Research in Organizational Behavior

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0191-3085
Publications
Article
Sociologists and other social scientists have long recognized that certain economic transactions involve more than a simple trade of goods or services for money. A long-standing theme in economic anthropology and sociology emphasizes the symbolic or moral character of certain economic exchanges or transactions (Weber 1902, Veblen 1899; Malinowski, 1920; Geertz 1973, Sahlins 1976, Douglas 1966). Some scholars working within the new economic sociology continue in this tradition by examining how cultural beliefs affect economic life, both in the background as institutions shaping social interaction and in the foreground as reflected in market dynamics, including price (Zelizer 1994; Velthuis 2005). A related, specific theme of contemporary interest examines the interpretation and value placed on the perceived authenticity of products and producers to a transaction. For instance, Peterson (1997) examines how authenticity is "fabricated" in country music in order to make it appealing. Similarly, Carroll and Swaminathan (2000) conjecture that the rise of microbreweries and brewpubs resulted from the authenticity appeal of their organizational forms. Likewise, Grazian (2003:17) studies "how different kinds of people within the world of Chicago blues employ the concept of authenticity in their daily rounds in everyday life." Fine (2004) analyzes how the biographies of self-taught artists define their authenticity. Rao et al. (2005) examine how issues of authenticity affect the social boundaries between classical and nouvelle French cuisine and the implications for restaurants. Finally, Wherry (2006) looks at the different ways authenticity plays out in the Thai market for handicrafts.
 
Article
Public opinion research shows that most people espouse egalitarian ideals and acknowledge substantial income inequality in society, but they consistently perceive the economic system to be highly fair and legitimate. In an attempt to better understand this paradox by considering the cognitive and motivational bases of ideological support for the free market system, we draw on and integrate a number of social psychological theories suggesting that people want to believe that the systems and institutions that affect them are fair, legitimate, and justified. We have developed an instrument for measuring fair market ideology, and we have found in several samples that its endorsement is associated with self-deception, economic system justification, opposition to equality, power distance orientation, belief in a just world, political conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism, and scandal minimization. We also present evidence that people evince a system-justifying tendency to judge profitable companies to be more ethical than unprofitable companies. In addition, results from an experimental study we conducted in Hungary indicate that support for the free market system is strongest among people who score high in self-deception under conditions of system threat, suggesting the presence of a (nonrational) defensive motivation. Finally, we discuss several organizational and societal implications of the tendency to idealize market mechanisms and to view market-generated outcomes as inherently fair.
 
Constructing the sacred. Note: We use a dotted line between ''institution'' and ''individual'' to denote the weaker, more distal relationship between the two.  
A four-stage model of sacrilege and reintegration. (a) Stage 1: discovery, individual disbelief, and organizational denial. (b) Stage 2: perceived breach of covenant and convention. (c) Stage 3: labeling and institutional punishment. (d) Stage 4: repentance.  
Article
Organizations may commit deeds that are perceived by stakeholders and institutional actors as particularly heinous because they directly contradict sacred ideals, values, beliefs, and so on espoused by the organization. We refer to these deeds as sacrilege. To explain how sacrilege occurs, we develop a multi-level model of sacralization that argues that individuals, organizations, and institutions are motivated to construct a sense of the inviolable. Sacralization fosters strong normative control by generating a set of unique structural relationships among the individuals, organizations, and institutional context. We then use this model to explain how sacrilege undermines these structures and how organizations often attempt to recover from such violations.
 
Article
"To appear in: Barry Staw (ed.) Annual review of research in organizational behavior, vol. 1, New York: JIP Press, 1978."
 
Article
We assert that previous research has overlooked the pervasive ambiguity in ethical situations in organizations, as well as how people pierce through this ambiguity to realize new distinctions between right and wrong. Focusing on well-intentioned individuals who unknowingly transgress, we present a theory of how they come to recalibrate their moral judgments. We begin by discussing the composition and nature of a moral judgment. Building on this discussion, we then consider how external sanctions can be used to shift moral judgments. Finally, we posit that internal emotional responses to sanctions (namely embarrassment) will facilitate this shift by triggering a sense of moral deficiency. More specifically, we assert that embarrassment will focus the transgressor's attention on what went wrong. This reflection provides an opportunity for the recalibration of the initial moral judgment. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our theory.
 
Article
This case study of two offshore oil platforms illustrates how an organizational initiative designed to enhance safety and effectiveness created a culture that unintentionally released men from societal imperatives for “manly” behavior, prompting them to let go of masculine-image concerns and to behave instead in counter-stereotypical ways. Rather than proving how tough, proficient, and cool-headed they were, as was typical of men in other dangerous workplaces, platform workers readily acknowledged their physical limitations, publicly admitted their mistakes, and openly attended to their own and others’ feelings. Importantly, platform workers did not replace a conventional image of masculinity with an unconventional one and then set out to prove the new image—revealing mistakes strategically, for example, or competing in displays of sensitivity. Instead, the goal of proving one's masculine credentials, conventional or otherwise, appeared to no longer hold sway in men's workplace interactions. Building on West and Zimmerman's (1987: 129) now classic articulation of gender as “the product of social doings,” we describe this organizationally induced behavior as “undoing” gender. We use this case, together with secondary case data drawn from 10 published field studies of men doing dangerous work, to induce a model of how organizational cultures equip men to “do” and “undo” gender at work.
 
Article
Argues that nonreactive measures, which minimize the impact of the measurement process on the responses being obtained, should be used as supplements to questionnaires and interviews. A brief review of the problematic aspects of self-report data is used to support this argument, and 2 organizational topics—absenteeism and organizational stress—are studied to examine issues relevant to nonreactive measurement. Absenteeism data come from archival records, formally designated as a major nonreactive category. Methodological issues germane to this category are illustrated by considerations regarding the recording process, the summarizing of data, and the use of additional measures to interpret those data. The prospects for wider use of nonreactive measures are illustrated by descriptions of a variety of physiological indicators (in the form of "traces" and mechanically aided observations) applicable to occupational stress research. Relationships between absenteeism and stress are also discussed in light of the need for measurement refinement to be theory-guided. (5 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
propose that feelings, an integral aspect of the human experience, are central to obtaining a richer understanding of work motivation / suggest that workers strive to become many things, with the self as an accomplished worker being just one of the many possible selves potentially in need of motivational attention feelings, in the form of emotions, help to determine which possible self is focused on motivationally at any point in time and when shifts in this attention take place (e.g., from the self as accomplished worker to the self as caring parent) / because the self as an accomplished worker is of prime concern for understanding work motivation, we address how feelings, in the form of moods, impact motivation within this possible self / explore the potential effects of positive mood on some of the constructs and processes underlying distal and proximal work motivation in an exemplary fashion / [discuss] the types of questions a theory of work motivation with feelings should address and the tentative answers to those questions we have provided (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
I examine the role of explaining variance in the construction of explanatory theory. Explaining variance can be an insufficient basis for evaluating a theory (Lieberson, 1985). Starting with this insight, I suggest that models that provide explanations of variance do not necessarily provide good explanations of causal mechanisms. I then explore the utility of process models and theories (Mohr, 1982) relative to variance theories. I clarify the role of stochastic processes in such model building and discuss the implications of such processes for evaluating explanatory `adequacy'. Under some conditions, explaining variance may be neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for good explanatory theory. I then identify some implications of this argument for developing and analyzing explanatory theory. These arguments are applied to two examples: (1) meta-analysis and (2) the disposition versus situation debate (a variant on the nature vs. nurture argument) to illustrate the implications of ...
 
Article
Discusses the nature of escalation situations and outlines the major lines of escalation research. A classificatory review of the literature is provided, which not only summarizes existing investigations but also explores several other social science variables that may logically influence escalation contexts. It is argued that escalation research needs to focus on 4 larger classes of project, psychological, social, and structural determinants, and that these determinants in turn need to be reduced through an analysis of prototypes. Possible solutions are considered for converting escalation prototypes into contexts with greater tendencies toward withdrawal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The performance appraisal process is construed as a function of 3 interacting systems: organizational context, the appraiser's information processing system, and the behavioral system of the appraisee. It is argued that aspects of each system constrain the ability of the appraisal process to produce accurate, unbiased, and reliable assessment of individual behavior and performance. The following characteristics of the appraisal process are discussed: (1) observation, reward opportunities, and systemic issues such as function and expectations within the context of the organization; (2) the appraiser's automatic attention processes, categorization and memory, and information search and recall; and (3) appraisees' automatic and controlled modes of behavior. Recommendations for improving the appraisal process are presented. (9 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the dynamics operating in observing the behavior of managerial candidates in simulated exercises and in processing information for the evaluation of candidates. These dynamics are viewed from 3 perspectives: (1) information processing, (2) categorization and social cognition, and (3) group dynamics. Concepts such as categories and management behavior schema are used to explain how assessors recall information and make predictions and judgments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Uses the social cognitive literature on person perception to analyze social perceptions in terms of 5 information processing (IP) steps: selective attention/comprehension, encoding, storage and retention, information retrieval, and judgment. This IP model is then used to explain leadership perceptions and measurement of leadership behavior. Suggestions for improving behavioral measurement are offered. The IP model is compared to classical measurement models, and its implications for attribution theory are discussed. (4 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that occupational sex bias is not inevitable nor invariable and presents a "lack of fit" model to describe the dynamics of sex bias and the conditions that prompt and support its occurrence in organizational settings. The model uses a single principle to explain how both self-directed sex bias (self-limiting behavior) and other-directed sex bias (discrimination) operate before and after a woman's entry into an organization. Areas considered include selection, evaluation, and causal explanations of success. A review of the literature demonstrates the integrative capacity of the model, and consideration of the model's implications illustrates its practical utility in furthering organizational change to reduce sex bias in the workplace. (71 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Approaches to partitioning interorganizational networks into subgroups are discussed, a set of criteria for evaluating partitioning approaches is developed, and blockmodeling, (or structural-equivalence analysis) is recommended as being consistent with theoretical demands of the interorganizational perspective. Blockmodeling is illustrated in an analysis of the structure of the organizational field of American resident nonprofit theaters. Applicability to ethnographic research, to identifying niches in population-ecology studies, and to treating intraorganizational conflict in interorganizational research is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Proposes a model of the change process as it relates specifically to the issues of whistle-blowing. Integrated into the model is the consideration of the following issues: how whistle-blowers (WBs) decide to take action; the immediate consequences for individuals, groups, and organizations of such actions; and the long-term consequences for the organization that treats WBs as dissidents vs the organization that treats WBs as reformers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Defines what is meant by executive discretion, and discusses the major factors that are thought to enhance or restrict the discretion of chief executives. Some of the organizational effects of abundant and restricted chief executive discretion are portrayed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reports participant observation data, collected over a 20-yr period, comparing the success of 2 charismatic leaders. Where charisma was routinized (1) administrative apparatus had developed for putting mission into practice; (2) rites and ceremonials transferred and transformed the charisma to others; (3) message and mission were incorporated into written and oral tradition; and (4) the organization selected a successor to serve as a reincarnation of the charismatic and to support the charismatic's mission. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Employee ownership modifies the traditional and prevailing relationship in most societies between workers and their work organization, and there are arguments suggesting that this modification has implications for the quality of working life of employees and their performance for the company. One set of arguments suggests that such effects occur through the social system of a company assumed to be more egalitarian, participative, and supportive. Another set of arguments implies effects of ownership through its direct impact on the employees themselves—on their sense of identification with their company and on their motivation to contribute to the success of the enterprise. Several forms of employee ownership are illustrated, including "social" ownership, workers' cooperatives, and employee stock ownership plans; and the limited research evidence related to the effects of employee ownership is reviewed. (104 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents a framework for integrating the research and theory on the procedures used by 3rd parties to manage conflict in diverse settings. The framework thus provides a generic basis for the study of conflict intervention procedure. The framework requires 3 elements: a procedural taxonomy, a comprehensive list of the goals of intervention and a list of the characteristics of conflict and conflict setting relative to the study of procedure. The framework was developed to promote several important recent trends in conflict intervention research, such as innovation in procedures, facilitation in comparative research, and expansion of criteria. It also provides a vehicle for expanding study of more informal conflict intervention procedures, such as those used by managers within organizations. To identify the need for this framework, present research on conflict intervention is briefly reviewed. The framework is evaluated in terms of its suitability for fulfilling the identified needs in conflict intervention research, and some new directions for organizational conflict research are suggested. (107 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Develops a model of organizational evolution based on a simultaneous consideration of forces for stability, forces for fundamental change, and the role of executive leadership in mediating between these contrasting forces. This punctuated equilibrium model of organization evolution focuses on both continuities and discontinuities in the lives of organizations and assigns a vital role for greater understanding of organizational periods, environmental discontinuities, the impact of organizational history on current behavior, and the paradoxical role of executive leadership. (6½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that cooperative behavior is linked to the role that organizations play in defining and maintaining people's social identities. People define themselves and evaluate their self worth, at least in part, through status judgments linked to the organizations to which they belong. When people receive favorable identity-relevant information from membership in an organization they respond behaviorally by cooperating with the organization. Further, people respond to favorable identity-relevant information by developing internal values that lead them to voluntary engage in such cooperative behaviors. Two identity relevant judgments are distinguished: pride and respect. Pride reflects evaluations of the status of one's organization. Respect reflects the assessments of how one is evaluated by others in that organization. Both identity-relevant judgments influence the extent to which people engage in cooperative behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Argues that demography, the length of service distribution of the work force, is an important explanatory variable in organizational research. Demography is largely a function of factors such as the growth and structure of the organization, employment practices related to compensation and turnover, and unionization. In turn, organizational demography is hypothesized to have effects on (1) the frequency and type of administrator succession; (2) performance, adaptability, and innovation; (3) the form of control employed; (4) the amount and form of interorganizational linkages and transaction patterns across organizations; (5) cohort identity and intercohort conflict; (6) the distribution of power across cohorts; and (7) mobility aspirations and expectations resulting from different career processes. Issues related to the measurement of demography and implications for research in organizational behavior are discussed. (5 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses discipline and punishment in organizational contexts. A definition of discipline is presented, and the variety of functions this control/influence strategy plays are reviewed. A model of the discipline/punishment process is developed, and relevant empirical and theoretical literature that describes and discusses components of the process is reviewed. The impact of discipline and punishment on various organizational dependent variables (e.g., target behaviors, performance, attitudes) is also examined. (4 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Develops a model of principled organizational dissent after a review of literature in the social sciences, humanities, law and journalism. Propositions are derived from the model toward a program of research to estimate the magnitude of principled organizational dissent as a form of individual behavior in the workplace; identify and analyze factors affecting the causes and consequences of principled dissent; and suggest how principled dissent could be more effective as a stimulus for constructive organizational change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Outlines current theory and research on the dyadic approach to understanding how the behavior of individuals becomes teamwork for accomplishing unstructured tasks (dyadic organizing). Major points include the following: (1) Dyadic organizing processes are contingent on the nature of the tasks to be organized. (2) Even within organizational units, various dyadic structures are organized to accomplish unstructured tasks, and supporting dyadic understandings emerge during the role-making and role-routinization processes. (3) Variations in the quality of dyadic structures within units have implications for both organizational and career outcomes. (4) Research is needed to determine the effects of various organizational systems on dyadic organizing and vice versa. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Uses the recent theoretical explanation for behavior in organizations proposed by J. C. Naylor et al (1980) as a conceptual framework for understanding the effects of goal setting. The theory presents the motivational process as a sequence consisting of 3 cognitive processing stages, each of which involves the conversion of a prior utility function as a result of an individual's perception or belief about 1 of 3 different contingency relationships. These 3 perceived contingency functions are contingencies between acts and products, products and evaluations, and evaluations and outcomes. All the major elements of the motivation sequence are future oriented, and the separate stages of cognitive processing in the sequence are best described as predictive evaluative judgment processes. It is argued that the goal-setting intervention has its major influence on motivation (and thus behavior) by affecting a task performer's perceptions of the shape of the product-to-evaluation contingency function. This results in changes in the motivational force to commit resources to acts. Also examined and redefined within the theory are the traditional goal-setting terms of goal difficulty, specificity, and acceptability. Numerous analytical arguments are suggested as ways of viewing how these traditional goal-setting constructs may be operating in a goal-setting situation. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Describes organizational technology as a construct with the potential for integrating many empirical and theoretical developments from both macro- and micro-organizational domains. A conceptual definition that stresses multiple transformation components—machinery, knowledge, personnel requirements—of technology is developed and the impact that the core technical system of an organization has throughout the organization is emphasized. The empirical literature from sociological studies of the technological imperative to individuals' responses to task characteristics is reviewed. An overall concept of an organization as a core technology surrounded by supporting and buffering subsystems, as adapted from J. D. Thompson (1967), is developed. On the basis of this theoretical view of organizations, the dependencies among the managerial, social, and technical systems are discussed. It is argued that empirical and theoretical research on such topics as task characteristics' influences on individuals' responses, communication patterns, and leadership should be conceived and executed as if these organizational characteristics were derived from and severely constrained by the technical systems of the organization. (3 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Presents an overview of the trends in previous justice research, including an analysis of 2 major theoretical inadequacies in current justice frameworks. Two alternative theoretical assumptions are outlined. To broaden the domain of the theory and research on justice, a typology of social accounts is presented, and the ramifications of the new framework are demonstrated in an analysis of 2 new justice-related issues that have heretofore been ignored by justice researchers. Moral issues raised by the use of social accounts are addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Addresses the importance of task design as a topic of study, and summarizes historical perspectives and background of this topic. Emerging controversies and issues surrounding task design are noted, and an integrated model of task design is described. This model draws from existing and related theories to provide an integrated perspective. Key components of the model are defined, and their boundaries are delineated. Relationships and processes among components of the model are described. The implications for research are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviews recent writings on interactional psychology and presents an interactionist interpretation of current thinking on job attitudes, socialization to work, and leadership. The debate between W. Mischel (1968, 1973) and K. S. Bowers (1973) is used to illustrate the situationist and interactionist perspectives. A summary of other interactionist writers is organized around 3 themes: (1) how human behavior is both internally and externally controlled, (2) the failure of laboratory experiments to allow for naturally occurring person–situation interactions, and (3) the diverse conceptual and statistical meanings of the term "interaction." Research on organizational behavior is shown to be quite situationist in orientation, with a concentration on socially constructed realities, the impact of the organization on newcomers, and behavior as a function of the decision situation. Suggestions for a more trait- or person-oriented approach are presented. (89 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the use of meetings and the available studies of meetings that have been conducted by anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, business administrators, and others. It is argued that researchers have made meetings a tool of analysis, when they should have been the topic of investigation. A framework for a theory of meetings is presented, which sees meetings as rituals, social metaphors, and homeostats as prerequisite to the study of meetings in organizations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Frequency of appearances of meta-analyses in Psychological Abstracts by year for 1977 through 1985. The projected value for 1985 is based upon data from the first half of the year.
Article
Discusses a new method of literature review called meta-analysis, which has been promoted as being more objective than alternative methods. Focus is on the decisions a meta-analyst makes in conducting such a review, and how these decisions affect the validity of conclusions reached through meta-analysis. The costs and benefits of quantification in literature review are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Outlines a multi-level theory which proposes that self-serving is functionally equivalent for individuals, groups, and organizations. Core causes of self-serving include identity protection and the pursuit or protection of material resources. Uncertainty and retroactive scrutiny are argued to exacerbate self-serving tendencies. Proactive scrutiny is expected to dampen these tendencies. Consequences of self-serving include the maintenance of deviant behavior, actor–observer conflict, and the acquisition of material and identity-based benefits. Self-serving is argued to be relevant to a wide variety of organizational phenomena at several levels, including performance appraisal, escalation of commitment, unethical behavior, intergroup conflict, institutional process, and agency problems. The theory addresses several paradoxes of organizational life and several theoretical debates in the organizational sciences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses traditional and potential roles for personality constructs in explanations of work behavior. An overview of the way personality has been treated in organizational research is presented, and it is argued that current negative evaluations about the contributions of personality are based on research that is conceptually and methodologically limited: Most of the criticisms place greater emphasis on the inability of personality constructs to predict behavior patterns than on the question of construct legitimacy. Three general topics are discussed—situation strength, dependent variable analysis, and interactions—to illustrate issues relevant to a more appropriate examination of personality and organizational behavior. (167 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
U.S. market share for GM, Ford, Chrysler and Japan (all manufacturers) 1959-1990 Source: Wards.
Article
This paper develops a general model of response to loss. Based on original empirical research of the U.S. auto industry and dual literature analyses of macro-organizational behavior and clinical psychology, I observe that organizational response to major environmental change is remarkably similar to individual response to loss. To explain this similarity, I propose that a common identity maintenance and adaptation imperataive drives the process at all social levels through all phases. I explain loss as a chasm between two forms of identity-structural and cognitive-that a viable entity must hold in some reasonable congruence:. The analysis suggests a logic underlying Kubler-Ross's (1969) stage theory of loss:, a model that has enjoyed widespread clinical acceptance but has met with scientific skepticism. Based on this stage theory, I develop a modified, general model of loss that explains important anomalous findings about loss including loss aversion, escalation, and rigidity under threat, and, more generally why it usually takes so long to respond and adapt. Practical applications for understanding and managing change processes are proposed.
 
How our moral compass can be socially redirected.  
Article
This chapter focuses on the social nature of morality. Using the metaphor of the moral compass to describe individuals’ inner sense of right and wrong, we offer a framework that identifies social reasons why our moral compasses can come under others’ control, leading even good people to cross ethical boundaries. Departing from prior work on how individuals’ cognitive limitations explain unethical behavior, we focus on socio-psychological processes that facilitate moral neglect, moral justification, and immoral action, all of which undermine moral behavior. In addition, we describe organizational factors that exacerbate the detrimental effects of each facilitator. We conclude by advising organizational scholars to take a more integrative approach to developing and evaluating theory about unethical behavior and by suggesting further study of interventions that might disempower these social triggers of unethical behavior, allowing us to regain control of our moral compasses. A solitary organism has no need for moral rules, nor does a creature living among others without mutual dependency. (Høgh-Oleson, 2010, p. 3).
 
Article
In this chapter, we put forth the premise that people's motivated tendency to justify and defend their external systems has important, and largely unexplored, implications for the field of organizational behavior. Drawing on recent theoretical and empirical work emerging from System Justification Theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994), we propose that people's desire to view prevailing structural arrangements in a positive light may uniquely contribute to our understanding of the psychology of people in organizational settings. We begin by specifically highlighting System Justification Theory's implications for: organizational change, employee citizenship behaviors, and integration of a diverse workforce. We then review empirical work on the situations in which people's system-justification motive is likely to be particularly pronounced and discuss how these situations may manifest in organizational contexts. Following this, we describe several streams of research on the consequences of the system-justification motive, with a focus on the implications of these findings for organizational members’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in the workplace.
 
Article
In this paper we describe an emergent process of institutional change in which institutional entrepreneurs are unintentional contributors to the change process. Our theory suggests how change in the predominant institutional logic of corporate governance at public U.S. companies resulted not from deliberate attempts by corporate leaders to change the criteria by which governance is evaluated, but from the cumulative efforts of top executives to provide “impression management support” (IM support) for individual leaders of other firms. We first discuss how IM support has spread among corporate leaders through generalized social exchange. Then we suggest how individual leaders, in seeking to persuade journalists about the quality of corporate leadership at particular other firms, tend to invoke evaluative criteria that deviate from the prevailing institutional logic of governance. We further suggest how the rhetoric of IM support instigated a cascading social influence process that has contributed to changing perceptions about corporate governance among a broad range of other corporate stakeholders. We discuss the implications of our model for sociological perspectives on corporate governance and the corporate elite. Finally, we consider how the occasional negative commentary by corporate leaders about their peers, in combination with IM support, helps to sustain the credibility of the social system in which leaders, journalists, and other information intermediaries operate.
 
Article
Career stories of 50 female executives from major corporations and high-growth entrepreneurial ventures suggest two alternative accounts of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions: navigating and pioneering. In navigating accounts, the women legitimized their claims to top authority positions by following well institutionalized paths of career advancement (e.g., high performance in line jobs) and self-advocating with the gatekeepers of the social hierarchy (e.g., bosses, investors). In pioneering accounts, the women articulated a strategic vision and cultivated a community of support and followership around their strategic ideas and leadership. The career stories suggested that, when the women’s authority claims were not validated, they engaged in narrative identity work to revise their aspirations and legitimization strategies. Sometimes narrative identity work motivated women to shift from one type of account to another, particularly from navigating to pioneering. Based on inductive analyses of these 50 career stories, I propose a process model of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions by recursively resetting career accounts as authority claims succeed or fail.
 
Article
This chapter attempts to strengthen theoretical connections between interpretive cultural studies of authenticity and organizational studies. Adopting an unstructured qualitative approach, we use the domain of contemporary food and dining to develop a conceptual framework for assessing authenticity. We start by recognizing the two very different classical symbolic interpretations of authenticity: (1) type authenticity, where the question involves whether an entity is true to its associated type (or category or genre); and (2) moral authenticity, where the issue concerns whether the decisions behind the enactment and operation of an entity reflect sincere choices (i.e., choices true to one's self) rather than socially scripted responses. We next suggest that, in response to social change, these two interpretations have each spawned a unique but related different meaning of authenticity. From type authenticity came what we call craft authenticity, which involves whether something is made using the appropriate techniques and ingredients. Idiosyncratic authenticity emerged out of moral authenticity; here the question is whether there is a commonly recognized (usually historical) quirkiness to the product or place. Our analysis then proceeds to develop a general conjecture, namely, that communication and impact of authenticity comes through most forcefully when it is constructed organizationally—tightly and visibly integrated into the structure of an organization. Depending on which of the four meanings of authenticity is operative, the details of the most compelling organizational construction will vary.
 
Article
This paper focuses on the workplace consequences of both descriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men are like) and prescriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men should be like), and their implications for women's career progress. Its central argument is that gender stereotypes give rise to biased judgments and decisions, impeding women's advancement. The paper discusses how descriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias because of the negative performance expectations that result from the perception that there is a poor fit between what women are like and the attributes believed necessary for successful performance in male gender-typed positions and roles. It also discusses how prescriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias by creating normative standards for behavior that induce disapproval and social penalties when they are directly violated or when violation is inferred because a woman is successful. Research is presented that tests these ideas, considers specific career consequences likely to result from stereotype-based bias, and identifies conditions that exaggerate or minimize the likelihood of their occurrence.
 
Article
The micro-processes (small-scale tasks performed byindividuals and groups) that generate innovation are considered in order todetermine which conditions are best for the cultivation of innovations.Adynamic model of innovation is offered which reflects the innovation process asuncertain, knowledge-intensive, controversial and boundless. The model connectsthe four primary tasks of the innovation process to the social patterns andstructures that foster those tasks.These tasks include idea generation,coalition building, idea realization (prototype production), and diffusion(commercialization of the product). Following in-depth discussions of each of the four tasks, it is argued thatclose structural connections between potential innovators and users is integralto the innovation process, as are structural connections between the innovationitself and the organizations that will circulate and commercialize theproduct.Interorganizational ties and organization-environment connectionsfacilitate and enrich the innovation process.(SAA)
 
Article
People acquire ways of thinking about time partly in and from work organizations, where the control and measurement of time use is a prominent feature of modern management — an inevitable consequence of employees selling their time for money. In this paper, we theorize about the role organizational practices play in promoting an economic evaluation of time and time use — where time is thought of primarily in monetary terms and viewed as a scarce resource that should be used as efficiently as possible. While people usually make decisions about time and money differently, we argue that management practices that make the connection between time and money salient can heighten the economic evaluation of time. We consider both the organizational causes of economic evaluation as well as its personal and societal consequences.
 
Article
The traditional focus in organization theory on corporations as bounded, countable units of social structure is a poor fit with the emerging nature of the new economy Increasingly 'boundaryless' production processes, and the predominance of evaluative standards based in financial markets, undermine the explanatory usefulness of theories such us resource dependence and population ecology. Yet economic theories of the firm are ill-equipped to make sense of the social and political processes that shape the structure and evolution of the corporation. This chapter argues that social movement theory provides an explanatory approach well-suited to forms of coordinated collective action in a post-industrial economy. We illustrate the argument by comparing the emerging media industry to the emergence of a national social movement, and everyday workings of the network economy of Silicon Valley To the routine mobilization of Local movement activity. We close by describing four areas for future research.
 
Article
"To appear in L.L. Cummings and B.M. Staw (Eds.), Research in Organizational Behavior, Volume 9, 1987."
 
Institutional entrepreneurs, their activities and audiences over time: pragmatic legitimacy developments.
Summary of pragmatic legitimacy developments.
Institutional entrepreneurs, their activities and audiences over time: cognitive legitimacy developments.
Summary of cognitive legitimacy developments.
Institutional entrepreneurs, their activities and audiences over time: normative legitimacy developments.  
Article
We investigate the interplay between institutional structures and agency in the emergence of the private military and security industry (PMSI). Despite its controversial nature, the PMSI has achieved sufficient legitimacy since the end of the Cold War to account at times for the majority of military personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We find both structure and agency central to the PMSI's development. The analysis points first to the central roles played by actors with expertise, reputation, and credibility based in sovereign structures, and, second, to structural shifts that reconfigured the military field in ways that both enabled and constrained agency. Various actors lent credibility to new activities that were integrated with and substitutes for previously legitimated approaches by using these openings to discredit prevailing institutional logics and to construct bridges between old and new institutions. However, it is the interplay of structure and agency that affords the clearest view of the expansion of the modern PMSI and the forces fostering and impeding its legitimacy. Our analysis reflects on a central question in organization theory: Where do new industries come from, and what entrepreneurial strategies are employed to establish organizational legitimacy under structural constraints?
 
Top-cited authors
Walter W. Powell
  • Stanford University
Michael L. Tushman
  • Harvard University
Lynne Zucker
  • University of California, Los Angeles
Russell Cropanzano
  • University of Colorado Boulder
Charles A O'Reilly
  • Stanford University