Pedagogical Innovation and Paradigm Shift in the Introduction to Management Curriculum

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Elizabeth Christopher of Macquarie University, Joe Roberts of Webster University, and Oliver Laasch of the University of Nottingham, China. They recently published a paper in the Journal of Management Education entitled, “Pedagogical Innovation and Paradigm Shift in the Introduction to Management Curriculum,” which is free to read for a limited time. Below, Christopher and Roberts reflect on the motivation for pursuing this research:]

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

E- Identifying a need for improved introduction to management education, emerging from a complex global business environment of socio- economic challenges for managers.

J- Identifying innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching Intro to Management concepts across campus as interdisciplinary courses.

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

E- The 20th century was characterized by a resurgence of 19th-century concepts of management associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism that persists to this day. Managerialism is the organizational form of neo-liberalism that implicitly endorses the concept of educating managers to be market-led. Education along these lines is defined in terms of human capital acquisition, skilled for the economy.

If the principles of neoliberal, market led, introduction to management education are not examined, educators run the risk of overlooking contemporary demands for managerial social ethics and responsibility for the environment. This Special Issue is an attempt to respond to this challenge on behalf of university faculties and students and on behalf of curriculum designs.

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

E- It is innovative in its recognition that contemporary western management thought, all too often, is based on outdated assumptions of what ‘good’ management should be, but that have become profoundly inadequate to address pressing challenges of managerial sustainability, responsibility and ethics.  The research reveals the extent of the need for new approaches to introduction to management courses. The JME is a widely read and highly regarded journal, therefore the research findings should have an impact on the field.

J- As the managerial function has become more entrepreneurial in nature the question of ethics has become extremely important and should be integrated with pedagogical approaches to teaching Intro to Management concepts.

 

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Is Business Ethics Too Important to be Left in the Hands of Business: A Democratic Alternative?

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[We’re pleased to welcome author Carl Rhodes of the University of Technology, Sydney. Rhodes recently published an article in Organization Studies entitled “Democratic Business Ethics: Volkswagen’s Emissions Scandal and the Disruption of Corporate Sovereignty,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Rhodes reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

Cover image for latest issue of Organization Studies

When people think of business ethics they normally imagine what businesses can or should do to be judged as ethical.  Whether the focus is on breaches of ethical norms by corporations, or models for the achievement of ethical business, the common approach is that it is organizations themselves who are the ethical agents.

This assumption is limited because it fails to account for how corporate responsibility does not necessarily arrive through the voluntary actions of corporations themselves. In response, in my own research I have been exploring a more democratic and socially focussed understanding of how business ethics is practiced.  The results were recently published in my article in Organization Studies called ‘Democratic Business Ethics: Volkswagen’s Emissions Scandal and the Disruption of Corporate Sovereignty’

The 2015 Volkswagen emission scandal illustrates what I call democratic business ethics; an ethics where citizens and the institutions of civil society hold corporations to account for their actions, and in so doing disrupt the self-interested abuse of corporate power.  At the time the scandal broke, Volkswagen was the world’s largest auto manufacturer, and a company widely heralded for its environmentalism and its corporate social responsibly activities.  Despite impeccable ethical credentials, the scandal revealed a corporation whose success had been boosted by sophisticated cheating on fuel emission tests.

The paper shows how Volkswagen was brought to justice for its actions not because of its own proclaimed ethics or moral hubris, but because of the interaction of individuals and institutions from outside of business, in this case NGOs, scientists, law makers, government agencies, the media, and the general public.  This was a demonstration how business ethics manifested in the interruption of a flagrant case of corporate fraud, deceit and criminality.

The paper develops the idea of democratic business ethics by focussing on how civil society in particular can and should ensure that corporations are made morally responsible for what they do. This is an ethics made practical through forms of dissent and contestation that redirect power away from centres of organized wealth and capital, returning it to its democratically rightful place with the people.

The conclusion is that business ethics is far too important to be left in the hands of business, and needs to be exercised in the democratic sphere so that corporations are serving society rather than the other way around.

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Does Public Service Motivation Always Lead to Organizational Commitment?

[We’re pleased to welcome author Wisanupong Potipiroon of Prince of Songkla University. Potipiroon recently published a paper in Public Personnel Management entitled, “Does Public Service Motivation Always Lead to Organizational Commitment? Examining the Moderating Roles of Intrinsic Motivation and Ethical Leadership,” which is free to read for a limited time. Below, Potipiroon reflects on the motivation for pursuing this research:]

PPM_C1 template_rev.inddIt is widely accepted that individuals with high public service motivation (PSM) are more likely to join, feel emotionally attached to and remain in public service organizations. Although we concur with this prevailing notion, our observations and anecdotes from street-level bureaucrats indicate that this is not always the case. Although it is true that public organizations can provide considerable opportunities to employees to do good for others and to be useful to society, we know from experience that service-minded employees often end up working in jobs that do not allow them to put their motivation to use effectively. Indeed, not all jobs are created equal: Some can be less interesting or challenging than others. This may form part of the reasons why many talented workers may decide to leave public service in the first place.

Well, this is precisely what we found in our data which were drawn from a large public organization in Thailand. We found that the relationship between PSM and organizational commitment was dependent upon intrinsic motivation—the extent to which one finds enjoyment in the work even without rewards. When task enjoyment was high, we found that the effect of PSM on organizational commitment was positive. When task enjoyment was lacking, however, the effect of PSM became significantly negative. This indicates that low levels of intrinsic motivation could undermine the achievement of the opportunities inherent in meaningful public services.

Interestingly, we also learned that highly motivated individuals put a great deal of importance on the extent to which their leaders are ethical. In particular, the highest level of organizational commitment was observed when there were high levels of motivation and ethical leadership simultaneously. This suggests that ethical leaders play an instrumental role in fulfilling employees’ needs to act on their motivation. In the public sector, ethical leaders are those who place great emphasis on making an outward, societal impact and showing concern for the common good while also providing a supportive work context that allow employees’ motivation to flourish.

Our study findings underscore the fact that PSM may not offer infinite benefits in every type of settings because PSM effects will likely depend on the whole range of contextual factors including job characteristics and leadership styles. Indeed, public managers should be aware that highly motivated workers could develop a particularly unfavorable view of their organizations if their prosocial needs go unmet.

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Can stories and case studies be used as tools for management inquiry?

[We’re pleased to welcome author Yiannis Gabriel of the University of  Bath, UK. Gabriel recently published an article in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Case Studies as Narratives: Reflections Prompted by the Case of Victor, the Wild Child of Aveyron,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Gabriel reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgWhat motivated you to pursue this research? The accidental discovery of a book on Victor, the wolf-child found in the French region of Aveyron in 1798, prompted me to revisit the question of what makes us human, what constitutes a meaningful and fascinating case study and how case studies can be used as part of teaching and research agendas. This essay examines what attracts scientific interest to particular case study, whether that of a single unusual individual like Victor, a particular organization or a particular event, like the VW emissions scandal or the Brexit referendum, and discusses some of the strengths and limitations of the cases we use as researchers and also as teachers. I reflect on the similarities and differences between case studies and stories, arguing that they are governed by different rules of narration and different narrative contracts between authors and audiences. Both case studies and stories are capable of yielding considerable insights within the framework of a narrative methodology; in the hands of skilled instructors, they can be powerful instruments for disseminating knowledge.

The essay examines how an aberrant of atypical case, like that case of Victor, can lead us to generalizations about the typical and asks what exactly constitutes a case? It probes the etymology of the word case that indicates a singularity, an individual occurrence, an event or a phenomenon. But a case can also be a container, a box, a briefcase, a suitcase. Like a briefcase, a case-study contains material that may or may not have value. Discovering such a case immediately announces a mystery – what does it contain, who does it belong to, what does it reveal? The value of a case study, like the value of the contents of a briefcase, rely on the ability of a subject to recognize them. An innocent eye may be mistaken in discarding a case as junk when in fact its content is priceless material and may be exploited for historical or other research or indeed for financial or business gain. Recognizing the value of a case requires a particular skill which not all researchers possess – many will miss the deeper significance or value of a particular case until somebody proves capable of unearthing it. Recognizing the value of a case is akin to recognize the potential uses of any empirical material including statistical materials, historical documents or even random observations.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings? The most challenging part was the realization that the obscure case of Victor continues to be alive today. The case has not ended and there are meaningful questions whether Victor was indeed abandoned at birth by his parents (like other legendary feral children), or whether he was abandoned much later in life on account of some congenital condition, whether he was a noble savage or indeed a child-martyr. This led me to argue that case studies do not have clear-cut beginnings and ends and can be reopened whenever a new interpretation or new clues emerge, much like police or psychiatric cases.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field? Many scholars are turning to qualitative research methods in the social sciences, using cases studies as core elements of their research. While there are a few standard reference points for the use of case studies (including vignettes, illustrations etc.) I believe that there is a dearth of critical reflection on the meaning of a case, its relevance and lessons. For example, the choice of particular cases may be dictated by a researcher’s esoteric interests or by a political agenda. To what extent can such cases be used as the basis for theoretical generalizations? Often a case is treated as a story. But in telling a story, a narrator can alter significant details, omit, exaggerate or improvise for effect. Are the same narrative distortions acceptable in the researcher who uses a case? What constitutes an ‘irrelevant’ detail and what detail offers crucial keys to a case’s deeper significance and meaning?

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Getting to Know Your Students and an Educational Ethic of Care

[We’re pleased to welcome author Thomas F. Hawk of Frostburg State University. Hawk recently published an article in the Journal of Management Education entitled, “Getting to Know Your Students and an Educational Ethic of Care,” that is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Hawk shares background and motivation for pursuing this research:]

A sabbatical in 1996 that focused on critical thinking led me to discover the Philosophy of Education Society and the idea of an ethic of care. The more I explored the ethic of care literature, the more it resonated with me and gave me a vocabulary and a philosophical frame for describing and discussing my fundamental processes of facilitating the deep learning of my students. That journey of exploration continues to the present even though I retired from the university in 2009.

In 2003, a student who appeared to be struggling in my MBA capstone strategy course sent me an email asking me not to “give up on her” as she had some learning challenges that held her back from actively contributing to the case discussions. But she also complimented me on the caring and skillful ways in which I focused on my students’ learning development, provided extensive developmental feedback, and continually tried to get my students involved in the discussions. That email triggered a set of questions in my mind that led to the 2008 JME article, “Please Don’t Give Up on Me: When Faculty Fail to Care.” As I understand it, that was the first full length article in JME to address an ethic of care.JME_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpg

As my journey into an ethic of care continued, I did research on the extent to which business ethics textbooks and journals addressed the issue of an ethic of care as an alternative ethical framework to the traditional ethical frameworks of virtue, deontological, utilitarian, and justice ethics. That research revealed an almost total absence of a consideration of an ethic care in business ethics textbooks and only a few articles on an ethic of care in the primary business ethics journals. I also became aware of the significant differences in the ontological/metaphysical assumptions made by the rationalistic and abstract universalistic individualism of traditional ethical frameworks and the relational, concrete, uniqueness of each situation that characterizes an ethic of care and its central focus on the well-being of the parties to the relationship and the relationship itself.

Chory & Offstein’s 2017 JME article (41-1), “Your Professor Will Know You as a Person: Evaluating and Rethinking the Relational Boundaries between Faculty and Students,” prompted me to write, “Getting to Know Your Students and an Educational Ethic of Care.” That article reflects my current exploration of the congruence among an ethic of care, Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy and process ethics, and a process perspective on teaching and learning (see Whitehead, 1929, and Oliver & Gersham, 1989, cited in the article). I now see an ethic of care as a way of being in the world, not just as an alternative ethical framework. But in the educational domain, the most important scholarly work I have read over the last year is: Alhadeff-Jones, M. (2017). Time and the Rhythms of Emancipatory Education: Rethinking the Temporal Complexity of Self and Society. New York: Routledge.
Enjoy the reading.

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Designing Compensation Strategy with Game Theory Perspectives

[We’re pleased to welcome back Pankaj M. Madhani, Associate Dean and Professor of ICFAI Business School (IBS). Dr. Madhani is the author of “Salesforce Control and Compensation System: A Game Theory Model Approach which appeared in Compensation and Benefits Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, and is currently free to read for a limited time. From Madhani:]

The performance of a sales organization is positively influenced by ethical behavior of sales people. The design of salesforce control and compensation system is crucial in salesforce management as it plays an important role in influencing ethics of salespeople. To understand this relationship, this research applies game theory model in the areas of salesforce control and compensation system.

The propensity for sales people to make unethical choices can be reduced by designing an appropriate salesforce control system and a relevant compensation plan. Ethical behavior in sales organization can also be influenced by various organizational drivers such as ethical climate, code of ethics, hiring, selection and training process and ethical leadership. By such organizational influences, if a salesperson is motivated to act ethically by putting high efforts for building long term customer relationships, trust and loyalty, it results into a win-win situation for both sales people and the organization. Research has developed various frameworks, models and payoff matrices to validate application of game theory in the field of salesforce compensation. After considering multiple scenarios in the game to identify optimal payoff, research concludes that a sales organization is better off with outcome control when sales people behave honestly as it has the highest payoff among all other possibilities.

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Pankaj M. Madhani earned bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and law, a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and a PhD in strategic management from CEPT University.

He has more than 30 years of corporate and academic experience in India and the United States. During his tenure in the corporate sector, he was recognized with theOutstanding Young Managers Award. He is now working as a professor at ICFAI Business School (IBS) where he received the Best Teacher Award from the IBS Alumni Federation. He is also the recipient of the Best Mentor Award. He has published various management books and more than 300 book chapters and research articles in several refereed academic and practitioner journals such as World at Work Journal and the European Business Review. He has received the Best Research Paper Award at the IMCON-2016 International Management Convention. He is a frequent contributor to Compensation & Benefits Review and has published 19 articles on sales compensation. His main research interests include salesforce compensation, corporate governance and business strategy. He is also editor of The IUP Journal of Corporate Governance.

Interested in submitting to Compensation & Benefits Review? Visit the Submission Guidelines page today for more details!

 

Salesforce Control and Compensation System: A Game Theory Model Approach

Journal of Management Inquiry: Corruption Special Issue

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgThe July 2017 Special Issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry is now online to view! This issue focuses on the phenomenon of corporate corruption, with specific topics such as counterproductive behavior, corporate culture and ethics, and media framing. Below is an excerpt from the special issue introduction entitled “Expanding Research on Corporate Corruption, Management, and Organizations,” from authors Stelios Zyglidopoulos, Paul Hirsch, Pablo Martin de Holan, and Nelson Phillips:

Corruption is a major problem in much of the world. It often prevents economic development, causes inefficiency and unfairness in the distribution of resources, can be the underlying factor behind corporate failures and industry crises, can erode the social fabric of societies, and can have other major negative impacts in the well-being of individuals and societies….But, before we proceed to discuss the topic of corruption research, we should address the issue of what corruption is and note its complexity. Transparency International (2017) defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.” Similarly, Ashforth, Gioia, Robinson, and Treviño (2008) define corruption as “the illicit use of one’s position of power for perceived personal or collective gain” (p. 671). We believe we should enrich and expand this definition by differentiating between first- and second-order corruption….In this special issue, our purpose is not only to renew and extend the research agenda around corporate corruption, so that we can contribute toward a more sophisticated and complex understanding, but also to facilitate communication between different researchers.

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