Elena A. Yang
I have a PhD in Management from the Wharton Business School of the University of
Pennsylvania. My dissertation title is: The Role Of Culture In Business Networking.
I have taught at Wharton for a number of years, and consulted for small groups
and small organizations and on cross-cultural issues. My professional worldview
comprises three pillars: 1. All organizations are social systems in which elements
are inter-related. 2. To improve organizations, we should focus on the positive
dimensions on which to build. This philosophical foundation is Appreciative Inquiry.
3. I subscribe to the methodological perspective that I am part of the instrument
from which to gain quality data from respondents, and with which to compare and
contrast with others’ realities.
I once tried to practice what I preach and worked in a large government
organization. While my perspectives and proposals of improving various aspects of
the organization were well received from top down/down up, I found propelling the
top levels of management to act was tantamount to moving a mountain. People at
the lower ranks were a lot more motivated to act on their own initiatives. I am still
fascinated with studying organizations, listening to people’s stories, sifting through
data and feeling the rush when patterns emerge, and enjoying the excitement when
I’m part of discussions that strike resonance with others.
Other than writing for this blog, I devote my time to watercolor painting, writing
on non-academic subjects, biking, walking, hiking, and gardening when weather
permits (which is most of the year), and skiing in the winter (almost wish it would
be most of the year).