How Can Organization Theory Help Explain the Emergence of ISIL?

28852073782_27d6f4e78c_zThe emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in recent years has been a cause for concern across the globe, particularly as the terrorist group becomes not only more organized, but also more prominent. Analyzing the rise of ISIL, many researchers are unsure of what the future holds for ISIL, and how much longer the group can remain cohesive, especially in the face of opposition by many different groups. In a recent article published in Journal of Management Inquiry, authors Tuomas Kuronen and Aki-Mauri Huhtinen approach the issue of ISIL’s development in terms of the theoretical perspective of “rhizome.” Their paper, “Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad,” delves into the rise of ISIL, the question of how long ISIL can endure, and how the organization of ISIL compares with Western military organizations. The abstract for the article:

In this essay, we study the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Current Issue Coverfrom the theoretical perspective of the “rhizome” coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We understand organizing in general and conflict emergence in particular through the becoming of the rhizomatic ontology of organizing. In our view, the emergence of organizing is a manifestation of a rhizomatic basis of things, seen in nomadic strategies of pursuing revolutionary aims and resisting power hegemonies. We discuss how armed resistance groups relate to time and duration, and their stark contrast to Western professional, expeditionary armies operating in a clearly defined space and time. We complement the established philosophical and organizing-theoretical approaches to being and becoming in understanding conflict emergence with the rhizomatic perspective. We conclude our essay by discussing both theoretical and practical implications for understanding and managing conflict.

You can read “Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad” from Journal of Management Inquiry free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of Management InquiryClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Soldier image attributed to Kurdishstruggle (CC)

Job Satisfaction and Work Climate: New Collections from GOM!

GOM_Feb_2016.inddGroup & Organization has added two new article collections to the Editor’s Choice Collections. The new Job Satisfaction collection offers a selection of interesting articles that explore topics like career plateauing, internal job transitions, and the effect of leader humor on job satisfaction.

The new Work Climate collection delves into workplace research, including papers on workplace boredom, personality as a predictor of climate, and the impact of bad behavior in groups. In the article “The Psychological Benefits of Creating an Affirming Climate for Workplace Diversity,” authors Donna Chrobot-Mason and Nicholas P. Aramovich try to identify how workplace diversity can lead to positive outcomes. The abstract from their paper:

Workforce diversity has been described as a double-edged sword; it has the potential for positive and negative outcomes. To better understand why and how diversity leads to positive outcomes, we examined the relationship between employee perceptions of diversity climate perceptions and intent to turnover. We explored the role of four psychological outcome variables (organizational commitment, climate for innovation, psychological empowerment, and identity freedom) as possible mediators of this relationship. Racial and gender subgroup differences were also examined. Survey data were collected from 1,731 public employees. Findings suggest that when employees perceive equal access to opportunities and fair treatment, intent to turn over decreases. Furthermore, these relationships are significantly mediated by psychological outcomes. Implications for diversity management and training are discussed.

6983317491_e8d8440af8_zIn addition, new articles have been added to Group & Organization Management‘s other collections, including the Editor’s Choice collection on Creativity & Innovation. New articles to this collection explore the impact of job complexity, team culture, and interaction on the creative process. In the article “Defining Creative Ideas: Toward a More Nuanced Approach,” authors Robert C. Litchfield, Lucy L. Gilson, and Paul W. Gilson distinguish types of creative ideas to better understand the creative process. The abstract from their paper:

Organizational creativity research has focused extensively on distinguishing creativity from routine, non-creative work. In this conceptual article, we examine the less considered issue of variation in the type of creative ideas. Starting from the premise that creativity occurs along a continuum that can range from incremental to radical, we propose that unpacking variation in the mix of novelty and two common conceptions of usefulness—feasibility and value—results in seven meaningfully different types of creativity. We group these types of creativity into four creative continua scaled according to novelty to provide an organizing framework for future research.

To celebrate Group & Organization Managements new collections and articles, we have opened all of the articles in the Job Satisfaction, Work Climate, and Creativity & Innovation collections for the next 60 days. Interested in Group & Organization‘s other Editor’s Choice collections? Click here.  Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organization? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Family image credited to dbking (CC)

Tourism as a Tool for Peace and Revitalization in Afghanistan

Kabul MountainsMuch has been said on the tragedy and complications of war, more than can be expounded upon here. But considering the complexity of international conflict, it is not hard to understand that the transition from war to peace is far from a simple, fast process. War leaves a lasting impact on the countries and people involved, not only in terms of physical damage, but also psychological and social damage that in some ways can be much more difficult to heal. Undoubtedly, one of the questions that emerges after a conflict ends is how can two countries with recent conflict surmount persisting cultural ambiguity and negatives stereotypes? In the Journal of Travel Research article, “The Nutella Project: An Education Initiative to Suggest Tourism as a Means to Peace between the United States and Afghanistan,” authors Angela Durko and James Petrick of Texas A&M University consider tourism as a tool to promote peace and combat the lasting negative social impact of war.

The abstract:JTR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint

How different the world would be had countries not reopened their borders to
welcome tourists after conflict, thus providing opportunities for travelers to learn, understand, and overcome potential stereotypes and negative perceptions of a country’s residents and environment. This study reveals preliminary results of an education initiative focused on understanding, addressing, and overcoming negative perceptions, with the possibility of creating interest in, and opportunities for, a revitalization of tourism in Afghanistan. The study offers contact theory as a way to present organic images of a place to help create perceptions of destinations that are more accurate than induced images. Results revealed that contact theory, through intergroup dialogue between residents of two countries with noted historic conflict, provided the means for reducing cultural ambiguity and overcoming stereotypes. The findings offer implications for both the tourism and education sectors and suggest that intergroup dialogue may be key to increasing visit intentions and, most importantly, enhancing a destination’s image after conflict.

You can read “The Nutella Project: An Education Initiative to Suggest Tourism as a Means to Peace between the United States and Afghanistan” from Journal of Travel Research free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Journal of Travel Research? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Is Workplace Conflict Good or Bad?

Editor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Alice H. Y. Hon of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, whose article “The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance,” co-authored by Wilco W. Chan of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is forthcoming in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

In the contemporary business world, teamwork is increasingly important because many organizations feel the need to coordinate their activities more effectively; however, there are considerable challenges to working effectively in teams. One major challenge is conflict, which is the process resulting from stress and tension between team members that arise from the complexity of task relationships, excessive work demands, interpersonal disputes, and the interdependence of organizational life (De Dreu & Weingart, 2003). Early organizational conflict theorists suggested that conflict is detrimental to team effectiveness and organizational functioning (Glazer & Beehr, 2005; Hamilton, Hoffman, Broman, & Rauma, 1993). More recently, researchers have theorized that conflict is beneficial under certain circumstances, and if people perceive the nature of conflict and manage it appropriately (De Dreu & Van de Vliert, 1997; Simons & Peterson, 2000).

CQ_v50n2_72ppiRGB_150pixWAlthough the concepts of team conflict and work stress remain popular today, theories that account for the distinction have not been clearly developed. The present study aims to contribute to the existing literature, and argues that understanding whether the conflict is task-related or relationship-related and whether the work stress is challenge-related or hindrance-related is necessary to evaluate the influence of team conflict and work stress on employee performance. Only by clearly distinguishing these relationships can we provide comprehensive theoretical and practical human resource suggestions to both scholars and managers. We can then confidently assert that conflict associated with certain stressors may result in negative outcomes, whereas conflict associated with other stressors may result in positive outcomes.

Click here to read The Effects of Group Conflict and Work Stress on Employee Performance” in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.

Alice H. Y. Hon is an assistant professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on employee creativity and innovation, intrinsic motivations, leadership, justice and trust, management team, and multilevel issues in service organizations.

What Happens When Workers Speak Out?

Research has shown that employees dissatisfied with working conditions inevitably will communicate their dissent–whether to a superior or only to a coworker–despite the risks of such behavior. A new study in the Journal of Business Communication (JBC) finds that this dissent expression can benefit the employees themselves, as well as the health of the organizations they work for.

Jeffrey W. Kassing and Curtis A. Mitchell, both of Arizona State University; Nicole M. Piemonte of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas; and Carmen C. Goman of the University of Georgia, Athens published “Dissent Expression as an Indicator of Work Engagement and Intention to Leave” in the July 2012 issue of JBC. To see other articles in this issue, please click here.

The abstract:

This study examined how dissent expression related to employees’ self reports of work engagement and intention to leave. A sample of full-time employees completed a multi-instrument questionnaire. Findings indicated that dissent expression related to both employees’ work engagement and their intention to leave. In particular, dissent expressed to management and coworkers associated with work engagement, whereas dissent expressed to nonmanagement audiences associated with intention to leave. Additional analysis revealed that for managers, work engagement was primarily a function of refraining from expressing dissent.

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Interpersonal Perceptions and Team Impact

Jared A. LeDoux of Louisiana State University, C. Allen Gorman of Radford University, and David J. Woehr of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte published “The Impact of Interpersonal Perceptions on Team Processes: A Social Relations Analysis” in the June 2012 issue of Small Group Research. To view other articles in this issue, please click here.

The abstract:

This study utilized the social relations model (SRM) to examine the influence of interpersonal perceptions on team processes and outcomes. We hypothesized that the three components of the SRM (assimilation, consensus, and unique relations) would yield differential relationships with group process outcomes. We proposed that unique relations in members’ perceptions of group members, perceptual relationships specific to particular dyads within a focal group, would be a source of negativity within teams’ outcomes. Participants were undergraduates who worked in small groups for assignments for the duration of one semester; each member rated themselves and their teammates on five individual-level characteristics. Hypotheses about unique relations were supported. This component of the SRM model was positively related to conflict and negatively related to cohesion, showing the greatest relative importance among the three SRM components in predicting team process and outcomes.

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Employee Popularity Mediates the Relationship Between Political Skill and Workplace Interpersonal Mistreatment

Kristin L. Cullen, Center for Creative Leadership, and Auburn University, Jinyan Fan, Auburn University, and Cong Liu, Hofstra University, published “Employee Popularity Mediates the Relationship Between Political Skill and Workplace Interpersonal Mistreatment” on February 3rd, 2012 in the Journal of Management. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

Interpersonal mistreatment is a common and often devastating occurrence in the workplace. Although victim characteristics are an important determinant of who is targeted, research examining the link between target characteristics and interpersonal mistreatment is limited. Researchers have not considered employees’ interpersonal style as an antecedent of the mistreatment they experience from others. Further, very few studies have attempted to understand the mediating processes underlying the relationships between victim characteristics and workplace interpersonal mistreatment. The current study addresses these needs by examining employee popularity as a mediator of the relationship between political skill and two forms of interpersonal mistreatment: workplace interpersonal conflict and workplace ostracism. Results indicate that the political skill–interpersonal mistreatment relationships were mediated by employee popularity.

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