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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Joanne Pransky

The following paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience…

Abstract

Purpose

The following paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry engineer-turned successful business leader, regarding the commercialization and challenges of bringing technological inventions to market while overseeing a company. This paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The interviewee is Melonee Wise, an entrepreneur and veteran robot designer. In this interview, Wise candidly discusses her career journey, including the successes and lessons learned in the transitioning from an engineer to the CEO of two robotic start-up companies in just six years.

Findings

Melonee Wise had a love for building mechanical things since childhood. At the age of eight, she built and programmed a plotter out of Legos. Wise received BS degrees in mechanical engineering and physics engineering, and an MS degree in mechanical engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While in school, Wise spent her summers interning at Alcoa, DaimlerChrysler and Honeywell Aerospace. She was able to parlay her passion of building robots when she had the opportunity to work on the DARPA Urban Challenge through her university. From there, Wise joined the start-up Willow Garage as a Senior Engineer in 2007. In 2013, she left her position as Manager of Robot Development at Willow to co-found Unbounded Robotics. When Unbounded unexpectedly shut down 18 months later, Ms Wise gave birth to Fetch Robotics, a manufacturer of autonomous and affordable robots for the warehouse and logistics industries.

Originality/value

Melonee Wise is an ambitious robot engineer-turned-entrepreneur in pursuit of fast-paced career and personal growth, and taking on unprecedented challenges. After interning at three large US manufacturing companies, Wise decided to pursue her PhD until the right company and opportunity came along. In 2007, she was asked by a Willow Garage co-founder to leave her PhD studies and join them as their second employee. Willow Garage, the creator of Robot Operating System (ROS) open source software and the PR2 hardware platforms, would go on to become one of the most significant robot incubators of the decade. Wise was one of the co-creators of TurtleBot, a consumer robotics product developed in nine months, and she helped with the design of the PR2 and ROS. Additionally, while at Willow Garage, Wise created the Intern Program, increasing the number of interns from one to over 60. Melonee Wise spun-off Unbounded Robotics in 2013 and headed Fetch Robotics in 2014. Wise and Fetch recently raised more than US$20 million in Series A funding. Wise holds the patent for a steering column lock assembly and has been honored with the prestigious awards: MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators under 35; The 2014 Business Insider’s 15 Most Important People Working in Robotics; and Robohub’s 2013 25 Women in Robotics you need to know about.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2009

Wim Van Opstal, Eva Deraedt and Caroline Gijselinckx

The sector of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) has grown considerably all across Europe during the last few decades. Unfortunately, many governments do not have a clear…

Abstract

Purpose

The sector of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) has grown considerably all across Europe during the last few decades. Unfortunately, many governments do not have a clear sight on the profile of WISEs they are supporting. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed profile of WISEs in Flanders and identify shifts and differences within and between WISE work forms.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are utilized from a newly designed monitoring instrument to capture the profile of WISEs in Flanders (Belgium). This paper discusses some methodological issues in using administrative data to monitor this sector, and present a profile at the enterprise level and at the worker level. Parametric and nonparametric tests are applied to assess the significance of profile shifts and differences within this sector.

Findings

One of the dominant features of the analysis has been the identification of profound differences that can be observed between the work forms and the slighter differences that are observed within the work forms while comparing start‐ups to their mature counterparts. Therefore, it might be concluded that the policy framework on the social insertion economy as it currently exists in Flanders has a strong regulative impact on the WISEs in Flanders. This impact translates itself through differences in the profile of enterprises, as well as differences in the profile of the target group workers they employ.

Originality/value

A dataset combining administrative data are created to estimate enterprise and target group worker profiles in this sector. The discussion on methodological aspects involved contributes to the literature on monitoring this sector.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Li‐teh Sun

Man has been seeking an ideal existence for a very long time. In this existence, justice, love, and peace are no longer words, but actual experiences. How ever, with the American…

Abstract

Man has been seeking an ideal existence for a very long time. In this existence, justice, love, and peace are no longer words, but actual experiences. How ever, with the American preemptive invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the subsequent prisoner abuse, such an existence seems to be farther and farther away from reality. The purpose of this work is to stop this dangerous trend by promoting justice, love, and peace through a change of the paradigm that is inconsistent with justice, love, and peace. The strong paradigm that created the strong nation like the U.S. and the strong man like George W. Bush have been the culprit, rather than the contributor, of the above three universal ideals. Thus, rather than justice, love, and peace, the strong paradigm resulted in in justice, hatred, and violence. In order to remove these three and related evils, what the world needs in the beginning of the third millenium is the weak paradigm. Through the acceptance of the latter paradigm, the golden mean or middle paradigm can be formulated, which is a synergy of the weak and the strong paradigm. In order to understand properly the meaning of these paradigms, however, some digression appears necessary.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 25 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2013

Kate Cooney

Work integration social enterprises (WISEs) create jobs through business ventures that function as locations for training and employment of disadvantaged workers. A key challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

Work integration social enterprises (WISEs) create jobs through business ventures that function as locations for training and employment of disadvantaged workers. A key challenge for US WISEs is that the businesses that are easiest to launch and best suited to absorb large numbers of unskilled workers may be located in the same low wage labor market sectors out of which these interventions are designed to catapult workers. This paper aims to present data on an understudied aspect of WISEs: the labor market niches where they are active, the occupations associated with these labor market positions, and the work conditions offered through their WISE businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Data presented in this paper are from a national WISE database developed by the author that includes 254 businesses associated with 123 WISEs, and a pilot study of 15 WISEs testing an instrument for use in a national survey of US WISEs. Each business associated with the WISEs in the national database was coded for industry, occupation and wage data using categories developed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each WISE business was further coded as preparing its workers for either low or middle skill jobs. These data were analyzed using frequency counts, chi square tests of association and a two‐step cluster analysis. To explore employment conditions inside WISE businesses, the pilot study data were analyzed using a multiple case study analysis approach. Through focused coding techniques, descriptions of the employment conditions associated with the WISE jobs are reviewed.

Findings

Analysis at the level of occupation category reveals that about 72 percent of the jobs that WISEs train clients to perform exist in low skill occupations. Chi‐square tests of association between NTEE code (a proxy for target population) and job skill level are not significant suggesting that low skill training is utilized by organizations serving clients facing a range of disadvantage. Cluster analyses indicate that for WISEs targeting disabled populations and for newer organizations targeting the general unemployed populations, low skill job training pervades but for education organization and for older employment organizations, middle skill job training is more prevalent. The pilot data analyses show that the WISEs offer minimum wage or higher wage positions but many without guaranteed hours or a clear pathway out of WISE employment.

Practical implications

These data suggest WISEs in the USA have grown well beyond their earlier, narrower niche working with the disabled to employ a much broader portfolio of client populations, many higher functioning. However, the findings that many WISEs are positioned in the low skill labor market and on some dimensions can mirror the low skill labor market employment conditions suggest that additional aspects of WISE workforce development strategy should be taken into account.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on the labor market niches where WISEs are active, the occupations associated with these labor market positions, and the work conditions offered.

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2024

Misun Lee, Ralph S. Brower and Daniel L. Fay

This paper analyzes how a national social enterprise policy encourages the social missions of social enterprises and uncovers the relationships between social enterprise…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyzes how a national social enterprise policy encourages the social missions of social enterprises and uncovers the relationships between social enterprise governance and labor equity, an area that has been rarely studied in nonprofit governance studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyzes the effects of four legal requirements for work-integrated social enterprises (WISEs) codified by the Social Enterprises Promotion Act (SEPA, 2007) in South Korea. Then, it relies on panel regression analysis (2020–2022) to examine how the compositions of the governance of WISEs are related to their hiring and wage equity.

Findings

The institutional arrangements required by SEPA have resulted in positive social impacts for most WISEs. However, the results of regression models show that individual participant groups in the WISE governance achieved mixed results depending on the labor issue.

Research limitations/implications

Generally, this research explores the concept of diversity and its utility in nonprofit governance, with a particular focus on targeted diversity policies, demonstrating that governance arrangements influence the success of these policies.

Practical implications

The findings bring new insights for policymakers about “altruistic economic entities.” For practitioners in social enterprises, the results of the regression models underscore the importance of understanding the participant composition of decision-making meetings.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on labor equity, which government-certified social enterprises should achieve from the perspective of nonprofit governance.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 March 2024

Kelley A. Packalen, Kaitlyn Sobchuk, Kelly Qin-Wang, Jenelle Cheetham, Jaclyn Hildebrand, Agnieszka Fecica and Rosemary Lysaght

The goal of this study was to understand which employee-focused workplace practices and priorities – more formally known as human resource (HR) practices and priorities …

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this study was to understand which employee-focused workplace practices and priorities – more formally known as human resource (HR) practices and priorities – employees with mental health and/or addiction challenges (MHAC) valued and how they perceived the day-to-day implementation of those practices and priorities in the workplace integration social enterprises (WISEs) that employed them.

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty-two WISE workers who self-identified as having serious MHAC participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed and coded to identify ways that employees did or did not feel supported in their WISEs.

Findings

Participants identified three HR practices and two HR priorities as important to establishing an inclusive workplace that accommodated their MHAC. The extent to which individual participants felt included and accommodated, however, was shaped by interactions with their supervisors and coworkers.

Originality/value

By evaluating the salience of WISEs’ employee-focused workplace practices and priorities through the lens of the employees themselves, our study articulates the critical role that interactions with coworkers and supervisors have in determining whether HR practices and priorities have the intended effect on worker experience.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2023

Reimara Valk and Benito Versluijs

The purpose of this paper is to explore the reintegration process of Wounded, Injured or Sick Employees (WISE) of the Dutch Military Armed Forces.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the reintegration process of Wounded, Injured or Sick Employees (WISE) of the Dutch Military Armed Forces.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method is an exploratory, qualitative case study. A purposive sampling was drawn, including 10 WISE, and 6 reintegration stakeholders. A total of 16 interviews were conducted to explore the individual, organisational and socio-environmental factors that influence reintegration of WISE.

Findings

Findings show the importance of involvement and participation of members of the social environment in the reintegration process. Findings show that the complexity of the plethora of WISEs' injuries and disabilities requires a more person-centric reintegration approach with personalized-customized provisions, rather than a policy-driven approach to the reintegration, in order to enhance the reintegration experience and to arrive at beneficial individual and organisational reintegration outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This cross-sectional study on a limited sample of WISE and reintegration stakeholders does not allow for making inferences about the long-term effects of the reintegration process on reintegration outcomes of the wider population of WISE. Future longitudinal research, encompassing a larger sample, could examine the long-term career, organisational and societal implications of reintegration of WISE within and outside the Military Armed Forces.

Practical implications

This paper presents a “Wounded Warrior Workplace Reintegration Program”, aimed at deriving beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders involved in the reintegration trajectory.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by presenting a Model of Occupational Reintegration of WISE that considers the factors at an individual, social-environmental, and institutional level as determinants of successful reintegration.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 February 2024

Miriam Bankovsky

Hazel Kyrk’s recognised contributions include a shift in analytic focus from production to consumption, pioneering work to measure household production as part of family income…

Abstract

Hazel Kyrk’s recognised contributions include a shift in analytic focus from production to consumption, pioneering work to measure household production as part of family income, empirical studies of family behaviour, and contributions to policy. But her account of ‘wise’ consumption and its intersection with ‘high’ living standards is not well understood. The three aims of this chapter are to explain ‘wise’ consumption across Kyrk’s three major books, to consider its role in Kyrk’s empirical studies, and to explain why it fell into oblivion. Tackling what Wesley Mitchell described as the ‘most baffling of difficulties’, Kyrk explained what constitutes a family’s ‘good’ in a manner that was critical of mere emulation. Her 1923 book required that wise consumption include new and personal elements. Her 1929/1933 book detailed five qualitative criteria (balance between interests, full and varied experiences, originality, rational sources of satisfaction, and the use of scientific information). But her 1953 book weakened this normative language, reflecting Margaret Reid’s view that Kyrk’s account was too demanding. Although Kyrk felt wise consumption avoided paternalism, her peers disagreed (Hoyt, 1938/1945; Reid, 1938/1945). We close with some problems with Kyrk’s account and a brief consideration of its continuing relevance.

Details

Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Hazel Kyrk's: A Theory of Consumption 100 Years after Publication
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80455-991-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2020

Helena Kraff and Eva Maria Jernsand

The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) in the Swedish establishment programme for newly arrived refugees, and how its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) in the Swedish establishment programme for newly arrived refugees, and how its set-up affects WISEs preconditions for social innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on a longitudinal and qualitative action research study of a WISE and its work in organising a course for labour market integration, in the context of the Swedish establishment programme. The authors were actively involved in the study as embedded researchers.

Findings

The exploration identifies a number of roles that WISEs take on in the establishment programme. It illustrates how WISEs hybrid character places participants at the centre of the innovation process, where their opinions and knowledge are considered crucial, and how this positively affects their ability to gain skills and confidence. However, the study also makes visible how issues of coordination between stakeholders in the programme lead to mismatches between course content and participant profiles, colliding activities and sporadic participation. In short, the bureaucracy embedded in labour market integration systems erodes the preconditions of WISEs to foster social innovation.

Originality/value

The embeddedness of the authors provides in-depth knowledge regarding how complex state systems affect WISEs in practice. Importantly, it also gives insights into the experiences of refugees, a group that is often mentioned in the literature on WISEs, although mainly in passing.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Sarah Barton, Hayley Porter, Susanne Murphy and Rosemary Lysaght

Social enterprise has the potential to serve as a mechanism of social and economic opportunity for persons experiencing homelessness. This paper aims to identify potential…

Abstract

Purpose

Social enterprise has the potential to serve as a mechanism of social and economic opportunity for persons experiencing homelessness. This paper aims to identify potential outcomes of work integration social enterprises (WISEs) for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or transitioning out of homelessness.

Design/methodology/approach

Searches of 14 databases were completed using keywords and subject headings pertaining to homelessness, social enterprise and employment, respectively. These searches were then combined to identify literature concerning WISEs with homeless populations. The initial search yielded 784 unique articles. Through screening, 29 articles were selected and independently coded to establish themes.

Findings

The analysis identified the potential for WISEs to contribute positively to the lives of the target population in the areas of connection to the community, employment skill building, mental health, personal agency and empowerment, relationship-building, structure and time use, financial stability and housing. There were less positive and mixed findings regarding substance use, crime/delinquency, physical health and transition to mainstream employment. Future research should further explore causal relationships between WISE approaches and strategies and their potential implications for persons emerging from homelessness.

Originality/value

Prior to this research, there have not been any recent publications that synthesize the existing body of literature to evaluate the potential outcomes of WISE participation for homeless populations. This paper lays the groundwork for future empirical studies.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

Keywords

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