Job Satisfaction and Work Climate: New Collections from GOM!

GOM_Feb_2016.inddGroup & Organization has added two new article collections to the Editor’s Choice Collections. The new Job Satisfaction collection offers a selection of interesting articles that explore topics like career plateauing, internal job transitions, and the effect of leader humor on job satisfaction.

The new Work Climate collection delves into workplace research, including papers on workplace boredom, personality as a predictor of climate, and the impact of bad behavior in groups. In the article “The Psychological Benefits of Creating an Affirming Climate for Workplace Diversity,” authors Donna Chrobot-Mason and Nicholas P. Aramovich try to identify how workplace diversity can lead to positive outcomes. The abstract from their paper:

Workforce diversity has been described as a double-edged sword; it has the potential for positive and negative outcomes. To better understand why and how diversity leads to positive outcomes, we examined the relationship between employee perceptions of diversity climate perceptions and intent to turnover. We explored the role of four psychological outcome variables (organizational commitment, climate for innovation, psychological empowerment, and identity freedom) as possible mediators of this relationship. Racial and gender subgroup differences were also examined. Survey data were collected from 1,731 public employees. Findings suggest that when employees perceive equal access to opportunities and fair treatment, intent to turn over decreases. Furthermore, these relationships are significantly mediated by psychological outcomes. Implications for diversity management and training are discussed.

6983317491_e8d8440af8_zIn addition, new articles have been added to Group & Organization Management‘s other collections, including the Editor’s Choice collection on Creativity & Innovation. New articles to this collection explore the impact of job complexity, team culture, and interaction on the creative process. In the article “Defining Creative Ideas: Toward a More Nuanced Approach,” authors Robert C. Litchfield, Lucy L. Gilson, and Paul W. Gilson distinguish types of creative ideas to better understand the creative process. The abstract from their paper:

Organizational creativity research has focused extensively on distinguishing creativity from routine, non-creative work. In this conceptual article, we examine the less considered issue of variation in the type of creative ideas. Starting from the premise that creativity occurs along a continuum that can range from incremental to radical, we propose that unpacking variation in the mix of novelty and two common conceptions of usefulness—feasibility and value—results in seven meaningfully different types of creativity. We group these types of creativity into four creative continua scaled according to novelty to provide an organizing framework for future research.

To celebrate Group & Organization Managements new collections and articles, we have opened all of the articles in the Job Satisfaction, Work Climate, and Creativity & Innovation collections for the next 60 days. Interested in Group & Organization‘s other Editor’s Choice collections? Click here.  Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organization? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Family image credited to dbking (CC)

Book Review: The Problem with Work

The Problem with Work

The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Kathi Weeks; Durham: Duke University Press, 2011, 304 pp., $23.95 ISBN 978-0-8003-5112-2

Eugene P. Coyle of Eugene P. Coyle & Assoc. recently took the time to review the book in Review of Radical Political EconomicsFrom the review:

“Why do we work so long and so hard?” Professor Weeks opens this important and powerful book with questions about work that are not much addressed in political science or in mainstream economics. And she goes on to note that “. . . the fact that at present one must work to ‘earn aliving’ is taken as part of the natural order rather than a social convention” (3)…

RRPE 2015Weeks has a gift for summarizing political choices as aphorisms. In considering a politics of work as distinct from a politics of class, for example, she concludes “A politics of work, on the other hand, takes aim at an activity rather than an identity, and a central component of daily life rather than an outcome” (18). Later, in supporting her demands as preferable to what she acknowledges as impressive campaigns for a living wage, she says “. . . I am interested in demands that would not only advance concrete reforms of work but would also raise broader questions about the place of work in our lives and spark the imagination of a life no longer subordinate to it – demands that would serve as vectors rather than terminal points” (33). But I am getting ahead of the story.

You can read the full review from Review of Radical Political Economics by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!

Are Academics Too Serious?

paper-emotions---ease-1158075-mLast December, President Obama said in an interview with talk-show host Steve Harvey that “You can’t take yourself too seriously.” The president went on to say that while he takes his job seriously, he survives the stress of it by laughing often with his team. Author Charles C. Manz suggests in his article from Journal of Management Inquiry titled “Let’s Get Serious! … Really?” that this concept holds true for researchers as well and should be put into practice.

The abstract:

As academics, we do work that is both serious and significant. Yet, being too seriousJMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint can interfere with our performance and enjoyment of the knowledge creation and dissemination work we do as researchers and educators. In this essay, I call for some reflection on the value of not being too serious. I offer some stories and simple prescriptions in the spirit of pursuing career and life balance, personal effectiveness, and, just as importantly, fun as a not-too-serious academic scholar.

Does Working From Home Work?

When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer this February banned her employees from working from home, an uproar ensued in the business community. Supporters of workplace flexibility – including telecommuting, flexible schedules, job sharing and more – suggest that it leads to increased job satisfaction and other benefits. But does it instead blur the line between business and personal lives, creating a “never-ending work week” that threatens work-life balance? A new study published in the Journal of Management Inquiry asks women business owners, who have the freedom to work when and where they choose, this very question:

JMI_72ppiRGB_150pixwWe saw that when the participants took time off during ordinary work hours to attend to nonwork-related responsibilities, they felt obligated to work more prior to the break or make up the time afterward. Flexibility is only an advantage if it sometimes enables a person to sacrifice work activities to nonwork obligations; otherwise, the imbalance always favors working more. When work becomes the fulcrum around which lives are organized, family, home, leisure, and all else are subordinated.

Click here to read “Living in a Culture of Overwork: An Ethnographic Study of Flexibility” by Kristina A. Bourne and Pamela J. Forman, both of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. The study is forthcoming in the Journal of Management Inquiry and now available in the journal’s OnlineFirst section.

A Passion for Work: Part 1 of 5

Every manager wants to increase employee engagement. But there’s a difference between being engaged and being truly passionate about your job–and the employee with a passion for the work is the one who will make a difference in the organization.

Work passion has been defined by the Ken Blanchard leadership training companies as “the positive emotional state of mind resulting from perceptions of worthwhile work, autonomy, collaboration, growth, fairness, recognition, connectedness to colleagues, and connectedness to leader.” This week, we’ll highlight research exploring the ways that management scholars and practitioners can increase their passion for the job and, in the process, their own life satisfaction and the quality of their contributions to the field.

JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpointFor our first installment, we turn the page to a Journal of Management Inquiry article published by Shelley Brickson of the University of Illinois, Chicago, in the June 2011 issue, “Confessions of a Job Crafter: How We Can Increase the Passion Within and the Impact of Our Profession“:

Job crafting, engaging in practices that alter our jobs for the better, has enormous potential to enliven scholars and to enhance our field’s societal impact. Drawing upon a personal tale, I outline various job crafting techniques in which I have engaged and note how these practices have transformed the level of satisfaction I feel for my job, profession, and life, while also enriching the quality of my research and teaching contributions. As profoundly positive as has been my experience with job crafting, I have also encountered some significant systemic obstacles. For the tenured, such obstacles would likely be frustrating, constraining passion and undermining contributions. For the untenured, many become pitfalls that can endanger careers. I address some of the obstacles that I encountered while engaging in job crafting practices, framing them in terms of what we can do to remove them. I am optimistic that, collectively, we can dramatically diminish and even abolish the obstacles outlined here for the benefit of scholars, the field, and society.

Read the complete article in the Journal of Management Inquiry, and click here to be notified about new research from the journal, which 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.

Women and Work-Life Balance

Shortly after Marissa Mayer’s appointment this week as CEO of Yahoo, news of her pregnancy opened a new chapter in the work-life debate. Today, we offer context with perspectives on gender roles, women in leadership, and work-family balance. We hope you’ll find this selection interesting and useful.

Gary N. Powell of the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey H. Greenhaus of Drexel University published “Sex, Gender, and Decisions at the Family → Work Interface” in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Management:

We explore whether sex differences in work-domain decisions can be explained by family-domain factors and whether the effect of family-domain factors on work decisions is different for women and men. We believe that answers to these questions can provide important insights into the role of sex in the interplay between family and work lives.

Athena Perrakis and Cynthia Martinez, both of the University of San Diego, published “In Pursuit of Sustainable Leadership: How Female Chairs With Children Negotiate Personal and Professional Roles” in the May 2012 issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources.

The lived experiences of the women in this study indicate complex tensions between personal and professional roles. Childcare and home responsibilities were the primary factors that complicated or derailed efforts to achieve work–life balance.

Frank L. Giancola, HR researcher and writer, published “Can the Work–Life Movement Regain Its Balance?” in the September/October 2011 issue of Compensation & Benefits Review. See also our five-part series on work-life balance.

The work–life discipline of human resources (HR) management has been in a period of transformation for the past decade. This fact may have eluded many people in the business world, since the key reasons behind the transformation and the new direction are not widely known outside work–life circles.

Are you interested in receiving email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available online? Then click here!

Part 5 of 5: What are the Current and Future Implications for a “Work-Life Balance?”

Today we’re continuing our special series of posts on Work-Life Balance. We hope you find the series insightful and thought-provoking.

What are the current and future implications for a “Work-Life Balance?” See the articles below to see what management researchers have to say.

Frank L. Giancola, HR Researcher and Writer, published “Can the Work-Life Movement Regain Its Balance?” in the September/October 2011 issue of Compensation & Benefits Review.

The work–life discipline has been in a period of transformation in recent years for two reasons—no growth in the prevalence of major work–life programs and a decline in the number of work–life specialists. To reinvigorate the field, work–life leaders have changed its signature term, charter and organizational change strategies. The transformation’s success is doubtful because of disagreement over a central premise, a vast and disjointed charter that infringes on other human resources disciplines, and movement into the field by a stronger rival. It will survive, but in a smaller form, based primarily on the concept of workplace flexibility.

Karen J. Crooker, University of Wisconsin–Parkside, Faye L. Smith, Emporia State University, and Filiz Tabak, Towson University, published “Creating Work-Life Balance: A Model of Pluralism across Life Domains” in the December 2002 issue of Human Resource Development Review.

This article develops a theoretical framework that explains how life complexity and dynamism affect work-life balance. The authors explain the moderating effects of munificence and accessibility of resources in one’s life as well as the personality differences and individual value systems on the relationship between life complexity/dynamism and work-life balance. The analysis leads to implications for future research and practice.

Paula J. Caproni, University of Michigan, published “Work/Life Balance: You Can’t Get There From Here” in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

In this article, I contend that the well-intentioned discourse of work/life balance in the popular and scholarly press actually may undermine women’s and men’s attempts to live fulfilling lives. Drawing on feminist and critical perspectives, as well as my own efforts to find “balance” in a two-career family with two children under the age of 4, I illustrate (a) how the work/life discourse reflects the individualism, achievement orientation, and instrumental rationality that is fundamental to modern bureaucratic thought and action and (b) how such discourse may further entrench people in the work/life imbalance that they are trying to escape.

Michael Lane Morris and Susan R. Madsen published “Advancing Work-Life Integration in Individuals, Organizations, and Communities” in the November 2007 issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources.

The problem and the solution. Working adults report they experience greater challenges today in their ability to be productive employees, experience personal and interpersonal health and wellbeing, and make meaningful contributions as citizens to their respective communities. By better understanding work–life theory and research, human resource development professionals can contribute to the strategic development of policies, practices, programs, and interventions that appear to alleviate or ameliorate demands fostering greater work–life integration. Integration is a solution representing a holistic strategy including effective and efficient coordination of efforts and energies among all stakeholders sharing interest and benefits from workers being able to fulfill their personal,work, family, and community obligations.

Thank you for your continued interest in our themed week: “Work-life Balance!”

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