The article weaves together concepts and arguments from law, behavioral ethics, and management to explain the spread of systemic wrongdoing at the levels of individuals, companies, and across industries.
The importance of work–life balance has increased dramatically in recent years. Hyperconnected employees are struggling to balance the "spillover" between internal work and external life demands. We questioned whether there was a difference in organizationally supported work–life balance at Fortune Magazine’s "Best Places to Work For" versus Wall St. 24/7’s "Worst Places to Work." We analyzed 1,100 unsolicited, open-ended employee reviews from a major career web site and conducted a contextual analysis of the differences between the "best" and "worst" places to work. Our findings show clear differences in the time benefits offered and governance structures used to support these benefits. Our findings also reveal that employees today are not seeking "balance." Instead, they are seeking "work–life flexibility," a new, complex way of looking at the employee today. Findings are discussed and implications for work–life flexibility are provided.
This article calls into question the frequently used negative moral labels assigned to corruption by describing gift giving as a form of narrative entrepreneurship that bridges ontologies between public service organizations. To effectively make the comparison, this article utilizes a unique methodology to explore corruption: the layered account autoethnography. The empirical setting of this story is a jointly operated military corrections facility in Iraq. It illustrates how gaps were perceived in the U.S.–Iraqi joint bureaucracy creating a space for play, and how corrupt behavior metaphorically bridged these gaps. Engaging in a minute form of gift giving provided remarkable insight into how partner organizations respond to traditional and corruption-friendly practices. This article is of benefit to practitioners and academicians alike because it illustrates at an individual level how corrupt bureaucracies function and how to promote successful interactions between alternate organizational ontologies.
The question how individuals experience and respond to competing logics has recently received intensified attention, but current theories remain incoherent, and research is restricted to situations with stable constellations of logics. To elaborate on these issues, we use insights from identity control theory, and develop a model for individuals’ considerations during interactions characterized by institutional complexity. We argue that individuals engage with several logics, unless these logics are related to conflicting identities that become salient simultaneously. Conflicting identities encourage individuals to choose the logic that is linked to the identity higher up in their "self." In situations where the conflict is not clear from the beginning, individuals may distance themselves from the logic that is related to a lower level identity, to maintain self-esteem. This article contributes to research by clarifying the competing perspectives on individual considerations when there are multiple institutional logics and extends research to dynamically evolving situations.
Major environmental changes and recurring pressures have made universities in the United States that educate health care professionals vulnerable to corruption. Based on the experiences of one large, state-supported university, this essay argues that, in adapting to pressures, universities rely on the ordinary structures and processes characteristic of large formal organizations. Hierarchy becomes an opening to corruption when it is associated with low levels of transparency, a culture of deference that discourages questioning, and the absence of countervailing centers of authority. Where the need for resources is great and access is uncertain, these can become incentives to ensure access through corrupt means. Embeddedness opens opportunities for misconduct by fostering relations based on narrow loyalties. The ordinariness of the pathways to corruption in higher education can obscure timely recognition of misconduct even by members working in affected organizations. But, once recognized, it is also possible to find equally ordinary solutions.
It is highly debated whether corporations should primarily follow a shareholder or a stakeholder principle. This article addresses the debate with a closer look at Germany’s current conceptualization of corporate governance. Despite the introduction of shareholder-oriented practices such as moderate amounts of stock-option pay and more transparent accounting standards, the German corporate governance system is considered to be a prototype of stakeholder orientation. Critics of this system claim that strong obligations to stakeholder interests are a drawback for German firms when competing internationally. However, if applied thoughtfully, an institutionally anchored stakeholder management can also have a number of advantages. We point to selected advantages of a stakeholder-oriented system, including the active integration of stakeholder knowledge, increased commitment for strategic decisions, and a longer term view on performance. Acknowledging potential problems arising from a stakeholder orientation as well as its unique benefits, we call for a "modern" stakeholder value system.
In this article, we explore what organization and management scholars can do to write with resonance and to facilitate an emotional, bodily, or in other ways sensory connection between the text and the reader. We propose that resonance can be relevant for organization and management scholars in two ways. First, it may facilitate a better understanding of the research we are attempting to convey in our papers, an understanding that draws on the reader’s prior experiences, and their embodied, embedded knowledge. Second, resonance may foster an inclination in the reader to engage with, contribute to, and thus bring forward the field of research in question. We propose that writing with resonance may be a way to further the impact of academic work by extending the modalities with which our readers can relate to and experience our work.
In this essay, I propose an eventful way to approach corruption as socially constructed and historically situated. First, I describe how deep (socially constructed) and long (processual, historical) perspectives on corruption have been less examined. Then, I build an approach to understanding organizational corruption as a constructed event embedded in scenario, utilizing concepts from history, cultural studies, and the interactionist tradition in sociology. To offer scholars a way to articulate this eventful conception of organizational corruption and inform how it might be approached through interpretive textual reading and narrative, I draw in an example of a highly publicized accusation of corruption by the financial services firm Goldman Sachs. In closing, I present implications for theory building and research.
Radical change can be conceived in terms of the reconceiving of ontological distinctions, such as those separating humans from animals. In building on insights from French pragmatism, we suggest that, while no doubt very difficult, radical change can potentially be achieved by creating "alignment" between multiple "economies of worth" or "common worlds" (e.g., the market world of money, the industrial world of efficiency). Using recent campaigns by animal rights organizations as our case, we show how the design of "tests" (e.g., tests of profitability, tests of efficiency) can help align multiple common worlds in support for radical change. Our analysis contributes to the broader management and organization studies literatures by conceiving radical change in terms of changing ontological categorizations (e.g., human/animals vs. sentient/ non-sentient), and by proposing that radical social change agents can be helpfully conceived as opportunistically using events to cumulatively justify the change they desire overtime.
This article sets out to explore the extent to which the moral dimension is an essential component in organizational life. From a theoretical viewpoint, it argues that institutional theory lacks a positive account of the role of morality at the organizational level. We propose that this can be addressed by integrating the work of the moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre with institutional theory’s notions of logics, contradictions, and legitimacy. Empirically, we look to a group of Christian churches in the northeast of England to provide insights into practitioners’ concerns with the telos of their organizations and the core practices of their faith, and hence of an essential concern for the morality of organizational life. We conclude that any understanding of practice-based organizations that ignores or underplays the moral dimension will give, at best, a diminished account of organizational life, and hence that institutional theory needs to rethink its neglect of morality.
Research on hybrid organizations and institutional complexity commonly depicts the presence of multiple logics within organizations as an exceptional situation. In this article, we argue that all organizations routinely adhere to multiple institutional logics. Institutional complexity only arises episodically, when organizations embrace a newly salient logic. We propose two concepts to develop this insight. First, we suggest the notion of organizational settlement to refer to the way in which organizations durably incorporate multiple logics. Second, we define organizational hybridization as a change process whereby organizations abandon their existing organizational settlement and transition to a new one, incorporating a newly salient logic. Overall, we propose a shift in attention from the exceptionality of hybrid configurations of multiple logics toward exploring the dynamics of transitions from one state of complexity to another.
The context for this article and the research project that it describes is the potential importance of being awake and present for leaders. This 2-year collaborative action research project was designed to explore whether simply intending to be present could make a difference in participants’ quality of experience at work and also to find out whether this would impact people with whom they worked. The study included a phenomenological analysis of contemporaneous notes taken several times a week for 4 weeks by two groups of 12-15 people from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. The study also explored the possibility that this approach to mindfulness might be useful for leadership development and education on a broad scale. The results suggest that sustaining ongoing awareness practices supports leaders in attaining the steadiness and flexibility needed for addressing the adaptive problems of our world.
This article describes how a meta-theory of change, now referred to as the "color model," was developed over a period of two decades. We look back to better understand how one creative idea took on many manifestations and is now a widely used theory. We identify three distinct periods of development: inception, storming and norming, and maturity. In each of these periods, we discern a similar pattern of activities, in line with Smith and Hitt’s four-stage model of theory development: tension, searching, elaboration, and proclamation. The case illustrates the journey was spurred on by breakdowns in meaning, influenced by context and serendipity, and shaped by incremental elaboration. As academic practitioners, we discuss how our position in the field affected the way we approach theory development. We conclude the article with a discussion on the downside of originality.
In this essay, we study the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from the theoretical perspective of the "rhizome" coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We understand organizing in general and conflict emergence in particular through the becoming of the rhizomatic ontology of organizing. In our view, the emergence of organizing is a manifestation of a rhizomatic basis of things, seen in nomadic strategies of pursuing revolutionary aims and resisting power hegemonies. We discuss how armed resistance groups relate to time and duration, and their stark contrast to Western professional, expeditionary armies operating in a clearly defined space and time. We complement the established philosophical and organizing-theoretical approaches to being and becoming in understanding conflict emergence with the rhizomatic perspective. We conclude our essay by discussing both theoretical and practical implications for understanding and managing conflict.
The author interviewed nine high-ranking businesswomen in India. The interviews gave him a different perspective on the question of gender equality. The argument for women’s participation is neither about the democratic principle of equal opportunity – in numerical terms, nor is it about making use of the full managerial talent available in the country/world. The present day solutions are based on these two woefully inadequate premises. When women do not participate at the highest levels it means our business world is losing an entire feminine perspective to imagination, ideation, planning, team work, empathy and strategic decision-making. However, today’s business-world and the various social systems – education, healthcare, legal and political systems - are not only male-dominated but are also male-designed. For a woman to compete and succeed, she may have at times to become more male than the males. Therefore, the words ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender neutrality’ could be misleading. Instead, women need ‘respect’ i.e. accepting them the way they are. Actually what we need to do is to create a world (economic, business, social and political) that utilizes the best of both masculine and feminine qualities, not just create ‘opportunities’ for women to excel in a man’s world. We need a complete overhaul of the social systems and we need to start at the basics – home and school.
In this article, we focus on "digital organizational storytelling" as a communicative practice that relies on technologies enabled by the Internet. The article explores the dialogical potential of digital organizational storytelling and considers how this affects the relationship between online storytellers and audiences. We highlight the importance of network protocols in shaping how stories are understood. Our analysis is based on a case study of an organization, which produces online animated videos critical of corporate practices that negatively affect society. It highlights the network protocols of amateurism, affinity, and authenticity on which the plausibility of digital organizational storytelling relies. Through demonstrating what happens when network protocols are breached, the article contributes toward understanding digital organizational storytelling as a dialogical practice that opens up spaces for oppositional meaning making and can be used to challenge the power of corporations.
In this essay, we propose a recursive model of institutional change building on the Annales School, one of the 20th century’s most influential streams of historical research. Our model builds upon three concepts from the Annales—mentalities, levels of time, and critical events—to explore how critical events affect different dimensions of institutional logics and exert short- or long-range influences. On these bases, organizations make choices, from decoupling to radical shifts in logics, leading to severe institutional changes that become the matter of history. As much as organizations are influenced by events and the prevalent institutional logics, their choices trigger macro-level changes in a recursive manner. More broadly, we comment on how fruitful is our approach to historicize organization studies.
This contribution uses signaling theory to analyze the widely observed phenomenon of award giving. Awards appear in various forms, ranging from the Employee of the Month title to prizes, decorations, orders, and other honors. The purpose of this article is to develop an understanding of the signals emitted when awards are given and accepted, and to highlight conditions under which signaling failures are likely to arise. We take a comparative approach, contrasting awards with other incentives, in particular with monetary compensation and bonuses. Our analysis helps inform management practice by presenting a systematic appraisal of the strategic signaling functions of awards. It proposes under which conditions awards tend to raise performance, and when monetary compensation proves to be superior.
We draw on quantum physics ideas of "entanglement" and "indeterminism" to introduce and develop "Quantum Sustainable Organizing Theory" (QSOT). Quantum entanglement points to the interconnectedness of matter in ways that defy Newtonian physics and commonsense assumptions that underlay conventional organizing theory. Quantum indeterminism suggests that uncertainty is an inherent feature of reality and not simply a lack of information that impedes rational decision making. Taken together, these quantum ideas challenge the assumptions of conventional organizational theorizing about the boundaries between a firm and its natural and social environment, the importance of self-interested individualism and (sociomaterial) financial measures of performance, the emphasis on competitiveness, and the hallmarks of rational theory and practice. We discuss implications for sustainable organizing in particular and for organization theory more generally.
Depending on the dualisms of mind–body, subject–object, inside–outside, and so forth, most identity work studies in organization studies neglect the affective and material aspects of identity work. Drawing on an ethnographic study and practice theory, I analyze how the live-statue enacts her identity in the street. Her identity work can highlight the affective and material aspects of identity work beyond dualisms. Conceptualizing identity work as an event depending on existential feelings, I found that the live-statue’s identity work depends on existential feelings of "submission to the street" that have both active and passive aspects, and which emerge from the process of to affect and to be affected. My study also highlights this process within situated interactions and material arrangements.
In this essay, I aim to complement social identity theory (SIT) concepts of identification with insights from psychoanalysis to address three problematic aspects: (a) SIT emphasizes cognition and often neglects emotions, (b) emotions—if mentioned —are primarily positive, and (c) SIT-based concepts can be used to inspire simplified ideas of identification management. I argue that psychoanalytic insights can help us attend to these problematic aspects and help us advance our understanding of identification in organizations: they add an emotional focus on identification that can better explain strong relationships than a cognitive focus alone; they add the full range of emotions (positive to negative), which means that identification can also go along with negative emotions; and they also add a distinction between identification and narcissistic attachments that involve different motivations, dynamics, and predictive potentials. I illustrate these points in an example from Pratt and highlight implications for future research.
This article explores the fight against corruption through the eyes of Anna Hazare, a renowned social activist from India, who spent more than 35 years of his life fighting corruption. Anna Hazare provides a detailed description of the anti-corruption movement he has led, provides his views on the World Bank guidelines to lower corruption, and highlights the need for sacrifice and righteousness on the part of leaders who fight corruption. The article presents insights into these concepts, which deserve greater attention from organization scholars and must be researched further if the literature on corruption is to be enriched.
This agenda-setting article examines emotion and work–family conflict (WFC) through different paradigmatic lenses. To date, WFC and emotion research has been dominated by the functionalist perspective. This perspective has been quite informative; however, examining WFC and emotion through three alternative paradigms, namely, interpretivism, critical management theory, and postmodernism will serve to broaden and deepen our understanding of this important area of organizational and management scholarship. A paradigmatic analysis can offer a more comprehensive understanding of WFC and emotion because it utilizes an array of theoretical and methodological approaches. In addition, we advance the co-mingling of certain paradigms to offer a more comprehensive future research agenda for emotion and WFC scholarship.
This article analyzes how organizations discursively construe legitimate distinctiveness (LD) by using their own corporate stories in recombination with historical narratives about commons (i.e., cultural, social, or natural resources available in a local community). Specifically, through the study of 55 rural hotels active in Segovia (Castilla y León, Spain), we theorize about how organizations build LD through a different process than the one explained by previous studies: a process of historical bricolage. Two recursive mechanisms constitute this process—namely the appropriation and preservation of historical narratives about natural (e.g., forests, animals), social (e.g., recipes, movies), or cultural (e.g., heritage, kings) commons. This process contributes to current studies because it explains how organizations build LD through the strategic use of history, the preservation rather than the mere appropriation of collective narratives, and finally the production of stories that integrate the organizational and collective selves.
This article develops a model of local thinking in managerial decision making. According to the concept, attention is drawn by selectively salient factors or recalls in specific decision-making contexts. Although decision makers are aware of the changing conditions, they do not make a sufficient mental correction for the fact that the relevance of these factors is not generalized. They overestimate the importance of an option that "easily comes to one’s mind": They excessively extrapolate from their experiences and extreme news, succumb to reference points and imprinting. The usefulness of the concept of local thinking in explaining decisions taken by managers is demonstrated by a short conceptual review of several empirical studies on local economic and natural shocks, negotiation of bank loans, expert forecasts, workers’ compensations, and gender equality. The conclusion brings speculations about further implications of the theory for organizational research.
Recently, researchers have claimed that food and beverage corporations should be excluded from the development of public health policy because their lobbying activities strategically undermine the promotion of public health. At the same time, recent political corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory holds that corporations have a responsibility to help solve global public issues. We address this described misalignment and show that corporations may fulfill this "new political role" if they turn to novel forms of corporate political activity (CPA) establishing a minimal standard for not contradicting their CSR. Therefore, we put forward a normative concept called deliberative lobbying based on discourse, transparency, and accountability, which aims to resolve public issues and advance CPA. In three lobbying cases, we show misalignments and contradictions that harm both society and the corporation. We position deliberative lobbing as an argument to maintain self-regulation against critics claiming that corporations should be excluded from all political processes.
Unprecedented changes in the nature and prevalence of digital technology have significant implications for leadership theory, practice, and development that, as yet, remain largely unexplored in mainstream academic literature. This article features an interview with Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of global businesses including Centrica and MasterCard, where he reflects on the ways in which digital disruption is impacting upon the nature of leadership and strategic practice. It is accompanied by a commentary that highlights the importance of factors such as context, trust, ethics, and purpose in a fast moving corporate world.
Organizational restructures have been occurring for decades but are often rife with problems. Although researchers have studied these restructures, many studies focus on financial, strategic, and integration aspects and are limited in addressing the human side of restructuring. In addition, there is little study of internal restructures involving the movement of divisions within one organization. In our inductive case study, we examine how organizational members’ identification perceptions evolve and impact an internal restructure at a large university. We present our emergent findings in a process model that illustrates how identification perceptions evolved, as well as triggers that impacted identifying and de-identifying processes. These triggers, which helped move members simultaneously from a state of identification with the former entity (pre-restructure) to both de-identification with the former entity and identification with the new one (post-restructure), included experiences and expectations involving resources, justice, and organization oneness.
Recent scholarship on mindfulness has narrowly focused on attention enhancement, present-moment awareness, and its stress reduction effects. Moreover, current operational definitions of mindfulness in the literature differ considerably from those derived from classic Buddhist canonical sources. This article revisits the meaning, function, and purpose of Buddhist mindfulness by proposing a triadic model of "right mindfulness." A Buddhist-based conceptualization of right mindfulness provides both a theoretical and ethical corrective to the decontextualized individual-level construct of mindfulness that has informed the organizational theory and practitioner literature. We argue that a denatured mindfulness divorced from its soteriological context reduces it to a self-help technique that is easily misappropriated for reproducing corporate and institutional power, employee pacification, and maintenance of toxic organizational cultures.
Many scholars have attempted to make jazz relevant to an organizational audience. We seek to extend this literature by considering a more radical version of improvisation associated with the jazz musician Ornette Coleman. Inspired by an encounter between Coleman and the philosopher Jacques Derrida, we juxtapose the radical collective responsibility associated with Coleman’s Free jazz improvisation and Derridean deconstruction. We especially emphasize a phrase used by Derrida, "a certain experience of the impossible," as an expression for a particular experience of doing management. The overall contribution of the article is to explore the possibility of responding to issues within organizations in more participative and improvisational ways, without losing an appreciation of the inherent impossibility (perhaps even absurdity) of the managerial condition.
Learning networks offer a context and methodology for business managers to learn from each other’s experience. However, the extent to which these networks can facilitate and support wise action remains an open question. In this article, we adopt a Buddhist perspective on wise action as a counterpoint to more familiar Western notions of wisdom as accumulated knowledge. We apply this novel perspective to a case example drawn from a learning network of small and medium-sized enterprises, demonstrating that the Buddhist focus on interdependent origination and impermanence suggests specific ways of working together that can enhance the practice of wisdom in, and beyond, learning networks.
The year 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Chester I. Barnard’s classic, The Functions of the Executive, a groundbreaking contribution to management theory. We maintain that Barnard’s work provides a valuable perspective on the causes and potential solutions to challenges facing capitalism, business, and management consequent to the scandals and financial crises of the early 21st century. We believe Barnard would see a systemic failure of the moral dimension of organization as a driver of these crises, and that management theory and practice need to focus on both the science and the aesthetics of management. We look back on The Functions and provide a review of key elements of Barnard’s theory of organization. We then look forward from The Functions and see unique insights and solutions into the ongoing challenges of managerial morality.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of concern regarding the gap between academic research and the ongoing daily practice of running businesses. In this article, we interview an individual who successfully made the transition not only from practice to research, but from military service to corporate life and then to academics. Professor Earl Walker is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who commanded armor units in Vietnam, worked as a corporate executive, and then transitioned into academic teaching and later academic administration. Over the course of his academic career, he has served as the dean of three business schools. In the interview, Walker describes his perceptions of the practice–research gap, revealing that it is in some ways smaller and other ways larger than others believe it to be.
As a research paradigm, collaborative research brings together practitioners and researchers for the purpose of creating knowledge that is relevant to practice and added value to theoretical development. The collaborative effort tends to bridge the rigor–relevance gap. In Kieser and Leiner’s article "Collaborate With Practitioners: But Beware of Collaborative Research," in the Journal of Management Inquiry, the authors challenge the added value of collaborative research to both practice and the scientific outcomes. This rejoinder takes issue with Kieser and Leiner’s key arguments, basic assumptions, narrow and limited points of departure, the view of the essence of social and management science, misunderstanding of managerial work, collaborative research, and action research.
Reporting wrongdoing is seen as desirable to fight illegal practices, but whistleblowers often suffer retaliations and are in need of protection. Overall, whistleblowers engender strong reactions and are cast either as saints or rats. I consider why whistleblowers are seen as unsettling and ambivalent figures by exploring the analogy between Antigone, the Sophoclean heroine, and whistleblowers. These reflections reconfigure the rationality and relationality of the process of whistleblowing. The rationality of the whistleblower is singular and not easily subsumed into universalizing norms which explains some of the limits reached by the empiricist pro-social research agenda. The relationality of the process of whistleblowing indicates that the reactions of those who hear the whistle are as important. This open up to an appreciation of the ethical and political valence of the process of whistleblowing and highlights a number of counter-intuitive and interesting issues in its synchronic and diachronic dimension.
This article examines the way in which identity workspaces function to facilitate and stimulate transitions at mid-career. We explore our collective experience as a cohort of a mid-career management academics participating in a 2-year fellowship program, which acted as an identity workspace in which mid-career identity work took place. Using insights from our narratives, interviews, and experiences, we demonstrate how the fellowship provided rites of passage, experimentation, and social defenses, and we analyze our identity work, in relation to mid-career development, disciplinary orientation, and relationships with existing institutions. We conceptualize the identity workspace as a liminal zone in which to experiment with provisional selves, finding that identity workspaces function through alterity as well as identity, and at a communal as well as individual level. The article draws out the challenges for the academic community to facilitate mid-career identity work experienced in this identity workspace within existing institutions.
We explore the use of compassion as a technology of power and subjectivity within organizations. Using a genealogical method, we trace the history of concern with compassion in organizations as a mode of employee discipline. The article applies a perspective developed from Foucault, focused on power/knowledge relations and the role that they play in the formation of the subject in organizations. Organizational compassion has been constantly re-defined and re-evaluated according to changing organizational objectives for shaping employee subjectivity. While one may think of compassion as a "good" phenomenon, we counsel caution against doing so in all contexts as a generic endorsement of a "positive" agenda. As we show, compassion may be a mode of power.
Research on the gender-wage gap shows equivocal evidence regarding its magnitude, which likely stems from the different wage-related variables researchers include in their calculations. To examine whether pay differentials solely based on gender exist, we focused on the earnings of top performing professionals within a specific occupation to rule out productivity-related explanations for the gender-wage gap. Specifically, we investigated the interaction of gender and age on the earnings of Hollywood top movie stars. The results reveal that the average earnings per film of female movie stars increase until the age of 34 but decrease rapidly thereafter. Male movie stars’ average earnings per film reach the maximum at age 51 and remain stable after that.
This article introduces a new construct to the field of management called Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC). This is important because management scholars are calling for the creation of communities in organizations in an environment that lacks appropriate construct development. The aims of this article are threefold: (a) develop a working definition of PSOC via a review of the extant literature on PSOC from other disciplines with the goal of translating it into the domain of management, (b) synthesize findings from parallel literatures on the outcomes of PSOC with an eye toward exploring the relevance of such outcomes in management contexts, and (c) assess the value of PSOC as it relates to its uniqueness in relation to other prominent management constructs and its scope of applicability in a variety of management inquiry areas.
The positivist tradition for studying leadership involves correlational analyses and manipulation of an independent variable to determine the effect on a dependent variable while holding all other variables constant. Despite voluminous empirical data, an understanding of leadership has remained elusive. This article proposes the convergence of an arts-informed qualitative research with positivist methodologies, opening up space for a nontraditional approach to understanding leadership that is storied, embodied, and participatory. The epistemological pluralism of arts-informed research, rooted in the literary, visual, and performing arts, generates possibilities for understanding the tacit personal worldview of culturally diverse leaders who, as the result of globalization and changing demographics, are reaching leadership positions. Through a process of reflexivity, knowledge of the particular, and shared meaning-making, this approach has the potential to inform scholarship by enabling researchers to tap into and appreciate emotional as well as cognitive processes that differentiate and explain the behavior of leaders.
In this article, we argue that entrepreneurship researchers would benefit from incorporating methods and technologies from the neurosciences. Many of the phenomena studied in entrepreneurship scholarship invoke the mind of the entrepreneur, and these can be best understood with the emerging technologies used to understand the brain and its works, particularly those that study entrepreneurial cognition and emotion.
Neuroscience research is a welcome and overdue addition to the field of entrepreneurship. We hope that Martin de Holan’s article and the ensuing debate in this issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry will help spur further scholarship in this area.
This ethnographic study of women business owners questions whether the flexibility their occupation affords is truly an advantage to balancing work and other aspects of life. Drawing on Weber’s ideal types of social action, our analysis suggests that flexibility favors work. Instrumental rationality is evidenced when the participants position their work patterns as a good use of time. We introduce the concept working lightly to show how they use affective and value rationalities as justifications for working during nonwork times (e.g., it’s a way to feel good in the long run). We also develop the concept of working lite, which is when they invoke traditional rationality by melding habits associated with relaxation and work tasks (e.g., working while watching television). Finally, we show how our findings extend the critique of flexibility in the work-life literature.
This article reflects on the different ways in which the concept of power is treated in elite U.S. journals compared with European journals. Some observers have argued that critical researchers should not bother to try and publish their work in elite U.S. journals because of the compromises that have to be made in doing so. This essay argues that a "limited engagement" with these journals constitutes one way of trying to resist the power/knowledge relations that are so deeply embedded in them.
The "Reflections on Experience" section of the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry contained six articles examining the challenges associated with contemporary university governance and called for new theory and approaches. In this article, we respond by reporting one university’s innovative governance design that provides an imaginative alternative to the traditional bicameral model of the board of trustees (or governing board) and administration, and the faculty senate. Its collaborative model utilizes intermediate-sized, competency-based, and representative joint policy committees as the central means of formulating strategy. Outcomes of this alternative approach include greater trust, better and more timely decisions, and a reduction in intraorganizational conflict. We conclude that the approach merits attention as an alternative to the bicameral model and that management studies can help improve higher education governance research and practice.
Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners from South Africa were imprisoned on notorious Robben Island from the mid-1960s until the end of the apartheid regime in 1991. The stark conditions and abusive treatment of these prisoners has been widely publicized. However, upon reflection and in retrospect, over the years, a type of metamorphosis occurred. Primarily drawing from firsthand accounts of the former prisoners and guards, it seems that Robben Island morphed from the traditional oppressive prison paradigm to one where the positively oriented prisoners disrupted the institution with a resulting climate of learning and transformation that eventually led to freedom and the end of apartheid. At a macro level of analysis, we use the theoretical lens of institutional work, and, at a micro level, positive psychological capital (hope, efficacy, resiliency, and optimism) to explain what happened. This metamorphosis led to one of, if not the greatest, societal transformations in modern history. We conclude by discussing some implications and lessons learned for organizational scholars and practitioners.
Organization studies of morality have paid scant attention to theorizing the relation between morality and organization before engaging in empirical work, which has resulted in inconsistent and incompatible theories implicitly entailed in different empirical studies. In this article, I distinguish between two theoretical perspectives regarding this relation—heterologous and homologous—based on whether morality and organization are viewed as distinct and independent from one another or orders of intertwined constitution. I discuss the implications of taking each perspective for research question and design, and show how the choice of theoretical perspective leads to starkly different conclusions about a single phenomenon. I also illustrate these arguments in the case of studying the recent rise of private military and security industry. To conclude, I highlight the theoretical and methodological contributions of the distinction between heterologous and homologous perspectives and discuss future avenues that it opens for organization research on morality.
Research on institutional logics has exploded in the last decade. Much of this work has taken its inspiration from Friedland and Alford’s call to "bring society back in" to organizational analysis. Interestingly, when Friedland and Alford published their seminal piece, another body of work with similar focus emerged in France under the banner of French Pragmatist Sociology. In this article, we discuss how French Pragmatist Sociology complements institutional logics by helping it address its main limitations or blind spots. These include (a) microfoundations and recursiveness (how institutions are formed, maintained, or changed at a micro level), (b) legitimacy struggles (how struggles are resolved on a day-to-day basis), (c) morality (as an important element underscoring institutional logics), and (d) materiality (as physical and tangible instantiations of logics). We conclude by suggesting that a rapprochement between both approaches provides an elegant means of bridging the lingering divide between "old" and "new" institutionalism.
In this article, we provide a contrasting view to that of the original authors about the impact of their Research Note on the promise of entrepreneurship (ENT) research. We draw on citations in the top general business journals to assess where, how, and why the Note was referenced. This leads to a consideration of issues related to citation "quality" and the various types of "impact" that can exist. In light of such issues related to the Note, and in light of the present state of legitimacy of the field, we argue that the Note may have in fact had a negative impact, specifically on theory development unique to ENT. We conclude with directions for moving forward in fulfilling the promise of the ENT field.
This article introduces the concept of learning in crisis (LiC) as a new mode of learning especially in turbulent times. Drawing on a theoretical integration of the organizational learning and crisis management literatures, LiC challenges the basic assumptions that inform hitherto analyses of learning in relation to crisis-beset organizations. LiC promotes the importance of practising and provides a basis for rethinking the way learning is associated with organizational failure and crisis thus, revealing a range of additional questions that could inform both scholarship and business practice in crisis management and organizational learning.
This study argues that the rationality behind strategic decisions, which is characterized as expressive, social, or instrumental rational, has to be aligned with the argumentation field of the decision, which is characterized as subjective, intersubjective, or objective. A multiple case study illustrates this proposition while exploring rationality in the mainly instrumental rational debate on the expansion of Heathrow, the social rational debate on extension of Gurkha rights and the expressive rational debate on the hijab in Britain. Stakeholder arguments that realize good alignment with the related argumentation field have a substantial influence on strategic decisions. Managers and policy makers who do not realize this field fit well have to adapt their decisions, or cannot execute them. The cases illustrate the effects of this alignment strategy, in argumentation that mirrors the rationality of opponents, and in a strategy that reframes the assumed fit between the rationality and the related argumentation field.
Scientists and academics increasingly work on collaborative projects and write papers in international research teams. This trend is driven by greater publishing demands in terms of the quality and breadth of data and analysis methods, which tend to be difficult to achieve without collaborating across institutional and national boundaries. Yet, our understanding of the collaborative processes in an academic setting and the potential tensions associated with them remains limited. We use a reflexive, autoethnographic approach to explicitly investigate our own experiences of international collaborative research. We offer systematic insights into the social and intellectual processes of academic collaborative writing, identifying six lessons and two key tensions that influence the success of international research teams. Our findings may benefit the formation of future coauthor teams, the preparation of research proposals, and the development of PhD curricula.
In this article, the authors discuss critically the use of "anthropomorphic" metaphors in organization studies (e.g., organizational knowledge, learning, and memory). They argue that, although these metaphors are potentially powerful, because of frequent usage they are at risk of becoming taken for granted and contextually disconnected from their source domain, the human mind. To unleash the heuristic potential of such metaphors, it is necessary to take into account the inherent dynamics and bidirectionality of metaphorical language use. Therefore, the authors propose a methodology for the context-sensitive use of metaphors in organization studies. They illustrate this approach by developing the new metaphor of organizational insomnia, which is informed by recent neuroscientific research on human sleep and its disruptions. The insomnia metaphor provides an alternative way of explaining deficits in organizational knowledge, learning, and memory, which originate in a state of permanent restlessness.