Social Scientists Confronting Global Crises  book cover
1st Edition

Social Scientists Confronting Global Crises

Edited By

Jean M. Bartunek

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 25, 2021
ISBN 9780367624224
November 25, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
160 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book arose out of a "rant" by Ed Schein in 2020 arguing that Social Scientists need to address global crises. That is, social scientists develop knowledge that is directly pertinent to global challenges and crises, and need to be included in initiatives taken to address them. They must present our knowledge in in public forums and our voices need to be heard by others. This book is a step towards such presentation and involvement.

Social scientists understand ways global crises are crucially intertwined with our relationships, groups, organizations, communities, institutions, how they collaborate with each other, how they compete with each other, and the dynamics intermingled with these. These dimensions are inadequately addressed by scientists and insufficiently recognized by other stakeholders. The social scientists whose work is included in this book are associated with management, and have foundational training in all the social science disciplines. They are highly respected internationally. Their work highlighted here contributes to deep understandings of social phenomena associated with global crises. It also demonstrates skilled ways of intervening among those dealing with challenges and crises first-hand. Finally, it also shows the ongoing personal development required to address global crises in productive ways.

This book will be of interest to social scientists, researchers, academics and students in the fields of management, especially those focusing on global challenges and crises. It will also be a useful resource for practitioners and policy makers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The importance of this book

Jean M. Bartunek

Part I Attention to Relationships Across Groups and Organizations

2. Striving for Wholeness: It is Time for Social Scientists to Make a Loud Noise!

Sandra Janoff

3. The Important Role of Management Researchers in Addressing Global Crises: Insights from Innovation North

Pratima Bansal and Garima Sharma

4. Dialogic Organization Development and the Generative Change Model: Opportunities and Challenges for Managing Global Crises

Gervase Bushe and Robert J. Marshak

5. When the stakes are high and trust is low

Colleen Magner & Adam Kahane

Part II Attention to Political, National, and Cross-national Systems

6. Should Capitalism be Reimagined? If so, how?

Rebecca Henderson

7. Pathway to Balance

Henry Mintzberg

8. Gathering on the Bridge: Co-creating our Emerging Equity-Centered Future

Yabome Gilpin-Jackson

9. Expanding Relational Coordination to Tackle Global Crises: The Relational Society Project

Shyamal Sharma and Jody Hoffer Gittell

10. Global Warming: The Threat and the Hope

Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein

Part III Attention to Development Over Time, and What Helps Accomplish It

11. Leadership in Times of Upheaval: The Rise of the Empathic Leader

Amy C. Edmondson and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

12. Renewing the Earth Starts with Renewing our Capacity to Work Together

Peter M. Senge

13. The Social Field as a Teacher: Seven Principles for Building Transformational Learning Infrastructures

Otto Scharmer

14. Being in Service of Collaboration: Reflection of a Newcomer

Chelsea Lei

Appendix: Social Scientists need to speak up

Edgar Schein

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Jean M. Bartunek is the Robert A. and Evelyn J. Ferris Chair and Professor of Management and Organization at Boston College, USA.


"For those who hold the view that social scientists have little to offer in solving the global crises of our times, this book will change your mind. With inspiring examples of transformative-systemic-collaborative projects, Bartunek and her contributors provide profound insights on how social scientists can be compassionate, courageous, reflective, humble, and objective agents of social change while solving the wickedly complex problems in a threatened and fragile world." Anne S. Tsui, Co-Founder, Responsible Research in Business and Management and Professor Emerita, Arizona State University, USA

“While scientific evidence helps us to grasp the complexity of global crises like climate change and pandemics, we have been missing an important voice.  None of these challenges can be faced without social coordination.   Finally we have a book that addresses the relational / social nature of the global crises we face.   This collection of authors addresses the multi-dimensional social dynamics at the root of these issues and the relational / organizational interventions that could address them.” Frank J. Barrett, Professor of Management and Organizational Behavior, Naval Postgraduate School, USA

"There has never been a greater need for social scientists to collaborate across boundaries to help guide action than today. The global problems we face, from pandemics to climate change, demand it. The authors of this book explain both why and how, providing a hopeful vision for scholars and practice." Jerry Davis, Gilbert & Ruth Whitaker Professor of Management and Professor of Sociology, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, USA

"There is no time to waste. Management scholars and other researchers need to turn their attention and direct efforts to improve understanding and foster courage to address global crises.  This book answers this call. Read it to develop insights and to inspire actions that focus on the relationships, processes, dynamics and systems that are core to global crises and challenges." Jane E. Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology, University of Michigan, USA

"This book is both welcome and necessary.  Social scientists have so much to add to helping us find solutions to our grand societal challenges, and yet we far too often sit on the sidelines, preferring to remain within the confines of our narrow academic communities.  But in this book, noted scholars step out of those confines to engage with our world and bring their knowledge and insights to bear on finding solutions.  These solutions do not lie in the next technology alone, but more importantly in the ways we think, act, cooperate and interact. They lie in our culture, institutions, values and beliefs.  If you care about solutions to the problems we face, this book offers a critical lens and a model for other scholars to follow." Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, USA and author of "The Engaged Scholar" (2021: Stanford University Press)

"A treasure chest of powerful and practical ideas generated by extraordinarily talented minds in the social sciences, this book aims to strengthen our ability to confront challenges and crises facing the global community." Andy BoyntonJohn and Linda Powers Family Dean, Carroll School of Management, Boston College, USA

"The more we are dependent on technology to solve problems, the less we attend to the relevant social and behavioral issues. Just a hypothesis, but even if only half true this book is the kind of contribution that can make a positive impact. Thank you Jean Bartunek, for this significant step in the right direction." W. Warner BurkeProfessor of Psychology and Education, Columbia University, USA

"This book is not only a call to action, but also a challenge.  In the past decade, attention grown regarding the need for social scientists to inform the handling of global crises.  Additionally, leading social scientists have begun to accept their fundamental obligation to be engaged.  Unfortunately, scientists are not trained or rewarded for communicating their relevant knowledge in terms that policy makers, the media, and the public see as helpful or actionable.  This book is a timely springboard to speed up that crucial engagement – but only if we concerned scientists truly confront those global crises and commit to acting." Sim B. SitkinMichael W. Krzyzewski University Professor, Professor of Management and Public Policy, Duke University, USA.

"Social scientists have a responsibility to speak to critical issues of the day. In this book, Jean Bartunek has organized a superb group of scholars to demonstrate how their research on complex organizations can help address our global environmental crisis.  Bravo! Now let’s put their insights to work before it is too late!" Thomas A. Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management, USA

"A call to action for social scientists, this book demands science-based leadership in the social-economic-political arena. Putting the “social” in social science means acting together to deliver on the “science”.   Social Scientists Confronting Global Crises urges us to put into practice what we have been observing, experimenting on, and modeling. Pandemics, climate change, and nuclear weapons show us the need. The chapters in this book show us how." Robert E. Horn, Senior Researcher Emeritus, Stanford University, USA

"As social scientists we study change, but we also have the potential to effect it.  The stories presented here remind us that as scholars, we each have knowledge to contribute and a role to play in helping to bring about the transformative change that is urgently needed in the world." Stephanie Bertels, VanDusen Professor of Sustainability, Simon Fraser University, Canada

"A seminal and timely collection of ideas and actions for addressing, preventing, and learning from global crises.  Engaged scholars highlight the need for creative policy and practice collaborations that cross national borders to achieve global health and wellbeing." Stephen M. Shortell, Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"Who still believes that global crises will be resolved by a self-correcting system or model? Social scientists never believed that! We stress that solutions lie in our values, mindset, choices, and consciousness of the impact of relations and relationships. This book helps us to understand the human side of crises, and to formulate positive and creative answers to the question of what we can do to restore hope for a better world." Danica Purg, Professor and President of IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia

"This book brings together a cast of social science luminaries who also care about humanity and the planet. If not solutions, they offer research-tested ways of bringing together diverse stakeholders to jointly craft ways forward. The ideas in this book are powerful; they can help the world, if we only use them." Loizos HeracleousProfessor of Strategy and Organisation, University of Warwick, UK