Doctoral Student

Paul Isaac Green

In 2006 Paul joined The Morning Star Company, a California based integrated food processing company, where he co-founded the Morning Star Self-Management Institute.  Paul was principally responsible for advancing Morning Star through their unique and innovative organizational system.  Morning Star, which has been called, "the world's most creatively managed company" and was named one of Inc. Magazine's most audacious companies because of their organizational system, is widely considered one of the world's leading organizational innovators.  Paul's leadership in advancing their philosophy and systems, combined with his drive to better understand human nature and motivation through research and experimentation, were instrumental in enabling Morning Star's organizational system to scale as Morning Star experienced significant growth.
In 2006, after five years as an entrepreneur, Paul joined The Morning Star Company, a California based integrated food processing company, where he co-founded the Morning Star Self-Management Institute.  Paul was principally responsible for advancing Morning Star through their unique and innovative organizational system.  Morning Star, which has been called, "the world's most creatively managed company" and was named one of Inc. Magazine's most audacious companies because of their organizational system, is widely considered one of the world's leading organizational innovators.  Paul's leadership in advancing their philosophy and systems, combined with his drive to better understand human nature and motivation through research and experimentation, were instrumental in enabling Morning Star's organizational system to scale as Morning Star experienced significant growth.

During his time at Morning Star and with the Self-Management Institute, Paul partnered with dozens of organizations on applied organizational research projects, all aimed at exploring the fundamental principles that yield an environment where people flourish.  Paul worked with the Institute technical team to design technological systems to support Morning Star's unique organizational system--like the award-winning CLOU web application and the proprietary Steppingstone & Colleague Review performance management system.  Paul also helped develop numerous internal and external educational programs, including the Institute's Mini-MBA program, designed to help factory and farm employees cultivate basic business skills enabling better front-line decision-making.  

Paul has spoken to audiences in the U.S. and around the World, and won the 2012 Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for his work advancing Self-Management.

Working Papers

  1. Seeking to Belong: How the Words of Internal and External Beneficiaries Influence Performance

    Paul Green, Francesca Gino and Bradley R. Staats

    In this paper, we examine how connecting to beneficiaries of one’s work increases performance and argue that beneficiaries internal to an organization (i.e., one’s own colleagues) can serve as an important source of motivation, even in jobs that—on the surface—may seem routine and low on potential impact. We suggest that this occurs because words of beneficiaries strengthen one’s sense of belongingness, a key driver of human behavior. Employees, in fact, seek to belong—and seek to enhance their sense of belongingness in work settings. We conducted two studies using both field and laboratory data from different populations to investigate the psychological consequences and performance benefits of connecting to beneficiaries of one’s work. In a longitudinal field experiment of fruit harvesters, we find that though beneficiary contact with the overall customer did not significantly improve productivity, contact with an internal beneficiary that made connectedness salient yielded a persistent increase in productivity relative to a control group. We validate this effect in the laboratory and provide evidence that the effect is mediated by an enhanced sense of belongingness.

    Keywords: prosocial motivation; belongingness; motivation; job design; field experiment; Motivation and Incentives; Strategy; Job Design and Levels;

    Citation:

    Green, Paul, Francesca Gino, and Bradley R. Staats. "Seeking to Belong: How the Words of Internal and External Beneficiaries Influence Performance." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-073, February 2017. View Details
  2. The Microstructure of Work: How Unexpected Breaks Let You Rest, but Not Lose Focus

    Pradeep Pendem, Paul Green, Bradley R. Staats and Francesca Gino

    How best to structure the work day is an important operational question for organizations. A key structural consideration is the effective use of breaks from work. Breaks serve the critical purpose of allowing employees to recharge, but in the short term, translate to a loss of time that usually leads to reduced productivity. We evaluate the effects of two types of breaks (expected versus unexpected), and two distinct forms of unexpected breaks, and find that unexpected breaks can, under certain conditions, yield immediate post-break performance increases. We test our hypotheses using productivity data from 212 fruit harvesters collected over one harvesting season yielding nearly 250,000 truckloads of fruit harvested over the course of 9,832 shifts. We provide a conceptual laboratory replication of these findings, showing that unexpected breaks lead to increased performance when they allow people to maintain attention on the focal task. Our results suggest that the characteristics of a break can lead the break to be experienced as an interruption, with all consequent negative outcomes, or as a rejuvenating experience, with positive post-break consequences.

    Keywords: Breaks; productivity; Attention; Workload; Harvesting; Working Conditions; Behavior; Performance Productivity; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Pendem, Pradeep, Paul Green, Bradley R. Staats, and Francesca Gino. "The Microstructure of Work: How Unexpected Breaks Let You Rest, but Not Lose Focus." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-058, December 2016. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Scaling Well by Doing Good: Motivating Talent at b.good

    Francesca Gino, Paul Green Jr. and Bradley Staats

    Boston-based fast-casual chain b.good was founded on the idea of healthy food, sourced locally, and prepared in-store. The founders had built a value-based business and worked hard to cultivate a sense of family—among employees, customers, and suppliers. In 2015, they had entered a period of substantial growth, with the company doubling in size over the past 12 months, and planned to double again over the coming 12 months. The management felt this purpose and sense of family had served them well, but were worried that growth would water down these key ingredients to their success. As they enter 2016, they are particularly focused on ensuring that they get the "people" systems right.

    Keywords: motivation; values; corporate culture; growth strategy; Motivation and Incentives; Values and Beliefs; Growth Management; Organizational Culture; Growth and Development Strategy; Service Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; New England;

    Citation:

    Gino, Francesca, Paul Green Jr., and Bradley Staats. "Scaling Well by Doing Good: Motivating Talent at b.good." Harvard Business School Case 916-031, February 2016. View Details