Requisite Reading

Because you are the killer app.

Social Capital and Human Capital, Trust, Keiretsu: Current Reading and Updates

Just some notes for today:

If you have been reading the site through a browser, and not an RSS feed, you may have noticed that we’ve been changing quite a bit. There’s a great deal left to do, so please do email me if you see anything strange happening. The goal is to make it much easier for you to read, and to more clearly show the services that The Manasclerk Company offers through our various brands and partners.

When I wrote about how the Glacier Model Builds Trust, I mentioned some articles by Johan du Toit, Managing Director of Decipher Consulting (South Africa). They are now available at the Decipher website. Click the “Publications” link in the top menu. They are the impetus to much of this reading list.

Francis Fukuyama has made it twice lately: “Social Capital and Civil Society” is a paper prepared for delivery at the IMF Conference on Second Generation Reforms (1999).Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity is his tome on the topic (1996). Very fascinating.

There’s a lot of discussion and controversy about social capital as a topic.
Steven N. Durlauf’s and Marcel Fafchamps’s “Social Capital” (The Centre for the Study of African Economies Working Paper Series, No. 214, 2004) reviews the current state as of 2004 and puts forth recommendations for how research could go forward. It’s a great review of the topic in a concise form and talks about the problems inherent to it.

Martin Kenney’s and Richard Florida’s (the Creative Class® guy) article “Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese System and Its Transfer to the U.S.” isn’t available in my databases but Florida posted the introductory chapter to the book of the same name. It does a good job at putting things into perspective about Japanese work styles and organization, especially in light of Fukuyama’s perspective. Their recent chapter, “Transfer and Replication of Organizational Capabilities: Japanese Transplant Organizations in the United States” (2001), also looks intriguing. See Richard Florida’s Japan-related article list.

(Did you know that the Japanese sent a delegation to review the work policies and organizational practices at Glacier Metal Company under Wilfred Brown? Ken Craddock believes that this is where they got some of their ideas, and that Westerners flubbed the chance to have dynamic organizations before them.)

R. Martin Richards’s PhD thesis, “Individual Risk Preferences as Criteria in Personnel Selection and Placement” is available at the GO Society website under the resources menu. You’ll probably have to register. Richards says that timespan and not risk is what shows current capability and size of work. I think it depends on how you define “risk”, but I’m definitely going to read his thesis. One irritating thing is that the GO Society secures the PDF files making it impossible to copy-paste to do searches for sources. And this file isn’t even OCRed.

“On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B” is a classic article by Steven Kerr, updated and reprinted inThe Academy of Management Executive, 9(1):7-14 (1995).

Ken Craddock recommends Joe Kelly’sIs Scientific Management Possible? A Critical Examination of Glacier’s Theory of Organization. Kelly spent some time onsite at Glacier’s Kilmarnock factory in 1963-64 and saw the way that things were really working. I’ve found a copy and it’s in delivery.

Does anyone have a copy of Joe Kelly’s “The Organizational Concept of Leadership” (Management International Review, 10(6) [1970])?

I’m also plowing through several online texts on WordPress development for other work I’m doing. (Always a man of many hats, me.) I’ll probably end up putting together a little ebook on using the Thematic framework: it needs documentation.

About

E. Forrest Christian is a consultant and writer with The Manasclerk Company who helps executive-level managers and experts translate their complex knowledge into products and materials that non-experts like clients and buyers understand. He has worked in functions as varied as web security, ghost writing, requisite organization, executive coaching, software design, environmental compliance, documentation, enterprise architecture, ISO 9001 and training. He even developed one of the earliest catalog websites in 1994 and has held certifications in IT security (CISSP), training and hazmat response. Forrest lives and works in the outer edge of the Chicago metro area in Valparaiso, Indiana.  [contact]

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