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Article

Joel Koopman and Nikolaos Dimotakis

Experience sampling is a method aimed primarily at examining within-individual covariation of transient phenomena utilizing repeated measures. It can be applied to test nuanced predictions of extant theories and can provide insights that are otherwise difficult to obtain. It does so by examining the phenomena of interest close to where they occur and thus avoiding issues with recall and similar concerns. Data collected through the experience sampling method (ESM) can, alternatively, be utilized to collect highly reliable data to investigate between-individual phenomena. A number of decisions need to be made when designing an ESM study. Study duration and intensity (that is, total days of measurement and total assessments per day) represent a tradeoff between data richness and participant fatigue that needs to be carefully weighed. Other scheduling options need to be considered, such as triggered versus scheduled surveys. Researchers also need to be aware of the generally high potential cost of this approach, as well as the monetary and nonmonetary resources required. The intensity of this method also requires special consideration of the sample and the context. Proper screening is invaluable; ensuring that participants and their context is applicable and appropriate to the design is an important first step. The next step is ensuring that the surveys are planned in a compatible way to the sample, and that the surveys are designed to appropriately and rigorously collect data that can be used to accomplish the aims of the study at hand. Furthermore, ESM data typically requires proper consideration in regards to how the data will be analyzed and how results will be interpreted. Proper attention to analytic approaches (typically multilevel) is required. Finally, when interpreting results from ESM data, one must not forget that these effects typically represent processes that occur continuously across individuals’ working lives—effect sizes thus need to be considered with this in mind.

Article

Financial precarity—the persistent worry about money and not having enough of it—is widespread, even in developed economies. It is a particular affliction of the poor, but it describes many people across the income distribution. Financial precarity is harmful not just to the individuals who experience it but also to the organizations in which they work. For individuals, financial precarity can negatively affect cognitive functioning, emotional stability, and social functioning. It is also associated with worse physical and psychological health, as well as depressed performance, both on and off the job. For employers, there are direct costs in the form of decreases in performance at work, as well as indirect costs in the form of increased absenteeism and health care costs. Private-sector companies are taking notice and have initiated a variety of programs to address employee financial precarity, including enhancing wages and offering financial assistance programs such as financial counseling, incentivized savings plans, and enhancements to retirement plans. Many of these programs have not been subjected to rigorous analysis (e.g., incentivized savings programs), and for some, there is little evidence of their effectiveness (e.g., financial literacy programs). Other programs (e.g., opt-out retirement plans) have a strong track record of success. Overall, private-sector employers are increasing their investments in employee financial wellness, which is a positive step in terms of providing needed supports to employees.

Article

Work motivation is defined as a set of energetic forces, internal or external to individuals, that help to initiate work-related behavior and determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration. It is one of the most studied and discussed topics in industrial and organizational psychology and extensively documented in meta-analyses and literature reviews. The content approaches to motivation show that (a) both mastery- and performance-approach goals are related positively to performance (achievement goal theory); (b) a promotion focus is positively associated with positive worker outcomes, while a prevention focus has less beneficial outcomes and relates negatively or not at all to such outcomes (regulatory focus theory); and (c) intrinsic motivation and basic need satisfaction are positively related to positive worker outcomes (self-determination theory). Context motivational theories indicate that (a) extrinsic incentives are associated with poorer well-being and creativity yet better employee performance (reinforcement theory) and (b) job characteristics explain up to 87% of the variance in worker outcomes (work design theories). Finally, the process approaches to motivation reveal that (a) expectancy theory is more useful in explaining choice behavior rather than energy investment or persistence; (b) setting specific difficult goals increases performance, even more so when feedback is also given, and that goal commitment is particularly important for goal achievement (goal setting theory); (c) goals allow people to more effectively process information, but the role of self-efficacy is less clear (self-regulation theories); and (d) perceived behavioral control is essential for intentions to behave (theory of planned behavior). Most of this research on work motivation has employed rather traditional research methods, such as cross-sectional self-reported studies that disconnect with work motivation theory focusing on dynamic processes over time. Therefore, to properly test motivational theory and advance the field of work motivation, future research should use longitudinal (experimental) field studies, person-centered approaches, and experience sampling method studies to allow for the evaluation of motivational and behavioral variability as a function of time, work events, and individual and situational factors. In terms of content, future research should go beyond the study of separate work motivation theories and integrate them to better understand the content, process, and context of work motivation. Such an integrated theory should include the work context in a more structured and explicit way, also taking into account that contextual variables may operate in isolation or interactively to affect motivation and that workers also influence the work context. As such, time and individual perspectives thereof should also be better incorporated in such integrated work motivation theories. Finally, there are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” for practitioners to enable them to practice evidence-based human resource management. First, following self-determination theory, one should bear in mind that not all motivation is good: Some types, especially those reflecting autonomous motivation (i.e., related to intrinsic motivation or experienced meaningfulness), generally lead to better outcomes than other, more controlled types (e.g., based on rewards or guilt induction). Second, goal setting theory is a useful perspective when developing performance management systems.

Article

The idea of person–environment (PE) fit builds upon interactional psychology, which suggests that the interplay between personal and environmental attributes is the primary driver of human behavior. The “environment” in PE fit research can take many different forms, with organizational environments being one of the most important settings with which people may fit or misfit. Henceforth, PE fit is defined as the compatibility that occurs when individuals match the characteristics of the work environment they inhabit. The notion that individuals with personal needs, values, goals, abilities, and personalities and organizational environments with distinctive demands, supplies, values, and cultures are differentially compatible and that “fitting in” is an evolving process that triggers behavioral, cognitive, and affective responses has been well accepted since PE fit was introduced as an independent theory in the mid-1970s. Presently, the PE fit idea has established itself as a firm research framework and has surfaced in many different literatures, ranging from applied and vocational psychology to human resource management, resulting in a plethora of theories that cover many different views on, and various conceptualizations of, PE fit. From an individual (i.e., employee) perspective, fit theories suggest that fit is a sought-after and rewarding experience in and of itself, especially when multiple types of fit (e.g., fit with the job and with the organization) co-occur. However, from a team, organizational, and societal perspective, the advantages of high levels of fit must be weighed against its potential costs, including favoritism, conformity, and homogeneity, which may eventually result in organizational inertia and the reproduction of inequality.

Article

Edoardo Della Torre, Alessia Gritti, and Adrian Wilkinson

Employee voice (EV) refers to all the ways and means through which employees have a say in the decisions that affect their work and the overall running of their organization. It involves different domains and topics and occurs through a variety of channels (direct and indirect, formal and informal, individual and collective). The main distinction is between direct voice channels, through which employees have the opportunity to express their ideas and opinions directly to managers without the mediation of representatives, and indirect voice channels, through which EV is expressed by representatives, usually elected from the wider group of employees. Since the last decades of the 20th century, EV has become a central topic in human resource management (HRM), industrial relations, (IR) and organizational behavior (OB) literature, providing researchers and practitioners with an extensive and ever-increasing amount of knowledge. However, each discipline has created its own conceptualization of the meanings of and purposes for EV, leading EV to become a contested terrain, characterized by research silos and competing literatures. While the OB perspective concentrates on the informal and prosocial nature of individual EV, the IR approach is mainly focused on formal structures for collective EV and the contrasting interests of management and workers, and the HRM approach tends to emphasize the role of direct EV as a component of the wider HRM systems that may generate higher organizational outcomes. Integrative approaches that can bring together different disciplinary perspectives are therefore required for a more comprehensive understanding of how EV takes shape in organizations and affects individual and organizational outcomes. Greater attention should also be paid to the multidimensionality of EV, investigating further how it relates to employee silence and to other phenomena, such as ethical employee voice and whistle-blowing. Finally, little is known about the emerging forms of EV related to workplace digitalization and working remotely.

Article

Jessica R. Methot, Nazifa Zaman, and Hanbo Shim

A social network is a set of actors—that is, any discrete entity in a network, such as a person, team, organization, place, or collective social unit—and the ties connecting them—that is, some type of relationship, exchange, or interaction between actors that serves as a conduit through which resources such as information, trust, goodwill, advice, and support flow. Social network analysis (SNA) is the use of graph-theoretic and matrix algebraic techniques to study the social structure, interactions, and strategic positions of actors in social networks. As a methodological tool, SNA allows scholars to visualize and analyze webs of ties to pinpoint the composition, content, and structure of organizational networks, as well as to identify their origins and dynamics, and then link these features to actors’ attitudes and behaviors. Social network analysis is a valuable and unique lens for management research; there has been a marked shift toward the use of social network analysis to understand a host of organizational phenomena. To this end, organizational network analysis (ONA) is centered on how employees, groups, and organizations are connected and how these connections provide a quantifiable return on human capital investments. Although criticisms have traditionally been leveled against social network analysis, the foundations of network science have a rich history, and ONA has evolved into a well-established paradigm and a modern-day trend in management research and practice.

Article

In 1975, the phrase “vertical dyad linkage” (VDL) was introduced to begin examining the quality of the roles between the leaders and direct reports, and it was soon discovered that the linkages ranged between high quality and low quality. That linkage progressed into “leader–member exchange” (LMX) in 1982. In essence, research reached a point where it found a continuum of the quality of the relationship between the two members. High-quality relationships put the employees into the leader’s “ingroup,” while low-quality relationships left employees on the outside looking in. It followed that those in the ingroup would have some say in the decision-making, would have easier access to the leader, and would garner more respect and “liking.” Researchers have used the LMX-7 to examine how the quality of superior/subordinate relationships affects individual, interpersonal, and organization factors like job satisfaction, communication motives, and organizational identification (as did the original LMX scale). Although the LMX-7 remains one of the most prominent psychometric measures of LMX, researchers still debate whether the construct should be considered unidimensional or multidimensional. While the intricacies of LMX-7 versus LMX have been argued, and with teams becoming more of an organizational resource, team–member exchange (TMX) was found to be a supported extension of LMX. While at this point TMX is lacking in the volume and pace of research, due to the difficulties of measurement among a group of people who might have a variety of leaders during the process, the existing research has produced some results that are extremely relevant, now and in the future. Examples of what has been found when the team exchange relationship is high include reduced stress, increased psychological empowerment, increased creativity, increased team performance, increased individual performance, increased organizational citizenship behaviors, increased organizational commitment, and increased job satisfaction, just to name a few. In sum, the investigation into LMX provides a history of the field of LMX and its many iterations and the role it plays in leadership studies. This research includes LMX antecedents, consequences, moderators, mediators, and outcomes, as any field in which over 4,500 papers have been published needs an effective way to highlight the progress and pathways.

Article

Matthew R. Marvel

Entrepreneur coachability is the degree to which an entrepreneur seeks, carefully considers, and integrates feedback to improve a venture’s performance. There is increasing evidence that entrepreneur coachability is important for attracting the social and financial resources necessary for venture growth. Although entrepreneur coachability has emerged as an especially relevant construct for practitioners, start-up ecosystem leaders, and scholars alike, research on this entrepreneurial behavior is in its infancy. What appears to be a consistent finding across studies is that some entrepreneurs are more coachable than others, which affects downstream outcomes—particularly resource acquisition. However, there are sizable theoretical and empirical gaps that limit our understanding about the value of coachability to entrepreneurship research. As a body of literature develops, it is useful to take inventory of the work that has been accomplished thus far and to build from the lessons learned to identify insightful new directions. The topic of entrepreneur coachability has interdisciplinary appeal, and there is a surge of entrepreneur coaching taking place across start-up ecosystems. Research on coaching is diverse, and scholarship has developed across the academic domains of athletics, marketing, workplace coaching, and entrepreneurship. To identify progress to date, promising research gaps, and paths for future exploration, the literature on entrepreneur coachability is critically reviewed. To consider the future development of entrepreneur coachability scholarship, a research agenda is organized by the antecedents of entrepreneurship coachability, outcomes of entrepreneur coachability, and how entrepreneur–coach fit affects learning and development. Future scholarship is needed to more fully explore the antecedents, mechanisms, and/or consequences of entrepreneur coachability. The pursuit and development of this research stream represent fertile ground for meaningful contributions to entrepreneurship theory and practice.

Article

Sherry E. Sullivan and Shawn M. Carraher

The kaleidoscope career model (KCM) was developed by Mainiero and Sullivan in 2006 based on data from interviews, focus groups, and three surveys of over 3,000 professionals working in the United States. The metaphor of a kaleidoscope was used to describe how an individual’s career alters in response to alternating needs for authenticity, balance, and challenge within a changing internal and external life context. As a kaleidoscope produces changing patterns when its tube is rotated and its glass chips fall into new arrangements, the KCM describes how individuals change the pattern of their careers by rotating the varied aspects of their lives to arrange their work–nonwork roles and relationships in new ways. Individuals examine the choices and options available to create the best fit among various work demands, constraints, and opportunities given their personal values and interests. The ABCs of the KCM are authenticity, balance, and challenge. Authenticity is an individual’s need to make choices that reflect their true self. People seek alignment between their values and their behaviors. Balance is an individual’s need to achieve an equilibrium between the work and nonwork aspects of life. Nonwork life aspects are defined broadly to include not only spouse/partners and children but also parents, siblings, elderly relatives, friends, the community, personal interests, and hobbies. Challenge is an individual’s need for stimulating work that is high in responsibility, control, and/or autonomy. Challenge includes career advancement, often measured as intrinsic or extrinsic success. All three parameters are always active throughout the life span, and all influence decision-making. One parameter, however, usually takes priority; this parameter has greater influence in shaping an individual’s career decisions or transitions at that point in time. Over an individual’s life, the three parameters shift, with one parameter moving to the foreground and intensifying in strength as it takes priority at that time. The other two parameters will lessen in intensity, receding into the background, but they remain active.

Article

Wayne F. Cascio

Corporate restructuring occurs when a company makes significant changes to its financial or operational structure, for example, by changing its complement of employees or assets through downsizing or upsizing. A common set of factors drives decisions to restructure, including decisions to divest or to acquire employees, assets, or both. In order of priority, these factors comprise current and prior company performance, managerial foresight, economic conditions, political uncertainty, industry, and technology. Companies typically downsize employees to stop eroding profitability and to increase the likelihood of future profitability. The economic rationale that drives it is straightforward: companies become profitable when revenues exceed costs, an outcome obtained by increasing revenues, decreasing costs, or both. Because future revenues are less predictable and controllable than future costs, decreasing costs is compelling. Managers often do that by reducing the size of the workforce and its associated labor costs. Employee downsizing makes sense when it is a reaction to an emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Employee downsizing can also be part of a broader workforce strategy designed to adjust workforce competencies to align more closely with the overall strategy of a business. Organizations typically use one or more of four broad methods to downsize their workforces. The simplest is natural attrition. Alternatively, firms may offer buyouts—to individual employees (voluntary severance), to entire business units (corporate restructuring), even to the entire organization. A third strategy is involuntary layoffs—termination—with no choice by the departing employees. Businesses large and small that were hard hit by the pandemic had little or no choice but to use this strategy. A final strategy is early retirement offers, often part of a broader buyout scheme. From an organizational view, early retirement has the advantage of opening up promotion opportunities for younger workers. When firms downsize employees, they incur direct as well as indirect costs. While almost all the direct costs, such as severance pay and accrued vacation, are short-term (realized in the year they are incurred), indirect costs, such as decreased productivity, reduced morale, and aversion to risk among survivors, begin to accrue immediately and may continue for longer periods. When considering alternatives to downsizing employees, decision-makers must first assess if the downturn in business is permanent or temporary. If permanent, the only alternative to layoffs is to upskill, reskill, or retrain employees to develop new lines of business. If temporary, then there are numerous alternative ways to cut costs besides laying off workers. These range from reducing work hours to redeploying workers. A central issue for many stakeholders is the financial consequences of corporate restructuring. Regarding acquisitions, there is little evidence of a net beneficial effect on the performance of the acquirer, as measured by profitability. Rather, such actions often yield a lower rate of return than growth through internal investment. With respect to divestiture of assets, meta-analysis reveals a mixed picture of subsequent performance. Evidence does indicate, however, that different performance effects can be attributed to different conditions of the macroeconomy. With respect to within-company changes in employees, assets, or both, large-scale research reveals that corporate restructuring undertaken during difficult financial conditions, on average, outperforms corporate restructuring undertaken under more benign conditions. An important lesson for managers is to avoid downsizing as a quick fix to restore or enhance profitability. Layoffs are the most frequently employed method of downsizing but provide the smallest payoff. When faced with deteriorating results, it might be more prudent to be patient and to undertake the more demanding and comprehensive downsizing of employees and assets. As for upsizing employees, assets, or both, high-profitability upsizing does not automatically lead to better stock market performance. It tends to yield better results when the company’s performance needs improvement.