Month: November 2012

Things that Make You Go…Wow

I love art, and I love design. But sadly, I don’t come across a lot of innovative or thoughtful design in the publications I see in my academic work. (I’d like to think that my textbook’s cover design – centered around a wonderful painting by Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson – is an exception to that norm.)

So when I went to the Association for Studies in Higher Education academic conference this month, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, I wasn’t expecting to find good art or good design. But I was very pleasantly surprised (more…)

Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule” Doesn’t Add Up

As regular readers of this blog know, it bugs me when writers get things wrong or can’t be bothered to justify their facts. Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of references to the “10,000 hour rule” – the idea that you need to spend 10,000 hours on an activity to be successful at it.  I knew that this idea was popularized by writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, but I didn’t know where he got the idea from or what it was based on.

So imagine my surprise when I Googled “10,000 hour rule” and found this very recent letter by K. Anders Ericsson, the lead author of the study that Gladwell cites as “Exhibit A”  in support of the “rule”. Not only does Ericsson say that Gladwell “invented” the 10,000 hour rule, but he also describes Gladwell  as making a “provocative generalization to a magical number”. (more…)

Federal Labour Minister Intervenes in Yet Another Dispute

Apparently, we have become so used to Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt prematurely  intervening in public sector labour disputes that, when it happens, it isn’t even considered news any more. (more…)

The Real(?) Thing, Part II: Room 237 

In a previous post, I wrote about how perceptions often have more effect than reality on people’s experiences of organizations. In that post, I discussed how the film Katy Perry: Part of Me deliberately constructed the audience’s perceptions of its subject. As threatened promised, in this followup post, I’m going to discuss another film I recently saw – Room 237 – which is also an example of constructed reality. But in Room 237, it’s the audience, rather than the filmmakers, who are doing the constructing. (more…)