The state of the economy represents a concern for individuals and shapes their behavior in profound ways. The current review of studies on how individuals respond to economic cycles reveals that organizational relevance of such responses has often not been considered, and the literature is characterized by a variety of seemingly disconnected explanations for how and why individuals respond to the perceived state of the economy. I develop a theoretical framework that systematizes the literature and accounts for the seemingly disparate findings, highlighting the underlying functionality of such responses for individuals. I then integrate the literature on individual responses to economic cycles with organizational research to examine the meaning of different individual responses from the perspective of organizational functioning. This integration generates a novel insight that individually functional responses to economic cycles can be dysfunctional from the perspective of organizations, often hindering rather than helping organizations’ performance and undermining the well-being of other organizational members. The systematization of the literature also reveals that many responses which would be predicted by the identified theoretical processes and which would be also relevant to organizations have not been studied, laying an agenda for future organizational research.
Although values were once the central focus of institutional scholarship, they occupy a marginal position in the contemporary literature. Viewing this situation as both a significant problem and a latent opportunity, our paper seeks to stimulate change by pursuing three broad aims. The first is to present an integrative review of the institutional and sociological literatures on values. This review addresses basic questions about values’ nature, origins, and functions, and uncovers many latent connections between these currently separate bodies of research. Drawing on this literature review, our second aim is to elaborate the “value of values” for institutional analysis. Specifically, we will suggest that a renewed focus on values can (a) enhance our understanding of institutions and their human inhabitants and (b) increase the moral and practical relevance of institutional scholarship. Our third aim is to sketch out a preliminary agenda for future research. Although we stress that values can be incorporated into contemporary research in many different ways, our main focus is on promoting research that gives renewed attention to the enduring problems that were at the heart of early institutional scholarship.
Homophily, the tendency to associate with similar others, is a fundamental pattern underlying human relationships. Although scholars largely agree on the definition of homophily, their empirical measures of it vary widely. This both raises the question of whether everyone is studying the same phenomenon and suggests that our understanding of homophily is incomplete. To address this question, we examined the homophily literature from 1954 through 2018 and constructed a typology that includes the empirical measures most commonly used. We found that these measures tend to neglect the meaning that people attribute to and derive from homophilous relationships in three ways. First, measures often do not capture how individuals’ interactions with others influence their sense of the world—how social constructions affect meaning. Second, measures often do not capture whether individuals interpret and attach importance to their associations or similarities the same way researchers do. Finally, measures often do not capture the meaning-related ambiguities introduced by studies of multiple types of social contexts, associations, and similarities. Because homophily remains a central construct in social science, this divergence between measures and meaning suggests a need for refinement.
Time-use refers to the amount of time spent working and how that time is allocated over a particular period. A growing number of scholars are considering how social context—people’s immediate social environments (e.g., colleagues and managers, norms, work groups, and nonwork demands)—shape time-use. However, this research is fragmented across disciplines, methods, and levels of analysis. To integrate and advance knowledge in this area, we review empirical studies that inform current understanding of social context and time-use. In doing so, we develop a framework that reveals how the extant literature coalesces around four taken-for-granted social meanings: time-use as dedication, time-use as performance, time-use as identity, and time-use as power. These four meanings are anchored in broadly shared societal ideologies but are enacted and interpreted locally as people engage time in a specific context. Looking across the four social meanings, we discuss how they are interconnected, and identify overarching themes that unite them. Building on these insights, we suggest important directions for future research on the social context of time-use.
Artificial intelligence (AI) characterizes a new generation of technologies capable of interacting with the environment and aiming to simulate human intelligence. The success of integrating AI into organizations critically depends on workers’ trust in AI technology. This review explains how AI differs from other technologies and presents the existing empirical research on the determinants of human “trust” in AI, conducted in multiple disciplines over the last 20 years. Based on the reviewed literature, we identify the form of AI representation (robot, virtual, and embedded) and its level of machine intelligence (i.e., its capabilities) as important antecedents to the development of trust and propose a framework that addresses the elements that shape users’ cognitive and emotional trust. Our review reveals the important role of AI’s tangibility, transparency, reliability, and immediacy behaviors in developing cognitive trust, and the role of AI’s anthropomorphism specifically for emotional trust. We also note several limitations in the current evidence base, such as the diversity of trust measures and overreliance on short-term, small sample, and experimental studies, where the development of trust is likely to be different than in longer-term, higher stakes field environments. Based on our review, we suggest the most promising paths for future research.
Frequent interruptions and task transitions are an inescapable reality of modern organizational life, yet the relevant research spans across numerous seemingly disconnected domains that paint an incomplete and often inconsistent picture regarding the detrimental and/or beneficial consequences of such transitions, thus undermining the potential for this body of research to inform theory and practice. In this study, we review research relevant to interruptions such as intrusions, breaks, distractions, and discrepancies, as well as relevant work on multitasking and multiple goal self-regulation. In so doing, we identify ambiguities in the existing literature, and shed light on shared and unshared features across studies and fields to bring some coherence and start reconciling existing knowledge. At a theoretical level, our review reveals that behaviors on a task and the related interruptions and task transitions cannot be fully understood without taking into account the system of goals, within which they are embedded. We highlight that how people decide what to pay attention to and when to stop a goal pursuit to engage in another; have important emotional, cognitive, and performance implications; and provide directions for advancing knowledge on interruptions and task transitions.
People design and use technology for work. In return, technology shapes work and people. As information communication technology (ICT) becomes ever more embedded in today’s increasingly digital organizations, the nature of our jobs and employees’ work experiences are strongly affected by ICT use. This cross-disciplinary review focuses on work design as a central explanatory vehicle for exploring how individual ICT usage influences employees’ effectiveness and well-being. We evaluated 83 empirical studies. Results show that ICT use affects employees through shaping three key work design aspects: job demands, job autonomy, and relational aspects. To reconcile previous mixed findings on the effects of ICT use on individual workers, we identify two categories of factors that moderate the effects of ICT use on work design: user-technology fit factors and social-technology fit factors. We consolidate the review findings into a comprehensive framework that delineates both the work design processes linking ICT use and employee outcomes and the moderating factors. The review fosters an intellectual conversation across different disciplines, including organizational behavior, management information systems, and computer-mediated communication. The findings and the proposed framework help to guide future research and to design high-quality work in the digital era.
Social support research proliferated across multiple disciplines for more than a half century. This growth, as well as disciplinary differences, resulted in mixed views, conceptualizations, and operationalizations. This review synthesizes knowledge and empirical findings from more than 4,500 studies across disciplines. We summarize several characteristics of social support studied in the literature: quantity and quality, utilization, source, content, format, and consistency. We also identify four dynamic roles of social support in predicting individual outcomes directly, indirectly, and interactively (with stressors): a positivity catalyst, a positivity enhancer, a negativity buffer, and a negativity exacerbator. We find that the incongruence between social support, stressors, and individual characteristics accounts for the diverse roles of social support and mixed findings. Based on our analysis, we discuss how management scholars may draw insights from other disciplines to advance social support research and provide recommendations for future research.
The entrepreneurship setting—an extreme organizational context—provides fertile ground for organizationally relevant theory testing and development. In this article, we propose that randomized experiments in the context of entrepreneurship have considerable potential to advance theory in entrepreneurship, as well as other areas of organization science, including organizational behavior and strategic management. We ground this proposition in a multipronged review of randomized experiments in entrepreneurship (REE). Based on this review of prior work and emerging trends, we provide illustrative examples of innovative theory-driven experiments and motivate future research to consider randomized experiments in the entrepreneurial context both for testing boundary conditions and enhancing organizational theorizing broadly.
The past decade has experienced an increase in the number of studies on organizational space or where work occurs. A number of these studies challenge traditional views of organizational space as a fixed, physical workspace because researchers fail to account for the spatial dynamics that they observe. New technologies, shifting employee–employer relations, and burgeoning expectations of the contemporary workforce blur boundaries between home and work, connect people and things that historically could not be linked, and extend workspaces to nearly everywhere, not just office buildings. Research on these transformations calls for incorporating movement into the physicality of work. Thus, organizational scholars have turned to process studies as ways to examine the dynamic features that create and alter spatial arrangements. However, the rapidly growing work in this area lacks integration and theoretical development. To address these concerns, we review and classify the organizational literature that casts space as a process, that is, dynamically as movements, performances, flows, and changing routines. This review yields five orientations of organizational space scholarship that we label as developing, transitioning, imbricating, becoming, and constituting. We discuss these orientations, examine how they relate to key constructs of organizational space, and show how this work offers opportunities to theorizing about organizations.
Interdependence is a core concept in organization design, yet one that has remained consistently understudied. Current notions of interdependence remain rooted in seminal works, produced at a time when managers’ near-perfect understanding of the task at hand drove the organization design process. In this context, task interdependence was rightly assumed to be exogenously determined by characteristics of the work and the technology. We no longer live in that world, yet our view of interdependence has remained exceedingly task centric and our treatment of interdependence overly deterministic. As organizations face increasingly unpredictable work streams and workers codesign the organization alongside managers, our field requires a more comprehensive toolbox that incorporates aspects of agent-based interdependence. In this article, we synthesize research in organization design, organizational behavior, and other related literatures to examine three types of interdependence that characterize organizations’ workflows: task, goal, and knowledge interdependence. We offer clear definitions for each construct, analyze how each arises endogenously in the design process, explore their interrelations, and pose questions to guide future research.
Our review of acquisition research from the 2008 to 2018 period shows that a large and quickly growing portion of this work has focused on the behavioral aspects of acquisitions. Although this contemporary scholarship holds significant potential to advance our knowledge of acquisition processes and outcomes, because it has been scattered across a wide range of topics and levels, scholars have not yet systematically discussed and integrated the insights we have gained. The growing focus on the multidisciplinary aspects of strategic decisions exacerbates this challenge. In response, we provide a brief literature review of the behavioral acquisition literature, offer a comprehensive view of the state of knowledge in this area, and develop a research agenda capable of guiding researchers toward building a comprehensive understanding of the behavioral aspects of acquisitions. We also point to novel methods we feel will help scholars pursue underexplored avenues, offering the potential to further advance the study of acquisitions.
Interpersonal competition is ubiquitous in organizations and is studied across a variety of disciplines. However, these literatures have developed in parallel with little integration, stunting scholarly progress and leaving researchers and practitioners uncertain as to whether competition within organizations is beneficial versus harmful. This review attempts to resolve these issues. First, we define interpersonal competition as existing when an individual desires, and directs behavior toward, attaining relative superiority over other(s) on a particular dimension. Second, we review the empirical research on the consequences of interpersonal competition, focusing on the factors that determine when interpersonal competition is helpful versus harmful for individual and interpersonal outcomes in organizations, while highlighting the common mechanisms that appear to underlie these factors. This prior work suggests when competition is appraised as a challenge, its downsides are mitigated and its benefits are most evident. Conversely, when competition is appraised as a threat, its downsides become most evident. We hope this review provides an entry point for scholars interested in interpersonal competition and a more parsimonious account of its consequences.
Given its extremely negative impact, it is not surprising that there is extensive literature focused on understanding and reducing corruption. However, the existing academic work focuses largely on corruption in government. Yet, corporations play a key role in much of the corruption that occurs in society and are important contexts for corruption themselves; they are also very different from governments and, we argue, deserve focused study and the development of a coherent theory of corporate corruption. In this article, we define corporate corruption and argue that management researchers are uniquely positioned to contribute to the development of a theory of corporate corruption and the development of solutions to prevent it. We then examine the current state of research on this important topic and propose a framework for organizing research on corporate corruption into four perspectives: corporate corruption as rational action, corporate corruption as institutionalized practice, corporate corruption as cultural norm, and corporate corruption as moral failure. We go on to propose a research agenda for management scholars in some traditional areas of management research to take this important but under-researched topic forward, as well as highlight some of the methodological challenges that management researchers face in conducting research in corporate corruption.
Based on our review of the past 40 years of strategy implementation research, we find that the focus of the research area has moved from the pioneering structural control view to a more adaptive conception of strategy implementation. Whereas early research focused mainly on how to conceptualize strategy implementation plans and how to establish optimal structures, systems, incentives, and controls for strategy implementation, the adaptive turn has shifted the research emphasis on to how organizations make sense of and enact strategies in practice. Although this adaptive turn has contributed significantly to understanding how strategies are implemented and adapted, it has also led to a further fragmentation of the field. We put forward an integrative view that aims at combining the distinctive strengths of the two complementary views. Instead of focusing on either conceptualizing or enacting, we call for researchers to examine the continuous interplay of conceptualizing and enacting strategies at multiple hierarchical levels and in multiple organizational units simultaneously. We hope that our review will inspire future strategy implementation research to complete the adaptive turn through an enhanced, integrative view of strategy implementation.
Risk has become a crucial part of organizing, affecting a wide range of organizations in all sectors. We identify, review, and integrate diverse literatures relevant to organizing risk, building on an existing framework that describes how risk is organized in three “modes”—prospectively, in real-time, and retrospectively. We then identify three critical issues in the existing literature: its fragmented nature, its neglect of the tensions associated with each of the modes, and its tendency to assume that the meaning of an object in relation to risk is singular and stable. We provide a series of new insights with regard to each of these issues. First, we develop the concept of a risk cycle that shows how organizations engage with all three modes and transition between them over time. Second, we explain why the tensions have been largely ignored and show how studies using a risk-work perspective can provide further insights into them. Third, we develop the concept of risk translation to highlight the ways in which the meanings of risks can be transformed and to identify the political consequences of such translations. We conclude the article with a research agenda to elaborate these insights and ideas further.
Literature has long highlighted that entrepreneurs benefit from having the right network connections. We observe, however, that although the large and growing literature on entrepreneur network evolution shares a common focus around the formation and dissolution of entrepreneurs’ interdependent, socially embedded relationships, this literature is fragmented and does not always use the explicit language of network theory. We conduct an integrative review to put forth a typology of five core drivers of entrepreneur network evolution. A core insight of our review is that most entrepreneurial network research emphasizes an overarching pattern that suggests substantial path-dependence, with new ties often being local to entrepreneurs’ existing network, hierarchical, and geographic positions. We label this perspective structural localism. By contrast, more recent, emerging research on entrepreneurial action in forming interorganizational relationships, much of which does not use the language of network theory (e.g., ties and networks), suggests a more dynamic and path-creating pattern. We label this perspective agentic network change. After explicating the distinct theoretical foundations and behavioral assumptions of each perspective, we sketch a research agenda for better balancing our understanding of the two and how they intertwine.
Compared with people of average attractiveness, the highly attractive earn roughly 20 percent more and are recommended for promotion more frequently. The dominant view of this “attractiveness advantage” is one of taste-based discrimination, whereby attractive individuals are preferred without justification in economic productivity. We conduct a comprehensive review of research on attractiveness discrimination, finding relatively more evidence that this phenomenon constitutes, to some extent, statistical (as opposed to solely taste-based) discrimination, in which decision makers assume that attractive people are more competent and discriminate based on instrumental motives. We then review research that speaks to whether decision makers might be correct in assuming that attractive workers are more productive, finding that the attractive possess a slight advantage in human and a notable advantage in social capital. We finally review studies evaluating whether an advantage exists beyond that explained by capital differences. We find that the current body of work provides inconclusive evidence of taste-based but relatively more conclusive evidence of statistical discrimination processes. Our integrative view suggests how attractiveness biases can be detected more effectively, and points to key directions for future research on the sources of the attractiveness advantage. We conclude by discussing the promise of an integrative approach to understanding other achievement gaps, such as those on the basis of gender, race, and social class.