Rocking the Boat: How to Effect Change Without Making Trouble

Overview


Most people feel at odds with their organizations at one time or another: Managers with families struggle to balance professional and personal responsibilities in often unsympathetic firms. Members of minority groups strive to make their organizations better for others like themselves without limiting their career paths. Socially or environmentally conscious workers seek to act on their values at firms more concerned with profits than global poverty or pollution.

Yet many firms...

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Overview


Most people feel at odds with their organizations at one time or another: Managers with families struggle to balance professional and personal responsibilities in often unsympathetic firms. Members of minority groups strive to make their organizations better for others like themselves without limiting their career paths. Socially or environmentally conscious workers seek to act on their values at firms more concerned with profits than global poverty or pollution.

Yet many firms leave little room for differences, and people who don't "fit in" conclude that their only option is to assimilate or leave. In Rocking the Boat, Debra E. Meyerson presents an inspiring alternative: building diverse, adaptive, family-friendly, and socially responsible workplaces not through revolution but through walking the tightrope between conformity and rebellion.

Meyerson shows how these "tempered radicals" work toward transformational ends through incremental means—sticking to their values, asserting their agendas, and provoking change without jeopardizing their hard-won careers. Whether it's by resisting quietly, leveraging "small wins," or mobilizing others in legitimate but powerful ways, tempered radicals turn threats to their identities into opportunities to make a positive difference in their companies—and in the world.

Timely and provocative, Rocking the Boat puts self-realization and change within everyone's reach--whether your difference stems from race, gender, sexual orientation, values, beliefs, or social perspective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422121382
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 793,865
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Debra E. Meyerson is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Organizational Behavior at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.
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Table of Contents

Introduction     xi
Tempered Radicals     1
Who Tempered Radicals Are and What They Do     3
Different Ways of Being "Different"     19
How Tempered Radicals Make a Difference     35
Resisting Quietly and Staying True to One's "Self"     37
Turning Personal Threats into Opportunities     57
Broadening the Impact through Negotiation     77
Leveraging Small Wins     101
Organizing Collective Action     121
Challenges for Tempered Radicals     139
Facing the Difficulties (and Conditions that Ease the Difficulties)     141
Tempered Radicals as Everyday Leaders     165
Research Design and Methods     177
Sample Interview Protocol     185
Notes     189
Acknowledgments     213
Index     217
About the Author     225
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