CEOs Can Make Work Feel More Meaningful by Encouraging Innovation

15581668796_8177031141_zHow much impact does a CEO’s behavior have on employees’ perceptions of the meaningfulness of their work? A recent article published in Group & Organization Management suggests that CEO behavior, specifically intellectually stimulating behavior, can have a big impact on work meaningfulness, depending upon the organizational context. In “CEO Intellectual Stimulation and Employee Work Meaningfulness: The Moderating Role of Organization Context,” authors Ann Chunyan Peng, Hsing-Er Lin, John Schaubroeck, Edward F. McDonough III, Baomin Hu, and Aiguo Zhang delve into the relationship between CEO behavior and employees’ perceptions of work meaningfulness. The abstract from the paper:

This study examines the influence of CEOs’ intellectually stimulating behavior, namely, encouraging followers to bring up new perspectives and innovative approaches at work, on employees’ perceptions of the meaningfulness of their work. Drawing from a collective sensemaking lens, we predicted that such CEO behavior would have a greater impact on experienced meaningfulness of work in contexts in which inputs to attributing meaning are less certain and clear-cut. Specifically, weGOM_Feb_2016.indd examined the moderating roles of firm performance and industry dynamism. We surveyed the CEOs and employees from 43 firms in innovation-driven industries. Our results show lower firm performance or rapid and unpredictable changes in the industry are associated with a stronger positive relationship between CEO intellectual stimulation and employee work meaningfulness. We discuss the implications of our findings for organizational leadership practices.

You can read “CEO Intellectual Stimulation and Employee Work Meaningfulness: The Moderating Role of Organization Context” from Group & Organizational Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organizational ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

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*Board meeting image credited to Christopher Michel (CC)

Job Satisfaction and Work Climate: New Collections from GOM!

GOM_Feb_2016.inddGroup & Organization has added two new article collections to the Editor’s Choice Collections. The new Job Satisfaction collection offers a selection of interesting articles that explore topics like career plateauing, internal job transitions, and the effect of leader humor on job satisfaction.

The new Work Climate collection delves into workplace research, including papers on workplace boredom, personality as a predictor of climate, and the impact of bad behavior in groups. In the article “The Psychological Benefits of Creating an Affirming Climate for Workplace Diversity,” authors Donna Chrobot-Mason and Nicholas P. Aramovich try to identify how workplace diversity can lead to positive outcomes. The abstract from their paper:

Workforce diversity has been described as a double-edged sword; it has the potential for positive and negative outcomes. To better understand why and how diversity leads to positive outcomes, we examined the relationship between employee perceptions of diversity climate perceptions and intent to turnover. We explored the role of four psychological outcome variables (organizational commitment, climate for innovation, psychological empowerment, and identity freedom) as possible mediators of this relationship. Racial and gender subgroup differences were also examined. Survey data were collected from 1,731 public employees. Findings suggest that when employees perceive equal access to opportunities and fair treatment, intent to turn over decreases. Furthermore, these relationships are significantly mediated by psychological outcomes. Implications for diversity management and training are discussed.

6983317491_e8d8440af8_zIn addition, new articles have been added to Group & Organization Management‘s other collections, including the Editor’s Choice collection on Creativity & Innovation. New articles to this collection explore the impact of job complexity, team culture, and interaction on the creative process. In the article “Defining Creative Ideas: Toward a More Nuanced Approach,” authors Robert C. Litchfield, Lucy L. Gilson, and Paul W. Gilson distinguish types of creative ideas to better understand the creative process. The abstract from their paper:

Organizational creativity research has focused extensively on distinguishing creativity from routine, non-creative work. In this conceptual article, we examine the less considered issue of variation in the type of creative ideas. Starting from the premise that creativity occurs along a continuum that can range from incremental to radical, we propose that unpacking variation in the mix of novelty and two common conceptions of usefulness—feasibility and value—results in seven meaningfully different types of creativity. We group these types of creativity into four creative continua scaled according to novelty to provide an organizing framework for future research.

To celebrate Group & Organization Managements new collections and articles, we have opened all of the articles in the Job Satisfaction, Work Climate, and Creativity & Innovation collections for the next 60 days. Interested in Group & Organization‘s other Editor’s Choice collections? Click here.  Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organization? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Family image credited to dbking (CC)

The Trajectory of Success in Hollywood: The Roller Coaster Careers of Film Directors

Hollywood Sign[We’re pleased to welcome Babis Mainemelis of The American College of Greece. Dr. Mainemelis recently published an article in Journal of Management Inquiry, entitled “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014” with co-authors Sevasti-Melissa Nolas of University of Sussex and Stavroula Tsirogianni of Canterbury Christ Church University.]

For the general public, individuals like Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman, Stanley Kubrick, Mike Nichols, Alan Parker, Roman Polanski, Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg are among the most successful directors of Hollywood. In this paper we present the results of a biographical study which suggests that these filmmakers are not only successful, not only directors, and not only Hollywood. Despite the great variability in their stories, throughout their careers they all experienced iterative cycles of success
and failure, be it in critical acclaim and/or at the box office; they all enacted various roles other than of the director; and they all worked in contexts and media other than Hollywood and feature films.

We found that many of those transitions were JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointrecursive, rather than linear, which suggests that directorial careers are not fixed in any single organization, short-term project, professional role, or medium. We also found that mobility to other professional roles or/and media is linked to and has implications for maintaining career alternatives; acquiring insider domain knowledge; calibrating social networks; renewing one’s creative energy; and protecting one’s creative freedom; without any of these drivers alone reliably increasing chances of success.

While past research has focused sharply on success as a career outcome, our paper offers a more balanced perspective and conceptualizes success and failure not as endings but as beginnings, as critical moments that influence the unfolding of boundaryless careers. An Oscar-winning blockbuster or a financial flop denigrated by the critics can exert such a great influence on careers that we may as well conceptualize success and failure as boundaries that mark the evolution of careers. While in the extant literature the dominant metaphors of boundaryless careers are those of “paths,” “ladders,” “trajectories,” and “plateaus,” our findings suggest a new metaphor: the roller coaster.

We believe that the findings of our study and the questions that we discuss above would potentially be interesting for researchers working in the fields of boundaryless careers and creative industries, but also for film students as well as industry practitioners struggling to make their way to film industry.

The abstract:

Previous research has examined how mobility and career competencies influence success in boundaryless careers. In this study, we flip the direction of those relationships and we explore how the interplay between success and failure relates to subsequent mobility, career competencies, and career evolution through the life span. Using a biographical design, we conceptualize success and failure as critical moments that influence the unfolding of the boundaryless careers of Oscar-nominated film directors. While the dominant metaphors of boundaryless careers are those of “paths,” “ladders,” “trajectories,” and “plateaus,” our findings suggest a new metaphor: the roller coaster.

You can read “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Pushing the Boundaries: Studying the Boundaryless Creative Careers of Film Directors

Oscars Awards

Creative careers can differ quite a bit from the average 9-to-5 desk job, but only some go so far as to defy boundaries in the way that boundaryless careers do. Individuals in boundaryless careers enjoy organizational mobility, geographical mobility, occupational mobility, the ability to work outside of organizational boundaries based on preference, and the ability to reject career opportunities for personal reasons. But how do these factors impact the path of a boundaryless career? In their article, “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014,” published in Journal of Management Inquiry, authors Charalampos Mainemelis of The American College of Greece, Sevasti-Melissa Nolas of University of Sussex, and Stavroula Tsirogianni of Canterbury Christ Church University studied the success and failures of Oscar-nominated film directors over their careers to determine how a boundaryless career might look in comparison with traditional office jobs.

The abstract from their paper:

Previous research has examined how mobility and career competencies influence JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointsuccess in boundaryless careers. In this study, we flip the direction of those relationships and we explore how the interplay between success and failure relates to subsequent mobility, career competencies, and career evolution through the life span. Using a biographical design, we conceptualize success and failure as critical moments that influence the unfolding of the boundaryless careers of Oscar-nominated film directors. While the dominant metaphors of boundaryless careers are those of “paths,” “ladders,” “trajectories,” and “plateaus,” our findings suggest a new metaphor: the roller coaster.

You can read  “Surviving a Boundaryless Creative Career: The Case of Oscar-Nominated Film Directors, 1967-2014” from Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Oscars award picture credited to Global Panorama (CC)

Up-and-Coming: How Urbanization Sparks Entrepreneurship in Cities

[We’re pleased to welcome Boyd Derek Cohen and Pablo Muñoz. Dr. Derek and Dr. Muñoz recently published an article in Organization & Environment, entitled Towards a Theory of Purpose-Driven Urban Entrepreneurship. ]

We have been studying the evolution of cities around the globe, the growth of smart cities and the changing face of entrepreneurship in urban environments. The world is urbanizing at a fast rate as rural and even suburban residents are increasingly drawn to the opportunities, cultural activities, public transit infrastructure and other perceived benefits of urban lifestyles. Yet the unprecedented rate of urbanization is posing significant challenges for cities and their residents as local governments are struggling to meet the transit, energy, housing, food and employment needs of the swelling populations. Moreover, over the past few years we have noticed a growth in entrepreneurship in cities that is unlike anything existing theory or research seemed to explain.

O&E_Mar_2012_vol26_no1_Cover_Final.inddSpecifically we were interested in understanding a type of entrepreneur that lives in cities and instead of looking for opportunities in market failures, seems to be more concerned with challenges affecting quality of life in their communities. But instead of starting a non-profit to solve such problems, this new breed of entrepreneur utilizes approaches to problem-solving that market-driven entrepreneurs do. Yet, purpose-driven urban entrepreneurs are embedded in the complex social and territorial cities in which they live.

These observations drove us to use a combination of insights gleaned from interviewing such entrepreneurship around the globe and to apply deductive approaches to theory building in the hopes of creating a model capable of understanding the process that purpose-driven urban entrepreneurs leverage to accomplish their goals.

We are hopeful that this research lays the groundwork for future scholars to expand the examination of purpose-based entrepreneurs embedded in social and territorial systems. We are also hopeful to continue this line of work and to reach practitioner audiences including local public policymakers who are keen to find ways to stimulate purpose-driven urban entrepreneurship as an approach to address some of the most pressing urban challenges facing cities today, through collaborative approaches between local governments, entrepreneurs, corporations and civil society. Boston’s New Urban Mechanics, Seoul’s Sharing City programs which provide funding to startups in the sharing economy, Amsterdam’s AMS Institute, and Barcelona’s BCN Open Challenge are all examples of this new proactive and collaborative approach between cities and urban entrepreneurs to encourage purpose-driven startups in their communities which can help resolve the complex challenges of urbanization around the globe. In order to reach this audience aside from this article, in 2016, we will be publishing a book entitled Urban Entrepreneurship which will highlight the convergence of major trends such as urbanization, collaboration and democratization of technology in driving the growth of urban tech entrepreneurs, independent entrepreneurs (on-demand), and purpose-driven urban entrepreneurship.

The abstract:

Inspired by Shrivastava and Kennelly, we aim to extend theory on place-based entrepreneurship by highlighting the uniqueness of cities and the interplay between purpose-driven entrepreneurs and the urban places where they operate. This article sets out to conceptualize a middle-range theoretical framework and establish the boundary conditions for purpose-driven urban entrepreneurship based on a combination of inductive reasoning and deductive theorizing. We draw from sustainability and territorial development literatures and the complexity science view of entrepreneurship to establish units, laws of interaction, boundaries, and system states of purpose-driven urban entrepreneurship across three geospatial layers, and elaborate a complexity model comprising sources of opportunities, context, and venturing process. We conclude with potential avenues for further theoretical and empirical development of the purpose-driven urban entrepreneurship construct.

You can read “Towards a Theory of Purpose-Driven Urban Entrepreneurship” from Organization & Environment free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research from Organization & Environment? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Listen to the Latest Podcast from Family Business Review!

FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddIn the latest podcast from Family Business Review, assistant editor Karen Vinton and author Robert Smith discuss his article on the usefulness of the qualitative method of visual ethnography in producing new insights into family business research. The article, entitled “Seeing the Light: Using Visual Ethnography in Family Business Settings,” appeared in the March 2015 issue of Family Business Review.

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 Family Business Review and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and get notifications of all the latest research from Family Business Review sent directly to your inbox!


Prof Rob SmithRobert Smith, MA, PhD, is Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at the University of the West of Scotland. His research interests are eclectic but include family business, entrepreneurship, narrative, aesthetics, and semiotics.

karen_vinton1Karen 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.

Read Group and Organization Management’s Special Conceptual Issue for Free!

home_coverWhat are the causes and consequences of workplace boredom? Can the schema theory offer fresh insights into how psychological contracts are formed? What is the value of considering variance in the type of creativity found in creative ideas? You can find the answers to these questions and more in Group and Organization Management‘s 2015 Conceptual Issue.

Lucy L. Gilson and Caren B. Goldberg discuss what makes a paper conceptual in their introduction to the Special Issue.

The simplest question to answer is that of whether conceptual papers are simply papers without data. Yes, conceptual papers do not have data, because their focus is on integration and proposing new relationships among constructs. Thus, the onus is on developing logical and complete arguments for associations rather than testing them empirically. The “but not quite” part of the response to this question centers on the fact that there are plenty of papers that have no data, but which, nonetheless are not what we would consider conceptual papers.

Much has been written on what constitutes a good theory paper. For example, Whetten (1989) noted that conceptual papers should be judged on the basis of seven criteria: (a) What’s new? (b) So what? (c) Why so? (d) Well done? (e) Done well? (f) Why now? and (g) Who cares? Weick (1989) posited that writing theory is an iterative process based on disciplined imagination rather than a focus on validation. And Van de Ven (1989) built upon Weick’s recommendations describing good theory building as that which seeks to address or resolve tensions, inconsistencies, and contradictions surrounding an issue. Interestingly, Cropanzano (2009) described theory papers as more interesting when they “underscore commonalities that build coherence” (p. 1306).

You can read this issue from Group and Organization Management for free through the month of June! Click here to view the Table of Contents. Want to know when all the latest research like this becomes available from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!