Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bookshelf 1-23

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I was jammed up finishing up one project and starting up another. Both of these will be the subject of posts in the near future.

I looked in my "to read" stack and found a few things worth sharing.

I just picked up Dan Pink's new book Drive. I'm always a bit leery of author-gurus but after his relentless promotion across several NPR programs I picked up Pink's latest. He is focused on evidence about the role internal motivation plays in the modern workforce. My interest in this topic stems from my participation in a project looking at faculty involvement in community engagement activities. Traditional professional incentives not withstanding (i.e. publish or perish) many faculty do take up engagement activities. What's driving them? Maybe Pink will help us figure it out.

I also just picked up the an article on career ladders in the recent edition of Economic Development Quarterly (subscription required for full text). The authors Marla Wilson and Laura Wolf-Powers measure economic development impacts of employment growth in hospital sector through method of "job chain" analysis. Increasing I see projects coming across my desk where the university can link up with community colleges to build stronger partnerships with industry in support of educational pathways and/or career ladders. (The big new project I alluded to at the top of this post involves something like that with the construction industry.) I hope Wilson and Wolf-Powers offer some tools that can help me quantify the potential benefits of these opportunities.

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