Business

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • (2021) Hastings, Bradley
    Thesis
    Decades of research on organizational change and its leadership has explored the influence of leaders on change outcomes. Yet, despite this accumulated effort, the likelihood of success remains stubbornly low. This dissertation explores: how do leaders improve the likelihood of change success? Prior scholarship has examined this question from two perspectives. Change practice discussion describes change processes, the activities that enable change, with allied suggestions for leader engagement – how to lead change processes. Change leadership discussion studies leader attributes, aiming to identify and generalize those allied with success and, in doing so, provide guidance for leadership development. Addressing the leader-success challenge, scholars have identified two problems: (1) these two discussions lack integration – while it is difficult to talk about change leadership without inherently referring to a change process, the former discussion overlooks the available choices between change processes, and (2) the study of attributes has yielded desired leader behaviors, yet evidence shows that these behaviors do not always manifest in practice. Addressing the first challenge, I commence with a process study of 79 cases of change. This research finds that a dynamic choice between two perspectives of change processes – illustrated as diagnostic and dialogic – significantly improves the likelihood of change success. It also extends an understanding of a leadership practice that facilitates this choice. Integrating these findings, I develop a model that explains how choice connects change leadership to change process knowledge, at the same time as providing a roadmap for leaders to navigate between diagnostic and dialogic processes in practice. Addressing the second challenge, psychologists explain a key limitation of behavioral study is that a large component of people’s behavior is a product of situational cues. To explain this phenomenon, these scholars have explored mindsets, describing how behavioral dispositions result from mental frameworks that stand ‘ready to fire’ based on situational cues. My second study establishes psychology-derived mindsets as relevant for leadership engagement of change processes. It does so by developing a typology of mindset constructs, then conducting an integrative review of mindset knowledge between change leadership and psychology settings. This study matches the fixed and growth mindsets with leadership engagement of diagnostic and dialogic change processes. My third study empirically examines how the fixed and growth mindsets manifest within leaders when change is targeted. It finds that leaders with a growth mindset are likely to choose to oscillate between change processes and achieve change success. Further, I identify that diagnostic change processes can provide situational cues that foster a fixed mindset within leaders, with detrimental effects on outcomes. Integrating these findings from all three studies, this dissertation puts forward a new means for leadership development – mindset activation theory – explaining a means for leaders to take control of their situation-mindset interaction and guide their behaviors in practice. It demonstrates how leaders can increase awareness of and operationalize the situational cues that guide their mindset, facilitating choices between change processes that improve their likelihood of change success.

  • (2021) Hickey, Nicole-Anne
    Thesis
    For decades scholars have detailed the benefits of having embedded workers in the workplace. Increasing embeddedness reduces the costs workplaces incur from workers’ withdrawal behaviours. In comparison, less is known regarding the costs of high embeddedness. Drawing on conservation of resource theory, this thesis examines the negative effects of embeddedness in conjunction with work role overload on burnout and withdrawal. It further considers the impact of workers’ physical and psychological maintenance of barriers between work and life (i.e., work-life boundary control flexstyles) on the aforementioned effects. The results of two waves of survey data from 243 aged care workers, analysed using a moderated mediation framework, showed work role overload and flexstyle moderate the mediated relationship between job embeddedness, burnout, and withdrawal behaviours (lateness, absenteeism, and turnover). These results underscore the importance of workers’ experience of work overload and their work-life control flexstyles when considering the impact of embeddedness on retaining, expanding, and sustaining the aged care workforce. These findings have important implications for employees, managers, and organisations in the aged care industry.

  • (2021) Fourie, Jaco
    Thesis
    The widespread fragmentation of global supply chains (GSCs) poses considerable challenges for regulating severe forms of labour exploitation, collectively referred to as modern slavery. Recent responses to these challenges include the promulgation of modern slavery reporting (MSR) laws in the UK, California and Australia. In theory, these laws are a promising development geared towards leveraging corporate influence over GSCs to minimise, or where possible, eliminate modern slavery. However, commentators have criticised their design for lack of sanctions and inadequate reporting requirements. Despite this, MSR laws continue to proliferate internationally, underscoring a need for critical inquiry into the antecedents of their design and their practical effectiveness. To that end, this thesis poses the following overarching research question: How do policy-making process dynamics shape the design of modern slavery reporting laws, and how do external stakeholder pressure and actors internal to firms influence their effectiveness? To answer this question the thesis is organised into six chapters. Two introductory chapters define modern slavery and explore the literature on regulatory design. Following this, three empirical studies are presented, each occupying a single chapter. These studies apply policy change theory to explain MSR law design outcomes, stakeholder influence over reporting outcomes, and the how actors internal to the firm shape changes in policy and practice, respectively. The final chapter summarises the central conceptual and practice-related insights of the thesis. Regarding design, MSR law design is shown to be shaped primarily by coalitions of actors through deliberative, associational and ideological strategies throughout the policy change process. Regarding effectiveness, reporting quality is found to depend on the influence of various stakeholder groups, which varies significantly across institutional settings. In addition, policy and practice changes prompted by MSR laws are shown to be contingent on the extent to which organisations empower internal compliance professionals to promote and enact change and how third-party advisers define best practice. Overall, the findings of this study indicate that fulfilment of the aims of MSR laws is far from guaranteed. This will require changes to their regulatory design and more regulator commitment to steering corporate behaviour in the desired direction.

  • (2021) Criado-Perez, Christian
    Thesis
    Evidence-based management (EBM) is an increasingly essential framework to bolster informed decision-making. Amid a complex and uncertain environment, combined with an ever-increasing volume of relevant yet contradictory evidence, EBM aids managers to use the best available evidence from multiple sources to make decisions. Despite the potential benefits of EBM, and the general lack of EBM use among practitioners, little is known about the factors and mechanisms that enable its practice. This thesis presents three papers that aim to shed light on the factors that facilitate EBM. I first explore the literature and use meta-analyses to identify multi-level factors that are likely to facilitate EBM use. The findings highlight organisational-level and individual-level enablers of EBM that should be prioritised in future research. Following this, I draw on the Ability-Motivation-Opportunity framework to conduct two experimental laboratory studies which examine the effect of these three predictors. I rely on a novel measure of EBM use, which I develop and validate as objective measures of evidence collection and evidence-based decision-making. The results support rational thinking ability and social norms as significant predictors of EBM. The final study focuses on the influence of rational thinking ability in predicting the adaptive use of EBM, and specifically evidence collection. One online experiment and two additional laboratory experiments investigate whether individuals high on rational thinking ability adapt evidence collection under cognitive load and emotional load. The findings provide support that under cognitive load, individuals high on rational thinking ability refrain from collecting more evidence. However, under emotional load, rational thinking ability helps mitigate these effects and predicts more evidence collection. The findings advance empirical knowledge and theoretical insights on EBM. I highlight enablers of EBM at multiple levels of analysis and shed light on the mechanisms through which rational thinking ability influences EBM use and decision-making.

  • (2021) Wang, Luhua
    Thesis
    The social entrepreneurship literature has identified multiple personality traits associated with the intention to pursue social entrepreneurial opportunities, yet the characteristics of social entrepreneurs that impact social venture evaluations have been largely ignored. Meanwhile, recent psychological studies report that people use facial characteristics to form first impressions as to a person's competence or trustworthiness and that these social judgments influence a variety of business decisions, yet little research has investigated the intriguing role of facial characteristics in forming first impressions during the initial interactions between investors and social entrepreneurs. In this thesis, we develop a conceptual model and conduct five studies to test and explore the underlying psychological processes of how a social entrepreneur's facial characteristics influence investors' venture evaluations. The first three studies were conducted in a university context using student samples. Study 1, an experimental study, provides an initial test of the relationships between the two facial dimensions (i.e., trustworthiness and competence) and investor evaluations (i.e., ratings of a social venture proposal) through two types of perceived risks (relationship risk and execution risk) using faces from an existing database. Studies 2 and 3, using two sets of student participants, further investigate the effects in a multilevel experimental design across 4 scenarios with pretested faces. The last two studies were conducted in a community context with participants from the general public in the U.S. Study 4 tests the basic effects and explores the interactions between facial trustworthiness and competence in their influence on venture evaluations. Study 5 builds the overall model using a cross-sectional design with 20 randomly selected faces in an exploratory way and confirms the effects found in previous studies with path analysis. Overall, our results showed that higher facial trustworthiness and higher facial competence indirectly lead to higher venture evaluations through lower anticipated relationship and execution risks.

  • (2021) Burton, Kelsey
    Thesis
    The enduring prevalence of dark personalities in the workplace has warranted recent research on narcissists, psychopaths, and Machiavellians and their adverse effects on the workplace. However, little effort has been made to investigate the individuals who favor dark personalities, enabling them to flourish within organizations. To better understand “when” and “how” exactly dark personalities are favored, Study 1 used an experimental design to investigate different strategies by which leaders favor narcissists, psychopaths, and Machiavellians. An actor role-played these three dark personality types within teams. Narcissists and psychopaths were favored by leaders through resource allocation, both covertly (i.e., when the decision is confidential) and overtly (i.e., when the decision is not confidential). In contrast, Machiavellians were only favored through overt resource allocation. This study also showed that narcissists were favored through interpersonal influence and promotion recommendations, while psychopaths were favored through task influence. The first study provided insight into the different ways by which leaders favor the three dark personalities and found narcissists, as compared to psychopaths and Machiavellians, to be favored through multiple mediums. Building on the premise that narcissists successfully obtain additional resources and attain favored status through interpersonal influence and promotion recommendations, further research was needed to investigate the motivational factors associated with favoring narcissists. In Study 2 and Study 3, we used a 2x2 experimental design to test a three-way interaction to determine the motivational factors that drive leaders to favor narcissists. Study 2 employed a design in which leaders watched videos of teams containing a narcissist. Study 3 employed a design in which an actor role-played the narcissist within a team. Both experiments supported the hypothesis that high dominant leaders will favor low status, narcissists through resource allocation. Thus, high dominance motivated leaders have a heightened awareness of potential threats to power and strategically choose to favor less threatening narcissists even though such narcissists negatively affect team coordination and performance. Additionally, Studies 2 and 3 supported the hypothesis that low dominant leaders favor high status narcissists through resource allocation. Leaders low in dominance motivation have a greater concern for the overall team well-being and performance while also being less assertive. Therefore, low dominant leaders are more susceptible to a narcissist’s demands and will favor the high status ‘bad apple’ to maintain high team performance. Our studies further expand the research on narcissists in the workplace and provide key insights into the leaders who favor narcissism in a manner that promulgates the prevalence of narcissists throughout organizations.

  • (2021) Wei, Qiao
    Thesis
    Connections between business and political entities (“political connections”) have received unprecedented research attention in the last decades. Studies investigate the relationships between political connections and firms’ behavior, strategy, as well as various performance outcomes. Meanwhile, scholars have adopted diverse perspectives to explain the role of political connections in these relationships. Nevertheless, reviews designed to synthesize political connections studies has not kept pace with the explosive growth of this scholarship. In addition, there are still research gaps to be addressed within the scholarship. In particular, as political connections can generate both positive and negative impact on the firm, further research is needed to explain the reason behind and reconcile existing mixed findings. Furthermore, prior studies have predominantly focused on understanding the impact of political connections while leaving the antecedents of such connections underexplored. This thesis takes up these challenges by synthesizing prior political connections studies and addressing the research gaps above. This thesis consists of three studies. First, it combines bibliographic techniques and qualitative review techniques to conduct a comprehensive review of the political connections studies published during the last three decades (in Chapter 2). Next, based on the findings of Chapter 2 and guidance for future research provided therein, it includes two empirical studies to investigate how connections may paradoxically influence firms’ resource acquisition and utilization for innovation performance (in Chapter 3) and to examine how the emphasis the firm places on financial vs. nonfinancial goals acts as an antecedent of formation of different types of political connections (in Chapter 4). In sum, this thesis offers a more complete and fine-grained understanding of political connections and provides research guidance for future development of the scholarship of political connections.

  • (2021) Atkinson, Shanie
    Thesis
    Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) constitute an important and prominent strategic initiative for firm growth, yet research shows the majority of M&As do not realise the potential value that motivates the M&A initiatives. Strategy and management scholars recognise that effective management of post-acquisition integration is crucial to successfully realising synergy value. However, existing research provides incomplete guidance for managing the complex process of post- acquisition integration. This dissertation extends our understanding about the dynamics of the post- acquisition integration process over time. The dynamics arise from multiple interdependent factors that can create unanticipated challenges for integration management and lead to poor value creation outcomes. Data collection on the post-acquisition integration process consists of two phases: (1) interviews with post-acquisition integration specialists and (2) in-depth fieldwork inside an organisation during the implementation of a post-acquisition integration. Data analysis includes causal loop diagramming followed by system dynamics simulation modelling to develop a process theory of post-acquisition integration. The findings make multiple research contributions including the identification of new constructs and feedback effects important in the post-acquisition integration process. The feedback structure captured in the simulation model represents a process theory of post- acquisition integration, and simulation experiments enable internal validity testing of the theory.