Whenever the subject of the modern workplace is raised in academic discourse, the focus usually shifts to disruptive technologies. Indeed, our workplace has experienced some fundamental changes as a result of technological innovation. Mobile platforms, social media, and cloud computing have fundamentally transformed traditional concepts in human productivity and efficiency, and the manner in which human relationships develop and function within modern organizations.
There are, however, other prominent currents in our society that continue to affect the modern workplace, specifically related to gender equality, to social justice, and to sustainability. The purpose of this monograph, published by Fielding Graduate University, is to address some of these changes in greater detail, based on dissertation research conducted by six women graduates of Fielding’s PhD program in Human and Organizational Development (HOD). Each of these dissertations looks at a unique aspect of social change in the modern workplace. Tiffany Dillard’s article addresses the changing role of women in organizations, particularly the factor of empowerment (or disempowerment) when women followers report to women leaders. Anne Litwin’s article wonders whether the unique dynamic of relationships among women in the office can lead to conflict with masculine organizational norms. Carol Brown’s article moves the discussion of gender roles to the boardroom level. Her investigation, using 17 Canadian corporate directors, asks whether a post-heroic feminine style of leadership can emerge as a key contributor to effective board engagement.
Loni Davis’ study looks at the impact of mobile practices, and how mobile devices have blurred the traditional boundaries of the modern workplace.
Catherine Brooker’s article takes us to another important topic of the modern workplace, the issue of sustainability, particularly as it relates to futures expertise in strategy and organization consulting. Lastly, Deborah Burke looks at the dénouement of corporate America as the quintessential “big business” paradigm of the past century. To what extent, she asks, are the management prescriptions of mid-20th century corporate gurus still relevant to the modern workplaces of today?
Fielding Graduate University, headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, was founded in 1974, and is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. Fielding is an accredited, nonprofit leader in blended graduate education, combining face-to-face and online learning. Its curriculum offers quality masters and doctoral degrees for professionals and academics around the world. For more information, visit Fielding online at http://www.fielding.edu.