CV Harquail, Authentic Organizations and Stevens Institute of Technology

Generative Business Practice: How digital technologies, a network orientation, and an ethos of generosity combine to transform how businesses work together.

November 5, 2014 | 12:00pm - 1:30pm | Cotting First Floor Conference Room | Open to public


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Presentation Summary: What’s leading companies to open up their business processes, expose their inner workings, give away their learning, nurture communities of purpose and practice, and help create more value than they aim ever to capture? Why are some businesses looking past competition and ‘disruption’, to embrace generosity as a core operating principle?

Harquail will sketch out the conceptual, practical, and disciplinary origins of what she calls ‘generative business practices’.

Harquail will offer examples of two very different businesses -- Etsy and Buffer-- to illustrate how their generative practices have not only helped them grow but also helped them become profoundly influential as change agents in their business networks.

She will share what she think makes generative businesses different from ‘regular’ ones, and ask for your insights to help connect generative practice to other trends you see in digital businesses.

Scholars and practitioners interested in the interaction of organizational culture and digital technologies, software development practices, F/LOSS traditions, positive organizational scholarship, humanistic management, for-purpose/for-profit & hybrid organizations, transparency, platforms and innovation containers, feminist organizing, knowledge sharing, and hedgehogs will all find a connection to this conversation and are invited to join in.

Additional Reading: Attached please find Harquail's document, "An Introduction to Generative Practice." These three blog posts offer a quick introduction to the concept of generativity, help describe the conditions that are required to support generativity (with examples), and provide a more detailed discussion of a single generative practice. 


Bio: CV Harquail, PhD, (Leadership & Organizational Behavior, Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan) works at the intersection of organizational change, leadership, social issues, and digital technology. She brings together academic expertise, change agent experience, an intersectional feminist point of view, and new media fluency to help leaders think differently about the relationships between organizations, individuals, technology, systems, and social change.  Her current research, among digital startups and software businesses, focuses on generative business practices and organizational generosity.

At the Howe School of Business at Stevens Institute of Technology, (Hoboken, NJ) CV teaches the “Senior Design” capstone course where students use “Lean” processes to create new businesses and to help organizations adopt new technologies. At the Darden Graduate School of Business at University of Virginia, she taught Leadership and Organizational Behavior to MBAs and executives. 

CV’s academic research emphasizes organizational identity and authenticity, systems of engagement, positive organizing, collective meaning, and change advocacy, and has been published in  journals such Administrative Science Qrtly, Organization Studies, Jnl of Management Inquiry, and Academy of Management Jnl, as well as many edited books. Her publishes her practitioner oriented pieces, emphasizing social media and organizational change, on as well as the Huffington Post,, Women2.0, Social Media Today, and the Harvard Business Review blog. She is the co-founder of FeministsAtWork and writes the world’s most popular blog for au pairs and host parents,  She rides horses, collects gifs of kittens and hedgehogs, and spends too much time on Twitter. CV and her family live in Montclair, NJ.