Big Data in Organizational Research and Management Practice: A Talk on the Double-Edged Sword of Opportunities

  • Past event to
  • Kühne Logistics University (Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg)
  • Open Lecture Series
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Ramon Wenzel

On October 26th, 2016 Ramon Wenzel (PhD / Assistant Professor at the Business School of The University of Western Australia and the Centre for Social Impact) will give a lecture on the topic: “Big Data in Organizational Research and Management Practice: A Talk on the Double-Edged Sword of Opportunities and Risks”. The lecture is open to the public. Space is limited, so please register ahead of time.

Abstract

While many disciplines embrace the possibilities that Big Data present for advancing scholarship and practice, organizational research and management practice have yet to realize Big Data’s potential for understanding and leading people at work. The talk will thus chart this newfound territory by describing the principal drivers and key characteristics of Big Data, and then discuss a broad range of opportunities and risks that are related to the Big Data paradigm, the data itself, and the associated analytical methods.

For example, instrumented workplaces increasingly afford in-situ data that mitigate issues of sampling, reactivity and response biases. The resulting massive, multimodal, and temporal data enable discovery, triangulation, and hypotheses testing for unprecedented stratification, precision, and causal inferences. Accordingly, managers may employ enhanced evidence-based decisions for greater employee well-being and performance.

It will be argued that Big Data, as a paradigm, can be a double-edged sword, capable of significantly advancing our field, but also causing backlash if not utilized properly. The discussion will thus provide some ideas and recommendations on embracing the potentials and addressing the concerns. Overall, the talk seeks to inform individuals’ research practices and institutions’ broader policy agendas that can eventually advance organizational research and people management practice as a scientifically rigorous and professionally relevant field.

Throughout history, in one field after another, science has made huge progress in precisely the areas where we can measure things – and lagged where we can't. The result, over time, has been that we know a lot about the things that are closer to our size, our altitude, and our spot in the universe – and less about things that are hard to reach, hard to dig up, and hard to quantify. What we know has a bias, in other words, and is biased in favor of what we can measure. (Samuel Arbesman, 2012)

Biography

Ramon Wenzel, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Business School of The University of Western Australia and the Centre for Social Impact. He draws on human psychology and organisational management in an effort to inform theory, practice and policy about gaining and sustaining professional knowledge, skills, and abilities. His work addresses the full spectrum of formal and informal work learning including competence development, the effectiveness, evaluation, re/design, and transfer of training.

Ramon further investigates the opportunities and risks of the ‘Big Data’ paradigm for the study and leadership of people at work by analysing the digital traces that we leave behind. To do so he combines technical curiosity, lateral reading, and the innate desire to improve the way research as it relates to work is conducted. He believes that organisational research ought to embrace massive, multimodal, and temporal data to advance as a scientifically rigorous and professionally relevant field.

In Australia Ramon leads the national Learning for Purpose initiative to research and realise Not-for-Profit capability development, and is the Director of the inaugural Action Learning for Purpose program for social service organisations. He attracted external funding worth over $1,100,000 from the Australian Research Council, and multiple corporate and philanthropic entities. Ramon is actively engaged in the translation of research into practice and has worked as a researcher and consultant in a wide range of non-profit, public and private organisations.

For more Information about Ramon Wenzel:
http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/people/ramon.wenzel

The Lecture Series

The KLU Lecture Series is a forum for scientists and practitioners to talk and discuss on state-of-the art topics related loosely to logistics and entrepreneurship.

To register please send an email to: melanie.winkelmann(at)the-klu.org

Organizer

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Melanie Winkelmann

Assistant Resident Faculty