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The SHRM Foundation awarded 31 research grants between 2011 and 2016 that span topics of employment discrimination, organizational participation, social media, global virtual teams and more.
Leveraging High Performance Work Systems Through HRM System Strength by Cheri Ostroff, Ph.D., University of South Australia, and Marie Wilson, Ph.D., University of South Australia
Funded: October 2016 Expected Completion: October 2018
Abstract: As "business partners," senior HR practitioners require greater understanding and stronger tools to leverage high performance work practices for organizational impact. We address both academic and practice gaps by examining HRM system strength, long theorized as a 'missing link' in understanding how high performance work systems enable organizational performance. Understanding the impact of HRM system strength speaks to the need for HR managers to deliver practices that enhance the effectiveness of an organization through better design of both practices and the process of their delivery. A multilevel, split sample survey design and HLM will be utilized to assess HRM system strength as a moderator of the HPWS-organizational effectiveness relationship as well as the means through which HRM strength operates.
Communicating One Million HRM Research Findings by Frank A. Bosco, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Krista L. Uggerslev, Ph.D., Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Fred Oswald, Ph.D., Rice University, and Piers Steel, Ph.D., University of Calgary
Funded: February 2017 Expected Completion: February 2019
Abstract: Setting evidence-based practice into motion has been stymied by two distinct challenges: accessing the scientific literature and synthesizing scientific findings. We aim to address these challenges by creating a cloud-based knowledge management system for academic and professional HRM knowledge including links to professional white paper series. Our methodology includes two primary studies. The goal of Study 1 is to arrive at a navigable, dimension-reduced taxonomy (i.e., ontology) of the universe of HR-related constructs and variables that includes both practitioner and scientist parlance. The goal of Study 2 is to assess and further enhance the usability of the revised taxonomy for interacting with over one million findings curated in the metaBUS project.
Mining the Team: Using Big Data to Explore the Effects of Technology Use and Temporal Interaction Patterns on Team Collaboration and Team Performance by Ning Li, Ph.D., The University of Iowa, and Jia Yu, Ph.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa
Funded: February 2017 Expected Completion: February 2019
Abstract: Rapid developments in technology have deeply impacted employees' behaviors. One prominent example is the recent rise of online collaboration tools (i.e., application software designed to help people collaborate with others to achieve collective goals), which have significantly changed the way people interact with others. Using the big data provided by an online collaboration software company (Teambition), our research seeks to develop a dynamic theory of team interactions by examining how the structural and temporal aspects of team interaction patterns promote team effectiveness. The results can be used by corporate leaders and HR managers to improve collaboration efficiency among employees.
Male Champions for Gender Inclusive Organizations by Katina Sawyer, Ph.D., Villanova University, and Anna Marie Valerio, Ph.D., Executive Leadership Strategies, LLC
Abstract: Men have a critical role to play as agents of change in women’s leadership. The purpose of the proposed work is to explore effective behaviors of male champions. To determine these behaviors we propose: 1) a qualitative study, utilizing coded interviews with high-level male champions and women supported by male champions, to determine key gender inclusive leadership behaviors and 2) a large-scale quantitative study which examines the relationship between gender inclusive leader behaviors and employee outcomes using HLM. Our results are expected to benefit researchers, employees and organizations by promoting effective behaviors to drive gender inclusive leadership.
Media Summary: The field of Human Resource Management is paving a new
evidence-based pathway with metaBUS: A “Big Data” approach to published HR
research findings. Whereas HR professionals previously had to comb through
webpages, whitepapers, or journal articles seeking rigorous data to drive their
decisions, metaBUS now provides an intuitive search engine of nearly one
million published scientific findings in one location – the largest database of
curated, published research findings anywhere in the social sciences. By using
flexible search options, users may discover relevant research, conduct rapid
research summaries, and visualize results in digestible ways – without all the
theory and jargon. Next steps will expand data visualizations and interfaces to
improve the availability of cumulative evidence to guide HR practice and
decisions. Go to Metabus.org for more information about this project.
Media Summary: Research shows that between 50 and 70 percent of all white-collar workers in OECD countries at least occasionally work on projects that require online collaboration in permanent or temporary virtual teams. Of those, 20 to 35 percent involve collaborations across national borders. Multiple surveys of corporate employees and student project teams have shown that over 90 percent of all global virtual teams (GVTs) at least occasionally face the problem of free-riders (social loafers, free-loaders) on the teams. Free-riding launches a downward vicious cycle: free-riding induces a feeling of injustice, which undermines team morale, which undermines effort, which leads to conflicts, which in turn leads to … more free-riding. This study tested strategies to minimize the free-rider problem in Global Virtual Teams by subjecting over 2,500 GVTs composed of over 15,000 people from over 40 countries to a series of experiments to better understand what causes free-riding and what could be done to mitigate the problem.
Their results showed that free-riding is a wide-spread problem in GVTs and it very negatively affects team morale and greatly undermines team performance. However, a number of relatively simple interventions can significantly reduce free-riding in GVTs, including:
By employing these simple prevention and mitigation strategies, a medium-size organization with a few dozen global virtual teams can save millions of dollars annually by precluding performance and morale losses caused by free-riding.
Media Summary: Using a
longitudinal approach and both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview)
methods, the researcher followed the careers of 101 women identified in 1985 as
high-potential college women leaders in order to examine the factors that
predict greater career success and satisfaction. Results indicate that both career satisfaction
and perceived career progress were significantly predicted by undergraduate
leadership and competitive orientations as well as engaging in organizational
networking. Orientations toward seeing
oneself as a leader in college – not just occupying a leader role –
differentiated between women later achieving senior leadership roles in their
careers and those who did not, suggesting the importance of forming a
leadership identity early in life. There were no differences in career
satisfaction or salary for those with or without children, but women who left
the workforce for some period (an “off ramp”) earned an average of over $38,000
less per year than those who did not, and women achieving the most senior
leadership were less likely to have taken an off ramp than other women. Receiving
support for work from family and friends was positively related to perceived
career success, satisfaction and perceived progress, but not to salary. Understanding
individuals as embedded within their out-of-work environments – their culture, families,
and their own aspirations and orientations – can help us better assist women as
well as men to bring more of their talents to their organizations and to derive
greater satisfaction and success from their occupational efforts.
The widespread use of mobile communication technologies (MCTs), including laptops, smart phones and tablets, has created a world in which employees may now connect to work anywhere, anytime. It is not uncommon, for instance, for employees to use MCTs to complete work-related tasks before or after work hours or to check in with work via email multiple times while off hours. However, research suggests that these behaviors can result in a number of negative outcomes for employees, including greater work-home conflict, stress, and burnout. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to understand how individuals can use MCTs in ways that lead to positive outcomes in both the work and home domains. To address this issue, we used a mixed methods approach that included interviews with a diverse group of 33 professionals and an on-line survey of more than 500 employees, their supervisors, peers, and significant others.
Our findings suggest that employees' MCT use was influenced not just by personal preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home boundaries, but also (and more strongly) by organizational norms regarding technology use. In particular, when employees observed others in the organization they respected or whose opinions they valued using technology to integrate, they were more likely to do the same. Additionally, while the use of integration tactics was associated with greater job satisfaction, employees were seen by their supervisors and peers as more focused at work and higher performing when they used segmentation rather than integration tactics. Employees also were seen by their significant others as less focused on the home role when they used integration tactics. Being unfocused at home was associated with lower relationship satisfaction (as reported by significant others). Taken together, our findings have a number of implications for HR practitioners. First, given the desirability of job flexibility for many employees, HR practitioners should support integration efforts by providing tools to help employees manage their time, reduce stress, and find effective ways to disconnect or detach from work so that they have time to recover from the 24/7 work cycle. Second, given how strongly organizational norms influenced employee behaviors, HR can help those in supervisory positions become more aware of their own behaviors and the signals those send to employees to avoid creating unnecessary "pressures to respond" off hours. Finally, because our findings suggest that segmentation is associated with greater perceptions of focus at work, HR may wish to establish informal policies or guidelines suggesting how and when technology can be used so that employees can balance the need to be available with the pull of being distracted by technology.
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