Academy of Management Journal

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ISSN / EISSN : 0001-4273 / 1948-0989
Published by: The Academy of Management (10.5465)
Total articles ≅ 6,651
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Latest articles in this journal

Ronald S. Burt, Song Wang
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2021.0676

Abstract:
Bridge supervision occurs when the connection between manager and boss is a network bridge between separate social worlds. Improved communication technology has facilitated the use of bridge supervision. Manager and boss can easily interact by audio or on screen as a pair of people disconnected from surrounding colleagues. At what cost to manager and effective management? We argue that bridge supervision affects the way in which a manager plays his or her role, but not how well the role is played. We find clear support for the argument in a traditional corporate hierarchy. Managers operating under bridge supervision exclude the boss from their work discussion and are conservative in expressing emotion. Behavioral correlates notwithstanding, compensation and good ideas have their familiar association with network brokerage independent of bridge versus embedded supervision. In sum, bridge supervision affects manager style, but not performance. We discuss implications for future research.
Basima A. Tewfik
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2020.1627

Abstract:
Prevailing wisdom paints the impostor phenomenon as detrimental. In this work, I seek to rebalance the existing conversation around this phenomenon by highlighting that it may also have interpersonal benefits. To identify these benefits, I revisit seminal theorizing to advance the construct of workplace impostor thoughts, which I define as the belief that others overestimate one’s competence at work. Incorporating theory on contingencies of self-worth, I present an integrative model that outlines why such thoughts may be positively associated with other-perceived interpersonal effectiveness and why they may not be. I test my theory across four studies (N=3603) that feature survey, video, and pre-registered experimental data. I find that employees who more frequently have such thoughts are evaluated as more interpersonally effective because they adopt a more other-focused orientation. I do not find that this interpersonal benefit comes at the expense of competence-related outcomes (i.e., performance, selection)—a point I revisit in my future directions. When examining my theorized competing pathway, I find that whereas workplace impostor thoughts do somewhat encourage those who have them to self-handicap—consistent with prevailing wisdom—such thoughts do not operate through self-handicapping to harm other-perceived interpersonal effectiveness. I conclude by situating my findings in light of prior work.
Andrew M. Carton, Karren Knowlton, Constantinos Coutifaris, Timothy G. Kundro, Andrew P. Boysen
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2018.1019

Abstract:
One of the most effective ways leaders can promote change is by generating visions with image-based rhetoric (“make children smile”). By conjuring visual snapshots of the future, leaders paint a portrait of what their organizations can one day achieve. It would thus stand to reason that leaders who naturally think and speak in terms of picture-like detail (a concrete orientation) would promote more organizational change than those who are inclined to think abstractly (an abstract orientation). Yet research has established that individuals with a concrete orientation tend to focus on short-term, narrow details (e.g., small features of a single product) rather than long-term visions requiring the coordinated effort of all employees. To determine how and when concrete-thinking leaders induce large-scale change, we integrate theory on attention, organizational hierarchy, and construal. We predict that leaders who have a concrete orientation will promote change by redirecting their attention toward long-term visions of the future if their organizations have strong, rather than weak, hierarchies. By contrast, hierarchical strength will have no effect on leaders with an abstract orientation. We test these predictions in an archival study of CEOs and then examine the attention-based process that helps explain this effect in a pre-registered experiment.
Dana Harari, Michael R Parke, Jennifer Carson Marr
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2019.0049

Abstract:
Research on workplace helping suggests that helpers receive positive outcomes in return for their help. We argue that this predominantly positive view of recipient reactions to helpers is because the literature has not adequately distinguished the outcomes of reactive helping (i.e., assistance provided in response to a request) from those of anticipatory helping (i.e., assistance offered or provided in advance of being asked). We propose that anticipatory helping, especially from helpers with higher status than the recipient, is more self-threatening to recipients than reactive helping; hence, recipients are less likely to accept this help and more likely to lower their evaluations of both the helper’s performance and their relationship with the helper. We find support for these hypotheses with four studies and one supplemental study that use experimental and field methodologies across a range of work contexts and social exchange relationships. Because our findings imply that both peer and higher status employees should withhold anticipatory help, which is impractical and potentially detrimental, we identify how these helpers can instead mitigate the negative effects of anticipatory helping by signaling a more balanced social exchange relationship with the recipient. We discuss how our findings expand research on helping, social exchange, and status.
Wei Jee Ong, Michael D Johnson
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2020.0493

Abstract:
Job demands-resources research has largely adopted a variable-centered approach to test main and interactive effects of demands and resources on employee outcomes. Although this approach can inform what happens on average across employees, it cannot detect distinct configurations of job demands and resources that may lead to the same outcomes in different subpopulations. Multiplicative models have also received little empirical support. To address these limitations, we adopted a person-centered theoretical approach to examine configurations of demands and resources that are sufficient to produce exhaustion and engagement. Using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) across three studies, we find evidence for equifinality and causal asymmetry in exhaustion—three distinct configurations were sufficient to produce exhaustion, but none for its absence. We also find evidence for causal asymmetry, but not equifinality, in engagement—one configuration was sufficient to produce engagement and none for its absence. Our person-centered approach yielded more theoretically consistent results than a variable-centered approach. The findings highlight that certain job demands may only be buffered by specific resources, and that certain configurations of demands cannot be buffered at all. We conclude by offering propositions to advance theory and change the current direction of research on job demands and resources.
Curtis K. Chan, Luke N. Hedden
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2020.1014

Abstract:
Enacting occupational values is vitally important to expert professionals’ solidarity and sense of purpose. Yet, many professionals face audiences in their relational contexts—especially powerful clients—who can hold incongruent values and may threaten professionals’ jurisdictional control. How can experts enact their values without jeopardizing their jurisdictional control amidst clients holding incongruent values? We examine career advisers in undergraduate business schools, whose occupational values often contrasted with values common among their student clients. Through an ethnography of one school’s career advisers, combined with interviews of such advisers throughout the U.S., we find that advisers navigated interactions by discerning student values and accordingly modulating their value-enactment practices through masking, moderating, or magnifying their values. This allowed advisers to uphold their jurisdictional control when facing students exhibiting incongruent values, while enacting their values with students exhibiting unclear or congruent values. We contribute to the relational perspective on occupations and professions by positing how discernment and modulation help experts navigate relational tensions by recognizing and drawing on intra-clientele heterogeneity, unpacking how professionals might not entirely resist or change amidst incongruence but instead pursue a more mixed approach, and highlighting when and how experts mask or moderate rather than overtly enact their values.
Helen H. Zhao, Hong Deng, Rocky P. Chen, Sharon K Parker Parker, Wei Zhang
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2019.1110

Abstract:
Experienced passage of time, the extent to which employees perceive the passage of work time as being fast or slow, is a fundamental aspect of work experience. We identify two novel temporal work design characteristics that can speed up employees’ experienced passage of time: temporal predictability and task segmentation. Jobs with high temporal predictability do not make employees go through uncertain wait times before embarking on their next task. High task segmentation occurs when a large chunk of work time is segmented by categorically different temporal markers. We tested a model in which temporal predictability and task segmentation affect experienced passage of time, which in turn influences job performance, with five studies: two experiments that established the internal validity of temporal predictability and task segmentation (Studies 1a and 1b), a naturalistic field study in a factory that investigated the natural consequences of distinct temporal work design (Study 2), an organizational field study that constructively replicated the model using a sample of knowledge workers and their supervisors (Study 3), and an online survey in which we connected our model with the broader work design literature (Study 4). Altogether, the studies support a new temporal approach to work design.
Saouré Kouamé, Taieb Hafsi, David Oliver, Ann Langley
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2018.1143

Abstract:
How do senior managers of social mission-driven organizations build and sustain stakeholders’ emotional resonance with organizational identity beliefs over time in the face of repeated existential threats? This is an important question, given the dependence of many such organizations on external stakeholders who provide the resources necessary for survival. In this paper, we investigate the case of Solidum, a philanthropic organization devoted to poverty causes. Drawing on ethnographic, interview and archival data over 20 years, we develop a process model showing how senior managers may create and sustain stakeholder emotional resonance through three practices of emotional resonance work: building emotional bridges, enrolling stakeholders in collective soul-searching and materializing an appealing identity symbol. We show that stakeholder emotional resonance needs to be continually renewed and reshaped in the face of ongoing challenges associated with macro-organizational trends and the routinization of existing practices that can result in the dissipation of emotional resonance over time. The paper contributes to the literature on organizational identity maintenance by drawing attention to the active managerial work required to sustain stakeholder emotional resonance over time to allow mission-driven organizations to survive and prosper.
Paolo Aversa, Emanuele Bianchi, Loris Gaio, Alberto Nucciarelli
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2019.1303

Abstract:
Research on clusters highlights that some areas display superior conditions to locally nurture concentrations of businesses. But why do certain industries—despite ascribing their origin to specific locations—emerge away from their birthplace? We respond by qualitatively investigating the influence that the town of Arco, Italy, and its periodic event ‘RockMaster’ exerted on the emergence of the global sport climbing industry. We advance the concept of ‘catalyzing places’ that support the emergence and growth of industries through an ongoing, cyclical process of three forces—centripetal (i.e., attracting), catalyzing (i.e., reacting), and centrifugal (i.e., ejecting). The forces attract communities of practice to the place, expose them to intense, transformational experiences towards entrepreneurship, and ultimately induce them to establish their businesses elsewhere. By redeploying the resources and reputation acquired in the place, these scattered communities enact a collective phenomenon of user entrepreneurship, and ultimately industry emergence. We claim that the ongoing activities of the place, and the periodic ones of the event, are mutually reinforcing. We advance two novel elements, ‘portable economies’ and ‘springboard firms,’ which in catalyzing places exert the antithetical effect of ‘agglomeration economies’ and ‘anchor firms’ in clusters. We discuss our contribution to research on industry emergence, new practices, and user entrepreneurship.
Dean Xu, Kevin Zhou, Shihua Chen
Academy of Management Journal; https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2020.0810

Abstract:
The Chinese Communist Party began decoupling its policies and practices from Maoist communist ideology more than four decades ago, yet, why does Maoism continue to influence the behavior of Party members? In this study, we argue that although the influence of Maoist ideology has become weaker among younger Party members and Party members with higher educational attainment, such ideological decay is countered by a process of secondhand ideological imprinting. Based on data from 1,298 non-state-owned Chinese listed firms for 2000–2017, we find that firms with Party-member board chairs file fewer patent applications and are more likely to commit patent infringement. These effects are weaker if a board chair is younger or has higher educational attainment. Importantly, the moderating effect of young age is reduced as the presence of older Party-member corporate directors in a region becomes more prominent. However, the moderating effect of education appears to be unaffected by the presence of older Party-member directors. These findings generate fresh insights on the dynamics of ideological decay and persistence.
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