McCombs to Host “Managing to Stay in the Dark” Lecture

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The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business will host a lecture on Tuesday, March 31 with Dr. Ethan Burris, Associate Professor in the Department of Management. The lecture is titled “Managing to Stay in the Dark: Why Some Managers Don’t Want Your Ideas.”

The talk will be hosted Tuesday, March 31, from 11:30 – 1:00PM at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center (1900 University Avenue). The cost for the event is $20 and includes lunch.

The lecture will be based on Burris’ current research, which focuses on understanding why some managers don’t listen to their employees. Particularly he pays attention to the effects and consequences of an employee speaking up or staying silent, the leadership behaviors, processes and outcomes and how to effectively manage multiple interests and perspectives in a group.

The description from the event’s website brings that research to life:

“It isn’t shocking that studies show that organizations benefit when their employees speak up with ideas for improvement to those with the power to make changes. And it isn’t a controversial finding that managers make better decisions when their employees voice ideas than those whose employees feel like their ideas are stifled. After all, those on the front lines are typically best positioned to generate ideas to make the organization more effective. What is surprising, however, is that many managers actually work hard to avoid voice — they fail to solicit ideas for improvement, punish those who speak up, or both. We decided to find out not only which managers are reticent to hear about ideas but also why.”

Burris is an Associate Professor of Management and the Thomas E. & Terry Smith Faculty Fellow in Business at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.


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