the programme is therefore not only embarking on an education programme but is also engaging in a management development process that is designed to enhance personal learning and development.

If you would like more information about the course and our upcoming Information Session, just complete the form below:

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Course

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If you’re someone with a real, demonstrable passion for food and you’d like a career in that industry where innovation and entrepreneurship are at the core of what you do – then we have a life changing opportunity with your name written on it.  As part of the Bord Bia Talent Academy, the DCU MSc Insights and Innovation offers a fully-funded Masters qualification and a unique, extensive placement in an innovative and dynamic food or beverage company.  You’ll also receive a monthly bursary and, once qualified, you’ll join an elite, in-demand, professional group of innovation specialists who are revolutionising the industry.

Founded to accelerate innovation in order to create and capture value in the exciting food and beverage industry, the Bord Bia DCU Msc Insights and Innovation has already been the launchpad for many successful careers and we are now once again open for applications for the next intake. This unique 18 month full time programme combines an immersive work placement, in a dynamic food or beverage company, alongside an exciting, professional and contemporary Masters qualification in Insight and Innovation delivered in person in DCU’s Business school.

The programme, which is endorsed and supported by the largest food and beverage companies in Ireland, is designed with three guiding principles: insight, sustainability and innovation. 

Jointly designed by Bord Bia and DCU, this programme’s vision is to forge the next generation of world-class innovators to join the food, horticultural and beverage sectors where they will use their creativity, talent and skill to drive sustainable, scalable, profitable and insight-led growth for their host companies and for their industry.

Run over 18 months, this programme combines study and work placement in a Bord Bia company. It begins with an intensive academic element, with modules taught by experienced thought-leaders in the field of innovation and sustainability in the food industry. Following this, the focus moves to experiential learning, as participants are given work placements at the headquarters of the world’s leading food companies where they work side-by-side with leading Insight and Innovation practitioners to discover, develop and deliver new products and services.

This combination of academic content and work placement enables participants to directly apply the insights gained from DCU Business School coursework to their placement company, with immediate and direct benefit to host companies.

Successful applicants will be fully funded and will receive a total €42,000 bursary over 18 months (paid in instalments) to cover living and some travel expenses.

For further information on Bord Bia please see https://www.bordbia.ie/careers/msc-insight-innovation

* Details of the next intake will be posted on this website as soon as they are confirmed.  Please keep watching.  Or, alternatively, register your interest by emailing: bordbia@dcu.ie – Thank You.


“Having collaborated with Bord Bia over the years we jumped at the opportunity to work with a student from the Bord Bia DCU MSc Insights and Innovation programme for over a year.  We gained access to a fresh pair of eyes focussed on the innovation process which is core to our fast-paced dynamic business, and we provided the student the freedom to take ownership of a wide number of projects important to our business growth.  It was a very positive experience, and we were especially delighted with the delivery of new packaging innovation and a new product launch.  

I recommend other Irish food and drink businesses to consider partnering with Bord Bia and DCU and gain access to fresh perspectives about building their innovation capacity.” 

Pat Rigney, Managing Director & Founder, The Shed Distillery