Role of Referrers in Hiring

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Jenna R. Pieper of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Charlie O. Trevor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ingo Weller of LMU Munich, and Dennis Duchon of University of Nebraska-Lincoln . They recently published an article in the Journal of Management entitled “Referral Hire Presence Implications for Referrer Turnover and Job Performance,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Pieper discusses the events and circumstance that inspired this research:]


This paper was motivated by a general curiosity about the critical role of referrers in referral hiring in organizational settings, and originated in a section of my doctoral dissertation. Referral hiring, or the practice of using recommendations of a current employee (referrer) to identify and hire a new employee (referral hire), often accounts for 30% to 50% of an organization’s filling of its job openings. To date, the attention of research and practice has focused primarily on the referral hires and their outcomes, leaving a glaring gap in our understanding of how referrers are impacted by the hiring of a friend or acquaintance. We were therefore interested in gaining insight into how the presence of a referral hire influences referrer performance and voluntary turnover.

Our findings, which are arguably the first to specifically examine how referral hiring impacts referrers, show that referrers are indeed impacted by the presence of their referral hire through a socially enriched workplace. In our study, employees with a referral hire present were 27% less likely to leave than employees without a referral hire present, and their performance improved by 5.1% when a referral hire was present. However, we found that job similarity (indicating heightened workplace exposure) between referrers and their referral hires, when compared to job dissimilarity, was associated with lower referrer job performance. Thus, it seems the costs, such as socialization and informal training, for referrers in similar jobs to their referral hires may offset the performance gains gleamed from the referral hire presence. Most important to our work is that we provide the only empirical evidence to date that referring enhances the social enrichment construct at the heart of referral hire discourse.

I think that future research on this topic should continue to consider the critical role of the referrer in referral hiring. My main advice for scholars would be to consider the interface between the various stakeholders in referral hiring, different referring pathways, the intricacies in how referring hiring unfolds over time, and the contingencies that affect its outcomes. A lot of fascinating contributions can still be made regarding referral hiring.

Finally, our work is important to practitioners. It demonstrates that the presence aspect is crucial. When coupled with the well-established benefits for the referral hire, referral hiring appears to be a value proposition for the firm because performance and retention gains emerge for both referrers and referral hires. Thus, our work would encourage continued practice of referral hiring. Practitioners can also take from our study that it is important to be aware of and work to prevent potential downsides associated with referral hiring.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Journal of Management and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!



Understanding the Differential Effects of Anxiety and Anger

depression-2912404_1280[We’re pleased to welcome authors, Laurie J. Barclay of Wilfrid Laurier University, and Tina Kiefer of the University of Warwick. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management entitled “In the Aftermath of Unfair Events: Understanding the Differential Effects of Anxiety and Anger,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, the motivation for their research:]

JOM_42_5_Covers.inddWhat motivated you to pursue this research?
We were interested in how employees experience unfair events on a day-to-day basis and how they “live through” and actively navigate these experiences. We wanted to move away from the dominant perspective in the literature that examines how unfairness impacts employees through the “eyes” and interests of managers and organizations. Instead, we wanted to ground our investigation in employees’ experiences to understand how employees process and respond to these events and how this impacts their relationship with the organization.

Within the fairness literature, it is often assumed that negative emotions are detrimental. However, negative emotions can be functional for employees and hence organizations. One of our study’s most compelling findings is that employees who experience anxiety in reaction to the unfair event are motivated to engage in problem prevention behaviors, which are aimed at “fixing” the situation. Interestingly, employees who engage in these behaviors experienced a “rebound” in their fairness perceptions, such that the drop in perceived fairness due to the unfair event was corrected. By contrast, anger was functional by showing that the unfairness would not be tolerated but did not have the same positive impact on subsequent fairness perceptions. This raises important questions about how employees’ behaviors impact the aftermath of the unfair event and the importance of understanding how employees are experiencing these events to effectively manage these situations.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?
After decades of research, the fairness literature has become a mature and well-established domain of inquiry, with thousands of studies and dozens of theories. Although this wealth of empirical evidence and theoretical diversity has provided much richness, incoming researchers and doctoral students can find it a bit intimidating to dive into. Further, some scholars have also questioned whether the maturity of this literature will lead to stagnation. However, there are many opportunities to make significant, novel, and important discoveries in this domain by taking different and novel perspectives.

One way to continue to stimulate this literature is to identify and question its underlying assumptions. For example, in our research, we grounded our investigation in the experiences of employees which challenges the dominant perspective in the field. This approach created a number of insights regarding how employees actively navigate unfair events, including how employees can impact their own fairness perceptions through their emotional and behavioral responses as well as the functional nature of negative emotions.

We would encourage new scholars and incoming researchers to challenge assumptions in the literature and also consider how applying theories from other domains and perspectives to fairness can enhance our insights. Doing so will create exciting new opportunities to expand our understanding and ability to manage this important phenomenon. Given the pervasiveness and impact of unfairness, it is critical to provide employees and organizations with evidence-based practices that can help prevent these experiences, where possible, and effectively navigate unfairness when it does occur.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Journal of Management and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Stress photo attributed to whoismargot. (CC)


Interactions Between Justice Levels and Trajectories Predicting Behavioral Reciprocity


[We’re pleased to welcome authors Alex Rubenstein of the University of Memphis, David G. Allen of Texas Christian University, and Frank A. Bosco of the Virginia Commonwealth University. They recently published an article in the Journal of Management entitled “What’s Past (and Present) Is Prologue: Interactions Between Justice Levels and Trajectories Predicting Behavioral Reciprocity,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Rubenstein discusses the events and circumstance that inspired his research:]

JOM_42_5_Covers.inddWe began this paper by considering the nature of how people experience fairness in the workplace. Certainly any instance of fair or unfair treatment can have an effect on employee’s attitudes and behavior in the future, but we were also interested in how the past can differently shape employee’s interpretation of the present. For instance, imagine two employees who think their organization is moderately fair. Previous studies would expect them to have similar attitudes and be equal organizational citizens in the future. However, we wondered whether past fairness experiences—specifically, the trajectory of experienced justice in the past, if has been getting better, worse, or staying the same—could color the interpretation of the present differently for these employees.

Our results, which are arguably the first that specifically examine how employees behaviorally reciprocate to this interactive pattern of past and present treatment, show that indeed the past is prologue when it comes to justice. We examined how present justice levels and trajectories over time interacted to predict helping behavior as well as future employee turnover behavior. That is, two employees who rate the exact same levels of current fairness at work may reciprocate differently (in terms of helping other employees and even their decision to remain a member of the organization) because of potentially different past trends of experienced justice. We found that the highest levels of helping, and the lowest levels of turnover were for those employees with high current levels of perceived fairness, along with a positive past trajectory. It seems that employees are most willing to reciprocate to their organizations when things are currently quite fair AND if things have been getting progressively better over time.

I think this research will spur new studies that consider the dynamic nature of organizational phenomena, and the value in looking at variables’ change over time. I feel the methodology of change modeling has only recently caught up to the theory, and a lot of fascinating contributions can be made regarding how growth and decline in phenomena (thoughts, feelings, behaviors) affect individuals, teams, and organizations as a whole.

I think new scholars looking at organizational justice can continue to take a dynamic look at its change over time, both in the short and long term. My main advice would be to brush up on research methods, such as latent growth modeling and structural equation modeling. We all have lots of questions, and its is important that researchers be equipped with the methodological tools to test those questions.

I think the most influential piece of scholarship I have read recently was Alvesson, M., & Sandberg, J. 2011. Generating research questions through problematization. Academy of Management Review, 36: 247–271. An important part of framing your study is not just “gap-filling”, but demonstrating how your study solves a problem, and this paper does a good job of explaining how to do this.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research from the Journal of Management and sign up for email alerts today through the homepage!

Scales photo attributed to Artsybee. (CC)


JOM Wins Awards at AOM 2017!

Patrick WrightSAGE is excited to congratulate JOM on winning multiple awards at AOM 2017. Congratulations to former editor of the Journal of Management, Patrick M. Wright, for winning the Career Achievement Award.


JOM_42_5_Covers.inddAnd congratulations to authors Anthony J. Nyberg, Jenna R. Pieper, and Charlie O. Trevor for their paper,  “Pay-for-Performance’s Effect on Future Employee Performance Integrating Psychological and Economic Principles Toward a Contingency Perspective,which received the HRM Division Scholarly Achievement Award for best paper from 2016.”


For more information on the Journal of Management visit the journal homepage where you can sign up for email alerts and keep up to date!

Read the November 2016 Issue of Journal of Management!

3340359442_b93f0f9aa9_o-1The November 2016 issue of Journal of Management is now available online, and can be accessed for the next 30 days! The November issue covers a variety of topics, including articles on organizational transparency, shared leadership-team performance relations, and the effects of autonomy on team performance.

Authors Anthony J. Nyberg, Jenna R. Pieper, and Charlie O. Trevor contributed the article “Pay-for-Performance’s Effect on Future Employee Performance: Integrating Psychological and Economic Principles Toward a Contingency Perspective,” which suggests that bonus pay may have a stronger effect on future performance than merit pay, among other findings about pay-for-performance. The abstract for the paper:

Although pay-for-performance’s potential effect on employee performance is a compelling issue, understanding this dynamic has been constrained by narrow approaches to pay-for-performance conceptualization, measurement, and surrounding conditions. In response, we take a more nuanced perspective by integrating fundamental principles of economics and psychology to identify and incorporate employee characteristics, job characteristics, pay system Current Issue Covercharacteristics, and pay system experience into a contingency model of the pay-for-performance–future performance relationship. We test the role that these four key contextual factors play in pay-for-performance effectiveness using 11,939 employees over a 5-year period. We find that merit and bonus pay, as well as their multiyear trends, are positively associated with future employee performance. Furthermore, our findings indicate that, contrary to what traditional economic perspectives would predict, bonus pay may have a stronger effect on future performance than merit pay. Our results also support a contingency approach to pay-for-performance’s impact on future employee performance, as we find that merit pay and bonus pay can substitute for each other and that the strength of pay-for-performance’s effect is a function of employee tenure, the pay-for-performance trend over time, and job type (presumably due to differences in the measurability of employee performance across jobs).

Another article from the issue, entitled “Social Media for Selection? Validity and Adverse Impact Potential of a Facebook-Based Assessment” from authors Chad H. Van Iddekinge, Stephen E. Lanivich, Philip L. Roth, and Elliott Junco delves into the hazards that arise when recruiters use social media platforms like Facebook to screen job applicants. The abstract for the paper:

Recent reports suggest that an increasing number of organizations are using information from social media platforms such as to screen job applicants. Unfortunately, empirical research concerning the potential implications of this practice is extremely limited. We address the use of social media for selection by examining how recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles fare with respect to two important criteria on which selection procedures are evaluated: criterion-related validity and subgroup differences (which can lead to adverse impact). We captured Facebook profiles of college students who were applying for full-time jobs, and recruiters from various organizations reviewed the profiles and provided evaluations. We then followed up with applicants in their new jobs. Recruiter ratings of applicants’ Facebook information were unrelated to supervisor ratings of job performance (rs = −.13 to –.04), turnover intentions (rs = −.05 to .00), and actual turnover (rs = −.01 to .01). In addition, Facebook ratings did not contribute to the prediction of these criteria beyond more traditional predictors, including cognitive ability, self-efficacy, and personality. Furthermore, there was evidence of subgroup difference in Facebook ratings that tended to favor female and White applicants. The overall results suggest that organizations should be very cautious about using social media information such as Facebook to assess job applicants.

You can read these articles and more from the November 2016 issue of Journal of Management, which is free for the next 30 days, by clicking here to view the issue’s table of contents! Want to stay current on all of the latest research published by Journal of Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts to receive notifications for new issues and Online First articles!

*City image attributed to Mark Goebel (CC)

Announcing the Winners of JOM’s Best Paper and Scholarly Impact Award!

We are pleased to congratulate the 2016 Journal of Management Best Paper and Scholarly Current Issue CoverImpact Award winners, announced just recently at the Academy of Managment 2016 Annual Meeting.

The Scholarly Impact Award, given annually, recognizes work with a lasting impact on the academic community and beyond. Our congratulations to the following winners:

Scholarly Impact Award:
Christopher Zott, Raphel Amit, and Lorenzo Massa
“The Business Model: Recent Developments and Future Research”

Scholarly Impact Award:
Donald Lange, Peggy M. Lee, and Ye Dai
“Organizational Reputation: A Review”

Scholarly Impact Award:
Dirk Van Dierendonck
“Servant Leadership: A Review and Synthesis”

Scholarly Impact Award:
Suzanne T. Bell, Anton J. Villado, Marc A. Lukasik, Larisa Belau, Andrea L. Briggs
“Getting Specific About Demographic Diversity Variable and Team Performance Relationships: A Meta-Analysis”

Best Paper Award and Scholarly Impact Award:
Brian L. Connelly, S. Trevis Certo, R. Duane Ireland, and Christopher R. Reutzel
“Signaling Theory: A Review and Assessment”

To celebrate these award-winning papers, readers will be able to access the papers free for the next 30 days! Congratulations again to the authors from Management INK!

Visit SAGE @ AOM 2016!

AOMThe Academy of Management 2016 Annual Meeting is going on now in Anaheim! This year’s theme, Making Organizations Meaningful, is all about the extensive impact of an organizations purpose, value, and worth. Organizational meaningfulness is a rich area of research–organizations communicate meaning across a wide variety of mediums to a wide variety of audiences, with unique goals in mind. You can find the full program for this year’s conference, including the scheduled events that will speak to organizational meaningfulness, by clicking here.

If you’re attending AOM, don’t forget to stop by SAGE’s booths (, where we’ll have the latest scholarly research from  Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Management, Family Business Review and other top-tier SAGE journals, as well as plenty of friendly faces willing to answer all your publishing inquiries.

Whether or not you’ll be able to attend this year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting, please feel free to peruse the latest from SAGE’s management and business journals represented at AOM:

ASQ_v59n3_Sept2014_cover.inddAdministrative Science Quarterly This top-tier journal regularly publishes the best theoretical and empirical papers based on dissertations and on the evolving and new work of more established scholars, as well as interdisciplinary work in organizational theory, and informative book reviews.

Business & Society
In this fast-growing, ever-changing, and always challenging field of study, BAS is the only peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted entirely to research, discussion, and analysis on the relationship between business and society.


FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddFamily Business Review provides a scholarly platform devoted exclusively to exploration of the dynamics of family-controlled enterprise, including firms ranging in size from the very large to the relatively small. FBR is focused not only the entrepreneurial founding generation, but also on family enterprises in the 2nd and 3rd generation and beyond, including some of the world’s oldest companies.


Group and Organization Management
publishes a broad range of articles, including data-based research articles, research review reports, evaluation studies, action research reports, and critiques of research. In addition, GOM brings you articles examining a wide range of topics in organizations from an international and cross-cultural perspective.

Current Issue Cover

The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science JABS is continually breaking ground in its exploration of group dynamics, organization development, and social change, providing scholars the best in research, theory, and methodology, while also informing professionals and their clients.


Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies produces high-quality, peer-reviewed research articles on leadership and organizational studies, focusing in particular on the intersection of these two areas of study.


Current Issue CoverJournal of Management is committed to publishing scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field as a whole and cover such field as business strategy and policy, entrepreneurship, human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational theory, and research methods.

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Education is dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning in the management and organizational disciplines. JME’s published articles reflect changes and developments in the conceptualization, organization, and practice of management education.

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointJournal of Management Inquiry is a leading journal for scholars and professionals in management, organizational behavior, strategy, and human resources. JMI explores ideas and builds knowledge in management theory and practice, with a focus on creative, nontraditional research, as well as, key controversies in the field.

07ORM13_Covers.inddOrganizational Research Methods  brings relevant methodological developments to a wide range of researchers in organizational and management studies and promotes a more effective understanding of current and new methodologies and their application in organizational settings.