How our mindset changes the risk we notice, why many leadership models are redundant and more in this month’s Oxford Review
The latest edition of The Oxford Review: inside you will find research briefings about:
- Flexible working arrangements have considerably different impacts in different countries
- How an organisation’s values develop a better climate which contributes to more useful organisational citizenship behaviours
- How business model change impacts your organisation’s success
- How corporate culture helps to manage occupational fraud
- How our mindset affects our perception of risk
- Meaningful work and its relationship to work engagement: Does job crafting make a difference?
- Mental toughness, perception of risk and belief in the paranormal are all connected
- The relationship between leader-member exchange (LMX) and employee voice: the roles of conflict avoidance and national culture
- There are too many ideas and concepts about leadership, but which ones are redundant?
- Three types of job demand and their impact on us
- Developing and supporting the organisational manager-coach
- The requirements of successful ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation in SME’s
Keywords: flexible working arrangements, absenteeism, national culture, turnover, organisational outcomes
More and more organisations are turning towards flexible working arrangements in order to increase their flexibility and competitiveness and to retain key personnel. Flexible working arrangements commonly include job sharing, flexitime (whereby the employee decides their working hours to some degree or other), work week compression (where people work longer days, but a reduced number of days in the week), remote working, teleworking, home-based working, for example.
A new study by a team of researchers has been looking at whether and how national culture changes the impact of flexible working arrangements.
Keywords: organisational climate, organisational citizenship behaviours, organisational performance, commitment, empowerment, paradox, organisational values
Research in recent years has found that positive organisational citizenship behaviours or OCB’s are a significant predictor of organisational performance. Further, it has been found that a number of important factors within the organisational work environment are critical for creating the conditions that bring about organisational citizenship behaviours. One important factor in producing good organisational citizenship behaviours has been found to be the organisational climate.
This study looks at how organisational values alter the organisational climate and how the organisational climate impacts organisational citizenship behaviours.
Keywords: Business model, business model change, organisational change, motivation, performance
As is often stated, change in organisations is becoming the norm as they attempt to keep up with technological change and market change, in particular. One of the areas where there is increasing pressure to change with the organisation’s business model. Business model change is considered to be one of the most fundamental, difficult and risky of all forms of organisational change.
Whilst this is a disappointing study it does highlight some really important aspects of business model change and it’s impact on the overall organisations success.
Keywords: Corporate culture, ethical culture, Occupational fraud, risk management, fraud, crime
Whilst many people in organisations operate on the right side of the law, there are a number who don’t and who engage in fraud. Such crimes as fraud are not only illegal but can bring about the demise of entire organisations and, in some cases, create significant problems for entire sectors. Fraud refers to any action that deceives, manipulates or conceals information or facts, in order to create a false impression. Occupational fraud is characterised by the use of occupational expertise to gain personal advantage through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of an organisation’s resources or assets.
This study looks at how the culture of an organisation can help prevent or contribute to corporate fraud.
Keywords: mindsets, risk perception, risk-taking behaviour, risk, illusory optimism
Research over the last 40 to 50 years has shown that people tend to be unrealistically optimistic about their own future and that, on average, are not very good at weighing up risks in general. Risk perception is a key area of research, in which people make a series of subjective judgements about the nature and severity of any particular risk.
Many studies have found that our general risk perception is biased and influenced by a range of factors that together create unrealistic risk perceptions. This study looks at how two primary mindsets alter our perceptions of risk.
Keywords: work psychology, meaningful work, work engagement, job crafting, productivity, work outcomes
The term meaningful work refers to a subjective measure that an individual makes about the level of significance or sense of importance their work has for them. Whilst what makes a particular job meaningful is personal, it is often imbued with value from our social and cultural environment as well. However, people tend to decide that their work is meaningful when it aligns with their own ideals, values and principles. As a result, any individual’s prescription of meaningfulness may well change as their needs, values and ideals also change.
This study examines how job crafting makes a difference to our perceptions of meaningful work and changes work engagement.
Keywords: Mental toughness, resilience, perception of risk, risk, beliefs
Mental toughness, or the ability to consistently perform in the upper range of one’s ability regardless of the circumstances, is a growing area of research across areas such as psychology, sports science, education, health and military research and has recently been the focus of much business and organisational development attention.
The idea of mental toughness is based on both innate and developed attributes, values, attitudes, emotion regulation skills and ways of thinking that allow enhanced performance, even under more exacting, stressful and demanding conditions. This study finds that mental toughness changes our perception of risk. Additionally the study finds a connection with people’s beliefs in superstitions and mental toughness.
Keywords: conflict avoidance, employee voice, leader-member exchange, LMX, national culture
In the last four or five years there has been increasing interest in developing employee voice, both within the research and in organisations. Employee voice refers to the ability and means by which workers can air their views and communicate with their employer or the management and leadership of an organisation. Previous research has found that enhanced employee voice is associated with greater levels of organisational citizenship behaviours, trust, productivity, innovation and better levels of organisational outcomes. It is, therefore, not surprising that employee voice has become the focus of a lot of research, leadership, management, HR and organisational development attention.
This study looks at how national cultural differences and in particular an individuals orientation towards conflict impact their ability to voice concerns and what the connections are with the relationship between leaders and employees.
Keywords: Leadership, leadership behaviours, construct redundancy
Are you confused by the sheer number and variety of different leadership styles, traits, behaviours and other constructs that proliferate in the leadership literature? You are not alone!
Over the years there has been an explosion in academic research and other writing around leadership to the extent that there is a continual creation of new constructs in this area that have resulted in considerable confusion and overlap. As an example of this explosion in research, in 1960 there were 2995 research papers published about leadership. In 2017 (the last complete year) there were 114,422 peer-reviewed papers published about leadership. In 2017 there were 31,339 papers published about leadership styles, up from 499 in 1960.
This study finds that a number of leadership concepts and styles are so overlapping as to make some of the redundant. But which ones?
Keywords: job demand, employee requirements, quantitative demands, cognitive demands, mental demands, emotional demands, burnout, psychological empowerment, empowerment
The modern workplace is considered historically to be the most focused and demanding in the history of mankind. This is evidenced by increasing levels of stress, burnout and mental issues brought about through the work environment. There are a range of job demands that impact modern workers at a number of levels, due to the complex work environment and, in particular, technological change.
This study finds a three factor model of job demands which explains how they impact employees at work.
Keywords: coaching, management, manager-coach, management development, management support
A concept that has gained much ground in many organisations is the idea of the manager-coach, or managers who have the capability to coach their employees. Whilst there is a lot of research around the development of coaches in general, there is little research around what support managers require in order for them to both develop as good manager-coaches and to maintain their capability to coach their people within the organisational context.
This study finds a series of issues with using managers as coaches.
Keywords: Enterprise Resource Planning; Small and Medium Enterprises; challenges; solutions; requirements
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or the integrated management of connected core business processes that use software and IT / AI based systems to enable real time decision-making by pulling data from across all these organisational functions. The research finds that there are a series of factors which predict ERP implementation in SME’s.
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