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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

organizational behavior


Given that mask-wearing proved to be an important tool to slow the spread of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, investigating the psychological and cultural factors that influence norms for mask wearing across cultures is exceptionally important. One factor that may influence mask wearing behavior is the degree to which people believe masks potentially impair emotion recognition.

Leaders play a critical role in creating the ethics agenda in organizations. Their communications, decisions, and behaviors influence employees to act ethically or unethically to accomplish organizational goals. To be sure, various reviews within the behavioral ethics literature have highlighted the crucial role that ethical leadership plays in gearing organizations and employees ethically. Yet, numerous documented ethical failings in organizations have evidenced the impact of unethical leadership—where leaders’ unethical conduct or influence on employees promotes unethicality within organizations and generates harmful consequences.

Teams often need to adapt to planned discontinuous task change or fundamental alteration of tasks, tools, and work systems. Although team adaptation theories have made substantive progress in explaining how teams can respond to change, they have not adequately considered the unique impact that discontinuous task change can have on teams. Such change can render not only collective but also individual task capabilities obsolete and necessitate a multilevel task relearning process. Drawing on the team compilation model, we suggest that adaptation to discontinuous task change is akin to team (re)development.

We examine the effects of leader prevention focus on the leader’s own behavior, in the form of the harmful overruling of good ideas by their follower team, and on the team’s collective behaviors, processes, and performance. We argue that when leaders adopt a prevention mindset, it can have costly effects on team outcomes.

Zach Clayton of Three Ships and Bill George of Harvard Business School, co-authors of the book “True North: Emerging Leader Edition,” talk about the challenges and benefits of stakeholder capitalism for companies and their leaders.

Employees often engage in collective grassroot efforts to bring about gender equity in the workplace. Such coalition-based advocacy is largely driven by women, which has led to debate about whether men’s involvement as allies can help. Integrating literatures on signaling and legitimacy, we propose that the demographic composition of a gender equity advocacy coalition matters: Men-only groups lack coalition legitimacy, or the perception that they are the “right” spokespersons for gender equity issues, whereas women-only groups struggle to convey issue legitimacy, or the perception that gender equity is of strategic importance within business organizations.

“Mega-threats”—negative, identity-relevant societal events that receive significant media attention—are frequent occurrences in society, yet the influence of these events on employees remains unclear. We draw on the theory of racialized organizations to explain the process whereby exposure to mega-threats leads to heightened avoidant work behaviors for racial minority employees.

Employee spinouts, defined as startups founded by prior employees of an industry firm, play a critical role in firm creation and knowledge transfer. Their superior performance often arises from resources and knowledge accrued during employment in parent firms. An understudied question is whether prior employment in parent firms impacts an employee

Retail stores are geographically dispersed as a part of a multiunit organization. In such a setting, store managers play an important role in driving store performance. To motivate them to exert effort, retailers have provided group incentives for store managers. Using data from 75 stores of a U.S.-based retail chain that changed its incentive plan for store managers from being purely dependent on store performance to being dependent upon both store and corporate performance, we investigate the effect of this change on store performance.

In this article, we investigate the effects of leader subjective ambivalence on team performance. Integrating the ambivalence literature and social learning theory, we propose a multi-level model of whether, when, and why team leaders’ subjective ambivalence enhances team performance outcomes.

We integrated theories of social exchange and emotional ambivalence to explain how ambivalent relationships influence interpersonally directed helping and harming behaviors. Using multiple methodologies, including a study of student teams, an experiment, and a quasifield study of retail employees, we compared ambivalent relationships with positive and negative relationships. Our three studies provide convergent evidence that ambivalent relationships with coworkers are positively related to both helping and harming behaviors.

How leaders can recast innovation's toughest trade-offs—efficiency vs. flexibility, consistency vs. change, product vs purpose—as productive tensions.