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Stanford Graduate Student Institute Class

SGSI Class, Redesigning Work

Redesigning Workplaces for 21st Century Women and Men, Sept 6-9, 2011

The large scale entry of women into paid work and the increase in the number of people, both men and women, who are working later in life have fueled the need for redesigning workplaces so that workplaces are better aligned with the lives of the people who work in them.The changing nature of work itself, brought about by the movement from an industrial to an information-based economy, has further inspired the need to redefining workplaces. Careers too have changed, with men and women working for more employers over the course of their working lives.

How can workplaces be better aligned with the needs of the men and women who work in them? How can businesses more effectively harness the talent in today's workforce? This course will combine lectures, guest speakers from Silicon Valley firms, videos, business cases, scholarly articles and student projects to explore these questions and develop workable solutions to redesigning work.

Special attention will be paid to the ways that workplaces have been modified to be more flexible in terms of the hours that men and women work, where and how the work is done and how employees are evaluated. Through active discussions, we will debate what kinds of changes would be feasible and productive for both individuals and businesses. The course will conclude with a mini-conference where student teams present a project on a workplace redesign for a specific industry.

Course Project and Readings

All work will be completed in class except for the small amount of research that is necessary for the class project and presentation. Since the class is based on discussion and guest lectures, it is imperative that students attend all four sessions.

Course Project and Presentation: Students will be placed in teams of 3-4. Each team will present a "briefing," based on its research and discussion. The briefings will occur on Thursday afternoon and should each last about half an hour.

Each team will select a specific organization or company (or profession) and research what the organization (or company or profession) is doing to restructure work and why its approach is innovative. The briefing should first provide general information about the industry and what the problems are, then talk about the specific vision of the organization or company and why theirinnovations might work toward the goal of "redesigning work." We will provide a list of companies and organizations that can be the basis for the project, but students are also free to select a company or organization or profession that is of special interest to them.

Workshop Schedule

Sept 6
9:30am - 12:00pm
Why redesign work?
Introductory comments by Correll & Soule 
Reading and discussion
1:00 - 4:30pm 
Can work be changed?
Guest lecture, Andrea Davies, PhD, History 
Brainstorm team projects 
Wrap up discussion, Correll and Soule
Happy Hour 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Sept 7
9:30am - 12:00pm
Redesigning work, examples
Teams update 
Readings and discussion
1:00pm - 4:30pm 
Challenges in redesigning work
Guest lecture, Brahim Elbouchikhi, MBA 
Team meetings 
Wrap up discussion, Correll and Soule
Happy Hour 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Sept 8
9:30am - 12:00pm
Redesigning work, examples from the legal profession
Guest lecture, Mae O'Malley, Founder, Paragon Legal
1:00pm - 4:30pm 
Redesigning work, class examples
Team presentations
Wrap up discussion
Happy Hour 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Friday, September 9th 9:30am - 12:00pm
Redesigning work, example:
Guest lecture, Sally Thornton, Founder,
12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Lunch with Flexible Work Practitioners
1:30pm - 3:30pm 
Flexible work in the Bay Area
Correll, "Workplace Evaluations of Mothers and Others" 
Group introductions and discussion
Happy Hour and networking 3:30pm - 5:00pm