Category Archives: Management

Under the radar: Regulatory collaborations and their selective use to facilitate organizational compliance

Vinit M Desai
Academy of Management Journal,Vol. 59, Issue 2, Pages: 636-657.

Why do organizations vary in complying with regulatory mandates? While some may resist these pressures, what to change or how to change it may be unclear even when managers do intend to fully comply. Though scarce in the literature, theories regarding how organizations search for and learn from information under uncertainty provide an ideal window through which to examine organizational responses to regulatory mandates and other external pressures. In this study, I adapt these theories to posit that organizations …
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How Technology Is Changing Work and Organizations

Wayne F. Cascio and Ramiro Montealegre
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Volume 3, pp. 349-375

Given the rapid advances and the increased reliance on technology, the question of how it is changing work and employment is highly salient for scholars of organizational psychology and organizational behavior (OP/OB). This article attempts to interpret the progress, direction, and purpose of current research on the effects of technology on work and organizations. After a review of key breakthroughs in the evolution of technology, we consider the disruptive effects of emerging information and communication technologies. We then examine numbers and types of jobs affected by developments in technology, and how this will lead to significant worker dislocation. To illustrate technology’s impact on work, work systems, and organizations, we present four popular technologies: electronic monitoring systems, robots, teleconferencing, and wearable computing devices. To provide insights regarding what we know about the effects of technology for OP/OB scholars, we consider the results of research conducted from four different perspectives on the role of technology in management. We also examine how that role is changing in the emerging world of technology. We conclude by considering approaches to six human resources (HR) areas supported by traditional and emerging technologies, identifying related research questions that should have profound implications both for research and for practice, and providing guidance for future research.

The search for global competence: From international HR to talent management

Wayne F. Cascio and John W. Boudreau
Journal of World Business, Volume 51, Issue 1, Pp. 103–114

This article describes the evolution of the search for global competence through a 50-year content analysis and review of published research in the field of International HR Management (IHRM), and more recently, Talent Management (TM), with special emphasis on the Journal of World Business. We present a detailed examination of the IHRM/TM content of the Journal of World Business from its inception in 1965 through 2014. To put the results of that review into perspective, we review key themes in global business and strategy from 1965 to the present, noting where IHRM/TM research and business trends correspond, diverge, and lag. Next, we present a brief history of IHRM and TM, showing how the emerging theme of TM offers challenges and promise for connecting future IHRM/TM research with emerging business, strategy, and social trends. We conclude with the implications of our findings for future research, and the importance of the search for global competence.

Organizational Oscillation between Learning and Forgetting: The Dual Role of Serious Errors

Pamela R. Haunschild, Francisco Polidoro Jr., David Chandler
Organization Science,Vol. 26, Issue 6, Pages: 1682-1701.

We know that organizations change over time as a result of their ability to learn and their tendency to forget. What we know less about, however, is why they might change back, despite evidence suggesting that this occurs. In this paper, we develop and test a model of organizational oscillation that explains why firms cycle through periods of learning and periods of forgetting. In particular, we identify a dual role for serious errors, which push firms toward a focus on safety while also pulling them away from other foci, such as efficiency or …
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Leader culpability, hopelessness, and learning during organizational crises

Sarah Kovoor-Misra, Paul Olk
Leadership & Organization Development Journal,Vol. 33 Issue 8, Pages: 990-1011
The purpose of this paper is to investigate followers judgments of leader culpability and learning during a crisis, and the extent to which judgments of culpability create hopelessness and reduce crisis learning. The authors also study factors that moderate these relationships.

An approach-inhibition model of employee silence: The joint effects of personal sense of power and target openness

Elizabeth W. Morrison, Kelly E. See, and Caitlin Pan
Personnel Psychology, Volume 68, Issue 3, Pp. 547–580

When employees consciously withhold potentially important suggestions or concerns from those who may be able to act on that information, it can have serious implications for organizational performance. Yet there is research suggesting that, when faced with the choice of whether or not to raise an issue, employees often choose to remain silent. Our objective in this paper is to expand current theoretical understanding of why employees often remain silent and of situational factors that can lessen this tendency. Drawing on the approach-inhibition theory of power, we argue that an employee’s personal sense that he or she is lacking in power in relation to others at work is a key factor contributing to the decision to remain silent but that this effect is moderated by perceived target openness. We took a multimethod approach, testing these relationships across 3 studies: a laboratory experiment, a survey study of healthcare workers, and a survey study of employees working across a wide range of industries. Our findings suggest that, although silence is indeed rooted in the psychological experience of powerlessness, perceived target openness mitigates this relationship, encouraging employee to speak up when they would not otherwise do so.

Learning through the Distribution of Failures within an Organization: Evidence from Heart Bypass Surgery Performance

Vinit Desai
Academy of Management Journal, Volume 58 Issue 4, p1032-1050

While research has suggested that organizations can improve by investigating and learning from failures, some work has found that they may generate incorrect lessons or fail to learn. This study addresses the debate by turning attention to the processes that underlie learning, using attribution theory to highlight the way in which decision makers interpret information about where failures occurred or who was involved. This approach is notable because it suggests that different organizations with similar experiences may have quite distinct reactions based on where that experience originates. Specifically, I predict that organizations learn less effectively when their failures are relatively concentrated in origin, meaning that failures typically involve a particular unit or even a specific individual, compared to when failures are more broadly dispersed. I also examine factors that intensify or ameliorate this effect, including an organization’s size or its performance relative to aspirations. I test related hypotheses on a panel of hospitals that offered a specific surgical procedure within California from 2003 through 2010.

Learning from Learning Theory: A Model of Organizational Adoption Strategies at the Microfoundations of Institutional Theory

David Chandler, and Hokyu Hwang
Journal of Management, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp. 1446-1476

In spite of recent interest in its microfoundations, institutional theory’s account of what, why, and when ideas diffuse remains limited and oversocialized. As such, it is unclear how firms decide what to adopt and how these decisions evolve across a population as innovations spread and become taken for granted. We review recent work in institutional theory on this issue and draw from learning theory to inform institutional accounts of adoption decisions in ways that add to current explanations of organizational heterogeneity. In particular, we develop a model of adoption strategies that explains how firms identify which practices to adopt by drawing on knowledge that is either local or distant (search scope) to understand what works and what does not (mindfulness). We then theorize how the decision to adopt is further conditioned by the extent of diffusion (temporal variation) and the characteristics of the field, organization, and innovation (decision context). We discuss the implications of this model for our understanding of how things diffuse and identify additional ways in which the microfoundations of institutional theory can be advanced by studying how organizations learn.

The Robust Beauty of “Little Ideas” The Past and Future of A Behavioral Theory of the Firm

David Maslach, Chengwei Liu, Peter Madsen, Vinit Desai
Journal of Management Inquiry,Vol. 24, Issue 3, Pages: 318-320.

This introductory and the following nine articles reflect comments made by panelists during a symposium honoring A Behavioral Theory of the Firm by Richard Cyert and James G. March at the 2013 Academy of Management meeting. Not surprisingly, what emerged from these comments is that the Behavioral Theory of the Firm (BTF) was enormously influential to the creation of many “little ideas” that have a big impact on a number of social sciences. More surprising is the potential for many new “little ideas” that build on the BTF. The panelists …
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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 …

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 …