April 1, 2022

267 words 2 mins read

Information Flow Cultures with Dr. Ron Westrum

Last month, we had the pleasure of having Dr. Ron Westrum join us in our Tech Talk series at Cerner. Dr. Westrum is an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan University and author of the Westrum organizational typology model. In his talk, he discusses how an information flow culture reflects how managers shape values and behavior. The first part of this talk will discuss information flow in organizations, as well as provide a case study on Boeing. In the second part, he discusses the continuation of that research, which underscores the importance of his work.

Through his talk, there were several points he made that stood out to me. I loved the term organizational justice that he shares. This describes when people who do the good things get rewarded for doing the good things. It seems simple, but I feel the usage of justice reminds us of the importance in giving recognition for desired behaviors, else it is an injustice.

Another reference he shared that I found valuable was collective efficacy. When a team works together, they can achieve miracles. This allows you to act together as a team, you think together as a team, and believe together in what you can achieve as one (you have the will to believe). Finally, I enjoyed his reference to an arc of faith between us and our customers. The visualization of an arc reminds me of the importance of staying directly connected with those who use or experience our systems.

Here is the recording of the talk and we hope you also enjoy the insights Dr. Westrum shares: