Effective Team Reflection: The Role of Quality and Quantity

[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Kai-Philip Otte, Udo Konradt,
and Martina Oldeweme of Kiel University. They recently published an article in Small Group Research entitled “Effective Team Reflection: The Role of Quality and Quantity,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they discusses some of the findings of this research:]


What motivated you to pursue this research?

Although reflecting about past activities in teams is generally considered a very effective strategy for learning and improving team performance, previous research on this topic has often revealed contradictory results. Some studies even reported negative relationships between team reflection and team performance, suggesting that the relationship is more complex than originally expected. Since this represents a very interesting conflict between the theoretical assumptions and the empirical data, we tried to find new explanations for these results. When discussing the possible reasons, we came up with the idea that it may not be enough to ask teams how often or to what extent they reflect, but that previously unobserved factors could also play a role. In fact, in our investigations, we often witnessed teams that reflected only on a superficial level and that even when these teams realized that something was wrong, they seldom used the opportunity for in-depth analysis, further compromising their future performance. Accordingly, we wanted to determine whether both the quantity and quality of a team meeting needed to be considered in order to better understand the relationship between team reflection and team performance.

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

Although we believe that our findings provide important insights for the reflection process itself, we also believe that the general idea of the simultaneous consideration of quality and quantity is also applicable to other team processes. For example, other discussion-based processes, such as team planning, could be subordinate to similar principles. We therefore think that the distinction between quantity and quality can also provide valuable insights in other areas of research.

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

Our perspective on teams is still comparatively simple because we base our conclusions mainly on averages that are believed to represent a team and its actions appropriately. However, we have often seen in our own research that team members can sometimes judge the same object in a fundamentally different way. For example, we observed some very strong team leaders who literally repressed all of the other team members’ reflexive activities and assumed that the feedback we provided was manipulated, rather than admitting that their way of solving the problem was suboptimal. Accordingly, future research should include this plurality within teams more closely in their studies and conclusions in order to get a better and, above all, more complete picture of how team members interact and how these interactions affect the outcomes of a team’s actions.

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Guiding Entrepreneurs Through the Quagmire of Business Entities – Three Hypothetical Scenarios for Discussion

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Lynn M. Forsythe of California State University, Fresno, Lizhu Y. Davis of California State University, Fresno, and John M. Mueller
St. Edward’s University.They recently published an article in the Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy entitled “Guiding Entrepreneurs Through the Quagmire of Business Entities – Three Hypothetical Scenarios for Discussion,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they recount the motivation for this research.

EEX_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

We felt there was a lack of teaching resources and materials for faculty who teach entrepreneurship courses when it comes to educating students (future entrepreneurs) about creating a business entity to support their new business idea.  Some faculty may be tempted to over simplify the topic or ignore it completely.  These cases help faculty illustrate the complexity of the decision. These cases are not particularly intended for business law faculty; however, they can definitely use them if they need a variety of tools to convey knowledge about legal entities for nascent companies.

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

The research is not innovation. Rather it is the method of conveying knowledge that is new and useful for faculty and students.  We intended to create more diverse pedagogical offerings.  Legal topics tend to be taught out of a textbook, and through results of court cases, not from case studies.  The three case scenarios we have written help students better understand the legal entity decision by engaging them in a context they can relate to with their business idea.  The case scenarios are an experiential means of engaging students on a topic that could be considered dry.

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

The main portion of the manuscript consists of three case scenarios, which are couched in different industries with different decision points.  We have provided outside of the manuscript, and online with the publisher, supporting materials that simplify the basic differences between various legal entities (sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership, limited liability corporation, C corporation). This information is normally found in textbooks, however, we have simplified it in a PowerPoint slide deck and chart format to easily and quickly enable both faculty and students to reference the additional material.

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Scientific Contributions of Within-Person Research in Management

[Authors Brian W. McCormick of Northern Illinois University, Cody J. Reeves of Brigham Young University, Patrick E. Downes of Rutgers University, Ning Li, of the University of Iowa, and Remus Ilies of National University of Singapore recently published an article in the Journal of Management entitled “Scientific Contributions of Within-Person Research in Management: Making the Juice Worth the Squeeze.” Check out their video abstract!

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Why Does Paranoia Arise in the Workplace?

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Barbara C. Lopes of the Universidade de Coimbra, Caroline Kamau of Birkbeck College, and Rusi Jaspal of De Montfort University. They recently published an article in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies entitled “Coping With Perceived Abusive Supervision: The Role of Paranoia,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they recount the motivations and innovations of this research.


What motivated you to pursue this research?

Work is an important part of most people’s lives – after all, we spent most of our lives at work and what happens at work can affect us profoundly. We wanted to understand what causes negative cognitions (e.g., paranoia) and maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., workplace deviance) in the workplace. In his 2001 study, Kramer discussed the corporate ethos of neoliberal societies and its potential contribution to paranoia among workers – essentially in order for survival in a cut-throat workplace environment. Yet, there hadn’t been any empirical research that investigated why paranoia arises in the workplace. Our research aimed to fill this gap. Unfortunately, paranoia has been perceived as being a taboo in society for two major reasons: a) paranoia was then considered to be a sign of madness; b) an empirical focus on paranoia could call into question the corporate ethos of organizations – put simply, the increasingly cut-throat workplace environment faced by employees. We hypothesized that paranoia was provoked by the organizational culture itself. Our study shows that paranoid beliefs (i.e. ideas of a conspiracy, ideas of being controlled by external forces and unjustified doubts about the loyalty of others) are quite common and can be shaped by the environmental contexts. This research enables us to inform managers and practitioners about how to intervene effectively at work.

Were there any specific external eventspolitical, social, or economicthat influenced your decision to pursue this research?

The current climate of fear, distrust and insecurity in Western societies associated with the economic crisis has led to a political discourse of increasing control and use of security measures. This has also shaped the workplace environment. The corporate ethos in organizations can challenge workers’ wellbeing and the increasingly common practice of ‘micromanagement’ can lead to increased incidence of paranoia in workers. This can ultimately affect not only their work performance but also their wellbeing. In spite of the political discourse of the last decade positioning employment as the remedy for social, psychological and economic problems, our study set out to show that the workplace itself can induce problems if not managed effectively. Work that is considered to be low paid and insecure and workplace environments that present threats for workers (e.g., abuse and bullying from colleagues and managers) can contribute to the incidence of serious psychiatric problems.

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

Ours is the first mixed-methods research to show that an abusive workplace environment can provoke paranoid cognitions that then lead to poor wellbeing and workplace deviance in workers. Paranoia can have social underpinnings. Our research also shows that the perception of supervisory and organizational support in the workplace buffers the negative psychological effects of an abusive workplace environment. Our research provides insight into causation but also presents the tools for improving wellbeing in workers. Organizations can improve workers’ wellbeing and their organizational outcomes by improving the organizational culture and by providing tailored psychological support.


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Successful Practices for Voluntary Innovation Teams Crossing Scientific and Professional Fields


[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Zack Kertcher of the University of Illinois, and Dr. Erica Coslor of the University of Melbourne. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Boundary Objects and the Technical Culture Divide: Successful Practices for Voluntary Innovation Teams Crossing Scientific and Professional Fields,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they recount the motivations and innovations of this research.

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research


What drew me to this work is my intrigue with a “big” question and an opportunity.

The “big” question

Whether it is “The Web”, “Mobile”, “Cloud Computing,” or most recently “AI,” technology constructs appear to drive much of what we do, and how we think about our work. They also appear to start by being highly interpretable and open to changes, followed by a period in which they are more stable. The latter is when mass adoption occurs. Much less is known about the former stage. How can people from different organizations and fields of practice adopt a new technology that still has an elusive meaning, and yet use it to make a significant impact in their area of work? As this paper shows, while such efforts exhibit distinct challenges, they also show common solutions.

The opportunity

During my graduate program at the University of Chicago, I had the rare opportunity to interact with the innovators and early adopters of exactly this type of technology construct, “Grid Computing.” By many accounts, it paved the way to today’s “Cloud Computing.” The article reports findings from a part of this project that analysed the experience of three teams in three fields of science that tried to adopt “The Grid” to drive change in their fields.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?


The most challenging aspect of this research was its reach. While still being negotiated at the time when I started my research, there were already many adopters of Grid Computing. These adopters spanned hundreds of organizations, running across all continents, and many fields of scientific and commercial practice. To study an evolving construct, it is best to study it up-close from the perspective of participants. However, performing a qualitative study on such a distributed scale was not trivial. I spent several years examining this community. To make things worse, these individuals came from different fields of practice, which meant understanding all perspectives was particularly difficult.

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


This research contributes to the field in two ways:

  1. Innovation management. We examine the development and adoption of “big” technologies from the perspective of the groups working in the trenches to advance these innovations. When successful, such technologies end up impacting our everyday lives. But to be successful, innovators and early adopters need to overcome a set of challenges in how to approach and integrate the new technology into their working practices.
  2. Interdisciplinary collaborations. These collaborations are based on a paradox. On the one hand, interdisciplinary projects are the most innovative, because they involve people with multiple—often radically different—perspectives. But working with such distinct approaches and objectives can be disabling. This paradox is more pronounced when the projects are voluntary and involve an “object” (technology) that is still very much open to interpretation, as was the case here.



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Team Photo attributed to Free-Photos  (CC)

I Lost My Baby Today: Embodied Writing and Learning in Organizations.

[We’re pleased to welcome author Dr. Ilaria Boncori of the University of Essex and Dr. Charlotte Smith of University of Leicester.  They recently published an article in Management Learning entitled “I lost my baby today: Embodied writing and learning in organizations” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the motivation for this article.

mlqb_48_3.coverWhen we first saw the Management Learning call for papers for a special issue on Writing Differently we were genuinely excited at the prospect of reading scholarly contributions that embraced difference and dared to step away from rigid journal article boundaries. We have known each other around a decade and trudged through the completion of our PhDs together. We remain close friends to this day who enjoy chatting and wondering about research ideas over good sushi. It was on one of those occasions after reading the call that it dawned on us – we could be brave and write differently. If we are honest, we were a little frightened but together we managed to contain our anxieties and we couldn’t have been more delighted at the positive, sympathetic and heartful comments that we received after our submission.

We were motivated about the prospect of trying to write differently and develop our skillset as writers and scholars doing so, but we also knew Ilaria had a very difficult story to tell about losing her baby. Writing the paper was hard for Ilaria in working through her emotions but when asking Charlie to come on board she explained how she also wanted to address a very significant issue that affects many women. Why are our bodies silenced in organizations when they talk about uncomfortable realities such as death, miscarriage, menopause, self-harming, illnesses and so on?

So we decided to go for it, and Ilaria shared her autoethnographic story, hoping that it may be well received and actually get published. Having a friend as co-author made this easier. Another mitigating factor to the fear of exposure was that the point of the article was not the story in itself, it was about daring to write differently through ethnographic text that is embodied, emotional and drenched in lived experience.

The idea for this specific paper also came from our need to break away from what the field recognizes as acceptable mainstream criteria of reading and writing organizations. The language, the content and the style that currently reign supreme are, to us, examples of patriarchal hegemonic perspectives that silence the body, the dirty, the messy, the unconventional and the lived experience that makes us who we are and what we are able to do in organizations.

We therefore retained some form of canonic academic papers (such as an engagement with the literature and a methodological note), but very clearly decided to subvert praxis in terms of content (miscarriage) and style in writing an evocative autoethnographic account. We also challenged the conventions of multi-authored autoethnographic research in that the experience told in our article belongs to only one author, while the other acts as the listener, the critical friend, the academic comforter.

Sharing very personal stories through autoethnography is scary because one’s intimate life is exposed in an uncommon way for traditional understandings of organization studies, and is therefore more fragile and open to criticism that gets too personal to be professional. Nonetheless, we advocate the use of such narratives and writing differently to challenge and resist the dominant masculine discourse in academia through methodological and stylistic changes to our writing, because personal, fragile and reflexive narratives can enhance the understanding of lived experiences in organizations. We are acutely aware that we couldn’t have developed our work without the support and comments of our editors and reviewers who both believed in us and let us work with them without the constraints of normalized and overtly formulaic review processes.

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Exploratory Neural Reactions to Framed Advertisement Messages of Smoking Cessation

[Dr. Dong Yang of I-Shou University recently published an article in Social Marketing Quarterly titled “Exploratory Neural Reactions to Framed Advertisement Messages of Smoking Cessation.” We are pleased to welcome Dr. Yang as a contributor and happy to announce that the findings will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Also, further insights regarding inspiration behind the research, as well as additional information not included in the final publication, are available below.]

SMQ_20_2_C1 & C5.inddSeveral measurement problems were found from previous survey research by using questionnaires. For example, respondents usually answered items to match researchers’ intention or social norms unconsciously, especially when respondents had difficulties to read and understand questionnaires. According to the inspiration of the latest development of medical engineering and relevant research about advertising effectiveness measuring by the eye tracker, this study applies brainwave instruments for exploring social and neural marketing. The most difficult part of experimental manipulation is how to measure needed data effectively while subjects respond in a natural environment without controls. Owing to smokers agreed to assist this study tried to take off the brainwave instruments to end the measuring process as they faced negatively framed fear appeals, it is possible that they may stop to watch the whole negatively framed smoking cessation advertising under true natural surroundings.

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