For academia, that has been studied in terms of the faculty demography and how it has an impact on the organization overall. Jim Hearn, a sociologist, has studied this. His recent studies are about the faculty demography, the difficulties that occur as a result of an aging faculty, and how an aging faculty has organizational implications.

In terms of the workforce, you have hit on a principle that actually permeates both the workforce and academia. Once people are comfortable in their roles, they fall into that familiar mind-set, and it becomes difficult to create change in the organizations. This is true for all organizations. So, thinking about how to create change in organizations is probably the key to the answer for these individuals to help young people move through the system. I think that my only strategy as a department chair is bringing people at a senior level who can enter the discussion on an equal peer status basis and have a very different way of thinking. This could be a person of color, or it could be a woman. Sometimes it is a man who has a different way of thinking and who is coming from a very different work life, who comes and introduces those ideas, but has the respect of everyone in the group.

There have been many studies from different organizations and individuals, but I think discussion is the way to begin to strategize. This is the beginning of thinking about how to change the organization so that it is more creative and more inclusive so that young people have a way to move up and move through.

Otherwise, those organizations will no longer be dynamic. They will not be on the cutting edge. That is basically what Morgan and other people in business are saying now, that they will lack innovation.

If you cannot break the groupthink in those different arenas, you will lose ground.



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