Will Pres. Obama stay connected with his YouTube generation supporters?

Olin Business School professor Jackson Nickerson says, “ChangeCasting” is the best way for presidents and CEOs to build trust, create understanding and enact change with all of their constituents and employees. Nickerson’s ChangeCasting is a new web-based approach to communication that allows executives to lead and accelerate change within their organizations. It opens up a two-way street between the corner office and employees at every level of a company.

How surcharges affect pricing and purchasing

Surcharges — additional fees such as shipping and handling — are unwelcome but common charges that can shoot up the cost of online and catalog shopping. Yet how many of us base our purchasing decision on these niggling fees? A lot more than you might think. New research conducted by Amar Cheema, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at Washington University in St. Louis, holds important implications for businesses and their pricing practices.

Can Sarbanes-Oxley influence investors’ trust?

What is a ‘fair’ price for fairness? New research from Washington University’s Olin School of Business reveals that a just system of governance may not enhance trust when returns do not meet investors’ expectations. This is sobering news for businesses that have spent countless hours and large amounts of money complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in the hopes of building stronger corporate governance. More…

Asking forgiveness is not always as easy as saying ‘I’m sorry’

Tales of corporate scandal and political misdeeds have made spectacular headlines in recent years — just the mention of Enron or Bill Clinton conjure up memories of those offenses. But on a day-to-day basis most people don’t deal with such large-scale scandals. Instead, they are confronted with relatively innocuous mistakes — the kinds of mistakes that eventually break down trust and possibly even derail a career. There’s a reason that a simple apology doesn’t always re-establish the trust that colleagues once enjoyed, according to new work by Kurt Dirks, associate professor of organizational behavior at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. People’s reactions to apologies vary widely depending on the nature of the transgression.

Too much of a good thing

Good team work means not trusting each other too much.There’s no denying that trust is essential in a healthy work place. It’s expected that you trust your co-workers and your boss. And you hope that your boss and peers trust you. Common wisdom is that trust brings numerous benefits: it improves communication, raises group performance, reduces conflict, and provides greater job satisfaction. However, a recent study by a professor at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis found that too much trust could actually be bad for business…when it comes to working on team projects.

Removing the shadow of suspicion

StewartCan Martha Stewart regain the trust of her customers or could Enron’s former chief Ken Lay get a new job under the clouds of suspicion left in the wake of their legal problems? It depends upon the match between how they respond to the allegations and the extent to which the alleged offense is perceived to involve their integrity or their competence, according to a recent study by Washington University in St. Louis professor Kurt T. Dirks and three colleagues.

Deep psychological contracts formed between employees and employers can result in acts of revenge, ‘crimes of obedience’

McLean ParksNear one end of the spectrum are the Arthur Andersen employees who, out of loyalty to their employer and at great personal risk, destroyed files to cover up corporate scandal. At the other end is the disgruntled worker at another company who surreptitiously spread poison-ivy sap on executive-washroom toilet seats. “A clear signal to management,” says Judi McLean Parks, Ph.D., professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis, “that something is wrong.” McLean Parks’ research at the Olin School of Business finds that both forms of organizational behavior grow from the same seed of organizational identity.