Organization and Management Abstracts

"A place in the world: Vulnerability, wellbeing, and the ubiquitous evaluation that animates participation in institutional processes"

Professor(s): Gerardo Okhuysen
Co-author(s): W. E. Douglas Creed, Bryant Ashley Hudson, and Kristin Smith-Crowe
Accepted at: Academy of Management Review (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

We explain how and why people become motivated to participate in institutional processes. Responding to recent efforts to address the micro and meso in institutional analysis, we introduce two interrelated constructs, a person’s embodied world of concern and a community’s shared world of concern, which shape how people experience, evaluate, and participate in institutional arrangements. The world of concern, which is the product of people’s sedimented experiences of thriving and suffering, becomes the basis for their commitments to antagonisms towards certain social arrangements. The world of concern, as a lens, sheds light on the complex ways the macro, meso, and micro levels are co-implicated in constructing commitments and attachments that animate action in institutional arenas by providing a new metaphor, one that links the realism of participant concerns to the micro dynamics that underpin institutions. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these ideas for future research.

"Show me the … family: How photos of meaningful relationships reduce unethical behavior at work"

Professor(s): Professor Christopher W. Bauman
Co-author(s): Ashley E. Hardin and David M. Mayer
Accepted at: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Despite scholarly understanding of how individual differences and social aspects of situations influence unethical behavior, our understanding of how the physical environment within work organizations influences unethical behavior is less developed. In this paper, we examine a common but overlooked aspect of workspaces: photos of loved ones. Drawing on the literatures on symbols at work and behavioral ethics, we theorize that having photos of close others in sight decreases the hegemony of an economic schema in people’s minds, which in turn decreases their propensity to commit unethical behavior, specifically financial transgressions. Supporting our theory, a field survey and three experiments examined the effect of photos on financial cheating behavior and provided evidence of the relationship in the workplace, the causal direction of the effect, and the mechanism responsible for driving this relationship. We discuss implications of the results for the literatures on behavioral ethics, symbols at work, and work-life integration.

"A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationship Between Dispositional Gratitude and Well-Being"

Professor(s): Doctoral Candidate Florencio Portocarrero
Co-author(s): Katerina Gonzalez and Michael Ekema-Agbaw
Accepted at: Personality and Individual Differences

What is the impact of dispositional gratitude on well-being? By synthesizing the literature, we evaluate the association between dispositional gratitude and mental well-being as a function of its various categories (i.e., positive, negative), dimensions (i.e., subjective, psychological), and indicators (e.g., life satisfaction, happiness, stress). Our meta-analytic aggregation of 404 effect sizes from 158 independent samples (N = 100,099) provides evidence that dispositional gratitude is moderately to strongly correlated with well-being, and that the strength of these associations varies by the indicator of well-being examined. We also evaluate potential moderators (i.e., religiosity, individualistic orientation, age, gender, dispositional gratitude measure, and sample type) of the association between dispositional gratitude and well-being. We find that countrylevel individualistic orientation, sample mean age, and sample type (i.e., clinical vs. nonclinical) present moderating effects for several of the relationships examined. We conclude the paper by presenting avenues for future research.

"Incivility, Workplace Communication, Rudeness, Email and Performance Evaluation"

Professor(s): Distinguished Professor Emerita Jone L. Pearce
Co-Author(s): Sarah Lyon (Merage PhD '14), Kimberly McCarthy (Merage PhD '14), and John Morton (Merage PhD '19)
Accepted at: Organization and Management Journal

In this study, we provide evidence that exposure to email rudeness has a negative effect on individual task performance. We found that email rudeness does not just affect self-reported attitudinal outcomes such as organizational commitment and job satisfaction, but is also detrimental to task performance. Our results also indicate that individuals exposed to email rudeness perform worse on the same task than those exposed to face-to-face rudeness, contrary to the intuitive expectation that face-to-face rudeness to be more distressing. In addition, we find powerful effects of cyber incivility on uninvolved third parties. Our findings are consistent with the argument that exposure to rudeness reduces the powerful normative restraint displayed by individuals to provide favorable feedback to others. We show that participants in both the email rudeness and face-to-face rudeness conditions gave less favorable evaluations of uninvolved others after being treated rudely. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that the negative consequences of exposure to rudeness may damage organizations extensively, and that rudeness can facilitate a vicious circle of poor performance and lower evaluations of others' performance.

"The Hidden Cost of Worker Turnover: Attributing Product Reliability to the Turnover of Factory Workers"

Professor(s): Professor Patrick Bergemann
Co-Author(s): Ken Moon, Prashant Loyalka and Joshua Cohen
Accepted at: Management Science (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

Product reliability is a key concern for manufacturers. We examine worker turnover as a significant but under-recognized determinant of product reliability. Our study collects and integrates (1) data reporting factory worker staffing and turnover from within a major consumer electronics producer’s supply chain and (2) traceable data reporting the component quality and field failures—i.e., replacements and repairs—of nearly 50M consumer mobile devices over four years of customer usage. Devices are individually traced back to the factory conditions and staffing, down to the assembly line-week, under which they were produced. Despite the manufacturer’s extensive quality-control efforts, each percentage-point increase in the weekly rate of workers quitting from an assembly line (its weekly worker turnover) is found to increase field failures by 0.74-0.79%. In the high-turnover weeks following paydays, eventual field failures are strikingly 10.2% more common than for devices produced during the lowest turnover weeks immediately before paydays. In other weeks, the assembly lines experiencing higher turnover produce an estimated 2-3% more field failures on average. The associated costs amount to hundreds of millions USD. We demonstrate that staffing and retaining a stable factory workforce critically underlies product reliability and showcase the value of traceability coupled with connected workplace and product data in supply chain operations.

"Overcoming Conflict between Symmetric Occupations: How “Creatives” and “Suits” use Gender Ordering in Advertising"

Professor(s): Professor Sharon Koppman
Co-Author(s): Beth A. Bechky and Andrew C. Cohen
Accepted at: Academy of Management Journal (Journal on Financial Times Top 50 list)

In knowledge-based organizations, conflict among interdependent occupations can be exacerbated by the absence of a clear hierarchical ordering of these occupations within the organization. Moreover, given women’s inroads into some traditionally male-dominated occupations but not others, these workplaces are increasingly horizontally gender segregated. In this paper, we study how members of these symmetric and segregated occupations manage conflict in U.S. advertising agencies through the case of relationships between ‘creatives’ (copywriters, designers, and creative directors) and ‘suits’ or account practitioners (account executives, strategists, and managers). Creatives and suits are at the same organizational level in their agencies. While creatives are primarily men, suits, traditionally also men, are now primarily women. Drawing on participant observation in five different U.S. advertising agencies and over 100 interviews, we show how creatives and account practitioners use gender ordering to overcome jurisdictional conflict. These practices are grounded in enacting essentialist gender differences that transform symmetric occupational relationships into hierarchical ones by embedding the gender hierarchy. We find that while gender ordering helps women and men in cross-occupational pairs get work done, it also reinforces women’s disadvantage because for women it involves low-status and emotionally taxing scut work that it does not involve for men.

"Broadening our Understanding of Human Resource Management for Improved Environmental Performance"

Professor(s): Professor Emerita Jone Pearce and Ph.D. Student Florencio F. Portocarrero
Co-Author(s): Anne-Laure Winkler
Accepted at: Business and Society

This article evaluates the effect of different human resource management (HRM) practices on organizations’ environmental performance. We develop a model to evaluate the influence of a broad range of HRM practices, including environmental performance criteria in managers’ performance evaluations and two types of internal corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices: socially responsible employee benefits and corporate volunteering practices. To this end, we analyze a sample of 142 manufacturing companies that have completed B Lab’s Impact Assessment process to certify their environmental performance. The results show that including environmental criteria in a higher proportion of managers’ performance evaluations directly impacts organizations’ environmental performance and strengthens the positive effect of other environmental management practices. The findings also demonstrate the direct effects of both types of CSR practices on an organization’s environmental performance. Our study advances recent work on Green HRM and CSR by identifying the specific HRM practices that allow organizations to move from being part of the world’s environmental problem to being part of the solution.