Archive for the ‘Workplace Conflicts’ Category

How Do Employers Handle Termination Documentation?

July 24, 2014

woman-writing-in-the-agenda-1182878-mOne only has to do a quick internet search on job termination practices to find pages upon pages of advice ranging from legal tips to breaking the bad news. But is there a set procedure that employers follow when it comes to the documentation of a termination? That’s what authors Mike Duncan and Jillian Hill set out to explore in their article “Termination Documentation” from Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.

The abstract:

In this study, we examined 11 workplaces to determine how they handleBPCQ.indd termination documentation, an empirically unexplored area in technical communication and rhetoric. We found that the use of termination documentation is context dependent while following a basic pattern of infraction, investigation, intervention, and termination. Furthermore, the primary audience of the documentation is typically legal and regulatory bodies, not the employee. We also make observations about genre, collaboration, and authorship in these documents.

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Did You Hear? When Rumors Are Used As Revenge At Work

July 21, 2014

scandal-1113908-mAccording to a 2008 study done by the publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, 85% of employees at all levels are involved in workplace conflict to some degree. In the United States alone, time spent dealing with this conflict equates to an average of 2.8 hours weekly, or approximately $359 billion in paid hours. This conflict can take many forms, including that of workplace bullying and revenge. A recent study published in Group and Organization Management entitled “Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace” looks at rumors as retaliatory tool in an organizational setting.

The abstract:

Two studies that examined the role of revenge in rumor transmission and involved working adults as participants are reported. Study 1 used hypothetical 06GOM10_Covers.inddscenarios to manipulate organizational treatment of an employee and the believability of a rumor. Participants had higher intention to transmit a harmful rumor when the organization broke job-related promises (i.e., breached the psychological contract) and revenge motivation mediated this relationship. Believability of the rumor had no effect. Study 2 used a field survey methodology and, controlling for social desirability, replicated the results for self- and peer-reported rumor transmission behavior. Study 2 also showed that participants’ belief in negative reciprocity norm strengthened the relationship between breach and revenge motivation.

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Summer Reading: Corporate Wrongdoing and the Art of Accusation

July 7, 2014

9780857287946_1_2Looking for some summer reading for those hazy, lazy days of July? Donald Palmer’s review of Robert R. Faulker’s book “Corporate Wrongdoing and the Art of Accusation” appeared in the June issue of Administrative Science Quarterly.

Robert R. Faulker: Corporate Wrongdoing and the Art of Accusation. New York: Anthem Press, 2011. 192 pp. $32.95, paper. ISBN 9780857287946.

Inquiry in contemporary organizational theory into the causes of wrongdoing in and by organizations can be neatly packaged in a very small box. It exclusively focuses on the factors that can lead organizational participants and organizations to engage in wrongdoing, concentrating on factors related to rational choice, cultural prescriptions, and performance strain. Further, it analyzes a narrow range of types of wrongdoing: types that result in administrative sanctions, civil judgments, and criminal convictions. Organizational scholars for the most part completely ignore the labeling process by which organizational behaviors are designated wrongful and organizational actors are classified as wrongdoers. This labeling process is an important cause of wrongdoing. Simply put, there can be no wrongdoing unless someone or some organization draws a line separating right from wrong. Organizational theorists for the most part also ignore the large volume of wrongful behaviors that do not result in administrative sanctions, civil ASQ_v59n2_Jun2014_cover.inddjudgments, and legal convictions.

Robert Faulkner’s Corporate Wrongdoing and the Art of the Accusation rectifies these omissions. It focuses on accusations of wrongdoing that are voiced by buyers and suppliers, business partners and competitors, and governmental and non-governmental watchdogs and that are amplified by media organizations and others. Accusations are “between” private complaints and semi-public rumors, on the one hand, and official investigations, indictments, and convictions, on the other. Their intermediate status is reflected in the degree to which they are public and the extent to which they are adjudicated by officially constituted social control agents. As such, accusations, Faulkner contends, are “red flags” and “signs that something is wrong,” by which he means that organizational relationships have broken down and formal social control reactions are on the horizon.

Click here to read the review of Robert R. Faulker’s “Corporate Wrongdoing and the Art of Accusation” from Administrative Science Quarterly. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts and get notified of all the latest research and book reviews from Administrative Science Quarterly!

How Much is the Organizational Power Structure to Blame for Corrupt Behavior?

June 20, 2014

Is ittake-the-buck-1-1096837-m easier for someone to be corrupt at different levels within an organization? Does corruption depend on the resources available? Authors István Jávor and David Jancsics discuss this topic in their article from Administration and Society  entitled “The Role of Power in Organizational Corruption: An Empirical Study,” winner of the 2014 Best Article Award from the Public and Nonprofit Division of Academy of Management!

The abstract:

This article concerns the extent to which corrupt behavior is dependent on the organizational power structure and the resources available for illegal exchange. This A&S_72ppiRGB_powerpointqualitative study is based on 42 in-depth interviews with organizational actors in different organizations in Hungary. Four core themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews: (a) isolated corruption at the bottom, (b) the middle level’s own corruption, (c) “technicization” when middle-level professionals and expert groups are used to legalize the corruption of the dominant coalition, and (d) “turning-off controls” when organizational elites intentionally deactivate internal and external controls to avoid detection.

Click here to read “The Role of Power in Organizational Corruption: An Empirical Study from Administration and Society for free! Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and stay up to date on all the latest news and research from Administration and Society!

Are CO-OP’s the Future of Health Care?

June 3, 2014

medical-doctor-1314902-mAccording to the White House, 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act and 5 million more people are covered by plans outside the Marketplace that meet the standards of the ACA. However, the White House predicts that by 2016 5.7 million people will still be without coverage. An article recently published by Compensation and Benefits Review by William (Marty) Martin of DePaul University entitled “Consumer Oriented and Operated [Health Care] Plans: An Alternative for Employers’ Sponsored Health Care” examines Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans (CO-OPs) as a new option for employers to consider for providing their workers with health insurance to be in compliance with the ObamaCare Employer Mandate.

The abstract:

Given the recent passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), the current environment represents an opportunity for employers to reevaluate their approaches to health care provision. In this vein, the aim of this article is to explore a possibly significant source of innovation in the provision of health care benefits, theCBR_42_1_72ppiRGB_powerpoint financing of health care coverage and the delivery of health care services: the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP), which is a new choice for employers arising from the PPACA. This article examines whether employers will continue to offer health insurance as a benefit, whether nonprofit employers will develop CO-OPs and whether all employers will encourage their employees to sign up for CO-OPs from among the health plan alternatives in the public exchanges. CO-OPs are found to be a potentially attractive health care alternative that should be considered by various types of organizations.

Click here to read “Consumer Oriented and Operated [Health Care] Plans: An Alternative for Employers’ Sponsored Health Care” for free from Compensation and Benefits Review. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts by clicking here for all the latest news and research from Compensation and Benefits Review!

Check Please! Servers’ Choice of Speediness vs Sales and the Significance for Staffing

May 27, 2014

waiter-157966-mThe United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage of waiters and waitresses to be $18,590. With this in mind, one would assume that servers would welcome any opportunity to upsell their customers in order to raise income. But a new study recently published by Cornell Hospitality Quarterly found that restaurant employees are more likely to focus on getting their patrons out faster during peak workload hours rather than use the chance to suggest additional menu items to increase their tips. What causes this to happen? What can it mean for restaurant staffing decisions? Authors Fangyun (Tom) Tan and Serguei Netessine explore these questions in their article “The Implications of Worker Behavior for Staffing Decisions: Empirical Evidence and Best Practices” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

The abstract:

Restaurant employees adjust their sales efforts and service speed as more tables are filled and the workload increases. A study of five casual-dining restaurants finds that when the overall workload is low, as guest traffic beginscqx cover to pick up and the restaurant becomes busy, the servers step up their game by redoubling their sales efforts through suggestive selling and upselling. Once the workload hits a certain level, however, the servers dial back on selling, take steps to shorten meal duration, and focus primarily on service speed. This inverted-U relationship between employee workload and performance holds both in terms of the number of tables and diners that a server concurrently handles. One implication of this analysis is that restaurants may be overstaffed because the employees’ extra effort meant their workload threshold was not reached in the restaurants being studied. Because of the phenomenon of increased employee effort, this chain could reduce its staffing level on average of one worker per shift while still achieving higher sales. An estimated 3 percent increase in sales would result from servers’ increased sales efforts, which occur until the trigger point is reached and employees focus only on speedy service. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2013 Quality in Service Conference (QUIS).

Read “The Implications of Worker Behavior for Staffing Decisions: Empirical Evidence and Best Practices” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly for free by clicking here. Want to keep up with all the latest from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Can We Find the Positive in Academic-Practitioner Tensions?

May 19, 2014

challenge-862415-mAlbert Einstein is quoted to have said, “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” In their editorial essay “Academics and Practitioners Are Alike and Unlike: The Paradoxes of Academic-Practitioner Relationships” from Journal of Management, Jean Marie Bartunek of Boston College and Sara Lynn Rynes of the University of Iowa discuss the tensions resulting from the discord between academics and practitioners and how these tensions could be applied towards furthering research.

The abstract:

In this essay we challenge standard approaches to the academic–practitioner gap that essentially pit sides against each other, treating them as dichotomous. Instead, we identify and suggest ways of working withjom cover such dichotomies to foster research and theory building. We delineate several tensions associated with the gap, including differing logics, time dimensions, communication styles, rigor and relevance, and interests and incentives, and show how such tensions are valuable themselves for research and theorizing. We show that the gap often reflects views of conflicting groups of academics, while practitioners’ voices are not always incorporated; thus we add a practitioner’s voice to the conversation. We describe the dialectical forces that foster the tensions associated with the gap, including initiatives of national governments, ranking systems, and special issues of journals. We then show how the tensions represent fundamental, unresolvable paradoxes that can be generative of new research and practice if appreciated as such. We suggest several implications for research that build on tensions, dialectics, and paradox. We conclude with a brief reflection about the tensions we experienced while writing this essay and what these might suggest about the importance of academic–practitioner relationships.

Click here to read “Academics and Practitioners Are Alike and Unlike: The Paradoxes of Academic-Practitioner Relationships” from Journal of Management for free! Make sure to click here to sign up for e-alerts from Journal of Management and keep up with all the latest news and research!

Workplace Values Across the Generations

April 25, 2014

girl-lies-in-an-armchair-and-reads-2-1269293-mAccording the Economist, the current workforce can mostly be broken down into three generations: Baby-boomers (born between 1946 and the mid 60′s), Generation X (born from the mid 60′s to the early 80′s) and Generation Y (born after the early 80′s). However, managers are concerned more than in the past about working with three groups that seem to have such hugely differing values. But are the values across the generations of the current workforce really that different? Authors Jennifer Mencl and Scott W. Lester discuss in their article “More Alike Than Different: What Generations Value and How the Values Affect Employee Workplace Perceptions” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational

The abstract:

The purpose of this study was to extend generations research by investigating similarities and differences regarding the importance generations place on the presence of various workplace JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpointcharacteristics. We hypothesized (1) that similarities in the importance of workplace factors between generations would be more prevalent than differences and (2) that the importance of the workplace factors would have consistently similar or different moderating effects among generations on the relationships between employee perceptions of the factors at their organizations and employee attitudes. As expected, results showed the generations were similar on 7 of the 10 work values examined. Findings also revealed similarities and differences between the generations for the factors as moderators, although more differences than similarities were present from these analyses. Implications of these findings as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Read “More Alike Than Different: What Generations Value and How the Values Affect Employee Workplace Perceptions” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and articles from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Snowden and … Sophocles? Whistleblowing in Antigone

April 21, 2014

483px-Antigoneleigh

Frederic Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While figures like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have been in the public eye in recent years, whistleblowers are not a new concept. Qui tam was a common law practice that began in thirteen century England that allowed an individual to bring charges against an entity who violated the law and receive compensation from the penalties charged against the guilty party, a system Continental Congress adopted before the Revolutionary War had even ended. Author Alessia Contu looks even further back in history for a fuller portrait of whistleblowers in her article “Rationality and Relationality in the Process of Whistleblowing: Recasting Whistleblowing Through Readings of Antigone” from Journal of Management Inquiry.

The abstract:

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointReporting wrongdoing is seen as desirable to fight illegal practices, but whistleblowers often suffer retaliations and are in need of protection. Overall, whistleblowers engender strong reactions and are cast either as saints or rats. I consider why whistleblowers are seen as unsettling and ambivalent figures by exploring the analogy between Antigone, the Sophoclean heroine, and whistleblowers. These reflections reconfigure the rationality and relationality of the process of whistleblowing. The rationality of the whistleblower is singular and not easily subsumed into universalizing norms which explains some of the limits reached by the empiricist pro-social research agenda. The relationality of the process of whistleblowing indicates that the reactions of those who hear the whistle are as important. This open up to an appreciation of the ethical and political valence of the process of whistleblowing and highlights a number of counter-intuitive and interesting issues in its synchronic and diachronic dimension.

Read “Rationality and Relationality in the Process of Whistleblowing: Recasting Whistleblowing Through Readings of Antigone” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Want to keep up on all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!


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