Management & Organizational Leadership

College of Business & Public Administration
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Faculty Research and Publications

Purvanova, R. K. & Bryant, A. (2020). Trainees as consumers? How marketing can revitalize sexual harassment and racial discrimination trainingIndustrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 13, 200-204.

Hayes et al. (2020) correctly argue that sexual harassment and racial discrimination training—or more broadly, diversity training—needs a shot in the arm. The authors identify several limitations of current training efforts, including that training often engenders cynicism. We agree, and we further argue that trainee cynicism, along with trainee dismissiveness, are key reasons why diversity training often fails to change hearts, minds, and behaviors, and may even backfire. We view training through the lens of marketing research and practice, and explain how imagining trainees as consumers and training as a product might help revitalize diversity training efforts. Specifically, we discuss how trainee segmentation and targeting might allow training developers to match trainees to a customized training product intended to reduce or eliminate trainee cynicism and dismissiveness, increase trainee receptivity, and ultimately improve training effectiveness.

Purvanova, R. K., Charlier, S., Reeves, C., & Greco, L. (2020). Who emerges into virtual team leadership roles? The role of achievement and ascription antecedents for leadership emergence across the virtuality spectrumJournal of Business and Psychology, OnlineFirst.

Featured in BBC.Worklife (2020, Sept). The surprising traits of good remote leaders.  

Featured in Inc. Magazine (2020, August). For Great Remote Leaders, Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Leadership emergence theory discusses two pathways to leadership emergence—achievement (i.e. leaders’ behaviors) and ascription (i.e. leaders’ traits). Drawing from multilevel leadership emergence theory (Acton, Foti, Lord, & Gladfelter, 2019)
which suggests that context influences the saliency of leadership emergence antecedents, our study simultaneously examined the incremental and relative importance of achievement and ascription antecedents to leadership emergence in contexts of low, medium, and high virtuality. In two independent samples—a laboratory experiment involving 86 teams (n = 340; sample one) and a semester long project involving 134 teams (n = 430; sample two)—we found that in low virtuality contexts, ascription factors accounted for incremental variance over achievement factors in predicting leadership emergence, and had larger relative importance. Conversely, in high virtuality contexts, achievement factors accounted for incremental variance over ascription factors in predicting leadership emergence, and had larger relative importance. Findings in medium virtuality contexts were mixed as achievement and ascription factors played relatively equal roles in the prediction of leadership emergence. Analyses employing other ratings of ascription (i.e. other-rated personality) found that a larger proportion of variance in leadership emergence was explained by other ratings than by self-ratings across all virtuality configurations.

Purvanova, R. K. & Kendra, R. (2018). Paradoxical virtual leadership: Reconsidering virtuality through a paradox lens. Group & Organization Management, 43, 752-786

Featured in The Business Record (2019, May). Virtual groups are a paradox – so here’s how to lead them.

This conceptual article moves the conversation about virtual leadership forward by blending extant knowledge on virtuality and on leadership. Drawing on paradox theory, we show that virtuality is a paradox; therefore, virtual leadership’s core function is to deal with paradox. Our paradoxical virtual leadership model introduces three distinct leadership styles: synergistic, selective, and stagnant. Synergistic leaders view virtuality through a both–and cognitive framework, integrate divergent forces into synergistic solutions, and engage in varied, even opposing, behaviors to synergize virtuality’s paradoxical tensions and leverage the power of paradox. In contrast, selective leaders view virtuality through an either–or framework, and attempt to either manage virtuality’s challenges, or to capitalize on its opportunities, thus failing to balance paradoxical tensions. Finally, stagnant leaders adopt an avoidant framework, ignoring or avoiding virtuality’s paradoxes, and fail to lead effective virtual teams. The practical implications of this model—especially as they relate to how virtual leaders can synergize paradoxical tensions—are discussed.

Colbert, A. E., Bono, J. E., & Purvanova, R. K. (2016). Flourishing via workplace relationships: Moving beyond instrumental supportAcademy of Management Journal, 59, 1199-1223

Featured in Academy of Management Insights (2018, Aug.). Why Fostering Employees’ Relationships at Work Is So Important.

Featured in The London School of Economics Business Review (2016, Nov.). Flourishing at Work is All about Relationships.  

In a series of qualitative and quantitative studies, we developed a model of the functions of positive work relationships, with an explicit focus on the role that these relationships play in employee flourishing. Stories that employees told about positive relationships at work revealed that relationships serve a broad range of functions, including the traditionally studied functions of task assistance, career advancement, and emotional support, as well as less studied functions of personal growth, friendship, and the opportunity to give to others. Building on this taxonomy, we validated a scale—the Relationship Functions Inventory—and developed theory suggesting differential linkages between the relationship functions and outcomes indicative of employee flourishing. Results revealed unique associations between functions and outcomes, such that task assistance was most strongly associated with job satisfaction, giving to others was most strongly associated with meaningful work, friendship was most strongly associated with positive emotions at work, and personal growth was most strongly associated with life satisfaction. Our results suggest that work relationships play a key role in promoting employee flourishing, and that examining the differential effects of a taxonomy of relationship functions brings precision to our understanding of how relationships impact individual flourishing.


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