CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the editors of MIT Sloan Management Review announced that Ethan Bernstein, Jesse Shore, and David Lazer are the winners of the 2020 Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize. The prize is awarded to the authors of the most outstanding MIT SMR article on planned change and organizational development published from fall 2018 to summer 2019.
MIT SMR awarded the prize for the article titled "Improving the Rhythm of Your Collaboration" from the fall 2019 issue. Bernstein is Edward W. Conard Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Shore is an assistant professor of information systems at Boston University's Questrom School of Business; Lazer is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Sciences at Northeastern University.
In the prize-winning article, the authors make the case that organizational effectiveness requires an alternating rhythm between the "always-on connectivity" of a group and the "heads-down focus" of an individual. "By achieving more and more connectivity," the authors write, "humans are becoming a bit like passive nodes in a machine network: They are getting better at processing information but worse at making decisions from it.
"We believe Dick Beckhard would applaud the attention to the unintended human consequences reflected here," said the panel of judges. "The evident hyperconnectivity of so many employees these days needs attention not only for better organizational outcomes but for their own well-being. That management should step in with personal awareness and modeling is advice Dick would practice. He would say it is the right thing to do."
The authors recommend that leadership create conditions for rhythmic collaboration by providing spaces for solitary work, encouraging downtime, and not being "always-on" themselves.
This year's panel of judges consisted of distinguished members of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty: Seley Distinguished Professor of Management Deborah Ancona, Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management John Van Maanen, and retired senior lecturer Cyrus Gibson.
About Richard Beckhard and the Beckhard Prize
One of the founders and architects of the field of organizational development, Professor Richard Beckhard was a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty for more than 20 years. A longtime friend of MIT Sloan Management Review, Beckhard was known for his efforts to help organizations function in a more humane and high-performing manner and to empower people to be agents of change.
At MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR), we share with our readers an excitement and curiosity about how the practice of management is transforming in the digital age. Our expert contributors help leaders explore the trends that are shaping how organizations operate, compete, and create value in a technology-fueled world. We deliver the kind of evidence-based analysis and practical insight that inspire leaders to do great work.
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SOURCE MIT Sloan Management Review