A Paradox Perspective on Line Manager Implementation of HRM Practices

NFjom.png[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Na Fu of the Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin; Professor Patrick Flood of Dublin City University; Professor Denise Rousseau of Carnegie Mellon University; and Professor Tim Morris of University of Oxford. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management entitled “Line Managers as Paradox Navigators in HRM Implementation: Balancing Consistency and Individual Responsiveness,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, the team reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

JOM_44.1_72ppiRGB_powerpoint What motivated you to pursue this research?

People do not leave companies, they leave their managers. A lot of research has found evidence for the importance of leadership. This study is not focusing on the leadership of teams but on the paradoxical role that line managers take in implementing varied human resource management practice. It was motivated by a friend of the first author who constantly got confused that why his manager treated everyone differently. In some cases, it is a good thing that team members receive individualized consideration. However, some consistency should be contained to ensure team members satisfaction.

In what ways is your research innovative?

This is the first study that explores how line manager’s HRM implementation influences individual and team outcomes using a paradox perspective. Head of Talent and a Senior consultant in a large consulting firm helped us with data collection from 60 project teams. In this consulting firm as well as in most of organizations, line managers now share increasing responsibilities for implementing HRM practices, such as selecting members into the team, providing mentoring, managing performance and promoting teamwork.

As paradox navigators, line managers have to be consistent with all team members but also need to consider individual difference when they implement HRM practices. Examples showing how line managers manage the consistency-individual responsiveness paradox are presented in the paper. One example is that when training programs are introduced, line managers can inform all members about such opportunities and their purpose, while considering individual contributions and likely benefits for each team member in attending such training. In the case of developmental feedback, line managers might communicate with each team member while varying the mode and nature of the feedback according to their abilities, relational orientation and past performance.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

A key solution to building organizational competitive advantage is through the development of people. Our findings reveal the critical role of line managers in motivating team members’ effective job performance. In particular, line managers as paradox navigators need to be upskilled as to how they can balance consistency and individual responsiveness in their implementation of HRM practices. Future research is encouraged to explore what organizations can do to improve line managers’ abilities, motivation and opportunities to balance consistency and individual responsiveness and/or other paradoxes that they are facing, ultimately improving team and organizational outcomes.

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Visit SAGE @ AOM 2018!

2018 ThemeThis week kicks off of the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Chicago! This year SAGE is proud to sponsor awards and papers for the following AOM divisions:

  • Gender and Diversity in Organizations (GDO)
  • Management Education and Development (MED)
  • Organizational Behavior (OB)
  • Research Methods (RMD)
  • Entrepreneurship (ENT)
  • Organization and the Natural Environment (ONE)
  • Organization Development and Change (ODC)

SAGE will be answering publishing inquiries and displaying top-tier management journals books and online products at booth #306. Come by and visit!

Join SAGE at AOM 2018 to Provide Your Feedback!

2018 ThemeThe Academy of Management 2018 Annual Meeting is going on now in Chicago!

If you’re attending AOM, don’t forget to stop by SAGE’s booths, where we’ll have the latest scholarly research from  Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management, Organization StudiesFamily Business Review, Human Relations and other top-tier SAGE journals, as well as plenty of friendly faces willing to answer all your publishing inquiries. So come visit booth #306!

Whether or not you’ll be able to attend this year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting, please feel free to peruse the latest from SAGE’s management and business journals represented at AOM:

ASQ_v59n3_Sept2014_cover.inddAdministrative Science Quarterly This top-tier journal regularly publishes the best theoretical and empirical papers based on dissertations and on the evolving and new work of more established scholars, as well as interdisciplinary work in organizational theory, and informative book reviews.


Business & Society
In this fast-growing, ever-changing, and always challenging field of study, BAS is the only peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted entirely to research, discussion, and analysis on the relationship between business and society.


fbra_31_2.coverFamily Business Review provides a scholarly platform devoted exclusively to exploration of the dynamics of family-controlled enterprise, including firms ranging in size from the very large to the relatively small. FBR is focused not only the entrepreneurial founding generation, but also on family enterprises in the 2nd and 3rd generation and beyond, including some of the world’s oldest companies.

GOM_72ppiRGB_powerpointGroup and Organization Management
publishes a broad range of articles, including data-based research articles, research review reports, evaluation studies, action research reports, and critiques of research. In addition, GOM brings you articles examining a wide range of topics in organizations from an international and cross-cultural perspective.

Human Relations publishes the highest quality original research to advance our understanding of social relationships at and around work. Human Relations encourages strong empirical contributions that develop and extend theory as well as more conceptual papers that integrate, critique and expand existing theory.



The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science JABS is continually breaking ground in its exploration of group dynamics, organization development, and social change, providing scholars the best in research, theory, and methodology, while also informing professionals and their clients.



Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies produces high-quality, peer-reviewed research articles on leadership and organizational studies, focusing in particular on the intersection of these two areas of study.


JOM_44.1_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management is committed to publishing scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field as a whole and cover such field as business strategy and policy, entrepreneurship, human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational theory, and research methods.

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Education is dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning in the management and organizational disciplines. JME’s published articles reflect changes and developments in the conceptualization, organization, and practice of management education.


JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Inquiry is a leading journal for scholars and professionals in management, organizational behavior, strategy, and human resources. JMI explores ideas and builds knowledge in management theory and practice, with a focus on creative, nontraditional research, as well as, key controversies in the field.

Management Learning, the ‘Journal for Critical, Reflexive Scholarship on Organisation and Learning’, publishes original theoretical, empirical and exploratory articles on learning and knowing in management and organizations. Now in its fifth decade of publication, Management Learning continues to provide a unique forum for critical inquiry, innovative ideas and dialogue.

07ORM13_Covers.inddOrganizational Research Methods brings relevant methodological developments to a wide range of researchers in organizational and management studies and promotes a more effective understanding of current and new methodologies and their application in organizational settings.

Organization Studies publishes top quality theoretical and empirical research which promotes the understanding of organizations, organizing and the organized in and between societies. OS is a multidisciplinary journal with global reach, rooted in the social sciences, comparative in outlook and open to paradigmatic plurality. It is included in the Financial Times Top 50 journals list.

Organization is a peer-reviewed journal whose principal aim is to foster dialogue and innovation in studies of organization. The journal addresses a broad spectrum of issues, and a wide range of perspectives, as the foundation for a ‘neo-disciplinary’ organization studies.

Strategic Organization (SO) is devoted to publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed, discipline-grounded conceptual and empirical research of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners of strategic management and organization.


Improving Lives and How Organizations Can Help

OSSThe theme of this year’s Academy of Management conference is on improving lives and how organizations can help. Ahead of the conference, Trish Reay, Editor-in-Chief of Organization Studies, has selected a few papers from the journal considering these questions.

The Human Capital Hoax: Work, Debt and Insecurity in the Era of Uberization by Peter Fleming
Human capital theory is widely celebrated as a framework for explaining how organizations and societies can build skill, innovation and socio-economic wellbeing. This paper argues that it can result in the opposite. Human capital theory fundamentally individualizes people, placing the costs of economic activity onto the employee. Self-employment, on-demand business models, freelancing and what some term the Uberization of the workforce follow from the idea that people are ultimately responsible for their own economic fate. Instead of being freer and wealthier, human capitalists are just as likely to be mired in debt, insecure and dominated by authoritarian management systems.

Giving Meaning to Everyday Work After Terrorism Derin Kent
Global terrorism in the early 21st century appears to be an inevitable part of organizational life. Even among people not personally injured in an attack, the immediate aftermath can be a period of hardship, stress and sensemaking. This paper develops theory about how people give meaning to their work after terrorism. In contrast to views of everyday work as something that loses significance in times of such tragedy, this paper outlines the conditions under which individuals are also likely to find positive meaning in it.

Engaging and Misbehaving: How Dignity Affects Employee Work Behaviors
Kristen Lucas, Andrew S. Manikas, Shaunn Mattingly, Cole J. Crider

This paper explores the influence of workplace dignity on employee work behaviors that affect organizational performance. Framing our inquiry with Sharon Bolton’s yet-untested multidimensional theory of dignity, Randy Hodson’s content-coded ethnographic data is analyzed to reveal that increases in workplace dignity tend to predict increases in employee engagement, yet have mixed effects on counterproductive workplace behaviors. The authors identify the critical role of safe and secure working conditions in enabling and constraining employees’ ability to redress or resist workplace indignities with counterproductive workplace behaviors.

Legitimacy Struggles and Political Corporate Social Responsibility in International Settings: A Comparative Discursive Analysis of a Contested Investment in Latin America
Maria Joutsenvirta, Eero Vaara

This paper examines the discursive legitimation of controversial investment projects to provide a better understanding of the ways in which corporate social responsibility is constructed in international settings. The analysis helps to better understand how CSR involves discourse-ideological struggles, how CSR is embedded in international relations, and how CSR is mediatized in contemporary globalizing society. By so doing, this paper contributes to critical studies of CSR as well as research on legitimation more generally

Crystalline Empowerment: Negotiating Tensions in Refugee Resettlement
Tiffany A Dykstra-DeVette, Heather E Canary

As the number of forcibly displaced people continues to rise worldwide, humanitarian organizations are playing a growing role in finding solutions. This study investigates one of the world’s largest refugee resettlement organizations as it pilots innovative empowerment programs. With very little research regarding organizational rhetoric, discourse, and practices within resettlement agencies, there is great need for understanding the tensions that arise amid empowerment processes.

Translating Institutional Change to Local Communities: The Role of Linking Organizations
Kathryn L. Heinze, Sara Soderstrom, Justin E. Heinze
The authors examine the processes and mechanisms of translating broader field-level change to the local community, drawing on insights from the inhabited institutions perspective and community-based institutionalism. In particular, they develop the concept of linking organizations as key actors in institutional change that connect the broader field and community levels.

SAGE @AOM 2018!

2018 ThemeToday is the first day of the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Chicago, Illinois. This year’s theme is Improving Lives. In introducing the theme, Jacqueline A-M. Coyle-Shapiro, Academy of Management Vice President and Program Chair, had this to say:

The 2018 Theme asks the question: How can organizations contribute to the betterment of society through elevating the health and well-being of those who live in it? What role can organizations play in positively affecting the physical, psychological, social, and financial health of individuals, groups, communities, countries, regions, or global society?

Organizations are integral to, and have an interdependent relationship with, society. As such, they affect whether societies realize their members’ health (“complete physical, mental and social well-being,” WHO 1946) and overall wellbeing (“being happy, healthy and prosperous,” Merriam-Webster). However, the role of organizations and the responsibility for improving lives is unclear, as is the extent to which their efforts have been successful.

The Theme will explore such issues as whether (and why) organizations have a responsibility for improving the lives of individuals in society. Do organizations have an obligation to “give back”? Are there benefits for organizations who seek to improve lives as a strategic opportunity? Could—and should—organizations play more of a role in the overall health and well-being of a society? What does it take to achieve a coordinated and sustained effort from organizations to address the grand challenges of improving a society’s physical, psychological, social, and financial health? How can health and well-being become part of the conversation in upper echelons of organizations? What types of leadership approaches will engage people in making positive differences in their lives, on both large and small scales? If organizational purpose is to ensure that lives are better, what should organizations do differently?

A number of recent trends have created unique opportunities for organizations to have a positive impact. Aging, the rise of mental health issues, diversity in communities, financial insecurity, and the role of technology in facilitating constant connectivity have created challenges that organizations may be in an ideal place to address. What organizational solutions responding to these current trends are having a positive impact on the health and well-being of those affected? Under what conditions do organizational solutions transform the impact of current trends into positive effects for health and well-being of those in their local and global communities? We seek to showcase work that informs these issues. Diverse forms of research are pertinent, some examples of which include:

• What organizations are doing to ensure that digital technology/robotics positively impacts the health and well-being of employees and better serve the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and society.
• What organizations are doing to positively impact the health and well-being of an aging workforce.
• What organizational actions are providing a basis for employees with mental/physical health concerns to flourish.
• What organizations are doing to contribute to a more inclusive society and the health and well-being of diverse communities.
• What solutions organizations (individually or collectively) offer to ensure the health of the planet and, thereby, improve societal health and well-being.
• What organizations are doing to encourage and sustain financial well-being, both for their employees and for those impacted by their operations.

There is also rising inequality. Our society comprises “haves” and “have nots,” and increasing segments of society are disenfranchised as a result of prejudice, poverty, conflict, and disasters. What role can organizations have in improving the lives of vulnerable populations? What would the implications be for the care of vulnerable people? How can different types of organizations measure their impact on the health and well-being of a society’s most vulnerable groups, such as:

• the unemployed
• the working poor
• immigrants
• refugees and other displaced persons
• those living in poverty?

Pause for a moment and imagine what is and what would be possible if we seriously considered the involvement of organizations in creating a better society. Some potential questions for our diverse community to explore:

— What would it mean for organizations to seriously take into account the health and well-being of their employees and those doing life-changing work in unique contexts? What organizationally sponsored initiatives make a positive difference to the health of employees? How, when, and why does organizational performance positively impact health and well-being?
— Under what conditions do structures and processes promote societal health and well-being in the short-term and longer term? How are organizational products and services making a difference to societal health and well-being? What conditions facilitate organizations promoting human and environmental health in their supply chain and sourcing decisions? What can organizations do to enhance financial well-being in society?
— What factors facilitate and reinforce attention and action on society’s health and well-being at different levels? How do advocacy groups and Internet activism positively affect organizations’ health and well-being goals? How do organizations use their influence to advance the health agenda of public policymakers? What facilitating conditions support organizational success in improving health and well-being? How do community dynamics and nonprofit organizations shape its impact?
— How do institutional contexts facilitate the collaboration and pooling of resources to positively address societal health and well-being? What organizational capabilities facilitate the detection of societal need for help in the context of natural and human-caused disasters?
— What forms of organizational alliances/partnerships facilitate a positive impact on health and well-being? What are effective methods of knowledge transfer between organizations in the effort to cure diseases?
— How does management education positively impact the health and well-being of students and contribute to improving the lives of vulnerable groups in society? What role should management education play in promoting the health of the planet and the lives of its people?

As we prepare for the 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago, I hope that you will think creatively, broadly, and provocatively about Improving Lives from many different perspectives.

Will you be attending AOM this year? If so, make sure to stop by SAGE booth #306! You can speak to SAGE employees about your publishing questions and learn more about SAGE’s management books and journals, including top-tier journals like Journal of ManagementAdministrative Science Quarterly, Organization Studies, and more!

Stay tuned for more information about SAGE at AOM 2018!

Interested in more information about this year’s conference? Click here to view the 2018 program.

Congratulations to the Incoming Editor of Compensation and Benefits Review!

We’re pleased to congratulate Phillip Bryant of Columbus State University on his appointment as the Editor for Compensation and Benefits Review!

bryant_phillipDr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at Columbus State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Management at the University of Memphis. His primary research, teaching and consulting activities are concentrated around human resource management and servant leadership.

Dr. Bryant’s research in managing employee turnover has won the Academy of Management Perspectives’ Best Paper Award (2010) and the Academy of Management’s Outstanding Practitioner-Oriented Publication Award (2011). His co-authored book, Managing Employee Turnover was published by Business Expert Press in 2012.

Dr. Bryant has extensive consulting, management and entrepreneurial experience with companies such as American Home Shield, Monogram Foods Solutions and SCB Computer Technology.

Most recently, he co-founded & co-edited Servant Leadership: Theory & Practice with colleague Steve Brown.


To B or not to B? The Journey of “Coding Autism” Toward the B Corp Certification

Professors Maria Ballesteros-Sola, Morgan Stickney, and Yvette Trejo of
California State University, Channel Islands recently published a case study in the Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy which is entitled “To B or not to B? The Journey of “Coding Autism” Toward the B Corp Certification.” We are pleased to welcome them as contributors and excited to announce that the case study will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Below they reveal the inspiration behind the research, as well as advice for future researchers.

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

While the B-Corp certification has existed for more than ten years, there are only a handful of published teaching cases that deal with the certification, its meaning, challenges and implications in different organizational contexts. I am also interested in understanding how hybrid organizations operate and deal with a priori conflicting logics and goals, so when I learned about Oliver Thornton and his start-up Coding Austin, I realized I had a case that combined two of my key research interests.

I reached out to Oliver and he was very receptive and excited about the collaboration. Oliver was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of two. His brother was also diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Oliver’s and his parents’ effort put him on the path to success. He graduated with a Business Degree from CLU, joined his family’s real estate firm and started Coding Autism.

At some point, he considered the B-Corp certification to signal how Coding Autism was mission-driven; but was this certification the right choice at this early stage? Our readers will have to read the case to learn more (no spoilers here!). I am excited to offer this case to business schools around the world so students can be engaged in meaningful discussions about the B-Corp certification, the challenges of living with autism and even the broader role of business in society.

Peer-reviewed field-based teaching cases present a fantastic opportunity to establish theoretical linkages between an organizational challenge or dilemma and different frameworks in the existing literature. As a qualitative researcher, I found myself navigating between research cases and teaching cases, since the research case facilitates the generation of theory, then it gets affirmed and integrated into a teaching case. It is a beautiful virtuous circle.

What advice would you give?

For new scholars interested in teaching case writing, I encourage them to check out the Paul R. Lawrence (PLR) Fellowship. http://caseresearchfoundation.org/fellowship
As a PLR Fellow in 2016, I was sponsored to attend the North American Case Research Association annual conference, where I was mentored, trained and guided to take my case writing to the next level. SAGE is sponsoring the Fellowship this year, so we are very thankful for that.

Finally, I am also the co-editor for a new SAGE Case Mini-Series on Social Impact, and accordingly, I would like to encourage all authors interested to consider submitting a teaching case for our new series. http://sk.sagepub.com/socialimpactseries . We welcome teaching cases that explore not only successful social impact enterprises, but also those that provide opportunities to learn from failures.

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