Small Steps, Big Leaps Briefing
Scientists at a recent Stanford Center for Social Innovation conference, however, presented a bevy of tactics for transforming even the most bumbling schlemiel into a model citizen. Summary of the conference.
Below is a description of each presenter and summaries of research that shaped his or her thinking.
- Noah J. Goldstein Assistant Professor Human Resources and Organizational Behavior Anderson School of Management University of California Los Angeles
"The Role of Social Norms in Energy and Water Conservation" Managers and marketers can motivate consumers to participate in environmental conservation programs by telling them how the majority of other people behaved in the same situation. Researchers specifically studied how to ask hotel guests whether or not they wanted to reuse their towels during the course of a stay. View PowerPoint presentation
- Eric J. Johnson Norman Eig Professor of Business Columbia Business School Columbia University
"Can Defaults Save Lives? The Case of Organ Donation" Preset actions on forms, web pages and other materials -- called defaults -- have strategic importance that can make vital differences. They are far too important to delegate responsibility for setting them to programmers or form designers.
"Making Change for Cheap" View PowerPoint presentation
- Kathleen D. Vohs Associate Professor of Marketing Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota
"Money Makes People Less Socially Focused" Money changes people's motivations -- increasing their sense of self sufficiency and even making them keep a greater physical distance from others. After focusing on money, individuals work longer before asking for help, are less helpful to others, and prefer to play and work alone. View PowerPoint presentation
- Jennifer Aaker General Atlantic Partners Professor of Marketing Stanford Graduate School of Business
"Non-Profits Are Seen as Warm and For-Profits as Competent: Firm Stereotypes Matter" Consumers frequently assign stereotypical views to nonprofits, categorizing them as warm, generous and caring organizations, but assuming their business abilities will be less competent than their for-profit peers'. In contrast, for-profit companies are seen as more competent from a balance sheet perspective, but are not necessarily socially aware.
"Getting People to Give: The Role of Time, Money and Identity" Asking potential donors for their time, not their money, is a better way for nonprofits to increase donations of both time and money. View PowerPoint presentation
- Steve Cole, HopeLab, "Getting Kids to Change" View PowerPoint presentation
- Frank Flynn Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Stanford Graduate School of Business
"If You Need Something, Just Ask" People tend to grossly underestimate how likely others are to agree to requests for help. And many don't know how to ask for help. Thy also overestimate how many people will come to them for help. View PowerPoint presentation
- Adam Grant Associate Professor of Management The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania
"Increasing Fundraisers' Motivation" Employees who use company-sponsored programs to give support to others feel a stronger commitment to their companies. These employees see themselves as more caring people and see the company as a more caring organization. Receiving support from a firm in cases such as illness or family emergencies is appreciated but does not make employees feel as proud and supportive of their employer as does the opportunity to give help. View PowerPoint presentation
- Michael Norton Assistant Professor of Marketing Harvard Business School
"The Benefits of Pro-social Spending for Individuals and Organizations" Money can't buy you love but it can buy happiness -- as long as it's money for someone else. Researchers look into how and why spending money on others promotes happiness.
- Leif Nelson Assistant Professor of Marketing Haas School of Business University of California, Berkeley
- Deborah A. Small Assistant Professor of Marketing The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania
"Appealing to Sympathy" If organizations want to raise money for a charitable cause, it is far better to appeal to the heart than to the head. Put another way, feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations. (Professor Small was prevented by weather from attending the conference)