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IWP at the 2008 Annual Academy of Management Meeting, Anaheim, California

High Involvement Management is associated with anxiety not increased contentment or job satisfaction, Wood and de Menezes revealed in their presentation at the Academy

Stephen Wood (with Lilian M. de Menezes, Cass Business School. City University) presented a paper entitled “High Involvement Management, Work Enrichment, Employee Voice and Well-being”. It was in a symposium on “Building HRM Systems for High Involvement, High Performance Work Environments”, organized and chaired by Stanley M. Gully, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Whilst high involvement management has been central to human resource management thinking in the past two decades, research has largely neglected well-being, in favour of its relationship to organizational performance. This paper addresses the link between high involvement management and well-being by developing concepts from the Human Resource Management, Organizational Psychology and Industrial Relations literatures. A set of hypotheses on potential predictors and moderators are formulated and empirically tested using data from the UK’s Workplace Employee Relations Survey of 2004, which included a large and representative sample of British workplaces and a sample of their employees. Multi-level modeling is used to test the associations between high involvement management, work enrichment, employee voice and motivational supports and job-related well-being.

The results show that that work enrichment, supportive management and informative management are positively associated with well-being, as measured by job satisfaction and contentment. Consultative management is associated with job satisfaction but not to contentment. High involvement management is, however, negatively associated with contentment, the opposite of that hypothesized, and is independent of job satisfaction. It increases anxiety not contentment.

Making others feel good has positive effects on one’s own feelings, whilst making others feel bad worsens one’s own well-being, according to the study presented by Karen Niven

Karen Niven, and her co-authors Peter Totterdell and David Holman, presented their paper, ‘Deliberately Influencing Others’ Affect in Organizational Networks’, as part of a symposium about emotions and social networks at work. The symposium was organized by Hyoung Koo Moon (Korea University Business School) and Seung-Yoon Rhee (KAIST Business School).

Evidence that people deliberately try to influence the feelings of those around them at work exists through studies in hospitals, law firms, and retail settings; but, research has yet to establish the effects of this form of deliberate regulation. The reported study aimed to explore the effects of deliberate interpersonal emotional influencing amongst staff members and inmates in a high-security prison in the UK. A social network approach was used to examine the complex network of influences on individuals.

The results indicate that strategies used to improve a person’s feelings such as koking and complimenting them have the desired effect of increasing targets’ enthusiasm and reducing their depression. Conversely, strategies used to worsen a person’s feelings, for example ignoring and aggressive speech, have the intended effects of worsening targets’ emotions. However, the staff and inmates of the prison using these behaviours were not immune from the effects of their own actions. Instead, these strategies have corresponding and even larger effects on the feelings of the people using them.

While deliberate interpersonal emotional influencing can be used to manage others’ feelings, it has a greater impact on oneself than on others.

Different motivations for remaining silent when one has a grievance will have different effects on people

Uta Bindl reported a paper with Sharon Parker, Catherine Collins, and, from the University of New South Wales, Anya Johnson and Markus Groth, that assessed the well-being effects on nurses of their remaining silent when one has a strong grievance. The nurses who remained silent so as not to harm themselves or other people in the organization were unlikely to suffer negative consequences. In contrast, those who did not voice concerns because they felt there was not much point in doing so or they were helpless to do anything about it were more likely to report distress and to leave the organization in the future. This presentation was part of a symposium on proactive behaviour chaired by Susan Ashford of the University of Michigan and Katleen de Stobbeleir of Ghent University

Leader’s influence on Team Efficacy

Kate Horton reported a paper co-authored by Catherine Collins and Mark Griffin that showed how leaders play a vital role in a team’s belief in their ability to succeed. In research involving executives working on student projects an external leader who oversaw the project was found to have a vital impact on this belief when teams first form. However the team leader within the group was found to have a greater influence during the later stages of a team’s project, but where internal leaders were perceived to be inexperienced the team’s belief in its ability was lower throughout.

Tuckman’s model is only one trajectory of team development

Catherine Collins outlined a variety of trajectories of the ways team development which she, Sharon Parker, Cristina Gibson, University of California, Irvine) and Narda Quigley, Villanova School of Business, have identified in the current literature. Tuckman’s well-known norming-storming-performing-adjourning model represents only one such trajectory. Teams, even working on the same project, may for example have consistent levels of performance, positive upwards spirals, crash and burnout in negative performance spirals, or even more complicated cyclical trajectories as performance is highly volatile over time.


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