Dennis A. Gioia

Dennis A. Gioia
Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies · M & O

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106
Publications
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31,114
Citations

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
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https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-more-sustainable-supply-chain
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Although multinational companies (MNCs) have increasingly embraced a sustainability strategy for their own operations, fewer have tried to engage their (tier-one) suppliers in their sustainability initiatives. It is even rarer that MNCs engage their suppliers' suppliers (lower-tier suppliers), despite the latter having a higher incidence of violati...
Article
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This article, together with a companion video, provides a synthesized summary of a Showcase Symposium held at the 2016 Academy of Management Annual Meeting in which prominent scholars—Denny Gioia, Kathy Eisenhardt, Ann Langley and Kevin Corley—discussed different approaches to theory building with qualitative research. Our goal for the symposium wa...
Article
We investigate how the temporal effects of past, present, and future influence organizational identification. We examine an underrepresented but important stakeholder group-organizational alumni-whose prior organizational experiences can leave a “legacy identification,” such that alumni continue to define themselves in terms of the organization's i...
Chapter
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What kind of person is likely to emerge as an informal leader in the workplace? Experimental research shows that high self-monitors—who tend to adjust their attitudes and behaviors to the demands of different situations—emerge as informal leaders in temporary groups. By contrast, low self-monitors—who tend to be true to themselves in terms of consi...
Chapter
This chapter outlines an argument for an adaptive relationship between organizational identity and learning. The nature of organizational learning is discussed and a more in-depth examination of how identity and learning are related at the organizational level is presented. A discussion of both the theoretical and practical implications of this int...
Article
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The Symposium brings together a broad range of Business School stakeholders including leading scholars, deans, employers, alumni, and business education media representatives. Panel members will present different perspectives on the current state of Business Schools' Programs rankings. These rankings became very important for many leading business...
Article
The presence of organizational icons—defined as individuals who personify their organizations—is a phenomenon that is widely recognized in the media and general public as being highly impactful. The field of organizational studies has not yet addressed this distinctive concept, however. In this paper, we define and explore the concept of an organiz...
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We develop the notion of image as a “covering concept,” one that subsumes several major ideas in organization study. We draw on a number of literatures, including social psychology, marketing/branding, political science and organization studies, to make the case that “image is everything.” We consider not only the pervasiveness of image, but also t...
Presentation
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the birth of Upper Echelons Theory. In this symposium, we want to celebrate this event by exploring future directions for capturing upper echelons’ cognition through their use of verbal communication. Some of the questions we would like to address are: What are the main challenges in using words as proxies for min...
Article
Romanticized media narratives of prominent figures are typically resistant to change. This research takes a grounded theory approach to study the case of Joe Paterno, an iconic organizational figure who became embroiled in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. As a result, the mass media dramatically rewrote the existing media n...
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We employed a longitudinal, grounded-theory approach to investigate the occurrence of an identity crisis in an emerging collective of organizations attempting to form a new academic field. The findings indicate that legacy identities and the nested structure of such organizations have implications for the formation of identity at this level. Specif...
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Answering calls for incorporating “forward-looking” sensibility into organization theories that are dominated by “backward looking and incremental sensibility,” and recognizing the value of forward- looking behavior for the survival and success of organizations, this proposed symposium aims to stimulate the study of prospective or forward-looking b...
Article
Organizational crisis, scandals, and stigmas are not new. We continue to witness major ethical and moral shortcomings as scandals unfold in corporations, churches, and not-for-profit organizations. Despite the preponderance of these crises, however, most go unstudied by organizational scholars, in large part because access is so difficult. For thos...
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Theory and research concerning organizational identity (“who we are as an organization”) is a burgeoning domain within organization study. A great deal of conceptual and empirical work has been accomplished within the last three decades—especially concerning the phenomenon of organizational identity change. More recently, work has been devoted to s...
Chapter
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This article details the personal involvement of the author in the early stages of the infamous Pinto fire case. The paper first presents an insider account of the context and decision environment within which he failed to initiate an early recall of defective vehicles. A cognitive script analysis of the personal experience is then offered as an ex...
Article
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For all its richness and potential for discovery, qualitative research has been critiqued as too often lacking in scholarly rigor. The authors summarize a systematic approach to new concept development and grounded theory articulation that is designed to bring “qualitative rigor” to the conduct and presentation of inductive research.
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Can ambiguous vision statements help to initiate strategic change? We draw on organizational and political concepts to make the case that ambiguity in the expression of future aspirations enables a sense of alignment between local and larger organizational goals that eases the political path to successful change. We also explore the paradox that, o...
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Although the knowledge-based view of strategy has significantly advanced understanding of the foundations of competitive advantage, less is known about how knowledge becomes a strategic resource. In this study, we develop an inductive, process model of the relationships among (1) top managers' beliefs about knowledge as a resource (termed executive...
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Rather than viewing organizational identity in the usual fashion as some sort of entity, thing, or "being," we suggest that identity might be better viewed in terms of ongoing process or flow. We argue that such a counterintuitive stance generates a different way of understanding identity, which when viewed in concert with its more usual portrayal,...
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We distill existing literature on theoretical contribution into two dimensions, originality (incremental or revelatory) and utility (scientific or practical). We argue for a revision in the way scholars approach the utility dimension by calling for a view of theorizing that would enable theories with more "scope" (both scientific and practical util...
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We adopted an interpretive, grounded theory approach to study the processes by which organizational identities changed during the initial phases of a merger between two formerly rival healthcare organizations. Our investigation of two top management teams attempting to instigate this major change effort and lead their organizations toward completio...
Article
We investigated the processes involved in forming an organizational identity, which we studied during the founding of a distinctive new college by using an interpretive, insider-outsider research approach. The emergent grounded theory model suggests that organizational identity formed via the interplay of eight notable processes, four of which occu...
Article
We apply the concept of self-monitoring to organizations to outline an approach for better understanding how organizations can attend to the different ways in which stakeholders perceive organizational identity and various other organizational images. We argue that self-monitoring is a multilevel concept that can be applied not only to individual b...
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This special topic forum was designed to stimulate theory development on corruption in organizational life as a systemic and synergistic phenomenon. Given the multiple perspectives and bodies of literature that can be brought to bear on the phenomenon, we introduce the forum with a micro view, macro view, wide view, long view, and deep view of orga...
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Any organizational environment is filled with many different types of organizational images, some sent by a focal organization, some sent by outside arbiters, and others formed by interested stakeholders. As organizations attempt to communicate directly to segmented audiences by using tailored images, they also indirectly, and sometimes unwittingly...
Article
The purpose of this two-part research project was to investigate the role of affect in managerial perception and jugdment of subordinate employees. In project I, managerial affect was found to be related to both objective employee performance and employee personality. The personality manipulation also influenced performance ratings, suggesting affe...
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We investigated the attempt of a high-technology R&D organization to transform into a market-oriented organization by ©grafting© new, nontechnological knowledge. The intended strategic transformation did not succeed for reasons with wide implications for theory and research. Our findings suggest that the intersection of organizational identity, kno...
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Using Gioia and Brass' 1986 article, "Teaching the TV Generation," as a point of departure for considering our current instructional environment, we focus on a relatively recent development that once again has implications for our teaching pedagogies: that we are, in fact, no longer teaching a verbal, nor even just a visual, but now a virtual gener...
Chapter
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This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re-visioning, and...
Article
When I first read Weick in 1977, I had no idea what to make of him. The style of writing and thinking was unusual, even weird to me. It struck me initially as cryptic and arcane, and also as rooted in ideas that seemed obscure and esoteric. Furthermore, he demonstrated these ideas — supposedly about life in organizations — with examples that did no...
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We report on the findings of an inductive, interpretive case study of organizational identity change in the spin-off of a Fortune 100 company's top-performing organizational unit into an independent organization. We examined the processes by which the labels and meanings associated with the organization's identity underwent changes during and after...
Article
: This chapter presents a framework for understanding the tensions that underlie an organization's ability to manage innovation effectively in the face of a turbulent competitive environment: (1) the fundamental tension between the desire for structure and need for creative chaos, and (2) the on-going tension between technology-push and market-pull...
Article
We disagree strongly with Cornelissen's critique of the organizational identity metaphor on grounds that he: seriously underplays the generative strength of metaphor in the study of organizations; inappropriately applies the standards of assessment from one paradigm to the approaches of another; and raises false concerns about issues of self refere...
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Accounting for organizational history is essential to any change process. We argue, however, that the intentional revision of that history also can be important. We treat history as malleable, because events and actions from the past are susceptible to reinterpretation as organizations try to align with the way they see themselves in the present an...
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We have no doubt that AMLE over the coming years will be an excellent forum for theory and research relevant to teaching, learning, and education more broadly. Our purpose in this inaugural issue, however, is to call attention to some metaforces that have dramatically affected the character of management education in the United States and now are s...
Article
The business model that looks likely to dominate the future in the wake of the convergence between Internet and traditional economies is the “bricks and clicks” organization. We conducted an in-depth study of the top executives of a prototypical Fortune 500 company's online division. We tracked and interviewed the president and other top management...
Article
The article presents a speech by Dennis A. Gioia entitled “Business Education's Role in the Crisis of Corporate Confidence.” The speech was given at a 2002 meeting of The Academy of Management, held in Denver, Colorado. Gioia addressed the need to work more at influencing students about business ethics and social responsibility.
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The environment of business education now resembles aspects of the competitive environment facing for-profit industries. A major contributor to the character of this environment in the USA are the published rankings of business school programs, which have risen in prominence over the last decade. We conducted interviews with top management team mem...
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One community's resistance to the projected siting of a hazardous waste facility provides a case study of clashing discourse between modernity's champions and its sceptics. The events and outcomes of this case raise questions about the widespread assumption that science, reason and rationality are necessarily the bases for good decisions in society...
Article
This study examines factors that influence the creativity of managers’ decisions. A domain-based, evolutionary model that describes the influence of context on creative action is combined with a teleological model of creative managerial decision making derived from the strategy formulation and organizational decision process literatures. Results sh...
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Organizational identity usually is portrayed as that which is core, distinctive, and enduring about the character of an organization. We argue that because of the reciprocal interrelationships between identity and image, organizational identity, rather than enduring, is better viewed as a relatively fluid and unstable concept. We further argue that...
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The article presents a commentary on this special edition of “Academy of Management Journal” by three of the authors of one of the articles. The authors take this opportunity to discuss the areas of identity theory that are seemingly closed by the conversations in this issue, and those that have begun. The authors think it essential to begin discus...
Article
The author responds to T. M. Jones and A. C. Wicks' reactions after the initial criticism of their article “Convergent Stakeholder Theory.” The author points out three major points of disagreement with Jones and Wicks' commentary on his original piece, including their academic judgments of his real-life scenarios, their assumptions about decision m...
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This study investigates how top management teams in higher education institutions make sense of important issues that affect strategic change in modern academia. We used a two-phase research approach that progressed from a grounded model anchored in a case study to a quantitative, generalizable study of the issue interpretation process, using 611 e...
Article
Ford, C.M., & Gioia, D.A. (Eds.). (1995). Creative action in organizations: Ivory tower visions and real world voices. London: Sage. Pp. 400. ISBN 0-8039-5349-6. £42.50. ISBN 0-8039-5350-X (£19.95 paperback).
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Interviewed 82 managerial executives from manufacturing and service organizations to explore the dynamics of politics in executive appraisal. Ss indicated that performance evaluations were influenced by politics and that the ambiguous nature of managerial work allowed superiors to use executive ratings for political purposes. Other factors affectin...
Article
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This study investigated the uses of sensemaking, influence, and symbolism in launching a strategic change effort at a university. It employed an ethnographic/interpretive approach in examining the ways that symbols, metaphors, and various subtle influence processes were used to lend meaning to concepts and possible courses of action by a task force...
Article
Although some organizational scholars invoke the alleged incommensurability of metatheoretical paradigms in order to legitimize a plurality of approaches to the field, others have called for cross- or multi-paradigm inquiry into organizations while yet maintaining the essential incommensurability of paradigms. As long as the incommensurability thes...
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This study investigated the strategic "sensemaking" processes of scanning, interpretation, and action and how those activities are linked to organizational performance. Using path analyses on data from 156 hospitals, we tested the direct and indirect effects among these sensemaking processes and performance outcomes and developed a model of their r...
Article
Some research suggests that the higher a manager rises, the less likely it is that the manager will receive quality feedback. Reports on a survey which shows that executives want feedback. Several fallacies about appraisal are outlined before a case (or appraisal) is presented.
Article
Part 1 Leadership and information processing: introduction information processing and leadership. Part 2 Perceptuals and social processes: recognition-based processes and leadership perceptions inferential processes and leadership perceptions social perception, information processing, and change perceptions of women in management dyadic level leade...
Article
This article details the personal involvement of the author in the early stages of the infamous Pinto fire case. The paper first presents an insider account of the context and decision environment within which he failed to initiate an early recall of defective vehicles. A cognitive script analysis of the personal experience is then offered as an ex...
Article
Executives perform the most uncertain, unstructured, ill-defined, and often the most important work in organizations. Common wisdom would suggest that people doing such jobs should be the ones supplied with the most effective feedback about their performance, simply because good, informative feedback helps them cope with the acknowledged demands of...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports an ethnographic study of the initiation of a strategic change effort in a large, public university. It develops a new framework for understanding the distinctive character of the beginning stages of strategic change by tracking the first year of the change through four phases (labeled as envisioning, signaling, re-visioning, and...
Article
Scripts, a type of cognitive structure that retains knowledge of events for a particular context, have been used to research recall and recognition tasks but have been largely neglected in the study of organizational settings. In this study the major focus is on the development of common scripts by organizational members for a frequently occurring...
Article
Traditional approaches to theory building are not entirely consistent with the assumptions of alternative research paradigms that are nowassuming more prominence in organizational study. We argue for a multiparadigm approach to theory building as a means of establishing correspondence between paradigms and theory-construction efforts. Because of th...
Article
This research explores the basic question: Are there shared cognitive structures (scripts) underlying common organizational events'? Linguistics and social cognition were used to fashion a framework for the interpretation and analysis of videotaped appraisal interviews, which were coded via speech act analysis and then computer-mapped to create a g...
Article
This article reports research in which an ethnographic approach was employed to study a bank in the northeastern U.S. that underwent organizational change and transformation in response to the demands of a federal regulatory agency. The resesearchers investigated the top management's efforts to alter the firm's existing organizational schemas so as...
Article
This study investigated managerial attributions and the observed verbal behaviors of managers and subordinates. Twenty-four experienced managers each interacted with four different subordinates in a simulated performance appraisal setting under different conditions of work history and performance (N = 96 interactions). Managerial attributions were...
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Self-serving attributional bias is the tendency for a subordinate to attribute personal (internal) cause for successful performance but to assign cause for failures to external factors. The actor-observed difference in attribution is the tendency for concerned observers (managers) of a subordinate's performance to attribute cause for the performanc...
Article
This study investigated managerial attributions and the observed verbal behaviors of managers and subordinates during a simulated performance appraisal interaction. Results showed dramatically different patterns of attribution and verbal behavior for success vs. failure as well as an attributional shift toward leniency as a result of the conversati...
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Examined whether questionnaire measures of leader behavior can be susceptible to response bias stemming from individual implicit leadership theories by exploring the impact of implicit theories in a managerial context, using both an objective leader behavior manipulation and a leader performance cue manipulation. 142 undergraduates were asked to vi...
Article
Vicarious learning and modeling are important processes in the acquisition, development, and alteration of behavior in organizations. The authors argue that a primary basis for vicarious learning is a cognitively held "script" on the part of the observer of a model. A script is a procedural knowledge structure or schema for understanding and enacti...
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The overall objective of this research was to investigate social cognition processes of managers making personnel decisions. More specifically, an experiment utilizing 40 experienced executives focused on schema-based decision making. An in-basket decision making exercise was used to establish category prototypes of introvert or extrovert candidate...
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The concept of a "script" is presented as a framework for understanding the cognitive dynamics underlying many organizational behaviors and actions. A script is a schematic knowledge structure held in memory that specifies behavior or event sequences that are appropriate for specific situations. "Script processing" is the performance of the behavio...