Tag: Olin in the Media



In a myriad of workplace settings, standard processes are key to a successful operation, ensuring efficiency and safety. For these processes to work, employees must comply. But what’s the best way to go about enforcing that compliance, and sustain it?

New research from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis shows that motivating compliance with standard processes via electronic monitoring can be a highly effective approach, despite concerns about employee backlash. However, the research also highlights that managers cannot simply “monitor and forget,” and that a long-term plan for supporting the retention of monitoring is critical. The findings were published online May 5 in Management Science.

Hengchen Dai, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Olin, along with co-authors Bradley A. Staats and David Hofmann from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Katherine L. Milkman from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, studied compliance with hand-hygiene guidelines among more than 5,200 caregivers at 42 hospitals for more than three years.

They collaborated with Proventix, a company that uses a radio frequency-based system to track whether health-care workers wash their hands. More than 20 million hand-hygiene opportunities — incidences when hand hygiene is expected — were captured; each with the potential to prevent, or spread, a hospital-borne illness or infection.

“Maintaining high compliance with standard processes is a challenge for many industries,” Dai said. “We examined hand-hygiene compliance in hospitals because this is a setting where consistent compliance is extremely important in an effort to eliminate hospital-acquired infections. This is an area where improvements can, and should, be made.”

Dai and her co-authors found that on average, electronic monitoring resulted in a large increase in hand-hygiene compliance during their study period. Interestingly, compliance initially increased, and then gradually declined, after approximately two years. When electronic monitoring was stopped, hand-washing rates dropped, suggesting that hand-hygiene habits weren’t formed.

In fact, researchers discovered that compliance rates for hand-washing dropped to below the levels seen before the monitoring began, a finding that is surprising to both the researchers and health-care practitioners.

“While we thought decreased compliance after the monitoring could perhaps be a possible outcome, we were still somewhat surprised to see the result,” Dai said. “We based our prediction on past research about ‘crowding out,’ whereby caregivers’ internal motivation for compliance may have been replaced by external forces associated with monitoring, such as the fear of penalties or punishments for not washing their hands.

“When the external stimulus of monitoring was removed, their compliance behavior declined below the initial level as both the external forces and internal motivations were gone,” she said. “We do not have the data to get into the underlying psychology, but it is certainly worth examining in future research.”

While the findings focused on the health-care profession, Dai said all managers should take note, no matter their field. While electronic monitoring is an important motivation and compliance tool, it’s a single piece of a larger strategy.

“Individual electronic monitoring is one tool managers can use to dramatically improve standardized process compliance, but that it is not a panacea,” Dai said. “Managers looking to build process compliance must think about how electronic monitoring fits within a broader system encompassing not only technology, but also norms, culture and leadership.

“Managers should not ‘monitor and forget,’ ” Dai said.

 

 




David Nicklaus looks for answers in a recent column featuring an interview with Olin’s Lamar Pierce.

The great economist Milton Friedman famously argued that a business’s only social responsibility is to make more money, and his view dominated boardroom thinking for decades. What has caused big business to abandon Friedman’s principle? Lamar Pierce, associate professor of organization and strategy at Washington University’s Olin Business School, thinks it’s the advent of social media and the 24-hour news cycle. “Because of the changing nature of media, it’s easier to get messages out very quickly, and it’s more important to get them out,” Pierce says.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“CEOs turn activists when social issues affect the bottom line”
4/17/16
Link to article




Alumni in the news

Al Li, EMBA class 39, has been elected as the new president of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis. He is vice president of Global Trade Finance at Regions Bank for the Midwest area that includes Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Al Li photoWith nearly 20 years of corporate finance and banking experience including time at Monsanto and Bank of America, Li works with importers and exporters of all sizes to advise on export credit policies and provide solutions for export working capital using various insurance products and guarantee programs involving the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), SBA, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Native to the St. Louis area, Li holds a BA of Communications and MA of Economics from the University of Missouri in addition to his Executive MBA from Washington University.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the International Institute’s Community Development Corporation that provides micro-lending services to immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs residing in the St. Louis area, and is a passionate supporter and Ambassador of the Mosaic Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you schedule leisure activities the same way you schedule meetings or doctor appointments, you may not be having much fun. That’s the conclusion of new research from Selin Malkoc, associate professor marketing, and Gabriela Tonietto, a doctoral candidate in marketing.

Malkoc thumb copy

Prof. Selin Malkoc

Malkoc and Tonietto conducted 13 studies examining how scheduling leisure activities affects the way these events are experienced. The research showed that assigning a specific date and time for leisure can have the opposite intended effect, making it feel much like a chore. Additionally, the researchers found that both the anticipation of the leisure activity and enjoyment from it decreased once it was scheduled.

“Looking at a variety of different leisure activities, we consistently find that scheduling can make these otherwise fun tasks feel more like work and decrease how much we enjoy them,” Tonietto said.

Gabriela Tonietto

Gabriela Tonietto

While the research shows less scheduling is a good thing when it comes to fun, Tonietto and Malkoc stress people still need to hang onto their calendars.

A host of past research has shown that scheduling and planning is important in getting things done,” Malkoc said. “This work mostly examined non-leisure tasks, such as getting a flu shot. In our work, we find that this is also true for leisure tasks — that is, scheduling indeed increases our chances of engaging in them. But, on the flip side, we tend to enjoy it less.

“So it really is a balancing game, and it comes down to knowing what you will gain and lose when we schedule fun activities,” Malkoc said.

Link to complete news release by Erika Ebsworth-Goold.

Link to UPI story based on this Olin research.




Professor Glenn MacDonald’s Economics of Entertainment has been a popular  course for business school students for several years. Starting next fall, students will be able to pursue a Business of Entertainment minor based on an interdisciplinary combination of courses.  (more…)




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