Ryann Manning is a PhD student in Organizational Behavior and Sociology. In her research, she explores aspects of emotion, culture, and morality in organizational life, with a particular focus on organizations in the public sector or those concerned with global health or international development. Ryann’s dissertation combines two separate empirical studies. The first study is based on observational field work with public sector nurses in high mortality pediatric wards in Sierra Leone, and shows how culture and space shape the nurses’ interactions with their patients’ families, and particularly how they express and manage emotions. The second study examines the mobilization of Sierra Leonean diaspora communities in response to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Ryann has also done work on morality in organizations (with Michel Anteby of Boston University); on identity and institutional change (with Julie Battilana and Lakshmi Ramarajan of Harvard Business School); on culture and global collaboration (with Tsedal Neeley of Harvard Business School); and on the international development blogosphere.
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 stepped in as Acting CEO to provide strategic leadership and operational support to the organization during the Ebola outbreak.
Wrong Paths to Right: Defining Morality With or Without a Clear Red Line
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;
Sociology of Ethics and Morality;
North and Central America;
FollowMe.IntDev.Com: International Development in the Blogosphere
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;
Equality and Inequality;
Social and Collaborative Networks;
Developing Countries and Economies;
A Place for Emotion: How Space Structures Nurse-Parent Interactions in West African Pediatric Wards
Health Care and Treatment;
Developing Countries and Economies;
Communicating Change: When Identity Becomes a Source of Vulnerability for Institutional Challengers
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.
Toward a Theory of Overlapping Cultural Repertoires in Global Collaboration
Neeley, Tsedal, Ryann Elizabeth Manning, and Mark Mortensen. "Toward a Theory of Overlapping Cultural Repertoires in Global Collaboration." December 2011. View Details
Ryann is the 2015-2016 Qualitative Thesis Advisor for the Harvard University Sociology Department, and has supervised two senior thesis writers in prior years. She served as a Teaching Fellow for the 2013 undergraduate course, Sociology 164: Successful Societies, with Professors Michele Lamont and Peter Hall; and as an assistant for the 2013 MBA course, Power and Influence, taught by Professor Julie Battilana. She helped facilitate sessions for the Harvard Business School Executive Education courses Leading Change and Organizational Renewal and Program for Leadership Development. Finally, she has 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.
Awards & Honors
Winner of the 2014 Best Student Paper Award from the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS).
Nominated for the 2014 Best Student Paper Award, Academy of Management, Organization and Management Theory Division.
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.
Awarded the 2013 Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.