Category Archives: Management

Strategic HRM: Too Important for an Insular Approach

Wayne F. Cascio
Human Resource Management, Volume 54, Issue 3, May/June 2015, Pp. 423–426

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is the choice, alignment, and integration of an organization’s HRM system so its human capital resources most effectively contribute to strategic business objectives. Kaufman’s review (this issue) of four books in the field revealed key differences in two areas: the intended audience (academics and general managers versus researchers only) and orientation (the use of field observer and participant observation methods versus ivory tower scientism). Overemphasis on the latter produces research that is relevant only to academics and that is not used in organizations. I argue, as have others, that in addition to rigor, a successful scientific discipline must prove itself relevant to the society in which it is embedded. Hence, the objectives of SHRM should be twofold: to influence academic thinking and conceptualizing, but also to alter the way managers set priorities and make decisions. To do that, researchers have to work directly with managers. The challenge is to create models that reflect a broader view of performance as well as more complete taxonomies of internal and external factors that help shape business and HR strategies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Why Institutions Matter: Stakeholder Attention to Organizational Ethics Commitments

David Chandler
Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies), Volume 44, March 2015, Pages 201-235

This paper investigates the substance of institutions in the context of business ethics. In particular, I test a theory of stakeholder attention to resource commitments by firms that implement the Ethics and Compliance Officer (ECO) position, from 1990 to 2008. Results support the hypothesized curvilinear relationship between resource commitments and stakeholder attention À while both high and low levels of ECO implementation generate low levels of reported ethics transgressions (the former due to good firm behavior and the …

Training Engagement Theory A Multilevel Perspective on the Effectiveness of Work-Related Training

Traci Sitzmann, Justin M Weinhardt
Journal of Management, In Press

Training engagement theory provides a multilevel depiction of the antecedents of training effectiveness. By multilevel, we are referring both to the hierarchical nature of constructs—such that employees are embedded in organizations and workgroups—and the temporal nature of processes—emphasizing that macro and within-person processes are not static phenomena. The hierarchical nature of training engagement theory provides a broad account of how processes at various levels in the organizational hierarchy influence one another and contribute to the success or failure of training programs. The temporal nature of the theory advocates for examining the processes that occur from before training is conceptualized until the completion of training when examining the antecedents of training effectiveness. Thus, training engagement theory proposes a sequence model of the independent and joint effects of establishing training goals, prioritizing those goals, and persisting during goal striving on training effectiveness. Finally, we propose testable multilevel propositions to spur future research.

The survey effect: Does administering surveys affect trainees’ behavior?

Traci Sitzmann, Mo Wang
Learning and Individual Differences, Volume 37, January 2015,  Pages 1-12

This research demonstrates a survey effect, such that the act of administering  surveys alters training effectiveness. Two aspects of survey administration were  manipulated: the number of survey questions per training module (ranged from 1 to 30  across experimental conditions) and the type of survey questions (self-regulation or trainee reactions) across two studies focusing on self-administered online training. The number of survey questions had an indirect, negative effect on learning via the amount of time spent …

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Strategic Perspective

David Chandler
Business Expert Press, November 2014

The goal of this project is to detail the core, defining principles of strategic CSR that differentiate it as a concept from the rest of the CSR/sustainability/business ethics field. It is designed to be a provocative piece, but one that solidifies the intellectual framework around an emerging concept–strategic CSR. The foundation for these principles comes from my perspective as a management professor within the business school. As such, it is a pragmatic philosophy, oriented around stakeholder theory, that is designed to persuade …

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful: Acknowledging appearance mitigates the “beauty is beastly” effect

Stefanie K Johnson, Traci Sitzmann, Anh Thuy Nguyen
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 125 Issue 2, November 2014, Pages 184-192

Physically attractive women are discriminated against when applying for masculine sex-typed jobs, a phenomenon known as the beauty is beastly  effect. We conducted three studies to establish an intervention for mitigating the beauty is beastly effect and to determine mediators and moderators of the intervention. As expected, physically attractive women were rated higher in employment suitability when they acknowledged that their sex or physical appearance is incongruent with the typical applicant for a masculine sex-typed

Learning to Behave Badly: Performance Feedback and Illegal Organizational Action

Vinit Desai
Industrial and Corporate Change, Volume 23, Issue 5, Pp. 1327-1355.

Two perspectives predict how organizational performance influences illegal action. First, poor performance creates tension, leading decision makers to repair the gap through any means necessary. However, strong performance also bolsters risky behavior, possibly leading to violations. To integrate these perspectives, I suggest that performance evaluation provides only the motive to commit illegal action and that decision makers also require an opportunity to do so. I extend organizational learning theory by suggesting that managers in organizations performing far from expectations may evaluate information about the potential success of illegal acts, and I examine whether they use this information to time violations.

Examining project commitment in cross-functional teams: Antecedents and relationship with team performance

Kyle Ehrhardt, Janice S. Miller, Sarah J. Freeman, and Peter W. Hom
Journal of Business and Psychology, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 443–461

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test a model positing both antecedents and consequences of project commitment for members of cross-functional teams. Signaling theory and previous research guided study hypotheses.

Design/Methodology/Approach: We collected primary data from 142 team members and 31 team leaders across 24 cross-functional product development teams nested within six manufacturing organizations in the US and Canada.

Findings: Findings suggest that project commitment among team members is an important driver of team performance as rated by the team leader. In addition, several factors contribute toward shaping project commitment among cross-functional team members, including team leaders’ encouragement of self-expectation, as well as team members’ perceptions of an organization’s support for the team project.

Implications: Cross-functional teams are often charged with completing projects critical to the profitability, growth, and even survival of a firm. Especially as we show that members’ project commitment is a meaningful predictor of team performance, managers may draw insight from study results as to what actions may be taken to promote the development of this important psychological state among members of cross-functional teams.

Originality/Value: Use of cross-functional teams for accomplishing a wide variety of firm objectives is becoming commonplace in organizations. Although theorized as an important construct in cross-functional team settings, empirical examinations of the nature and implications of project commitment have been limited. By examining both antecedents and potential team performance consequences of project commitment in multiple organizations, we contribute toward filling this gap.

Organizational Susceptibility to Institutional Complexity: Critical Events Driving the Adoption and Implementation of the Ethics & Compliance Officer Position

David Chandler
Organization Science, Volume 25 Issue 6, August 2014, Pages 1722-1743

The institutional environment is complex. This complexity is characterized by forces that ebb and flow in wavelike patterns as societal expectations evolve, with attention coalescing around specific events and then dissipating. Some of these critical events are broad and affect many firms, whereas others are narrow and affect individual firms. In either case, when they occur, these events elevate organizational susceptibility to societal demands but encourage different kinds of behavior in response. This study seeks to model this complexity in an area of growing interest for organization scholars—business ethics. In particular, I examine how firms respond to shifting societal pressures for greater ethical behavior by adopting and implementing the Ethics and Compliance Officer position, from 1990 to 2008. Results demonstrate that although firms decide when to adopt in response to broad fieldwide critical events, it is narrower firm-specific critical events that determine resource commitments in implementation.

The paradox of seduction by irrelevant details: How irrelevant information helps and hinders self-regulated learning

Traci Sitzmann, Stefanie Johnson
Learning and Individual Differences, Volume 34 Aigist 2014, Pages 1-11

Instructors often rely on seductive details, such as jokes, stories, and video clips, to keep trainees entertained. However, this extraneous information may inadvertently detract from the course content, and the between-person nature of past research precludes understanding the dynamic process by which seductive details influence learning. Using a
repeated measures field study, we found that seductive details indirectly improved learning performance by reducing negative affect and indirectly hindered learning performance by …

Morals, Markets, and Values-based Businesses

David Chandler
Academy of Management Review, Volume 39 Issue 3, July 2014, Pages 396-406.

Institutional theory tells us that institutions “matter”(Powell, 1996: 297). They matter because they are powerful predictors of action, both enabling and constraining actors within socially constructed ranges of acceptable behavior (Greenwood, Oliver, Sahlin-Andersson, & Suddaby, 2008). In spite of the importance of demonstrating that institutions matter, however, institutional theory can be less helpful in terms of explaining why institutions are so influential. In particular, there is still much work to be done to investigate the values on …

Imitate Others? Not if We Have the Chance: Competitive Differentiation in Medical Malpractice Insurers’ Pricing Decisions under Uncertainty

Vinit M. Desai
British Journal of Management, Volume 25, Issue 3, Pp. 589–606

Several perspectives assert that organizations facing uncertainty tend to imitate other organizations’ actions. While one might therefore expect to see great homogeneity across fields characterized by uncertainty, it is surprising that this homogeneity has not been observed more frequently in practice. Research investigating this puzzle has typically focused on the role played by organizational characteristics or the information organizations possess about their environments. Instead, this study turns attention to the information others possess about the organization. To that end, I disaggregate organizational uncertainty into the uncertainty facing decision makers and the uncertainty faced by others about what those decision makers might ultimately do, providing a more fine grained analysis of uncertainty and its impact on competitive action than typically offered in this literature. I suggest that uncertainty in competitors’ evaluations of the organization provides an opportunity for the organization to differentiate itself rather than imitate others. I also suggest that this effect is stronger than the effects of the uncertainty facing the decision makers themselves. Related hypotheses are tested on a panel of medical malpractice insurance providers. The study’s perspective generates unique predictions regarding imitation and differentiation in this industry and across other contexts featuring both uncertainty and competition.

Does disclosure matter? Integrating organizational learning and impression management theories to examine the impact of public disclosure following failures

Vinit M Desai
Strategic Organization, vol. 12 no. 2, May 2014, pp. 85-108

The typically disparate literatures on organizational learning and impression management have both separately sought to examine how organizations respond following failure, with the former asking how organizations learn from these events and the latter investigating how organizations use public disclosures to manage perceptions following these events. This study integrates these perspectives to ask how disclosures might impact learning through failure. The study distinguishes between major and minor failures, asserting that public disclosures exert a distinct influence on learning through either form of experience. Related hypotheses are tested on failures arising within the US air-traffic control system. Although no support is obtained for predictions about major failures, the study finds that facilities can learn through minor failures but the process is impeded by public disclosures, suggesting the notable influence that these disclosures have over audiences’ perceptions of the organization or its role in these events. This approach addresses a longstanding tension regarding why some organizations learn more effectively than others by emphasizing how organizations shape interpretations of their experience.

Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders, Globalization, and Sustainable Value Creation

David Chandler, William B. Werther Jr
Sage Publications, Inc., 2014

Blending theory with practical application, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, Third Edition is a comprehensive CSR and strategy text. As such, it supports courses taught either as standalone electives or as core components of the business school curriculum across all discipline areas. Integral to the book’s unique format is its mix of theory and practical application divided into two parts. After five chapters that provide an overview of the field, core concepts, and practical challenges, the second half of the book illustrates the …

Talent management: Current theories and future research directions

Akram Al Ariss, Wayne F. Cascio, and Jaap Paauwe
Journal of World Business, Volume 49, Issue 2, P. 173–179

Research on Talent Management (TM) has been lagging behind businesses in offering vision and leadership in this field. After sketching a comprehensive outline of knowledge about TM, theoretical as well as practical, we introduce the papers in this special issue and their important contributions. This introductory article contributes to filling the knowledge gap by offering a research agenda at multiple levels and in multiple contexts. We also discuss methodological issues in the study of TM, and conclude by identifying several key trends that are now, and will continue to influence the practice and study of TM in the future.

Leveraging employer branding, performance management and human resource development to enhance employee retention

Wayne F. Cascio
Human Resource Development International, Volume 17, Issue 2, Pp. 121-128

Global economic recovery from years of depressed growth has accelerated voluntary turnover, along with employer concerns about retention. More employers are also promoting from within their ranks, and this has put growing emphasis on HRD and career-development initiatives. This article argues that the biggest winners in this emerging economic environment, at least from a talent perspective, are organizations with positive employer brands, performance management strategies that help employees develop expertise that maximizes their potential, and innovative approaches to the design and delivery of HRD initiatives, especially technology-delivered instruction (e.g., mobile and virtual applications, simulations, MOOCs) and social-learning tools (e.g., wikis, communities of practice, social media). These strategies are by no means exhaustive, but they are three key elements of employee retention.

The Impact of Media Information on Issue Salience Following Other Organizations’ Failures

Vinit M. Desai
Journal of Management, vol. 40 no. 3, March 2014, pp. 893-918

Research on organizational decision making seeks to understand how external events shape how organizational decision makers attend to particular issues and allocate scarce resources across the organization’s activities. The author investigates whether supplemental information available to decision makers about their own and other organizations impacts this process. He finds that media coverage about particular issues following failures throughout the field can influence decisions regarding resource allocation and that coverage about other organizations may in some cases be more influential than coverage about the focal firm. The study and its findings forward our understanding regarding how organizations scan their environments and how multiple, interacting forms of external information may collectively influence internal organizational processes.

Investing in HRD in Uncertain Times Now and in the Future

Wayne F. Cascio
Advances in Developing Human Resources February 2014 vol. 16 no. 1, pp. 108-122

The Problem We live in uncertain times, exacerbated by many direct and indirect effects of the global financial crisis. However, there is a lack of understanding about how human resource development (HRD) is responding to the global financial crisis or how HRD scholars and practitioners can best respond to these new realities and thus successfully ensure the future of HRD.

The Solution To appreciate the future, it is critical to understand the past. Thus, this reflective piece outlines several factors that have caused, and continue to cause, uncertainty in the global economy, including structural changes in labor markets and developments in technology. A literature review revealed several HRD responses of firms to these new realities. These include technology-delivered instruction and social-learning tools. The article concludes by identifying characteristics of effective training and examines some distinctive practices of three firms that have been recognized as the global best in class for their leadership-development efforts.

The Stakeholders
Scholars and practitioners interested in the HRD, technology-delivered instruction, and social-learning fields.