Human resources and leadership

Impact of Team Agility on Team Effectiveness: The Role of Shared Mental Models, Team Empowerment, and Team Reflexivity

Fabio Krüger, Technische Universität München (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 8(1), 2023, 123-147

While more and more organizations are adopting team agility as a new work approach to cope better with change, research still lacks a proper understanding of the human-side of team agility. To investigate the effectiveness and the human-side of team agility, this study builds on the IMO-framework. Team agility is investigated as the input factor, shared mental models (SMM) and team empowerment as mediators, team performance and team satisfaction as outcomes and team reflexivity as moderator between the relationships of mediators and outcomes. Data was collected from 23 agile working teams (− = 3.48). Using linear regression both hypotheses, that team agility positively impacts SMM and team empowerment, were supported. This study found a significant total model effect for the relationship between team agility and team performance mediated by both, SMM and team empowerment. This study contributes to a better integration of the agile and teamwork literatures by identifying the roles of SMM and team empowerment on team effectiveness in an organizational context of team agility, as facilitating emergent team states.

Keywords: Agile work; team agility; team effectiveness; shared mental models; team empowerment.


Understanding the Impact of Future Social Self-Concepts on Newcomer Adjustment

Jonas Franz Buerkner, Technical University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(5), 2022, 1270-1288

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impacts of future social self-concepts on newcomer short-term adjustment. Employing a qualitative longitudinal design based on interviews, this work aims to uncover how the shape of identities before and three weeks after entry, as well as the identity processes between them, impact adjustment success. This is important because adjustment is a precursor for job outcomes, such as performance, satisfaction, and intentions to remain. In the first part, the relevance of identities for job outcomes is carved out and major theoretical contributions to identity and socialization are identified and presented. The thesis then discusses a fitting methodology for studying identity and describes key methodological choices. Three newcomers participated in the narrative-based interviews. The first interview was conducted shortly before the second interview three weeks after organizational entry. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded employing an abductive coding procedure. The results support the view that identity plays a key role in newcomer socialization and illustrate currently discussed identity processes. The complexity of self-concept phenomena involved in newcomer socialization calls for further research efforts.

Keywords: Newcomer socialization; Newcomer adjustment; Self-concept; Possible selves; Identity partnership.


Transparency in Complex Compensation Systems

Ana Möller Quintanar, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(1), 2022, 185-200

The purpose of the present work is to examine the effects of full pay transparency, in the organisational context of complex compensation systems, on the comparisons employees draw between each other. To do so, an overview of compensation systems, including their purposes and components is presented. Second, the term of full pay transparency is introduced and defined. Lastly, this work offers several scenarios of social comparisons conducted under full pay openness in an equitable compensation system. In a first scenario, where employees pose as fully rational actors, full pay transparency presents positive fairness perceptions of the pay structure. In a second scenario, in which organisational members’ rationality is inhibited by biases, the compensation system is perceived as inequitable, other things equal. Concluding, full pay openness does not necessarily garner positive effects in social comparisons. Furthermore, variable pay, as a component of the pay mix, seems to pose a hindrance to the fairness perceptions of employees. The author notes that an adequate communication strategy and involvement of employees in the strategic process of implementing full pay transparency may counter the negative effects found.

Keywords: Compensation; pay transparency; social comparison.

Untapped Potential in the Workforce? The Impact of Digital Employee Participation

Kathleen Reinke, Paderborn University (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 7(1), 2022, 134-149

Internal crowdsourcing is a phenomenon that is becoming more and more important in practice. Leading multinational corporations are using the concept to connect the geographically separated workforce. The influence that this new form of work organization has on the social capital of a company has so far not been adequately researched. The present work will review the current state of the practical use of internal crowdsourcing through a systematic review of the literature to distinguish the actual effects of the concept from the predicted effects. The predicted effects were based on model theory using the Job Characteristics Model (1976). It is shown to what extent the introduction of digital participation options affects the empowerment of the workforce and how this influences the corporate culture. It can be said that internal crowdsourcing has the potential to stimulate a tendency towards increased empowerment of the workforce by increasing intrinsic motivation and to flatten hierarchies. The limits of the concept lie in the interplay between the factors commitment, corporate culture and the effectiveness of crowdsourcing.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing; New Work; Employee Commitment; Corporate Citizenship; Corporate Culture.

Agile Mindset and Job Satisfaction: Paradigm Shift or Business as Usual? An Empirical Analysis of the Influence of an Agile Mindset on the Effects of the Job Characteristics Model

Julia Füntmann, University of Cologne (Master thesis)

Junior Management Science 7(1), 2022, 32-66

In a dynamic corporate environment, employees with an agile mindset are an essential success factor. The job satisfaction of these employees is therefore of particular importance. So far, research has not provided an answer to the question of what influence an agile mindset has on the relationship between job design and job satisfaction. In the context of this study, the question of whether an agile mindset influences the relationship between job characteristics and job satisfaction is to be answered. The quantitative study (N=953) is based on the Job Characteristics Model (JCM). The agile mindset is used as a moderator variable in the model and analyzed using hierarchical regression analyses. The results show that the agile mindset acts as a moderator on the relationship between autonomy and job satisfaction, as well as feedback and job satisfaction. However, the agile mindset has no significant influence on the correlation between variety of requirements and job satisfaction. Overall, the study shows that elements of job design can be used specifically to increase the job satisfaction of individuals with a high agile mindset.

Keywords: Job Characteristcs Model; Arbeitszufriedenheit; Agiles Mindset; Moderatoranalyse.

Pathways from Role Identification Level to Attention Residue in Multiple Team Membership

Sandra Decker, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(4), 2021, 826-838

More than two third of knowledge workers are assigned to multiple teams simultaneously. Participating in several teams can also mean enacting several roles. Psychosocial experiences like role switching have been neglected in research so far but are crucial for the success of multiple team membership (MTM) in organizations. Therefore, this paper considers the pathways from role identification level in one role to attention residue in another role. This relationship is explained with the role transition and self-regulation theory and two mechanisms: Personal engagement and interrole conflict. It is assumed, that the role identification level leads to personal engagement, moderated by role identification dispersion and to interrole conflict, moderated by interruptions. Personal engagement in the preferred role leads to attention residue in the other role, as well as interrole conflict leads to attention residue. This conceptual model shows that unbalanced person-role matches can result in a negative, cognitive outcome of MTM.

Keywords: Multiple team membership; attention residue; role identification; role transition; self-regulation.

A Signaling Theory Perspective on Building Supportive Responses to Organizational Change: An Experimental Study

Anastasia Kieliszek, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Master thesis)

Junior Management Science 6(4), 2021, 700-744

Organizations are frequently unsuccessful in creating employee support for change. Research has asserted that one important
reason for change resistance is employee uncertainty. Yet despite wide consensus that leadership and communication are
key vehicles to influence employees’ change reactions, employee uncertainty concerning the leader of the change, and how
this uncertainty can be addressed have been largely disregarded. Drawing on signaling theory, I propose that leaders who
signal their charisma and change commitment when announcing change can alleviate uncertainty by assuring employees
about the leader’s characteristics and intentions, and thereby foster supportive responses to change. Specifically, I test the
main and interactive influence of leader charisma and change commitment signals in determining employees’ affective and
normative commitment to, and behavioral support for, organizational change. In line with the proposition that charismatic
signaling is inherently values-based and needs to be morally validated by followers, I investigate its effect on follower change
commitment as a function of followers’ openness to change and self-transcendence values. My findings from an experimental
vignette study in a sample of 284 US employees reveal that in particular leader charisma signaling, and weakly leader change
commitment signaling, have positive main, but non-interactive effects on follower behavioral support for change, which do not
operate indirectly through follower affective and normative change commitment. Further, I report that followers’ behavioral
support for change elicited by leader charisma and change commitment signaling varies as a function of followers’ openness
to change and self-transcendence values. Above and beyond effects concerning behavioral change support, leader charisma
signaling is revealed to increase followers’ expression of openness to change, conservation, and self-transcendence values
when advocating organizational change. I discuss implications for theory and practice in managing employee responses to
organizational change.

Keywords: Organizational change; leadership; charisma; signaling; commitment.

No Mon, No Fun? A Discrete Choice Analysis of the Preferences of Medical Students for Work on the Countryside

Markus Probst, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(3), 2021, 507-546

Keywords: Landärztemangel; Discrete-Choice-Experiment; Medizinstudenten in Deutschland.

Job Crafting as Means to Live out One’s Calling: An Examination of NPO Employees

Larissa Maser, University of Mannheim (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 347-369

Employees increasingly search for jobs in which they can pursue their preferences and interests – more precisely, their callings. Those pursuing their callings are assumed to be more satisfied with their job and to perform better. To provide more insight into this topic, this study examines the relationship between perceiving a calling and job satisfaction by actively pursuing the calling. However, it has not yet been extensively analyzed how employees can convert the perception of a calling at work into actually living it out. This question can possibly be explained by the emerging phenomenon called job crafting. Employees engaging in job crafting techniques might change their work environment in order to be able to live out their calling. Therefore, this study investigated the role of job crafting as moderator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and living a calling as well as in the relationship between living a calling and job satisfaction. The model was tested in a context of nonprofit organizations using a sample of 300 employees and a cross-sectional study design. Data was collected with an online survey for a period of three weeks and analyzed with IBM SPSS PROCESS by means of OLS regression analysis. Living a calling was found to be a full mediator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and job satisfaction. The variables scope of action, employment relationship, and gender are also significantly related to job satisfaction. Against expectations, job crafting does not show any of the two moderating effects but was found to be a partial mediator in the relationship between perceiving a calling and living a calling.

Keywords: Calling; job crafting; job satisfaction; nonprofit organizations.

The Power of Personality Traits in Allocation Decision-Making: A Secondary Analysis of a Laboratory Experiment

Lilla Tolnai, University of Vienna (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(2), 2021, 299-323

Individual differences have been addressed by many authors in social sciences, however personality has been neglected. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the role of personality in social decision-making situations. Prior researches on the role of personality either focused on how personality influences social and economic preferences or on the link between personality and influence in social decision-making. The present thesis intends to combine these two aspects with the help of a secondary analysis of a bargaining experiment. To test personality, the Five Factor Model was included and social preferences were measured with the help of social value orientation. The findings show that two personality dimensions (Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) indicate social preferences and four personality dimensions (Agreeableness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness) influence the ability to use structural power. Furthermore, it has been found that the link of personality and bargaining behavior is moderated by social preferences. The findings of the present thesis provide various theoretical and empirical implications for personality psychology, human resource management, and organizational behavior.

Keywords: Social decision-making; fairness; personality; Five Factor Model; social value orientation.

Employment Protection Legislation, Youth Unemployment and the Role of the Educational System

Kimberly Klebolte, University of Oxford (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(1), 2021, 60-80

Research on the effect of employment protection legislation (EPL) on unemployment is extensive. However, results are ambiguous and were not able to show a clear pattern of how EPL is affecting labour market outcomes. Recent research has focussed on the effect of EPL on youth unemployment, linking higher protection to higher unemployment among young labour market entrants compared to their adult peers. Moreover, it is argued that EPL might not have a universal effect on youth unemployment but must be considered in an interplay of institutional factors, including vocational specificity. Based on these findings, this thesis provides a comprehensive assessment of the effects of EPL and vocational specificity on the labour market chances of young people compared to adults. As young people in particular often find their way into the labour market via temporary contracts, it is distinguished between EPL for regular and temporary contracts. A total of 28 OECD countries are examined from 1985 to 2013 using OECD data. In line with previous research, there appear to be no main effects of regular EPL or the vocational specificity on its own on the level of youth unemployment or the youth-to-adult unemployment ratio, but there is a positive effect of temporary EPL on the youth-to-adult ratio. This suggests that especially for young people deregulation of these contracts — contrary to the usual theoretical assumptions — can have a positive effect on their labour market situation.

Keywords: Labour market; EPL; unemployment; youth; education.

The Glass Cliff – Women’s Thrive to Save Poor Performance and how to Approach it in the Workplace

Julia Vetter, ESCP Europe (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 6(1), 2021, 39-59

For decades the rise of women to leadership positions in the workplace has been a conspicuous matter on a global spectrum. Women are challenging the prospects that were once emplaced upon them and continue to break the forefronts of opportunity that face them. This thesis brings life to Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote “A woman is like a tea bag: you never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water” by exploring the glass cliff phenomenon. Stating that women have a higher chance of rising into leadership positions during a time of poor company performance, the research conducted for this paper aims to look further into the background of the principles creating this subtle form of discrimination. To discover the root cause of the glass cliff phenomenon, this thesis aims to understand when, how and why these positions are conceived furthering on how to approach the changes coveted by modern society regarding female leadership. This composition takes into account an amalgamation of existing research and the individual empirical research conducted, explaining the causation behind the glass cliff through understanding the biases, stereotypes and societal dynamics that enable glass cliff positions in the workplace.

Keywords: Glass cliff; women in leadership; discrimination; equality; management.

Are Firms Paying for the Minimum Wage? Evidence from Germany

Maximilian Kühn, University of Mannheim (Bachelor thesis)

Junior Management Science 6(1), 2021, 25-38

Following an intensive discussion, Germany introduced a nationwide minimum wage on 1 January 2015, which was set at an hourly wage of €8.50. Undeniably, there is a significant amount of international and national literature that discusses the minimum wage, both generally and specifically, in Germany. Counterintuitively, only small, negative employment effects are identified for the German minimum wage, whereas some international studies (e.g. for the US) even found positive effects. However, only a few papers focus on different sorts of adjustment channels that firms are applying as a response to the higher labor costs. This thesis focuses on the analysis of firms’ profitabilities and asks if profit margins significantly declined in highly affected industries, as a response to the nationwide minimum wage. Therefore, this paper uses a Difference-in-Difference approach that compares the ratio of pre-tax profits to revenue in industries which are more exposed than their less affected counterparts. To define the exposure of an industry to the minimum wage, the Structure of Earnings Survey of 2014 is used to calculate industry specific bite measures. Surprisingly, no significant decrease in firm’s profitability can be found as a response to the German minimum wage introduction in 2015. This result is consistent over all model specifications that are used in the underlying thesis.

Keywords: Minimum wage; Germany; difference-in-difference; adjustment channels; profitability; firm-level performance.

The Effect of Gratitude on Individuals’ Effort – A Field Experiment

Oriana Wendenburg, University of Cologne (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(4), 2020, 429-451

This study uses a real-effort survey experiment to investigate whether expressions of gratitude induce reciprocal behaviour and hence significantly increase individuals’ effort. I extend existent literature by exploring non-pecuniary gifts that signal different degrees of gratitude, all combined with an interpersonal element. Based on a formal model, I hypothesize that a greater amount of gratitude is accompanied by higher levels of provided effort. The results show that appreciation in form of a thank you note positively affects reciprocal effort choice, compared to receiving no gratitude. An even higher level of gratitude conveyed in form of a video clip, however, does not impel subjects to provide more effort. Moreover, while I detect women to behave more reciprocally than men, this effect is least present in the gratitude treatments. These insights provide valuable implications for experimental research as well as for organizations and modern labour markets, emphasizing that non-monetary gifts, such as expressions of appreciation, are a cost-effective tool for human resource management to determine workers’ effort.

Keywords: Gratitude; non-pecuniary gifts; gift giving; reciprocity; personnel economics.

Over-Confidence Bias in strategischen Entscheidungsprozessen: Entstehung, Konsequenzen und Lösungsansätze

Jule Neckermann, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(3), 2020, 392-409

Da Manager sich und ihre Entscheidungsfähigkeit häufig überschätzen, kommt es immer wieder zu Fehlentscheidungen und folgenschweren Krisen für Unternehmen. In dieser Arbeit wird diese Verzerrung durch Selbstüberschätzung, der Over-Confidence Bias, daher zunächst in den Kontext strategischer Entscheidungsprozesse eingearbeitet. Hier zeigt sich insbesondere, dass sich die kognitive Verzerrung durch Over-Confidence nicht nur auf eine Phase des Entscheidungsprozesses bezieht; stattdessen resultiert ein übersteigertes Selbstbewusstsein aus einer Vielzahl anderer kognitiver Verzerrungen, situativer Faktoren sowie diversen motivationalen und physiologischen Zuständen und stellt somit ein komplexes Konstrukt in der Forschung dar. Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit wird daher ebenfalls untersucht, welche Einflussfaktoren zur Entstehung des Bias führen und welche Chancen, aber auch Risiken dadurch entstehen können. Um diesen Risiken entgegenwirken zu können, werden in dieser Arbeit ebenfalls mögliche Lösungsansätze und Debiasing-Techniken vorgestellt, die an bisherige Forschungsergebnisse aus der Psychologie und der Wirtschaftsforschung anknüpfen und den Over-Confidence Bias in strategischen Entscheidungsprozessen reduzieren können.

Keywords: Overconfidence; strategische Entscheidung; kognitive Verzerrungen; Debiasing.

Erfolgsrelevante Kompetenzen von Führungskräften in Change-Management-Prozessen in Familienunternehmen

Lena Hinkelmann, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Bachelor thesis)
Junior Management Science 5(2), 2020, 176-196

Viele Organisationen und Unternehmen befinden sich derzeit in einem radikalen Wandel – insbesondere ausgelöst durch die digitale Transformation und die zunehmende Internationalisierung. Für das Gelingen der Change-Management-Prozesse sind maßgeblich Führungskräfte verantwortlich, wodurch deren Kompetenzen für erfolgreiches Transformationsmanagement verstärkt in den Fokus der Forschung rücken. Diese Fähigkeiten werden im Rahmen der folgenden Publikation mithilfe eines qualitativen, auf semi-strukturierten Leitfadeninterviews basierenden Ansatz erforscht. Als Fazit sind zwei zentrale Erkenntnisse hervorzuheben: Erstens wurden zehn erfolgsrelevante Fähigkeiten einer Führungskraft im Change von Familienunternehmen identifiziert, welche sich in drei Metaebenen – die mitarbeiter-, persönlichkeits- und die ressourcenorientierten Kompetenzen – unterteilen lassen. Zweitens kam die Arbeit zu dem Ergebnis, dass die erfolgsrelevanten Change-Kompetenzen einer Führungskraft im Familienunternehmen stark vom Kontext – insbesondere von der Mitarbeiteranzahl, dem Reifegrad der Mitarbeitenden und dem Fortschritt im Change – abhängen.

Keywords: Change Management; Familienunternehmen; Leadership; Change Management Kompetenzen; Transformationsprozesse.

Recruiting Generation Y for the Backbone of Economy: Organizational Attractiveness of Small, Family Owned, and Rural Firms

Johannes Caprano, Technical University of Munich (Master thesis)
Junior Management Science 4(4), 2019, 493-523

Despite their outstanding economic importance, small, family owned, and rural firms find it hard to attract talent. Upon initial contact with recruiting organizations, job seekers use any of their observable characteristics, such as size, ownership, or location to infer attributes of the employment offering. Based on this assessment, they may feel attracted to an organization and develop intentions to pursue the employment opportunity. Following behavioral psychology, the consistency between organizational attractiveness and job pursuit intentions is affected by the amount of job seekers’ direct experience with the firm type. For small, family owned, and rural firms, direct experience may be lower due to their relative anonymousness. The strength and direction of inferences made based on organizational characteristics as well as metacognitive assessments were tested using a vignette experiment. A sample of 200 Generation Y students and professionals rated fictitious firms based on their size, ownership, and location. The results show support of the indirect influence of these organizational characteristics on job pursuit intentions, mediated by employment attributes and organizational attractiveness. Family ownership led to positive evaluations while small size and rural location had a negative impact on job pursuit intentions. Another important contribution of this study is a validated two-stage implementation of firm location as a predictor of organizational attractiveness.

Keywords: Organizational attractiveness; family firm; SME; rural firm; hidden champion.