Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO)

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The University of Texas at Austin is proud to introduce a new type of executive education: the Human Dimensions of Organizations. The HDO program is focused on understanding the people who drive today's global marketplace and offers two types of innovative education opportunities: HDO's Master of Arts degree was created for leaders in the business and nonprofit sectors searching for a more comprehensive understanding of how human behavior and experience affects the global marketplace. Our Professional Training programs allow individuals, groups, and organizations the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of particular subjects often unavailable in an executive-friendly format. Training options include One-Day Seminars, Certificate Programs, and Custom Programs. In addition to our offerings for working professionals, HDO launched a Bachelor's Degree program in fall 2016. The undergraduate program that teaches students to explore, learn, and articulate the ways the liberal arts and social/behavioral sciences can address practical problems facing organizations.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Business Sustainability Practices through Media Based Stakeholder Engagement: Maximizing Positive Social Impacts Via Locally Produced Educational Media for Young Citizens
    (2021) Lazo-Herencia, Sandra Estefanía; Keating, Elizabeth; Spinuzzi, Clay
    In the present shifting role of business, especially post Covid-19, companies operating in developing countries can maximize the impacts of their social investment strategies in communities by addressing early-childhood capabilities development. Research shows that early childhood intervention can determine the reaching of full developmental potential by children, and as thus can have major impacts on the overall development of a nation. For this reason, it is recommendable to invest in programs that support the learning and development of the youngest stakeholders in a project area, children—especially of early childhood age, defined as a child’s first few years of life. Based off my experience working in education / outreach over many years, I have come to understand that messaging can be strengthened and broadened through supplementary educational materials such as locally-produced short-form video format because it is easily shareable, economically sound, and effective. Furthermore, incorporating local talent for the development and production of creative media can help secure adults’ collaboration and engagement, as well as assure the materials are culturally contextualized and appropriate for the age group. Through this investment in creative educational media production, both children and adults can engage, learn, and benefit from socially and culturally meaningful messages, in form and content. After a literature review to provide background and evidence for the problem and solution, I use an auto-ethnography and case study as evidence for solutions. I also include practical reflections on how to proceed in stakeholder engagement in countries where companies operate, in beneficial combination for all parties involved. The practical proposal is the use of locally produced short-form educational videos, which have an impactful and cost-efficient way to bolster stakeholder learning, especially where access to physical infrastructure and trained teachers may fall short. My personal field-work experience in a water quality research project in Peru, and recent field-work to develop stakeholder engagement materials in a liquified natural gas (LNG) development project in northern Mozambique, provide evidence to the value of investing in locally produced educational media. I, further, reflect on the importance of remembering to provide sufficient care and attention to an often-overlooked stakeholder-group, children. I urge that to maximize educational investments, a focus on early childhood is required for social and economic impacts on society as a whole. This paper’s front-end brackets and contextualizes both field experiences, to later contextualize policy, theory, finance, and sustainability frameworks, the SDGs, and how it all relates. Its second part focuses on soft-infrastructure and human-capabilities investment opportunities, child development, value of investing in education, and the power of video media as a learning tool. It concludes with ways to create locally produced successful learning media and reasons to invest in local artistic production of educational tools. As a final part of the paper, I have included appendices which focus on practical field-based take-aways. In Appendix A, I further describe the two projects I conducted, and some takeaways from those individual projects. Appendix B, contains methodological recommendations for producing educational vided, and finally, Appendix C is a photo-journal of the narrated experiences.
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    Amuse-bouche Thinking: Big Ideas, Tiny Bites, and the Creative Process in Haute Cuisine
    (2022-05-05) Wilson, Corey
    The value of creativity as a business commodity increases each year as global markets, diversified consumer habits, and new ways of living with technology stoke an insatiable appetite for the new, the next. Haute cuisine exemplifies the unrelenting need to churn out appealing, practical ideas in a competitive market. Existing studies of creativity in haute cuisine focus on modes of creativity, perceptions of creativity, and models of the creative process that abstract creativity from the actual work haute cuisine chefs: developing a menu of numerous courses and serving them to guests. This grounded theory qualitative study aims to understand more precisely how chefs in haute cuisine manage the creative process to produce novel dishes. The findings suggest that creativity in haute cuisine is a non-linear, non-sequential process consisting of six primary phases: (a) context construction (expertise and defined success), (b) social creativity (organizational structure, culture, and processes moderated by internal and external constraints), (c) prototype dish, (d) feedback, (e) production dish, and (f) self-care. These findings potentially lend themselves to other industries that similarly rely on creativity.
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    Employee Perception of Enterprise Social Media For Collaboration and Voice
    (2021-12-03) Aguero, Jaime
    Today’s prevalent use of social media in employees’ personal lives has led to the introduction of enterprise social media platforms in organizations (Rode, 2016; Treem et al., 2015). These enterprise social media platforms are designed, among other things, for organization-wide collaboration and to create more open dialogs between senior leaders and staff (Bennett, 2009; Prohaska, 2011; Treem et al., 2015). This study seeks to understand employee perception of enterprise social media platforms that provide the opportunity for collaboration and for giving employees a voice to influence an organization’s operations. My initial hypothesis is that employees do not embrace attempts to incorporate enterprise social media platforms as a way to work together and achieve joint goals within their organization or influence work-related matters.
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    Is the Future Female? How Emotional Intelligence and Gender Affect Workplace Leadership
    (2016-11) Burchfield, Sarah K.
    Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a highly discussed, but not fully utilized element in human resource management, hiring practices, leadership, and professional success. Research has shown that having high EQ is a top indicator of workplace success and workplace flourishing. Research also indicates that women display higher levels of EQ than men, but do not prosper or excel as highly as men in the workplace. This paper reviews the original, representative, and popular research on EQ, its use in the workplace, and its implications across gender, as well as a discussion on the barriers women face in career success and leadership. I present empirical studies, popular literature, and anecdotes regarding these topics and provide my own understanding of the topic and outlook towards the future.
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    Keep the Doors Open: A Case for Preserving Individual and Institutional History
    (2016-12) Williams, Janice Veronica; Spinuzzi, Clay; Thompson, Shirley
    There are several churches across the United States that are called Mount Pleasant Baptist Church but the subject of this capstone is Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in New Kent County, Virginia. One cannot visit a website to find any information about its 127-year-old history or the people who form this church. In this thesis/capstone I ask the question, “What is Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s story?” then take an oral history approach to find answers. Oral history interviews seek to find lived experiences that are not necessarily found in standard historical documents. The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Oral History Project brings to light the struggle that the church faces today: to keep the church’s doors open with limited resources. This capstone presents eight narratives that arose from semi-structured interviews with individuals who have a deep connection to the church. Using a multidisciplinary approach to argue that the importance of gathering, organizing and sharing institutional memory will serve as an invaluable tool to help a younger generation care for this historic Black church.