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Journal of Management Inquiry -- April 2021 Issue Open Access

  • 1.  Journal of Management Inquiry -- April 2021 Issue Open Access

    Posted 21 days ago

    Apologies for cross-postings. Articles from the April 2021 issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry are now available. Please enjoy free access through May 2021 by clicking on the URL for each article.

    In the Editorial, we are pleased to announce JMI's newest section: Curated. The April 2021 issue includes four curated pieces that focus on the study of paradox juxtaposed to the pandemic crisis. Enjoy!



    From the Editors

    Pablo Martin de Holan and Richard Stackman

    Vol. 30(2): 119-120




    A Paradox Approach to Societal Tensions during the Pandemic Crisis

    Garima Sharma, Jean Bartunek, Patrice M. Buzzanell, Simone Carmine, Carsyn Endres, Michael Etter, Gail Fairhurst, Tobias Hahn, Patrick Lê, Xin Li, Vontrese Pamphile, Camille Pradies, Linda L. Putnam, Kimberly Rocheville, Jonathan Schad, Mathew Sheep, and Joshua Keller

    Vol. 30(2): 121-137


    Keywords: paradox, ambidexterity, tensions


    A Paradox Approach to Organizational Tensions During the Pandemic Crisis

    Simone Carmine, Constantine Andriopoulos, Manto Gotsi, Charmine E. J. Härtel, Anna Krzeminska, Nkosana Mafico, Camille Pradies, Hassan Raza, Tatbeeq Raza-Ullah, Stephanie Schrage, Garima Sharma, Natalie Slawinski, Lea Stadtler, Andrea Tunarosa, Casper Winther-Hansen, and Joshua Keller

    Vol. 30(2): 138-153


    Keywords: paradox, tensions, organization theory


    The Lived Experience of Paradox: How Individuals Navigate Tensions during the Pandemic Crisis

    Camille Pradies, Ina Aust, Rebecca Bednarek, Julia Brandl,  Simone Carmine, Joe Cheal, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Medhanie Gaim, Anne Keegan, Jane K. Lê, Ella Miron-Spektor, Rikke Kristine Nielsen, Vanessa Pouthier, Garima Sharma, Jennifer L. Sparr, Russ Vince, and Joshua Keller

    Vol. 30(2): 154-167


    Keywords: paradox, tensions, organizational behavior


    Our Collective Tensions: Paradox Research Community's Response to COVID-19

    Joshua Keller, Simone Carmine, Paula Jarzabkowski, Marianne W. Lewis, Camille Pradies, Garima Sharma,

    Wendy K. Smith, and Russ Vince

    Vol. 30(2): 168-176



    In this commentary on three articles from dozens of paradox theory scholars on paradox approaches to examining the COVID-19 pandemic and how the COVID-19 pandemic informs paradox theory, the authors involved in coordinating the collection of three papers discuss the process of bringing together scholars from around the world to discuss the pandemic. Four other preeminent paradox theorists offer additional commentaries on the papers in this Collection.

    Keywords: paradox, tensions, ambidexterity, strategy



    Knowledge Synthesis for Scientific Management: Practical Integration for Complexity Versus Scientific Fragmentation for Simplicity

    Victor Zitian Chen and Michael A. Hitt

    Vol. 30(2): 177-192



    Within the boundary of scientific knowledge for management, we discuss the divergence between practical demand for knowledge integration to solve complex problems and scientific fragmentation of academic knowledge for simplicity. We suggest the current incentives underlying elite scientific journals in management cause unintended knowledge fragmentation both between management and foundation disciplines, and within management. In the context of the overall management knowledge ecosystem, we recommend addressing three major constraints that limit our ability to reduce these fragmentations: First, new technologies could be introduced to assist researchers and editors in the development of a complete review of existing theories and evidence. Second, new publication outlets could be designed to serve as information technology–enabled, web-based knowledge synthesis platforms. Third, business schools could develop new incentive systems to enable and promote the use of these new initiatives. We suggest several limitations of our recommendations and discuss extensions into the yet untheorized/untested knowledge domain.

    Keywords: management education, knowledge management, organizational design, business and society, management history


    Drawing Out Democracy: The Role of Sortition in Preventing and Overcoming Organizational Degeneration in Worker-Owned Firms

    Simon Pek

    Vol. 30(2): 193-206



    Fostering sustainable worker ownership and control of their organizations has long been an aspiration for many. Yet, the growth of worker-owned firms (WOFs) is often accompanied by organizational degeneration: the tendency for a small oligarchy of unrepresentative workers to control democratic structures at the expense of the participation of everyday workers. Prior research suggests that organizational degeneration occurs naturally as WOFs become larger and more complex. Building on and departing from this work, I argue in this essay that an important cause is likely to be current practice around how worker representatives are selected-specifically, the near-universal reliance on elections. As an alternative, I argue that the application of sortition-the use of lotteries-to select worker representatives in major decision-making bodies such as boards of directors and councils could help prevent and overcome organizational degeneration, while also offering additional social and business benefits for workers and their organizations.

    Keywords: worker ownership, worker cooperatives, organizational degeneration, democracy, random selection, sortition


    Notes on the Meaning of Work: Labor, Work, and Action in the 21st Century

    Anne-Laure Fayard

    Vol. 30(2): 207-220



    There is growing evidence that the nature of work is evolving, with the emergence of new forms such as open innovation and crowdsourcing, freelancing and the gig economy and artificial intelligence, and robotics. Debates about the consequences of these changes are flourishing. However, it seems that what work means for different protagonists varies. This essay proposes to explore how philosophers have thought about work to analyze recent empirical phenomena. It combines Hannah Arendt's distinction between labor, work, and action with Nancy Harding's distinction between labor and work to investigate activities that might or might not be described as work. It examines two technology-enabled platforms representative of the "gig economy": on-demand mobile workforce and crowdsourcing for innovation. More broadly, in this time of constant change, tracing conceptual boundaries between different human activities allows us to reveal the social and political implications of new activities described as work.

    Keywords: philosophy of science, qualitative research, quality of work life



    The Role of Strategic Ambiguity in  Moral Injury: A Case Study of Dutch Border Guards Facing Moral Challenges

    Jori Pascal Kalkman and Tine Molendijk

    Vol. 30(2): 221-234



    There is widespread agreement that lower-level organizational members face moral challenges because their personal values conflict with organizational directions. Yet we argue that intentional strategic ambiguity, too, may lead to moral challenges, particularly among organizational members operating in high-stake situations. Drawing on interviews with border guards deployed during the European migration crisis, we use vignettes to present two coping strategies. First, members may disengage from moral challenges and redefine their work as a clear-cut duty. Second, they may embrace moral disorientation and conflicts, and follow felt moral obligations. Both may lead to "moral injury." Moral injury refers to psychological suffering that is engendered by performing, failing to prevent, or falling victim to actions that conflict with one's moral belief system. We make three theoretical contributions by (a) identifying the roots of moral challenges in strategic decision-making, (b) signaling different coping mechanisms, and (c) challenging pragmatic perspectives on strategic ambiguity.

    Keywords: ethics, organization theory, strategy, values, decisions under risk/uncertainty



    "It's an Ongoing Bromance": Counterculture and Cyberculture in Silicon Valley-An Interview with Fred Turner

    Alberto Lusoli and Fred Turner

    Vol. 30(2): 235-242



    Fred Turner is considered one of the most influential experts on, and critical observers of, cyberculture. He is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University in the Department of Communication. Through his work, he provided a thoughtful analysis of the politics and culture of Silicon Valley. In his books, he explored the connections between the collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture of the Second World War, the protest movements of the 1960s, and the managerial ethos permeating digital and new media industries. In this interview, we discuss about the consequences that the countercultural movements had on the organization of labor in modern tech giants, especially in relation to the substitution of hierarchies for flat and more entrepreneurial structures. We also talk about the consequences that a code of ethics might have in the democratization of technology and the responsibility that we have as citizens and academics.

    Keywords: business and society, unions/labor relations, technology, political economy, interviews



    Nimble Scholarship by Necessity

    Bernadine J. Dykes

    Vol. 30(2) 243-246



    The COVID-19 crisis revealed that business scholars are painfully and perhaps unnecessarily slow at producing academic content. Rather than make excuses, let's move towards more nimble scholarship.

    Keywords: nimble, scholarship, COVID-19




    The Editors and Editorial Board of JMI thanks Sage Publications for its generosity in sharing published articles openly.  

    Richard Stackman
    University of San Francisco
    San Francisco CA
    (415) 422-2148