The March Issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is Now Online!

The March issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is now available and can be read online for free for the next 30 days. This issue offers a range of compelling articles on organizational studies as well as astute book reviews.

The lead article, “Creativity from Constraint? How the Political Correctness Norm Influences Creativity in Mixed-sex Work Groups” was authored by Jack A. Goncalo, Jennifer A. Chatman, Michelle M. Duguid and Jessica A. Kennedy. You can read the abstract below:

As work organizations become increasingly gender diverse, existing theoretical models have failed to explain why such diversity can have a ASQ_v60n1_Mar2015_cover.inddnegative impact on idea generation. Using evidence from two group experiments, this paper tests theory on the effects of imposing a political correctness (PC) norm, one that sets clear expectations for how men and women should interact, on reducing interaction uncertainty and boosting creativity in mixed-sex groups. Our research shows that men and women both experience uncertainty when asked to generate ideas as members of a mixed-sex work group: men because they may fear offending the women in the group and women because they may fear having their ideas devalued or rejected. Most group creativity research begins with the assumption that creativity is unleashed by removing normative constraints, but our results show that the PC norm promotes rather than suppresses the free expression of ideas by reducing the uncertainty experienced by both sexes in mixed-sex work groups and signaling that the group is predictable enough to risk sharing more—and more-novel—ideas. Our results demonstrate that the PC norm, which is often maligned as a threat to free speech, may play an important role in promoting gender parity at work by allowing demographically heterogeneous work groups to more freely exchange creative ideas.

You can access the Table of Contents for this issue of Administrative Science Quarterly by clicking here. You can keep up-to-date on all the latest news and research from Administrative Science Quarterly by clicking here to sign up for e-alerts!

How To Work Effectively In Virtual Teams

Virtual teams are becoming more and more prevalent in the global business community. But they come with some unique challenges, for which business students often are not sufficiently prepared, experts say. To address this problem, an article in the latest issue of Small Group Research presents an experiential activity for undergrads in which students from around the world work together in a virtual team to bring these issues to light:

The goal of this VT [virtual team] experiential activity is to demonstrate to students how working in VTs can (a) be similar to working in FtF [face-to-face] teams, (b) have several advantages over FtF teams, and yet (c) present some unique challenges. Based on the results of student surveys completed prior to working on this activity, many of our students are uninformed about these issues given their lack of experience working in VTs. In fact, most students report that using technology to communicate is easy and that in the future, there will be little need for FtF communication. Students are also quick to point out that technology allows individuals to work on projects at times that are most convenient to their specific schedules and to seek assistance in real time rather than SGR_72ppiRGB_150pixwwaiting for a predetermined meeting time. Students also report that they foresee few limitations to working in virtual teams. While for some students these sentiments remain true even after participating in the VT activity, for others their perceptions are changed significantly after having the opportunity to work with geographically dispersed team members.

Continue reading the article, “Virtual Team Effectiveness: An Experiential Activity,” published by Lucy L. Gilson of the University of Connecticut, M. Travis Maynard of Colorado State University, and Erich B. Bergiel of the University of West Georgia in the Small Group Research August 2013 issue.

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The Top Five: Small Group Research

Managers and scholars interested in teamwork and team building, work groups, meeting success, and related topics will benefit from valuable findings in the five articles most read in the past month on Small Group Research. These articles—some new, some classic—are freely available to access using the links below through the end of March. Please share and enjoy!

Anthony T. Pescosolido and Richard Saavedra
Cohesion and Sports Teams: A Review
December 2012

SGR_72ppiRGB_150pixwEduardo Salas, Dana E. Sims, and C. Shawn Burke
Is there a “Big Five” in Teamwork?
October 2005

Simone Kauffeld and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock
Meetings Matter: Effects of Team Meetings on Team and Organizational Success
April 2012

Tanja Hentschel, Meir Shemla, Jürgen Wegge, and Eric Kearney
Perceived Diversity and Team Functioning: The Role of Diversity Beliefs and Affect
February 2013

Cameron Klein, Deborah Diaz Granados, Eduardo Salas, Huy Le, C. Shawn Burke, Rebecca Lyons, and Gerald F. Goodwin
Does Team Building Work?
April 2009

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How to Run Effective, Successful Meetings

Editor’s note: When the article originally appeared in SGR‘s OnlineFirst collection, Professor Kauffeld kindly provided further background on the article, including the three most surprising things about the study’s findings. Read the Q&A here.

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Are you tired of unproductive meetings? Here’s how to make the most of meeting time and boost your team’s productivity.

Using results obtained from real organizations, a study in Small Group Research (SGR) examined participants’ interactions and communication behaviors during meetings—some functional, some not—to find the formula for success.

Simone Kauffeld and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, both of Technische Universität Braunschweig, published “Meetings Matter: Effects of Team Meetings on Team and Organizational Success” in SGR‘s April 2012 Special Issue on Organizational Meetings. Click here to view the Table of Contents.

The abstract:

This study follows the idea that the key to understanding team meeting effectiveness lies in uncovering the microlevel interaction processes throughout the meeting. Ninety-two regular team meetings were videotaped. Interaction data were coded and evaluated with the act4teams coding scheme and INTERACT software. Team and organizational success variables were gathered via questionnaires and telephone interviews. The results support the central function of interaction processes as posited in the traditional input-process-output model. Teams that showed more functional interaction, such as problem-solving interaction and action planning, were significantly more satisfied with their meetings. Better meetings were associated with higher team productivity. Moreover, constructive meeting interaction processes were related to organizational success 2.5 years after the meeting. Dysfunctional communication, such as criticizing others or complaining, showed significant negative relationships with these outcomes. These negative effects were even more pronounced than the positive effects of functional team meeting interaction. The results suggest that team meeting processes shape both team and organizational outcomes. The critical meeting behaviors identified here provide hints for group researchers and practitioners alike who aim to improve meeting success.

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