Holding myself together: Identity defense work in discontinuous mobility

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Sarah WITTMAN
INSEAD, France

5 October 2017 - Bernard Ramanantsoa room - From 11:15 am to 12:45 pm

Voluntary leaves of absence from the workforce—instances of so-called discontinuous mobility or nonemployment—and the nonlinear career trajectories they engender are increasingly common. Yet although we have studied the structural and socioeconomic challenges that impede workforce reentry, we lack an understanding of the noneconomic push factors, like identity, that might motivate reengagement. Via a longitudinal study of professionals-cum-trailing spouses, individuals who left work to support their significant others’ career advancement, this paper examines identity defense work: tactics aimed at sustaining and fortifying established identities during professional uncertainty. Using an inductive qualitative approach, I find that during career discontinuity, identity defense work may include giving oneself permission to be non-normative; hanging onto one’s professional self by reinforcing professional self-conceptions; and distancing oneself from feared possible nonprofessional selves. Helping people sustain identities through liminal periods and, thus, motivating workplace reentry, identity defense work liberates them to explore new things; adjust their work-related self-concepts; and/or reaffirm the personal importance of work. These findings contribute to our knowledge on discontinuous mobility, the identity work that permits people to resist undesired changes to their professional selves during periods of uncertainty, and people’s efforts to balance their relationships and careers over their life course.

The Scandalization of Organizational Misconduct

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Julien Jourdan
PSL- Paris Dauphine University

14 February 2019 - S210 - From 10:00 am to 11:30 am

We develop and test a theory of the scandalization of organizational misconduct: that is, of the process through which an act of wrongdoing becomes widely publicized through media broadcast - thereby giving rise to a scandal and causing the downfall of the implicated social actors - or, conversely, does not move past rumor and remains dormant, with little or no consequences for the offending parties. To this end, we leverage data on sex abuse cases in the United States Catholic Church, exploring the geographical heterogeneity in misconduct and its subsequent coverage across communities over time. We identify three community-level attributes having an impact on whether misconduct is scandalized: 1) the prominence of the offending social actor in the community, because the more clout the social actor holds, the less misconduct is likely to be reported to outsiders such as the media; 2) cohesion, because less cohesive communities are characterized by lower trust, which in turn facilitates the diffusion of damaging information; and 3) social capital, since the availability of socialization spaces may also facilitate information diffusion. We elaborate on the implication of our findings for the broader literature on negative evaluations of social actors, as well as for economic sociology as a whole.

Women Innovators: Challenges and Opportunities

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Mengzi JIN
Singapore Management University

7 November 2018 - S211 - From 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Innovation typically involves generating multiple novel ideas and selecting the most promising one for implementation. In this research, I examine how gender influences idea selection during the innovation process. I theorize that although women are equally capable as men in generating highly novel ideas, women and men differ in “novelty avoidance” during idea selection - the extent to which individuals refrain from pursuing the most novel ideas they have generated. In a laboratory study where students were instructed to make creative short-films for the university, I found support of the hypothesis. In a second laboratory study where students were instructed to make creative photo collages for the university, I found that the gendered effect is moderated by the presence of women in judging panels. Specifically, women’s novelty avoidance tendency is mitigated when there are more women appeared in the judging panel. In the third study conducted on a creative crowdsourcing platform featuring a sample of freelancers, I replicated the gender difference in novelty avoidance and found that fear of social backlash from demonstrating high creativity explains women’s novelty avoidance tendency. Overall, my work advances current understanding of the challenges and opportunities that women innovators face, thereby helping to close the gender gap in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Double-Edged Sword Effect of Team-Level Proactive Personality on Team Performance: Team Potency and Team Cohesion as Mechanisms

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Ruixue ZHANG
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

5 November 2018 - T104 - From 11:45 am to 1:15 pm


While research has largely shown a positive linear relationship between proactive personality and job performance at the individual level, we know relatively little about how proactive personality functions and whether the same relationship holds at the team level. This study proposes a curvilinear relationship between team-level proactive personality and team performance and considers team potency and team cohesion as two explanatory mechanisms. In Study 1, using data collected from 94 teams in four companies, we established an inverted-U-shaped relationship between team-level proactive personality and team performance. In Study 2, using data collected from a sample of 101 nursing teams from three hospitals, we replicated the inverted-U-shaped relationship and further demonstrated that the relationship is mediated by team potency and team cohesion, respectively. Specifically, at low to moderate levels, team-level proactive personality increases team potency and team cohesion, but at moderate to high levels, such relationships become negative. Team potency and team cohesion are positively related to team performance and thus mediate the relationship between team-level proactive personality and team performance.

team-level proactive personality; team potency; team cohesion; curvilinear relationship

We’re not like those crazy hippies: the formation of an occupational group from a social movement mandate

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Grace AUGUSTINE
Kellogg School of Management

31 October 2018 - S211 - From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Women and The Crowd: Justifications Entrepreneurs Use in Their Crowdfunding Pitches

Management & Human Resources

Speaker: Srinivas Santosh
University of Texas, Austin

30 October 2018 - Bernard Ramanantsoa room - From 8:45 am to 10:15 am


Management & Human Resources Department  

Campus HEC Paris
1, rue de la Libération
78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex

Featured Faculty  

Jin Wook CHANG

Management and Human Resources (GREGHEC)

Consult résumé