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Punctuated incongruity: A new approach to managing trade-offs between conformity and deviation

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... To learn and innovate, teams need to explore new opportunities while also exploiting their extant capacities (Andriopoulos & Lewis, 2009;Smith & Tushman, 2005); develop radical solutions while adhering to standards and constraints (Gilson, Mathieu, Shalley, & Ruddy, 2005;; engage both divergent and convergent thinking (S. Harvey & Kou, 2013); enact both conformity and deviation behaviors (Patil & Tetlock, 2014); and simultaneously compete and collaborate with others (Tsai, 2002). These tensions require new managerial approaches that embrace incongruity, misalignment, and contradiction (Eisenhardt & Westcott, 1988;Lewis, 2000;Poole & Van De Ven, 1989). ...
... Team members' frames reflect their basic assumptions and chronic logics that are largely affected by their cultural heritages (Keller et al., 2016), personality (Patil & Tetlock, 2014), and life experiences (Lomranz & Benyamini, 2016). Relevant to this chapter are three main cognitive frames: either/or, naive dialectical and paradoxical frames. ...
... Instead of focusing on immediate tradeoffs, they enable members to mentally distance themselves from the situation, question their assumptions and form higher order synergies and dynamic relationship between elements. For example, looking at the conformity-deviation tension through a paradox lens opens up new possibilities such as conforming to pluralistic and individualistic norms (Goncalo & Duguid, 2012) and promoting incongruent processes that enable team members autonomy in finding their own unique way to contribute to their team (Patil & Tetlock, 2014). Paradoxical frames and contradictions can increase abstract thinking and high-level construal representations of the problem that enable new insights and creativity (Förster, Friedman, & Liberman, 2004;Huang et al., 2015;Polman & Emich, 2011). ...
Chapter
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This chapter develops theory on the effect of collective paradoxical frames on team learning and innovation. The chapter identifies contradictory yet interdependent processes of knowledge acquisition and creation, knowledge sharing and transfer, and knowledge integration and implementation. It extends theory on collective paradoxical frames, or shared cognitive filters that enable team members to recognize and accept tensions between opposing elements (e.g., demands, goals and interests). It advances theoretical clarity by distinguishing between paradoxical, naïve dialectical, and either/or frames, integrating Western and Eastern perspectives to paradox. It also develops theory on how different frames affect the ability of teams to learn and innovate; on mediating cognitive and social processes; and on moderating conditions of context, task, and team characteristics. Finally, it identifies promising directions for future research.
... Decision makers often have to decide whether to conform to or deviate from decision rules-standard practices that organizations prescribe to reduce inconsistencies and cognitive biases (Davis & Kottemann, 1995;Sieck & Arkes, 2005;Yates, Veinott, & Patalano, 2003). The decision to conform or deviate is not easy, especially in dynamic environments that rapidly alternate between periods of change and stability (Patil & Tetlock, 2014). When task environments change, decision rules may no longer be useful (Gigerenzer & Goldstein, 1996;Payne, 1976;Payne, Bettman, & Johnson, 1988). ...
... In these types of work environments, decision makers may wind up oscillating between errors, slammed back and forth for their most recent error in a ping-pong blame game (Tetlock & Mellers, 2011a). The danger here is that decision makers never learn to become better discerners of task demands or to make appropriate trade-offs between conformity and deviation (Patil & Tetlock, 2014). ...
... But we do realize that our experiments-which demonstrated the pitfalls of process accountability when standard practices are defined and inappropriate-may raise the opposing error of linking process accountability to heavy-handed prescriptivism. As suggested earlier, organizations lie on a continuum from low to high standardization, and the degree to which decision rules are formalized is contingent on such factors as the nature of the task itself (Eisenhardt, 1989) and work culture (Patil & Tetlock, 2014). In order to cope with dynamic environments, organizations in reality need to enact some degree of standardization while allowing some room for individual judgment (e.g., Adler & Borys, 1996;Bigley & Roberts, 2001;Brady, 1987). ...
Article
In dynamic task environments, decision makers are vulnerable to two types of errors: sticking too closely to the rules (excessive conformity) or straying too far from them (excessive deviation). We explore the effects of process and outcome accountability on the susceptibility to these errors. Using a multiple-cue probability-learning task, we show that process accountability encourages conformity errors and outcome accountability promotes deviation errors. Two additional studies explore the moderating effects of self-focused and other-focused group norms. Self-focused norms reduce the effect of process accountability on excessive conformity. Other-focused norms reduce the effect of outcome accountability on excessive deviation. Our results qualify prevailing claims about the benefits of process over outcome accountability and show that those benefits hinge on prevailing group norms, on the effectiveness of prescribed decision rules, and on the amount of irreducible uncertainty in the prediction task. Copyright
... First, the collective paradoxical cognitive framework serves as a guiding framework for all organizational members to resolve the paradoxical problem. For instance, during the product development phase, team members must iterate repeatedly in the creative generation, creative program evaluation and selection (Paletz and Schunn, 2010;Patil and Tetlock, 2014). Both creativity generation and creative solutions evaluation warrants different ways of thinking. ...
... Organizational members with diverse backgrounds rarely encounter fierce conflicts (Nishii, 2012). Such climate augments the experience and ability of organizational members to handle the paradox, enabling them to devise solutions that combine opposing views (Hoever et al., 2012;Patil and Tetlock, 2014). For instance, Toyota's production system encourages members to challenge identity and status, which could test and discover novel ways to enhance productivity (Adler et al., 1999). ...
Article
Purpose In the face of external paradoxical requirements, the cognitive framework of managers and employees use to perceive, interpret and reconstruct information is important to ease anxiety and improve job performance. The Yin-Yang balancing of eastern philosophical thought is particularly good at explaining and predicting changes and conflict environments. For this reason, this study aims to propose the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework based on the Yin-Yang balancing theory and its antecedent framework. Design/methodology/approach This paper contrasts the similarity and differences between Chinese and Western philosophy’s thoughts on paradoxes. On this basis, the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework is proposed. Then, the paper puts forward the antecedent framework of managers’ cognitive framework and employees’ paradoxical cognitive framework. Findings This paper proposes the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework includes the following three dimensions: the unity-in-diversity of paradoxical elements, the asymmetric balance of paradoxical elements and mutual transformation of paradoxical elements. In addition, this paper proposes an antecedent framework of the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework – the paradoxical requirement of organizational environment exerts a direct impact on managers’ and employees’ paradoxical cognitive framework; managers’ paradoxical cognitive framework has a positive impact on paradoxical leadership; paradoxical leadership exerts an indirect impact on employees’ paradoxical cognitive framework through the collective paradoxical cognitive framework; paradoxical leadership directly affects employees’ paradoxical cognitive framework. Research limitations/implications This paper focuses on comparing the similarities and differences of the individual paradoxical cognitive framework in Chinese and Western cultures and proposes the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework and its antecedent framework. Future research needs to further verify the theoretical framework proposed in this paper. Originality/value This paper makes a detailed comparison of the paradox views in Chinese and Western philosophy. It is the first to propose the eastern construction of the paradoxical cognitive framework and its antecedent framework, laying a theoretical foundation for future empirical research.
... We found such incongruity in expectations to be a source of stress and confusion for most of our respondents (Patil and Tetlock, 2014). While we did not find any direct consequence of such frustrations on the propensity for people to engage in CD, we observed that such frustrations have the potential to embolden people to defy managerial orders and pursue their ideas without paying attention to the potential consequences of these actions. ...
... This study has managerial implications: since findings from our study suggests that managers tend to adopt different responses to CD, often for good reason, we encourage managers to provide detailed explanation to all employees regarding the rejection of a creative idea during creative forecasting and the punishment of certain creative deviant acts. This may be useful in helping to reduce the stress and confusion employees experience around actions which merit reward or punishment (Eisenberger and Selbst, 1994;Patil and Tetlock, 2014), after all, CD like other deviant behaviours in organising can be good, too much decreases creativity, and maybe leading to detrimental personal conflicts (Mainemelis, 2010). We affirm that such an approach could also help to reduce the psychological safety needed for experimenting with rejected ideas (Edmondson, 1999;George, 2007). ...
Article
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Drawing on practice as a meta-theoretical lens, we explore creative deviance (CD): wilful violation of managerial orders by employee(s) to pursue creative ideas. Data for our inquiry comes from in-depth interviews with middle managers and employees in two professional service firms (PSFs). We argue that two distinct organising processes are necessary for the emergence of CD in practice: organising configuration and formalisation of R&D processes. We develop these dimensions to produce a typology of interrelated ideal types of outcomes when employees are explicitly instructed to stop pursuing an idea. We found three salient organising practices (technical concerns for efficiency and metrics, suppression of metistic knowledge and disjointed managerial responses to violations of sanctioned organising procedures), which may operate in combination or serially, to foster CD in practice. We conclude with some key implications for the theory and practice of creativity in PSFs.
... We posit that adopting paradoxical frames can contribute to higher creativity through inducing a sense of conflict and tension in at least three ways (see also Patil & Tetlock, 2014;Smith & Berg, 1986;Vince & Broussine, 1996). First, paradoxical frames change the way people make sense of contradictions. ...
Article
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The purpose of this symposium is twofold. First, we seek to specify the key distinctions and similarities between the Eastern and Western approaches to paradox so as to gain special insights into the global nature of paradox in the cultural context. Second, we seek to examine the critical implications of such distinctions and similarities for managerial practices so as to explore the best options for paradox management across cultures.
... Tversky and Koehler's (1994) support theory predicts such patterns of inconsistency in probability estimation across alternative framings of the same problem. 26 Cognitive ambidexterity can be defined in many ways beyond the brief definition here (Patil & Tetlock, 2014). 27 Toby Ord's 2020 book features a comprehensive summary of existential risks for the next century, with probability estimates (e.g., Chapter 6), which we will use as a source of external benchmarks for forecasters. ...
Article
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Forecasting tournaments are misaligned with the goal of producing actionable forecasts of existential risk, an extreme-stakes domain with slow accuracy feedback and elusive proxies for long-run outcomes. We show how to improve alignment by measuring facets of human judgment that playcentral roles in policy debates but have long been dismissed as unmeasurable. The key is supplementing traditional objective accuracy metrics with intersubjective metrics that test forecasters’ skill at predicting other forecasters’ judgments on topics that resist objective scoring, such as long-range scenarios, probativeness of questions, insightfulness of explanations, and impactfulness of risk-mitigation options. We focus on the value of Reciprocal Scoring, an intersubjective method grounded in micro-economic research that challenges top forecasters to predict each other’s judgments. Even if cumulative information gains prove modest and are confined to a 1-to-5 year planning horizon, the expected value of lives saved would be massive.
... By combining drill and context learning of background knowledge, officers receive experience of congruity by repeatedly applying routines, as well as experience of disruption of congruity by breaking routines in new contexts. This process has been labelled punctuated incongruity by Patil and Tetlock (2014). ...
Book
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This open access book brings together scholars in the fields of management, public policy, regional studies, and organization theory around the concept of resilience. The aim is to provide a more holistic understanding of the complex phenomenon of resilience from a multi-sectorial, cross-national, and multidisciplinary perspective. The book facilitates a conversation across diverse disciplinary specializations and empirical domains. The authors contribute both to theory testing and theory development and provide key empirical insights useful for societies, organizations, and individuals experiencing disruptive pressures, not least in the context of a post-COVID-19 world. Diverse chapters are held together by a clear organization of the volume across levels of analysis (resilience in organizations and societies) and by an original perspective on resilience derived from an extended review, by the editors, of the existing literature and knowledge gaps, according to which each of the individual chapter contributions is positioned and connected to. Rómulo Pinheiro is Professor of Public Policy and Administration at the Department of Political Science and Management at the University of Agder, Norway. Maria Laura Frigotto is Associate Professor in Organization Theory and Management at the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Trento, Italy. Mitchell Young is Assistant Professor in the Department of European Studies, Institute of International Studies at Charles University, Czech Republic.
... By combining drill and context learning of background knowledge, officers receive experience of congruity by repeatedly applying routines, as well as experience of disruption of congruity by breaking routines in new contexts. This process has been labelled punctuated incongruity by Patil and Tetlock (2014). ...
Chapter
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This chapter develops a model of resilient action in situations where established rules or behavioural routines are either not available or are misleading, thus exposing actors to high means-end ambiguity. The model suggests that an ‘action space’ must be created by stabilizing the action system and expanding options for action. It is based on our qualitative research in the Austrian Military (high degree of publicness) on cases of resilient field action, especially as regards ‘bouncing back’ incidents. We contend that different types of drill combined with the acquisition of background knowledge are essential for organizational resilience, the management of unexpected situations and the explanation of success, leading to controlled reproducibility solutions of typical problems. As such, the model intends to explain exploitation types of learning. However, as an antecedent for installing the action space, we explore so-called the ‘exaptation’ of drilled procedures, pertaining to the transfer of procedures to serve novel requirements, thus located in the exploration domain. This phenomenon leads to properties that contribute to recovery from shock in critical situations, through innovation. In short, the chapter provides novel empirical evidence that applying rules does not lead to resilient action in the case of unknown or unexpected situations. Instead, we show robust evidence that a corrective understanding and reflective use of rules and routines is causally related to the ability to deal with surprise and fostering resilience.
... The interruption of flow, routine, and harmony by inconsistencies and anomalies stimulates attention and releases emotional energy. This in turn activates inquiry, sense making, and learning, and motivates alert employees to rethink tacit assumptions and to imagine alternatives (Benson, 1977, p. 18;Patil & Tetlock, 2014). Inconsistencies and clashes between competing ideas, or views not adequately served by the current order, help transcend internal and external constrains (Sztompka, 1991), and create the opportunity for novelty to emerge. ...
Article
Research Summary While the established, coherence view of internal fit provides a compact representation of firms and strategy, it also discounts the strategic benefits of tensions and contradictions and downplays strategy creation and change. Here, we develop a novel dialectical alternative to fit-based models of strategy. Within our model, contradictions and tensions serve as a key engine for strategic renewal and transformation. If carefully harnessed through what we call “disciplined incoherence,” contradictions can help firms establish and change their strategies and business models, adapt to and shape their environment, and enhance and sustain their competitive advantage. We offer a dynamic, endogenous view of how configurations are generated, transformed, and maintained, and present a processual alternative to current strategy models that are grounded in equilibrium and coherence assumptions. Managerial Summary Prior thinking suggests that firm strategies should focus on achieving fit between the firm's different elements such as activities, organizational structures, and policies, and that tensions and inconsistencies should be eliminated or minimized. We argue that this view overlooks the important role of contradictions in fostering innovation and competitive advantage and driving strategic change and renewal. Conflicts and contradictions pose their own risks. Yet, given the potential for their firms to thrive on contradictions, managers and strategists should neither dismiss these challenges nor be paralyzed by them. Instead of stamping out tensions and contradictions managers can apply a process of “disciplined incoherence” where they relinquish some control while drawing on organizational arrangements and their own creativity and skills to allow contradictions to develop.
... We posit that adopting paradoxical frames can contribute to higher creativity through inducing a sense of conflict and tension in at least three ways (see also Patil & Tetlock, 2014;Smith & Berg, 1986;Vince & Broussine, 1996). First, paradoxical frames change the way people make sense of contradictions. ...
Article
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Thriving in increasingly complex and ambiguous environments requires creativity and the capability to reconcile conflicting demands. Recent evidence with Western samples suggested that paradoxical frames, or mental templates that encourage individuals to recognize and embrace contradictions, could produce creative benefits. We extended the timely, but understudied, topic by studying the nuances of for whom and why creative advantages of paradoxical frames emerge. We suggest that people endorsing a middle ground approach are less likely to scrutinize conflict and reconcile with integrative solutions, thus receiving less creative benefits of paradoxical frames. Five studies that examined individual and cultural differences in middle ground endorsement support our theory. Study 1 found that paradoxical frames increased creativity, but failed to replicate that experienced conflict mediated the relationship in a Taiwanese sample. In both within- and between-culture analysis, we showed that the creative advantages of thinking paradoxically and experiencing conflict emerged among individuals who endorse lower (vs. higher) levels of middle ground (Study 2) and among Israelis whose culture predominantly endorses middle ground strategy less, but not among Singaporeans whose culture endorses middle ground more (Study 3). Study 4 further demonstrated the causal role of middle ground in the paradox—conflict—creativity link. To answer "why", Study 5 situationally induced integrative complex thinking that sets distinctions and forms syntheses among contradictory elements, and found that low endorsers of middle ground performed more creatively when they engaged integrative complex thinking to cope with paradoxes. This program of studies offers important insights on harnessing paradoxical experiences to catalyze creativity.
... In Study 2, we also showed the indirect effects of their combination, More generally, our findings join the growing organizational (e.g., Patil & Tetlock, 2014;Smith & Lewis, 2011) and social (e.g., Kleiman & Enisman, 2018) literatures about the positive outcomes of intrinsic conflicts and of paradox (Cameron, 1986). Consistent with this line of research, we find that complexity (e.g., internal conflict) among leaders' values was advantageous than a more homogeneous and intrinsically congruent set of values. ...
Article
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The most frequent approach to studying leader attributes has been to demonstrate links between separate dispositions (e.g., traits, values) and leader behavior. Yet both in the field of personality overall, and the field of personal values in particular, there is a growing understanding that to more realistically capture the effects of personality, one needs to study the joint effects of personality dimensions, rather than their separate ones. In the present studies we demonstrate how a combination of values predicts leaders’ follower‐focused behavior and its outcomes. Specifically, we demonstrate that the combination of leaders’ power and benevolence values predicts leaders’ follower‐focused leadership and follower outcomes. In Study 1, the interaction between 75 school leaders’ power and benevolence predicted followers’ reports (N=293) of their leaders’ follower‐focused leadership, such that the relationship between power values and follower‐focused leadership was positive and significant only among leaders high on benevolence. We replicated this effect in Study 2 with data collected in two points in time, from 76 principals and 494 of their subordinates. We also demonstrated the indirect effect of principals’ values, through their follower‐focused leadership, on teachers’ satisfaction and nurturing behavior.
... Furthermore, in contrast to the occupations studied by Vough and colleagues, occupations like law enforcement in which the consequences of error are substantial typically provide standard practices that guide employees' behaviors (Weick, Sutcliffe, and Obstfeld, 1999). Police officers may have more guidance from standard protocols in coping with the uncertainty caused by image discrepancies, which may allow them to maintain performance in uncertain environments (March and Simon, 1958;Patil and Tetlock, 2014;Patil, Tetlock, and Mellers, 2017). ...
Article
Drawing on information processing theory, I revisit prior assumptions that not being understood raises challenges for employees, examining how political ideologies powerfully affect how employees who serve the public react to a perceived lack of understanding of the difficulties of their jobs. Using independent expert ratings of 794 body camera videos of 164 police officers across two agencies, I show that a lack of perceived public understanding decreases task performance for liberal-leaning officers but not for conservative-leaning officers. Because liberal-leaning officers seek to form more communal relationships with the public, a perceived lack of public understanding violates their sense of social order, but it merely reaffirms conservative-leaning officers’ beliefs in maintaining an authoritarian distance given the responsibilities and duties they shoulder. I replicate these results using supervisors’ ratings of 82 officers across four agencies and then demonstrate in a time-lagged survey of 184 officers in a single agency that those with stronger conservative beliefs are more likely to believe the public fails to appreciate the difficulties of their jobs. These studies highlight the importance of accounting for people’s beliefs in whether image conflicts should and do arise—and provide insights into the self-reinforcing forces that sustain divides between employees and those they serve.
Article
Paradox studies offer vital and timely insights into an array of organizational tensions. Yet this field stands at a critical juncture. Over the past 25 years, management scholars have drawn foundational insights from philosophy and psychology to apply a paradox lens to organizational phenomena. Yet extant studies selectively leverage ancient wisdom, adopting some key insights while abandoning others. Using a structured content analysis to review the burgeoning management literature, we surface six key themes, which represent the building blocks of a meta-theory of paradox. These six themes received varying attention in extant studies: paradox scholars emphasize types of paradoxes, collective approaches, and outcomes, but pay less attention to relationships within paradoxes, individual approaches, and dynamics. As this analysis suggests, management scholars have increasingly simplified the intricate, often messy phenomena of paradox. Greater simplicity renders phenomena understandable and testable, however, oversimplifying complex realities can foster reductionist and incomplete theories. We therefore propose a future research agenda targeted at enriching a meta-theory of paradox by reengaging these less developed themes. Doing so can sharpen the focus of this field, while revisiting its rich conceptual roots to capture the intricacies of paradox. This future research agenda leverages the potential of paradox across diverse streams of management science.
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Accountability pressures are a ubiquitous feature of social systems: virtually everyone must answer to someone for something. Behavioral research has, however, warned that accountability, specifically a focus on being responsible for outcomes, tends to produce suboptimal judgments. We qualify this view by demonstrating the long-term adaptive benefits of outcome accountability in uncertain, dynamic environments. More than a thousand randomly assigned forecasters participated in a ten-month forecasting tournament in conditions of control, process, outcome or hybrid accountability. Accountable forecasters outperformed non-accountable ones. Holding forecasters accountable to outcomes (“getting it right”) boosted forecasting accuracy beyond holding them accountable for process (“thinking the right way”). The performance gap grew over time. Process accountability promoted more effective knowledge sharing, improving accuracy among observers. Hybrid (process plus outcome) accountability boosted accuracy relative to process, and improved knowledge sharing relative to outcome accountability. Overall, outcome and process accountability appear to make complementary contributions to performance when forecasters confront moderately noisy, dynamic environments where signal extraction requires both knowledge pooling and individual judgments.
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Background The foundation of a safe practice is accountability, especially outcome- rather than process-focused accountability, particularly during pandemics such as COVID-19. Accountability is an essential behavior that promotes congruence between nursing actions and standards associated with quality of care. Moreover, the scant research examining whether one accountability focus is superior in motivating humans to better task performance yields inconclusive results. Aims Systematically examine the effect of an outcome- vs. process-accountability focus on performance and identify any moderating variables. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data sources PsycINFO, Medline, PubMed, Scopus, and CINAHL databases, with all publications to November 2020. Review methods A systematic search using Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines was performed. Statistical analysis and forest plots were performed using MetaXL 5.3. Heterogeneity was presented using I ² statistics and Q tests, and possible publication bias was assessed with a Doi plot and the LFK index. Results Seven studies representing nine experiments involving 1,080 participants were included. The pooled effect of the nine experiments on task performance failed to show significant differences (mean = −0.09; 95% Confidence Interval [95%CI]: −0.21, 0.03), but a significant moderating effect of task complexity was demonstrated. Specifically, outcome accountability exerts a beneficial effect in complex tasks (mean = −0.48 [95%CI: −0.62, −0.33]) whereas process accountability improves the performance in simpler tasks (mean = 0.96 [95%CI: 0.72, 1.20]). Conclusion These findings demonstrated that accountability focus by itself cannot serve as a sole motivator of better performance, because task complexity moderates the link between accountability focus and task performance. Outcome accountability exerts a beneficial effect for more-complex tasks, whereas process accountability improves the performance of simpler tasks. These findings are crucial in nursing, where it is typically assumed that a focus on outcomes is more important than a focus on processes.
Chapter
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When Netflix executives wrote a PowerPoint deck about the organization's talent management strategies, the document went viral-it's been viewed more than 5 million times on the web. Now one of those executives, the company's longtime chief talent officer, goes beyond the bullet points to paint a detailed picture of how Netflix attracts, retains, and manages stellar employees. The firm draws on five key tenets: Hire, reward, and tolerate only fully formed adults. Ask workers to rely on logic and common sense instead of formal policies, whether the issue is communication, time off, or expenses. Tell the truth about performance. Scrap formal reviews in favor of informal conversations. Offer generous severance rather than holding on to workers whose skills no longer fit your needs. Managers must build great teams. This is their most important task. Don't rate them on whether they are good mentors or fill out paperwork on time. Leaders own the job of creating the company culture. You've got to actually model and encourage the behavior you talk up. Talent managers should think like businesspeople and innovators first, and like HR people last. Forget throwing parties and handing out T-shirts; make sure every employee understands what the company needs most and exactly what's meant by "high performance?."
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High Reliability Organizations (HROs) have been treated as exotic outliers in mainstream organizational theory because of their unique potentials for catastrophic consequences and interactively complex technology. We argue that HROs are more central to the mainstream because they provide a unique window into organizational effectiveness under trying conditions. HROs enact a distinctive though not unique set of cognitive processes directed at proxies for failure, tendencies to simplify, sensitivity to operations, capabilities for resilience, and temptations to overstructure the system. Taken together these processes induce a state of collective mindfulness that creates a rich awareness of discriminatory detail and facilitates the discovery and correction of errors capable of escalation into catastrophe. Though distinctive, these processes are not unique since they are a dormant infrastructure for process improvement in all organizations. Analysis of HROs suggests that inertia is not indigenous to organizing, that routines are effective because of their variation, that learning may be a byproduct of mindfulness, and that garbage cans may be safer than hierarchies.
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This article synthesizes the large but diverse literature on organizational legitimacy, highlighting similarities and disparities among the leading strategic and institutional approaches. The analysis identifies three primary forms of legitimacy: pragmatic, based on audience self-interest; moral, based on normative approval: and cognitive, based on comprehensibility and taken-for-grantedness. The article then examines strategies for gaining, maintaining, and repairing legitimacy of each type, suggesting both the promises and the pitfalls of such instrumental manipulations.
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The present study integrated a number of streams of research on the antecedents of innovation to develop and test a model of individual innovative behavior. Hypothesizing that leadership, individual problem-solving style, and work group relations affect innovative behavior directly and indirectly through their influence on perceptions of the climate for innovation, we used structural equation analysis to test the parameters of the proposed model simultaneously and also explored the moderating effect of task characteristics. The model explained approximately 37 percent of the variance in innovative behavior. Tasktype moderated the relationship between leader role expectations and innovative behavior.
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Different kinds of motivational orientations provide distinctive ways of perceiving the world, dealing with life's inevitable slings and arrows, regulating challenges and opportunities, and creating success. In this chapter, we explore these differences in the two motivational systems outlined in regulatory focus theory: the promotion and prevention systems (Higgins, 1997). In particular, we discuss these systems in terms of the trade-offs in each; what are the benefits and costs of a strong promotion focus? What are the advantages and drawbacks of a strong prevention focus? We explore the trade-offs of each system with regard to three significant aspects of selfregulation and motivation: emotional experiences, the balance between commitment versus exploration, and performance. We conclude by discussing the importance of constraints on these systems for effective selfregulation and by suggesting avenues for future research.
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Research has revealed a good deal about both the situational determinants and judgmental and behavioral consequences of integrative complexity. Little is known, however, about people who are prone to think in integratively simple or complex ways. The present study fills this gap by drawing on data collected during in-depth assessments of master of business administration candidates. Integrative complexity was correlated with a broad range of self-report, observer-rating, semiprojective, and managerial-simulation measures. Results revealed a more complex pattern of correlates than one would expect from the flattering theoretical portrayals of integrative complexity. On self-report measures, complex persons scored higher on openness and creativity and lower on social compliance and conscientiousness. On personality-observer ratings, they emerged as narcissistic and somewhat antagonistic. On managerial-observer ratings, complex persons emerged as higher on initiative and self-objectivity. On semiprojective measures, complex persons scored higher on power motivation. The integratively complex manager is reminiscent of creative architects, scientists, and writers who participated in previous assessments over the past 3 decades.
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How does motivation work? The classic answer is that people are motivated to approach pleasure and avoid pain, that they are motivated by "carrots and sticks." But to understand human motivation, it is necessary to go beyond pleasure and pain. What people want is to be effective in their life pursuits, and there are three distinct ways that people want to be effective. They want to be effective in having desired results (value), which includes having pleasure but is not limited to pleasure. They want to be effective in managing what happens (control) and in establishing what's real (truth), even if the process of managing what happens or establishing what's real is painful. These three distinct ways of wanting to be effective go beyond just wanting pleasure, but there is even more to the story of how motivation works. These ways of wanting to be effective do not function in isolation. Rather, they work together. Indeed, the ways that value, truth, and control work together is the central story of motivation. By understanding how motivation works as an organization of value, truth, and control, we can re-think basic motivational issues, such the nature of personality and culture, how the motives of others can be managed effectively, and what is "the good life".
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What was noted by E. J. Langer (1978) remains true today; that much of contemporary psychological research is based on the assumption that people are consciously and systematically processing incoming information in order to construe and interpret their world and to plan and engage in courses of action. As did E. J. Langer, the authors question this assumption. First, they review evidence that the ability to exercise such conscious, intentional control is actually quite limited, so that most of moment-to-moment psychological life must occur through nonconscious means if it is to occur at all. The authors then describe the different possible mechanisms that produce automatic, environmental control over these various phenomena and review evidence establishing both the existence of these mechanisms as well as their consequences for judgments, emotions, and behavior. Three major forms of automatic self-regulation are identified: an automatic effect of perception on action, automatic goal pursuit, and a continual automatic evaluation of one's experience. From the accumulating evidence, the authors conclude that these various nonconscious mental systems perform the lion's share of the self-regulatory burden, beneficently keeping the individual grounded in his or her current environment.
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Complex organizations exhibit surprising, nonlinear behavior. Although organization scientists have studied complex organizations for many years, a developing set of conceptual and computational tools makes possible new approaches to modeling nonlinear interactions within and between organizations. Complex adaptive system models represent a genuinely new way of simplifying the complex. They are characterized by four key elements: agents with schemata, self-organizing networks sustained by importing energy, coevolution to the edge of chaos, and system evolution based on recombination. New types of models that incorporate these elements will push organization science forward by merging empirical observation with computational agent-based simulation. Applying complex adaptive systems models to strategic management leads to an emphasis on building systems that can rapidly evolve effective adaptive solutions. Strategic direction of complex organizations consists of establishing and modifying environments within which effective, improvised, self-organized solutions can evolve. Managers influence strategic behavior by altering the fitness landscape for local agents and reconfiguring the organizational architecture within which agents adapt. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Organization Science is the property of INFORMS: Institute for Operations Research and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)