Category Archives: Management

Can a Flexibility/Support Initiative Reduce Turnover Intentions and Exits? Results from the Work, Family, and Health Network

Source: Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Shi-Rong Lee, J. Michael Oakes, Wen Fan, Jeremy Bray, David Almeida, Leslie Hammer, David Hurtado, Orfeu Buxton, Social Problems, Advance Access, First published online: 29 December 2016
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From the abstract:
We draw on panel data from a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a flexibility/supervisor support initiative called STAR on turnover intentions and voluntary turnover among professional technical workers in a large firm. An unanticipated exogenous shock—the announcement of an impending merger—occurred in the middle of data collection. Both organizational changes reflect an emerging employment contract characterized by increasing employee temporal flexibility even as employers wield greater flexibility in reorganizing their workforces. We theorized STAR would reduce turnover intentions and actual turnover by making it more attractive to stay with the current employer. We found being in a STAR team (versus a usual practice team) lowered turnover intentions 12 months later and reduced the risk of voluntary turnover over almost three years. We also examined potential mechanisms accounting for the effects of these two organizational changes; STAR effects on reducing turnover intentions are partially mediated by reducing work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, burnout, psychological distress, perceived stress, and increasing job satisfaction. The effect of learning about the merger on increasing turnover intentions is fully mediated by increased job insecurity. STAR also moderates the negative effects of learning about the merger on turnover intentions for different subgroups. Findings provide insights into the effectiveness of an organizational intervention, the dynamics of organizations, and how competing logics of two organizational changes affect employees’ labor market expectations and behavior.

How ancient wisdom can help managers give their employees better feedback

Source: Khatera Sahibzada, The Conversation, December 19, 2016

Giving feedback is unquestionably one of the most challenging tasks for any leader, as it can be painful to both the giver and receiver. It is nonetheless invaluable: Research has shown that employees recognize the importance of feedback – whether positive or negative – to their career development.

Many even welcome it, provided it’s given well. One study of nearly a thousand employees both in the U.S. and abroad found that 92 percent believed that negative feedback is effective at improving performance – “if delivered appropriately.”….

….In another example, a study conducted at New York University found that men and women received different evaluations after demonstrating the same altruistic behavior, such as volunteering to help a co-worker who was in a bind even though the employee would end up being late for another co-worker’s party.

The employees were then given performance evaluations and reward recommendations – that is whether they should get salary increases, promotions, high-profile projects or bonus pay. Women were consistently evaluated more harshly than their male counterparts and were penalized to a greater degree if they were unwilling to help…..

Manager–Employee Gender Congruence and the Bureaucratic Accountability of Public Service Employees Evidence From Schools

Source: Mogens Jin Pedersen, Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 45 no. 4, December 2016
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From the abstract:
Much theory suggests that manager–employee gender congruence (that manager and employee share the same gender) may influence employee accountability. This article empirically tests this notion by examining how manager–employee gender congruence among public service employees relates to two key aspects of bureaucratic accountability: (a) organizational goal alignment and (b) compliance with organizational rules and regulations. Using school fixed effects on teacher survey data and administrative school data, we find that male teachers with male principals are less aligned with their school’s goals and less compliant with its rules and regulations than are male teachers with female principals.

Unlocking Employee Potential through Self-Directed Time

Source: Jan Hawn, Steven Gibson, Nickie Lee, Government Finance Review, Vol. 32 no. 4, August 2016

….Can self-directed time work in government? Two cities — Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Bellevue, Washington — sought to answer that question. Rock Hill has a population of 69,967 and 912 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions on its payroll, and Bellevue has 136,426 residents and 1,319 FTEs. In addition, a third city — Topeka, Kansas (with a population of 127,215 and 1,176.5 FTE) positions — attempted the experiment with one analyst. ….

Excess Management Is Costing the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year

Source: Gary Hamel, Michele Zanini, Harvard Business Review, September 2016

More people are working in big, bureaucratic organizations than ever before. Yet there’s compelling evidence that bureaucracy creates a significant drag on productivity and organizational resilience and innovation. By our reckoning, the cost of excess bureaucracy in the U.S. economy amounts to more than $3 trillion in lost economic output, or about 17% of GDP.

Here’s the arithmetic. According to our analysis of occupational data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 23.8 million managers, first-line supervisors, and administrators in the American workforce in 2014. (This figure includes both the public and private sectors but does not include individuals in IT-related functions.) That works out to one manager and administrator for every 4.7 employees. Overall, managers and administrators made up 17.6% of the U.S. workforce and received nearly 30% of total compensation.

How many of these 23.8 million overseers do we actually need? We can get an answer by looking at the management practices of a small but growing number of post-bureaucratic pioneers. Their experience suggests it’s possible to run complex businesses with less than half the managerial load typically found in large companies…..

This employee ID badge monitors and listens to you at work — except in the bathroom

Source: Thomas Heath, Washington Post, September 7, 2016

Do you hog office conversations? Or not talk enough? Does your voice squeal?

Do you sit very still at your desk all day? Or do you fidget under stress? Where do you go in the office? How much time do you spend there? To whom do you talk?

An employee badge can now measure all this and more, all with the goal of giving employers better information to evaluate performance. Think of it as biometrics meets the boss.

A Boston company has taken technology developed at MIT and turned it into special badges that hang around your neck on a lanyard. Each has two microphones doing real-time voice analysis, and each comes with sensors that follow where you are in the office, with motion detectors to record how much you move. The beacons tracking your movements are omitted from bathroom locations, to give you some privacy….

The View at the Top or Signing at the Bottom? Workplace Diversity Responsibility and Women’s Representation in Management

Source: Mary E. Graham, Maura A. Belliveau, and Julie L. Hotchkiss, ILR Review, OnlineFirst, Published online before print September 8, 2016
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From the abstract:
Women lag men in their representation in management jobs, which negatively affects women’s careers and company performance. Using data from 81 publicly traded firms with more than 2,000 establishments, the authors examine the impact of two management structures that may influence gender diversity in management positions. The authors find no association between the presence of an HR executive on the top management team—a structure envisioned in practice as enhancing diversity but which could, instead, operate merely symbolically—and the proportion of women in management. By contrast, the authors show a strong, positive association between a previously unexamined measure of commitment to diversity—the hierarchical rank of the individual certifying the company’s required, confidential federal EEO-1 report—and women’s representation in management. These findings counter the common perception that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations are too weak to affect gender diversity. The authors discuss the implications for diversity scholarship, as well as for management practice and public policy.

Performance and Management in the Public Sector: Testing a Model of Relative Risk Aversion

Source: Sean Nicholson-Crotty, Jill Nicholson-Crotty, Sergio Fernandez, Public Administration Review, Early View, August 17, 2016
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From the abstract:
Research has demonstrated that management influences the performance of public organizations, but almost no research has explored how the success or failure of a public organization influences the decisions of those who manage it. Arguing that many decisions by public managers are analogous to risky choice, the authors use a well-validated model of relative risk aversion to understand how such choices are influenced by managers’ perceptions of organizational performance. They theorize that managers will be less likely to encourage innovation or give discretion to employees when they are just reaching their goals relative to other performance conditions. Analyses of responses to the 2011 and 2013 Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys provide considerable support for these assertions. The findings have significant implications for our understanding of the relationship between management and performance in public organizations.