Is It Better to Govern Managers Via Agency or Stewardship?

[We’re pleased to welcome author Albert E. James of Dalhousie University, Canada. James recently published an article in the Family Business Review entitled “Is It Better to Govern Managers via Agency or Stewardship? Examining Asymmetries by Family Versus Nonfamily Affiliation,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, James reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

fbra_30_2.coverThe research is based upon the first author’s dissertation. It is the result of his effort to understand the many different behaviours and outcomes that he witnessed during his 20-year career working as a non-family employee for various family firms—particularly his desire to understand why and how some families’ businesses seem to be more successful than others. It is also the result of a PhD supervisor’s determination to see her student succeed as an academic and her willingness to let him follow his passion and research questions.

The most challenging aspect of this process has been finding the way to tell the story of the research project. What is published here is the result of many re-writes, iterations, and direction changes. It was challenging to adapt concepts and measures to the particularities of the family business field. And it was challenging to make full use of the reviewers’ and editor’s advice. All in all, though, the challenges were an opportunity for a new academic to learn many things about rigorous research and publishing. Without the patient work, extensive knowledge and leadership of the co-authors, none of the challenges would have been overcome.

One of the study’s most surprising findings is the high level of positive work outcomes exhibited by both the family and non-family managers in the sample. Sometimes family business managers—of either type—are portrayed with at least a hint of negativity. Those in our sample, however, tended to score highly on behaviours and attitudes that are normally considered beneficial to organizations (i.e., job performance, organizational identification and affective commitment). As for the anticipated impact of our research, we hope that it will become known for providing empirical evidence that challenges commonly held assumptions regarding the attitudes and behaviours exhibited by non-family versus family managers and the mechanisms by which each group should be governed.

The advice I would give new scholars is to be willing to re-work the story you wanted to tell to your chosen audience. No matter how interesting you believe your research to be, you have to be willing to find the right way to tell the story. You need to tell the story in a way that fits your audience’s conversations. It is not easy to let go of parts of your research that were highly motivational for you. As hard as it is upon a first read, don’t take the reviewer and editor comments personally. Instead, take your time with the comments, let your reactions cool, and then find the nuggets and gems within them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This research started off as a study of non-family manager turnover intentions and became a story of the governance mechanisms used in family businesses. It is important to keep your eye on your end goal. If you can’t tell the entire story this time around, tell what you can, save the rest, add what you learned from the current round, and mix it into your next project.

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The Mind-Set of Editors and Reviewers

Get the latest insight on what editors are looking for in your submitted manuscript! SAGE Publishing is proud to feature the latest editorial from Family Business Review, entitled, “The Mind-Set of Editors and Reviewers.” This editorial is co-authored by James J. Chrisman, Pramodita Sharma and Jess Chua, and is currently free to read for a limited time.

Below, please find an excerpt from the editorial, shedding light on the necessary steps an author must face when preparing a manuscript that stands out:

The formula for getting a manuscript published seems deceptively simple, with an emphasis on deceptively. For family business research, the four-step process starts with authors coming up with interesting research questions, that when addressed, will change scholarly understanding of the motivation, behavior, or performance of family firms. As elaborated in the editorial by Salvato and Aldrich (2012), while there are many sources of inspiration for generating interesting research questions, in professional fields like family business studies, researchers with closer linkages to practice and/or prior literature are better positioned to identify questions that lead to usable knowledge that is not only published but also well-read and cited (cf. Lindblom & Cohen, 1979). Objectives such as simply “getting published” may be more dominant in earlier career stages. Over time, however, most scholars hope to make a difference in the mind-sets of other researchers and ultimately practitioners (Vermeulen, 2007; Zahra & Sharma, 2004). But, this does not always happen.

Click here to read the full article. Don’t forget to sign up to receive email alerts so you never miss the latest research from Family Business Review!

Do Employers Forgive Applicants’ Bad Spelling in Resumes?

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Christelle Martin-Lacroux of the University of Grenoble and Alain Lacroux of the University of Toulon. They recently published an article in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly entitled “Do Employers Forgive Applicants’ Bad Spelling in Resumes?,”which is currently free to read through BCQ. From Martin-Lacroux and Lacroux:]

It is now well established that students’ spelling deficiencies are increasing and that this has become a growing concern for employers, whcorrecting-1870721_1280.jpgo now consider correct spelling and grammar as one of the most important skills needed by organizations. Despite the significant amount of time spent on writing at work and employers’ growing dissatisfaction with their employees’ spelling skills, little is known about recruiters’ attribution and decision making when they read application forms with spelling errors. Our paper in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly contributes to fill this gap by describing how spelling mistakes in application forms have a detrimental impact on applicants’ chance to be shortlisted. Our findings rely on an experiment on 536 professional recruiters who had to assess application forms varying in their form (presence or absence of spelling errors) and their content (high or low level of professional experience). We found that spelling errors and work experience have a strong impact on recruiters’ shortlisting decisions. All things being equal, the odds of rejecting an application form were 3.65 times higher when the form was error laden, whereas the odds of rejecting an application form were 2.7 times higher when the form indicated a low level of work experience. Not surprisingly, the recruiter’ spelling ability influence their decision to reject or not an application form from the selection process.  For example, the odds of rejecting an error-laden application form when assessed by a recruiter with weak spelling abilities were two times lower than the odds of rejecting this form when evaluated by a recruiter with strong spelling abilities. We made another interesting finding that applicants need to be aware of: the number of spelling errors did not influence the recruiters’ decision. Application forms can be rejected even with very few spelling errors.

In conclusion, applicants do need to be vigilant about the potential negative impression they make on recruiters with a faulty application form: few spelling errors can be as detrimental as a lack of professional experience!

Please find the full abstract to the article below:

Spelling deficiencies are becoming a growing concern among employers, but few studies have quantified this phenomenon and its impact on recruiters’ choice. This article aims to highlight the relative weight of the form (the spelling skills) in application forms, compared with the content (the level of work experience), in recruiters’ judgment during the selection process. The study asked 536 professional recruiters to evaluate different application forms. The results show that the presence of spelling errors has the same detrimental impact on the chances of being shortlisted as a lack of professional experience, and recruiters’ spelling skills also moderate their judgment.

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Photo under (CC) license. 

Writing With Resonance

jmia_26_1-cover[We’re pleased to welcome Ninna Meier from Copenhagan Business School, and Charlotte Wegener from Aalborg University. Meier and Wegener recently published an article in Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Writing with Resonance.” From Meier and Wegener:]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?
    We started writing about resonance and practicing resonant writing in the spring of 2014. We wanted to understand why some texts have impact and others don’t; why some texts are a pleasure to read, why their messages linger. In short: we wanted to understand resonance as something which may happen between writer, text, and reader.  With writing being the primary mode of dissemination of research results for most academics, we wondered why this important topic was so poorly understood and received so little serious scholarly attention.
  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?
    As we started experimenting with our writing, academic and otherwise, we learnt that this is something you can offer through your writing, but never deliver. We also found valuable lessons in how to write this way from fiction writers.
  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?
    Based on our investigations and experiences we are now breaking grounds for a new research field and writing practice, as this way of writing, which we call Open Writing, in our view is obviously linked to calls for Open Science.

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The Chrysalis Effect: Publication Bias in Management Research

14523043285_2235b0dbb4_zHow well do published management articles represent the broader management research? To say that questionable research practices impact only a few articles ignores the broader, systemic issue effecting management research. According to authors Ernest Hugh O’Boyle Jr., George Christopher Banks, and Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, the high pressure for academics to publish leads many to engage in questionable research, thereby leading the resulting published articles to be biased and unrepresentative. In their article, “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles,” published in Journal of Management, O’Boyle, Banks, and Gonzalez-Mulé delve into the issue of questionable research practices. The abstract for the paper:

The issue of a published literature not representative of the population of research is Current Issue Covermost often discussed in terms of entire studies being suppressed. However, alternative sources of publication bias are questionable research practices (QRPs) that entail post hoc alterations of hypotheses to support data or post hoc alterations of data to support hypotheses. Using general strain theory as an explanatory framework, we outline the means, motives, and opportunities for researchers to better their chances of publication independent of rigor and relevance. We then assess the frequency of QRPs in management research by tracking differences between dissertations and their resulting journal publications. Our primary finding is that from dissertation to journal article, the ratio of supported to unsupported hypotheses more than doubled (0.82 to 1.00 versus 1.94 to 1.00). The rise in predictive accuracy resulted from the dropping of statistically nonsignificant hypotheses, the addition of statistically significant hypotheses, the reversing of predicted direction of hypotheses, and alterations to data. We conclude with recommendations to help mitigate the problem of an unrepresentative literature that we label the “Chrysalis Effect.”

You can read “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts! You can also follow the journal on Twitter–read through the latest tweets from Journal of Management by clicking here!

*Library image attributed to Apple Vershoor (CC)

 

How to Grow the Impact of Your Paper: A Step by Step Guide to Using Kudos

[This post comes from the SAGE Connection blog. It was written by Rebecca Wray of Group Marketing Manager, SAGE Publishing. You can find the original blog post here.]

becky wrayAfter an intense period of researching, writing, re-writing, submitting, and proofing an article, authors are then able to experience the delight of seeing it published online. They can now relax, sit back and watch as the downloads and citations stack up. But wait! There are also over 2.5 million other articles publishing this year too. How will people find this paper among this increasing landscape of research output and what can be done to make the author’s article more visible?

This is where Kudos comes inkudos logo

We’ve partnered with Kudos, a service designed specifically for authors, to help them maximize the visibility of their work. SAGE has always put its authors and their content first through supporting both dissemination and accessibility, and we’re really excited by this new partnership that enables us to further achieve our aims.  I’m not a researcher, or an author of any kind (other than this, my first published blog post!), but I’ve been marketing scholarly journals for over 10 years. During this time, I’ve seen that authors can be powerful advocates for their own work, complementing and extending the discoverability, circulation and marketing services that the publisher already provides to ensure their article reaches the widest possible audience. So how can Kudos help authors grow the impact of their papers?

Getting started with Kudos

When an author’s paper is published online on SAGE Journals, they will receive an email from Kudos inviting them to register on the website and ‘claim’ their paper. Authors also have the option to go back and claim all of their past papers that have a CrossRef DOI. Another key thing to point out: Kudos is free for SAGE authors to use!

Once the author has completed the brief registration form, they will have access to their own private author dashboard. Here they will be able to see all of the articles they claim (including those from other publishers) listed out, and track their actions and results.

The 4 stages of Kudos

Kudos offers four author tools, and authors are free to mix and match from the below:

  • Explain: Add a lay summary, impact statement and personal perspective to their Kudos publications page. This will make their article stand-out to researchers within their field, as well as make it more accessible to a broader audience.
  • Enrich: Add supplementary data such as podcasts and videos to enrich their article. This helps to engage readers with their work, and provide them with more context for the research.
  • Share: Kudos generates a trackable URL for the author’s article page. Here they can sync their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts and post directly from Kudos using their trackable link. Kudos also provides a tool to share the link to their paper by email.
  • Measure: Authors can track clicks from their sharing link in step 3, and see the impact of their actions in the dashboard with official citations and Altmetric scores for their article.

Spare a few minutes for many downloads

Authors can spend as little or as long on Kudos as they like. Needless to say, the more time spent on the site, the more they are likely to get out of it. In a pilot program, authors using the Kudos tools saw 19% higher downloads than those in a control group. So, now over to you to get creative with your communications and get Kudos!

Looking for me information on Kudos? Read our interview with Kudos co-founders Charlie Rapple, David Sommer, Melinda Kenneway, along with Ann Lawson, Head of Business Development, on how the key features of the service can help you grow citations for your articles here.

Introducing Journal of Management Inquiry’s New Section: Generative Curiosity!

4601859272_4228421089_zWe are pleased to highlight the introduction of a new section in Journal of Management InquiryDedicated to ideas and curiosity, the new Generative Curiosity section will provide a platform for content that identifies new or ignored facts, phenomenons, patterns, events or other issues of interest. Richard W. Stackman and David R. Hannah elaborate in the latest Editor’s Introduction that the new section is meant to “(a) improve our understanding of how organizations work and how they can be made more effective (Ashforth, 2005); (b) develop and disseminate knowledge that matters to organizations and society (Alvesson & Sandberg, 2013); and (c) address the human condition (van Aken & Romme, 2009).”

Interested in submitting to the new Generative Curiosity section? Richard and David discuss what they’re looking for–

First, the submission should be novel. It may alert readers to something that has received little to no attention, or breathe new life into something seemingly tired or Current Issue Coveroutdated or insufficiently studied. The ideas therein should surprise and motivate readers to engage in sense making (Louis, 1980).

Second, the submission should be consequential, in the sense that it contains, explicitly or implicitly, a call to action to improve the human condition within organizations and society. To paraphrase Donald Hambrick’s 1993 Academy of Management Presidential address, these submissions should lead to work that actually matters (Hambrick, 1994) for the researcher and the practitioner.

Finally, submissions should be fertile. To use a musical metaphor, we are not looking for submissions that are “one-hit-wonders,” that people enjoy reading once, then forget. Instead, we are seeking ideas that birth other ideas, submissions that inspire later submissions. It is our sincere hope that Generative Curiosity submissions will become precursors to better theory and practice.

You can read the full editorial by clicking here, and you can find out more about submitting manuscripts to Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Light bulb image attributed to Matt Wynn (CC)