HRM and Small-Firm Employee Motivation – Before and After the Great Recession

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Alex Bryson of the University College London and Dr. Michael White Emeritus Fellow at Universty of Westminster.  They recently published an article in the ILR Review entitledHRM and small-firm employee motivation – before and after the Great Recession,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Bryson reflects on the inspiration for conducting this research:]

ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

Controversy surrounds the role of high-performance, or high-involvement, management practices in small firms. Many believe these practices only ‘deliver’ in larger firms. So we wanted to see whether this was the case by looking at links between the intensity of what we term ‘human resource management practices’ and job attitudes among employees in small firms.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

The additional motivation was to establish whether hypothesised links between HRM in small firms and employee job attitudes would differ pre- and post-recession, as some have suggested. So we produce estimates pre- and post-recession.

What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?

The most challenging aspect was replicating similar data sets for 2004 and 2011 given changes in the design of the survey we were using. The surprising result is that findings generally replicate those for larger firms.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

It is innovative because nobody has examined the links between HRM intensity and job attitudes among employees in small firms using large-scale linked employer-employee data.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Think hard about motivating your analyses based on sound theory and then search or construct good empirical data to test your hypotheses.

 

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Pedagogical Innovation and Paradigm Shift in the Introduction to Management Curriculum

[We’re pleased to welcome authors Elizabeth Christopher of Macquarie University, Joe Roberts of Webster University, and Oliver Laasch of the University of Nottingham, China. They recently published a paper in the Journal of Management Education entitled, “Pedagogical Innovation and Paradigm Shift in the Introduction to Management Curriculum,” which is free to read for a limited time. Below, Christopher and Roberts reflect on the motivation for pursuing this research:]

JME_72ppiRGB_powerpointWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

E- Identifying a need for improved introduction to management education, emerging from a complex global business environment of socio- economic challenges for managers.

J- Identifying innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching Intro to Management concepts across campus as interdisciplinary courses.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

E- The 20th century was characterized by a resurgence of 19th-century concepts of management associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism that persists to this day. Managerialism is the organizational form of neo-liberalism that implicitly endorses the concept of educating managers to be market-led. Education along these lines is defined in terms of human capital acquisition, skilled for the economy.

If the principles of neoliberal, market led, introduction to management education are not examined, educators run the risk of overlooking contemporary demands for managerial social ethics and responsibility for the environment. This Special Issue is an attempt to respond to this challenge on behalf of university faculties and students and on behalf of curriculum designs.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

E- It is innovative in its recognition that contemporary western management thought, all too often, is based on outdated assumptions of what ‘good’ management should be, but that have become profoundly inadequate to address pressing challenges of managerial sustainability, responsibility and ethics.  The research reveals the extent of the need for new approaches to introduction to management courses. The JME is a widely read and highly regarded journal, therefore the research findings should have an impact on the field.

J- As the managerial function has become more entrepreneurial in nature the question of ethics has become extremely important and should be integrated with pedagogical approaches to teaching Intro to Management concepts.

 

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Does Public Service Motivation Always Lead to Organizational?Commitment?

[We’re pleased to welcome author Wisanupong Potipiroon of Prince of Songkla University. Potipiroon recently published a paper in Public Personnel Management entitled, “Does Public Service Motivation Always Lead to Organizational Commitment? Examining the Moderating Roles of Intrinsic Motivation and Ethical Leadership,” which is free to read for a limited time. Below, Potipiroon reflects on the motivation for pursuing this research:]

PPM_C1 template_rev.inddIt is widely accepted that individuals with high public service motivation (PSM) are more likely to join, feel emotionally attached to and remain in public service organizations. Although we concur with this prevailing notion, our observations and anecdotes from street-level bureaucrats indicate that this is not always the case. Although it is true that public organizations can provide considerable opportunities to employees to do good for others and to be useful to society, we know from experience that service-minded employees often end up working in jobs that do not allow them to put their motivation to use effectively. Indeed, not all jobs are created equal: Some can be less interesting or challenging than others. This may form part of the reasons why many talented workers may decide to leave public service in the first place.

Well, this is precisely what we found in our data which were drawn from a large public organization in Thailand. We found that the relationship between PSM and organizational commitment was dependent upon intrinsic motivation—the extent to which one finds enjoyment in the work even without rewards. When task enjoyment was high, we found that the effect of PSM on organizational commitment was positive. When task enjoyment was lacking, however, the effect of PSM became significantly negative. This indicates that low levels of intrinsic motivation could undermine the achievement of the opportunities inherent in meaningful public services.

Interestingly, we also learned that highly motivated individuals put a great deal of importance on the extent to which their leaders are ethical. In particular, the highest level of organizational commitment was observed when there were high levels of motivation and ethical leadership simultaneously. This suggests that ethical leaders play an instrumental role in fulfilling employees’ needs to act on their motivation. In the public sector, ethical leaders are those who place great emphasis on making an outward, societal impact and showing concern for the common good while also providing a supportive work context that allow employees’ motivation to flourish.

Our study findings underscore the fact that PSM may not offer infinite benefits in every type of settings because PSM effects will likely depend on the whole range of contextual factors including job characteristics and leadership styles. Indeed, public managers should be aware that highly motivated workers could develop a particularly unfavorable view of their organizations if their prosocial needs go unmet.

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Job Satisfaction Plays A Large Part in Employee Engagement

3911231181_6754709d83_z[We’re pleased to welcome Brad Shuck of University of Louisville. Brad recently published an article in Group & Organization Management entitled “Untangling the Predictive Nomological Validity of Employee Engagement: Decomposing Variance in Employee Engagement Using Job Attitude Measures” with co-authors Kim Nimon of University of Texas at Tyler and Drea Zigarmi of The Ken Blanchard Companies and the University of San Diego.]

Our interest in this work was driven by the need for practical understanding of the employee engagement construct in connection with precise theoretical positioning – we knew from growing citations in the literature that many scholars and practitioners are using employee engagement in their work, but there remained some level of confusion about what employee engagement was, and how it should be applied.

Of great interest to us was whether employee engagement was adding anything to the research literature or, if engagement was redundant as some scholars had suggested. We believed, based on our experience and understanding, that employee engagement did offer something unique from say, job satisfaction or organizational commitment, but beyond the primary use of bivariate relationships, no work had deconstructed the inner empirical makeup of the psychological construct. More, no one had graphed the theoretical structure of the relationships physically, so we took that task on. The purpose of our work was to examine the predictive nomological validity of employee engagement using a set of three job attitudes commonly linked to employee engagement – that, is we opened up the hood to explore its inner make-up.

Current Issue Cover

Roughly speaking, our findings suggested that that across two overall measures of engagement (the UWES and the JES), job satisfaction contributed the most unique variance to employee engagement, followed by job involvement, and organizational commitment. We were not surprised that job satisfaction contributed the most variance to employee engagement, but we were surprised that job involvement lacked almost any degree of emotion – rather, it functioned at a mostly cognitive level and was identify related, versus emotionally driven. The main finding from our work was that no 1st-order, 2nd-order, or 3rd-order commonality coefficients fully explained, stand-alone or in combination, all the variance in the two engagement measures. In fact, there remained a substantial amount of unexplained variance in each measurement (47% of the variance remained unexplained in the JES and 34% of the variance remains unexplained in the UWES-9). In short, this told us that engagement operated as a standalone construct and was not fully redundant with anyone job attitude or combination of job attitudes. We were not surprised by this finding, but we suspect that others might be.

Within this work, we see many possibilities for future research. First, there is no question that researchers will need to continually examine the underlying meaning and quality of measurement used in building the still emerging nomological network of engagement. We also see an opportunity to more fully explore the role of affect in the engagement construct and the job attitudes. For example, in our results, affect demonstrated noteworthy and interesting theoretical patterns. As such, one avenue for future research might focus toward disentangling affect as a common factor between like constructs and engagement. Research might fully examine how measures of affect (both positive and negative) operate in context with JS, JI, OC, and engagement and how indicators of performance might be connected. Finally – and what we think is one of the more novel outcomes of this work  – is the naming those spaces of joint common variance we uncovered. For example, in our work Coc.js explained the greatest amount of variance across both engagement scales, but what exactly is Coc.js? At present, research has not adequately explored such combinations and when paired together – such as the case with organizational commitment and job satisfaction – combined constructs might take on a new identity. For example, theoretically, when an employee is both satisfied with their work and committed to the organization, we might call that organizational contentment as the employee is both satiated and committed to the organization, making them more likely to express a state of overall organizational contentment. A construct called organizational contentment is all but absent in the research literature yet our results would indicate that this construct – whether we call it organizational contentment or something else – explains sizeable portions of variance in employee engagement.

As a final note, we hope or work brings about conversation and dialogue. This work has brought about many new questions for our team and, we know that only through dialogue and working together with other scholars can we really begin to understand what it means to be engaged and, how the experience of employee engagement unfolds overtime.

The abstract for the paper:

The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive nomological validity of employee engagement using a set of three job attitudes commonly linked to employee engagement. Prior research concerned with the nomological network of employee engagement has predominantly considered bivariate relationships, thus missing the opportunity to fully understand the intricate and interrelated relationship between employee engagement and job attitudes. Scale- and subscale-level correlations were obtained from a previously published set of survey responses (n = 1,580) to decompose employee engagement variance into orthogonal (i.e., non-overlapping) components associated with every possible combination of the three job attitude predictor set (2k − 1 = 7). Results suggested that across both overall measures, job satisfaction contributed the most unique variance to employee engagement, followed by job involvement and organizational commitment. Findings indicated that when applying employee engagement in both research and practice, care should be taken in scale selection across models—especially those involving such as constructs. This study provides evidence of the importance for considering a construct’s nomological network within the broader management and human resource–related literature. This research not only advances the theoretical and research understanding of employee engagement but also assists practitioners in deploying precise, well-crafted measures of engagement in the field.

You can read “Untangling the Predictive Nomological Validity of Employee Engagement: Decomposing Variance in Employee Engagement Using Job Attitude Measures” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

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*Office work image attributed to Carbon Tippy Toes (CC)

Does a Different Degree of Teamwork Exist in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations?

person-decision-1200502-mBehavioral scientists have found that teamwork is an indicator of job satisfaction. Jaime (2001) demonstrated that groups who use this participatory mechanism in their work not only improve in terms of productivity, quality and innovation, but enjoy greater job satisfaction as well. Additionally, Whitfield et al., (1995) found that operating as part of a team may have positive impacts on individual worker’s attitudes and beliefs, But is there a difference in the degree of teamwork in Indian public and private sector organizations? Jai Prakash Sharma and Naval Bajpai explore in their article “Teamwork a Key Driver in Organizations and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction of Employees in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations” from Global Business Review.

The abstract:

Despite an increasing number of studies on teamwork, no unifying work is focused on the measurement of the degree of difference in teamwork in a public sector organization home_coverand a private sector organization in the Indian context. Teamwork decreases job satisfaction, motivation and performance, and increases absenteeism and turnover intensions. We hypothesized that there is a significant difference in the degree of teamwork in public sector and private sector organization. Data were collected from 250 employees consisting of managerial and non-managerial staff from both public sector and private sector organizations. The results showed that employees in public sector organizations have a greater degree of teamwork in comparison to private sector employees. In addition job satisfaction increases or decreases with the increase or decrease in teamwork. The purpose of this study is to invoke teamwork in private sector organizations. Obtained results were in the line of the hypotheses. In terms of teamwork, a significant difference is noticed between public sector and private sector organizations. As expected, public sector employees have exhibited a higher degree of teamwork as compared to private sector employees. Most importantly, salary satisfaction is being proven as the catalyst for enhancing the job satisfaction level of employees.

You can click here to read “Teamwork a Key Driver in Organizations and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction of Employees in Indian Public and Private Sector Organizations” for free from Global Business Review. Want to know about all the latest research from Global Business Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

How Do Employees’ Perceptions of Workplace Fairness Affect Organizational Commitment?

[We’re pleased to welcome M. Ángeles López-Cabarcos of Universidad de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She collaborated with Ana Isabel Machado-Lopes-Sampaio-de Pinho and Paula Vázquez-Rodríguez on their article “The Influence of Organizational Justice and Job Satisfaction on Organizational Commitment in Portugal’s Hotel Industry,” which was recently published in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Employees’ identification with and involvement in their organization is very important in cqx covercompetitive environments like the hospitality industry, which is characterized as a service-oriented industry with high employee turnover. Because in the hotel industry it is necessary to adapt to customer’s needs, it is important to analyze the role that each employee plays in delivering the service. This is especially necessary considering that the employee is the first-hand representation for the customer of the organization’s vision. To achieve a higher level of service, managers need committed employees that promote the organization’s values, while providing a high-level of service quality, which in turn brings positive results for the organization. For this reason, research on employees´ organizational commitment is quite pertinent to aid the hotel industry in maximizing quality results. Furthermore, it is crucial that researchers identify specific variables that increase employee commitment in organizations. This is particularly important for the Portuguese hotel industry, as the hypothesized model has not been examined in this specific context.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

The special characteristics of the context can explain the results obtained: i) rewards and the justification and explanation of managerial decisions are not the only factors that influence the commitment of hospitality-industry employees; ii) if hospitality-industry employees are satisfied with their jobs, they are likely to develop affective and normative commitment; (iii) rewards received and the quality of interpersonal relationships can influence job satisfaction; (iv) in order to achieve employee commitment, managers should make a special effort to explain all the procedures and systems used to their employees and ensure that they are satisfied with their jobs; and v) job satisfaction is a key variable when it comes to obtaining employees with affective and normative commitment, also, rewards and interpersonal relationships are significant variables that result in satisfied employees.

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

Firstly, this study tries to make a contribution to the “increasingly crowded conceptual marketplace” (Pfeffer 1993), replicating some hypotheses supported in previous studies, and testing hypotheses supported previously but not in the context of the hospitality industry to shed light on relationships that have mixed findings in the literature. According to Davis (2010), this study is a “quasi-experiment” and the organizational results “need not be general, predictive or precise to be useful” (p. 33). The value of the present research lies in its substantive importance for the functioning of the Portuguese hotel industry rather than for its contribution to theory.

On the other hand, the hotel industry cannot aspire to high competitive levels of quality in service if its employees are not committed to it. Therefore, when employees are committed to their work, they can focus their energies on customer service and are more willing to help and cooperate. Hence, the major challenge of human resource management lies in studying, creating, and implementing appropriate management tools through which employees develop commitment to organizational objectives and integrate them into their own. So, future lines of research in hotel industry context should analyze the role of several control variables, other variables related to organizational commitment, as well as other possible moderators thereof. Other studies could be carried out in other geographical areas in order to offer more generalizable results across different regions.

Click here to read “The Influence of Organizational Justice and Job Satisfaction on Organizational Commitment in Portugal’s Hotel Industry” for free from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. Want to know when the latest research is available from Cornell Hospitality Quarterly? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

MALCM. Ángeles López Cabarcos, Ph.D. Business Administration by Santiago de Compostela University (Spain). Professor at Faculty of Business Administration (Santiago de Compostela University) and UOC. Her research interests focus on organizational behaviour, labour climate, human research management, and bullying at work.

Ana Isabel Machado-Lopes-Sampaio-de Pinho, Ph.D. Business Administration by Santiago de Compostela University (Spain). Professor at Instituto Superior da Maia (ISMAI) do Porto (Portugal). Her research interests focus on organizational behaviour, labour climate, human research management, and bullying at work.

PVRPaula Vázquez Rodríguez, Ph.D. Business Administration by Santiago de Compostela University (Spain). Professor at Faculty of Business Administration (Santiago de Compostela University). Her research interests focus on organizational behaviour, labour climate, human research management, and bullying at work.

How Does Corporate Ethics Affect Firm Performance?

Jinseok S. Chun of Seoul National University, Yuhyung Shin of Hanyang University, Jin Nam Choi of Seoul National University, and Min Soo Kim of Hanyang University published “How Does Corporate Ethics Contribute to Firm Financial Performance? The Mediating Role of Collective Organizational Commitment and Organizational Citizenship Behavior” in the Journal of Management May 2013 issue. The abstract:

Despite the increasing significance of corporate ethics, few studies have explored the intermediate mechanisms that explain the relationship between corporate ethics and firm financial performance. Drawing on institutional theory and strategic human resource management literature, the authors hypothesize that the internal collective processes based on employees’ collective organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) mediate the ethics–performance relationship at the organizational level. The authors’ hypotheses are tested using data collected from 3,821 employees from 130 Korean companies and the respective companies’ financial performance data. The resultJOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWs indicate that collective organizational commitment and interpersonal OCB are meaningful intervening processes that connect corporate ethics to firm financial performance. To complement prior studies that identify a firm’s reputation and external relations as mediators between corporate ethics and performance, the present study highlights the need to examine microprocesses occurring within the organization to account for the ethics–firm performance relationship. Moreover, the present demonstration of collective organizational commitment and OCB as meaningful predictors of a firm’s objective performance indicates the significance of these employee processes in explaining organizational-level outcomes.

Click here to read the paper, and find additional articles on ethics, organizational citizenship behavior, and other topics in the Journal of Management Editor’s Choice Collections.