COR facilitates research on new organizational forms and processes now taking shape in a variety of contexts. As the 21st century unfolds, we increasingly find organizing that diverges from traditional bureaucratic structures. Such possibilities can be found in global teams, web-based collaboration, network structures, collective threats to security and privacy, micro enterprises, international non-governmental organizations, and alliances across private, public, and non-profit fields. These developments raise opportunities for alternative modes of decision-making, just as they present challenges for accountability and efficacy. They also raise questions about how existing distributions of power both constrain and enable organizational experimentation. COR contributes to the development of organization theory by connecting scholars from many disciplines who bring their knowledge and methods to a common understanding of these issues.
Barbara and Gerson Bakar Faculty Fellow
UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Monday, December 9, 2013
11:00-12:30 SB 112
Optimistic About Optimism: The Belief That Optimism Improves Performance
A series of experiments investigated why people believe it is a good idea to be optimistic and whether they are right to do so. Specifically, we tested whether people believe that optimism improves performance. Participants prescribed optimism for someone implementing decisions but not for someone deliberating, indicating that people prescribe optimism selectively, when it can affect performance. Furthermore, participants believed optimism improved outcomes when a person’s actions had considerable, rather than little, influence over the outcome. A series of experiments tested the accuracy of this belief. We find that optimism did not improve performance as much as participants expected. In sum, people prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success—unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about how much optimism can do.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine
COR Faculty Workshop
Friday, November 22 12:00-1:30pm SBSG 1321
“Chronically Unhoused Men and the Enabling Habitat of Atlantic City, New Jersey”
Before it became an international entertainment destination, the land Atlantic City now occupies was a small island off New Jersey’s southern shore. Beginning in the early 1800s, entrepreneurial individuals believed that the island could be more: a seaside location where people could be offered experiences that differed dramatically from their daily lives. Though the city’s founders could never have imagined what this place would become, Atlantic City is no longer a barren island. While most people associate Atlantic City with gambling and well-to-do tourists, the unique entertainment landscape also provides ample opportunities for resource-poor people—the chronically unhoused—to maintain a minimal existence. Based on four years of fieldwork, this article builds on prior ethnographic work on American homelessness. I first discuss the geographic and social context of Atlantic City, then explain and build upon the analytic concept of “sustaining habitat” (Duneier, 1999) and how it is demonstrated in the urban landscape of the city. By conveying how Atlantic City’s entertainment ecology guides daily activities of chronically unhoused individuals, this article provides a detailed account of how the chronically unhoused make money, locate sleeping spots, and survive off this peculiar urban landscape. What I find is that Atlantic City’s chronically unhoused population become skilled at improvisation, capitalizing on the city’s entertainment landscape, as well as services offered by organizations, to meet their basic needs. While not exhaustive, the findings here highlight how chronically unhoused individuals in Atlantic City survive precariously using a variety of formal and informal sustenance activities. These findings begin to explain why traditional recruitment and retention treatment approaches have not reversed life chances and choices among this population.
Discussants: Maria Rendon (Social Ecology) and Nina Bandelj (Social Sciences)
INFORMATICS and COR TALK
WILLIAM J. CLANCEY, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
Date:Friday, October 25, 2013
Location: *1500 Donald Bren Hall*
Title: “Working on Mars: The Mars Exploration Rover as a Collaboration
Tool for Interdisciplinary Field Science”
ABSTRACT: The Mars Exploration Rover missions have shown over nine years
how people can scientifically explore another planet using a
programmable, mobile scientific laboratory. Through the combination of
constraint-based planning and virtual reality tools, the scientists
project themselves into the robot’s body—and so rather than replacing
them, the rover’s automation makes them agents in a remote landscape.
Following the synergistic design principle of “one instrument, one
team,” the robotic laboratory becomes a tool that promotes
collaboration, enhancing the integrative study of the planet’s geology,
climatology and possibly biological history.
BIO: Dr. William J. Clancey is Senior Research Scientist at the Florida
Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. He was previously on
assignment to NASA Ames Research Center as Chief Scientist for
Human-Centered Computing, Intelligent Systems Division (1998-2013). He
received his Computer Science Ph.D. from Stanford University and his
Mathematical Sciences B.A. from Rice University. A founding member of
Institute for Research on Learning (1987-1997), he also created Brahms,
a multi-agent system for modeling and simulating work practices. He is a
Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, AAAI, and the
American College of Medical Informatics. His seven books include
Situated Cognition and Working on Mars, and he has presented invited
tutorials and keynote addresses in over 20 countries.
Friday, October 18th, 12:00-1:30pm
Venue: SBSG (Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway) 1517
Our 2013-14 COR Kick-Off Event is an academic version of speed dating. We
have done this for a few years in the past and it has been both fun and
generative. This is an opportunity to learn more about the interests of
other COR members, to explore possible synergies and to receive some very
quick feedback on your research. We especially encourage graduate students
working on research on organizational topics to attend.
Here’s how it works:
- You come prepared to describe your research in 3 minutes or less.
- We pair you up with another researcher.
- Each person has 5 minutes to talk (3 minutes to describe and 2 minutes for q&a).
- After 10 minutes, we form new pairs and start again.
- We continue for 5-6 rotations.
- The remaining time can be used to continue the conversations that you wish to be longer.
Don’t forget to RSVP to email@example.com as a light lunch will be provided.