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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

John W. Lounsbury, Nancy Foster, Patrick C. Carmody, Ji Young Kim, Lucy W. Gibson and Adam W. Drost

The purpose of the present study is to identify key personality traits which distinguish customer service (CS) employees from other occupations and are related to their…

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4521

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present study is to identify key personality traits which distinguish customer service (CS) employees from other occupations and are related to their career satisfaction. As hypothesized, 2,610 CS employees were differentiated from other occupational groups by higher levels of conscientiousness, customer service orientation, and lower tough‐mindedness. Conscientiousness, customer service orientation, emotional stability, extraversion, and tough‐mindedness were significantly, positively related to customer service representatives’ (CSRs’) career satisfaction. Results are discussed in terms of the adaptive value of these traits for the recruitment, selection, and management of customer service employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this study were extracted from an archival database containing information on individuals’ many different occupations and industries, including 2,641 CSRs and 76,788 individuals in other occupations. Measures included demographic items and the Big Five personality traits as well six other narrow personality traits.

Findings

As hypothesized, CS employees differed from other occupational groups by having higher levels of conscientiousness, customer service orientation, and lower tough‐mindedness. Also, conscientiousness, customer service orientation, emotional stability, extraversion, and tough‐mindedness were significantly, positively related to career satisfaction. Using hierarchical multiple regression, the Big Five traits (Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Emotional Stability) accounted for 22 percent of the variance in CSR career satisfaction, while the narrow traits added an additional 6 percent.

Originality/value

The findings of the present study are original in that the authors used a relatively large sample to identify key personality traits which distinguish CS employees from other occupations and are related to their career satisfaction. An empirically validated personality profile of CS workers was presented. The typical CS representative is more: conscientious, optimistic, intrinsically motivated, tender‐minded, deferential, conventional, willing to serve other people, and reluctant to work long hours or become workaholics.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

John W. Lounsbury, James M. Loveland, Lucy W. Gibson and Jacob J. Levy

The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences in personality and career satisfaction between quality managers and workers in other fields based on…

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1642

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences in personality and career satisfaction between quality managers and workers in other fields based on Person-Environment Fit theory.

Design/methodology/approach

Field study: personality and career satisfaction data for 965 quality managers were compared with those for a sample of over 85,000 individuals in many different occupations and employment settings using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and t-tests.

Findings

Quality managers were higher than other occupations in intrinsic motivation, tough-mindedness, and conscientiousness, but lower in career satisfaction, optimism, and assertiveness.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not contain any longitudinal study; there is also a lack of some demographic variables, including race/ethnicity, job tenure, and career tenure.

Practical implications

The findings carry implications for career planning, recruiting, pre-employment testing, training, and helping quality managers navigate through their organizations and careers.

Social implications

Overall, the authors provide a personality profile of quality managers and show that many quality managers have lower career satisfaction than other occupations.

Originality/value

These findings provide an occupational profile of salient personality traits of QC managers which can be used in occupational classification, field identity, and career planning.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

John W. Lounsbury, Eric D. Sundstrom, Lucy W. Gibson, James M. Loveland and Adam W. Drost

The purpose of this paper is to empirically compare managers with employees in other occupations on Big Five and narrow personality traits to identify a distinctive…

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8442

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically compare managers with employees in other occupations on Big Five and narrow personality traits to identify a distinctive personality profile for managers.

Design/methodology/approach

An archival data set representing employees in a wide range of business sectors and organizations was utilized to compare trait scores of 9,138 managers with 76,577 non-managerial employees. Profile analysis (PA) with MANOVA and analysis of covariance was used to compare managers and non-managers on Big Five traits Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Stability; and narrow traits Assertiveness, Optimism, Work Drive, and Customer Service Orientation.

Findings

As hypothesized, compared to non-managers, managers had significantly higher scores across nine traits, all of which correlated significantly with managerial career satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

Although job tenure and managerial level are not examined, the findings align with managerial competence models, the Attraction-Selection-Attrition model, and vocational theory and raise questions for research on the adaptive value of these traits for managers’ satisfaction and effectiveness.

Practical implications

The results carry practical implications for selection, placement, training, career planning for managers, and particularly for their professional development.

Social implications

A distinctive personality profile for managers clarifies the occupational identity of managers, which contributes to public and professional understanding of managers and their roles.

Originality/value

This study is original in reporting an empirical, theoretically grounded personality profile of managers that includes both Big Five and narrow traits.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

James M Loveland, John W Lounsbury, Soo-Hee Park and Donald W Jackson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between personality traits and both job and career satisfaction among salespeople. The authors also wished to…

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2182

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between personality traits and both job and career satisfaction among salespeople. The authors also wished to examine the extent to which biologically based personality traits provided insights into job and career satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used latent profile analysis (LPA) to assess a sample of 299 salespeople along the dimensions of emotional stability, extraversion, work drive, teamwork orientation, customer service orientation, optimism and both job and career satisfaction.

Findings

The findings revealed two distinct groups, and these groups were markedly different along the biologically based traits of optimism, extraversion, emotional stability and along both job and career satisfaction. The differences across these groups were especially pronounced for career satisfaction.

Practical implications

Our findings suggest that firms might wish to devote limited resources to improving the skill sets of salespeople with the “right” disposition, rather than attempting to train candidates to cope with the emotional and visceral aspects of sales.

Originality/value

The relationship between biologically based traits and job/career satisfaction has not yet been examined. Moreover, the use of LPA provides interesting insights that regression or structural equation modeling-based approaches would not.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

James M Loveland, Scott A Thompson, John W Lounsbury and Danilo Dantas

Increasingly, scholars and analysts are urging firms to transition from a model in which marketing is a discrete function to a diffused approach in which marketing is…

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7238

Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, scholars and analysts are urging firms to transition from a model in which marketing is a discrete function to a diffused approach in which marketing is everyone’s job. Prior research has examined differences in firm level performance. However, this firm level focus has overlooked what effects this transition might have on the managers who perform the marketing role. The purpose of this paper is to investigate manager level consequences of transitioning between these approaches by evaluating differences in person-environment (P-E) fit between marketers and non-marketers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors identify core marketing functions and relevant personality traits of marketing managers, based on the marketing literature. The authors then compare personality and career satisfaction data from 465 marketing managers against a larger, general employment sample of 3,100 employees. Finally, the authors examine the relationship of career satisfaction to each of these traits and investigate how these relationships differ across the two groups.

Findings

The authors find important differences between marketers and non-marketers. Most importantly, the authors found that the relationships between personality and career satisfaction were significantly different for traits suggested by the research literature as important to the marketing function. In particular, customer orientation, visionary leadership, optimism, and assertiveness were all associated with higher career satisfaction for the marketing sample than for the general sample.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to examine manager level differences relevant to transitioning between firm level marketing approaches. For firms considering adopting the “everyone is a marketer” diffused approach, the findings reveal pitfalls that can lead to reduced career satisfaction, reduced manager performance, and increased turnover. As a result, the performance of firms that have already adopted a diffused approach may be misleading for those firms who have not. At a minimum, firms contemplating a transition to a diffused approach should conduct an assessment of P-E fit similar to that illustrated in this paper to assess the potential risks.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

The Equal Value Amendment. At long last the first cases under the equal value amendment to the U.K. Equal Pay Act have made it through the legal minefield to the House of…

Abstract

The Equal Value Amendment. At long last the first cases under the equal value amendment to the U.K. Equal Pay Act have made it through the legal minefield to the House of Lords. Unfortunately, however, employers have not liked their lordships' pronouncements and the CBI is now lobbying for legislative changes. In the October issue of Personnel Management Lorraine Paddison explains the latest decisions and confirms that there is indeed no room for complacency.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Michael Lounsbury, Deborah A. Anderson and Paul Spee

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and…

Abstract

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and institution in organization studies. As we highlight, this interface has spurred particularly generative conversations with many open questions, and much to explore. We provide a review of scholarly developments in practice theory and organizational institutionalism that have given rise to this interest in building a bridge between scholarly communities. As signaled by recent efforts to construct a practice-driven institutionalism, we highlight how connecting practice theory with the institutional logics perspective provides a particularly attractive focal point for scholarship at this interface due to a variety of shared ontological and epistemological commitments, including the constitution of actors and their behavior. Collectively, the papers assembled unlock exciting opportunities to connect distinct, but related scholarly communities on practice and institution, seeding scholarship that can advance our understanding of organizational and societal dynamics.

Details

On Practice and Institution: New Empirical Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-416-5

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Michael Lounsbury, Deborah A. Anderson and Paul Spee

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and…

Abstract

Volumes 70 and 71 of Research in the Sociology of Organizations combine to comprise cutting edge theory and empirical scholarship at the interface of practice and institution in organization studies. As we highlight, this interface has spurred particularly generative conversations with many open questions, and much to explore. We provide a review of scholarly developments in practice theory and organizational institutionalism that have given rise to this interest in building a bridge between scholarly communities. As signaled by recent efforts to construct a practice-driven institutionalism, we highlight how connecting practice theory with the institutional logics perspective provides a particularly attractive focal point for scholarship at this interface due to a variety of shared ontological and epistemological commitments, including the constitution of actors and their behavior. Collectively, the papers assembled unlock exciting opportunities to connect distinct, but related scholarly communities on practice and institution, seeding scholarship that can advance our understanding of organizational and societal dynamics.

Details

On Practice and Institution: Theorizing the Interface
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-413-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Timothy R. Hannigan and Guillermo Casasnovas

Field emergence poses an intriguing problem for institutional theorists. New issue fields often arise at the intersection of different sectors, amidst extant structures of…

Abstract

Field emergence poses an intriguing problem for institutional theorists. New issue fields often arise at the intersection of different sectors, amidst extant structures of meanings and actors. Such nascent fields are fragmented and lack clear guides for action; making it unclear how they ever coalesce. The authors propose that provisional social structures provide actors with macrosocial presuppositions that shape ongoing field-configuration; bootstrapping the field. The authors explore this empirically in the context of social impact investing in the UK, 2000–2013, a period in which this field moved from clear fragmentation to relative alignment. The authors combine different computational text analysis methods, and data from an extensive field-level study, to uncover meaningful patterns of interaction and structuration. Our results show that across various periods, different types of actors were linked together in discourse through “actor–meaning couplets.” These emergent couplings of actors and meanings provided actors with social cues, or macrofoundations, which guided their local activities. The authors thus theorize a recursive, co-constitutive process: as punctuated moments of interaction generate provisional structures of actor–meaning couplets, which then cue actors as they navigate and constitute the emerging field. Our model re-energizes the core tenets of new structuralism and contributes to current debates about institutional emergence and change.

Details

Macrofoundations: Exploring the Institutionally Situated Nature of Activity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-160-5

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Book part
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Joel Gehman, Michael Lounsbury and Royston Greenwood

This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional…

Abstract

This double volume presents a collection of 23 papers on how institutions matter to socio-economic life. The papers delve deeply into the practical impact an institutional approach enables, as well as how such research has the potential to influence policies relevant to critical institutional changes unfolding in the world today. In Volume 48A, the focus is on the micro foundations of institutional impacts. In Volume 48B, the focus is on the macro consequences of institutional arrangements. Our introduction provides an overview to the two volumes, identifies points of contact between the papers, and briefly summarizes each contribution. We close by noting avenues for future research on how institutions matter. Overall, the volumes provide a cross-section of cutting edge institutional thought and empirical research, highlighting a variety of fruitful directions for knowledge accumulation and development.

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