Follow the leader?

entrepreneur-593358__340.jpgWe’ve all heard about them – huge successes and failures that undoubtedly color impressions of entrepreneurial risk and those involved. How do significant events change the subsequent threshold for organizations seeking to become market entries? Who fares better in this type of environment – consensus or non-consensus entrepreneurs?   In a recent article in Administrative Science Quarterly authors Elizabeth G. Pontikes and William P. Barnett look at this less-heralded area of entrepreneurship in “The Non-consensus Entrepreneur: Organizational Responses to Vital Events.”

The abstract for the article:

Salient successes and failures, such as spectacular venture capital investments or agonizing bankruptcies, affect collective beliefs about the viability of particular markets. Using data on software start-ups from 1990 to 2002, we show that collective sense-making in the wake of such vital events can result in consensus behavior among entrepreneurs. Market search is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process, as entrepreneurs frequently enter new markets to find high-growth areas. When spectacular financings result in a collective overstatement of the attractiveness of a market, a consensus emerges that the market is resource-rich, and the path is cleared for many entries, including those that do not have a clear fit. When notorious failures render a market unpopular, only the most viable entrants will overcome exaggerated skepticism and enter, taking the non-consensus route. Venture capitalists likewise exhibit herding behavior, following other VCs into hot markets. We theorize that vital events effectively change the selection threshold for market entries, which changes the average viability of new entrants. We find that consensus entrants are less viable, while non-consensus entrants are more likely to prosper. Non-consensus entrepreneurs who buck the trends are most likely to stay in the market, receive funding, and ultimately go public.

You can read “The Non-consensus Entrepreneur: Organizational Responses to Vital Events” from Administrative Science Quarterly free for the next Current Issue Covertwo weeks by clicking here.

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Listen to the radio interview with author Elizabeth Pontikes on WGN‘s “The Opening Bell” here.

Extreme-Team Research: An Approach to Overcoming Research Obstacles

3729394795_d267b3ef22_zResearching the performance and management of extreme teams, which work in unconventional environments on high-risk tasks, presents a number of unique challenges to researchers, including limitations on data collection and sample sizes. In a new article published in Journal of Managemententitled “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams,” authors Suzanne T. Bell, David M. Fisher, Shanique G. Brown, and Kristin E. Mann set out to develop a research approach that addresses the unique challenges of extreme-team research and allows extreme-team research to be applied broadly across more traditional teams. The abstract for the paper:

Extreme teams complete their tasks in unconventional performance environments and have serious consequences associated with failure. Examples include disaster relief teams, special operations teams, and astronaut crews. The unconventional performance environments within which these teams operate require researchers to carefully consider the context during the research process. These environments may also create formidable challenges to the research process, including constraining data collection and sample sizes. Given the serious consequences associated with failure, however, the challenges must be navigated so that the management of extreme teams can be evidence based. We present an approach for conducting actionable Current Issue Coverresearch on extreme teams. Our approach is an extension of mixed-methods research that is particularly well suited for emphasizing context. The approach guides researchers on how to integrate the local context into the research process, which allows for actionable recommendations. At the same time, our approach applies an intentionally broad framework for organizing context, which can serve as a mechanism through which the results of research on extreme teams can be meaningfully accumulated and integrated across teams. Finally, our approach and description of steps address the unique challenges common in extreme-team research. While developed with extreme teams in mind, we view our general approach as applicable to more traditional teams when the features of the context that impinge on team functioning are not adequately represented by typical descriptions of context in the literature and the goal is actionable research for the teams in question.

You can read “An Approach for Conducting Actionable Research with Extreme Teams” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Shuttle launch image attributed to The U.S. Army (CC)

How Does Organizational Design Influence the Risk-Taking Perceptions of Managers?

GOM 39(6)_Covers.indd[We’re pleased to welcome Devaki Rau of Northern Illinois University. Dr. Rau recently collaborated with Thorvald Haerem of BI Norwegian Business School and Elisa Fredericks of Northern Illinois University on their article “The Influence of Centralization and Extent of Cross-Functional Team Usage on Senior Managers’ Risk-Related Perceptions” from Group and Organization Management.]

Though we know a great deal about why organizations and managers take risks, we know little about how the structure of an organization influences how decision makers perceive risk. This research examines how two fundamental organizational design variables interact to influence senior managers’ perceptions about the extent to which the organization supports risk taking. We study this in a new product development context.

The study argues that the use of cross-functional teams, a type of horizontal control system, makes managers perceive a higher degree of organizational support for risk taking. The centralization of decision making authority, a type of vertical control system, reduces the strength of the positive relation between cross-functional team use and risk perceptions. These vertical and horizontal control mechanisms interact to influence managers’ perceptions of organizational support for risk taking.

Based on a survey of 102 senior managers from a variety of organizations in the U.S. and Norway, the study finds that the extent of cross-functional team use does indeed positively relate to senior managers’ perceptions of organizational support for risk taking. Interestingly however, there is a ceiling effect to this relation. An extensive use of cross-functional teams positively relates to a perceived organizational support for risk taking at the senior manager level, but only when the senior managers have low to moderate levels of decision-making authority. At high levels of senior manager authority, risk related perceptions are more positive, but also largely independent of the extent to which the organization uses cross-functional teams.

This study points to the importance of balancing an organization’s horizontal and vertical control systems, given their effects on managers’ perceptions of support for risk taking. From a practical perspective, the results of the study imply that the widespread use of cross-functional teams (a commonly used tool for new product development) alone is not sufficient to guarantee the greater risk taking needed for successful new product development; senior managers simultaneously need to have some decision making authority. At high levels of senior manager decision making authority, however, perceived support for organizational risk taking is high and independent of the use of cross functional teams.

The question for organizations is, does cross-functional team use generate a sufficiently high return to compensate for these changed perceptions of senior managers? Organizations may be able to use cross-functional teams as a true “best practice” for new product development only when they are able to recognize and manage the more positive risk-related perceptions that accompany extensive cross-functional team use, by vesting senior managers with an appropriate degree of authority.

You can read “The Influence of Centralization and Extent of Cross-Functional Team Usage on Senior Managers’ Risk-Related Perceptions” from Group and Organization Management for free by clicking here. Did you know you can have all the latest research from Group and Organization Management sent directly to your inbox? Just click here to sign up for e-alerts!

WIN_20131024_215951 (2)Devaki Rau is an Associate Professor of Management at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include strategic decision making, top management teams, and organizational learning. Her research has been published in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Small Group Research, and Journal of Business Research. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota.

thorvaldThorvald Haerem is an Associate Professor at Norwegian Business School. His research interests include organizational and individual routines, decision making, and information processing. He has published research in journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Studies, Organization Science, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and Academy of Management Review. He earned his PhD from Copenhagen Business School.

Fredericks_EElisa Fredericks has published on the development of new products in Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Qualitative Research and Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing as well as being an active conference participant. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Northern Illinois University. Her research and teaching includes product development and management and cross functional integration. She earned her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has a BS and MBA from New York University.

Are Young Mothers in India Deprived of Maternal Health Care Services?

life-10-weeks-1439841Young women are at a higher risk of poor birth outcomes. Studies have found increased risk of preterm delivery, intrauterine growth retardation and low birth weight among adolescents (Amini et al. 1996; Fraser et al. 1995; Satin et al. 1994). Additionally, the risk of maternal death is higher among teenagers compared to older women (Gupta et al. 2010; Midhet et al. 1998; Neto et al. 2009). According to Reynolds et al. (2006), in South Asia there is a lack of decision-making power due to the effects of gender inequality, which ultimately results in a lower use of health services. They also found a strong correlation between maternal age and the use of maternal and child health care services in Bangladesh, India and Indonesia.

A recent study published in Journal of Health Management entitled “Are Young Mothers in India Deprived of Maternal Health Care Services? A Comparative Study of Urban and Rural Areas” explores the vulnerability of young mothers to poor pregnancy outcomes and their utilization of health care services. The study results clearly establishes that efforts should be made to strengthen the reproductive health programs for adolescent women. Young women may not have enough knowledge on pregnancy, reproductive health issues and adoption of health services for these issues. Mass campaigns to educate women on the symptoms of pregnancy and its complications would help women to use maternal health care services effectively.

The abstract:

This article attempts to study the effect of age of women at birth on the use of maternal health care F1.mediumservices separately for urban and rural areas using data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3, 2005–2006, India. The indicators of use of maternal health care services used in this study are use of antenatal care services recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) (includes three or more antenatal check-ups during the first trimester, two or more tetanus toxoid (TT) injections and taking 100 iron and folic acid tablets during pregnancy), place of delivery, assistance at delivery and use of postnatal care services. At first, the percentage of births that utilized various maternal health care services are discussed separately for urban and rural areas, followed by difference in utilization of maternal health care services between adolescent and adult mothers. Finally, logistic and multinomial regressions are used to examine the influence of age of women at birth on the use of maternal health care services for controlling for other factors. Multivariate results revealed that women who gave birth during adolescence are less likely to use antenatal, natal and postnatal care services in both urban and rural areas. Therefore, efforts should be made to educate parents and other family members on the consequences of early marriage and early pregnancy and also the importance of delaying marriage.

Click here to read “Are Young Mothers in India Deprived of Maternal Health Care Services? A Comparative Study of Urban and Rural Areas” for free from Journal of Health Management!

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Submit Your Research to World Future Review!

World Future Review is a refereed journal that seeks to expand communication among the researchers and practitioners now exploring trends and alternatives for society. This journal welcomes articles that: 1) assess techniques WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointfor studying future options; 2) fairly evaluate probable, possible, and optimal outcomes of existing policies and practices in every field; and 3) facilitate the exchange of futures-relevant information among cultures. World Future Review‘s aim is to help all peoples develop sustainable lifestyles and technologies that respect the carrying capacity of Earth’s environment, while promoting new research into areas beyond today’s known limits.

World Future Review is especially seeking the following types of material:

1. Methodological and conceptual papers regarding futures study techniques;
2. Papers based on research, analysis, and modeling of presumed causes and potential developments affecting current social, economic or political conditions;
3. Papers evaluating the actual outcomes achieved by government and corporate planning efforts and/or assessing the common practices of professional futurists;
4. Papers about futures research practitioners (whether individual, corporate, or governmental) and their contributions to the art and science of futures research.
5. Scholarly reviews that compare past efforts at forecasting and/or depictions of future societies in fiction or popular media, with actual events and current trends.

For more information on submitting to World Future Review click here.

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How Should Businesses Respond to Bad Online Reviews?

paper-emotions---aggressive-1158072-mAccording to Forbes, 72% of people trust online reviews just as much as they would trust the opinion of a friend or family member. Furthermore, 4 out of 5 consumers admitted in a survey that they changed their mind about a purchase after reading online reviews. With statistics like these, it’s not surprising that many businesses have chosen to start responding to bad reviews in hopes of atoning for the customer’s bad experience. But how can businesses successfully respond to these reviews online? Authors Beverley A. Sparks and Graham L. Bradley recently explored this topic and developed a typology of managerial responses to negative online reviews in their article “A ‘Triple A’ Typology of Responding to Negative Consumer-Generated Online Reviews” from Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

The abstract:

Increasingly, consumers are posting online reviews about hotels, restaurants, and other tourism and hospitality providers. While some managers are responding to these reviews, little is2JHTR07_Covers.pdf known about how to respond and how to do so effectively. Drawing on the service recovery, justice, and electronic word-of-mouth literatures, we developed a typology of management responses to negative online reviews of hotel accommodation. An initial version of the typology was verified through interviews with eight industry experts. The final “Triple A” typology comprised 19 specific forms of managerial responses subsumed within the three higher-level categories of acknowledgements, accounts, and actions. The typology was tested on a sample of 150 conversations drawn from the website, TripAdvisor. Most responses included an acknowledgement of the dissatisfying event, an account (explanation) for its occurrence, and a reference to action taken. Responses differed between top- and bottom-ranked hotels. Propositions for extending this area of research are provided.

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Listen to the Latest Podcast from Journal of Management on “The Chrysalis Effect”

jom coverIn the latest podcast from Journal of Management, Ernest Hugh O’Boyle Jr, lead author of the article “The Chrysalis Effect: How Ugly Initial Results Metamorphosize Into Beautiful Articles” speaks with Journal of Management Associate Editor Fred Oswald about the article’s findings concerning questionable research practices.

The podcast can be downloaded by clicking here and the article can be read for free by clicking here. Follow this link to subscribe on iTunes.

o'boyleeErnest Hugh O’Boyle Jr is an assistant professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Iowa. His research interests include questionable research practices, outcome reporting bias, publication bias, structural equation modeling, meta-analysis, “dark” personality traits, and superstar effects. He has been published in such journals as Journal of Management, Organizational Psychology Review, Family Business Review and International Business Review.

FredOswaldFred Oswald currently serves the Rice University Department of Psychology as Chair, and he is a Professor in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. His published research addresses the reliability and validity of tests administered to applicants in organizational, education and military settings. Substantively, his work deals with defining, modeling and predicting societally relevant outcomes (e.g., job performance, academic performance, satisfaction, turnover) from psychological measures that are based on cognitive and motivational constructs (e.g., cognitive abilities, personality traits, situational judgment tests, job knowledge and skill, and biographical data). His statistical work in meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, and adverse impact also informs personnel selection issues and psychological testing in the research, practice and legal arenas.

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