Kotter John October 28 2008  Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

III. Analysis

Gottschaig and Pe'er's (2008) study was both innovative and remarkable. Written for business leaders, managers, and officers, who are often in charge of buyouts, this article gives helpful, unique advice for participating in a buyout. Although many American citizens are aware of the reputation of Republicans and Democrats when it comes to big business, they are not usually convinced that these stereotypes have a real impact on the business world. This article proves them wrong, and is strikingly relevant in this era of what some may call re-alignment. In addition to being innovative, the authors' article is also rather helpful for managers and those in charge of buyouts. By giving these officials proper information regarding which states will encourage a successful buyout vs. which states will probably lead to a mediocre buyout, the authors have given concrete, data-backed advice that can improve the investments of many companies. Thus, because of its innovations and relevance, the author's article is an excellent example of important research.

Article 4

Barsh, Joanna, Cranston, Susie, and Craske, Rebecca a. (September 2008). Centered

Leadership: How Talented Women Thrive. Retrieved October 30, 2008, at http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Centered_leadership_How_talented_women_thrive_2193


In the business world, both men and women spend a great deal of time learning to become better leaders. In fact, the pursuit of leadership has become a successful business in its own right, producing tapes, speakers, and books meant to instruct would-be leaders on the topic. Although the last few decades have seen quite a few women in both private and government leadership, few have risen to the very top rungs of the leadership ladder. When studies have consistently shown that women are just as capable thinkers and achievers as men, why have they been so under-represented in the world of corporate leadership? In their article, "Centered leadership: How talented women thrive," Joanna Barsh, Susie Cranston, and Rebecca a. Craske (2008) attempt to answer that question.

II. Summary

The authors begin their article by describing the problem that they seek to solve and their methodology for doing so. Barsh et al. (2008) discuss their intentions to solve the gender gap between men and women in the top levels of business leadership. The authors argue that solving this problem has implications not only for feminism and equality, but also for a business world lacking leadership when they state that, "this gap matters not only because it is unfair, but also because the world has an increasingly urgent need for more leaders" (Barsh et al. 2008). Their method for solving this problem consisted of interviews. Over eighty-five women and some men were interviewed for the project. In addition, the authors conducted research from scholarly sources. Based on the information from both interviews and scholarly research, the authors developed a revolutionary model of leadership, which identifies the five dimensions of leadership. The model, dubbed "centered leadership" by the authors requires "having a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement, and in turn, inspires others to follow" (Barsh et al. 2008). While the authors agree that the model works for men as well as women, they stipulate that it is especially useful for women. In the model, the five dimensions of leadership are defined and explained. Those dimensions are meaning, managing energy, positive thinking, connecting, and engaging. For instance, meaning is a person's core happiness, what interests them, drives them, and makes them happy. By discovering meaning, managers can point themselves in a direction where they will be truly happy, which impacts their ability to lead. Managing energy, or setting priorities, is also a necessary component for leadership, especially among women who must often juggle home with work. Positive thinking and connecting allow leaders to make better, more optimistic business decisions, and connecting provides the leader with a strong support network. Finally, engaging, or joining in company discussions, is crucial for advancement. The authors argue that through these dimensions, leaders can be even more effective.

III. Analysis

Barsh et al.'s (2008) article gives a condensed and effective leadership lesson to both men and women. While many books, tapes, and videos maintain that they know how to best shape leaders in several lessons, Barsh et al.'s (2008) study triumphs over these lessons for hire by offering real, empirical, and applicable advice. In contrast to many of the leadership modules that exist from a variety of sources today, Bash et al. do not ask readers to believe them because they are charismatic individuals who have attained effective leadership in their lives. Instead, they objectively interview close to 100 leaders to determine the practices that worked best for them. From these practices, the authors were able to hone down the relevant information into five dimensions. This is another advantage over other leadership modules, which are often so long and involved that several days and several notepads with pencils are necessary in order to glean anything from the lesson. Finally, Barsh et al.'s (2008) advice is rather easy to implement. Most of the characteristics of effective leaders that the authors point out are characteristics that businessmen or women already have; the authors simply ask the women to refine these skills. Thus, Barsh et al.'s (2008) article is excellent in that it gives real, empirical advice to women in condensed form, advice that can be easily put into practice.

Article 5

Boccaletti, Giulio, Loffler, Markus, and Oppenheim, Jeremy M. (October 2008). How it can cut carbon emissions. Retrieved October 30, 2008, at http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/How_IT_can_cut_carbon_emissions_2221


The topic of environmental problems and global warming has permeated almost ever discipline as of late. Because many scientists have concluded that global warming is a problem that will drastically affect the future of the world, in addition to being a problem that humans can fix. For this reason, businesses are beginning to develop ways to cut their carbon emissions. Boccaletti, Loffler, and Oppenheim's (2008) article, "How it can cut carbon emissions" argues that reducing your business's carbon footprint is not necessarily as difficult as it may seem.


Boccaletti et al. (2008) begin their argument by listing data that suggests many tools of business are the culprits of global warming. For instance, the authors argue that laptops, PCs, data centers, computer networks, mobile phones, etc. could become "among the biggest greenhouse gas emitters by 2020" (Bocaletti et al. 2008). With this information that implicates business tools among the largest contributors to global warming, however, coexists information that suggests these types of technology can be used to reduce the amount of emissions. In fact, the authors list that these types of technology can help "eliminate 7.8 metric gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2020" (Boccaletti et al. 2008). The authors then recount the scientific methodology through which they calculated the carbon footprint left by communication technology used by most businesses. In addition to their current contribution to the problem of emissions and global warming, the authors note that these technologies will continue to add to the problem through methods to make them more efficient, in addition to greater adoptions of these technologies across the globe. The authors also suggest that an increase in data centers across the globe will significantly increase emissions. Although this may be technology's "dark side," however, good news is also available. In fact, they conclude that these technologies can abate more emissions than they produce in five specific sectors -- "buildings, power, transport, and manufacturing. By taking the place of more emissions producing practices, such as driving to work vs. telecommuting, and increasing efficiency of production, the authors conclude that the future of business technology is actually quite impressive.


While Boccaletti et al.'s (2008) article is certainly unique and informative, it lacks specific recommendation for it departments. Although it is important for businesses, managers, and other leaders to assess their technologies in light of the current economic crises and global warming, this article gives little practical advice to it departments who strive to do so, in addition to striving to reduce their emissions. Despite a paragraph at the conclusion of their article that gives general information to it buyers about growing and changing the way they view technology, the authors do not have a recommendation for businesses and it departments in this area. It departments and businesses are in need of this information, especially in light of the convincing evidence that the article has given in regards to the ability of communication technology to reduce emissions. Thus, while this article was certainly informative, bringing important evidence to an important discussion, it lacked real significance because of its lack of recommendation. If Boccaletti et al. (2008) could resubmit their findings with a short, succinct list of what businesses could do to help solve the problem, the article would be a pinnacle of business-environment integration.


Other than articles listed above)

Moore, Michael. (1997). Downsize This! Threats from an unarmed American. New York: Harper Collins.

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