The purpose of this article is to examine the relationships between absenteeism and presenteeism and employee well-being. Absenteeism is the failure to report for work as scheduled. Presenteeism is showing up to work when one is ill and the decrement in productivity that follows from this practice. On a continuum, presenteeism stands between full work engagement and absenteeism. This article considers how attendance dynamics are affected by employee well-being. It also considers how attendance dynamics might affect well-being, a less researched subject. It takes a broad stance on what constitutes well-being, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional well-being and assuming that a positively evaluated work experience is conducive to employee well-being. It does not assume that the mere occurrence of either behavior somehow “speaks for itself” as an indicator of well-being.
Ensuring high levels of occupational health and safety remains a significant issue. Detailed accident analyses have highlighted the role played by front-line employees as well as the importance of organizational and managerial factors. The realization that organizational accidents occur within a cultural and social context has led to the rise in popularity of the concept of safety climate. Safety climate allows the individual to interpret organizational events and processes in relation to personal and organizational safety values and to determine the appropriateness of safety-related behavior. Although safety climate has been included as an element of the healthy work organization, the contribution that a positive safety climate can make to organizational health and well-being is little understood. Developing a fuller understanding of organizational safety climate has important theoretical and research implications, and also remains a significant issue for industry and wider society in terms of practical application.
Martin Lodge and Lindsay Stirton
Accountability in regulation will never reach a state of ‘perfection’ and stability, but will remain, given competing values and shifting priorities, in a state of continued tension and fluidity. In other words, debates require transparency regarding the very different ideas concerning the appropriate means and ends of accountability. This article develops this argument in three steps. First, it considers the background to contemporary debates surrounding accountability, pointing to traditional concerns as well as to a change in context captured by discussions about ‘polycentric’ or ‘decentred’ regulation. Second, this article points to key components of any regulatory regime over which demands of accountability are commonly asserted, and to four ways of considering institutional design and accountability. Third, and finally, this article suggests that debates on whether the rise of the regulatory state has led to a decline or rise of accountability and transparency are misplaced.
Robin Kramar, Vijaya Murthy, and James Guthrie
This article discusses how the shift to a knowledge-based economy has propelled firms' human capital (HC) and associated intellectual resources to center stage. It notes that while organizational researchers have highlighted the increasingly strategic role of HC, and despite a growing realization among firms that their human-knowledge resources are becoming more important, managerial awareness of the value of HC remains low. The article suggests that HC management, measurement, and reporting are increasingly vital capabilities that all organizations will need to acquire. It proceeds to analyse the nature of HC, trace the evolution of HC accounting, identify current accounting challenges, and describe contemporary frameworks that are seeking to address these challenges. The article defines HC within organizations as ‘employee capability, knowledge, innovation, adaptability, and experience’, noting that it is typically represented as one element in a tripartite framework of intellectual capital, the other two being relational capital and organizational capital.
Although the concept of meaningful work has not been addressed in accounting research, accounting scholars and practitioners have long grappled with how to reflect the value of employees and human capital in organizational accounts. This chapter examines how the features of a typical accounting system are likely to impact the treatment of meaningful work in organizations, including consideration of only its potential financial value, the exclusion of unpaid forms of meaningful work, and the limits on recognizing meaningful work as an organizational asset because quantifying its value is typically considered too subjective. It also examines how internal accounting and control practices, such as performance measurement and reward systems, tend to either ignore the possibility of meaningful work or focus on controlling and harnessing its instrumental value to improve organizational performance, thus downplaying its role in expressing values, fulfilling personal needs, and generating and sustaining meaning in our lives.
David W. Cravens
The organization's effectiveness can be measured based on sales, market position, customer satisfaction, and profits, relative to competition and internal objectives. Effectiveness is a summary assessment of the sales organization's outcomes, and may be determined for the entire organization or for smaller units such as regions and districts. Sales unit effectiveness is a composite assessment of the unit's performance. Importantly, effectiveness and salesperson performance are distinct although closely related constructs. The salesperson contributes to unit effectiveness along with other determinants including the sales manager, business competencies, and the market and competitive environment. This article proposes and examines a conceptual framework for analysis and decision-making concerning sales organization effectiveness. It discusses important determinants of effectiveness including sales management control, salesperson performance, and sales unit design. Sales management is a core determinant of effectiveness, including management processes, design of the organization, and manager performance. Each salesperson also contributes to effectiveness.
The focus of this article is upon producing actionable knowledge. Propositions that are actionable are those that actors can use to implement effectively their intentions. Actionable knowledge requires propositions that make explicit the causal processes required to produce action. Causality is the key in implementation. One of the most powerful inhibitors of effective action is inner contradictions. Inner contradictions exist when the propositions to act are implemented correctly. One cause of inner contradiction is the methodologies used by most normal social scientists to discover problems and to invent solutions. These features cause the degree of seamlessness and the validity of the implementation to be reduced. The focus on describing reality in ways that satisfies the requirements of internal and external validity makes it less likely that attention is paid to the implementable validity of the propositions. This, in turn, leads to propositions that are abstract and disconnected from implementable action.
A distinguishing feature of comparative institutional analysis is the emphasis on understanding actors and actor constellations. Institutional analysis is concerned with processes of isomorphism and explaining similarities among organizations within an institutional field. This article briefly examines the relation between actors and institutions in economics, political science, and sociology. It demonstrates certain points of agreement – actors and institutions are seen as being mutually constitutive of one another. One implication is the need to adopt a more historical and process-oriented approach to studying institutions. The article explores the non-identical nature of actors in greater detail. It also raises the broader issue of how institutions influence action itself. Given the mutual interdependence of actors and institutions, institutionalization may be seen as a matter of degree. Actors respond to institutions as one element within a situation, but institutional contexts never fully determine action.
With paradox moving toward a meta-theory, research is increasingly drawing on its rich philosophical foundation. These include diverse fields such as dialectics, existentialism, and logic, each of which emphasizes different aspects of paradoxes. However, discussions have mostly focused on single philosophical aspects, potentially leading to an incomplete and polarized view of paradox and hindering cross-fertilization. At worst, this development turns into reproducing “paradigm wars.” To avoid this, I introduce the main philosophical foundations dealing with different aspects of paradox, and interpret them as lenses. As such, I link them to paradox research in management, provide a systematic overview, and highlight avenues for future research.
J. Kevin Ford and Ruchi Sinha
Training evaluation is the systematic collection of descriptive and judgmental information necessary to make effective training decisions. A key characteristic of a systematic approach to training evaluation is an emphasis on the continuous use of feedback. This process, which includes both formative and summative evaluation strategies, can aid in identifying, collecting, and providing information to make a variety of instructional decisions. This article reviews the progress which has been made in evaluation science that has particular relevance to workplace training programs. It first focuses on the implications of the changing nature of work for conducting effective training evaluation. Second, the article describes how the field of training evaluation has progressed in terms of criterion development, measurement issues, and methodology issues. Third, it discusses the key challenges that remain in the field which require additional theory development and research.
Postcolonialism provides theoretical resources that speak well to the concerns of critical diversity scholars, notably the interest in culture, power, and the construction of (human) differences. Yet, with notable exceptions, there is a paucity of research on workplace diversity underpinned by postcolonialism. This chapter seeks to animate and advance postcolonial scholarship in critical diversity studies, and responds to calls to revitalize this scholarly sub-field. Based on a review of critical diversity studies (including the few that have used postcolonial perspectives), two recommendations are made to advance postcolonial critiques. First, critical diversity scholars might undertake a closer engagement with psychoanalytic and discursive variants of postcolonial theory to generate complex understandings of the psychological dimensions of (post)colonial subjectivities and the persistence of racism in organizations. Second, scholars might also consider the merits of ‘Southern Theory’ in order to move beyond the noted Eurocentric limits of existing gender and diversity research.
Psychological testing probably touches more people more often than any other application of psychology. On-line testing has made tests more available and more accessible. This article considers the impact the development of the Web has had on employment testing. Its main focus is on the impact the use of remote forms of assessment has had on practice and on the development of new ways of managing the risks associated with assessment “at a distance,” especially in high-stakes situations. The use of the internet for assessment raises many other issues, such as the impact of remote assessment on applicant reactions, implications for the design of robust systems, the use of complex test forms, and on-line simulations, to name but a few.
Psychometrically, affective experience can be represented in two dimensional space. More specific affects cluster at points in this space. These two major dimensions are negative and positive affect. High negative affect relates to the more specific unpleasant affects of anxiety and anger. Its opposite is relaxation. High positive affect relates to more specific pleasant and high activation affects such as enthusiasm. Its opposite relates to the more specific affects of depression and boredom. Because of the pervasive nature of affect, organizational research has investigated many theoretical and applied issues. The topics of this article include: how cognitive processes influence affect; how cognitive processes regulate affective experience; how state affect influences cognitive processes; and the role of trait affect. There are organizational applications in each domain. The article concludes by highlighting directions for research.
The article has four main parts. First, it introduces some context on James and his work, points to strands of influence on organization studies, and discusses how his conceptions of self were shaped by historical circumstances and personal experiences. Second, it briefly overviews key tenets of organizational identity theory and argues that it has been predominantly focused on the equivalence of what James called ‘self-as-object’. Third, it gives a treatment of what James meant by ‘self-as-subject’ and how that may be understood as collective processes of authoring, rooted in practice. Finally, it discusses two sets of the implications that follow from James's view of self: bringing identity into organizational practice and into social change.
Mooweon Rhee and Tohyun Kim
This article reports a behavioural theory of reputation repair with a focus on the behavioural mechanisms underlying an organisation's response to a reputation-damaging event. The reputation repair model views reputation repair as a process of problem solving, consisting of three steps: problem recognition, search for solutions and implementation of solutions. Both an organisation's successful reputation repair and an ideal research program on reputation repair must cover both the issues of repairing or reviving the stakeholders' perceptions of the organisation by protecting these stakeholders from the harm of the reputation-damaging event, and determining the root causes and restructuring or reorganising the organisation's behaviour and position to prevent the recurrence of similar events. Managing the stakeholders' perceptions of the organisation can serve as a key supplement to the substantive reputation repair process and as a crucial part of an organisation's successful reputation repair.
This article reviews and assesses the various ways in which the agency/structure dilemma has been dealt with in organization theory. It identifies three major ‘moves’ for attempting to clarify this issue that will not quietly fade into obscurity as a philosophical curiosity properly consigned to the dustbin of intellectual history. First, the reductionist move on the agency/structure dilemma that simply reduces structure to agency or vice versa, but usually the former. Second, the determinist approach to the agency/structure problem that starkly dichotomizes the relationship between them in such a way that each, irreparably divided, side of this ontological/methodological dichotomy necessarily results in either behavioural or structural reification, but usually the latter. Third, the conflationist interpretation of the agency/structure paradox that directly collapses the latter into the former, and consequently treats it as a ‘virtualized reality’ only traceable in ongoing ‘strips’ of social interaction.
Born in England in 1861, Alfred North Whitehead turned to philosophy after a brilliant career in mathematics, where he developed a philosophical scheme based on experience as the ultimate unit of analysis, rejecting what he called the bifurcation between mind and nature that had dominated philosophical thought. He also invoked the idea of concrete experience to connect to American pragmatism, and especially to William James’s work. This chapter first provides an overview of Whitehead’s life and times before turning to his philosophical views. It examines Whitehead’s notion of atomism and his influence on organization studies. Finally, it discusses three aspects of events that may help lay foundations for an event-based organization theory inspired by Whitehead’s philosophy: events as spatio-temporal durations, the forming of events through mirroring, and the open structures of events.
David P. Lepak, Riki Takeuchi, and Juani Swart
This article focuses on the alignment between human capital (HC) and organizational needs. It focuses on the question of how alignment between HC and organizational strategy influences individual and organizational performance. The starting point for this article is the human-resource architecture proposed by Lepak and Snell (1999), which suggests that firms' decisions to build or buy in HC are influenced by its strategic value and uniqueness. At the individual level of analysis, the article investigates the potential influence of job security/career prospects and the target of an individual's commitment on performance. In a wide-ranging analysis, it questions whether conventional goals of maximizing workforce commitment are necessarily desirable, given that, while core workers and firm's targets of commitment are likely to be in alignment, the targets of commitment for those in job–productivity relationships are more likely to align with their future careers outside the firm.
Tina Dacin, Douglas Reid, and Peter Smith Ring
This article defines collaborations between firms that involve the creation of a separate, autonomous, and legally recognized firm — a ‘newco’ — as a joint venture. Joint ventures usually, but not always, involve parties who have contributed equity in creating the ‘newco’, so the term joint venture in this article refers to equity joint ventures. Joint ventures typically involve collaborations between two parties, but there can be more. This article defines an alliance as a cooperative agreement between at least two firms. These firms combine their resources and capabilities in the pursuit of collective and individual strategic objectives. This article begins with a discussion of the frequency with which firms rely on joint ventures and alliances and the motivations that lead economic actors to develop joint ventures and/or alliances. It provides a detailed discussion of the theory underlying partner selection in joint ventures and alliances.
Mariline Comeau-Vallée, Jean-Louis Denis, Julie Maude Normandin, and Marie-Christine Therrien
The literature on paradoxes and pluralism has grown over the last decade. Although both concepts refer to multiplicity in or around organizations, they have been explored in parallel and have rarely been juxtaposed. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the possible interrelations between these concepts and their implications for the study of paradox within organizations. The chapter further seeks to contrast current notions of paradox and pluralism, and expand understanding of these phenomena by looking at them through two alternate theoretical prisms, namely Critical Management Studies (CMS) and complexity theory. In so doing, new lines of inquiry are opened up around paradoxical situations in pluralistic organizations. These alternate prisms invite further exploration into the interface between paradoxes and pluralism, and highlight the potential of performativity without instrumentality to guide strategies for balancing and benefiting from these important dimensions of contemporary organizations.