Leadership

Does the world of business — in the past dominated by men — pose any special challenges for women? With one startling exception, a selection of presenters and attendees at the recent annual meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners told a video crew from Knowledge@W. P. Carey that "yes, it's an issue, but you can overcome it." Here, prominent female business researchers from the faculty of the W. P. Carey School offer their points of view.

By focusing on solutions rather than causes, Pratham — a non-profit organization dedicated to primary education in India — has been remarkably successful in motivating donors and volunteers, not to mention the children this program has brought back into classrooms. According to Balaji Koka, associate professor of management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, much of the organization's effectiveness comes from wise framing of the problem and solutions at hand. What's more, Pratham's approach could serve as a primer for any business trouper trying to rally office forces.

In a global marketplace, change isn't just good. For many companies, says Angelo Kinicki, it's necessary. In a recent paper Kinicki, a professor of management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, and his co-authors examined the effect of organizational change on workers in a large government office. They found that significant change greatly impacted both the psyche and performance of employees.Fail to take this into account and force changes that employees aren't prepared to handle, and your company risks alienating its workers, losing money and, in the end, seeing those great strategic changes fall flat.

Carly Fiorina was ousted from her role as CEO of Hewlett-Packard after the merger with Compaq, but that doesn't mean that women can't hold their own in the male-dominated corporate world. In fact, firms with female leaders may well be better off than firms without, according to recent research by W. P. Carey professor of management Amy Hillman. However, management professor Peggy Lee's research shows that company shareholders react more negatively to female CEO appointments than to male CEO appointments.

Judi Hand, president and general manager of Direct Alliance, a business process outsourcer, visited the W. P. Carey School of Business recently to speak to an audience of students attending the Executive Luncheon Series. Her message — that success depends on your ability to keep learning and keep questioning — is as true for mid-career practitioners as it is for students.