To Make Better Decisions, Use Your ‘Moral Imagination’

“Greed is good” no longer: research shows that successful companies achieve a balance between profit and social impact, thanks to the work of decision-makers who are able to realize mutually beneficial outcomes. Their success, according to “Examining the Impact of Moral Imagination on Organizational Decision Making,” published by Lindsey N. Godwin of Champlain College on July 11, 2012 in Business & Society, may stem from the ability to master the art form known as “moral imagination”:

…What are the attributes of decision makers that enable them to realize mutually beneficial outcomes? This dissertation argues that one critical key to solving this question is a better understanding of moral imagination in organizational decision making. To test this hypothesis, a new vignette-based cognitive measure for moral imagination in organizational decision making was created to explore empirically the relationship between moral imagination and mutually beneficial decision making. Overall, findings from 180 respondents supported the hypothesis that individuals, who exercise moral imagination, including the ability for discerning moral issues and developing a range of possible outcomes during the decision-making process, are indeed more likely to generate a mutually beneficial outcome for a situation compared to those who do not exercise moral imagination. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Learn more by reading the full article here in Business & Society, and get more information about the journal here. Do you want to receive the latest management research in your inbox? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

2011 Journal of Management Scholarly Award Winners!

Management INK would like to congratulate the following 2011 Scholarly Impact Award winners for the Journal of Management:

Robert E. Ployhart, University of South Carolina, published “Staffing in the 21st Century: New Challenges and Strategic Opportunities” in the December 2006 issue.

The abstract:

Modern organizations struggle with staffing challenges stemming from increased knowledge work, labor shortages, competition for applicants, and workforce diversity. Yet, despite such critical needs for effective staffing practice, staffing research continues to be neglected or misunderstood by many organizational decision makers. Solving these challenges requires staffing scholars to expand their focus from individual-level recruitment and selection research to multilevel research demonstrating the business unit/organizational− level impact of staffing. Toward this end, this review provides a selective and critical analysis of staffing best practices covering literature from roughly 2000 to the present. Several research-practice gaps are also identified. 

 Linda K. Treviño, Pennsylvania State University, Gary R. Weaver, University of Delaware, and Scott J. Reynolds, University of Washington, published “Behavioral Ethics in Organizations: A Review” in the December 2006 issue.

The abstract:

The importance of ethical behavior to an organization has never been more apparent, and in recent years researchers have generated a great deal of knowledge about the management of individual ethical behavior in organizations. We review this literature and attempt to provide a coherent portrait of the current state of the field. We discuss individual, group, and organizational influences and consider gaps in current knowledge and obstacles that limit our understanding. We conclude by offering directions for future research on behavioral ethics in organizations.

Michael H. Lubatkin, Zeki Simsek, both of  University of Connecticut, Yan Ling, George Mason University, and John F. Veiga, University of Connecticut, published “Ambidexterity and Performance in Small-to Medium-Sized Firms: The Pivotal Role of Top Management Team Behavioral Integration” in the October 2006 issue.

The abstract:

While a firm’s ability to jointly pursue both an exploitative and exploratory orientation has been posited as having positive performance effects, little is currently known about the antecedents and consequences of such ambidexterity in small- to medium-sized firms (SMEs). To that end, this study focuses on the pivotal role of top management team (TMT) behavioral integration in facilitating the processing of disparate demands essential to attaining ambidexterity in SMEs. Then, to address the bottom-line importance of an ambidextrous orientation, the study hypothesizes its association with relative firm performance. Multisource survey data, including CEOs and TMT members from 139 SMEs, provide support for both hypotheses.

 Greg L. Stewart, University of Iowa, published “A Meta-Analytic Review of Relationships Between Team Design Features and Team Performance” in the February 2006 issue.

The abstract:

This article presents a quantitative review of 93 studies examining relationships between team design features and team performance. Aggregated measures of individual ability and disposition correlate positively with team performance. Team member heterogeneity and performance correlate near zero, but the effect varies somewhat by type of team. Project and management teams have slightly higher performance when they include more members. Team-level task meaningfulness exhibits a modest but inconsistent relationship with performance. Increased autonomy and intrateam coordination correspond with higher performance, but the effect varies depending on task type. Leadership, particularly transformational and empowering leadership, improves team performance.

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