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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Ben-Roy Do, Pi-Wen Yeh and Jean Madsen

Human resource (HR) flexibility is a firm-level capability that consists of employee skill flexibility, employee behavior flexibility, and HR practice flexibility. HR…

Abstract

Purpose

Human resource (HR) flexibility is a firm-level capability that consists of employee skill flexibility, employee behavior flexibility, and HR practice flexibility. HR flexibility allows organizations to adapt and be responsive to changes in their environments. Findings from this paper indicate that if the organization is highly innovative and has flexible HR policies, then that influences organizational culture, risk-taking and experimentation within a firm. This paper has also revealed that process innovation mediates between adaptability culture and product innovation. It also revealed that managers should emphasize processes to improve efficiency for resource exploitation. The lessons learned from process innovation activities indicated that having a strong knowledge base assists a firm in developing innovative technology such as automation for manufacturing, handling and testing or simply smart manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were sent to employees at 23 Taiwanese companies in high-tech industries, where innovation is the key to their survival, and 293 valid surveys were collected. Structural equation modeling, (SEM) using IBM SPSS Amos, was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results fully support the hypotheses that HR flexibility positively influences adaptability culture and contributes to organizational innovation. Furthermore, it was found that adaptability culture has a direct impact on process innovation and an indirect impact on product innovation through process innovation.

Originality/value

The critical role of HR flexibility and adaptability culture on organizational innovation in the high-tech sector were highlighted. The importance of HR flexibility is emphasized to provide managerial hints to top managers.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2019

Jean Madsen, Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela and Elisabeth A. Luevanos

By 2026, students of color will make up 54 percent of the school-age population. Literature on recruiting and retaining teachers of color reveal that teachers of color are…

Abstract

Purpose

By 2026, students of color will make up 54 percent of the school-age population. Literature on recruiting and retaining teachers of color reveal that teachers of color are underrepresented in US schools (Castro et al., 2018). Cultural differences between teachers and students result in higher number of students of color being expelled or suspended, low graduation rates and lower numbers of students of color in advanced math, science and gifted courses. With an emphasis on retaining teachers of color the purpose of this paper is to examine how traditional school contexts play a role in teacher retention.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a qualitative case study that examined white teachers’ perceptions about their interactions with African American teachers (Merriam, 1998). A case study was useful in describing the boundaries of the school and how this type of context allowed the researchers to explore intergroup differences between both groups of teachers (Hays and Singh, 2011). Nine white teachers from predominantly white schools in the USA were interviewed (Seidman, 1998). The data were analyzed using what Glaser and Strauss (1967) call a constant comparative method. This process compared the intergroup theory with teachers’ responses.

Findings

Findings indicated that white teachers had little or no experience interacting with people who were racially and culturally different from them. Because of their curiosity about race, African American teachers were categorized as the “black expert.” White teachers asked them to speak with African American parents, give expertise on areas of discipline and chair multicultural events. Group boundaries developed rapidly as white teachers overwhelmed teachers of color with only their racial problems. African American teachers were forced into roles, which prevented them from contributing in other areas. Thus, African American teachers grew tired of only playing one aspect of their teaching.

Research limitations/implications

Upon entering their schools, teachers bring with them a broad array of experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities. This results in a form of assimilation where they become like-minded to their schools’ norms and values. As incoming teachers of color enter with different norms and culture, they mediate boundaries having both groups of teachers adjust to cultural differences (Madsen and Mabokela, 2013). Intergroup differences often occur due to changing demographics in schools. If teachers cannot work through these normative conflicts, it will be reflected in teacher turnover, absences, workplace disagreements and teachers of color leaving.

Practical implications

If the focus is to recruit teachers of color, there needs to be an emphasis on preparing leaders on how to identify and address intergroup differences. As in Bell’s (2002) study and Achinstein’s (2002) research, when teachers have differences it will have influence how teachers will collaborate. Thus, teachers of color are prevented from sharing their philosophy about teaching students of color. These individuals also share the burden of being the only person who can advocate for students of color, but also serve as cultural translators for other students as well.

Social implications

Future educators not only need to understand how to teach demographically diverse students, but it is important for them to understand how multicultural capital plays an inclusive role in getting all students to do academically well. The question becomes of how one teaches the importance of “humanistic” commitments for all children.

Originality/value

Booysen (2014) believes that identity and workplace identity research only allows for integration of divergent perspectives. More study is needed to understand how do workers navigate their identity through the workplace. Workplace identity among group members results in power discrepancies and assimilation verses the preservation of micro cultural identity. Thus, both groups often have competing goals and there is a struggle for resources. Cox (1994) believes that these tensions cause group members to center on preserving of their own culture. Hence, groups are more aware of their need to protect their cultural identity which ultimately affects retention of workers.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Chun-Hsi Vivian Chen, Pi-Wen Yeh and Jean Madsen

This study aims to explore the influences of contingent workers on organizations’ innovation performance and develop a framework examining how innovation performance…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the influences of contingent workers on organizations’ innovation performance and develop a framework examining how innovation performance benefits from the utilization of contingent workers. Built up on a strategic human resource (HR) flexibility model, the importance of coordination flexibility of contingent worker skills and behaviors is highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

Structural equation modeling is used to test the proposed hypotheses by using data collected from 163 paired surveys in Taiwan. The results provide support on the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings in this study highlight the coordination flexibility of contingent worker skills and behaviors, adaptive capability and knowledge integration on innovation performance in highly competitive industries. This study provides evidence linking coordination flexibility of contingent worker skills and behaviors and organizational innovation performance, and can contribute to the strategic HR management literature.

Originality/value

Coordination flexibility of contingent worker skills and behaviors contributes positively to innovation performance. According to the findings, managers should pay more attention on the contingent workers’ coordination practices to enhance organizational innovation performance in the manufacturing firms. In addition to the managerial implications, research limitations and future research directions are also discussed.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Jessica Li and Jean Madsen

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese employees' perceptions on their ethical decision making in relation to the workplace guanxi context in state‐owned…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese employees' perceptions on their ethical decision making in relation to the workplace guanxi context in state‐owned enterprises (SOE).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative method, two rounds of interviews were conducted with 18 participants in two SOEs “to explore Chinese employees” ethical perceptions and experiences in the workplace. A qualitative thematic strategy was adopted to analyze and interpret the data.

Findings

The authors identified three major themes on SOE employees ethical decision making in relation to workplace guanxi: the ethical self; malleable ethical standards; and submission to authority. The authors derived a conceptual framework to outline the relationship between the invisible hand of guanxi and the SOE employees' ethical decision making.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the business ethics literature by presenting a three‐dimensional profile and a conceptual framework for Chinese business ethics research. It provides an in‐depth understanding of a complex dynamics of guanxi and its impact on employees' ethical decision‐making behavior.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resources Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Knut R. Fossum, Jean C. Binder, Tage K. Madsen, Wenche Aarseth and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to identify and complete the existing lack of quantitative data at the crossroads between organizational support (OS) practices and project…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and complete the existing lack of quantitative data at the crossroads between organizational support (OS) practices and project management success in global projects (GPs) and discuss implication of the results in perspective of the theory–practice gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on classical organizational theory and GP knowledge areas, a survey addressing GP practitioners was designed. This paper focuses on OS practices as success factors and addresses a subset of the survey (1,170 respondents across 74 countries).

Findings

OS practices included in the study were found to have high importance for managerial success. OS practices for selection and training of team members show significant correlation with project efficiency but have low adaptation in many organizations. Statistically significant correlations were found to be weaker than expected, indicating that the relation between OS practices (as success factors) and project efficiency (as success criteria) is more complex than expected.

Research limitations/implications

The work constitutes opinion-based research and is vulnerable to variations in OS practices and the definition of success in different organizations and industries. The granularity level of the theoretical framework brought about relative high-level survey questions and may impact the applicability of the results.

Practical implications

To improve the efficiency of GPs, better implementation of OS practices for selection processes and training personnel has been suggested.

Originality/value

The theoretical alignment of classical organizational variables with GP knowledge areas and associated practices provides an original approach to the “theory–practice gap” discourse.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Lynn M. Hemmer, Jean Madsen and Mario S. Torres

The expansion of alternative education, globally, has coincided with a shift towards greater accountability for ensuring educational access and opportunity, high academic…

Abstract

Purpose

The expansion of alternative education, globally, has coincided with a shift towards greater accountability for ensuring educational access and opportunity, high academic standards and increased graduation rates. While studies suggest the pervasive influence of accountability may be redefining how school leaders provide meaningful learning experiences and facilitating high achievement, little is known about school leaders of alternative schools administering accountability polices. If there are inconsistencies between meaningful learning experiences for at‐risk students and performance‐based standards outcomes, this may suggest issues around equity and alternative schools that should be evaluated. Using a theoretical frame of policy implementation, specifically the authoritative design of policy and social constructs of compliance, this study aims to examine how alternative school leaders implement accountability policies.

Design/methodology/approach

This cross‐case study employs a qualitative thematic strategy of data analysis in conjunction with Fairclough's three‐dimensional framework of discourse analysis to examine how seven school leaders at five alternative schools in California and Texas interpret and administer accountability policy.

Findings

The theme of reconciliation: tension between compliance and innovation was revealed from the data. The discourses surrounding the nature of students at risk and policy compliance converged, creating a notion that alternative school leaders were losing their autonomy as knowing what is best for their students amidst increasing accountability standards.

Research limitations/implications

While many of the administrators are positioned by their districts to act as an at‐risk student expert when designing or sustaining academic and social programs at their respective alternative schools, they are in the process of losing some of their autonomy because of the pressures derived from accountability standards. However, school leaders continue to take responsive and reflexive actions to create distance between their settings and accountability policy in order to protect their students and schools from external pressures.

Originality/value

The study presents original findings in the area of accountability policy implementation in alternative school settings. This work suggests that the social constructs of compliance and student risk factors converge with the authoritative nature of accountability policy. In turn, tension was created for alternative school leaders as they consider what is best for at‐risk students.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2010

Jessica Li and Jean Madsen

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese managers' perceptions of work ethic (work‐related values and attitudes) and to provide insights on how managers interact…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine Chinese managers' perceptions of work ethic (work‐related values and attitudes) and to provide insights on how managers interact with their workers.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study using a series of in‐depth interviews to draw state‐owned enterprises (SOE) managers' perceptions of work ethic. The inquiry process led to a single‐case level of analysis where data are aggregated to incorporate a thematic approach. Underlining theoretical frameworks that guide the study are a combination of Western and Eastern work ethic frameworks and cross‐culture management understanding of the concept of guanxi.

Findings

Five themes that emerged from data analysis became the five dimensions of Chinese managers' work ethic profile. In addition, the study revealed four overarching themes that influence managerial behavior in Chinese SOEs: the absolute power of the boss; work is the center of life; social network ties to the workplace; and place hope in the hands of the boss.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides comprehensive understanding of the Chinese management work ethic profile. Future studies should expand to include managers from different generations and industry sectors.

Practical implications

The paper highlighted the importance of matching cultural values with management practices. It identified differences between the west and east of their work‐related values and attitudes, which have practical implications for developing effective management strategies and practices when working with Chinese SOEs.

Originality/value

The paper provides an indigenous description of Chinese managers' work ethic profile and provides suggestions for future research.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Jean A. Madsen and Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Most traditional research approaches emerge from the position that all “good” research is “objective.” While this is critical for conducting scholarly inquiry, we contend…

Abstract

Most traditional research approaches emerge from the position that all “good” research is “objective.” While this is critical for conducting scholarly inquiry, we contend that it is equally important to acknowledge the significant impact social, cultural, and political contexts have on the research process. That is, research is a malleable process informed and influenced by broader socio-political forces. Because research is not conducted in a vacuum, researchers have a duty to consider the context within which one engages in research. It also requires the researcher to understand their position or status along with their participants’ power and expertise when undertaking research studies, particularly in cross-contexts. In this chapter, we explore the nuances – some overt others subtle – that have informed and influenced how our cross-cultural team navigated our research spaces. The authors of this chapter are a cross-cultural team comprised of a White American and a Black African academic. Both the United States and South Africa have complex histories of race relations and racial identity within their broader socio-political context which must be considered when conducting research. Therefore, to dissociate and compartmentalize aspects of our identity when conducting research in these contexts may in fact compromise scholarly insights which might emerge from these contexts.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2016
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-528-7

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Abstract

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2016
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-528-7

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Abstract

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resources Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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