When Do Proactive Employees Receive Higher Job Performance Ratings?

Publication: Journal of Management, in press
Article: Personal initiative and job performance evaluations: Role of political skill in opportunity recognition and capitalization
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” – Milton Berle

Proactive employees take initiative, expand and craft their jobs, and voice ideas to others in the workplace. In general, employees who take initiative are looked upon positively; however, taking initiative does not always result in better performance or better performance ratings. According to a new study (Wihler, Blickle, Parker Ellen III, Hochwarter, & Ferris, in press), taking initiative is a process that involves both individual and organizational factors, and can result in either high or low ratings of job performance.

Across three separate studies, researchers tested the relationship between initiative taking and job performance, as well as the individual and organizational factors that affect the strength of this relationship. Each of the three studies utilized a survey design, and sampled pairs of employees and their supervisors.


Assessing idiosyncratic deals (IO Psychology)

Publication: Journal of Management (March 2013)
Article: Let’s make a deal: Development and validation of the ex post I-Deals Scale
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

When people are being hired or negotiating the terms of their employment, they often make idiosyncratic deals, also known as i-deals. I-deals are informal, nonstandard agreements between the employee and the employer that lead to beneficial outcomes for both parties. For example, they might negotiate compensation or work hours.

In a recent series of studies, Christopher Rosen and his colleagues set out to determine what exactly i-deals are, develop a measure of i-deals, and then establish that measure’s validity.


Blurring Work and Non-Work Boundaries: Two Sides to the Story (IO Psychology)

Publication: Journal of Management
Article: The Use of Communication Technologies After Hours: The Role of Work Attitudes and Work-Life Conflict
Reviewed by: Lauren A. Wood, M.S.

The rapid advancement of communication technologies (CTs) in recent years is widely believed to be one of the main drivers behind changes in work. The ease and availability of CTs allows employees unprecedented access to information, people, and most importantly, their work from anywhere and at anytime. While previous generations of workers “stopped the clock” at 5:00pm, many modern employees continue to check-in to work after traditional work hours – leading to blurry work-non-work boundaries. Researchers have predicted both positive and negative outcomes to result from this shift in working hours. Specifically, using CTs to check-in to work after hours, may be a sign of greater commitment to the organization, or high job involvement and ambition on the part of the employee. But, the negative side of greater time spent working is less time for non-work activities possibility resulting in work-family conflict.


Do customers make you mad? You have permission to vent

Publication: Journal of Management (FEB 2013)
Article: Alleviating the burden of emotional labor: The role of social sharing
Authors: McCance, A. S., Nye, C. D., Wang, L., Jones, K. S., & Chiu, C.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

imagery_09_11_08_000183If you’ve ever worked in the service industry, you know that some customers can be incredibly frustrating. You get angry, your blood pressure rises, you try really hard to hold your tongue, and then you complain to your coworkers later. And you feel better.


When women don’t reach the C-suite as often as men, benevolent sexism may be to blame

Topic: Gender, Discrimination, Development
Publication: Journal of Management (NOV 2012)
Article: Benevolent sexism at work: Gender differences in the distribution of challenging developmental experiences
Authors: King, E. B., Botsford, W., Hebl, M. R., Kazama, S., Dawson, J. F., & Perkins, A.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

woman_working_on_laptopWomen are breaking the glass ceiling and entering higher levels of organizations. To be successful, women need to get the same developmental experiences as men, and both men and women seem to be getting about the same number of developmental experiences. But if this is the case, why then are there fewer women than men reaching the very highest levels of the organization?


Whistle While You Work: The Importance of Work Enjoyment for Managers (Human Resource Management)

Topic: Motivation, Performance, Wellness
Publication: Journal of Management (SEP 2012)
Article: Driven to Work and Enjoyment of Work: Effects on Managers’ Outcomes
Authors: Laura Graves, Marian Ruderman, Patricia Ohlott, & Todd Weber
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Work motivation, a topic that is relevant to almost all employees in almost every organization, is a common research area in IO psychology. Within the vast motivation literature, two types of motivation that have emerged in recent years are the driven to work and enjoyment of work motives. The driven to work motive is based on the feeling that a person should work (they feel compelled to), while the enjoyment of work motive emphasizes intrinsic motivation and personal enjoyment of the work itself. Recently, Graves and colleagues conducted a study to identify the role that these two types of motivation might have on managers’ performance, career satisfaction, and psychological strain.


A Crash Course in Adopting New Technology—It’s All About The Bandwagon

Topic: Business Strategy, Off the Wall
Publication: Journal of Management
Article: Closing the Technology Adoption–Use Divide: The Role of Contiguous User Bandwagon
Authors: G. Lanzolla & F. F. Suarez
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman

Did you ever buy something that was really expensive, but you could sort of justify the purchase because you were so sure you’d use it every single day and it would save you time and money? Come on, we all have. But, did your purchase end up sitting on a shelf somewhere? Well, if it was some new, cool technology for your organization that you purchased, then chances are actually pretty good that it did. A ridiculously large portion of new technology adopted by organizations never gets used by the employees. But, why? Here’s where I am going to totally rock your world—just because you invest in a new piece of technology, doesn’t mean you’ll use it.


Need Ethics? Here, Take Mine (IO Psychology)

Topic: Ethics
Publication: Journal of Management (2012)
Article: The psychic cost of doing wrong: Ethical conflict, divestiture socialization, and emotional exhaustion
Authors: Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., Simon, L. S., & Rich, B. L.
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman

It’s sweet, albeit naïve, to think that the ethical training we learned in pursuit of a degree or on the job during seemingly endless training sessions will do the trick. We will always be upstanding corporate citizens, ready to fight evil. But that’s not really what happens. It’s all well and good to make your employees take ethics training, but what about when their supervisor or even the organizational culture pushes them to break their ethical rules? Sure, we have a moral dilemma, but it goes deeper than that. Ethical lapses have an effect on the employees who make or see them.


Mixed Messages: Gender Differences in Performance and Promotability Ratings (IO Psychology)

Topic: Gender, Performance Appraisal
Publication: Journal of Management (MAR 2012)
Article: A Meta-Analysis of Gender Group Differences for Measures of Job Performance in Field Studies
Authors: Roth, P. L., Purvis, K. L., & Bobko, P.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

In human resource management, we are often concerned with group-based differences in the measurement of performance, satisfaction, and other variables (for legal and ethical reasons). Previous meta-analytic studies (studies that look at data/findings across multiple studies) have examined the role of certain group characteristics, such as ethnicity, on performance, but gender differences have not been studied as frequently. In addition, as the authors of the current article note, previous meta-analyses that have assessed gender differences in performance have generally utilized various proxies for performance (e.g., absenteeism, satisfaction ) rather than actual performance measures (e.g., supervisor ratings). The goal, then, of this meta-analysis, was to examine gender differences on these realistic performance indices in field samples.


Motivating GenY: Generational Differences in Work Values

Topic: Motivation
Publication: Journal of Management (SEP 2010)
Article: Generational differences in work values: Leisure and extrinsic values increasing, social and intrinsic values decreasing
Authors: J. M. Twenge, S. M. Campbell, B. J. Hoffman, and C. E. Lance
Reviewed By: Lauren Wood

The U.S. workforce is primarily comprised of 3 generations of workers – Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), GenX (1965-1981), and GenY (1982-1999). Although empirical research examining differences in generational work values is scarce, understanding differences between these 3 groups is important for organizations attempting to recruit and manage the youngest generation in the workforce – GenY.