Author Archive

How Do Societal Institutions Affect Organizations and the Way That Work Is Organized?

September 23, 2016

5999449329_023f404bbd_z[We are pleased to welcome Trish Reay, Editor-in-Chief of Organization Studies.]

There is a wealth of information in studies categorized as Comparative Institutionalism that can provide important insights into current questions about the collective organizing of work. In the latest virtual Perspectives issue of Organization Studies, authors Jasper Hotho and Ayse Saka-Helmhout provide an overview of the literature on comparative institutionalism and show how key themes within this body of research can make important contributions to current debates in organization theory. For example, by paying more attention to the institutional differences across societies, researchers can respond to calls for a more contextualized and holistic understanding of organizations. Current Issue CoverBecause institutional scholars have recently been focused on the organizational field level, they have almost ignored previous studies showing how organizations and society tend to reflect each other structurally. Hotho and Saka-Helmhout explain how established knowledge about the connections between societal institutions and organizations can facilitate new organizational insights.

More specifically, Hotho and Saka-Helmhout identify three themes in the comparative institutionalism literature that can inform our understanding of organizational behavior. Theme 1: Societal differences in modes of organizing have consequences for organizational work practices. Theme 2: Relationships between societal institutions impact economic organization and the market structure within which organizations pursue multiple paths to performance. Theme 3: Different societal institutions hold significant implications for multinational enterprises because they must straddle the variety.

These themes are elaborated on with particular attention to eight previously published articles that have contributed to the development of key ideas and turning points within comparative institutionalism. These articles are available to access for free online in the Comparative Institutionalism Perspectives issue, which you can access here.

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*Building image attributed to Peter Alred Hess (CC)

Developing A Salient Relationship with Stakeholders

September 21, 2016

Coffee beans - office stimulant

[We’re pleased to welcome Anabella Davila and Christiane Molina of Tecnologico de Monterrey. Anabella and Christiane recently published an article in Business & Society, entitled “From Silent to Salient Stakeholders: A Study of a Coffee Cooperative and the Dynamic of Social Relationships.”]

A less-bureaucratic, hierarchal relationship, that is based on moral commitment to stakeholders, may benefit long-term understanding and solution of stakeholder claims, according to the article “From Silent to Salient Stakeholders: A Study of Coffee Cooperative and the Dynamic of Social Relationships,” published in the journal Business & Society, coauthored by Anabella Davila, a research professor and the leader of the Strategy and Management in Emerging Economies Research Group at EGADE Business School, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico and Christiane Molina, professor at the Undergraduate School of Business, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico State Campus.

This study of an indigenous coffee farmers’ cooperative association, which was once isolated and then began to compete on the fair-trade global market, notes that the “silence” of stakeholders is the result of an unequal relationship that is not focused on satisfying their needs. Since 1940, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region (UCIRI, in Spanish), made up of small, independent farmers from the Tehuantepec Isthmus region (state of Oaxaca), had worked in government programs that promoted the coffee industry. However, it was not until they created a formal cooperative association in 1983 that UCIRI started to gain salience as a stakeholder of government agencies and fair-trade organizations.

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The study centers on how interactions and relationships are developed between organizations and stakeholders, especially when the stakeholders come from communities at the periphery of society and economic activity. By analyzing data on the UCIRI’s past evolution, the authors found that the unequal, hierarchal, bureaucratic relationship between government agencies and coffee farmers was less effective for understanding and tending to their demands, including better living conditions. As “silent” individuals, small farmers were invisible in the stakeholder network, but when they became part of a formal group, they took their first steps toward “salience.”

In addition, it was thanks to mediation by the Dutchman Francisco VanderHoff Boersma, who had a strong moral commitment to the development of the communities in the region that UCIRI began to develop links with foreign fair-trade organizations and to move toward this market niche in the 1980s. This collaboration allowed the cooperative to export to Europe and the United States and to work with large distributors.

Thus, the authors stress the importance of individual mediators and a moral commitment when building a strong, lasting relationship that allows the demands of marginalized stakeholders to be satisfied. A less bureaucratic, hierarchal relationship—based on a moral commitment to stakeholders—benefits long-term understanding and stability of the relations between stakeholders and the organization.

Besides gaining “salience” within the coffee industry, the UCIRI members were empowered and earned recognition from authorities, becoming an important actor in the promotion of fair trade in Mexico.

The abstract:

Theoretical and empirical research on stakeholder behavior tends to focus on specific actions or responses in the context of the organization–stakeholder relationship. Despite increased efforts to look beyond the dyadic organization–stakeholder relationship, research still favors the perspective of the focal organization. The taken-for-granted assumption of the organization–stakeholder relationship may limit our understanding of how organization–stakeholder linkages are formed and evolve over time. By adopting the perspective of the stakeholder, this article examines organization–stakeholder relationship formation and tracks changes in the salience of stakeholder groups otherwise considered to be nonstakeholders. This research draws from a case study of small coffee producers in Southern Mexico who formed a cooperative and developed salience within their stakeholder network after a long history of diverse individual, organizational, and institutional arrangements. The findings suggest that the replacement of bureaucratic stakeholder relationships (i.e., those based on inequality, transactions, and hierarchy) with relationships characterized by strong moral commitment to stakeholders’ claims (in this case, the improvement of the community’s economic and social welfare) enabled independent farmers to transform into an integrated, solid, and worldwide competitive group of coffee producers.

You can read “From Silent to Salient Stakeholders: A Study of a Coffee Cooperative and the Dynamic of Social Relationships” from Business & Society free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Business & SocietyClick here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also find the journal on Twitterclick here to read through Business & Society‘s latest tweets!

*Coffee image attributed to Lilian Wong (CC)

Deconstructing Privilege and Equalizing Access to Employee Engagement

September 19, 2016

1118629691_d977a99f65_z[We’re pleased to welcome Brad Shuck of University of Louisville. Brad recently published an article in Human Resource Development Review with co-authors Joshua C. Collins, Tonette S. Rocco, and Raquel Diaz, entitled Deconstructing the Privilege and Power of Employee Engagement: Issues of Inequality for Management and Human Resource Development.” From Brad:]

We were inspired to write this article due to some experiences that each author had encountered in their own personal lives. In some situations, we found ourselves thinking about what work must be like for people we met in our daily lives, how they might be treated as an employee, and how their co-workers and leaders were experienced. I personally had a profound experience while traveling aboard, watching a man dig hundreds of small square holes in the blazing sun, with no break or water in long sleeves. Despite the conditions outside and what seemed to be the grueling nature of his work, he was smiling and seemed to be enjoying his duties. He moved from hole to hole with energy and presence, paying close attention to the details of the earth he was moving.

I wondered if it were possible for this man to be engaged when the conditions of his work seemed so tough. After some reflection, I realized that I needed to check my own privilege, realizing that I had a lot to learn about deconstructing issues related to privilege – and inherently power – when it came to exploring the idea of employee engagement. It was of course entirely possible for the man I met to be engaged – and for any person to be fully engaged in any work – and that so much of what I was assuming about his work – and again, the work of others – was wrapped in the ways individuals encountered experiences of privilege in their own work settings. It became important for us to explore these issues, as we suspected that both privilege and power potentially influenced experiences of engagement, although we knew very little about how and why this might happen.

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We were initially struck by the fact that almost universally, every organization wants higher levels of engagement, and despite decades worth of research and practice, the numbers on engagement have changed very little. Some have suggested that this is due in large part of the failure to win the hearts and minds of employees. We offer, however, that perhaps it is not a massive failure at all; rather for the many who go to work every day, organizational struggle is the norm due to encounters of privilege at play inside organizations. When employee engagement is a privilege only a select few employee’s experience, we agreed with scholars such as David Guest – who suggested that employee engagement is nothing more than a manufactured, normative, and exploitative overextension of work (our words, not his).

On the other hand, when organizations develop deeply inclusive cultures that foster engagement – when they support the conditions for engagement to flourish and all employees enjoy a positive psychological state of work—this leads to higher levels of performance, greater productivity, and experiences of higher levels of well-being. Because we define employee engagement as a psychological state dependent on an employees’ encounters with that organizational culture, the outcomes of employee engagement (i.e., higher performance) can be defined as a privilege for the organization. When an organization nurtures those conditions of engagement, employees are more likely to engage at higher levels and consequently perform better. Undoubtedly, higher levels of performance becomes an earned organizational asset that helps an organization advance and benefit over and at the expense of their competitors. The willingness to nurture the conditions for engagement develops as an authentic experience for the employee. From this perspective, employee engagement is not exploitative or overextending at all. It is transformational and positive, and it is a shared experience.

There is still so much to unpack and work through with this topic, and we hope that our work can inspire future research that might take up this perspective empirically, to test our propositions and better refine this still emerging theory. We also hope that those who read our ideas on this topic will think about their own engagement and how, if at all, their experiences with their own work have been influenced by encounters with privileged organizational structures and individuals, as well as what role they choose to play in that process and experience.

The abstract for the article:

The purpose of our work was to explore the job demands–resources model of engagement through the critical lens(es) of privilege and power. This deconstruction of the privilege and power of employee engagement was focused toward exploring four principal questions: Who (a) controls the context of work? (b) determines the experience of engagement? (c) defines the value of engagement? and (d) benefits from high levels of engagement? We conclude that organizations and employees both benefit from the outcomes associated with the heightened experience of employee engagement. We maintain, however, that the organization is uniquely positioned to influence systems of power and privilege that ultimately enable the conditions for engagement to flourish. Organizations desiring high levels of engagement have an obligation to confront manifestations of privilege such as unequal states of power, access, status, credibility, and normality.

You can read Deconstructing the Privilege and Power of Employee Engagement: Issues of Inequality for Management and Human Resource Development from Human Resource Development Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from Human Resource Development ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

Book Review: Secrecy at Work: The Hidden Architecture of Organizational Life

September 16, 2016

Cover of Secrecy at Work by Jana Costas and Christopher Grey  Jana Costas, Christopher Grey : Secrecy at Work: The Hidden Architecture of Organizational Life. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. 202 pp. $27.95, paper.

Blake E. Ashforth of Arizona State University Tempe recently contributed a book review in Administrative Science QuarterlyAn excerpt from the book review:

In their provocative new book, Jana Costas and Christopher Grey focus not on organizational secrets per se, the content that is concealed, but on organizational secrecy, “the processes through which secrets are kept” (p. 7). Note the plural in “processes,” as the dynamics and their ramifications can become quite complex. The authors’ goal, which they amply meet, is to bring secrecy out from the shadows, as it were, and convince the reader that it warrants far more scholarly Current Issue Coverattention as both an important topic in its own right and as a complement to management topics such as leadership, organizational change, and politics.

The book’s subtitle, “The Hidden Architecture of Organizational Life,” speaks to their core argument: that secrecy explicitly and implicitly creates a compartmentalized structure linked by narrow corridors, a machinery for surveillance and monitoring, and organizational norms and professional ethics codes, all coupled with processes for sharing and not sharing information. “Like electricity or water in buildings, secret knowledge must always be penned in to proscribed places and forced to flow around prescribed routes” (p. 140).

You can read the rest of the book review from Administrative Science Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research published by Administrative Science QuarterlyClick here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also follow the journal on Twitter–click here to read recent tweets from Administrative Science Quarterly!

You can also read additional blog content for Administrative Science Quarterly content from the ASQ Blog, as well as Editor Henrich Greve’s blog, Organizational Musings.

 

What Factors Increase Gender Diversity in Management?

September 14, 2016

13887676297_d1da829ccb_zManagement structure can have a large impact on the representation of women in management, but which structure is most effective in promoting gender diversity? The answer may surprise you. In the article “The View at the Top or Signing at the Bottom? Workplace Diversity Responsibility and Women’s Representation in Management,” from ILR Review, authors Mary E. Graham, Maura A. Belliveau, and Julie L. Hotchkiss investigated what correlations could be found between different management structures and gender diversity in management. Surprisingly, they found that having an HR executive on the top management team did not necessarily equate to more women in management. The abstract for the article describes their findings:

Women lag men in their representation in management jobs, which negatively affects women’s careers and company performance. Using data from 81 publicly traded firms with more than 2,000 establishments, the authors examine the impact of two management structures that may influence gender diversity in management Current Issue Coverpositions. The authors find no association between the presence of an HR executive on the top management team—a structure envisioned in practice as enhancing diversity but which could, instead, operate merely symbolically—and the proportion of women in management. By contrast, the authors show a strong, positive association between a previously unexamined measure of commitment to diversity—the hierarchical rank of the individual certifying the company’s required, confidential federal EEO-1 report—and women’s representation in management. These findings counter the common perception that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations are too weak to affect gender diversity. The authors discuss the implications for diversity scholarship, as well as for management practice and public policy.

You can read the article “The View at the Top or Signing at the Bottom? Workplace Diversity Responsibility and Women’s Representation in Management” published in ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research published by ILR ReviewClick here to sing up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Will Evans (CC)

 

The Chrysalis Effect: Publication Bias in Management Research

September 12, 2016

14523043285_2235b0dbb4_zHow well do published management articles represent the broader management research? To say that questionable research practices impact only a few articles ignores the broader, systemic issue effecting management research. According to authors Ernest Hugh O’Boyle Jr., George Christopher Banks, and Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, the high pressure for academics to publish leads many to engage in questionable research, thereby leading the resulting published articles to be biased and unrepresentative. In their article, “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles,” published in Journal of Management, O’Boyle, Banks, and Gonzalez-Mulé delve into the issue of questionable research practices. The abstract for the paper:

The issue of a published literature not representative of the population of research is Current Issue Covermost often discussed in terms of entire studies being suppressed. However, alternative sources of publication bias are questionable research practices (QRPs) that entail post hoc alterations of hypotheses to support data or post hoc alterations of data to support hypotheses. Using general strain theory as an explanatory framework, we outline the means, motives, and opportunities for researchers to better their chances of publication independent of rigor and relevance. We then assess the frequency of QRPs in management research by tracking differences between dissertations and their resulting journal publications. Our primary finding is that from dissertation to journal article, the ratio of supported to unsupported hypotheses more than doubled (0.82 to 1.00 versus 1.94 to 1.00). The rise in predictive accuracy resulted from the dropping of statistically nonsignificant hypotheses, the addition of statistically significant hypotheses, the reversing of predicted direction of hypotheses, and alterations to data. We conclude with recommendations to help mitigate the problem of an unrepresentative literature that we label the “Chrysalis Effect.”

You can read “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also follow the journal on Twitter–read through the latest tweets from Journal of Management by clicking here!

*Library image attributed to Apple Vershoor (CC)

 

Personalized and Depersonalized Responses to Leaders’ Fair Treatment

September 9, 2016

editedgroupHow can employees’ perceptions of fairness simultaneously fuel both personalized and depersonalized leader-member relations? In a recent article published in Group & Organization, entitled “Personalized and Depersonalized Responses to Leaders’ Fair Treatment: Status Judgments and Leader-Member Exchange as Mediating Mechanisms,” author Amer A. Al-Atwi explores two psychological mechanisms through which the leader’s fair treatment encourages followers to define themselves in terms of a given role and group membership relationships. The abstract for the article:

By extracting insights from leader–member exchange (LMX) theory and social identity theory, this study predicted that a leader’s interactional justice is associated with followers’ multifoci identification by personalized and depersonalized mediating Current Issue Covermechanisms. Specifically, we hypothesized that a leader’s interactional justice affects (a) followers’ relational identification via the LMX as a personalized response and (b) followers’ work-group identification via status judgments (pride and respect) as a depersonalized response. The study’s constructs were measured on three separate occasions over an interval of 4 months, using data from a sample of 322 employees at a large public university. As predicted, we found that (a) LMX mediates the relationship between interactional justice and relational identification and (b) status judgments (pride and respect) mediate the relationships between interactional justice and work-group identification. Theoretical and practical implications for these findings are discussed.

You can read “Personalized and Depersonalized Responses to Leaders’ Fair Treatment: Status Judgments and Leader-Member Exchange as Mediating Mechanisms” from Group & Organization free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Group & Organization ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also follow Group & Organization Management on Twitter–click here to see the most recent tweets!

*Group image attributed to Lindebornt (CC)

Read the New Issue of Journal of Management Education!

September 7, 2016

10740098824_efe1d316b7_zThe October 2016 issue of Journal of Management Education is now available online, and can be accessed free for the next 30 days. The October issue features a new provocative conversation for the article “Isn’t It Time We Did Something About the Lack of Teaching Preparation in Business Doctoral Programs?” by authors Robert D. Marx, Joseph E. Garcia, D. Anthony Butterfield, Jeffrey A. Kappen, and Timothy T. Baldwin. The rejoinders for the article include rejoinders from Roy J. Lewicki, James Bailey, Graham Gibbs, Dianne Minh Le, and Denise M. Rousseau.

In the rejoinder “A Deeper Dig,” Roy J. Lewicki and James Current Issue CoverBailey delve into the supply side, demand side, and throughput process of management doctoral programs to fully understand the lack of teaching preparation. Their rejoinder suggests that institutions would be resistant to the suggested changes, but a shift in the supply and demand for skilled teachers could potentially force the hand of institutions to address this issue.

In the rejoinder “On the Call for Action,” Dianne Le discusses the role of AACSB and hiring institutions in addressing the lack of teaching preparation. Her rejoinder raises the question of when and where teacher training should begin, considering teaching expectations differ quite a bit from one institution to the next.

You can read all of the rejoinders and more from the October 2016 issue of Journal of Management Education free for the next 30 days–click here to view the table of contents! You can also read through past provocative conversations published on the Journal of Management Education website here.

Want to stay current on all of the latest research and rejoinders published by Journal of Management Education? Click here to sign up for e-alerts! 

*Lecture image attributed to University of Liverpool (CC)

New Podcast: Employees’ Innovative Work Involvement in Family Firms

September 6, 2016

Podcast MicrophoneIn the latest podcast from Family Business Review, Assistant Editor Karen Vinton interviews author Yannick Bammens of Maastricht University. Yannick published an article with co-authors Guy Notelaers and Anita Van Gils entitled “Implications of Family Business Employment for Employees’ Innovative Work Involvement,” which earned a honorable mention for Family Business Review‘s 2016 Best Paper award.

The abstract for the paper:

This study builds on the idea that family businesses perform particularly well in the domain of exploitative innovations and explores a possible source of this strength, namely their employees’ spontaneous involvement in informal innovation activity. Specifically, we develop a mediation model on the FBR_v26n1_72ppiRGB_150pixWinterrelationship between family business employment and employees’ innovative work involvement. Analyses are based on a sample of 893 Belgian employees using structural equation modeling. Results suggest that family business employment is positively associated with employees’ innovative work involvement, and that part of this relationship can be attributed to their heightened perceptions of organizational support and work motivation.

You can listen to the podcast with Karen Vinton and author Yannick Bammens by clicking here. Want to hear more content from Family Business Review? Click here to search the full list of podcasts from the journal.

The article, “Implications of Family Business Employment for Employees’ Innovative Work Involvement” from Family Business Review will be free to read for the next two weeks–click here to read it! Want to stay up to date on all of the latest research from Family Business ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!


YannickYannick Bammens, PhD, is an assistant professor of management at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His current research centers on innovation management and corporate governance in the setting of founder- and family-led enterprises. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Management, International Journal of Management Reviews, Small Business Economics, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Small Business Management.

https://managementink.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/karen_vinton1.jpg?w=91&h=100Karen L. Vinton, Ph.D., is assistant editor of FBR and a 1999 Barbara Hollander Award winner and Professor Emeritus of Business at the College of Business at Montana State University, where she founded the University’s Family Business Program. An FFI Fellow, she has served on its Board of Directors and chaired the Body of Knowledge committee.

Happy Labor Day from Management INK!

September 5, 2016

1118679421_b0d120d892_zIn honor of Labor Day in the United States, we’re pleased to feature a collection of articles from ILR ReviewThe collection includes nine articles related to Labor Economics. One paper, entitled Workforce Reduction at Women-Owned Businesses in the United States,” authors David A. Mats and Amalia R. Miller find an association between female business leadership and increased labor hoarding. The abstract for the paper:

The authors find that privately held firms owned by women were less likely than those owned by men to downsize their workforces during the Great Recession. Year-to-year employment reductions were as much as 29% smaller at women-owned firms, even after controlling for industry, size, and profitability. Using data that allow the authors to control for additional detailed firm and owner characteristics, they also find that women-owned firms operated with greater labor intensity after the previous recession and were less likely to hire temporary or leased workers. These patterns extend previous findings associating female business leadership with increased labor hoarding.

Another paper in the collection, entitled “Revisiting the Current Issue CoverMinimum Wage–Employment Debate: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater,” from authors David Neumark, J.M. Ian Salas, and William Wascher revisit the minimum wage debate with a new approach to the research design. The abstract for the paper:

The authors revisit the long-running minimum wage–employment debate to assess new studies claiming that estimates produced by the panel data approach commonly used in recent minimum wage research are flawed by that approach’s failure to account for spatial heterogeneity. The new studies use research designs intended to control for this heterogeneity and conclude that minimum wages in the United States have not reduced employment. The authors explore the ability of the new research designs to isolate reliable identifying information, and they test the designs’ untested assumptions about the construction of better control groups. Their analysis reveals problems with the new research designs. Moreover, using methods that let the data identify the appropriate control groups, their results reaffirm the evidence of disemployment effects, with teen employment elasticities near −0.15. This evidence, they conclude, still shows that minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others.

You can read these two articles and more from the Labor Economics collection from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research from ILR Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Happy Labor Day from Management INK!

*Coffee shop image attributed to Dave Bleasdale (CC)

 


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