Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

  • The macroeconomic environment and the psychology of work evaluation
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 144

    Author(s): Nina Sirola, Marko Pitesa

    This research tested the idea that the perception of the state of the macroeconomic environment impacts the psychology underlying an essential organizational function: The evaluation of employees’ work and the associated promotion and demotion decisions. We predicted that when the macroeconomic environment is perceived to be more (less) prosperous, people’s generalized sense of the extent to which individuals have control over outcomes increases (decreases), leading them to attribute more (less) responsibility for work outcomes to individuals rather than contextual influences. In Study 1, we tested this theory using data from 124,400 respondents surveyed across 57 countries and 19years and data about objective indicators of their macroeconomic environments. We found that in more prosperous times, people reported a higher generalized sense of control and were less likely to believe that contextual influences, such as luck, matter for work success. In Studies 2 and 3, we manipulated the perception of the macroeconomic environment among employees working in organizations, and we found that those who perceived their economic environment to be more prosperous had a higher generalized sense of control and in turn attributed more responsibility for a work outcome to the individual performing the work, resulting in more extreme promotion and demotion decisions. The consideration of the macroeconomic context of organizational decision making bridges the macro–micro divide in organizational sciences to provide a novel explanation for individual psychology and behavior underlying fundamental organizational processes.





  • When sharing hurts: How and why self-disclosing weakness undermines the task-oriented relationships of higher status disclosers
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 144

    Author(s): Kerry Roberts Gibson, Dana Harari, Jennifer Carson Marr

    It is generally believed that self-disclosure has positive effects, particularly for relationships; however, we predict and find negative effects in the context of task-oriented relationships. Across three laboratory experiments, we find that both task-relevant (Study 1) and task-irrelevant (Studies 2 and 3) weakness disclosures, made by a higher (versus peer) status coworker during an interdependent task, negatively affected the receiver’s perception of the discloser’s status and consequently undermined the discloser’s influence, encouraged task conflict, and led to lower relationship quality with the discloser. Peer status disclosers did not trigger these negative responses. We find support for perceived vulnerability as the proposed psychological process (Study 3). Specifically, higher (but not peer) status disclosers experience a status penalty after weakness disclosures because these disclosures signal vulnerability, which violates the expectations people have for higher (but not peer) status coworkers. These findings provide insight into the effects of self-disclosing weakness at work and the ways in which high status employees may inadvertently trigger their own status loss.





  • When corporate social responsibility motivates employee citizenship behavior: The sensitizing role of task significance
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 144

    Author(s): Madeline Ong, David M. Mayer, Leigh P. Tost, Ned Wellman

    Scholars have proposed that organizations’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts are often positively associated with employees’ organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and have invoked identity-based mechanisms to explain this relationship. Complementing these perspectives, we develop a CSR sensitivity framework that explains how task significance, a micro-level job characteristic, can sensitize employees to their organizations’ macro-level CSR efforts, thereby strengthening the association between CSR and OCB. Across three field studies, we find that CSR and task significance interact to predict OCB, such that an organization’s CSR is more positively associated with OCB among employees who report higher task significance than among those who report lower task significance. Furthermore, we find support for prosocial motivation as a mediator of this interactive effect, but we do not find evidence for several alternative mediators. We discuss the implications of our findings for the literatures on CSR, job design, and other-oriented approaches to organizational behavior.





  • When social identity threat leads to the selection of identity-reinforcing options: The role of public self-awareness
    Publication date: January 2018
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 144

    Author(s): Katherine White, Madelynn Stackhouse, Jennifer J. Argo

    This research shows that activating public self-awareness leads individuals to increase their association with symbolic representations of their identity. When a social identity was threatened, participants high rather than low in public self-awareness were more likely to select options that reinforced their association with the identity (Studies 1a, 1b, and 2). This response was mediated by the desire to convey a consistent self to others (Study 2). In line with the view that the effects are driven by public self-consistency motives, the effects emerge only among those motivated to convey a consistent public self-image (Study 3) and when product choices can be viewed by others (Study 4). Finally, when identity threat occurred in the presence of an ingroup audience, those high (but not low) in ingroup identification were more likely to select identity-reinforcing options when public self-awareness was heightened (Study 5). The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.





  • The illusion of transparency in performance appraisals: When and why accuracy motivation explains unintentional feedback inflation
    Publication date: Available online 13 October 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

    Author(s): Michael Schaerer, Mary Kern, Gail Berger, Victoria Medvec, Roderick I. Swaab

    The present research shows that managers communicate negative feedback ineffectively because they suffer from transparency illusions that cause them to overestimate how accurately employees perceive their feedback. We propose that these illusions emerge because managers are insufficiently motivated to engage in effortful thinking, which reduces the accuracy with which they communicate negative feedback to employees. Six studies (N=1883) using actual performance appraisals within an organization and role plays with MBA students, undergraduates, and online participants show that transparency illusions are stronger when feedback is negative (Studies 1–2), that they are not driven by employee bias (Study 3), and occur because managers are insufficiently motivated to be accurate (Studies 4a–c). In addition, these studies demonstrate that transparency illusions are driven by more indirect communication by the manager and how different interventions can be used to mitigate these effects (Studies 4a–c). An internal meta-analysis including 11 studies from the file drawer (N=1887) revealed a moderate effect size (d =0.43) free of publication bias.





  • Seeing and studying China: Leveraging phenomenon-based research in China for theory advancement
    Publication date: Available online 11 October 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

    Author(s): Chao C. Chen, Ray Friedman, Daniel J. McAllister

    China plays a central role in the world economy, and it is important for management scholars to focus attention on the issues and challenges it faces. For this purpose, we argue, a phenomenon-based approach is required. We review the central tenets of phenomenon-based research (PBR), arguing that a clear focus on important phenomenon (rather than just testing a prior theories) enhances our understanding of the world, encourages different research methods, and – in the end – actually produces better theory as well. PBR on China helps us see, and study, the critical phenomena of generational value shifts, pollution, aging of the population, corruption, and mistrust of strangers. It also forces us to grapple with Chinese paradoxes, like the odd combination of hard work despite high belief in fate, and the ways in which our mainstream theories can and should be updated to address key Chinese phenomenon, like Guanxi. This special issue documents key phenomena in China that management scholars need to know about, and provides stimulus for advancing theory that not only is germane to China, but also informs and reshapes general management theory.





  • Does gender diversity help teams constructively manage status conflict? An evolutionary perspective of status conflict, team psychological safety, and team creativity
    Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

    Author(s): Hun Whee Lee, Jin Nam Choi, Seongsu Kim

    Despite the recent development of the literature on status conflict, the reasons and the contingency of the effects of status conflict on team creativity remain unclear. In this study, we draw on an evolutionary perspective to theorize team psychological safety as an underlying mechanism and gender diversity asa critical boundary condition for understanding why and when status conflict is likely to hinder team creativity. We tested these theoretical hypotheses using a multimethod (field and scenario studies) and cross-cultural (Korean and North American samples) set of studies. The findings offer novel practical and theoretical insights into the joint influence of status conflict and gender diversity on team psychological safety and team creativity.





  • Does team communication represent a one-size-fits-all approach?: A meta-analysis of team communication and performance
    Publication date: Available online 12 September 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

    Author(s): Shannon L. Marlow, Christina N. Lacerenza, Jensine Paoletti, C. Shawn Burke, Eduardo Salas

    Although it is consistently identified as a critical component of team performance, team communication is often conceptualized in a variety of manners. The present meta-analysis addresses this inconsistency by examining the moderating influence of communication characteristics, as well as other salient team and task characteristics, on the relationship between team communication and performance. The findings revealed several fundamental insights. First, communication quality had a significantly stronger relationship with team performance than communication frequency. Second, further distinguishing between different communication types, classifying communication into the eight most commonly measured communication forms (e.g., knowledge sharing, information elaboration), has further value; information elaboration has the strongest relationship with performance while self-report frequency and objective frequency have the weakest relationships. Third, familiar and face-to-face teams exhibited a stronger relationship between communication and performance. These results indicate the necessity of distinguishing between different communication types in both practical and theoretical applications of team science.





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