ASQ December 2023 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly is available online: Vol. 68, No. 4
If history is any indication, a new crop of ASQ articles worthy of placement on PhD syllabi is here. This issue of ASQ highlights both external and internal forces that drive change. On one hand, we see firms respond to local protests even when they are not the targets of or participants in those events. Whether via pro-diversity statements in hiring or changes to the gender composition of the board, firms respond to large-scale protests in their local communities. We also see how press coverage is shaped by the portfolio of firms owned by institutional investors. On the other hand, this issue also details the processes by which individuals strive to make their work meaningful by looking internally to interpret and make sense of professional beliefs, regardless of the actions of their peers. A complex array of forces shapes our beliefs and actions, and I hope this issue gives you new food for thought.
Rebooting One's Professional Work: The Case of French Anesthesiologists Using Hypnosis
Nishani Bourmault and Michel Anteby
Breaking from the deeply engrained tenets of a profession is never easy. Reinventing ourselves when faced with changing technology or regulations is hard enough, but voluntarily reinventing ourselves is hard to explain. This study examines anesthesiologists who turn to hypnosis to treat their patients. This professional transformation is a dramatic departure from core professional beliefs, motivated by personal direct experience and relationships with clients who benefit from the hypnosis. The reinvention isolates them from their peers as they look to their own and clients' experiences rather than rigorous scientific evidence to reassess their work.
The New Invisible Hand: How Common Owners Use the Media as a Strategic Tool
Mark R. DesJardine, Wei Shi, and Xin Cheng
Firms seek advantage over rival firms, but not all competition is visible. The consequences of investors owning both a media company and a non-media firm are under the microscope here. These common holdings by institutional investors create the incentive for a media firm to increase their negative coverage of a firm if the investor also has an ownership stake in a rival. This below-the-surface strategy-the "new invisible hand"-is difficult to discern but suggests ownership of media firms can be used as a strategic tool to taint the coverage of competitor firms.
Blog post is here.
Perceiving Fixed or Flexible Meaning: Toward a Model of Meaning Fixedness and Navigating Occupational Destabilization
Winnie Yun Jiang and Amy Wrzesniewski
If your work is deeply meaningful but your occupation is in decline, how do you respond? Studying unemployed or former journalists, the authors explore "meaning fixedness": the extent to which people consider the meaning of their work as occupation specific or with flexible components that can be carried elsewhere. Those perceiving their work to have flexible meaning were able to acquire new skills and explore new career options, but those who perceived their occupation with fixed meaning sustained negative emotions and attempted to preserve their careers.
Corporate Boards with Street Smarts? How Diffuse Street Protests Indirectly Shape Corporate Governance
Muhan Zhang, Forrest Briscoe, and Mark R. DesJardine
The Women's March protests that began in 2017 didn't directly target the U.S. business sector. Yet, the larger the protests in a given community, the more likely a corporation headquartered in that community was to appoint female directors. Contrary to research on how firms respond to being the target of protests, this effect was stronger when the protests were misaligned with the community and/or the company was less aligned with the protest movement's goals. This study demonstrates how the external environment influences corporate governance even when the firm itself is not on the hot seat.
Countervailing Claims: Pro-Diversity Responses to Stigma by Association Following the Unite the Right Rally
The Unite the Right White supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 stigmatized U.S. firms operating in Charlottesville. Hurst shows that Charlottesville employers experienced stigma by association because of their location: they heard concerns from prospective employees that the anti-diversity views of the rally's demonstrators were presumed to exist broadly in that community. Employers were motivated to make pro-diversity claims in their job postings to counteract this presumption. They also offered higher wages to recruit employees, though pro-diversity claims in the posting reduced this wage premium.
Margot Canaday. Queer Career: Sexuality and Work in Modern America
Heather A. Haveman. The Power of Organizations: A New Approach to Organizational Theory
Brayden G. King
Mario Luis Small and Jessica McCrory Calarco. Qualitative Literacy: A Guide to Evaluating Ethnographic and Interview Research
Vanessa M. Conzon
Edward F. Fischer. Making Better Coffee: How Maya Farmers and Third Wave Tastemakers Create Value
Peter W. Roberts
Shalene Wuttunee Jobin. Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships: nehiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐊᐧᐠ narratives
Many of our articles are featured on Henrich Greve's blog site Organizational Musings. Our student-run ASQ Blog features interviews with ASQ authors that offer insights into the research and writing process. To stay informed, connect with ASQ on social media: follow us on Twitter (@ASQJournal) and LinkedIn.
Christine Beckman, University of Southern California