The Importance of Cultivating Quality Work Relationships During COVID
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 5, 2021
Research spotlighting the use of token “artifacts” to drive a “swift sense of community” among workers, co-authored by Santa Clara University Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship Hooria Jazaieri, was published in a top management journal Academy of Management Journal.
The paper Swift sense of community: Resourcing artifacts for a rapid community emergence in a temporary organization, co-authored with Reut Livne-Tarandach, an Assistant Professor of Management at Manhattan College, centered on building a swift sense of community (SOC) during unusual work conditions such as those in COVID-19, and the importance of cultivating connections to help employees thrive and survive. It posited the notion that workers in need of rapid communal connection could find it by employing a technique from a sleepaway summer camp: sharing token artifacts that indicated an openness to community-building connection.
“The rise of temporary organizations, representing transient work arrangements with limited expectations for future interactions, implored us to consider: how can a swift sense of community (SOC) emerge in temporary organizations, where the cultivation of relationships may be challenging?” wrote the authors. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we recognize how members of an organization can step in and help build a swift sense of community and connection,” said Professor Jazaieri.
To illustrate the concepts of a swift SOC, the paper cites research using a sleepaway summer camp. In five days, the research found, a swift SOC was built on brief supportive connections made durable by resourcing artifacts – in this case simple tags found on loaves as bread. These tags were used to signify someone open to connecting or someone experiencing distress and needing to talk about it. By wearing these tags on shoelaces or displaying as a badge, they are building a swift SOC and encouraging connections.
Businesses have been known to adopt similar techniques in an effort to cultivate a SOC. For example, the paper notes that “organizations can make artifacts available to employees such as ribbons, buttons, stickers, digital public badges or ‘e-artifacts’ for virtual platforms (which the employee could customize with a personal message).” Companies can encourage employees to give the artifact to someone in the organization they feel connected to, opening the door to authentic connections among those who seek it.. “Such a practice can stretch momentary connection beyond its initial temporal boundary, and mobilize people to connect with others,” the paper noted
Read more about Professor Jazaieri’s work here.
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see www.scu.edu.
About Leavey School of Business
Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the most dynamic business environments in the world, the Leavey School of Business combines academic excellence in the 450-year Jesuit tradition, with an energetic, innovative spirit that typifies the region. Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business offers one of the nation's best graduate business programs ranked No. 11 Executive MBA by U.S. News & World Report, No. 25 ranked Evening MBA by U.S. News & World Report, and No. 40 ranked Online MBA by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit www.scu.edu/business.