Dealing with Learning–Credibility Tension

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Alaric Bourgoin and Jean-François Harvey of HEC Montréal, Canada, who recently published the article, “Professional image under threat: Dealing with learning–credibility tension,” in Human Relations. Below they discuss the results and implications of their research.]

huma_71_2.coverHow does one learn and build credibility simultaneously? Today’s professionals often find themselves entering new organisations where they are expected to bring their knowledge to bear on shifting situations. Entering new settings generates uncertainty because knowledge is socially embedded and context-dependent, such that it may not be possible to simply transfer knowledge developed in a previous context and apply it to a new one. Despite this difficulty, professionals must project an image of competence to be regarded as experts, and preclude sceptical clients from withdrawing completely. Faced with an uncertain new setting, they may encounter a conflict between their professional image and their ability to fulfil their role. This challenge is faced by an increasing number of professionals and managers alike, who are no longer seeking linear careers and instead move in and out of complex projects on a regular basis.

To address this puzzle, Professors Alaric Bourgoin and Jean-François Harvey draw on data from 21 months of participant observation during consulting assignments, and interviews with 79 management consultants. They adopted an original method – auto-ethnography with an insider-outsider research team – insofar that Bourgoin worked as a consultant to collect first-hand data for almost two years, which was regularly discussed and analysed with Harvey. They gained an unparalleled access to the minutiae of the work practices and inner feelings of consultants repeatedly adjusting to new settings under high-pressure conditions from their clients.

The main finding of this research is the construct that Bourgoin and Harvey call “learning–credibility tension” – a discrepancy between a newcomer position that requires professionals to learn, and a role-based image that requires professionals to maintain their credibility as experts. The authors discovered that this tension is a salient and costly issue for professionals during organisational entry. Specifically, they find that consultants experience three threats to their professional image during interactions with clients: competency, acceptance, and productive threats. Whereas most recruits are given time for socialisation, and granted some trial-and-error leeway in the process, the high costs of consulting services ratchets up clients’ expectations with respect to practitioners’ capacity to solve complex problems, fit in the sociopolitical context of their firm, and create value for money within a few days through the assignment.

While consultants emphasise the pressures of learning–credibility tension, they also use three tactics to mitigate it: (1) crafting relevance, (2) crafting resonance and (3) crafting substance. Such tactics include back- and front-stage behaviour and allow professionals to keep face as experts while seeking the information they require to adjust to new settings. If performed successfully, the tactics allow consultants to reduce the anxiety associated with learning–credibility tension, and support their relationship with clients.

The study builds new theory in socialisation by bridging information needs and image concerns, revealing original tactics that are highly relevant to a wide variety of people. It also contributes to substantive debates on management consulting by relating insights from the sociology of professions to contemporary knowledge workers and overturning the critique of consultants as professionals of persuasion.

You can read  Professional image under threat: Dealing with learning–credibility tension from Human Relations free until the end of March by clicking here.

Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Human RelationsSign up for email alerts so you never miss new research.

‘Working with Generation Y & Generation Z’- engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice

srishtiThe younger workforce, Generation Z and Generation Y, is driven by technology, as an outcome they believe in multitasking and approaching projects in different creative vantage ideas; and likes to experiment and discover new styles and solutions to problems and difficulties as they are driven by their inner need for a sense of purpose, this approach of mavericks is what is required for new businesses. Generation Z has been attracted by the companies that embrace advanced technology and that have created new styles of working internationally, as a result this generation is making a substantial move away from the old and conventional forms of jobs, as they are very entrepreneurial and they believe in engaging in multiple jobs with various career paths. As mentioned earlier, India has roughly 65 per cent of its population below the age of 25 which makes a huge population of India as generation Z category. Sixty-nine million of them reside in urban areas. These young people have a very different childhood to the one their parents experienced. Generation Z is ambitious and competitive in nature. Today, Indian companies have realized the importance of having the intrapreneurial culture and generation Z will be the next intrapreneurs for the corporates and those companies who could channelize them well will be at a competitive advantage. Focusing on the intrapreneurial culture in India organizations; this article from the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies explores the challenges faced by the Indian organization while working with generation Z intrapreneurs.

Abstract

The article explicates that Indian organizations have started engaging generation Z intrapreneurs, but they face challenges while engaging them. It has been observed that leaders and managers often find generation Y and generation Z difficult to manage; one of the reasons being the difference in attitude of the younger generation as instead of traditional monetary incentives, they value passion, purpose, flexibility, transparency, collaboration, trust and autonomy. The organizations that desire to be entrepreneurial, need to learn how to engage, inspire, incentivize and motivate this younger generation intrapreneurs; as this may require organizations to re-think and make changes in the existing organizational structures.

Register here to read full article.

Click here to read A Qualitative Exploration of the Challenges Organizations Face while Working with Generation Z Intrapreneurs for free from Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies!

Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest research from Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies!

 

 

 

Strategic Value Contribution Role of HR

VisionIn the face of climate change and unaccountable corporations, consumers are increasingly vocal about their desire to support transparent companies that actively fight for social justice and offer eco-friendly products and alternatives to conventional items. In response, more brands are demonstrating accountability. Some of the fastest growing businesses are those in the natural product category, those with recycled and recyclable packaging, sweatshop-free and fair trade sourcing, and brands with affiliations with charitable organizations. All else equal, people are investing in brands they feel align with their values.

But, unfortunately it has been found that in spite of showing concern for the environment and advocating environmentally safe activities, the Indian consumer is still not ready to accept the hard truth that it the responsibility of one and all to minimize their contribution to the overall environmental pollution. This article from the journal ‘Vision’ aims at studying socio-psychological factors which contribute in the formation of environmental attitude of consumers. It further aims at establishing the connection between environmental attitude of the consumer and his/her willingness to buy environmentally friendly products.

The socio-cultural, psychological and demographic factors have manifested divergent relationship between attitude and behaviour. There is inadequate understanding of antecedents of consumer’s environmentally friendly attitude and willingness to buy environmentally friendly product. Some authors argue that many consumers claim that they care about the environment; their buying behaviour does not always reflect this concern.

It has been found that the dimensions, such as environmental knowledge (EK), perceived seriousness of environmental (PSE) problem, interpersonal influence (IPI), collectivism and long-term orientation (LTO), have positive relationship with consumer environmental attitude (CEA)

Register now to read full article!

Click here to read Consumer Environmental Attitude and Willingness to Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products: An SEM Approach for free from the journal Vision.

Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest research the journal Vision

 

Submit Your Manuscript to Public Personnel Management!

PPM_call.png

Public Personnel Management is currently seeking manuscript submissions. Founded by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), Public Personnel Management is published specifically for human resource executives and managers in the public sector. Each quarterly edition contains in-depth articles on trends, case studies and the latest research by top human resource scholars and industry experts.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ppm.

You will need to create an account in order to submit your manuscript. The system will notify you once we receive the manuscript and have sent it out for review. If you have any questions, please contact Editor Jared J. Llorens (jared1@lsu.edu).

Don’t forget to sign up for email alerts through the journal homepage so you never miss the latest research!

Undergraduate Internships: Do They Contribute to Career Success?

Internships help equip the student with skills to apply in classroom courses, as well as provide knowledge of how a business functions and if there is an interest sparked in his or her chosen field of study. The experience of internships, however, is under investigation of whether or not they help contribute to a student’s long-term professional development, since the duration of internships is usually limited, therefore offering a limited exposure to the field or business.

Author Katina Sawyer of Villanova University recently published an article in Advances in Developing Human Resources entitled, “Keeping It Real: The Impact of HRD Internships on the Development of HRD Professionals.” In the study, Sawyer analyzes data collected from students who participated in a human resource related internship, which helps to shed light on whether these internships are a valuable tool in retaining the student’s interest in the field. The abstract for her article is below;

Participation in inADHR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgternships may provide undergraduate human resource development (HRD) students with practical experience necessary to be successful in the field. However, research is lacking which examines the impact of HRD internship experiences on professional development and career trajectories. Research is also limited which provides guidance on how to distinguish which undergraduate internships may be most valuable. The features which make internships most effective in preparing students for their chosen careers warrant further examination, specifically within HRD. Relatedly, it is important to understand which internship experiences are most likely to develop HRD competencies for undergraduate students.

The article is currently free to read for a limited time.

Sign up for email alerts through the ADHR homepage so you never miss the latest research.

Relying on Social Media to Assess Job Applicants: The Limitations

Recruiters rely heavily on technology and social media to promote new job openings, so then what happens when a promising candidate applies? Social media once again plays a role where the organization is tempted to locate the candidate’s profile on Facebook.com or other sites. Ultimately, the strategy creates an intercha5624177651_5393210133_z.jpgngeable lens from personnel  to personal selection.

The study, “Social Media for Selection? Validity and Adverse Impact Potential of a Facebook-Based Assessment,” published in the Journal of Management examines how recruiters evaluate a candidate’s social media profile, and what those limitations are. The JOM study was also recently featured in an article from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, naming it one of the top 10 most significant studies with practical utility in 2016. Click here to view the original post from SIOP.

Below, please find the abstract to the article:

Recent reports suggest that an increasing number of organizations are using information from social media platforms such as Facebook.com to screen job applicants. Unfortunately, empirical research concerning the potential implications of this practice is extremely limited. We address the use of social media for selection by examining how recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles fare with respect to two important criteria on which selection procedures are evaluated: criterion-related validity and subgroup differences (which can lead to adverse impact). We captured Facebook profiles of college students who were applying for full-time jobs, and recruiters from various organizations reviewed the profiles and provided evaluations. We then followed up with applicants in their new jobs. Recruiter ratings of applicants’ Facebook information were unrelated to supervisor ratings of job performance (rs = −.13 to –.04), turnover intentions (rs = −.05 to .00), and actual turnover (rs = −.01 to .01). In addition, Facebook ratings did not contribute to the prediction of these criteria beyond more traditional predictors, including cognitive ability, self-efficacy, and personality. Furthermore, there was evidence of subgroup difference in Facebook ratings that tended to favor female and White applicants. The overall results suggest that organizations should be very cautious about using social media information such as Facebook to assess job applicants.

The article is co-authored by Chad H. Van Iddekinge, Stephen E. Lanivich, Philip L. Roth, and Elliott Junco. It is currently free to read for a limited time, by clicking here.

Don’t forget to sign up for email alerts through the Journal of Management homepage so you never miss the latest research.

Facebook photo attributed to Pascal Paukner (CC).

 

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)