A call for intervention: Lack of diversity in career pyramids

[We’re pleased to welcome author Claartje J. Vinkenburg of VU University, Amsterdam. Vinkenburg recently published an article in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences entitled, “Engaging Gatekeepers, Optimizing Decision Making, and Mitigating Bias: Design Specifications for Systemic Diversity Interventions.” Below, Vinkenburg discusses the motivation for pursuing this research, along with future applications. From Vinkenburg:]

3374725110_74426ba883_m.jpgWhat inspired you to be interested in this topic? I was triggered by the cover article of the July 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review which stated that diversity efforts fail. I have seen such failures, but also examples of quite successful diversity interventions in up-or-out systems such as academia and professional service firms that deserve a wider audience of researchers and practitioners. This journal and especially the special issue addressed questions around systemic change that provided a great fit with my story of design specifications for successful diversity interventions.

Were there findings that were surprising to you? I was surprised to discover in writing the article but also in presenting it in various forms to different audiences that so many people are unaware of the existence and effects of bias, and firmly believe that the way people are promoted in their organizations reflects meritocracy. Making them aware is one thing, but doing something about it is a wicked problem that requires working through paradox.

How do you see this study influencing future research? While the successful diversity interventions described may not challenge meritocracy directly, but they help to achieve ³true² meritocracy by reducing bias in the assessment of merit, focusing on the often capricious application of criteria in performance evaluation and/or reward allocation. Future action research or intervention studies could look at mediated sensemaking and other forms of working through paradox with gatekeepers, as well ways to de-bias our HR or people decision making such as selection and promotion.

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Diversity pyramid photo attributed to Ben Mason (CC).

Aesthetic Rationality in Organizations

[We’re pleased to welcome author David Wasieleski of Duquesne University, USA. Wasieleski recently published an article in The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science entitled, “Aesthetic Rationality in Organizations: Toward Developing a Sensitivity for Sustainability,” co-authored by Paul Shrivastava, Gunter Schumacher, and Marco Tasic. From Wasieleski:]

As a rationale for what inspired us to get interested in this topic was the realization that the environmental crisis is in part caused by the emotional disconnection between humanJABS_72ppiRGB_powerpoint.jpgs and nature. Art is a vehicle for emotional connection.  And, using art based values and methods we can emotionally reconnect people and organizations with nature.

Art influences the sustainability of companies through architecture, aesthetics of work-spaces, design of products and services, design of work and organizational systems, graphic art in advertising, and arts-based training methods. Self-expressiveness and authenticity that are hallmarks of art can also enhance organizational productivity and employee motivation. Sustainable organizations need arts to enhance employee creativity, innovation, attract creative workers, improve worker satisfaction, design eco-friendly and innovative products and services.   Arts also allows us to study those aspects of organizational sustainability which are a strength of aesthetics inquiry, such as sensory and emotional experiences often ignored in traditional management studies.
For more information, please see: ircase.org

The abstract for their article is below:

This article explains the coexistence and interaction of aesthetic experience and moral value systems of decision makers in organizations. For this purpose, we develop the concept of “aesthetic rationality,” which is described as a type of value-oriented rationality that serves to encourage sustainable behavior in organizations, and to complete the commonly held, “instrumentally rational” view of organizations. We show that organizations regularly exhibit not only an instrumental rationality but also an “aesthetic rationality,” which is manifested in their products and processes. We describe aesthetics, its underlying moral values, its evolutionary roots, and its links to virtue ethics as a basis for defining the concept of aesthetic rationality. We examine its links with human resources, organizational design, and other organizational elements. We examine these implications, identify how an aesthetic-driven ethic provides a potential for sustainable behavior in organizations, and suggest new directions for organizational research.


The full article is currently free to read for a limited time, by clicking here. Don’t forget to sign up for email alerts so you never miss the latest research.

Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering Fields?

To say that women are underrepresented in science and engineering fields is an understatement. It is also an oversimplification, because representation of women in STEM fields is a nuanced issue. Consider for instance that while women are undeniably underrepresented in engineering fields, 8205174905_280c35031e_zthey are overrepresented in life sciences. This dichotomy manifests itself in a glaring gender patenting gap, where women hold a very low share of patents. In the recent ILR Review article “Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?” author Jennifer Hunt seeks to better understand why women exit STEM fields, focusing particularly on engineering. The abstract for her paper:

The author uses the 2003 and 2010 National Survey of College Graduates to examine the higher exit rate of women compared to men from science and engineering relative to other fields. The author finds that the higher relative exit rate is driven by engineering rather than science, and that half the gap can be explained by the relatively greater exit rate from ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointengineering of women dissatisfied with pay and promotion opportunities. Family-related constraints and dissatisfaction with working conditions are found to be only secondary factors. The relative exit rate by gender from engineering does not differ from that of other fields once women’s relatively high exit rates from male fields generally are taken into account.

You can read “Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?” from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

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*Scientist image credited to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC)

Call for Papers on Neuroscience in Organizational Research

brainy-people-1072657-mOrganizational Research Methods seeks submissions for a feature topic on Neuroscience in Organizational Research. This feature topic will be guest edited by Micah Murray and John Antonakis, both of Lausanne University.

From the call for papers:

In many areas of the social and behavioral sciences, neuroscience has emerged as one of the dominant conceptual and methodological frameworks for studying human behavior. Although it originally gained traction in the psychological sciences, the 07ORM13_Covers.inddneuroscience paradigm has since spread to other areas in the social sciences including economics, marketing, and finance. However, with a few notable exceptions, researchers in management and applied psychology have been slow to embrace neuroscientific models and methods (for a few illustrative exceptions see Bagozzi et al., 2013; Balthazard, Waldman, Thatcher, & Hannah, 2012). One explanation for this reticence, may be that researchers lack an appreciation for the diversity of neuroscience methods that are available and how these methods might be incorporated into their science.

The purpose of this feature topic is threefold. First, we intend to expose organizational scholars to the broad array of neuroscience methods and how these methods might be used to test substantive research questions (both basic and applied). Second, we intend to provide illustrative examples that empirically demonstrate the value-added nature of these methods. Finally, because no method or set of methods are without limitations, we intend to provide critical reviews of these methods so that their strengths and limitations may be better understood by organizational scholars.

Organizational Research Methods will be publishing a two-part Feature Topic devoted to Neuroscience in Organizational Research. The first part will consist of invited papers while the second part consists of a call for papers that will extend what is presented in Part I. Proposals of no more than 5 pages double-spaced should be emailed to both guest editors anytime prior to September 30, 2015. For more information, including topics which have been commissioned for Part 1 and contact information, click here.

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Listen to the Latest Podcast from Journal of Management!

JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddIn the latest podcast from Journal of Management, Fred Oswald, Associate Editor of Journal of Management interviews Gerd Gigerenzer about his article co-authored with Julian N. Marewski entitled “Surrogate Science: The Idol of a Universal Method for Scientific Inference.” The article appeared in Journal of Management‘s Special Issue Bayesian Probability and Statistics in Management Research.

You can click here to download the podcast. You can also read the article for free by clicking here.

Like what you hear? Click here to browse more podcasts from Journal of Management and here to subscribe to the SAGE Management and Business podcast channel on iTunes. You can also sign up for e-alerts and get notifications of all the latest research from Journal of Management sent directly to your inbox!

gigerenzer_gerd_rgb_2006_webGerd Gigerenzer is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin. He is former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. He is also Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia, and Fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences. Awards for his work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences and the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences. His award-winning popular books have been translated into 18 languages.  Gigerenzer has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties.

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.

Neelima Paranjpey on Problem-Solving and Appreciative Inquiry

[We’re pleased to welcome Neelima Paranjpey of Benedictine University. Dr. Paranjpey recently collaborated with Gervase R. Bushe of Simon Fraser University on their paper “Comparing the Generativity of Problem-Solving and Appreciative Inquiry: A Field Experiment” from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.]

When I was pursuing my PhD in Organization Development, I was very inquisitive about the Appreciative Inquiry process. For years, OD has JABS_72ppiRGB_powerpointfocused on a problem seeking approach and the positive approach to organization change made me curious about its application, whether it works, why it works, how we can improve its theory and application. When I read more I found that Appreciative Inquiry is more than just positive and that it changes organization’s mindset and increases employees capability for renewed social action.

I was working in a transit organization which was undergoing a significant change. The leaders had a desire to initiate an employee recognition program to increase morale in the organization. I used the employee recognition initiative as a basis to conduct my field experiment in appreciative inquiry. I was interested in understanding whether appreciative inquiry was more generative than problem solving. It was fascinating to lead the groups through the process. Participants were engaged in all the groups as this was the first time such an initiative was implemented in the organization. However, the ideas emerging from the appreciative inquiry sessions were much more interesting and applicable. This was apparent from not only the quantitative results, but even the qualitative open-ended questions asked during the focus groups corroborated the findings. The research has several implications to both academicians and practitioners. This is first time that generativity has been conceptualized and measured in appreciative inquiry. Also, given that a generative approach to appreciative inquiry results in compelling and practical ideas in a limited time frame and creates a more favorable mindset towards changes makes it an important study for organization leaders who are attempting to get real employee engagement in any change initiative.

You can read “Comparing the Generativity of Problem-Solving and Appreciative Inquiry: A Field Experiment” from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science for free by clicking here. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts and get all the latest news and research from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science sent directly to your inbox!

Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact Dr. Paranjpey at neelimaparanjpey<at>gmail<dot>com!

gervaseGervase Bushe is Professor of Leadership and Organization Development in the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. He has 30 years of experience in a wide range of organizational change and development projects and is internationally known for his expertise in appreciative inquiry, a method for transforming organizations by focusing on what works.

27fd91fNeelima Paranjpey, PhD is an experienced Talent Management and OD professional who specializes in providing positive change solutions to improve and grow organizations. She currently works with Vaya Group, Chicago as an Assessment & Development Consultant. She earned her PhD in Organization Development from Benedictine University and MS in I/O Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Read Journal of Management’s Special Issue for Free!

Thomas Bayes

Thomas Bayes

Time is running out to read the Special Issue on Bayesian Probability and Statistics in Management Research from Journal of Management for free! How can Bayesian methods overcome limitations of frequentist methods? What is the probability that Bayesian methodologies will one day supersede traditional frequentist methodologies in the organizational science community? Could Bayesian modeling of interactions lead to a general improvement in the communication and understanding of research results? These questions and more are closely examined in the Special Issue.

From Special Issue Editors Michael J. Zyphur, Frederick L. Oswald, and Deborah E. Rupp:

We are pleased to announce the special issue on Bayesian Probability and Statistics in Management Research. Although the past 20 years has jom coverwitnessed a veritable explosion of Bayesian applications in the social and physical sciences, management research has yet to fully take part in the ‘Bayesian revolution’. However, there are many important conceptual and practical reasons for management researchers to engage with Bayesian approaches. These include enabling more precise and flexible methods for testing hypotheses, describing statistical results in a more intuitive manner than is possible with traditional statistical methods, and the availability of a large and multidisciplinary literature with applied Bayesian examples from which we can learn.

This special issue provides JOM readers with key Bayesian concepts and applications relevant to all forms of management research. The issue is truly special for bringing together world-class experts on Bayesian analysis from outside of management (e.g., Gerd Gigerenzer, Andrew Gelman, and Maria Carla Galavotti) to contribute important perspectives that dovetail with a series of substantive contributions from management scholars. These substantive topics are rich and varied: how historical and present research and perspectives inform the adoption of Bayesian analysis in management research; Bayesian approaches to hypothesis testing and structural equation modeling; Bayesian modeling of interpersonal processes and team performance over time; Bayesian model averaging and variable selection in the context of entrepreneurship research; Bayesian models of knowledge networks and organizational change; and Bayesian methods for deriving variance estimates in generalizability theory and meta-analysis. This special issue has something for everyone.

You can read the Special Issue on Bayesian Probability and Statistics in Management Research from Journal of Management for free for the next 60 days! Click here to access the Table of Contents. Want to know when all the latest research from Journal of Management becomes available? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!