The Key to Getting off on the Right Foot – A conversation with James Timpson on Hiring Offenders

[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Jenna Pandeli and Nicholas O’Regan of the University of the West of England. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “Risky Business? The Value of Employing Offenders and Ex-Offenders: An Interview With James Timpson, Chief Executive of Timpson” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the motivations for this research:]


James Timpson delivered a distinguished address at UWE Bristol, following which this paper was completed. I was delighted to be part of the interview team in adding the analysis and reflections to the interview given my research background in offender employment. My PhD research explored the employment of prisoner in private industries during their incarceration (Pandeli et al, 2018) and I am passionate about developing the use of employment as a form of rehabilitation rather than as simply a tool to pass time for prisoners, or as a form of additional income for the prison.

James’s approach provides an example of great practice for working with offenders; he works with them during their incarceration and then provides many with the opportunity to work for Timpson’s upon release. This type of ‘through the gates’ care is exactly what is needed and should be encouraged. Much of the literature on hiring offenders does point towards this approach, and so it is great to provide a real-life example of how this is working in practice to show how the theoretical and practical can go hand-in-hand.

One of the key motivations for writing this ‘meet the person’ piece is the positive impact that we might be able to have by presenting an employer’s insight into working with offenders, to show how providing these individuals with the opportunity to undertake meaningful, empowering work can have a positive impact on their lives and reduce the likelihood of them returning to crime. We believe that this can be useful to a wide range of practitioners including policy makers, the prison and probation service as well as other employers who may be thinking about working with offenders.

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Payal Nangia Sharma on Empowering Leadership Research

GOM 39(6)_Covers.indd[We’re pleased to welcome Payal Nangia Sharma of Rutgers University. Dr. Sharma recently published an article in Group and Organization Management with Bradley L. Kirkman of North Carolina State University entitled “Leveraging Leaders: A Literature Review and Future Lines of Inquiry for Empowering Leadership Research.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

We were inspired to write about the topic of empowering leadership given the increasing need for leaders in today’s organizations to rely more and more on involving their employees in work processes, such as decision making, and motivating employees towards higher levels of engagement. In addition, although empowering leadership has many benefits, there is growing research evidence that not all leaders want to empower or that all employees want to be empowered, so we were inspired to help develop scholarly and practical understanding of a more complete picture of the effects of empowering initiatives in work settings.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

Our paper sets the agenda for the next decade on empowering leadership. Based on a set of testable propositions, we first encourage researchers to answer the question of why empowering leadership occurs. Second, we encourage researchers to explore less positive and unintended, negative outcomes of empowering leadership.

The abstract:

We review and synthesize the empowering leadership literature and, as a result, suggest two new provocative lines of inquiry directing future research. Based on a set of testable propositions, we first encourage researchers to answer the question of why empowering leadership occurs. Second, we encourage researchers to explore less positive and unintended, negative outcomes of empowering leadership. To identify opportunities for future work along these two lines, we use four theoretical perspectives including (1) person–situation interactions, (2) followership theory, (3) contingency approaches to leadership, and, (4) the too-much-of-a-good-thing effect. As a result, we set an agenda for the next decade of research on empowering leadership.

You can read “Leveraging Leaders: A Literature Review and Future Lines of Inquiry for Empowering Leadership Research” from Group and Organization Management by clicking here. Did you know that 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!

photo-payal-sharma_0Payal Nangia Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School. She received her PhD degree in Organizational Behavior at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on examining and understanding the role of positive and negative factors in leadership processes and team member relationships.

MIE-Kirkman-Official_Headshot.sm_Bradley L. Kirkman is the General (Ret.) H. Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership and head of the Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Department in the Poole College of Management at NC State University. He received his PhD degree in Organizational Behavior from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focuses on leadership, international management, virtual teams, and work team leadership and empowerment.

Read the New Virtual Special Issues from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science!

We’re pleased to announce six new virtual special issues from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science! Compiled by The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science associate editors Jean M. Bartunek and Jean E. Neumann, these research collections include titles such as “Action Research,” “Planned Change,” “Paradox and Contradictions” among others. Each collection contains a generous number of articles exploring group dynamics, organization development, and social change.

The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science editor William Pasmore introduced these collections:

We are very pleased to launch virtual collections of articles on themes JABS_72ppiRGB_powerpointthat have defined what JABS has stood for as a journal devoted to change for the past fifty years. Having these outstanding contributions in one location will enhance access to the ideas they present and hopefully, inspire continued scholarship of similar quality and purpose. In the future, we will be curating virtual collections on specific topics related to change, such as change readiness and factors that influence the success of change efforts. We hope you will look forward to examining these virtual collections. They are one more way that JABS can contribute to the advancement of science and practice in the arena of organizational and societal change.

You can click here to view all six of the virtual special issues from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Like what you read? You can sign up to have all the latest news and research from The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science sent right to your inbox. Just click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Can a Humble CEO Benefit The Company?

handshake-1065245-mAccording to Doug Gutherie, former Dean of George Washington University School of Business and contributor to Forbes, humility is not part of a the standard education for a business student. Instead, they are instilled with the idea that in order to be successful they need to be aggressive and notable in order to get ahead. However, according to new research from Administrative Science Quarterly entitled, “Humble Chief Executive Officers’ Connections to Top Management Team Integration and Middle Managers’ Responses,” humility of CEO’s could actually be beneficial to a company’s management team.

The abstract:

In this article, we examine the concept of humility among chief executive officers (CEOs) and the process through which it is connected to integration in the top management team (TMT) and middle managers’ responses. We develop and validate a comprehensive measure of humility using multiple samples and then test a multilevel model of howASQ_v59n1_Mar2014_cover.indd CEOs’ humility links to the processes of top and middle managers. Our methodology involves survey data gathered twice from 328 TMT members and 645 middle managers in 63 private companies in China. We find CEO humility to be positively associated with empowering leadership behaviors, which in turn correlates with TMT integration. TMT integration then positively relates to middle managers’ perception of having an empowering organizational climate, which is then associated with their work engagement, affective commitment, and job performance. Findings confirm our hypotheses based on social information processing theory: humble CEOs connect to top and middle managers through collective perceptions of empowerment at both levels. Qualitative data from interviews with 51 CEOs provide additional insight into the meaning of humility among CEOs and differences between those with high and low humility.

Read “Humble Chief Executive Officers’ Connections to Top Management Team Integration and Middle Managers’ Responses” from Administrative Science Quarterly for free by clicking here. Click here to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest from Administrative Science Quarterly!

Making Change Happen: Part 3 of 4

overcoming_resistance_to_changePart Three: Overcoming the Obstacles

UntitledOrganizational change is a complex process. In working to lead change effectively, managers may face difficult decisions, resistance, or uncertainty about how to move forward.  They must be prepared to learn new skills, face paradoxical choices, work with individual behaviors and attitudes, and meet other challenges that may bar the path to success.

Today, we examine research that tackles some of these key concepts:

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointChange efforts can present opportunity on the horns of a dilemma. Larry Peters of Texas Christian University published “The Rhythm of Leading Change: Living With Paradox” in the Journal of Management Inquiry October 2012 issue. From the abstract:

This article focuses on an interesting type of challenge that can fight against effective leadership in large-scale change efforts. The type of challenge the author refers to is a paradox—alternatives that don’t follow from each other, where both alternatives appear necessary, but where choosing one acts to negate the other.

JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpointEmployees are critical to successful change; their cognitions, perceptions, and attitudes matter. Eric Lamm of San Francisco State University and Judith R. Gordon of Boston College published “Empowerment, Predisposition to Resist Change, and Support for Organizational Change” in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies November 2010 issue. From the abstract:

This article investigates the extent to which empowerment and dispositional characteristics contribute to behavioral support for organizational change. The study is the first to use a comprehensive intrapersonal variable—psychological empowerment—to represent the interaction between an individual and his or her work environment.

JME_72ppiRGB_150pixWFuture business leaders must develop their skills for leading change now. Amy C. Lewis of Drury University and Mark Grosser of EM-Assist, Inc. published “The Change Game: An Experiential Exercise Demonstrating Barriers to Change” in the Journal of Management Education October 2012 issue. From the abstract:

Students may underestimate the difficulty of convincing others to work toward change; the authors developed the Change Game as a tool to help students experience the difficulties of leading change and identify opportunities for skill development in the area of change leadership.

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