Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Anaïs Thibault Landry of ESG UQAM,
Allan Schweyer of the Incentive Research Foundation, and Ashley Whillans of Harvard Business School. They recently published an article in Compensation & Benefits Review entitled “Winning the War for Talent: Modern Motivational Methods for Attracting and Retaining Employees,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, they reflect on the motivation and impact of this research:]

Many companies remain structured – both in their organization and mindset – to address last century’s challenges. But nothing has changed more dramatically in recent decades than work and peoples’ attitudes toward it. The complexity of business combined with an inexorable need to innovate, require increasingly more sophisticated and nuanced approaches to attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. This research builds on past work of ours and many others, exploring the various ways non-financial benefits and rewards nurture stronger employer-employee relationships and better outcomes – both for the individual and the organization.

Like many today, we’re motivated to help solve the enormous challenges organizations face in an economy with almost zero unemployment among skilled workers, combined with stubbornly low employee engagement levels. We’ve been consistently surprised at the effects of certain “softer” rewards of work, especially those that convey a sense of caring. For example, when employers describe their generous leave policies in job descriptions, they attract many more candidates than firms that pay significantly more. Based only on the job description, candidates report they believe the employer cares more about their employees – and that’s worth more to them than extra money.

We think these findings are the most important and innovative of our research. For employers it means they now operate in a world where top talent is looking for more out of work than just a handsome paycheck. It means they should re-visit their approach to benefits and rewards by emphasizing flexible work, inclusion, purpose, autonomy and non-financial gifts that convey appreciation.

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A Reflection by David Jiang on “More Than Meets the Eye”

[We’re pleased to welcome authors David S. Jiang of Georgia Southern University, Franz W. Kellermans of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Timothy P. Munyon of the  University of Tennessee, and M. Lane Morris of the University of Tennessee. They recently published an article in the Family Business Review entitled “More Than Meets the Eye: A Review and Future Directions for the Social Psychology of Socioemotional Wealth,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Jiang reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

fbra_30_2.coverThis research is based on the first author’s dissertation, which is a winner of the Family Firm Institute’s 2017 Best Dissertation Award. The article reviews 421 papers published across 25 journals during the past decade to propose new directions for the social psychology of socioemotional wealth (SEW), which is a popular concept and theoretical perspective in the family business literature that deals with the nonpecuniary benefits that family members derive from control over their family firm.

What motivated you to pursue this research?
SEW research has helped significantly advance the family business literature since Luis Gomez-Mejia and colleagues first introduced SEW in 2007. However, although SEW research has already done a lot for the literature, we also believe that it can do so much more. Motivated by these beliefs, we originally spent 2 years (2014-2015) in the review process at the Academy of Management Review (AMR) trying to outline the emotional aspects of SEW, only to have our work rejected in the last round on a split editorial team decision. After this rejection, we realized that what we really needed to do was review the SEW literature in ways that would first establish a foundation to understand the many psychological phenomena that fit within SEW research. This is why we are thrilled to have our work on this subject published in Family Business Review (FBR) – a high-quality outlet that can help further the psychological understanding of various SEW phenomena and outcomes.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research?
We think that the most challenging aspects probably came from the review process. We were trying to say something that was connected to but very different from what existing SEW research has already said and/or done. Naturally, it’s often difficult to seamlessly communicate novel ideas in ways that reviewers will immediately understand with a first draft. Recognizing this, after we received feedback from the first round of FBR reviews, we realized that we had to extensively change our analytical strategy and approach in order to be as comprehensive as possible. This way, we could address the reviewers’ many concerns while still maintaining our core message and contributions. Although our original submission to FBR reviewed 41 SEW articles, as can be seen in the published article, our final sample included 421 articles. Altogether, it was extremely challenging to increase the review’s scope by more than ten-fold in a 3-month revision window! Needless to say, the first author spent a lot of late nights culling through the expansive SEW literature to create an action plan that utilized the authorship team’s collective strengths and expertise.

How do you think your research will impact the field?
It is difficult to tell at first but we hope that our article will ultimately help build stronger family firm microfoundations. We think there are a lot of novel directions that SEW and broader family firm research could go from here and hope that other scholars will agree and join us in these pursuits!


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Albert Bandura Responds to Commentaries: “On the Functional Properties of Perceived Self-Efficacy Revisited”

JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddIn his paper entitled “On the Functional Properties of Perceived Self-Efficacy Revisited,” Albert Bandura discussed the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy. He concluded with an invitation to readers to submit commentaries on his article. Since the paper made its appearance in the January 2012 issue of Journal of Management, this call was answered by Jeffrey B. Vancouver; Joshua J. Jackson, Patrick L. Hill, and Brent W. Roberts; Gillian B. Yeo and Andrew Neal; and Ronald Bledow. Dr. Bandura recently published a response to these commentaries in the OnlineFirst section of Journal of Management entitled “On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation.”

The abstract:

The present commentary addresses issues raised in four replies to my editorial on the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy (Bandura, 2012). In my comments on the paper by Jackson, Hill, and Roberts (2012), I discuss the arbitrary nature of “disposition” and question whether an essentially atheoretical computer-structured inventory based on a mixture of superficially assessed habitual behaviors constitutes a theory of personality. In another set of comments, which speak to the paper by Vancouver (2012), I identify two major flaws in Powers’ (1991) perceptual control theory and document experimental compromises in Vancouver’s efforts to demonstrate that goals and self-efficacy operate counteractively. My comments on the Yeo and Neal (2013) paper center on their unsuccessful efforts to explain and verify the proposition that general and specific self-efficacy work at cross-purposes. In response to Bledow’s (2013) entry, I address the conceptual ambiguity of his theory of unconscious self-motivation, misconstruals of the role of self-efficacy in the process of change, and marginalization of the functional role of consciousness in human behavior.

You can read “On Deconstructing Commentaries Regarding Alternative Theories of Self-Regulation” from Journal of Management free for the next 30 days by clicking here. Interested in reading the original and commentaries as well? Click here to view the collection. Want to know about all the latest research and commentaries like this from Journal of Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Short-Term Incentives, Long-Term Success?

Do short-term incentives really work to motivate employees? Jennifer E. Wynter-Palmer of the University of Technology/Jamaica Institute of Management examined the debate and its implications in her article “Is the Use of Short-Term Incentives Good Organization Strategy?,” published in the Compensation & Benefits Review September/October 2012 issue:

CBR_42_1_72ppiRGB_150pixWThis article is based on research conducted on Jamaica’s hotel industry. The study sought to determine if there are any advantages to both employers and employees in use of short-term incentives in that industry. Using theories of motivation and the concepts governing incentive compensation to construct a theoretical framework, the article sought to make the link between short-term incentives, motivation and employee productivity. The debate by both academicians and human resource practitioners is about the right types as well as the right mix of workplace motivators. It is acknowledged that there are strong arguments on all sides. This article seeks to add to the academic debate by advancing that what is critical is that (a) the need for employee motivation should not be viewed as optional but must be fully appreciated, planned and implemented thoughtfully by employers; and (b) the motivational processes used will be influenced by the thinking of an organization’s leadership team as well as the culture of the organization. It is posited for this discussion that where organizations are on a quest to improve workforce productivity, their employees need to be motivated by a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. In turn, the right types and levels of motivation will lead to employees performing at the desired levels.

Click here to continue reading, and browse the current issue of CBR by clicking here.

Make It Happen: Staying Motivated At Work

The holiday season has officially begun. It’s a time to celebrate, break out of the daily routine, and enjoy ourselves. Still, let’s not kid anyone: holidays are distracting, and staying motivated at work can be a challenge. So before you head out to partake in festivities, take some advice from the Journal of Management article “Making Things Happen: A Model of Proactive Motivation,” which offers proactive goals that individuals can pursue in organizations. The article was published by Sharon K. Parker of the University of Western Australia, and Uta K. Bindl and Karoline Strauss, both of the University of Sheffield:

Being proactive is about taking control to make things happen rather than watching things happen. It involves aspiring and striving to bring about change in the environment and/or oneself to achieve a different future (Bindl & Parker, in press-b; Grant & Ashford, 2008). Proactivity has three key attributes: It is self-starting, change oriented, and future focused. The call center agent described above has taken it on herself (self-starting) to aim to improve work processes (change the situation) to enhance effectiveness in the longer term (achieve a different future).

The call centre example shows being proactive is meaningful at the lowest levels of organizations. Proactivity is also relevant at the highest levels: Deluga (1998) showed that U.S. presidents vary in their proactivity and that proactive presidents are rated by historians as more effective in leading the country than are passive presidents. This study concurs with wider evidence that proactivity can enhance work place performance (for a meta-analysis, see Fuller & Marler, 2009) as well as generate positive outcomes beyond work performance, such as obtaining employment (Kanfer, Wanberg, & Kantrowitz, 2001) and career satisfaction (Seibert, Kraimer, & Crant, 2001).

But where does proactivity come from? Why are some people proactive in improving their work context whereas others are more focused on actively sculpting their own careers? Can a manager enhance employees’ job proactivity? Understanding how proactivity is motivated is our focus in this article. To set the scene, we review ways of conceptualizing proactivity.

Click here to read on, and here to read the latest articles from the Journal of Management. You can also sign up to receive e-alerts about new research in the areas of business strategy & policy, organizational behavior, human resource management, organizational theory, entrepreneurship, research methods and more.

Management INK would like to wish all of its readers a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Why Does Transformational Leadership Impact Motivation?

Dr. Christopher Neck of Arizona State University

Why does transformational leadership impact employee motivation?

Learn about the role of self-leadership in a new podcast from the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. Dr. Christopher Neck of Arizona State University discusses his article, “The Relation Between Self-Leadership and Transformational Leadership: Competing Models and the Moderating Role of Virtuality,” published in the February 2012 issue of JLOS and co-authored by Panja Andressen of the German Aerospace Center and Udo Konradt of the University of Kiel. Click here to play the podcast, here to subscribe on iTunes and here to read the article.

Dr. Christopher P. Neck is an Associate Professor of Management at Arizona State University, where he holds the title “University Master Teacher.” From 1994 to 2009, he was part of the Pamplin College of Business faculty at Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in Management from Arizona State University and his M.B.A. from Louisiana State University. Neck is author of the books Fit To Lead: The Proven 8-week Solution for Shaping Up Your Body, Your Mind, and Your Career (2004, St. Martin’s Press), Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence, 6th edition (2013, Pearson), The Wisdom of Solomon at Work (2001, Berrett-Koehler), For Team Members Only: Making Your Workplace Team Productive and Hassle-Free (1997, Amacom Books), and Medicine for the Mind: Healing Words to Help You Soar, 4th Edition (Wiley, 2012). Dr. Neck’s research specialties include employee/executive fitness, self-leadership, leadership, group decision-making processes, and self-managing teams. He has over ninety publications in the form of books, chapters, and articles in various journals. Some of the outlets in which Neck’s work has appeared include Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, The Journal of Organizational Behavior, The Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, The Journal of Managerial Psychology, Executive Excellence, Human Relations, Human Resource Development Quarterly, Journal of Leadership Studies, Educational Leadership, and The Commercial Law Journal.

Ken Thompson, Ph.D.

Ken Thompson, Ph.D., is professor and the former chair of management at DePaul University, where he has been on staff since 1986. He has co-authored four books, contributed to six others, and has been published in a number of journals including the Academy of Management Executive, Organizational Dynamics, Journal of Social Psychology, Human Relations, and the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies where he is senior editor. Ken is a member of the National Academy of Management. Most recently, he was chair of the Management Education and Development Division and served on the governance board of the Organizational Behavior Division. Ken has also been active in various local and regional positions, including president and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Academy of Management.

Performance Management Systems, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our themed post on “Performance Management!”

The Journal of Management Education will answer the following question:

What is the role of Performance Management in education?

Troy V. Mumford, Colorado State University, published “Developing Performance Management Competence : An Exercise Leveraging Video Technology and Multisource Feedback” in the October 2009 issue.

The ability to competently manage employee performance is critical for students graduating with degrees in management. This article provides a competency development exercise (CDE) for use in graduate and undergraduate management courses to increase students’ performance management competence. The CDE includes providing employee feedback, disciplining employees, and conducting termination meetings. Procedures and assessment tools are provided for utilizing the exercise in conjunction with video technology and multisource feedback. In addition, guidance is given for adapting and condensing the CDE from 3-6 hr to 30-60 min. Finally, data are presented showing that the exercise significantly affected students’ performance management competence.

Treena L. Gillespie, University of South Alabama, and Richard O. Parry, California State University, Fullerton, published “Students as Employees : Applying Performance Management Principles in the Management Classroom” in the March 2008 issue.

The student-as-employee metaphor emphasizes student accountability and participation in learning and provides instructors with work-oriented methods for creating a productive class environment. The authors propose that the tenets of performance management in work organizations can be applied to the classroom. In particular, they focus on three important areas within performance management: identifying performance, developing performance, and dealing with the social environment associated with managing performance. Beyond implications for course management, the authors discuss the instructor’s role in the performance management process, directions for future research, and the value of these classroom practices for the work setting.

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