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Book part

Preethi Misha and Marius van Dijke

To date, the vast majority of existing research on unethical leadership has focused on top leaders’ actions and behaviors as the primary catalyst for the permeation of…

Abstract

To date, the vast majority of existing research on unethical leadership has focused on top leaders’ actions and behaviors as the primary catalyst for the permeation of unethical behaviors in organizations. In this chapter, we shift the focus to middle and junior managers and argue that they too have an active role in contributing to the permeation of top-level unethical leadership. More specifically, we adopt a meaning-making lens to investigate how junior and middle-level managers perceive and interpret top-level unethical leadership and how such meaning-making affects their (un)ethical legitimacy. Understanding the role played by lower-level managers becomes vitally important to develop a more holistic picture of the permeation of unethical leadership. Findings from 30 in-depth interviews with top, middle, and junior managers reveal variables such as survival, group membership, and strain as buttressing meaning-making by lower-level managers. Findings also revealed two contrasting aspects, that is, “interactions” within organizational members as well as “silence” by top-level managers playing into individuals’ information processing and attribution capacities during ethical dilemmas. Real cases experienced by participants pertaining to the flow of unethical leadership illustrate how the central bearings play out in managerial practice.

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Article

Machteld van den Heuvel, Evangelia Demerouti, Bert H.J. Schreurs, Arnold B. Bakker and Wilmar B. Schaufeli

The purpose of this paper is first, to test the validity of a new scale measuring the construct of meaning‐making, defined as the ability to integrate challenging or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is first, to test the validity of a new scale measuring the construct of meaning‐making, defined as the ability to integrate challenging or ambiguous situations into a framework of personal meaning using conscious, value‐based reflection. Second, to explore whether meaning‐making is distinct from other personal resources (self‐efficacy, optimism, mastery, meaning in life), and coping (positive reinterpretation, acceptance). Third, to explore whether meaning‐making facilitates work engagement, willingness to change, and performance during organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross‐sectional survey‐data were collected from 238 employees in a variety of both public and private organizations.

Findings

Confirmatory factor analyses showed that meaning‐making can be distinguished from other personal resources, coping and meaning in life. Regression analyses showed that meaning‐making is positively related to in‐role performance and willingness to change, but not to work engagement, thereby partly supporting the hypotheses.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on meaning‐making that has not yet been studied empirically in organizational change settings. It shows that the new construct of psychological meaning‐making is related to valuable employee outcomes including in‐role performance and willingness to change. Meaning‐making explains variance over and above other personal resources such as self‐efficacy, optimism, mastery, coping and meaning in life.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Michaela Driver

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of suffering for meaning making and spirituality in organizational contexts.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of suffering for meaning making and spirituality in organizational contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores how organizational spaces may be created for meaning making and how this is linked to the idea of compassion.

Findings

The paper suggests that while suffering has been explored in organizations, it has not been studied relative to existential meaning making. This is identified as a significant gap in research on organizational spirituality. The paper attempts to fill this gap and suggests that the study of suffering has to separate suffering as an objective phenomenon, which should be eliminated in organizations, from suffering as a subjective experience in which meaning may be found. It is also proposed that, for existential meaning to be uncovered in the face of suffering, organizational spaces have to be created in which such meaning making can take place.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that suffering can be a pathway to the discovery of spiritual meaning.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Maturing Leadership: How Adult Development Impacts Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-402-7

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Article

Mary Beth Schaefer, Sandra Schamroth Abrams, Molly Kurpis, Charlotte Abrams and Madeline Abrams

In this child–parent research study, three adolescents theorize their meaning-making experiences while engaged in exclusive online learning during a three-month…

Abstract

Purpose

In this child–parent research study, three adolescents theorize their meaning-making experiences while engaged in exclusive online learning during a three-month stay-at-home mandate. The purpose of this study is to highlight youth-created understandings about their literacy practices during COVID-19 in order to expand possibilities for youth-generated theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This child–parent research builds upon a critical dialectical pluralist (CDP) methodology, which is a participatory research method that looks to privilege the child as a co-researcher at every stage of the inquiry. In this research study, the adolescents work together to explore what it means to create and learn alone and then with others via virtual platforms. Research team discussions initially were scaffolded by the parent–researchers, and the adolescents developed their analyses individually and together, and their words and insights situate the findings and conclusions.

Findings

The musical form of a motet provides a metaphor that three adolescents used to theorize their meaning-making experiences during the stay-at-home order. The adolescents determined that time, frustration, and space were overarching themes that captured the essence of working alone, and then together, in messy, orchestrated online ensembles.

Originality/value

In this youth-centric research paper, three adolescents create understandings of their meaning-making experiences during the stay-at-home order and work together to determine personal and pedagogical implications.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

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Article

Zarrina Talan Azizova and Pamela P. Felder

The purpose of this paper is to examine the racial and ethnic aspects of the doctoral socialization to provide a meaningful insight into the belief systems and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the racial and ethnic aspects of the doctoral socialization to provide a meaningful insight into the belief systems and decision-making processes related to academic success and degree completion. This paper addresses a gap in literature focusing on the racial and ethnic aspects of the doctoral student experience as they relate to student agency.

Design/methodology/approach

This narrative research of four doctoral students uses a postmodern active interview method to foreground the role of a doctoral agency as manifested in the ways students make meaning of their experiences as members of the science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math academic community. A dialectical approach to the traditional socialization models provides the framework for understanding the meaning-making processes within a critical context of academia.

Findings

Findings present the intrinsic foundations for a doctoral agency and forces that shape key decision-making processes for doctoral students.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for research and practice provide guidance for faculty, graduate school administrators and organizations interested in supporting degree completion for historically marginalized doctoral students.

Originality/value

This study examines doctoral socialization as a meaning-making process of racial/ethnic students in engineering and agricultural programs. Narrative research design provides depth into the individual experiences and the role of racial/ethnic histories in students’ socialization (meaning-making) processes in a predominantly White academic environment.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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Article

Anne Reff Pedersen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the process and impact of patient involvement in locally defined improvement projects in two hospital clinics. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the process and impact of patient involvement in locally defined improvement projects in two hospital clinics. The paper particularly aims to examine how patient narratives, in the form of diaries and radio montage, help to create new insights into patient experience for healthcare professionals, and support professionals’ enrolment and mobilisation in innovation projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Two case studies were undertaken. These drew upon qualitative interviews with staff and participant observation during innovation workshops. Patient diaries and a recorded montage of patient voices were also collected.

Findings

The findings illuminate translation processes in healthcare innovation and the emergence of meaning making process for staff through the active use of patient narratives. The paper highlights the critical role of meaning making as an enabler of patient-centred change processes in healthcare via: local clinic mangers defining problems and ideas; collecting and sharing patient narratives in innovation workshops; and healthcare professionals’ interpretation of patient narratives supporting new insights into patient experience.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates how healthcare professionals’ meaning making can be supported by articulating, constructing, listening and interpreting patient narratives. The two cases demonstrate how patient narratives serve as reflective devices for healthcare professionals.

Originality/value

This study presents a novel demonstration of the importance of patient narratives for translating healthcare innovation in a clinical practice setting.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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Article

Barrett C. Brown

This paper aims to document how leaders with a highly‐developed meaning‐making system design and engage in sustainability initiatives.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to document how leaders with a highly‐developed meaning‐making system design and engage in sustainability initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 32 leaders and change agents were assessed for their meaning‐making system, or action logic, using a variation of the Washington University Sentence Completion Test; 13 were identified as holding the three rarest and most complex action logics able to be measured. Semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews explored their behavior and actions as related to complex change initiatives.

Findings

These leaders appear to: design from a deep inner foundation, including grounding their work in transpersonal meaning; access non‐rational ways of knowing, and use systems, complexity, and integral theories; and adaptively manage through “dialogue” with the system, three distinct roles, and developmental practices. Fifteen leadership competencies and developmental stage distinctions for three dimensions of leadership were identified.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size leads to the findings being propositions that require further validation before broader generalization.

Practical implications

The results provide the most granular view to date of how individuals with highly complex meaning‐making may think and behave with respect to complex change, offering potential insight into the future of leadership.

Social implications

The study explores how to cultivate leadership with the capacity to address complex social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Originality/value

The paper documents 15 competencies that are largely new to the leadership literature, and that reflect the actions of leaders operating with highly sophisticated meaning‐making systems.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article

Justine Grønbæk Pors

The purpose of this paper is to argue and explore how local meaning-making processes of leaders also occur in embodied and affective registers. The paper aims to introduce…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue and explore how local meaning-making processes of leaders also occur in embodied and affective registers. The paper aims to introduce the theoretical concept of affect to studies of local public leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports from an ethnographic study of local leaders managing educational institutions in Denmark. The paper takes a constructivist or interpretive approach where it is acknowledged that data is not just out-there ready to be collected and reported but is constructed and interpreted in particular manners as part of the complex encounter between researcher and field.

Findings

The paper zooms in one particular instance where a leader breaks down in tears and where the tears seem to evoke a particular affective atmosphere. Thus, the paper shows how, just below the elite narrative of a need for stronger, individual and more evidence-based management, we find a myriad of meaning-making processes that transgress distinctions between the corporeal, affective and discursive.

Research limitations/implications

As an ethnography conducted in a local setting, the paper avoids broad generalisations. The findings reflect the theoretical ambition of discussing the role of embodiment and affect in local leadership as much as the studied setting.

Practical implications

The study testify to how policy implementation can take many unexpected turns as local leaders interpret and make sense of policy ambitions in many different ways. Moreover, it testifies to how leaders are informed by embodied experiences and affective atmospheres in their sense-making processes.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first attempts in public leadership to discuss the role of embodiment and affect in local public leadership.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article

HsiuJu Rebecca Yen, Paul Jen-Hwa Hu and Yi-Chun Liao

This study aims to examine how a manager’s learning goal orientation (LGO) influences frontline service employees’ (FSEs’) engagement in cross-selling activities. Such…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how a manager’s learning goal orientation (LGO) influences frontline service employees’ (FSEs’) engagement in cross-selling activities. Such engagements must exist before they can achieve service–sales ambidexterity. Drawing on achievement goal theory and the meaning-making perspective, this study predicts that learning-oriented managers encourage and foster FSEs’ cross-selling behaviors by facilitating their ability to derive positive meaning from the cross-selling initiative. They do so by conveying high-quality information about the initiative and related changes to individual employees, as well as by encouraging the formation of a collective perception of open communications within the work unit.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical (nested) data from 39 managers and 357 FSEs of a major logistic service company are used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

As predicted, a manager’s LGO relates positively to FSEs’ cross-selling activities, through sequential mediations of the hypothesized communication mechanisms and employees’ benefits-finding.

Originality/value

A manager’s LGO is an important antecedent of FSEs’ cross-selling behaviors. This study establishes this influence and clarifies the processes by which it occurs. This study also extends previous research by specifying the important role of employees’ meaning-making, which prompts them to adopt cross-selling, as a mediator of the multilevel communication influences that result from their managers’ LGO.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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