JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INQUIRY – October 2018
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Counting in Qualitative Research: Why to Conduct It, When to Avoid It, and When to Closet It
David R. Hannah and Brenda A. Lautsch
JMI Vol. 20(1): 14-22
In this essay we discuss the issue of counting: the process of assigning numbers to data that are in nonnumerical form. We review why counting is a controversial issue in qualitative research, and explain how this controversy creates what we call the "multiple audience problem" for qualitative researchers. We then identify the purposes that can be served by four different types of counting, explore when counting should be avoided entirely, and discuss when the results of counting should be concealed, or as Sutton put it, kept in the closet.
Keywords: research methods, qualitative research, qualitative data analysis, counting
Organizing Conflict: The Rhizome of Jihad
Tuomas Kuronen and Aki-Mauri Huhtinen
JMI Vol. 26(1): 47-61
In this essay, we study the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from the theoretical perspective of the "rhizome" coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. We understand organizing in general and conflict emergence in particular through the becoming of the rhizomatic ontology of organizing. In our view, the emergence of organizing is a manifestation of a rhizomatic basis of things, seen in nomadic strategies of pursuing revolutionary aims and resisting power hegemonies. We discuss how armed resistance groups relate to time and duration, and their stark contrast to Western professional, expeditionary armies operating in a clearly defined space and time. We complement the established philosophical and organizing-theoretical approaches to being and becoming in understanding conflict emergence with the rhizomatic perspective. We conclude our essay by discussing both theoretical and practical implications for understanding and managing conflict.
Keywords: conflict management, organization theory, philosophy of science, power and politics, strategy
OCTOBER 2018 ISSUE
Older, but Wiser? "The Matthew Effect" at 50: Introduction to the Dialog
Sarah M. G. Otner
JMI Vol.27(2): 359-361
Merton's famous essay on recognition and rewards in scientific careers, "The Matthew Effect in Science", has reached middle age. This Dialog reflects on established research that separates the origins and the consequences of status, and recent contributions regarding the constraints of status advantages. In doing so, this collection responds to a growing scholarly debate about the returns to high status. The authors engage with Merton's cumulative status advantage, and go further to identify downsides of increased recognition both for individuals and for the status system itself. The six articles in this Dialog evaluate the progress made towards Merton's proposed research agenda and highlight opportunities for its extension.
Keywords: status, Matthew Effect, competition; recognition, boundary effects, uncertainty
Systems of Evaluation and the Matthew Effect
JMI Vol. 27(4): 362-364
Existing research on the Matthew Effect establishes that this dynamic can alter information flow and the distribution of rewards in ways that lead to cumulating advantages for high status actors. We know little, however, about how systems of evaluation, and especially variations in systems of evaluations, influence the expression and strength of these outcomes. Drawing on analyses of the effects of rankings on organizations, I consider how different evaluation contexts can change both audience perceptions about which organizations are award worthy and the definition of merit on which reward distributions are based.
Keywords: status, rankings, third parties, Matthew Effect, evaluation
Reversed Riches and Matthew's Curse: The Liability of Status When Organizations Misbehave
Brayden G King and Edward J. Carberry
JMI Vol. 27(4): 365-367
Merton's Matthew Effect essay led to a vast literature on the cumulative advantages associated with prestige. Most management research in this vein focuses on the benefits that come to organizations that receive greater recognition for their performance than their lower status counterparts. In this essay, we argue that increased recognition can also be associated with greater exposure to certain risks when an organization engages in misconduct. We identify two specific mechanisms through which these risks emerge and discuss implications for future research on the complex role that status can play in intensifying and mitigating the risks posed by misconduct.
Keywords: status and reputation, organizational misconduct, corporate social responsibility
The Dark Side of Status
Amanda J. Sharkey
JMI Vol. 27(4): 368-370
Merton's work on the Matthew Effect identified as a key downside of status attainment systems the negative consequences borne by individuals who matched their peers in talent but for a variety of reasons lacked social recognition. In this essay, I review and synthesize research on other negative effects associated with either status-seeking or status-preserving behaviors, as well as negative consequences that may follow from having attained status. I highlight the possibility of diversionary and unethical behaviors, as well as factors that drive performance declines in the wake of status attainment. I discuss possibilities for future research aimed at identifying features of status systems that are more or less likely to generate a significant "dark side" of status.
Keywords: status, attainment, organizations
The Matthew Effect and the Lucan Lawyer: The Ecological Consequences of Status Shocks
Brian P. Reschke and Toby E. Stuart
JMI Vol. 27(4): 371-373
Who are the neighbors of those who attain high status, and what is their fate in the wake of another actor's status elevation? In this essay, we consider the consequences of an individual's change in status for proximate individuals and domains. Particularly, we identify two, potentially simultaneous shifts in resources: a concentration of local recognition around high-status individuals and their immediate neighbors, and an overall elevation of recognition to the domain. We identify conditions in which within-domain or between-domain reallocation will occur, and we outline opportunities for future research.
Keywords: Matthew Effect, status, audience, attention
Near-Winners in Status Competitions: Neglected Sources of Dynamism in the Matthew Effect
JMI Vol. 27(4): 374-377
Current research on status hierarchy dynamics focuses on the potential for, and constraints to, individual mobility. In this essay, I argue that Merton's Matthew Effect incorrectly categorizes activity below a status threshold as linear. This misspecification calls into question existing models of competitions for social status. I argue for an improved theory of status tournaments as asymmetric, non-binary, and agentic. Through that new perspective, I raise questions for the legitimacy and power of stratifying institutions.
Keywords: status, Matthew Effect, competition, economic sociology, threshold effects
The Matthew Effect as an Unjust Competitive Advantage: Implications for Competition Near Status Boundaries
Henning Piezunka, Wonjae Lee, Richard Haynes, and Matthew S. Bothner
JMI Vol. 27(4): 378-381
Merton often envisioned status growth as a process of stepping across a boundary between one status grade and another more elite status grade. Such boundaries include the border between graduate school and a top academic department that young researchers try to traverse, or the frontier between scientists outside the French Academy and scientists inside the French Academy. As it is now common to measure status continuously using network data, the behavioral ramifications of status boundaries have been understudied in recent research. In this essay, we focus on competitive behaviors that emerge near a status boundary because of the desirability-as well as the "double injustice"-of the Matthew Effect. Offering insights for future research, we discuss how these competitive behaviors are likely to delay, or even derail, status growth for those who are near a status boundary.
Keywords: status, competition, tournaments
The Promise of the Organizational Ecosystem Metaphor: An Argument for Biological Rigor
Matthew M. Mars and Judith L. Bronstein
JMI Vol. 27(4): 382-391
Organizational scholars often adopt biological models to explain the emergence and evolution of organizations and human systems. One recent example of such adoption is the organizational ecosystem metaphor. In this article, we contend that taking a rigorous ecological approach over the application of loose ecosystem language has the potential to illuminate patterns in the life span of organizations and human systems. We first define five central properties of biological ecosystems and demonstrate their potential relevance to human-constructed systems (organizational ecosystems). We then argue the value of developing biologically based hypotheses that can be tested in the context of organizational systems. Next, we propose a set of hypotheses specific to organizational stability and disruption, using Arizona charter schools as an example to demonstrate the promise of the rigorous application of the organizational ecosystem metaphor. We close with a discussion of how the insights generated might be applied across other organizational settings and systems.
Keywords: network analysis, organization theory, organizational ecology
"Power From Within" and Masculine Language: Does New Age Language Work at Work?
Nurit Zaidman, Annick Janson, and Yael Keshet
JMI Vol. 27(4): 392-404
This study investigates the use, by women, of New Age spirituality (NAS) language in the workplace. Quantitative and qualitative data collected in New Zealand and Israel show that women reported using NAS language more than men, and that NAS language are generally silenced. Results show that if not calculated correctly, women's use of NAS can lead to the loss of social capital and cultural capital in the workplace. In addition, women use NAS language as a set of ideas that shape the way they behave, as a form of "power from within," and as "spiritual capital." The article draws out some implications for theory on language and power in the workplace, by showing that silenced languages may remain alive within people, directing responses and actions, and for feminist research, by suggesting that women's spirituality should be considered as a factor in explaining the interpretation and negotiation of workplace challenges, by women.
Keywords: gender, empowerment, language, spiritual capital, New Age, spirituality, workplace
Academic Gerrymandering? Expansion and Expressions of Academic Work
Kathy Lund Dean
JMI Vol. 27(4): 405-410
As academic institutions creatively respond to exogenous forces requiring fundamental re-imagining of academic work, boundaries are being redrawn between traditional academic/professorial work and academic administration, resulting in blended job roles that constitute an incipient threat to academic values such as freedom and autonomy. After contrasting the nature of academic and nonacademic work, I draw on institutional theory to offer a model examining conditions under which blended academic and administrative roles engender four outcomes: positional dexterity, accommodating citizen, grab bag, and academic gerrymandering. I warn against institutional conditions that foster academic gerrymandering, or the "redistricting" of academic work for managerial benefit. I end the article with examples of other professions where administrative and "core" professional work have not been blended intentionally or well, and I suggest topics for future research.
Keywords: careers, job design, structure, design and boundaries, institutional theory, institutional entrepreneurship
How Far That Little Candle Throws His Beams! An Interview With Mats Isaksson
Alessandro Merendino and Marc Goergen
JMI Vol. 27(4): 411-419
This article adopts a policy-maker perspective on corporate governance, while exploring the role of academia in influencing corporate governance principles, the reasons for the boilerplate approach to governance rules typically adopted by most companies, and the reasons for a possible disconnect between research and corporate governance policies. The article ends with some key lessons about corporate governance and the future research agenda.
Keywords: corporate governance, corporate culture, business and government/political economy, policy-makers, board of directors, agency theory
Could Slow Be Beautiful? Academic Counter-Spacing Within and Beyond "The Slow Swimming Club"
David R. Jones
JMI Vol. 27(4): 420-435
This article proposes a specific form of academic counter-spacing, based on an autoethnographic account of an initiative called the "Slow Swimming Club." The justification for this initiative is to contest what is contextualized as the pervasive fast pace of universities, driven by contemporary marketization, new public management, and neoliberalism. The proposed counterspacing is analyzed here through a conceptual lens, inspired by recent research from the environmental psychology discipline around Attention Restorative Theory (ART), along with its central four principles. By using such a conceptual frame, it allows a way of exploring the impact beyond the personal day-to-day micro-restorative counter-spacing opportunities, such as the Slow Swimming Club (which take place outside the university space), toward counter-spacing back on campus. It thereby endeavors to explore how such counter-spacing not only reflects and disconnects through a restorative coping mechanism, but also collectively resists and challenges the fast agendas on campus.
Keywords: stress, deviant, empowerment, employee involvement, participation
Bridging the Research–Practice Divide: A Study of Scholar-Practitioners' Multiple Role Management Strategies and Knowledge Spillovers Across Roles
Guillaume Carton and Paula Ungureanu
JMI Vol. 27(4): 436-453
This study investigates the relationship between multiple role management strategies and knowledge spillovers across roles. We focus on a particular category of boundary-spanning professionals, the scholar-practitioners-professionals who work across the boundaries of academic and practice worlds-and apply a role theory lens to study (a) the sources of interrole conflict they experience at role boundaries, (b) the strategies of multiple role management they enact, and (c) the knowledge spillovers associated to such strategies. We develop a grounded model that describes three role management strategies, which occupy different positions on a role separation–integration continuum, and generate different mechanisms of knowledge spillover. Our study sheds light on the understudied relationship between role management strategies and knowledge consequences, and the type of tensions individuals experience in this process. In addition, we discuss how the strategic management of teaching, research, and practical application roles can help bridge academic and managerial practice worlds.
Keywords: role theory, role conflict, work role transition, multiple role management, knowledge spillover, theory practice divide, rigor relevance gap, boundary spanner, scholar practitioner
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