The Leadership Taboo, Managing future uncertainty and more in this month's Oxford Review | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

The Leadership Taboo, Managing future uncertainty and more in this month’s Oxford Review

The Oxford Review Vol2 No1

In Volume 3 Number 1…

The downside of employee loyalty

Keywords: employee loyalty, job tension, inter-professional dysfunction and collaboration, well-being

Employee loyalty is not a one way street. A new study finds a bit of a hole in previous studies of employee loyalty and aims to fill that gap. In doing so they discover that employee loyalty can actually be quite negative in certain contexts.


The changing face of human resources and human capital

Keywords: Human Resources, Human Capital, HRIS, Human Resources Information Systems, HR capabilities, change

If you are in HR or HC this is a must read. Researchers have been tracking trends in HRIS HR information systems and they have been able to work out the progression HR has taken over the years and can predict where things are headed. Human Resources and Human Capital functions are about to get a lot smaller and a lot more specialised as AI takes over. This means a whole new set of skills are going to be needed for future HR / HC professionals.


How to manage future uncertainty

Keywords: Strategy formation, corporate strategy, organisational strategy, business planning, uncertainty, volatility, complexity, ambiguity, scenario planning

This really interesting study used a particular scenario planning technique (fully explained in this briefing) to help organisations work out what is likely to happen in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments. This is a very useful addition to any organisations armoury for navigating and developing strategy for an uncertain world.


How to develop positive personal and professional qualities and reduce burnout

Keywords: Personal qualities, professional qualities, humanities, professional development, empathy tolerance of uncertainty

A new study looking at how to develop positive personal qualities in medical physicians has tested the hypothesis that exposure to the humanities has an impact. The study by researchers from 11 different universities and institutions across the US raises some useful and interesting evidence for anybody interested in human development.

How to balance vertical and horizontal leadership during a project

Keywords: Vertical leadership, horizontal leadership, leadership transition,

Many studies look at leadership from either a vertical or horizontal perspective, in that they are either investigating formal appointed leaders that are part of the vertical organisational structure or looking at informal and emergent (horizontal) leaders in the workplace.

A range of recent studies, however, have become interested in the interrelationships between vertical and horizontal leaders. The most recent studies have shown that, whilst working within a project at least, the leadership control of the project tends to alternate between vertical and horizontal leaders throughout the project life-cycle.


How management practices impact productivity and financial performance

Keywords: managers, management practices, advanced management practices, productivity, organisational productivity, financial performance

A number of recent research studies have shown that much of the variation in productivity that is seen across organisations is due to the differences in use of various management practices. The studies have all found that management practices, such as monitoring the use of incentives and goals, for example, tend to affect employee decision-making and effort and, consequently, productivity.

Where management practices take account of employee skills and knowledge there is a significant improvement in productivity and we find that better managed organisations also tend to recruit higher ability employees and have pay and reward practices that help to retain the better workers.

Getting people to support change – configuration theory

Keywords: Organisational change, change factors, attitude towards change, Perceived Behavioural Control, Subjective Norms, Change-supportive intentions, Planned Behaviour Theory

From an organisational and psychological point of view, understanding why people support or resist change is an essential component of organisational change success. It is assumed that change-supportive actions have a significant element of intention, design and purpose behind them. Indeed, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) is based on the idea that behaviour, like change-supportive actions, are purposeful.

The idea of change-supportive behaviours or actions is that an employee purposefully intends to “actively participate in, facilitate and contribute to a planned change”. Clearly, a lot of research effort and thinking in organisations has been afforded to working out how to develop Change-supportive behaviours in employees.


Does job insecurity impact innovation in organisations? Probably not how you expect

Keywords: innovation, innovative work behaviours, job insecurity, psychological contract

Innovation is central to any organisation’s survival, development and growth and, in particular, to maintaining a competitive advantage or keeping service level agreements in times of change and volatility. Change is now seen as a constant for organisations. Continual political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal shifts and changes provide a challenging environment for any business or service that puts innovation and creativity centre stage.

Coupled with continual global financial insecurity since 2008, this continual volatility has meant that many organisations have had to rethink, restructure and reorganise, often to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and, in many cases, reducing headcount.

Previous studies have found that organisational performance tends to deteriorate under such conditions before getting better and that some of this deterioration of performance, in part at least, may well be due to perceptions of job insecurity. But does this impact innovation. It does but probably not how you think.

Can you learn to be a good entrepreneur?

Keywords: Entrepreneurial motivation. Entrepreneurship, Expectancy theory, Self- employment, belief, effort, self-efficacy

There is a continual question with entrepreneurship about whether people can learn to be a good entrepreneur or whether the best entrepreneurs are those who have the ability and aptitude for entrepreneurship. This study provides some useful answers to this issue.


Business process management (BPM) and how to make it successful

Keywords: business process management, BPM, critical success factors,

In the face of continual change and development across political, economic, scientific, social, technological, environmental and legal realms many organisations and businesses are turning to Business Process Management in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency. This study looks at how to make BPM successful.

Agreeing to change: the reciprocity effect

Keywords: Organisational change, change, reciprocity, uncertainty, financial exchange, effort

Whilst there have been a number of attempts to redefine the idea of resistance to change, (indeed some researchers argue that there is no such thing) there is still a lot of research ongoing about this topic. The majority of studies about resistance to change comprise survey type studies. The problem with this is that it is almost impossible to control the variables and say with any level of certainty what may be the cause of resistance to change.

A paper just published by researchers form Germany reports on a series of experimental investigations looking at the conditions that bring about successful implementation of organisational change.

The leadership development taboo: Developing charismatic leadership

Keywords: Charismatic leadership, charisma, emotion, moral emotion, followers, leader attributes

At least in terms of leadership development, the idea of charismatic leadership has waxed and waned over the years and has definitely been the poorer relation to other forms of leadership, such as transformational and servant leadership.

In terms of peer reviewed research publication volume, there is a stark disparity between the types of leadership…

This paper looks at the whole issue of charismatic leadership anew and comes up with some useful findings


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