Business Perceptions of Biodiversity as Social Learning

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Thomas Smith, Dr. George Holmes, and Dr. Jouni Paavola of the University of Leeds. They recently published an article in Organization & Environment entitled “Social Underpinnings of Ecological Knowledge: Business Perceptions of Biodiversity as Social Learning,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the methods, and contribution of their research:]

O&E_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

Despite mounting concerns regarding the degradation and loss of species, habitats and ecosystems occurring worldwide, biodiversity remains an underexplored issue in corporate sustainability. Increasingly, conservationists, policymakers and organisations such as the WBCSD are focussing on business contributions to tackling biodiversity loss. Yet we know little of how different institutional contexts influence efforts to reduce operational impacts on biodiversity, for instance. It is also unclear how different stakeholders can help – or hinder – reform.

This paper integrates social learning and institutional theory to understand business approaches to controlling impacts on biodiversity. Social learning is often used to examine processes of knowledge transfer and reform in natural resource management, but tends to focus on local communities and public bodies rather than businesses. Combined with institutional theory, social learning demonstrates how social systems shape responses to ecological contexts.

This paper adds to ONE research by demonstrating that to understand business responses to biodiversity, it is vital to focus on interactions between social and ecological systems, rather than each system in isolation. Biodiversity is complex, varying across contexts: successfully conserving it means integrating multiple forms of knowledge and values. Business responses to biodiversity need to be examined across multiple contexts, developed to developing country, tropical to temperate, terrestrial to marine, etc.

Although corporate sustainability scholars must be mindful of social and ecological factors specific to one or another context, this should not prevent us from seeking to identify universal principles underlying best practice. Work on stakeholder engagement and institutional views of the firm applied to other issues in corporate sustainability might be used to inform best practices. There is much left to consider and to research regarding business and biodiversity.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from OAE and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Artificial Intelligence and Social Simulation: Studying Group Dynamics on a Massive Scale

[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Jesse Hoey of the University of Waterloo, Tobias Schröder of Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Jonathan Morgan of Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Kimberly B. Rogers of Dartmouth College, Deepak Rishi of the University of Waterloo, and Meiyappan Nagappan of the University of Waterloo. They recently published an article in Small Group Research entitled “Spotlight on Methods: Artificial Intelligence and Social Simulation: Studying Group Dynamics on a Massive Scale,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, They discusses some of the findings of this research:]

SGR_72ppiRGB_powerpointTechnological and social innovations are increasingly generated through informal, distributed processes of collaboration, rather than in formal, hierarchical organizations. In this article, we present a novel combination of data-driven and model-based approaches to explore the social and psychological mechanisms motivating these modern self-organized collaborations. We focus on the example of open, collaborative software development in online collaborative networks like GitHub (github.com). The synthesized approach is based in affect control theory (ACT), and a recent framing in Artificial Intelligence known as Bayesian affect control theory (BayesACT). The general assumption of ACT is that humans are motivated in their social interactions by affective alignment: They strive for their social experiences to be coherent at a deep, emotional level with their sense of identity and general worldviews as constructed through culturally shared symbols. This alignment is used in BayesACT as a control mechanism to generate artificially intelligent agents that can learn to be functioning members of a social order (see bayesact.ca for further information).

We show in this article how such a model solves two basic problems in the social scientific study of groups and teams. First, because empirical research on groups relies on manual coding, it is hard to study groups in large numbers (the scaling problem). Second, conventional statistical methods in behavioral science often fail to capture the nonlinear interaction dynamics occurring in small groups (the dynamics problem). The ACT-based models we present allow for sophisticated machine learning techniques to be combined in a parsimonious way with validated social-psychological models of group behaviour such that both of these problems are solved in a single computational model.

The purpose of the present article is to discuss the promises of this cross-disciplinary, computational approach to the study of small group dynamics. We review computational methods for using large amounts of social media data, and connect these methods to theoretically informed models of human behaviour in groups. To use a metaphor, we are digging into digital group dynamics data with a sophisticated, artificially intelligent shovel, and showing how computational social science can be taken to a new level with this unique and novel combination of data-driven and model-based approaches. The work is an international collaboration called THEMIS.COG (themis-cog.ca) between researchers in Canada (University of Waterloo), the USA (Dartmouth College), and Germany (Potsdam University of Applied Sciences).

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from Small Group Research and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

OS Editor Picks: Organizing the Environmental Governance of the Rare-Earth Industry

[We are pleased to welcome Trish Reay, Editor-in-Chief of Organization Studies.]

Organizing the Environmental Governance of the Rare-Earth Industry: China’s passive revolutionLe Bo, Steffen Böhm, and Noelia-Sarah Reynolds

Are you interested in business-government-civil society relations, in the context of China’s rare-earth industry, and how it has changed over the past 30 years? How have the severe environmental challenges faced by this industry been addressed? In what way has the central Chinese state retained power and control in the face of manifold top-down challenges and bottom-up pressures?

In their forthcoming article in Organization Studies, authors Le Bo, Steffen Böhm, and Noelia-Sarah Reynolds provide answers to these questions in light of the neo-Gramscian literature, with a focus on the disruption of hegemony in China’s passive revolution. It’s an enlightening article to read!

From the Abstract:OSS

The rare-earth industry is of strategic importance for China and many ‘clean’ technologies worldwide. Yet the processes of mining, smelting and separating rare-earth ores are heavily polluting. Using a neo-Gramscian perspective in the context of organization studies, this article analyses the dynamic interactions between government agencies, business and civil society in the development of the environmental governance of China’s rare-earth industry over the past 30 years, with a particular focus on China’s ‘top-down’ passive revolution. Making use of rarely granted access to China’s biggest rare-earth company, one of the country’s key strategic assets, the analysis makes visible the changes of environmental contestations among five different governance actors over what we identify as three environmental governance eras in China. Besides offering unique empirical insights into the organizational processes that constitute the dynamically evolving hegemony of China’s rare-earth industry, the article makes three theoretical contributions to the field of organization studies. First, we analyse the changing role of state institutions in a non-Western context, which has been de-emphasized by existing organization scholars. Second, we conceptualize the dynamics of environmental governance in China as a form of top-down ‘passive revolution’. Third, we problematize the dual role of Chinese NGOs as both supporting and challenging state power. Overall, we contribute to our understanding of the organization of governance systems in non-Western contexts, which has been neglected in organizational studies.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #OSEditorPicks

You can read Organizing the Environmental Governance of the Rare-Earth Industry: China’s passive revolution by Le Bo, Steffen Böhm, and Noelia-Sarah Reynolds free for the next 30 days. 

 

Read the September Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly!

asqa_63_3_coverWe are pleased to announce that the September Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now available to read for a limited time.

Check out the editorial which discusses the ASQ Scholarly Award for Scholarly Contribution which was awarded to  Adam M. Kleinbaum for his article, “Organizational Misfits and the Origins of Brokerage in Intrafirm Networks.”


In the research article, “The Structural Origins of Unearned Status: How Arbitrary Changes in Categories Affect Status Position and Market Impact,” included in this issue, the relationship among status, actors’ quality, and market outcomes are discussed. You can find the abstract below.

customer-experience-3024488__340.jpgFocusing on the categorical nature of many status orderings, we examine the relationship among status, actors’ quality, and market outcomes. As markets evolve, the number of categories that structure them can increase, creating opportunities for new actors to be bestowed status, or it can decrease, dethroning certain actors from their superior standing. In both cases, gains and losses of status may occur without changes in actors’ quality. Because audiences rely on status signals to infer the value of market actors, these exogenously generated status shifts can translate into changes in how audiences perceive actors, resulting in benefits for unearned status gains and costs for unearned status losses. We find support for our hypotheses in a sample of equity analysts at U.S. brokerage firms. Using data on the coveted Institutional Investor magazine All-Star award, we find that analysts whose status increases because of a category addition see corresponding increases in the stock market’s response to their earnings estimates, while those who lose status see corresponding reductions. Our results suggest that the greater weight accorded to high-status actors may be misguided if that status occurs for structural reasons such as category changes rather than because of an actor’s own quality.


This intriguing study, “Anchored Personalization in Managing Goal Conflict between Professional Groups: The Case of U.S. Army Mental Health Care” delves into conflict between groups that pursue different goals. You can find the abstract below:

Mental-health-2313426_640Organizational life is rife with conflict between groups that pursue different goals, particularly when groups have strong commitments to professional identities developed outside the organization. I use data from a 30-month comparative ethnographic field study of four U.S. Army combat brigades to examine conflict between commanders who had a goal of fielding a mission-ready force and mental health providers who had a goal of providing rehabilitative mental health care to soldiers. All commanders and providers faced goal and identity conflict and had access to similar integrative mechanisms. Yet only those associated with two brigades addressed these conflicts in ways that accomplished the army’s superordinate goal of having both mission-ready and mentally healthy soldiers. Both successful brigades used what I call “anchored personalization” practices, which included developing personalized relations across groups, anchoring members in their home group identity, and co-constructing integrative solutions to conflict. These practices were supported by an organizational structure in which professionals were assigned to work with specific members of the other group, while remaining embedded within their home group. In contrast, an organizational structure promoting only anchoring in one’s home group identity led to failure when each group pursued its own goals at the expense of the other group’s goals. A structure promoting only personalization across groups without anchoring in one’s home group identity led to failure from cooptation by the dominant group. This study contributes to our understanding of how groups with strong professional identities can work together in service of their organization’s superordinate goals when traditional mechanisms fail.


To listen to the latest ASQ podcast click here.


Ranking photo attributed to Free Photos.

Mental Health photo attributed to Free Photos.

The Use of Language and Group Processes

feedback-2990424_960_720.jpg

[Dr. Lyn M. Van Swol of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Dr. Aimée A. Kane of Duquesne University recently published an article in Small Group Research, which is entitled “Language and Group Processes: An Integrative, Interdisciplinary Review.” We are pleased to welcome them as contributors and excited to announce that the findings will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Below Dr. Van Swol writes about the inspiration behind the research, as well as additional information not included in the final publication.

10SGR11_Covers.inddThis paper reviews research examining the use of language in small interacting groups and teams. We propose a model of group inputs, like status; processes and emergent states, like cohesion, influence, and innovation; and outputs, like performance and member well-being to help structure our review. We integrate this model with how language is used by groups to both reflect group inputs but also to examine how language interacts with inputs to affect group processes and create emergent states in groups, and then ultimately helps add value to the group with outputs like performance. Using cross-disciplinary research, our review finds that language is integral to how groups coordinate, interrelate, and adapt. For example, language convergence is related to increased group cohesion and group performance. Research on language in groups has been increasing, but the research is often scattered in different disciplines. This review provides theoretical scaffolding to consider language use and attempts to pull together consistent research findings to date.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage

Group Communication Photo attributed to Free-Photos (CC)

Join SAGE at AOM 2018 to Provide Your Feedback!

2018 ThemeThe Academy of Management 2018 Annual Meeting is going on now in Chicago!

If you’re attending AOM, don’t forget to stop by SAGE’s booths, where we’ll have the latest scholarly research from  Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management, Organization StudiesFamily Business Review, Human Relations and other top-tier SAGE journals, as well as plenty of friendly faces willing to answer all your publishing inquiries. So come visit booth #306!

Whether or not you’ll be able to attend this year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting, please feel free to peruse the latest from SAGE’s management and business journals represented at AOM:

ASQ_v59n3_Sept2014_cover.inddAdministrative Science Quarterly This top-tier journal regularly publishes the best theoretical and empirical papers based on dissertations and on the evolving and new work of more established scholars, as well as interdisciplinary work in organizational theory, and informative book reviews.

 

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpoint
Business & Society
In this fast-growing, ever-changing, and always challenging field of study, BAS is the only peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted entirely to research, discussion, and analysis on the relationship between business and society.

 

fbra_31_2.coverFamily Business Review provides a scholarly platform devoted exclusively to exploration of the dynamics of family-controlled enterprise, including firms ranging in size from the very large to the relatively small. FBR is focused not only the entrepreneurial founding generation, but also on family enterprises in the 2nd and 3rd generation and beyond, including some of the world’s oldest companies.


GOM_72ppiRGB_powerpointGroup and Organization Management
publishes a broad range of articles, including data-based research articles, research review reports, evaluation studies, action research reports, and critiques of research. In addition, GOM brings you articles examining a wide range of topics in organizations from an international and cross-cultural perspective.

Human Relations publishes the highest quality original research to advance our understanding of social relationships at and around work. Human Relations encourages strong empirical contributions that develop and extend theory as well as more conceptual papers that integrate, critique and expand existing theory.

 

JABS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science JABS is continually breaking ground in its exploration of group dynamics, organization development, and social change, providing scholars the best in research, theory, and methodology, while also informing professionals and their clients.

 

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies produces high-quality, peer-reviewed research articles on leadership and organizational studies, focusing in particular on the intersection of these two areas of study.

 

JOM_44.1_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management is committed to publishing scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field as a whole and cover such field as business strategy and policy, entrepreneurship, human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational theory, and research methods.

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Education is dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning in the management and organizational disciplines. JME’s published articles reflect changes and developments in the conceptualization, organization, and practice of management education.

 

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Inquiry is a leading journal for scholars and professionals in management, organizational behavior, strategy, and human resources. JMI explores ideas and builds knowledge in management theory and practice, with a focus on creative, nontraditional research, as well as, key controversies in the field.

Management Learning, the ‘Journal for Critical, Reflexive Scholarship on Organisation and Learning’, publishes original theoretical, empirical and exploratory articles on learning and knowing in management and organizations. Now in its fifth decade of publication, Management Learning continues to provide a unique forum for critical inquiry, innovative ideas and dialogue.

07ORM13_Covers.inddOrganizational Research Methods brings relevant methodological developments to a wide range of researchers in organizational and management studies and promotes a more effective understanding of current and new methodologies and their application in organizational settings.

Organization Studies publishes top quality theoretical and empirical research which promotes the understanding of organizations, organizing and the organized in and between societies. OS is a multidisciplinary journal with global reach, rooted in the social sciences, comparative in outlook and open to paradigmatic plurality. It is included in the Financial Times Top 50 journals list.

Organization is a peer-reviewed journal whose principal aim is to foster dialogue and innovation in studies of organization. The journal addresses a broad spectrum of issues, and a wide range of perspectives, as the foundation for a ‘neo-disciplinary’ organization studies.

Strategic Organization (SO) is devoted to publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed, discipline-grounded conceptual and empirical research of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners of strategic management and organization.

 

Fossil Fuel Divestment Strategies

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Chelsie Hunt and Dr. Olaf Weber of the University of Waterloo. They recently published an article in Organization & Environment entitled “Fossil fuel divestment strategies: Financial and carbon-related consequences,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the inspirations, challenges, and related papers to their research:]

O&E_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

The research on this paper has been motivated by the discussion about whether fossil fuel divestment decreases financial returns. This question is discussed controversially in academia and practice. Since the Canadian financial market is very fossil fuel heavy, it was interesting to understand both, financial and carbon related consequences of different fossil fuel divestment strategies.

Another influence is the intensive public discussion about how to mitigate climate change. As divestment is proposed as one way to address the problem, we wanted to understand the effect of this type of socially responsible investment that has been promoted by the NGO 350.org. However, divestment moved from being a niche political activity of NGO to the center of institutional investing with a number of big institutional investors announcing divestment from fossil fuels.

A challenging part of this research is the quality of climate related corporate data. Though many firms disclose their carbon related data, there are still gaps and the risk of biases because often those with higher carbon performance publish their data. However, I think we used an innovative approach that correlated both financial and carbon related performance to analyze whether divestment really has an effect on the decarbonization of financial portfolios.

The results might influence investors with regard to divestment decisions and also contributes to finance research by adding non-financial risks to the equation. Maybe they also influence younger scholar to conduct research in this field though it is still often seen as a niche in general corporate and financial performance research.

Finally, we would like to mention three other papers in the field that have been extremely interesting. First, it is a paper that discusses why financial implications of climate risks are not discussed in conventional financial journals (Diaz-Rainey, Robertson, & Wilson, 2017). Second, there are two more papers that discuss the consequences of fossil fuel divestment that suggesting no negative financial effects from fossil fuel divestment (Henriques & Sadorsky, 2017; Trinks, Scholtens, Mulder, & Dam, 2018)

References
Diaz-Rainey, I., Robertson, B., & Wilson, C. (2017). Stranded research? Leading finance journals are silent on climate change. Climatic Change, 143(1), 243-260. doi:10.1007/s10584-017-1985-1

Henriques, I., & Sadorsky, P. (2017). Investor implications of divesting from fossil fuels. Global Finance Journal. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfj.2017.10.004

Trinks, A., Scholtens, B., Mulder, M., & Dam, L. (2018). Fossil Fuel Divestment and Portfolio Performance. Ecological Economics, 146, 740-748. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.11.036

 

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from OAE and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!