Category Archives: Management

First Class Tickets—Perks and Library Management

Source: Robert P. Holley, Journal of Library Administration, Volume 61 no. 1, 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
A case study presents a public library director who has traveled lavishly with library funding to the annual American Library Conference while three librarians with professional obligations did not receive support. The initial analysis concludes that she did nothing illegal or even unethical and presents reasons why her expenditures may be less troubling than they seem. Nonetheless, she behaved unwisely because her actions may have a negative effect upon employee morale and her relationship with the community. The general principle for all library managers should be to evaluate the necessity of professional travel, especially to attractive locations, and to make sure that an administrator is the appropriate person to represent the library. Beyond travel, administrators should not be exempt from cost saving measures because of the current pandemic. One additional complication is a differing judgment between the administrator and staff about what is a perk and what is an obligation.

Walking the Walk: Does Perceptual Congruence Between Managers and Employees Promote Employee Job Satisfaction?

Source: Miyeon Song, Kenneth J. Meier, OnlineFirst, Published October 26, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Public managers and employees should be on the same page for successful performance. Managers’ self-evaluations of their own management, however, often do not match employees’ evaluations. Despite the consistent findings of a discrepancy between managers’ and employees’ perceptions of management, little research has examined how this perceptual incongruence affects employee job satisfaction. The present study addresses this question using parallel surveys from both managers and employees in the context of public education. The findings suggest managers overestimate their management effectiveness in general. As the perceptual gap between managers and employees increases, employees are less likely to be satisfied with their organization and their profession. We also find that this relationship is nonlinear, and the negative effects of incongruence could be accelerated when employees have considerable consensus about management. This study highlights the role of perceptual congruence in creating a better work environment and promoting job satisfaction for public employees.

The Role of Strategic Human Capital Management in the Performance of Federal Agencies

Source: Andrew Wesemann, Journal of Public Management & Social Policy, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The current human capital crisis, compounded by tumultuous workforce conditions in the public sector, holds consequential implications for governmental performance. As a result, scholarship has emerged emphasizing the importance of strategic human capital management (SHCM), which is explicitly intended to curtail organizational instability and concurrently improve performance levels. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research testing whether SHCM does, in fact, influence performance in public sector organizations. In an effort to fill this gap in the literature, this study tests for such a relationship in an analysis of agencies throughout the U.S. federal government. Using data from a large sample of federal employees, within 45 agencies, hierarchical linear modeling results reveal that SHCM holds a significantly positive relationship with performance measures at the employee level, although agency level results are less conclusive. Nevertheless, findings provide foundational quantitative evidence that the performance related benefits of SHCM are generalizable to the public workforce and transcend sector boundaries.

Reward Preferences of the Youngest Generation: Attracting, Recruiting, and Retaining Generation Z into Public Sector Organizations

Source: Nana Amma A. Acheampong, Compensation & Benefits Review, OnlineFirst, September 18, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Generation Z is the youngest and newest entrants into the workforce. However, confusion about their characteristics, work values, and reward preferences hinders effort to attract, recruit, and retain this generational cohort into public sector organizations. Accordingly, this study investigates effective reward strategies for recruiting and retaining Generation Z into public sector organizations. I used an evidence-based research approach and an aggregative systematic review as the study methodology. The evidence curated from 32 studies reveals how the background and life experiences of Generation Z influence the importance they assign their work values, reward preferences, and how they prioritize rewards in terms of their employment decisions. Additionally, gender also influenced the importance Gen Z assigned to specific rewards. Overall, Gen Z’s strong attractiveness to specific extrinsic and intrinsic rewards makes public sector organizations a likely employer of choice and offers managers a viable strategy for attracting, recruiting, and retaining the youngest generational workforce.

Takeaways from the Rockefeller Institute’s Webinar on Public Sector Management Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Joseph Popcun, Rockefeller Institute of Government blog, September 24, 2020

On September 10, 2020, the Rockefeller Institute of Government hosted a webinar with senior leaders from state and local government who reflected on the management challenges and opportunities that arose during the response to—and ongoing recovery from—the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The goal of the conversation was to understand how the public sector rapidly adopted new policies and adapted operations to meet new demands, particularly in support of a workforce that was able to work remotely to deliver essential services to constituents virtually. Based on their experiences over the past six months, panelists informed the audience of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers about dramatic changes to the public sector landscape—changes that may be features of the “new normal” for months and years to come.

This post explores some of the key themes that the panelists shared about how government was, and can continue to be, reimagined to ensure accessibility and continuity of services, as well as to attract and retain a workforce that makes government work for the people. The panelists discussed the “nuts and bolts” of how specific agencies devised new management approaches, leveraged remote work options, deployed public health and safety precautions for essential in-person work, and identified ways to improve resiliency and ensure continuity of their operations. These lessons are an invaluable resource to state and local governments throughout the United States as they continue to confront the challenges of COVID-19 and face a potential resurgence of viral transmission within their communities.

Study Finds Productivity Not Deterred by Shift to Remote Work

Source: Roy Maurer, HR News, September 16, 2020

Recent research shows that the skepticism many companies had about working from home may be eroding. Ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely…. Looking ahead, 83 percent of respondents said that even after the health crisis has passed, they plan to put more flexible work policies in place, such as allowing more people to work from home or letting them adjust their schedules….

A Look At Terminations For Protest-Related Activities

Source: Laura Scott, Employment Alert, Volume 37, Issue 19, September 16, 2020
(subscription required)

…Private employers may be wondering whether and when an employee may be fired for engaging in protest-related conduct. The First Amendment protects an individual’s freedom of speech, right to assemble, and therefore the right to peacefully protest. But, it does not guarantee an employee a job.

If an employee is “at will,” an employer can technically end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. But, it’s rarely a good idea to terminate someone “just because.”

Also, depending on the applicable state law, a private employer may be barred from taking adverse employment action against an employee for conduct engaged in at a protest while off duty…..

Collective Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives

Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract:
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

ollective Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives
Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract: https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318920934890
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

Sensemaking Around COVID-19: Experiences, Concerns, and Agendas for our Rapidly Changing Organizational Lives
Source: Keri K. Stephens, Jody L. S. Jahn, Stephanie Fox, Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly, Rahul Mitra, Jeannette Sutton, Eric D. Waters, Bo Xie, Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Management Communication Quarterly, Volume 34 Issue 3, August 2020

From the abstract: https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318920934890
Uncertainty is at the forefront of many crises, disasters, and emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different in this regard. In this forum, we, as a group of organizational communication scholars currently living in North America, engage in sensemaking and sensegiving around this pandemic to help process and share some of the academic uncertainties and opportunities relevant to organizational scholars. We begin by reflexively making sense of our own experiences with adjusting to new ways of working during the onset of the pandemic, including uncomfortable realizations around privilege, positionality, race, and ethnicity. We then discuss key concerns about how organizations and organizing practices are responding to this extreme uncertainty. Finally, we offer thoughts on the future of work and organizing informed by COVID-19, along with a list of research practice considerations and potentially generative research questions. Thus, this forum invites you to reflect on your own experiences and suggests future directions for research amidst and after a cosmology event.

Female leaders and board performance in member‐serving nonprofit organizations

Source: Lauren Dula, Jill Nicholson‐Crotty, Beth Gazley, Volume 30, Issue 4, Summer 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Despite an active stream of “good governance” research, there is not yet much nonprofit scholarship examining how the gender composition of a board or its leadership relates to board performance. This article helps to fill this gap, focusing on the governance practices of US‐based nonprofits serving a domestic or international membership. A structural equation model finds that the presence of female leaders relates to the performance of nonprofit boards both directly and indirectly through these leaders’ presumed influence on board characteristics and operation. This research advances the field by empirically testing a longstanding theory that board performance is both multidimensional and contingent on the market and labor environment, organizational capacity and other characteristics—in this case, gender dynamics. We find there are some positive relationships between female board leadership and clearly defined measures of board performance. These findings also suggest that a strategy to balance a board’s gender may serve many nonprofits, but gender representation works in tandem with other board characteristics.

Promotion: An Intractable Management Problem for Academic and Public Libraries

Source: Robert P. Holley, Journal of Library Administration, Vol. 60 no. 5, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The lack of opportunities for promotion within libraries may be an important reason for job dissatisfaction and lowered morale. This column examines reasons why librarians wish to be promoted, the two paths for promotion, a short history of promotion since 1945, how promotions occur, why promotion is a challenge for management, and some suggestions to alleviate the problem. The corporate promotion model requires moving into a position with increased responsibilities and is often the only model in public libraries. The academic promotion model also offers the possibility of promotion for increased performance of the same duties, usually according to more formal rules. A blocked path for promotion can lead to leaving the library for opportunities elsewhere or create morale problems. Library managers can take some steps to increase promotion opportunities and sustain morale. The concluding section briefly argues the opposing viewpoint that the current state of promotion may benefit the profession as a whole if not some individual librarians.