Research

Power Corrupts, But How?

This past summer Professor Donald Palmer presented his research on organizational wrongdoing in a talk titled “Power Corrupts, But How?: An Analysis of Enron’s Illegal Special Purpose Entities” at Cornell University’s Johnson School and at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Using Enron as a case study, Palmer argued that corporate malfeasance occurs within a specific organizational context where wrongdoers are enabled to build both formal and informal power relations that allow them to obtain cooperation and overcome resistance from other organizational participants. Palmer concludes that solving ethical failures in organizations involves more than firing the offender.

Ethical breaches should be understood as part of a social context where certain behavior that has the potential to become unethical is initially acceptable. He advises that manager and executives need to understand the corporate context in which bad behavior develops and be willing take steps that overhaul the culture that promotes the unethical behavior before it occurs.

ASQ’s Resurgence of Relevance

Palmer, a former editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ), a top-tier journal on the cutting edge of organizational studies since the field emerged, presented a talk on the evolution of the journal at the annual meeting of Macro Organizational Behavior Society in October. He described how the character of articles appearing in ASQ has changed since in inception in 1956, moving from more practical implications to a more theoretical orientation during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Palmer says the evidence indicates that the field has come full circle in the last two decades, becoming more sensitive to practical concerns.

New Institutionalism: A Paradigm Shift in Organizational Studies

Palmer also teamed up with Dean Nicole Woolsey Biggart and Brian Dick, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at UC Davis, to co-author “Is the New Institutionalism a Theory?” published in the Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism in April. The authors examine how new institutionalism, which focuses on the larger social structures in which organizations are situated, has evolved since its development in the 1970s.

They conclude that new institutionalism has become “part of the organization theory community alongside resource dependency, population ecology, the resource-view of strategy, and other stalwart conceptualizations that help us to understand the dynamics of a world organized into firms, NGOs, agencies and industries . . . (and) arguably now the dominant paradigm in organizational studies.”

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News Release

UC Davis Part-Time MBA Ranked in Nation’s Top 9%
Fourth Consecutive Year among U.S News & World Report's Premier Programs

(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Part-Time MBA program offered in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area is ranked among the top 9% in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings.

At No. 29, this is the fourth consecutive year the UC Davis Part-Time MBA program is among the top AACSB International-accredited part-time MBA programs surveyed. This year, there were 323 part-time MBA programs surveyed.

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UC Davis Full-Time MBA Ranked among Nation’s Premier Programs for 20th Consecutive Year
MBA Programs among Top 10% in U.S.
Record Salary and Bonus

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(Davis, CA) — The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s Full-Time MBA program is ranked among the premier business schools in the nation for the 20th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest graduate business school rankings released today.

U.S. News’ latest ranking places the Full-Time MBA program at No. 48, placing it among the top 10% of the 464 Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International’s accredited full-time MBA programs surveyed.

Key statistics from the School’s Full-Time MBA ranking include:

News Release

UC Davis Graduate School of Management partners with Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs to drive technologies from lab to market

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(Davis, Calif.) – With a joint goal of speeding the transfer of new technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories have announced a new partnership for researchers to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Spotlight Story

Vickie Sherman MBA 13 Finds Her Passion, Her Career—and Herself

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What opportunities, decisions, events have shaped your professional life?

My career path has been a climb across a jungle gym rather than a tangent up a corporate ladder. As a child, I used to thumb through the three-inch JCPenney catalogue, picking out the professional women who I would grow to be. I wanted to rule the world from a corner office in a suit and heels. I wanted to shed my humble origins and become Corporate Barbie.

Spotlight Story

MBA Student Consultants Make an IMPACT
Projects Put Business Needs Front and Center

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Agilent Technologies’ Electronic Measurement Group is a $3.6 billion business that over the past decade has seen a dramatic shift in its customer base from U.S., and Western European customers to predominantly Asia-based customers. Today, the majority of the division’s revenues are generated outside of the U.S., with an increasing concentration in China.