Ryann Elizabeth Manning

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Doctoral Student

Ryann Manning is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior and Sociology. In her research, she studies how people in complex real-world situations make difficult moral decisions and pursue what they consider to be moral action. She takes a sociological perspective on these questions, and is particularly interested in the role of culture and emotion in shaping shared understandings of right and wrong and influencing both individual and collective behavior. Empirically, she uses in-depth qualitative field research to capture the lived experience of people within organizations, and she also collects online and offline data to examine how people discuss and coordinate efforts to address social issues. Drawing on her past experience as a global health and international development practitioner, she has a particular interest in healthcare organizations and organizations located in the global South.

Ryann received both a Master in Public Policy and Master of Arts in Sociology degree from Harvard University, and an AB in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She is an experienced social entrepreneur and manager in the global health and international development sectors. She was a co-founder and continues to serve as a non-executive Director of the Welbodi Partnership, and in 2015 was appointed Acting CEO to provide strategic leadership and operational support to the organization during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. 

Publications

Book Chapters

  1. Wrong Paths to Right: Defining Morality With or Without a Clear Red Line

    Ryann Elizabeth Manning and Michel Anteby

    The extensive literature on organizational wrongdoing tends to assume that a clear red line divides the moral terrain. However, many organizations function not as moral orders, but as moral pursuits in which there is intentionally no explicit definition of right and wrong; members are encouraged to engage in an ongoing pursuit of personal morality. We use illustrations from field sites in which red lines proved either well-defined or elusive to theorize differences in forms of wrongdoing in moral orders versus moral pursuits. More specifically, we explore cases in which organizational actors seek to (re)define right and wrong and to pursue actions that they consider moral, but that others in their setting consider wrongdoing. We identify two sets of misaligned moral strategies: one involving moral hijacking, moral assembling, and moral blurring that occurs when individuals engage in a moral pursuit from within the context of a moral order; and another involving moral circumscribing, moral spotlighting, and moral seceding that occurs when individuals seek to establish a moral order from within a moral pursuit. We develop this typology to highlight the importance of context in defining wrongdoing, and to better understand the variety of wrongdoing in organizations.

    Keywords: organizational behavior; Organizational Theory; organizational culture; Sociology of Ethics and Morality; Morality; Organizational Culture; Culture; Ethics; Africa; North and Central America;

    Citation:

    Manning, Ryann Elizabeth, and Michel Anteby. "Wrong Paths to Right: Defining Morality With or Without a Clear Red Line." In Organizational Wrongdoing, edited by Donald Palmer, Royston Greenwood, and Kristen Smith-Crowe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. View Details
  2. FollowMe.IntDev.Com: International Development in the Blogosphere

    Ryann Manning

    This chapter explores online blogs as a new forum for discussing ideas and practices in international development. Based on a qualitative study of conversations that take place across multiple blogs, I conclude that the blogosphere combines features of a public sphere, in which people convene to discuss issues of public interest, and an invisible college, in which experts create, verify, and legitimise knowledge and expertise. Blogs have the potential to be inclusive and participatory, but they also exclude many groups and privilege certain forms of expertise, and are dominated by a sophisticated and wired global elite.

    Keywords: International Development; Blogging; social media; Public Sphere; Blogs; Equality and Inequality; Globalization; Social and Collaborative Networks; Developing Countries and Economies;

    Citation:

    Manning, Ryann. "FollowMe.IntDev.Com: International Development in the Blogosphere." Chap. 12 in Popular Representations of Development: Insights from Novels, Films, Television and Social Media, edited by David Lewis, Dennis Rodgers, and Michael Woolcock. New York: Routledge, 2013. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Communicating Change: When Identity Becomes a Source of Vulnerability for Institutional Challengers

    Ryann Elizabeth Manning, Julie Battilana and Lakshmi Ramarajan

    Social movements challenge institutions through two related communication processes: articulating collective action frames and constructing collective movement identity. We argue that frames not only express movement identity, but also provide openings through which audiences’ interpretations and responses may shape that identity. Audiences’ unexpected responses to a movement’s frames can threaten the movement’s identity, and the salience of these threats varies based on the social movement actors’ roles. Specifically, we identify (1) a distinctiveness threat, arising from oppositional identity audiences unexpectedly embracing a movement’s framing, and most salient when movement participants act as agitators, articulating shared grievances to rally people; (2) an acceptance threat, arising from similar identity audiences when they unexpectedly reject the movement’s framing, and most salient when movement participants act as innovators, articulating possible solutions to the failings of the current state of affairs; (3) a dilution threat, arising from complementary identity audiences when they stretch the movement’s frames through their interpretations, and most salient when movement participants act as orchestrators, coordinating the structure and strategy of the movement as it grows. By illustrating how actors that aim to transform institutions may have their own identities transformed, this paper extends our understanding of communication in institutional change.

    Keywords: identity; identity threat; institutional change; social movements; framing; Social Issues; Identity;

    Citation:

    Manning, Ryann Elizabeth, Julie Battilana, and Lakshmi Ramarajan. "Communicating Change: When Identity Becomes a Source of Vulnerability for Institutional Challengers."Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings (2014): 453–458. View Details

Working Papers

  1. FollowMe.IntDev.Com: International Development in the Blogosphere

    Ryann Manning

    This article explores online blogs as a new forum for discussing ideas and practices in international development. Based on a qualitative study of conversations that take place across multiple blogs, I conclude that the blogosphere combines features of a public sphere, in which people convene to discuss issues of public interest, and an invisible college, in which experts create, verify, and legitimise knowledge and expertise. Blogs have the potential to be inclusive and participatory, but they also exclude many groups and privilege certain forms of expertise, and are dominated by a sophisticated and wired global elite.

    Keywords: Development Economics; Interpersonal Communication; Knowledge Acquisition; Experience and Expertise; Globalization; Blogs;

    Citation:

    Manning, Ryann. "FollowMe.IntDev.Com: International Development in the Blogosphere." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-084, March 2012. View Details

      Teaching

    1. Overview

      by Ryann Elizabeth Manning

      Ryann was appointed the Qualitative Advisor for the Harvard University Sociology Department senior thesis writers in 2015-2016, and has supervised two senior thesis writers in prior years. She served as a Teaching Fellow for the 2013 undergraduate course, Successful Societies: Markers and Pathways, with Professors Michele Lamont and Peter Hall; and assisted with two 2013 MBA courses: Managing Global Health: Applying Behavioral Economics to Create Impact, taught by Nava Ashraf, and Power and Influence, taught by Julie Battilana. She has served as a facilitator for the Harvard Business School Executive Education courses Leading Change and Organizational Renewal and Program for Leadership Development. She delivered lectures and interactive teaching to young adults from Eastern Europe as part of the International Summer School on Leadership hosted by The International Spark Program and Free University of Tbilisi, Georgia; and to young people from China through the Excelorators educational programs. Previously, Ryann served as a Course Assistant (in 2004-2005) for two Harvard Kennedy School courses in the Master in Public Policy (MPP) and Master in Public Administration / International Development (MPAID) programs, and developed and delivered an intensive training program in qualitative research methods for young researchers employed by the World Bank in Sierra Leone (in 2006-2007). Ryann is interested in teaching courses in Organizational Behavior; Public and Nonprofit Management; International Management; Healthcare Policy and Management; Medical Sociology; Organizational Sociology; Cultural Sociology; Qualitative Research Methods; Management Ethics; and Research Ethics.
    1. Awarded the 2016 Graduate Student Paper Award by the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions Division for “Emplacing Anger: Emotion Management in West African Pediatric Wards.”

    2. Awarded the 2016 Health, Health Policy and Health Services Student Paper Award by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) for “Emplacing Anger: Emotion Management in West African Pediatric Wards.”

    3. Awarded the 2016 Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) Reviewing Award by the Academy of Management OMT Division.

    4. Winner of the 2014 Best Student Paper Award from the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS).

    5. Nominated for the 2014 Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management, Organization and Management Theory Division.

    6. Nominated for the 2014 Best Empirical Paper on Social and Environmental Practices, Academy of Management, Organization and Management Theory Division, with Julie Battilana and Lakshmi Ramarajan.

    7. Awarded the 2013 Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.