Marina Field

Dr. Marina Field joined the Social-Organizational Psychology Program as a full-time lecturer in January 2020. Prior to her full-time appointment she worked as an adjunct instructor for the program. She works closely with the Office of Career Education & Professional Development to ensure companies understand the strengths of our M.A. students and provides career guidance to students in various forms. As a graduate (both M.A., and Ph.D.) Dr. Field has an in-depth understanding of the program as well as the challenges of figuring out career next steps while completing classes.

In addition to her work at TC, Dr. Field also works as an adjunct for the M.S. in Learning and Organizational change at Northwestern University. There she acts as an advisor for students completing their Capstone projects. Outside of the academic world, Marina is a seasoned HR professional and has experience in a wide variety of areas including leadership development, change management, performance management strategy, and talent management. She has held a series of corporate management and consulting positions at several professional service firms, Fortune 500 companies, and public organizations including PwC, Pfizer, American Express, and the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

Interpretive Challenge Entry

“I initially thought the simulation would be a fantastic learning opportunity, but I never imagined how much it would influence the level of student learning, the depth of class conversations, and lead students to demand more time be devoted to discussing the simulation.

Reflecting on the semester, three key themes emerged:

1. There can be too much of a good thing:

New hire training, manager training, safety training…many teams piled on the training hoping to increase employee effectiveness, satisfaction, etc.. For several teams, this strategy backfired. They received messages that employees were overwhelmed. Not only was training not going to increase job satisfaction, but it was decreasing productivity!

2. Money doesn’t solve all of your problems

Some teams had the strategy of throwing money at their problems. For example, in an attempt to decrease turnover, one team increased wages and benefits. The disappointing negligible impact forced them to consider other factors that could be leading to higher turnover.

3. Creating a diverse organization can be challenging

The biggest challenge students faced was increasing diversity. After Q3, I added diversity metrics to the weighted score. Teams that had been at the bottom but invested in diversity early on rose to the top and vice versa. The teams attacked this challenge ferociously. They increased diversity targets, hired AA officers, and did their best to create organizations that would be attractive to all workers. Teams struggled with the difficulty of impacting these numbers, providing the perfect opportunity to discuss what it takes to create diverse and inclusive organizations.

These three themes just scratch the surface as it relates to benefits students gained from their experience. Regardless of HR experience (which ranged from none to several years), the simulation gave them hands-on practical experience. They identified strategies, developed ideas, put them into practice, and observed the results. When things went well, it gave them confidence. When things didn’t go well, they reflected and worked to revise their strategies. The simulation gave them a safe space to test out their ideas, building their confidence for when they have to act in the real world.”

Dr. Marina Field
Full-time Lecturer
Columbia University

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