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.

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*Library image attributed to Apple Vershoor (CC)


Follow the Leader: Leadership Lessons from Rock Climbing

Rock Climber

Although the concept of ethical leadership has not been neglected in leadership studies, it remains a vague and poorly defined idea. A direct consequence of this ambiguity is the challenge of practicing ethical leadership in real-life situations. In an effort to better define ethical leadership and provide leadership principles that leaders can strive for, Diane P. Bischak and Jaana Woiceshyn explore what makes a virtuous leader and outline six essential virtues at the core of ethical leadership–rationality, honesty, independence, integrity, justice, and pride. In their article, “Leadership Virtues Exposed: Ethical Leadership Lessons from Leading in Rock Climbing,” published in Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, the authors utilize their observations of leadership in rock climbing to break down the concept of ethical leadership into moral action principles that are easier to define, and thus easier for leaders to apply.

The abstract:

Leadership clearly has an impact on organizational outcomes, and previous research has revealed the antecedents and consequences of JLOS_72ppiRGB_powerpointleadership styles and the effects of leaders’ personality traits. We focus on an area that has received much less attention: ethical leadership practice and the virtues that guide it. Following the positive turn in leadership research, we examine what constitutes virtuous action of leaders. We draw on observations made in a novel realm, rock climbing, and integrate them with the literature on leadership virtues while drawing parallels to business. We identify six essential virtues at the core of the ethical leadership model we propose: rationality, honesty, independence, integrity, justice, and pride. Three of these—rationality, independence, and pride—are not conventional virtues, but we suggest that they are critical for ethical leadership, as is the standard of human flourishing and the leader’s relationship with followers as a trader of values. Our analysis is summarized in testable propositions.

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How Can Anthropology Bring a New Perspective to Corruption Research?

[We’re pleased to welcome Bertrand Venard of Audencia Nantes School of Management and Wharton School of theJMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint University of Pennsylvania. Professor Venard recently published an article with Davide Torsello of Central European University Business School and University of Bergamo, in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “The Anthropology of Corruption.”]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

I was inspired by the complete lack of consideration of the anthropology field in management literature that studies corruption. I thought an anthropological view of corruption could offer a stimulating perspective for organizational scholars.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Anthropologists have been doing research about corruption for decades. Their research could add value to the organizational field, particularly on the matter of corruption and general wrongdoings in organizations. In their research, anthropologists stress the importance of using a definition of social actors, rather than a universal definition. Thus, for anthropologists, corruption is what the locals names “corruption.” Considering the native perspective, anthropologists reject a moralistic view of corruption. Instead, they present the cohesive influence of corruption.

Furthermore, anthropologists see corruption as a process, not a statistical phenomenon. This demand for a historical account of corruption has led academics to use ethnography as a method of inquiry, a method that is known in management but not frequently used to study corruption. Anthropology allows an interesting perspective, using corruption as a single point of entry to the whole culture. Corruption should not be used for itself, but for the understanding it provides about the complete culture.

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

Our research may influence organizational scholars to consider the anthropology field when doing research about corruption. In particular, researchers may use more qualitative methods to study corruption, especially ethnography. By focusing on local, social and cultural aspects of corruption, it may be possible to better understand why corruption is a phenomenon resistant to eradication, and why, for instance, executives from countries where corruption is not an issue engage in wrongdoings when they go to emerging markets.

You can read “The Anthropology of Corruption” for free in Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest research like this from Journal of Management Inquiry? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Davide TorDavide Torsellosello is an associate professor of socio-cultural anthropology at Central European University Business School, Hungary, and University of Bergamo, Italy. He is a leader of the unit “The ethnographic study of corruption” in the EU FP7 research project ANTICORRP (Anti-corruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption). Recently, he published The New Environmentalism? Civil Society and Corruption in the Enlarged EU (Ashgate).

Bertrand Venard is a professor of strategy at Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and visiting Bertrand Venardprofessor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (USA). His research interests concern deviance, fraud, and corruption. He has published more than 50 academic articles. He is involved in a working group of the United Nations (Global Compact, PRME, Principles of Responsible Management Education) aiming at reducing corruption through curriculum development.

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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What Can Star Trek Teach Us About Ethics and Reproduction?

pregnancy-test-1336784-mReproductive sciences are becoming more and more advanced and can seem like something out of science fiction these days. In addition to pregnancy termination and surrogate mothers, designer babies are already becoming a real world practice according to a report from the Atlantic. So how do we explore the ethical ramifications of these and other reproductive advances? According to authors Charles Savona-Ventura and Victor Grech in their article from World Future Review the answer lies in Star Trek.

The abstract:
Science fiction narratives are regularly used to explore the consequences of contemporary and envisaged future scientific innovations along with the ensuing novel ethical and moral concepts. The television series Star Trek has dealt with aspects of reproductive health, often based on extrapolations from significantWFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint real-world breakthroughs in artificial reproductive technology and genetic engineering. This article assesses episodes that addressed such vexing ethical questions as choices affecting pregnancy after rape, advances in obstetrics including surrogate motherhood, and novel delivery techniques designed to protect the health of the mother and baby. However, the most significant ethical challenges may be those involving choices of deliberate genetic enhancements and/or frank physical alterations in non-life-threatening situations. The authors argue that responsible use of the popular science fiction genre, as exemplified by the various Star Trek series, cannot only provide advanced warning of problems and issues that science may eventually unleash but also suggest potential solutions to such problems.

Click here to read “Future Ethical Issues Involving Reproduction – With Examples From Star Trek” from World Future Review. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and get notified on all the latest from World Future Review!

What Benefits Can Mindfulness Have on Organizational Behavior?

breakwater---hdr-1361742-m[We are pleased to welcome Ronald Purser. who collaborated with Joseph Milillo on their article entitled  “Mindfulness Revisited: A Buddhist-Based Conceptualization” from Journal of Management Inquiry.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Besides being a professor of management, Ronald Purser has been a practicing Buddhist for over 30 years, and recently became an ordained Zen teacher. Joseph Milillo, who also is a Buddhist and meditator, and is now a graduate student at the Harvard Divinity School, sent Dr. Purser he had written for his senior honors thesis when he was at Drexel University. The paper was a review on mindfulness and its potential benefits for the field organizational behavior. Dr. Purser had long been interested in Buddhist teachings on mindfulness, and suggested that they co-author a paper that addresses how current conceptions of mindfulness in the organizational theory and behavior literature diverged JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointsignificantly from Buddhist canonical sources. We are not at all satisfied with the few authors that attempted to theorize Buddhist mindfulness for organizations, such as Karl Weick and Eric Dane, whose articles misrepresented key aspects of mindfulness as understood within the Buddhist tradition. We also were witnessing many corporations and consultants jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon, such as the program at Google, which were making inflated claims as to potential to transform and change organizations, but without any sort of empirical evidence. In addition, we are concerned that corporate mindfulness consultants were leveraging the “Buddhist brand,” but delivering training which was far removed from any ethical or moral framework.

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

We hope that our article will help scholars and practitioners to become more acquainted with the rich and varied operational definitions of mindfulness as it has been understood within the Buddhist tradition. We also hope that our contribution will shift the discourse on mindfulness towards seeing it as a practice that is integrated within an ethical perspective that goes beyond mere self-improvement. An ethically-informed practice of mindfulness would enable employees and managers to discern that much of their personal stress is rooted in the practices and policies of the corporate culture, and not merely personal problem. We hope that our contribution will influence future theory development, reframing corporate mindfulness as a socially engaged practice that is more expansive and inclusive in scope, one that will be able to examine the causes and conditions of institutionalized greed, ill will, and delusion.

“Mindfulness Revisited: A Buddhist-Based Conceptualization” from Journal of Management Inquiry can be read for free by clicking here. Make sure to sign up for e-alerts by clicking here and get notified of all the latest from Journal of Management Inquiry!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARonald E. Purser, PhD, is a professor of management at San Francisco State University and former chair of the Organization Development and Change division of the Academy of Management. In 1981, he began studying Buddhist psychology and practicing meditation at the Tibetan Nyingma Institute in Berkeley. He began formal Zen training at the Cleveland ZenCenter in 1985 under Koshin Ogui Sensei, who had been ShunryuSuzuki’s personal assistant in the early 1960s. After returning to San Francisco in 1997, he continued to study and practice with Zen teachers and Tibetan lamas. In 2013, he received ordination as a Dharma instructor in the Korean Zen Buddhist Taego order. His research focuses on the application of Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices to management and organizations, exploring the challenges and issues of introducing mindfulness into secular contexts, particularly with regard to its encounter with modernity, Western consumer capitalism, and individualism. His recent articles on these issues have appeared in such outlets as Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion, Organizational Aesthetics, Tamara, and The Humanistic Psychologist. His Huffington Post blog (with David Loy), “Beyond McMindfulness,” went viral in July, 2013.

Joseph Milillo is a master’s student at Harvard Divinity School focusing on South Asian Buddhism. His specific research is on Theravāda Buddhism and the commentarial tradition of Buddhaghosa.

Out of Whack: Assurance of Learning in Ethical Decision-Making Skills

[Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to reproduce “Out of Whack: Assurance of Learning in Ethical Decision-Making Skills” by Charles M. Vance from Journal of Management Inquiry.]


Click here to read “Out of Whack: Assurance of Learning in Ethical Decision-Making Skills” for free from Journal of Management Inquiry. Don’t forget to sign up for e-alerts from Journal of Management Inquiry by clicking here!