New Podcast: Jean Twenge on Generational Attitudes on Women in the Workplace

October 9, 2015 by

PWQ_72ppiRGB_powerpointRecently featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning, Jean Twenge is the author of the best-selling book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before. In the latest podcast from Psychology of Women Quarterly, journal editor Mary Brabeck interviews Jean Twenge about her article on time period and generational differences in attitudes towards women’s work and family roles in the United States. Dr. Twenge collaborated on the article, “Attitudes Toward Women’s Work and Family Roles in the United States, 1976–2013,” with Kristin Donnelly, Malissa A. Clark, Samia K. Shaikh, Angela Beiler-May and Nathan T. Carter.

You can click here to download the podcast. You can also read the article for free by clicking here.

Want to hear more? Click here to browse more podcasts from Psychology of Women Quarterly. You can also sign up for e-alerts and get notifications of all the latest research from Psychology of Women Quarterly sent directly to your inbox!

TwengeJean M. Twenge is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, the author of Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before and coauthor (with W. Keith Campbell) of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. Her research has appeared in Time, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on Today and Dateline and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. She holds degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. Dr. Twenge lives with her husband in San Diego, California.

brabeck_photoMary Brabeck is Professor of Applied Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Dr. Brabeck is a fellow of APA and of AERA and her research focuses on intellectual development, professional ethics, and teacher education. She published Practicing Feminist Ethics in Psychology and Meeting at the Hyphen: Schools-Universities-Professions in Collaboration for Student Achievement and Well Being. She currently is an elected member of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences and is the elected chair of the Board of Directors of the Council on Accrediation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Dr. Brabeck’s awards include an honorary degree from St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association Committee on Women in Psychology, and the Kuhmerker Award from the Association for Moral Education.

Transformative Service Research: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Service and Well-being

October 7, 2015 by

Republished with permission. The original post was published on the Center for Services Leadership blog.


Interview with Laurel Anderson and Amy Ostrom, Editors of the Special Issue of Journal of Service Research, Transformative Service Research: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Service and Well-being

02JSR13_Covers.inddIn August of this year Journal Service Research published a highly anticipated special issue on Transformative Service Research, a Multidisciplinary Perspective on Service and Well-being. The entire issue will be available free of charge till November 2015 and can be downloaded from the journal’s website. We’re very excited to feature the special issue in this podcast and on our blog, where we’ll be sharing posts by the authors of the three finalists for Best Paper Award.

Darima Fotheringham: Today I’m talking to the guest co-editors of the special issue, Professors Laurie Anderson and Amy Ostrom from Arizona State University. Professor Anderson, Professor Ostrom, thank you for talking to us today.

Laurel Anderson, Amy Ostrom: Thank you, it’s good to be here.

Darima Fotheringham: As you mentioned in the editorial, Transformative Service Research is a fairly new research area that’s been gaining momentum. For those who are not familiar with the term, can you start by defining Transformative Service Research, or TSR, and explain why it is receiving so much attention and interest in the research community today?

Laurel Anderson: We define TSR, Transformative Service Research, as focusing on services and well-being, and in particular, as research that has to do with creating uplifting changes. And one of the key things about the definition is that we look not at just individuals but also at collectives like family or communities, ecosystems, society. These aspects are some of the things we found in the papers that came in that were different from a lot of the research in service.

Darima Fotheringham: And going back to the second part of the question, why do you think there is so much interest from the research community in this particular topic?

Amy Ostrom: There’s always been some interest in studying well-being issues in general, but I think we’ve seen an increase interest in the last five or six years. Some of it, likely due to discussions about what should research priorities be in the service field. And as part of some research priority setting efforts, this idea of studying service and well-being really came to the forefront. We’ve seen really a community of service researchers form, who really want to better understand this connection between service and well-being. And as that community has grown, we’ve seen more and more special sessions at conferences, research projects at a significant nature getting started, and it’s really been very exciting to see.

Darima Fotheringham: The TSR special issue includes ten very diverse articles. They’re from around the world and cover different industries, discuss different cultures. In the editorial you identified three big themes. Can you talk a bit about those themes and share a couple of examples that would illustrate some of the new interesting concepts that the readers can take away?

Laurel Anderson: We were just really excited to see the diversity of the papers that came in. That’s part of what we wanted to accomplish also, to indicate how broad this field is both in method, and cultures, and content, and theories conceptually. So the three themes that we found arising from the data were ones that we thought were innovative, and provocative, and had a lot of heft to them. For example one is the de-struction of value. We always talk about the co-creation of it, creation of value, but haven’t really given time to look as much at some of the destruction of value. That is a really interesting topic. And as the papers in this area point out, sometimes it is unintentional, sometimes it’s unknowingly destructive, and sometimes it’s intended.

So for example, the article, the lead paper, which was the award winning article by Per Skålén, Kotaiba Abdul Aal, and Bo Edvardsson, looks at what they call strategic action fields. It looks at the incumbents in that field and it looks at challengers in this service area. This is amazing data because it looks at Syria and how the regime, as incumbents, took away services to many of the population. Then how that population reacted and created new services under the constraints that they had. So the destruction was an important part. That one is a very vivid, kind of unusual example. But sometimes it is also more everyday kinds of things, like chronic illness, where people really don’t want to be in a service. They’d rather not be participating in the service. There are a lot of negative aspects to the chronic part. We want to make sure that we’re looking at some of the negative aspects of services so that we can deal with those, which I think is really important.

Amy Ostrom:  One of the other themes that we highlighted involved co-production or co-creation, which are really looking at the roles and activities that consumers play as part of service. And while questions around co-production and co-creation have been the focus of a lot of research, not much of that work has really looked at well-being. We definitely had some articles where that was the focus, trying to understand how the activities and roles that consumers took as part of the service, how that ultimately impacted their well-being.

So for example, one of the papers authored by Jillian C. Sweeney, Tracey S. Danaher, and Janet R. McColl-Kennedy looked at what they call ‘effort in value co-creation activities.’ So really looking at how much effort consumers, in this case patients who are dealing with chronic illness, what kind of activities are they taking on? The whole idea behind their work was this notion that some of these activities or the roles are actually more effortful than others, and that patients or these individuals dealing with chronic illness will take on the easy activities first and then progress to the more effortful activities. So they were able to really look at the nature of these activities, things that they’re doing for themselves, things that they’re doing related to other people. What’s really fascinating is that they were able to look at the effort that these individuals were expending in terms of these various activities and relate that to things like quality of life. It really highlights, spotlights, how consumers and roles they’re taking on, the activities they are engaging in part of a service, really can impact their well-being.

Laurel Anderson:  We’ve looked at providers before to some extent, and the production, the co-creation, but not emphasized consumers and their well-being as much.

Amy Ostrom: It’s kind of exciting that we’re actually starting to see some research where we’re looking at more innovative measures. Oftentimes some of the research involves more perceptual measures. We are seeing that researchers are starting to use actual behavior measures or maybe more objective measures to really understand the nature of well-being, changes that are happening. So for example Martin Mende and Jenny van Doorn look at co-production in the context of consumers participating in debt management programs, and they look at, over time, the impact of consumers who are in those programs—their co-production and its impact on an objective measure, a change in credit scores, as well as things like increased stress perceptions. So we’re really seeing some interesting relationships between, again, how people are co-producing or their role within the organization and their level of well-being.

Darima Fotheringham: In your editorial you also identified specific areas within TSR that required further research. Can you talk about these areas and share examples of research questions that you personally find especially important or intriguing?

Amy Ostrom: One of the areas that we continue to talk about, and I know that others are really devoted to studying it as well, is what’s called Base of the Pyramid, or studying individuals, really billions of people in the world who are living under a few dollars a day. And a lot of the research that’s done in service work and just academic work in general in any area doesn’t tend to pay attention to individuals living in those particular types of circumstances. So there’s much to learn about consumers living in those situations, and a lot to learn from them, and the creativity that’s demonstrated in individuals that are living in what we refer to as the Base of the Pyramid.

Laurel Anderson: Another area, that we believe is very important, has to do with stress, being really cognizant of stress and the impact of stress on consumers. One of the other methods or approaches that we also feel is very important is an interdisciplinary approach where we’re bringing in knowledge from maybe the biological sciences, neurology, some of the other fields like nursing, or medicine, or law. One of the areas where there’s just fascinating research on stress has to do with the impact of stress on the body of a person. We’ve known for quite a while that stress impacts the well-being of a person, but there’s some very interesting research now that looks at the impact of stress on the body and then on how it’s passed on to the next generation—I think it just emphasizes the importance of well-being for the consumers that are participating in services and incorporating some of the interdisciplinary research that’s out there on the impacts of stress. So it’s a very fruitful and important area to pursue.

Amy Ostrom: The other area that we talk quite a bit about that’s not too surprising is the impact that technology is having in services that are based on technology and the relationship with well-being. And in this day where so much of our behavior can be tracked and monitored, issues around what that means for privacy and service settings and potential harm that can come from that. The fact that service providers now can know information about us and be continually tracking our behavior, the potential that raises for all sorts of potentially harmful well-being aspects, but at the same time a lot of benefits, when you think about monitoring and health related aspects, that can be really empowering for consumers to be able to live their lives knowing that the service provider, a doctor, is able to know at any time if there are any issue. But it does change the nature of the dynamic.

Laurel Anderson: It does, and it raises something we found throughout, which is trade-offs. There are trade-offs in some benefits to well-being and the negative aspects of, for example, technology and monitoring. Those are really important aspects to talk about and to research too. In addition, as far as trade-offs are concerned, sometimes there are trade-offs between the well-being of one group and the well-being of another group. And who decides then which is going to be prioritized in their well-being? So there are some really complex questions around well-being and trade-offs that we saw coming out of some of the research.

Amy Ostrom: I think it highlights the need to look broader than just the dyad, the trade-offs at community levels and service system levels. It is the key to why we have to look at the broader picture than often times we tend to do. It’s hard research to do, and very difficult, but very important given the nature of these kinds of interaction trade-offs that are effecting so many of us on a daily level.

Darima Fotheringham: You conclude the editorial by recommending specific actions that can help TSR make a real impact on society. The call to action is mostly directed to the research community, but as you mentioned we can all benefit from data in the field. Is there anything as consumers, as customers, or as individuals can do to support this research?

Laurel Anderson: I think that one of the areas that is challenging with regards to consumers themselves and well-being is a trend that we’re seeing that’s called responsibilization. What that means is that services, and governments, and policy are putting more responsibility for wellbeing onto the consumers. And it demands a high level of literacy on the part of the consumer, and so for example health—consumers have to know so much more now about the health, and their bodies, and the medical field because the responsibility is being put more on them than in the past. So as far as consumers are concerned that’s one of the issues as far as trade-offs. Yes, more of the choices on the consumers parts, but also more of the responsibility and decision making, maybe without some of the expertise to be able to do that. So things like literacy, having the time to do that, the resources and capacity I think are real challenges for consumers to manage. And if you have to do that in all the different areas of service, from health to legal to financial, it’s a lot to expect of consumers.

Darima Fotheringham: It’s very taxing.

Laurel Anderson: Right.

Amy Ostrom: When I think about what consumers can do, from the research perspective, what I hope is that the consumer would be willing to participate in some of the research that we and academic research, really globally, are interested in doing. The type of work that we do and the questions that we’re trying to answer really require partnerships with consumers to understand how the services they’re using day and day out are in fact impacting their well-being. Whether it’s healthcare, financial services, it requires that kind of participation. So I hope going forward that people will be willing to participate in research and share their thoughts, as I hope that organizations, individuals who work with consumers in different service settings are willing to collaborate with researchers. A lot of the research questions really require partnering with organizations, and one of the real goals of Transformative Service Research is to have impact—to actually improve the lives of consumers, and the only way that happens is really through organizations, companies who are basically effecting consumers day and day out—Learning what can positively impact well-being and doing more of those things, and learning what reduces well-being and stopping doing those things. And it’s those kind of partnerships that are actually going to lead to the impact that we’d want to see in the community and individuals.

Laurel Anderson: And I think it’s so important to listen to the customers in whatever service they’re in—the voice of the consumer. And it’s interesting because when we don’t, now consumers are creating their own research. There are communities of consumers that are doing research on topics that they think are important and that aren’t being followed up on by researchers. For example, a site called Patients Like Me where they’re monitoring themselves, and doing research, and finding significant results because the questions weren’t being addressed. So I think it’s really important to not just look at things from our research point of view, but to be listening to the consumer and to be incorporating those aspects that are frontline to them into our research too.

Darima Fotheringham: Great, thank you so much. We were talking to the editors of a JSR special issue on Transformative Service Research, a Multidisciplinary Perspective on Service and Well-being. You can find the entire issue, including the editorial we talked about on the website. Professor Anderson, Professor Ostrom, thank you for talking to me today.

Laurel Anderson, Amy Ostrom: Thank you, Darima


Laurel Anderson is Associate Professor of Marketing at Arizona State University. She has degrees in both marketing and community health. She is deeply involved with development of Transformative Service Research (TSR).  In particular, she focuses on creativity and innovation, going between cultural worlds, health well-being, challenges and strengths related to poverty, culture and immigration and services as social structures. Previously, she was Director of the Institute for International Management at Arizona State University. Prior to academics, she developed community health programs focused on children and families, including a crisis intervention center for children.

Ostrom-Amy (Small) 2015

Amy L. Ostrom is the PetSmart Chair in Service Leadership Professor in Services Leadership, Chair and Professor of Marketing at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her research focuses on issues related to services marketing including customers’ evaluation and adoption of services, customers’ roles in creating service outcomes, and transformative service. Ostrom, who was selected as the 2004 Arizona Professor of the Year and the 2007 ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year, has supervised numerous undergraduate Honors theses. She has shared the service blueprinting technique with small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to help improve their service processes and develop new service offerings.

Congratulations to Group and Organization Management’s Outstanding Reviewers!

October 5, 2015 by

GOM 39(6)_Covers.inddWe’re pleased to congratulate Andrew D. Brown, Devaki Rau, Chris Robert and Li-Yun Sun, winners of Group and Organization Managements Outstanding Reviewer Award for 2015! The winners kindly provided us with some information on their backgrounds:

Andrew Brown Photo 2012Andrew D. Brown is Professor of Organization Studies at the University of Bath. He has previously held faculty positions at the universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge and Warwick. His primary research interests centre on issues of identity, sensemaking, narrative, and power, and his work has been published in journals including Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, and Human Relations. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Group and Organization Management, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization, and is a Senior Editor of Organization Studies.

WIN_20131024_215951 (2)Devaki Rau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include strategic decision making, top management teams, and organizational learning. Her research has been published in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Small Group Research, and Group and Organizational Management. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Robert ChrisChris Robert received his PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently an Associate Professor of Management in the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research has involved cross-cultural management issues, groups and teams, and conflict and negotiation, though his most recent research has examined the role of humor in the workplace. His research has appeared in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, Human Relations, Group and Organization Management, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Personnel Psychology.

SunLi-Yun Sun is a professor of Management at school of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. in management from Hong Kong Baptist University. His research work appears in such journals as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Asia Pacific Journal of Management and others. He was one of winners of Outstanding Reviewer Award of Academy of Management meeting (2015, OB section). In recent years he reviewed for multiple journals including Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, and Academy of Management Journal (special issue). He also reviews for annual Academy of Management meeting and bi-annual meeting of International Association for Chinese Management Research.

In honor of this award, you can read the October issue of Group and Organization Management free for the entire month of October! Click here to view the Table of Contents. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Listen to the Latest Podcast from Human Resource Development Review!

October 2, 2015 by

HRDR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Seth A. Jacobson, Jamie L. Callahan, and Rajashi Ghosh, all of Drexel University. They recently discussed their article entitled “A Place at the Window: Theorizing Organizational Change for Advocacy of the Marginalized” in the latest podcast from Human Resource Development Review.]

The broader aim of our work is to theorize organizational change that emphasizes the role of the marginalized. Each of us has an interest in organizational change, and the critical perspective associated with marginalized groups resonated strongly with us as well. The interests of the first author, however, formed the context that gave voice to our collective interest—The Roman Catholic Church, the LGBT community, and the influence of Pope Francis.

Author Seth Jacobson is a gay active Catholic within the Church. The changing rhetoric and tone of Pope Francis on topics related to homosexuality were encouraging to him; but he recognized that those on the front lines of working toward LGBT-friendly changes were still often marginalized. Those individuals were not central to the power structures in the Catholic Church and, while they had meaningful and important roles to play in informing change, their voices were potentially ignored or unnoticed. Seth’s goal, with the support of co-authors Jamie Callahan and Rajashi Ghosh, was to find a more theoretical and systematic way of ensuring that, when we research and seek to understand change processes, we are not neglecting the critical work of the marginalized.

Their work challenges traditional notions of what constitutes an ‘organization’ and opens the door for more explorations of HRD in non-traditional organizations. Following Callahan’s earlier work on social movements as a site for HRD engagement, this work addresses a case of the Roman Catholic Church as a trans-national organization influenced by global social movements advocating for equity of the marginalized. The influence that is manifesting appears to be strengthened by those who have the privilege of ‘insider’ status (resource prototypic, as described in the article) and who empathize with the marginalized (schematically marginal). These individuals think differently than other dominant actors, and yet they have access to the resources of those who hold a ‘place at the table.’ They are able to serve as conduits between the place at the window of the marginalized and the place at the window of the privileged; how they adopt this identity and enact this role is important for progressing our understanding of the marginalized in organizational change processes.

This work is grounded in the concepts of social responsibility and critical theory. It is about challenging and deconstructing a change perspective that largely ignores or under-theorizes the role that marginalized actors can play in advancing change. Change is typically addressed from the perspective of those who hold a place at the traditional ‘table’. However, our approach here recognizes and affirms that marginalized actors have advanced (and can continue to do so) meaningful and significant change from their seemingly constrained positions; in other words, they advance change from a place at the ‘window.’

The window as a metaphor inspires the notion of standing outside, and away from, the core power structures of the organization. And, yet, windows are transparent barriers that can open and provide an opportunity for bounded exchange between the core and the margins. This notion inspired our title, “A Place at the Window: Theorizing Organizational Change for Advocacy of the Marginalized.”

Click here to download the podcast on “A Place at the Window: Theorizing Organizational Change for Advocacy of the Marginalized” from Human Resource Development Review. You can also read the article for free by clicking here.

Want to know about more research like this? Click here to browse all of the podcasts from Human Resource Development Review and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and have notifications of all the latest articles from Human Resource Development Review sent directly to your inbox!

PHD-jacobsonSeth A. Jacobson is a PhD Candidate in the School of Education at Drexel University. His research aims to explore resistance, deviance, and change within organizations.

Jamie CallahanJamie L. Callahan is Professor and Program Director of the Human Resource Development Program at Drexel University. Her research applies concepts of learning and development to explore issues of power and privilege in relation to leadership, emotion management and organization contextual issues (e.g., organizational learning, organizational culture, communities of practice).

Rajashi-GhoshRajashi Ghosh is an Associate Professor in the HRD program in the School of Education at Drexel University. Her research aims to explore different factors (e.g., mentoring, coaching, workplace incivility) that can reinforce or hinder workplace learning and development.

How Has Retailing Evolved?

September 30, 2015 by

antique-cash-register-1552352From general stores to department stores and superstores, retailing has undergone significant changes in the past two centuries. In their article “The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing, authors Ellen McArthur, Scott Weaven, and Rajiv Dant review a wide range of literature detailing the progression of retailing throughout the years.

[Editor’s Note: We are saddened to report the passing of Rajiv Dant. Dr. Dant held the dual positions of Helen Robson Walton Centennial Chair in Marketing in the Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma and Professor of Marketing, Griffith University. He was a world-renowned scholar in the areas of distribution channels, supply chain management, and franchising.]

The abstract:

The evolution of retailing has interested academics across a range of disciplines including economics, history, JMMK_new C1 template.inddgeography, and marketing. Due to its interdisciplinary appeal, the corpus of knowledge on retailing is composed of many disparate variables of analysis – from transaction costs and entrepreneurs, to environmental factors and the dispersion of stores. In consequence, the literature that attempts to explain retailing evolution presents as a patchwork, and extant theories remain disconnected because of their narrowness of focus. This literature review applies a macro and systems theory approach to the multi-discipline literature, and links together bodies of work that, until now, have remained conceptually unconnected. This provides a meta typology of six factors that could explain change in retailing: economic efficiencies, cyclical patterns, power inequities, innovative behavior, environmental influences, and interdependent parts of the system in co-evolution.

You can read The Evolution of Retailing: A Meta Review of the Literature” from Journal of Macromarketing for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Macromarketing? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Are Authentic Leadership and Fairness Connected?

September 28, 2015 by

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Christa Kiersch of University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Dr. Kiersch recently collaborated with Zinta S. Byrne of Colorado State University on their article from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies entitled “Is Being Authentic Being Fair? Multilevel Examination of Authentic Leadership, Justice, and Employee Outcomes.”]

Like many interested in leadership and organizational science, I often ask myself (and my perhaps less interested undergraduate students) what it means to be a great leader or to have great leadership. This seems to be a guiding question of much of the research in organizational leadership, and with good cause. If we can better understand what great leadership is, then we may be able to get more of it through improved selection assessments or training and development programs. To go one step further, if we can better understand why certain leadership skills or behaviors or other characteristics are effective, we can offer more precisely targeted recommendations for leaders hoping to make a positive impact (and be more specific regarding what the positive impact will be). This captures the underlying goal of this study, to inform actionable strategies for leaders to positively influence the people and goals of their organization or team.

In our research, we found that being an authentic leader (one based on honesty, self-awareness and transparency) often means being a fair leader, and that one way in which authentic leadership has a positive impact on team members and team outcomes is via perceptions of fair treatment among the team. While I had a hunch that this core relationship between authentic leadership and fairness would be supported in the study, I was intrigued by the complexities of our multi-level findings. I find it interesting that authentic leadership impacts individual perceptions and shared group perceptions (i.e., team climate) a bit differently, and that this impact also appears different depending on the outcome of interest (e.g., turnover intentions vs. employee well-being). I sincerely look forward to continued dialogue regarding these findings and more generally regarding the interesting ways in which leadership impacts (and is impacted by) individuals and groups.

You can read “Is Being Authentic Being Fair? Multilevel Examination of Authentic Leadership, Justice, and Employee Outcomes” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

ChristaChrista E. Kiersch is an assistant professor of Management at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Her research interests include leadership, organizational justice, and social responsibility in the workplace.

Zinta S. Byrne is a professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Colorado State University. Her current research interests focus on employee engagement, organizational justice, and computer-mediated exchanges.

How Does Organizational Design Influence the Risk-Taking Perceptions of Managers?

September 25, 2015 by

GOM 39(6)_Covers.indd[We’re pleased to welcome Devaki Rau of Northern Illinois University. Dr. Rau recently collaborated with Thorvald Haerem of BI Norwegian Business School and Elisa Fredericks of Northern Illinois University on their article “The Influence of Centralization and Extent of Cross-Functional Team Usage on Senior Managers’ Risk-Related Perceptions” from Group and Organization Management.]

Though we know a great deal about why organizations and managers take risks, we know little about how the structure of an organization influences how decision makers perceive risk. This research examines how two fundamental organizational design variables interact to influence senior managers’ perceptions about the extent to which the organization supports risk taking. We study this in a new product development context.

The study argues that the use of cross-functional teams, a type of horizontal control system, makes managers perceive a higher degree of organizational support for risk taking. The centralization of decision making authority, a type of vertical control system, reduces the strength of the positive relation between cross-functional team use and risk perceptions. These vertical and horizontal control mechanisms interact to influence managers’ perceptions of organizational support for risk taking.

Based on a survey of 102 senior managers from a variety of organizations in the U.S. and Norway, the study finds that the extent of cross-functional team use does indeed positively relate to senior managers’ perceptions of organizational support for risk taking. Interestingly however, there is a ceiling effect to this relation. An extensive use of cross-functional teams positively relates to a perceived organizational support for risk taking at the senior manager level, but only when the senior managers have low to moderate levels of decision-making authority. At high levels of senior manager authority, risk related perceptions are more positive, but also largely independent of the extent to which the organization uses cross-functional teams.

This study points to the importance of balancing an organization’s horizontal and vertical control systems, given their effects on managers’ perceptions of support for risk taking. From a practical perspective, the results of the study imply that the widespread use of cross-functional teams (a commonly used tool for new product development) alone is not sufficient to guarantee the greater risk taking needed for successful new product development; senior managers simultaneously need to have some decision making authority. At high levels of senior manager decision making authority, however, perceived support for organizational risk taking is high and independent of the use of cross functional teams.

The question for organizations is, does cross-functional team use generate a sufficiently high return to compensate for these changed perceptions of senior managers? Organizations may be able to use cross-functional teams as a true “best practice” for new product development only when they are able to recognize and manage the more positive risk-related perceptions that accompany extensive cross-functional team use, by vesting senior managers with an appropriate degree of authority.

You can read “The Influence of Centralization and Extent of Cross-Functional Team Usage on Senior Managers’ Risk-Related Perceptions” from Group and Organization Management for free by clicking here. Did you know you can have all the latest research from Group and Organization Management sent directly to your inbox? Just click here to sign up for e-alerts!

WIN_20131024_215951 (2)Devaki Rau is an Associate Professor of Management at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include strategic decision making, top management teams, and organizational learning. Her research has been published in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Small Group Research, and Journal of Business Research. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota.

thorvaldThorvald Haerem is an Associate Professor at Norwegian Business School. His research interests include organizational and individual routines, decision making, and information processing. He has published research in journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Studies, Organization Science, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and Academy of Management Review. He earned his PhD from Copenhagen Business School.

Fredericks_EElisa Fredericks has published on the development of new products in Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Qualitative Research and Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing as well as being an active conference participant. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Northern Illinois University. Her research and teaching includes product development and management and cross functional integration. She earned her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has a BS and MBA from New York University.

Fostering Shared Leadership in Teams

September 23, 2015 by

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint[We’re pleased to welcome Amelie Grille of Braunschweig University of Technology. Dr. Grille recently published an article with Eva-Maria Schulte and Simone Kauffeld, also of Braunschweig University of Technology, in Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies entitled “Promoting Shared Leadership: A Multilevel Analysis Investigating the Role of Prototypical Team Leader Behavior, Psychological Empowerment, and Fair Rewards.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Ample empirical evidence exists that shared leadership is able to increase team performance. We were interested in exploring how shared leadership in teams can be facilitated in order to provide practitioners wishing to advance team performance with information about how to foster shared leadership in their teams. So our research was stimulated by the aim to help practitioners to make use of a concept that has previously been proven to be successful in recent research findings.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

We were surprised to find that traditional forms of leadership, that is, leadership through one leading individual, could foster shared leadership behaviors within the team but that this only happened under certain circumstances: Only as long as team members felt that their leader was representative of the team in terms of representing the team’s values and characteristics, they engaged in the same leadership behavior as their leader. As expected, shared leadership could further be fostered through empowering and rewarding team members.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

The results from our study indicate that empowering and rewarding individuals can help to foster shared leadership in teams. In addition, our results indicate that the role of formally appointed leaders may swift away from being responsible for actually leading the team more towards taking a coaching role demonstrating important leadership behaviors which can hence be picked up by team members. Meanwhile, our findings also point towards the importance that those team leaders should be aware of representing and living up to those values and characteristics their team members identify with in order to facilitate learning processes.

One direction for future research is to explore at what stage of team development individuals with a formal leading role are particularly influential and important for facilitating shared leadership within the team. This would help to understand when team leaders should particularly be conscious of their role as models for team members and should be encouraged to focus on spending their time with the team to reflect on effective leadership behaviors.

You can read “Promoting Shared Leadership: A Multilevel Analysis Investigating the Role of Prototypical Team Leader Behavior, Psychological Empowerment, and Fair Rewards” for free in Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

grilleAmelie Grille is a research associate at the Department of Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany. Her research interests include teamwork, leadership and the development and evaluation of human resource practices.

eva mariaEva-Maria Schulte is a research associate at the Department of Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany. In her research she particularly focusses on teamwork (i.e., processes taking place in team meetings and team leadership), employee wellbeing and coaching.

kauffeldSimone Kauffeld is a full professor for Industrial/Organizational and Social Psychology and vice-president for teaching, studies and further education at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany. She also owns the business consultancy 4A-SIDE GmbH which belongs to the university. Her main research foci are team interaction, competence management and development, coaching, and leadership. In cooperation with medium and large sized companies she has conducted multiple studies on these topics.

Congratulations to Family Business Review’s Outstanding Reviewer for 2015!

September 21, 2015 by

We’re pleased to congratulate Francesco Barbera, winner of Family Business Review‘s Outstanding Reviewer Award for 2015! Dr. Barbera graciously provided us with some information on his background:

Francesco (Frank) Barbera is an Assistant Professor in Family Enterprise and the Director of the Family Enterprise Center at Stetson University in Florida. While working with the Australian Centre for Family Business (ACFB), Dr. Barbera received his Ph.D. in Economics from Bond University in Queensland, Australia. His research covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of family business, small business, entrepreneurship, management, and business education. Frank’s work has been published in high-level journals which include the Family Business Review, Small FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddBusiness Economics, and the Academy of Management Learning and Education, and is regularly presented at international conferences, such as the Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC) and the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA). Dr. Barbera’s research has been recognized with the 2014 the “Best Dissertation Award” by the Family Firm Institute (FFI) and the 2010 and 2014 Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) Scholarships. He is also an active member in the family business community through his work as a member of the Family Business Review’s Editorial Board, a coach for the Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC), and the Team Leader for Stetson University’s Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project.

In honor of this award, you can read the latest issue of Family Business Review for free through the end of September! Click here to view the Table of Contents. For more information on Family Business Review‘s Best Reviewer Awards, including this year’s Excellent Reviewers, click here. To have all the latest news and research from Family Business Review sent directly to your inbox, click here!

Taking a Closer Look at the Building Blocks of Psychological Contracts

September 18, 2015 by

GOM 39(6)_Covers.indd[We’re pleased to welcome Ultan P. Sherman of the University College Cork. Dr. Sherman recently collaborated with Michael J. Morley of the University of Limerick on their article “On the Formation of the Psychological Contract: A Schema Theory Perspective” from Group and Organization Management.]

When I registered as a Ph.D student many years ago, my supervisor at the time (and co-author on this paper) Prof. Michael Morley tasked me with reading five articles on the psychological contract. The very first article I read was by Denise Rousseau (2001). In her seminal paper she discussed the schematic principles of the psychological contract. Fourteen years after this paper was first published it still surprises me that the building blocks of the psychological contract has only received minor attention from researchers. Both Michael and I felt that revisiting the ‘psychology’ of the psychological contract would facilitate a deeper understanding of how the contract is created. It is funny to think that the very first article I read has significantly informed this paper.

Many of us will recall feelings of anxiety on our first day of work. Often this anxiety stems from the fear of the unknown. To allay this fear, new recruits often seek lots of information as a means of addressing the unanswered questions we hold about our new job (i.e. what is my team like?, do we work late into the evenings in this firm?, etc.). Our paper argues that the information gathered at the beginning of employment is used to make sense of a new job and it is from this process that a psychological contract emerges. Of course, a new recruit will seek out and interpret information differently depending on many different biases and individual motivations contained in their schema. The schema filters new information in light of past work experiences and individual motivations. Therefore, by understanding the elements of the schema and how it functions, we can gain a deeper insight into how the psychological contract is created.

We hope that this paper will guide future researchers along new lines of enquiry into how the psychological contract is created. We all have very unique and idiosyncratic work experiences that influence our perceptions of each subsequent employment. Exploring this ‘baggage’ will allow us to better predict behaviour in and around the employment relationship. Similarly, we encourage future researchers to more explicitly examine how information is used by new recruits at organisational entry. From a practical perspective, it is in the employers interest to know what sources of information are used, and not used, by new recruits at the beginning of their tenure with the firm.

You can read “On the Formation of the Psychological Contract: A Schema Theory Perspective” from Group and Organization Management for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

w_rms_blob_commonUltan P. Sherman is a lecturer in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the School of Management and Marketing, University College Cork, Ireland. His primary research interests lie broadly in the relationship between work and psychology focusing on issues such as the psychological contract, knowledge circulation and the meaning of work.

MichaelMorley_10[1]Michael J. Morley is Professor of Management at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland. His research interests encompass international, comparative and cross-cultural issues in human resource management which he investigates at micro, meso and macro levels.


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