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Craft of Theorizing Research - OB719 / SO770 (Boston University) - 2023

Research projects are like gems that need polishing and the craft of polishing them to uncover a theoretical contribution can partly be learned. This intensive course is designed to help participants polish their gems-in-the- making and sharpen their emerging contributions. The seminar is primarily designed for doctoral students who have already collected and/or analyzed data. The common denominator for participants is that they be engaged in research projects reliant on qualitative or quantitative data (e.g., archives, interviews, field observations, and surveys) and be willing to share with the class a draft analytical memo, paper, or chapter from their research.

Leading Organizations and People - OB 713 (Boston University) - 2023


This course introduces concepts, models and frameworks to help you become better managers of the organizations you work for, the teams you work in, the people you work with and your own professional development. Emphasis will be on behavioral science concepts and research findings related to the major challenge managers face—how to organize individuals in order to fulfill the objectives and strategies of the firm. Topics that will be examined include: the nature and dynamics of the organization (organizational structure and culture, performance systems and metrics, reward systems, selection and socialization); the elements of individual leadership and personal development (power, decision-making, emotional intelligence, career development, developmental needs, feedback, and mentoring and coaching); managing change within organizational contexts (the dynamics and stages of organizational change and the skills and tactics employed by change agents); and the relationships between the firm and the external environment in which it operates. The course objective is to provide analytical skills and strategies, substantive knowledge, and a professional sensibility that will increase your ability to take effective action in firms, agencies and other organizations.

Macro Organization Theory - DS 911 / SOC 716 (Boston University) - 2019

This course is an introduction to the major theoretical approaches and ongoing debates in organizational theory, an inter-disciplinary subject area that draws on several traditions, including economics, political science, psychology, and sociology.  Organization theory aims to explain the origins, persistence, and disappearance of the organizations that are central to our society and daily life (e.g., firms, markets, governments, occupations, non-profit organizations, and more). We will start with the classics and then trace the history of ideas as the field has evolved to its present state. The purpose of this course is to provide you with a roadmap that allows you to navigate the terrain of organizational theory and guide you as you generate original research ideas.

The course is organized as a seminar; thus your cooperation and willingness to participate actively are critical for creating the best learning environment. Class sessions will typically begin with a student-lead discussion and critique of the individual papers/chapters/books that are assigned for that week. The session will then evolve into a broader debate in which all students participate and conclude by lessons learned that might apply to other theoretical approach and/or contexts.

The course is cross-listed as GSM DS 911 (Questrom) and GRS SOC 716 (Sociology).  Syllabus

The Process of Discovery - KHC HC401 (Boston University) - 2017

This course has three aims: to continue your general education by introducing you to field-changing research drawn from different fields of inquiry, to assist you in designing your Keystone project, and to help you express field-specific insights in language accessible to a general audience. The course is structured around three basic activities: individual and group analysis; writing exercises aimed at promoting intellectual discovery, methodological rigor, and project design; and group activities aimed at honing project design and presentation skills.

During the first seven weeks, the class will meet together to discuss innovative research projects undertaken by scholars from a variety of disciplines. One essential purpose of these case studies is to fulfill your general education requirements, which are central to Kilachand’s mission. In addition, we will use these readings to explore the structure of the discovery process, focusing on how researchers embed imaginative questions in viable research projects and balance creative ambition with intellectual modesty by selecting rigorous methodologies. But the test of innovative research or a creative project is not simply how well it demonstrates the explanatory power of an imaginative leap; a project of this scale must also be clearly presented so that others can appreciate the intellectual insights it offers. In addition to helping students design their research or creative project, then, the class will also teach students how to present technical ideas in clear language that anyone outside their chosen discipline can understand. In the final weeks, each student will present the project they will undertake as seniors.  Syllabus

Managing Groups & Teams (Yale School of Management) - 2014

This is a short course on the theory and practice of leading, managing, and functioning in task- performing groups and teams. The course has two primary goals: first, to provide you with a conceptual framework for analyzing group dynamics, diagnosing performance problems, and designing appropriate interventions, and second, to help you develop practical skills for building effective groups and teams. Both of these objectives will be important to your effectiveness in your study groups at School and in organizational teams of which you will be a member or leader after you graduate.  Syllabus

Design of Field Research Methods - HBS 4070 & FAS 2070 (Harvard University) - 2014

Field research involves collecting original data (qualitative or quantitative) in field sites. The course will combine informal lecture and discussion with practical sessions designed to build specific skills for conducting field research in organizations. Readings include books and papers about research methodology, as well as articles that provide exemplars of field research, including both theory driven and phenomenon driven work. Specific topics covered include variance versus process models, blending qualitative and quantitative data (in one paper, one study, or one career), collecting and analyzing different kinds of data (observation interview, survey, archival), levels of analysis, construct development, and writing up field research for publication. A core aim of the course is to help students understand the contingent relationship between the nature of the research question and the field research methods used to answer it, and to use this understanding to design and carry out original field research. Course requirements include several short assignments assessing readings and a final paper designed to help students' further their own field research goals. Priority will be given to advanced doctoral students, appropriate for Doctoral students in year 2+.   Syllabus

Managing Human Capital - HBS 2060 (Harvard Busines School) - 2012

Managing Human Capital has been specifically designed to teach practical skills for the general manager who seeks to manage both other people and his or her own career with optimal effectiveness. Any and all students who believe they will need to effectively manage other people to produce superior business results should take this course. In the Managing Others' Human Capital (MOHC) segment, during the first part of the semester, we will cover best practices in the design of recruiting, performance-evaluation, and compensation systems; how to develop people, manage workforce reductions, and have difficult conversations; and how to manage corporate culture and change. In the Managing Your Own Human Capital (MYHC) segment, students will learn how to develop as a professional, navigate the transition to general manager, and evaluate career transitions and choices strategically.

The management of human capital has the potential to be the source of competitive advantage in high-performance organizations. Due to rapidly changing demographics, technologies, mergers, alliances, and increased global competition, the processes of managing human capital are becoming more central to effective organization practices and outcomes. It is obvious that companies that want to succeed need excellent people. But companies need cultures and systems in which individuals can use their talents. More importantly, general managers must be aware of their own assumptions about people and why individuals come to work. While virtually all leaders in organizations say they are committed to their people, many do not apply this belief.

The course takes the point of view of the general manager (not just the human resource practitioner) attempting to leverage the human capital of an organization in ways that create not only revenues, profits, and growth, but also create a unique place to work and employees and customers who are apostles of the enterprise (Heskett, Schlesinger, and Sasser, 1997). We want future general managers to be clear about how people are motivated, and how managers’ assumptions drive the kind of processes, structures and strategies they create. The desired outcome is to have students’ assumptions questioned, and to create high expectations of self and others not only within the class but also within the organizations students will join after Harvard Business School.

This course is based on four themes: (1) as the general manager, how do you think about leveraging your people in strategic and systematic ways; (2) what specifically needs to transpire in order to act on those beliefs, assumptions, policies, and levers to achieve competitive advantage in talent management; (3) what are the specific skills required for a general manager to operate those levers to achieve the desired results; and (4) as the professional and/or general manager, how should you think about managing your own human capital?  Syllabus

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