A Reflection by David Jiang on “More Than Meets the Eye”

[We’re pleased to welcome authors David S. Jiang of Georgia Southern University, Franz W. Kellermans of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Timothy P. Munyon of the  University of Tennessee, and M. Lane Morris of the University of Tennessee. They recently published an article in the Family Business Review entitled “More Than Meets the Eye: A Review and Future Directions for the Social Psychology of Socioemotional Wealth,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Jiang reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

fbra_30_2.coverThis research is based on the first author’s dissertation, which is a winner of the Family Firm Institute’s 2017 Best Dissertation Award. The article reviews 421 papers published across 25 journals during the past decade to propose new directions for the social psychology of socioemotional wealth (SEW), which is a popular concept and theoretical perspective in the family business literature that deals with the nonpecuniary benefits that family members derive from control over their family firm.

What motivated you to pursue this research?
SEW research has helped significantly advance the family business literature since Luis Gomez-Mejia and colleagues first introduced SEW in 2007. However, although SEW research has already done a lot for the literature, we also believe that it can do so much more. Motivated by these beliefs, we originally spent 2 years (2014-2015) in the review process at the Academy of Management Review (AMR) trying to outline the emotional aspects of SEW, only to have our work rejected in the last round on a split editorial team decision. After this rejection, we realized that what we really needed to do was review the SEW literature in ways that would first establish a foundation to understand the many psychological phenomena that fit within SEW research. This is why we are thrilled to have our work on this subject published in Family Business Review (FBR) – a high-quality outlet that can help further the psychological understanding of various SEW phenomena and outcomes.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research?
We think that the most challenging aspects probably came from the review process. We were trying to say something that was connected to but very different from what existing SEW research has already said and/or done. Naturally, it’s often difficult to seamlessly communicate novel ideas in ways that reviewers will immediately understand with a first draft. Recognizing this, after we received feedback from the first round of FBR reviews, we realized that we had to extensively change our analytical strategy and approach in order to be as comprehensive as possible. This way, we could address the reviewers’ many concerns while still maintaining our core message and contributions. Although our original submission to FBR reviewed 41 SEW articles, as can be seen in the published article, our final sample included 421 articles. Altogether, it was extremely challenging to increase the review’s scope by more than ten-fold in a 3-month revision window! Needless to say, the first author spent a lot of late nights culling through the expansive SEW literature to create an action plan that utilized the authorship team’s collective strengths and expertise.

How do you think your research will impact the field?
It is difficult to tell at first but we hope that our article will ultimately help build stronger family firm microfoundations. We think there are a lot of novel directions that SEW and broader family firm research could go from here and hope that other scholars will agree and join us in these pursuits!

 

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Family Business Review and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Family Constitution and Business Performance: Moderating Factors

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Rocio Arteaga and Susana Menéndez-Requejo of the University of Oviedo, Spain. They recently published an article in the Family Business Review entitled “Family Constitution and Business Performance: Moderating Factors,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

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What motivated you to pursue this research?

Family Constitution is a relevant instrument that is used in practice for facilitating the continuity of family businesses. Nevertheless few academic studies have studied Family Protocols, due to the difficulty in obtaining pertinent information at both the aggregate and company levels.

However, Spain is characterized by an above-average implementation of Family Protocols and the prominent development of institutions that are linked to family businesses. The Family Business Institute of Spain (www.iefamiliar.com) is an important international leader regarding initiatives such as the Network of Family Business Chairs that exists throughout the Spanish university system and the Family Business Regional Associations that are present and active in every region in Spain.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

We performed in-depth interviews with expert consultants who specialize in Family Constitutions to grasp primary components of a Family Constitutions. We have also analyzed a unique sample of 530 Spanish family businesses. Half of these firms received financial aid from the government to implement a Family Protocol during 2003-2013.

We present possible explanations to expect a positive relationship between Family Constitutions and future firm performance, primarily linked to its ability to reduce conflicts among family, shareholders and managers. We specifically explore the improvement in monitoring managers and firm professionalization, the improved alignment between firm owners that shareholder agreements entail, and the communication and transparency between family members that Family Constitutions foster.

We expect that this research promotes that business families engage in the complex and lengthy communication and agreements process of Family Constitutions with determination. Even during times of economic crisis, we observed that companies that had implemented a Family Protocol reported higher levels of firm performance growth.

We also expect that this article encourages family firm scholars to develop future studies regarding the topic of Family Constitutions.

What did not make it into your published manuscript that you would like to share with us?

A Family Protocol is the result of a process of communication and agreements among owners of a family business that are collated in a written document that includes a set of rules and procedures for governing family business relationships and is signed and ratified by each family member.
Family Constitutions address the firm history, the future vision of the family firm, include norms and rules for family members regarding their incorporation into the business, succession planning, shareholder agreements (transfer of shares, dividends, firm valuation), and develop power structures in the firm and the family in regard to the company (Board of Directors, Family Council). Protocols improve and channel communication, information (also prior to decision-making) and transparency among family members who are in some manner linked to the firm and guide future generations. Family Constitutions contribute to improving the coexistence and cohesion of family generations that are linked to the firm.

We observe that family businesses that implemented a Family Constitution had significantly improved performance within 2 years after the implementation. This positive relationship between the implementation of a Family Constitution and future firm performance is stronger for firms that had a nonfamily CEO, had multiple family owners, or were controlled by later generations.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Family Business Review and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Business and Society Special Issues on Digital Technology and Business Responsibilities

ball-63527_1920Business and Society just recently published its new special issue titled “The Governance of Digital Technology, Big Data, and the Internet: New Roles and Responsibilities for Business.” This Issue features a collection of articles that explore how new technologies and innovations have changed the social responsibilities of businesses. What does the digital age hold for corporate social responsibility?

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Business & Society aims to be the leading, peer-reviewed outlet for scholarly work dealing specifically with the intersection of business and society. They publish research that develops, tests and refines theory, and which enhances our understanding of important societal issues and their relation to business. It is the official journal of the International Association of Business and Society.

To read more about the issue click here.

 

 

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from Business and Society and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Data photo attributed to geralt. (CC)

The (In)effectiveness of Voluntarily Produced Transparency Reports

[We’re pleased to welcome author Christopher Parsons of Rice University. Parsons recently published an article in Business & Society entitled “The (In)effectiveness of Voluntarily Produced Transparency Reports,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Parsons reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

More and more private companies are voluntarily releasing statistics concerning how often they receive requests for their subscribers’ information, on what grounds the requests are made, and how many subscribers’ data has been disclosed. These statistics are bundled in transparency reports and their release has generally been seen as shedding light on otherwise secretive government activity, be it surveillance practices undertaken by intelligence agencies, by security intelligence agencies, or by law enforcement agencies. I wanted to understand a few things in my course of research: would companies that were not facing intense socio-economic pressures produce voluntary transparency reports that robustly revealed government surveillance practices? How effective are voluntarily produced transparency reports, generally, in shedding light on corporate and government activity? And what might be the impacts of standardizing these sorts of voluntary reports, and how might such standardization come about?

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

Countries around the world are grappling with the issue of government access to telecommunications data. The issue has become particularly poignant given revelations of international spying undertaken by Western countries, as well as a range of existing and proposed laws in Europe and North America that would facilitate police and security services’ access to communications information. However, governments have tended to be deeply secretive in how they use existing powers or how they would actually use proposed powers. Private companies’ voluntarily produced transparency reports, which provide statistics and narrative accounts of how often and on what grounds governments request access to companies’ data, act as a novel way of shining a light upon government practice. I was motivated to understand just how much these reports genuinely shed light on government practice and how much they cast shadows over the politics and policies of communications surveillance.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?
There is an extensive literature on corporate social responsibility documents and the extent to which those documents make private firms transparent, as well as a literature discussing the importance of rendering government surveillance transparent to the public. What is novel about my research is it explores how private firms’ reports are produced in contravention of state desires or interests and, thus, how transparency reporting can happen outside of situations where the market or government are clamoring for revelations of firm behavior. Core to my findings is that voluntarily produced reports could potentially be standardized to enhance comparability across firms and the reports’ revelatory nature, but that any such standardization may conceal as much about firm behavior as it reveals. Ultimately, this research advances the scholarly and public policy debate over how (in)effective private firms’ reports’ are in advancing the state of knowledge of government surveillance activities versus concealing some aspects of such activities.

 

 

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from Business & Society and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Case in Point: Managing Inventory to Maximize Profit

2017-10-03 09_46_52-SAGE Knowledge - SAGE Business CasesDo young professionals want robot vacuum cleaners more than they want waffle makers? Catering to young professionals who have little time to cook meals or clean their homes, The Young Professional Dream Company, Inc. sells an array of electronic appliances. As a start-up e-commerce company with a limited budget, it must be careful to stock the most in-demand products for their customers. But how do they determine the right products to order from their suppliers, and how much?

These questions are explored in the case study, The Young Professional Dream Company’s Stochastic Inventory Management Problem, by Wenbo Cai and Layek Abdel-Malek of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Published in SAGE Business Cases, the case examines how the start-up manages its inventory by using data to forcast demand, identifying ordering policies, and evaluating how its contracts with suppliers will impact its profit.

 

Interested in learning more, we interviewed the authors for our Case In Point Series. Read the full interview below.

1. Your case is about a young company’s efforts to procure inventory while sticking to a limited budget. What are some common challenges that arise when start-upsembark on this kind of detailed operations management planning?

Usually start-up companies have known historical data regarding their suppliers’ performance, lead times, and quality. However, they do not know about the demands of their customers and their nature. The problem is then compounded by budget limitation and how to allocate it among the competing products. As a result, when a start-up company embarks on operations management planning, it usually faces many blind spots. Applying operations management techniques could be quite helpful to alleviate some of these challenges.

2. How difficult or risky is it to keep in mind a product’s demand uncertainty when evaluating suppliers and Order Quantity Commitments?

Unlike the common Economic Order Quantity models where the costs of the ordering policy are less sensitive to the order quantities, when the demand is uncertain, the amount ordered affects drastically the profitability of the company. The variance in the demand of a product will have a significant impact on the order quantity even in cases where the average is the same.

3. What are some strategies small start-ups (particularly those with limited money to invest) can apply when negotiating pricing with suppliers?

Start-up companies should negotiate as much flexibility as possible in their contracts which allow for updating their orders during the season, the return of left-overs, low extra charge for expedite deliveries, low minimum order quantities, and ability to pass over one or more of the products on the list.

4. You developed an exercise for this case in which readers are given a hypothetical budget to spend on stock, shipping costs, and more. What’s the benefit of providing decision-making exercises in case studies?

The case we developed goes beyond the single-period stochastic inventory model, which is  often used as a demonstrative strategy in operations management. However, this strategy may need to be modified when companies have a limited budget or other restrictions. We want to highlight some of these issues companies may face in this case study and provide an opportunity for students to discover the rich literature in operations management that discusses these issues in-depth. Moreover, the case study is intended for students to act as decision makers by weighing quantitatively the benefits and costs of flexible contract terms.

5. In your opinion, how does teaching with case studies expose students to the kind of operational dilemmas they might face in their careers?

We think case studies, in general, promote the development of analytical skills by asking students to act as decision makers. Unlike the traditional problems where the real-world challenges have been extracted and synthesized into useful information and the students only need to figure out what methodology to apply, there are no definitive answers of which methodology is the most suitable or guarantees the best performance in case studies. Students have to figure that out by exercising critical thinking, researching, and discussing with group members.

6. Can you share any tips for new instructors using this case in their course?

I believe that it is beneficial to analyze this case in the following steps.

  • Understand the risk of demand uncertainty without the consideration of contract terms. For example: the impact of unsold inventory on the retailer’s profit is relatively easy to compute, but how are companies, both brick-and-mortar retailers and e-commerce companies, handling unsold items in practice?
  • Explore the joint impact of the minimum ordering quantity and penalty. Though the minimum ordering quantity and penalty are given in the case, performing sensitivity analysis will give students insights on the joint impact of the two factors.
  • Investigate the benefit of the expedited-delivery option. In addition to question four in the case (What are the criteria under which you should exercise the expedited-delivery option?), the instructors may want to ask questions pertaining to the supplier’s side. For example: Why would a supplier want to offer flexible contract terms? How expensive is it to provide these options? Is there a win-win situation for both the supplier and the retailer in terms of their expected profitability? Please see the following paper for answers: Cai, W., Abdel-Malek, L., Hoseini, B., & Dehkordi, S. R. (2015). Impact of flexible contracts on the performance of both retailer and supplier.International Journal of Production Economics170, 429-444.

To keep up to date with the latest business cases request a free trial on the home page!

 

 

Is It Better to Govern Managers Via Agency or Stewardship?

[We’re pleased to welcome author Albert E. James of Dalhousie University, Canada. James recently published an article in the Family Business Review entitled “Is It Better to Govern Managers via Agency or Stewardship? Examining Asymmetries by Family Versus Nonfamily Affiliation,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, James reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

fbra_30_2.coverThe research is based upon the first author’s dissertation. It is the result of his effort to understand the many different behaviours and outcomes that he witnessed during his 20-year career working as a non-family employee for various family firms—particularly his desire to understand why and how some families’ businesses seem to be more successful than others. It is also the result of a PhD supervisor’s determination to see her student succeed as an academic and her willingness to let him follow his passion and research questions.

The most challenging aspect of this process has been finding the way to tell the story of the research project. What is published here is the result of many re-writes, iterations, and direction changes. It was challenging to adapt concepts and measures to the particularities of the family business field. And it was challenging to make full use of the reviewers’ and editor’s advice. All in all, though, the challenges were an opportunity for a new academic to learn many things about rigorous research and publishing. Without the patient work, extensive knowledge and leadership of the co-authors, none of the challenges would have been overcome.

One of the study’s most surprising findings is the high level of positive work outcomes exhibited by both the family and non-family managers in the sample. Sometimes family business managers—of either type—are portrayed with at least a hint of negativity. Those in our sample, however, tended to score highly on behaviours and attitudes that are normally considered beneficial to organizations (i.e., job performance, organizational identification and affective commitment). As for the anticipated impact of our research, we hope that it will become known for providing empirical evidence that challenges commonly held assumptions regarding the attitudes and behaviours exhibited by non-family versus family managers and the mechanisms by which each group should be governed.

The advice I would give new scholars is to be willing to re-work the story you wanted to tell to your chosen audience. No matter how interesting you believe your research to be, you have to be willing to find the right way to tell the story. You need to tell the story in a way that fits your audience’s conversations. It is not easy to let go of parts of your research that were highly motivational for you. As hard as it is upon a first read, don’t take the reviewer and editor comments personally. Instead, take your time with the comments, let your reactions cool, and then find the nuggets and gems within them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This research started off as a study of non-family manager turnover intentions and became a story of the governance mechanisms used in family businesses. It is important to keep your eye on your end goal. If you can’t tell the entire story this time around, tell what you can, save the rest, add what you learned from the current round, and mix it into your next project.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Family Business Review and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Join SAGE at AOM 2017 to Provide Your Feedback!

2017_AOM-AttheInterfaceLogoCompsv2_061616The Academy of Management 2017 Annual Meeting is going on now in Atlanta! This year’s theme, Making Organizations Meaningful, is all about interfaces and how they define human interaction. In the present day, mobility and freedom of movement have become traits of our society. The ability for people to go almost anywhere with ease both physically and digitally have changed how society and business interact. How do business engage with these new, changing interfaces and what effect do they have on uniting or dividing people? You can find the full program for this year’s conference, including the scheduled events that will speak to organizational meaningfulness, by clicking here.

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 by to booths #224, 226, 228, 230!

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.

 

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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.

 

FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddFamily 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.

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Group 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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Journal 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.