Communities as Nested Servicescapes

jsrrr.JPG[We’re pleased to welcome Xiaojing Sheng from the University of Texas at Rio Grande. Sheng co-authored a recently published article in the Journal of Service Research  entitled “Communities as Nested Servicescapes” with Penny Simpson and Judy Siguaw. From Sheng:]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

From groups of four to sixteen sipping margaritas in local restaurants to dancing at a beach or Mexican fiesta, retired winter migrants are a ubiquitous presence in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas each winter. These migrating consumers repeatedly come to the area in large numbers each winter to enjoy the warm tropical weather, to participate in the many available activities, and to enjoy each other in their highly social living environment of mobile homes and recreational vehicle communities. These senior citizens also become an inseparable part of the region by routinely going to restaurants, events, shows and stores where they seem to exude a comradery and enjoyment of life not seen by typical residents of any community. For these migrants, winter life in the Valley seems to be a fun-filled, months-long vacation. Through casual observation of the lifestyle of these hundreds of thousands of active retirees, we were driven to understand their experiences as they become immersed in the broader servicescape of the Valley and in the nested servicescapes of their mobile home/recreational vehicle communities in which they reside for extended periods of time.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The finding that servicescape engagement weakened the positive effect of perceived servicescape satisfaction on loyalty intention is unexpected and surprising. This is probably because high levels of activity engagement become all-consuming, making perceived servicescape satisfaction itself less important in loyalty intention. For example, consumers may be willing to overlook a rundown beach villa if the beach activities are exceptional. On the other hand, lower levels of engagement strengthened the impact of perceived servicescape satisfaction on loyalty intentions, conceivably because consumer attention is less distracted by activity involvement, and therefore, more focused on servicescape factors.

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

An interesting finding from our study is that, when consumers interact with two servicescapes of which one is nested within another, their experiences are shaped by the effects of the individual servicescape, the compounding effects of both servicescapes, and by the transference effects between the two servicescapes. Consequently, marketers need to take a holistic approach to managing servicescapes at all levels to create an overall positive consumer experience. We hope that our research serves as a catalyst for future studies that examine effects of nested servicescapes. Moreover, we hope our work encourages other researchers to investigate less conventional servicescapes, such as regions, towns, and neighborhoods, because there is so much more to be learned about how the places in which we live, work, and play affect and transform our lives.

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Beyond Developmental: The Decision-Making Applications of Personality Tests

5529311561_4ba9be7419_zThe use of personality assessments in organizations has often been limited to developmental applications. However, growing support for data-driven decision-making in recent years has made it apparent that personality assessments could also become a resource for talent management decisions. In a recent paper from Journal of Applied Behavioral Science entitled “Does Purpose Matter? The Stability of Personality Assessments in Organization Development and Talent Management Applications Over Time”, authors Allan H. Church, Christina R. Fleck, Garett C. Foster, Rebecca C. Levine, Felix J. Lopez, and Christopher T. Rotolo investigate the consistency of personality data over time and whether the changing application of personality assessments changes their validity. The abstract for the paper:

Personality assessment has a long history of application in the workplace. While the field of organization development has historically focused on developmental aspects of personality tools, other disciplines such as industrial-organizational psychology have emphasized its psychometric properties. The importance of data-driven insights for talent management (e.g., the identification of high potentials, succession Current Issue Coverplanning, coaching), however, is placing increasing pressure on all types of applied behavioral scientists to better understand the stability of personality tools for decision-making purposes. The current study presents research conducted with 207 senior leaders in a global consumer products organization on the use of personality assessment data over time and across two different conditions: development only and development to decision making. Results using three different tools (based on the Hogan Assessment Suite) indicate that core personality and personality derailers are generally not affected by the purpose of the assessment, though derailers do tend to moderate over time. The manifestation of values, motives, and preferences were found to change across administrations. Implications for organizational development and talent management applications are discussed.

You can read the paper, “Does Purpose Matter? The Stability of Personality Assessments in Organization Development and Talent Management Applications Over Time,” from Journal of Applied Behavioral Science free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of Applied Behavioral ScienceClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Service Design Berlin (CC)

Will Intelligent Machines Take Over Decision Making in Organizations?

20445410340_c1a0fe6a6a_z[We’re pleased to welcome Sukanto Bhattacharya of Deakin University. Sukanto recently published an article in Group & Organization Management with co-authors Ken Parry and Michael Cohen, entitled “Rise of the Machines: A Critical Consideration of Automated Leadership Decision Making in Organizations.”]

What if it is a machine that provides an organization’s vision for the future instead of a visionary human? Are you willing to accept a machine as your boss? What might happen if your next promotion is decided by a robot?

Intelligent machines, from automobiles to dishwashers, are increasingly making forays into every conceivable dimension of human life with a promise of making things better but perhaps not always quite delivering on that promise. Machine intelligence has permeated various levels of organizational decision-making ranging from robotic technology on production shop-floors to intelligent decision support systems for top management.

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In their recent article published in Group & Organization Management, authors Ken Parry, Michael Cohen and Sukanto Bhattacharya hypothesize a scenario where it is possible for an intelligent machine to assume the role of an organizational leader and carry out the decision-making tasks. Without engaging in a debate as to the likelihood of such a scenario, the authors present an overview of the current state of the art in artificial intelligence research, allowing readers to form their own opinion on the plausibility of such a scenario. Assuming the eventuation of such a scenario, the authors then proceed to critically consider some of the potential outcomes, both positive as well as negative, from automated organizational leadership. They posit a design framework for developing an intelligent leadership decision-making system with the objective of ensuring the positive outcomes while thwarting some of the negative (and in some cases, outright dangerous) ones. Their article aims to open up a new line of intellectual deliberations, involving organizational and management sciences on one hand and artificial intelligence as well as systems development on the other, in addressing a number of important moral/ethical issues that they identified.

The abstract for the paper:

Machines are increasingly becoming a substitute for human skills and intelligence in a number of fields where decisions that are crucial to group performance have to be taken under stringent constraints—for example, when an army contingent has to devise battlefield tactics or when a medical team has to diagnose and treat a life-threatening condition or illness. We hypothesize a scenario where similar machine-based intelligent technology is available to support, and even substitute human decision making in an organizational leadership context. We do not engage in any metaphysical debate on the plausibility of such a scenario. Rather, we contend that given what we observe in several other fields of human decision making, such a scenario may very well eventuate in the near future. We argue a number of “positives” that can be expected to emerge out of automated group and organizational leadership decision making. We also posit several anti-theses—“negatives” that can also potentially emerge from the hypothesized scenario and critically consider their implications. We aim to bring leadership and organization theorists, as well as researchers in machine intelligence, together at the discussion table for the first time and postulate that while leadership decision making in a group/organizational context could be effectively delegated to an artificial-intelligence (AI)-based decision system, this would need to be subject to the devising of crucial safeguarding conditions.

You can read “Rise of the Machines: A Critical Consideration of Automated Leadership Decision Making in Organizations” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

Want to stay up to date on all of the latest research published by Group & Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also follow the journal on Twitter by clicking here.

*Binary code image attributed to Christiaan Colen (CC)

Extreme-Team Research: An Approach to Overcoming Research Obstacles

3729394795_d267b3ef22_zResearching the performance and management of extreme teams, which work in unconventional environments on high-risk tasks, presents a number of unique challenges to researchers, including limitations on data collection and sample sizes. In a new article published in Journal of Managemententitled “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams,” authors Suzanne T. Bell, David M. Fisher, Shanique G. Brown, and Kristin E. Mann set out to develop a research approach that addresses the unique challenges of extreme-team research and allows extreme-team research to be applied broadly across more traditional teams. The abstract for the paper:

Extreme teams complete their tasks in unconventional performance environments and have serious consequences associated with failure. Examples include disaster relief teams, special operations teams, and astronaut crews. The unconventional performance environments within which these teams operate require researchers to carefully consider the context during the research process. These environments may also create formidable challenges to the research process, including constraining data collection and sample sizes. Given the serious consequences associated with failure, however, the challenges must be navigated so that the management of extreme teams can be evidence based. We present an approach for conducting actionable Current Issue Coverresearch on extreme teams. Our approach is an extension of mixed-methods research that is particularly well suited for emphasizing context. The approach guides researchers on how to integrate the local context into the research process, which allows for actionable recommendations. At the same time, our approach applies an intentionally broad framework for organizing context, which can serve as a mechanism through which the results of research on extreme teams can be meaningfully accumulated and integrated across teams. Finally, our approach and description of steps address the unique challenges common in extreme-team research. While developed with extreme teams in mind, we view our general approach as applicable to more traditional teams when the features of the context that impinge on team functioning are not adequately represented by typical descriptions of context in the literature and the goal is actionable research for the teams in question.

You can read “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Shuttle launch image attributed to The U.S. Army (CC)

Critical Reflection: Real Life Applications for Mezirow’s Theory

14488224787_79c11e5287_z[We are pleased to welcome Henriette Lundgren. Henriette published an article in Human Resource Development Review entitled “On Critical Reflection: A Review of Mezirow’s Theory and its Operationalization,” with co-author Rob F. Poell.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

To stop and think is considered good practice in most professional contexts. For example, we expect a nurse to review the patient’s symptoms before administering a medicine. Similarly, we expect an entrepreneur to examine the underlying market assumptions before venturing into a new business idea. Rather than rushing into glib problem solving or thoughtless decision-making, we believe that everybody needs to take some moments from time to time to reflect: What is the situation? How can I HRDdeal with it? Why is this important to me? To stop and think is another very basic way of describing the process of reflection, but how do we know whether someone is really reflecting – critically or not – about one’s own practice? This question triggered our literature review using Jack Mezirow’s critical reflection definition as a starting point.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Reflection and non-reflection come in many shades, for example “habitual action”, “thoughtful action”, “understanding”, “introspection”, “intensive reflection” or “critical reflection. Researchers in adult education and human resource development (HRD) have made a sincere effort to distinguish between these shades of reflection in their empirical studies. Maybe our mind was more binary before we started this project: “Reflection yes/no”. So being shown indicators that help us operationalize reflection in our own empirical research was a pleasant side effect of this study.

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

Our study gives an overview on critical reflection research and its operationalization, and it points out four areas of improvement (see checklist at the end of article). Critics might say that we could have taken more efforts to show explicitly the connections between critical reflection and learning and how our work impacts HRD theory, research, and practice. While these are good avenues for future research, we encourage readers to help us think along what our findings mean for learning and development of nurses, teachers and entrepreneurs, and we look forward to continuing this conversation and debate.

The abstract for the paper:

In this article, we review empirical studies that research critical reflection based on Mezirow’s definition. The concepts of content, process, and premise reflection have often been cited, and operationalizing Mezirow’s high-level transformative learning theory and its components has been the endeavor of adult education and human resource development (HRD) researchers. By conducting a literature review, we distill 12 research studies on critical reflection that we dissect, analyze, and compare. Discovering different approaches, assessment processes, and outcomes leads us to the conclusion that there is little agreement on how to operationalize reflection. We suggest four improvements: (a) integrating different critical reflection traditions, (b) using multiple data collection pathways, (c) opting for thematic embedding, and (d) attending to feelings. By implementing these improvements, we hope to stimulate closer alignment of approaches in critical reflection research across adult education and HRD researchers.

You can read “On Critical Reflection: A Review of Mezirow’s Theory and its Operationalization” from Human Resource Development Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research Podcast Microphonefrom Human Resource Development Review? Click here to sign up for e-alertsYou can also listen to a podcast with author Henriette Lundgren as she discusses her work on this article. You can listen to the podcast here.

*Image attributed to Kent Nguyen (CC)

HenrietteHenriette Lundgren is a workplace educator and an associated researcher with Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Her main scholarly interests are learning in the workplace, the use of reflection instruments, and adult education theory.

Rob

Rob F. Poell is a professor of human resource development (HRD) in the Department of Human Resource Studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His main scholarly interests are learning in the workplace, action learning, project-based learning, organizing HRD, and learning networks.

Read the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies’ May Issue!

The May 2016 special issue of Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies is now available 8280699806_d5bdff2252_zto read for free for the next 30 days! The special issue features articles on issues and decisions in international management. From the introduction for the special issue:

This special issue addresses the subject of issues and decisions in international management, primarily in emerging markets and in some cases developed markets. It does so from a number of perspectives, and from three levels of analysis including the individual manager or employee, the firm, and the national economy.

…One particular insight emerges from having multiplearticles, many of which focus on a particular level of analysis. It is that regardless of the level of focus, all levels clearly become involved in the issues and decisions being considered. This is especially evident in the articles involving Russia, but on closer analysis can be seen in all seven of the articles in the special issue. Whatever level is the central focus, all issues and decisions affect firm policies and strategies, individual productivity and satisfaction, and the overall prosperity of the national economies involved.

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Adding to the richness of this special issue, and contributing to the overall topic of issues and decisions in emerging markets, is the range of countries covered. The breadth stems from a single country view of Chinese firms’ market entry strategies to coverage of the broader internationalization strategies of firms from Russia, India, and China.

Articles published in the special issue include “Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations: A Framework for Analyzing Employee Allegiances” by Snejina Michailova, Zaidah Mustaffa, and Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, and “Institutional Erosion and Its Effects on Russia’s Corporate Leadership” by  Ruth C. May, Gregory R. Rayter, and Donna E. Ledgerwood.

In the article, “Organizing for Innovation Ambidexterity in Emerging Markets: Taking Advantage of Supplier Involvement and Foreigness,” authors Denise Dunlap, Ronaldo Parente, Jose-Mauricio Geleilate, and Tucker J. Marion examine two types of innovation ambidexterity in the emerging market of Brazil. The abstract for the paper:

Firms struggle to be ambidextrous in the sense of being able to successfully manage both new and incremental innovation activities simultaneously. Applying the knowledge-based view, we examine the important moderating influences of supplier involvement and foreignness on the relationship between innovation ambidexterity and performance. We test our hypotheses at the business-unit level of analysis in the emerging market of Brazil. We examine two types of innovation ambidexterity: the balanced dimension and the combined dimension. We found that firms possessing greater supplier involvement reap higher performance benefits from the combined dimension of innovation ambidexterity. Last, foreign subsidiaries also achieved higher levels of performance than domestic firms from the combined dimension of innovation ambidexterity.

The May 2016 special issue of  Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies will be free to access for the next 30 days–click here to access the table of contentsWant to know all about the latest from Journal of Leadership & Organizational StudiesClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*World map image attributed to Nicolas Raymond (CC)

Do Consumers Avoid Genetically Modified Wines?

25725080022_cd89993d82_z[We’re pleased to welcome Christina Chi of Washington State University. Christina recently published an article in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly entitled “Ready to Embrace Genetically Modified Wines? The Role of Knowledge Exposure and Intrinsic Wine Attributes” with co-authors Lu Lu of Washington State University and Imran Rahman of Auburn University.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

The consumption of genetically modified (GM) products is one of the most debatable and significant issues that influence consumers’ purchase behaviors and dining trends. As a critical component of hospitality business, alcoholic beverages (e.g., wines) are highly influential on guests’ dining experience and business revenues. However, existing research provides little insight concerning consumers’ experience with GM wines and their purchase decisions. Therefore, we were inspired to open up a research avenue in this area.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

What slightly surprised us was the strength of aroma and taste in wine drinkers’ decision making. Our study reveals that consumers’ decision making is solely driven by wines’ aroma and taste, which override health or environmental concerns. This finding is critical for wine sellers to better understand the importance of different wine attributes in influencing wine appreciation and purchase decision making.

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

CQ CoverIn addition to opening up a significant but underexplored research stream, this study highlights the rigor of using experimental approach and sensory techniques to understand the behavioral dynamics of experiential products, which may not be fully captured using self-report surveys. More importantly, this research delivers timely strategies for the industry against the backdrop of labeling GM products and offers an in-depth analysis of wine drinkers’ behavior involving conflicts of choice.

The abstract for the paper:

This study examines whether knowledge exposure and supreme wine attributes such as appearance, aroma, taste, and hangover avoidance influence consumers’ quality evaluation and purchase intentions of genetically modified (GM) wines. We conducted two experimental studies in two different settings involving a total of 321 subjects. Results indicate that educating consumers with knowledge on GM wines efficiently reduces the fear caused by GM identity. Importantly, the desirable organoleptic and functional performances of GM wines not only reduce consumers’ concerns with GM products but also enable GM wines to surpass conventional options that are less salient in these performances. Specifically, consumers would choose a GM wine over traditional options if the GM wine has a superior appearance and the ability to eliminate a hangover. Furthermore, consumers express equal acceptance of GM wines and traditional counterparts when there are no differences in aroma and taste. This research delivers significant implications for wine marketing through examining a timely and controversial subject matter.

You can read “Ready to Embrace Genetically Modified Wines? The Role of Knowledge Exposure and Intrinsic Wine Attributes” from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Cornell Hospitality QuarterlyClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Wine image attributed to James Petts (CC)

Christina Geng-Qing Chi is an associate professor at the School of Hospitality Business Management in the Carson College of Business, Washington State University. Her area of research includes tourism marketing, hospitality/tourism consumer behavior and sustainability in tourism/ hospitality industry. Her research has been published broadly in top tier tourism/hospitality journals and presented at numerous hospitality/tourism conferences. Dr. Chi serves on the editorial boards for several hospitality/tourism journals and reviews papers for top tier hospitality/tourism journals.

Imran Rahman is an Assistant Professor in the department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA. His current research program focuses on sustainability in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on consumer behavior in green hotels. He is also actively researching in food and beverage emphasizing primarily on wine consumer behavior.

Lu Lu is a Ph.D. candidate and instructor of School of Hospitality Business Management, Carson College of Business at Washington State University. Her research interests encompass consumer behavior in food and beverage consumption, culture and tourists’ destination experience and complaining efforts.