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Scandinavian Journal

Volume 3, Issue 1 V책ren 2011

Utgitt av NOS. Norsk organisasjonspsykologisk selskap.

of organizational psychology


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Kjære leser I år føltes det ekstra godt å ta imot sommeren. Det er rart med det, men noen ganger er det nesten sånn at man nesten ikke klarer å tenke på hva som ville skjedd hadde ikke denne våren dukket opp. Nå hadde det mest sannsynlig ikke skjedd noe som helst, men det føltes likevel ualminnelig godt å sette en sluttstrek for vinteren. I løpet av mine studieår i USA så spurte jeg en innfødt hvordan han taklet disse lange, kalde vintrene i Grand Forks, North Dakota. Jeg hadde i alle fall en klar formening om at denne ekstreme kulden (det var -75 grader på det verste en vinter) hadde en stor påvirkning på humøret. Akkurat det hadde han faktisk aldri tenkt på, men når jeg først nevnte det, så var det faktisk noe i det. Han var ganske lett å terge under lange kuldeperioder. Jeg husker jeg ble stående og tenke: var det jeg som nå skapte et «problem» eller var det der fra før? Men nå står sommeren for tur. Endelig! Det har faktisk vært et utrolig travelt halvår. Men det positive er at tidsskriftet har vært i høygir dette halvåret. Aldri før har vi mottatt så mange henvendelser og bidrag som vi har gjort de siste månedene. Dette har også medført et større press på våre fagfeller, som igjen har åpnet våre øyne for hvor viktig det er at prosedyrer følges og at informasjon og krav om vitenskapelighet er tydelig kommunisert til alle bidragsytere. Vi har i løpet av våren innsett at der hadde vi et forbedringspotensial, så nå håper vi at så vel fagfeller som andre vil merke en forskjell. Til tross for en travel hverdag så hadde jeg gleden av å delta på en boklansering denne våren. «Konfliktens anatomi» het boken – skrevet av The Arbinger Institute – hvor det snakkes mye om hvorvidt man er i eller utenfor boksen, og skulle du være i tvil så er det fordelaktig å være utenfor boksen. Spesielt i situasjoner hvor dialogen er i ferd med å gå i vranglås. Da kan vi velge å gå ut av våre typiske mønster (ut av boksen) og heller vise fram en litt mer moden side av oss selv. Innenfor kognitiv terapi så er jo dette en kjent tanke, men likevel fornuftig. I arbeidslivet skjer akkurat det samme. Vi følger vante kommunikasjonsrutiner, og av og til kolliderer vår kommunikasjonsstil med en kollegas, og da er spørsmålet: hvem skal gi etter? Hvem skal heve seg over og være den «voksne»? Innenfor kommunikasjonsteori eksisterer det faktisk et beslektet fenomen ved navn «one-upmanship». Dette kan vel betegnes som å være i boksen og hvor det er om å gjøre å overgå en konkurrent. Så da har vi altså et valg. Jeg lurer egentlig på hva det var jeg gjorde da jeg fikk amerikaneren oppmerksom på noe han ikke

var helt klar over – slengte jeg han inn i «boksen» eller åpnet jeg døren slik at han lettere kunne gjøre bedre valg? Jeg har uansett valgt å avslutte med å rose våre fagfeller. De har, som nevnt, fått bryne seg litt ekstra dette halvåret og vi er helt avhengig av deres støtte. For å gjøre dere litt bedre kjent med hvem våre fagfeller er, så har vi dette nummeret valgt å legge ved listen over alle de fagfellene som SJOP benytter seg av. Av disse 25 personene er det noen som har ofret seg mer enn andre, og disse vil jeg gjerne rette en ekstra stor takk. Deres evne til å respondere raskt, utføre grundige fagfellevurderinger, samt gi veiledning og tips til redaksjonen setter vi umåtelig stor pris på! Disse personene er som følger: Per Øystein Saksvik (NTNU), Thomas Hoff (UiO), Astrid Richardsen (BI), Stig Berge Mathiesen (UiB) og Astrid Kaufmann (BI). På vegne av redaksjonen ønsker jeg dere alle en riktig god sommer, og nå som dere er blitt gjort oppmerksom på det – velg modne valg! Kjartan Thormodsæter, redaktør.

Scandinavian Journal Of Organizational Psychology is a peer-reviewed Open Access Journal. E-mail: sjop@sjop.no Publisher: Norsk Organisasjonspsykologisk Selskap, http://www.psykol.org/ Cover photography: George Parilla


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Organizational Climate and Innovation in the Norwegian Service Sector Jon Anders Lone1, Cato A. Bjørkli1, Roald A. Bjørklund1, Pål Ulleberg1 and Thomas Hoff1

Abstract The aim of this article was to investigate the generalizability of existing research on the relationship between organizational climate and innovation in the service sector. The study was carried out in four large departments in an international service organization (N=409), representing different industries in the service sector. The Norwegian Organizational Climate Measure (NOCM) was administered as a measure of the climate of the organization. Encouragement and support of new ideas were positively related to innovation, whereas holding on to established ways of performing work was negatively related to innovation.

Introduction

The results indicate that certain dimensions of the organizational climate are related to innovation, and of importance for innovation in service sector organizations. The present study discusses the generalizability of prior findings, the relationship between climate and innovation in the service sector, and suggests how organizations within the service sector can promote innovation. Keywords: Organizational climate, innovation, service sector, Norwegian Organizational Climate Measure Received: 28.07.10, Accepted: 09.05.11

Anderson & West, 1998; Ekvall, 1996; Hunter, Bedell, & Mumford, 2007; Tesluk, 1997). The capacity of an organization to develop new The service sector has seen a significant growth products, services and organizational structures in the past decades and now represents a majority gets ever more important. Innovation is considered of occupation and value creation in industrialized essential for efficiency and survival (Janssen, van de countries. The service sector is important for Vliert, & West, 2002; Mumford, 2000). Commercial productivity, competitiveness and the quality of life companies consider innovation as the key to in these countries’ economies (Miles, 2005). Research increasing profit and market shares, governments indicates that innovation is a central part of this emphasize innovation in their attempts to create a growth and that innovation is becoming increasingly competitive economy (Baer & Frese, 2003), and the emphasized within the service sector. This is further European Union places innovation at the heart of emphasized by the European union, who considers its ten-year growth strategy known as Europe 2020 service innovation as a central aspect of the Europe (European Commission, 2011). 2020 strategy (Europe Innova, 2011). The aspects of an organization that are assumed to However, research on creativity and innovation has either promote or inhibit innovation in organizations primarily focused on the research and development has been subject to increasing interest among researchers in the last thirty years (Anderson, De Dreu, sector and the manufacturing sector (Hunter et al, 2007). It is thus unclear to what extent it is possible & Nijstad, 2004). Several studies have demonstrated to generalize existing research to the service sector that particular aspects of the organizational (Nijssen, Hillebrand, Vermeulen & Kemp, 2006). climate are strongly related to the creativity and Several circumstances complicate research on innovativeness of an organization (Ahmed, 1998; innovation in the service sector: i) In total, there is Amabile, Conti, Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996; less innovation in the service sector as opposed to the research and development and the manufacturing Jon Anders Lone, sectors, ii) there is less variation in innovation in Department of Psychology, the service sector, and iii) there potentially exist University of Oslo, other types of innovation that are not measured by Pb 1094 Blindern, traditional approaches (Hunter et al., 2007; Miles, 0317 Oslo, Norway. 2005). E-mail: j.a.lone@psykologi.uio.no, In sum, there is limited knowledge about Tel: +47-22845147 innovation in the service sector, despite its increasingly dominating position in the economy. Moreover, 1 Department of Psychology, University of Oslo


4 although climate is considered as an important predictor of innovation, there are few studies exploring this relationship in the service sector. On the basis of the gaps within the research literature the objective of the present investigation is to investigate whether the existing research on the relationship between organizational climate and innovation can be generalized to organizations in the service sector. Climate for Innovation – General A series of climate dimensions have been studied due to to their assumed relationship with innovation. Yet, research efforts have demonstrated a substantial overlapping between these dimensions. Hunter et al. (2007) carried out an comprehensive meta-analysis demonstrating that the following climate dimensions are some of the most important dimensions that predict innovation in organizations (for full descriptions, see Hunter et al, 2007:74): Positive interpersonal exchange (a sense of “togetherness” and cohesion in the organization), Intellectual stimulation (debate and discussion of ideas is encouraged and supported in the organization), Positive supervisor relations (supervisors are supportive of new and innovative ideas), Autonomy (employees have autonomy and freedom in performing their jobs), Participation (participation is encouraged and supported, and communication between peers, supervisors and subordinates is clear, open, and effective), Mission clarity (awareness of goals and expectations regarding creative performance), and Product emphasis (commitment to quality as well as originality of ideas). Research efforts have also shown that other important climate dimensions may promote innovation: Reflexivity is a climate dimension that recently has received much attention, and involves adapting the goals, strategies and working methods of the unit to an outer environment (West, 1996). Outward focus is a similar concept involving the ability of an organization to be receptive of the market and the needs of the client (West & Farr, 1990). Although the main focus has been on the climate factors that could promote innovation, some researchers have stressed the importance of climate factors that could inhibit innovation (Amabile et al., 1996; West, Smith, Feng, & Lawthom, 1998). The climate dimension conservatism emphasizes performing the work in a traditional, established manner, whereas formalization refers to the emphasis on following formal rules and procedures. Research indicates that both factors are negatively related to and may inhibit innovation (Amabile et al. 1996).

Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Climate for Innovation – Service Sector It is unclear whether existing research on climate and innovation can be generalized to the service sector. Characteristics of the service sector give reason to believe that certain climate dimensions will have more weight here, compared to other sectors. Firstly, innovation in the service sector takes place, to a large extent, in the interaction between the organization, clients and market (Nijssen et al., 2006). It is thus probable that the capacity of organizations to be receptive toward the market’s signals and the clients’ needs, i.e., the climate dimension outward focus, will be of great importance for innovation. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that a climate characterized by a commitment to quality as well as originality of ideas, product emphasis, often leads to innovation in the service sector because this can give rise to new and improved services and products (Miles, 2005). Moreover, in line with previous research, one can assume that intellectual stimulation and positive interpersonal exchange, which had the most prominent effect in the meta-analysis by Hunter et al (2007), also will be positively related to innovation in the service sector. Finally, there is reason to believe that climate factors negatively related to innovation might play important roles in the service sector. Information and communication technology (ICT) plays an essential role in service innovation (Miles, 2005), and studies of organizations in the service sector have indicated a relationship between the use of ICT, innovation and productivity (Sapprasert, 2007). In an organizational climate characterized by emphasizing the established ways of doing things, i.e., conservatism, the organization will probably hesitate to employ information technology in a way that challenges the traditional way of conduct. Furthermore, studies have shown that innovation in the service sector often involve a development of new procedures and concepts, and the will to modify the routines of the organization plays an important role for the innovation process (Nijssen et al., 2006; Preissl, 2000). It is likely that an organizational climate emphasizing rules and procedures, also known as formalization, will be negatively related to the creation of innovative solutions in the interaction with clients. Based on these findings, it is reasonable to believe that conservatism and formalization play important roles for innovation in the service sector.


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Hypotheses The present study uses the Norwegian version of the Organizational Climate Measure (OCM) (Patterson et al., 2005; Bernstrøm, Lone, Bjørkli, Ulleberg & Hoff, 2011), as a standardized measure of the organizational climate. Although relevant climate dimensions described in the literature might not be identical to the OCM dimensions, they have the same theoretical basis (Patterson et al., 2005). See Table 1 for an overview of the relationships between relevant climate dimensions described in the literature and the dimensions of OCM, as well as the hypotheses. Based on the discussion of climate for innovation in the service sector, we believe that Hypothesis 1: The following climate dimensions will have positive relationships with innovation: Intellectual stimulation, Positive supervisor relations, Mission clarity, Autonomy, Participation, Positive interpersonal exchange, and Reflexivity. Intellectual stimulation and positive personal exchange will have a particularly strong relationship with innovation. Hypothesis 2: The climate dimensions outward focus and product emphasis will have positive relationships with innovation. Hypothesis 3: The climate dimensions conservatism and formalization will have negative relationships with innovation.

Methods Organization and Participants A large company within the Norwegian service sector was invited to participate in the study. The company Climate dimension from prior studies

Reference

is a branch of a large international corporation with more than 400.000 employees in 50 countries. The Norwegian branch consisted of 15.000 full- and parttime employees and the turnover in 2007 was in the range of five billion US Dollars. Four departments from the Norwegian branch of the organization participated in the study. In terms of size, these departments were comparable to four large companies in the service sector. The departments were active in the whole of Norway, providing a broad range of services and representing several different industries in the service sector, such as administrative support, cleaning, property services, and catering. The departments of the company was invited to participate in two separate studies. The first aimed at mapping the organizational climate and the second intended to uncover the innovation capacity of the departments in the organization. The climate investigation was sent to 1103 administrative employees, as well as medium- and high-level executives in the four departments. The size of the departments varied from 45 to 211 people (Mdn = 76.5). A total of 409 employees answered the survey, so the response rate obtained was 37.1%. Among these, the average age was 44 (SD = 9.6), the gender distribution according was 50 % women and 50 % men. With regard to education, 25 % of the participants did not have a higher education, 30 % had a higher education, 33 % had 1-3 years of higher education, and 12 % had more than 1-3 years of higher education (see the results section for more details). The innovation survey was sent to thirteen managers in the four departments. These managers were on the board of directors and were considered by the human resource director to be suitable for answering the questions in the survey. A total of ten managers completed the survey. Dimension in the OCM

Hypothesis

Intellectual stimulation

Hunter et al. (2007)

Innovation and flexibility

1

Positive supervisor relations

Hunter et al. (2007)

Supervision

1

Mission clarity

Hunter et al. (2007)

Clarity of organizational goals

1

Autonomy

Hunter et al. (2007)

Autonomy

1

Participation

Hunter et al. (2007)

Involvement

1

Positive interpersonal exchange Hunter et al. (2007)

Integration

1

Reflexivity

West (1996)

Reflexivity

1

Product emphasis

Hunter et al. (2007)

Quality

2

Outward focus

West & Farr (1990)

Outward focus

2

Conservatism

Amabile et al. (1996)

Tradition

3

Formalization

Amabile et al. (1996)

Formalization

3

Table 1 Relationship between climate dimensions and OCM dimensions


6 Measures Organizational Climate The dimensions of the organizational climate were measured with the Norwegian Organizational Climate Measure (NOCM) (Bernstrøm et al., 2011; Patterson et al., 2005). The NOCM is designed to measure a total of 17 dimensions by way of 82 questions (see Appendix A for an overview of the dimension definitions). Eleven of the climate dimensions in OCM measured key dimensions from prior studies (see Table 1). These dimensions were used for further analyses and will in the remainder of this paper be referred to by their original names and not the names of the OCM dimensions. The response format in OCM was a 4-point Likert scale of definitely false, mostly false, mostly true, and definitely true. Demographic variables such as sex, age and education were included as part of the climate survey.

Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Item one measured the general opinion of the participants with regard to innovation in the department. Item two measured the activity that had not resulted in completed innovations within this period. The third item measured the number of innovations. In the literature, this is perceived as a direct measure of the rate of innovation (see for instance Damanpour, 1991; West & Anderson, 1996). Items 4-7 measured characteristics regarding innovations that had been realized, and were based on commonly used dimensions of innovations (West & Anderson, 1996): Magnitude, radicalness, novelty, and effectiveness. Finally, item 8 measured the importance of innovation for the attainment of goals within the department. For an overview of the questions and the response format of the questions see Table 2.

Results

Climate Dimensions and Innovation Inter-correlation analysis showed significant relationships between gender and education and several climate dimensions. Age did not have any significant correlations with climate dimensions (see Table 3). The Chi-Square test and an ANOVA showed that there were significant differences between the departments on gender (p < 0.001) and education (p < 0.05), (see Table 4 and Table 5). Based on these findings, gender and education were included as covariates, and MANCOVA and followup ANCOVAs were conducted to investigate the differences in the average scores of the departments with regard to the eleven climate dimensions (see Table 6). Prior to the analyses, the departments were A conscious introduction and use in an ranked in descending order based on their average organization of ideas, processes, products or score on innovativeness. procedures that are new to the organization, and The results showed significant differences between developed to be advantageous for the individual, departments with regard to the eleven combined the department or the organization. This includes climate dimensions (F[33, 1158] = 2.54, p < 0.001) the introduction and use of new and significantly calculated by Pillai’s trace and Wilks Lambda (F[33, improved products, processes connected to 1132] = 2,56, p <0.001). Box’s Test of equality production or the supply of goods and services, vas significant (p < 0.001), but in the follow-up organizational methods, work routines and ANCOVAs Levene’s test of Equality of Error Variances processes, and methods with regard to marketing was not significant for any of the eleven climate (OECD, 2005, p.46; West & Farr, 1990, p.9). dimensions, indicating no violations of the assumption of homogeneity of variance. As such, innovation is anything that is new to the The results from the ANCOVA analyses organization which it aims to implement. For example, demonstrated there were statistically significant a service company might pursue a new business differences between departments for two of the model, implement a new HR system, or utilize an eleven climate dimensions after controlling for gender established product that is new to the company (for and education: Conservatism (F[3, 394]= 8,14 p < example using Ipads for distributing information to 0.01) and intellectual stimulation (F[3, 394]= 3,26, technical maintenance staff). p < 0.05). Post-hoc tests with Bonferroni correction Innovation Innovation was measured as managerial self-reports of innovativeness in the department within the time period 2006-2008. Eight items based on similar studies on climate and innovation was used (see Bunce & West, 1995; West & Anderson, 1996). In order to avoid that differing views of the definition of innovation would influence the results, the participants were asked to answer the questions based on a specific definition. The definition was equal to that of West and Farr (1990), and preferred by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2005). Here, innovation is defined as:


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

No

Question

Response format (1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5)

Target

1

To what extent has the department introduced and utilized innovation in the period 20062008?

1= To a very little extent 5= To a large extent

General perception of innovation

2

To what extent did the department at the end of 2008 have an ongoing activity for the development or the introduction of innovations that were not yet finished?

1= To a very little extent 5= To a very large extent

Ongoing innovation

3

How many innovations were introduced and employed in the department in the time period 2006-2008?

Open answer

Number of innovations

4

What has been the extent of the consequences of the innovation(s) for the department?

1= No consequences 5 = Significant consequences

Magnitude

5

To what extent has (have) the innovation(s) changed how things used to be at the department?

1= Has not changed 5= Has significantly changed how things used to be

Radicalness

1= No different 5= Very different

Novelty

1= Has not contributed to this 5= Has contributed to this to a large degree

Effectiveness

6

How different has (have) the innovation(s) been?

7

To what degree has (have) the innovation(s) contributed to improving the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to attain goals?

8

In general, how important is innovation in 1 = Not important at all order for the department to attain its goals? 5= Very important

Significance of innovation for attaining goals

Table 2 Questions and response format for the innovation scale (Table 3 on next page) Gender

Department

1

2

3

4

Male

33.3

84.2

38.6

57.1

Female

66.7

15.8

61.4

42.9

Ď&#x2021; (3) = 53.1, p < 0.001 2

Table 4 Gender distribution in percent per department

Socio-demographic variable

Department

1

2

3

4

F

Age

M/SD

46.14/9.56

41.25/8.61

44.49/9.84

42.18/9.09

3.76*

Years of education

M/SD

4.11/2.38

3.86/2.02

3.60/2.13

4.52/2.19

3.63*

* = p < 0.05

Table 5 Age and years of education per department


Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

8

Gender

10

1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1

1

1

1

9

.107* -.215**

.094 -.566**

.541**

.517**

.440**

.161**

.288**

.550**

.732**

.186**

.294**

8

-.101*

-.078 -.097 -.480**

.585**

.629**

.071

.404**

.414**

.547**

.269**

.421**

7

-.127** .067 -.084 -.447**

.443**

.230**

.375**

.434**

.410**

.265**

.464**

6

Age

.061 -.040 -.164**

-.308**

.220**

.361**

.380**

.439**

-.047

.386**

5

Education

.171** .045 -.130**

-.220**

.482**

.430**

.440**

.375**

.182**

4

3.  Outward focus .112* .010 .039

-.301**

.551**

.397**

.217**

.478**

3

4.  Reflexivity .090 -.049

-.115*

-.358**

.552**

.314**

.486**

2

5.  Product emphasis -.042 .051

-.058

-.358**

.294**

.452**

1

6.  Autonomy .069 -.056

-.064

-.296**

.543**

Education

7.  Positive int. exch. -.010

-.020

-.031

-.414**

Age

8.  Participation -.002

-.080

-.098

1

9.  Positive supervisor relations .136**

.032

Gender

10.  Formalization

.114*

2.  Intellectual stimulation

1.  Conservatism

11.  Mission clarity

Table 3 Bivariate correlations between gender, age, education and organizational climate dimensions

11

1


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology Climate dimension

Department

1

2

3

4

F

Intellectual stimulation

M/SD

2.77/0.44

2.52/0.59

2.65/0.56

2.49/0.50

3.26*

Positive supervisor relations

M/SD

2.99/0.51

2.85/0.56

2.85/0.59

2.87/0.61

0.71

Mission clarity

M/SD

2.51/0.55

2.51/0.62

2.67/0.63

2.63/0.64

1.49

Autonomy

M/SD

2.56/0.52

2.64/0.48

2.61/0.48

2.68/0.45

0.70

Participation

M/SD

2.59/0.49

2.45/0.59

2.46/0.56

2.57/0.54

1.42

Positive interpersonal exchange

M/SD

2.63/0.46

2.63/0.58

2.59/0.59

2.76/0.54

1.48

Reflexivity

M/SD

2.77/0.50

2.81/0.51

2.81/0.49

2.69/0.46

1.20

Product emphasis

M/ SD

3.00/0.50

3.12/0.57

3.10/0.53

3.19/0.57

1.10

Outward focus

M/ SD

3.15/0.53

3.13/0.60

3.23/0.60

3.13/0.51

0.90

Conservatism

M/SD

2.36/0.53

2.50/0.68

2.14/0.63

2.48/0.65

8.14**

Formalization

M/SD

2.90/0.54

2.76/0.61

2.93/0.59

2.85/0.50

1.44

** = p < 0.01. * = p < 0.05.

Table 6 Adjusted mean values and standard deviations for the climate dimensions per department. The F-values for the climate dimensions and statistically significant relationships. showed significant differences between department 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 for conservatism, and between department 1 and 4 for intellectual stimulation (see Table 6). The difference between department 2 and 3 was unexpected, as the hypotheses predicted that departments with higher score on innovativeness should have a lower score on conservatism. The results was in the opposite direction, as the score on conservatism was higher for department 2 (m = 2.51), ranked more innovative than department 3 (m = 2.13). However, the difference in conservatism between department 3 (m = 2.13) and 4 (m = 2.49), and the difference in intellectual stimulation between department 1 (m = 2.77) and 4 (m = 2.47) were as predicted by the hypotheses. Department 3, ranked as more innovative than department 4, had a lower score on conservatism, and department 1, ranked as more innovative than department 4, had a higher score on intellectual stimulation. Regarding the covariates, gender was significantly related to outward focus (F[1, 394]= 7.68 p < 0.01), p < 0.05), and education was significantly related to reflexivity (F[1, 394]= 7.70, p < 0.01), product emphasis (F[1, 394]= 5.99, p < 0.05), and positive interpersonal exchange (F[1, 394]= 5.87, p < 0.05). To summarize, a relationship between organizational climate and innovation were found for conservatism (Partial eta squared, hp2= 0.058), and intellectual stimulation (Partial eta squared, hp2= 0.024). Departments ranked with regard to innovation could thus explain 5.8 %, and 2.4 % of the variation for the two climate dimensions. Converted to Cohen’s d, this corresponds to an effect size of 0.50 for conservatism, and 0.31 for intellectual stimulation (see Cohen, 1988 for the formulas used for these calculations). According to Cohen (1988), this can be interpreted as “medium” size effects, even if the latter effect size borders on “small”.

Missing Values Analysis and Response Rate Missing data is a common problem in surveys with many items (Patterson et al., 2005). OCM consisted of 86 questions, including demographic questions. For this reason, the respondents had to answer all questions in order to complete the survey. However, a technical problem occurred causing only the 22 first questions in the survey to be mandatory. These questions measured the climate dimensions autonomy, positive interpersonal exchange, participation, and positive supervisor relations. Demographic information and questions pertaining to the other seven scales, a total of 64 questions, were thus not mandatory. In 409 answered surveys, the missing values for each question varied between 0.2 % and 2.7 %, with an average of 0.9 %. There did not seem to be any difference in positive or negative direction for the individual questions. Moreover, the findings were in agreement with similar studies (see Patterson et al., 2005). Little’s MCAR test was not significant (p < 0.05), and suggested that the missing values were not systematic. Based on these results, it was decided to use a Missing Value Analysis in the form of the Expectation Maximization algorithm in SPSS 16.0, replacing the missing values. An advantage with this procedure was that it utilized available data more efficiently than standard data techniques in order to estimate the missing values. Prior research has shown that this works satisfactorily (Patterson et al. 2005). The average response rate was 37 %, and varied between 26-46 % in the four departments. According to Rogelberg and Stanton (2007), scholars should provide analyses examining whether the respondents are different from the non-respondents in ways that might threaten the generalizability of the study (nonresponse bias). One common way of doing this is by


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Climate dimension

Number of items

M

SD

Cronbach’s alpha

N

Inter-rater agreementa

Intellectual stimulation

6

2.61

0.55

0.86

409

0.90

Positive supervisor relations

5

2.87

0.57

0.86

409

0.88

Mission clarity

5

2.62

0.62

0.87

409

0.86

Autonomy

5

2.62

0.48

0.64

409

0.84

Participation

6

2.50

0.55

0.80

409

0.88

Positive interpersonal exchange

5

2.64

0.58

0.78

409

0.86

Reflexivity

5

2.79

0.49

0.72

409

0.88

Product emphasis

4

3.12

0.54

0.73

409

0.85

Outward focus

5

3.19

0.58

0.82

409

0.87

Conservatism

4

2.29

0.66

0.80

409

0.79

Formalization

5

2.88

0.58

0.81

409

0.86

Innovationb

7

1.09

5.65

0.92

11

0.71

The inter rater agreement is calculated with rWG(J), except for Innovation, which is calculated with Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W). a

b

Raw scores for innovation have been converted to z-scores.

Table 7 Main variables in the study. Number of items, mean values, standard deviation, Cronbach’s alpha, N, and inter-rater agreement performing a so-called wave analysis, comparing early respondents to late respondents. If late respondents differ from respondents on relevant variables, this is most likely an indication that some level of bias exists. A wave analysis was performed by comparing respondents that answered before and after the second reminder note for the survey. The analysis showed that there were no significant differences between early and late respondents on the climate dimensions, gender, or education. There was a small, but significant difference between the respondents on age (p <0.01), but there were no significant correlations beetween age and climate dimensions. Overall, no important differences between respondents were identified. However, these findings does not conclusively indicate an absence of bias (Rogelberg & Stanton, 2007.

several participants. A factor analysis confirmed the one-dimensionality of the scale. The questions were converted to Z-scores for further analysis due to differences in the mean values. After this, the mean Z-scores were converted to an index representing the innovation of the department.

Inter-Rater Agreement The agreement of the climate dimensions were calculated with rWG(J), an agreement index that is often used in studies of organizational climate (Patterson et al., 2005). The agreement of each dimension in each department was calculated, and this was converted to an average agreement per dimension. The agreement within the departments with regard to the climate dimensions was rWG(J) > 0.80 (see Table 7). An agreement of more than 0.70 is often considered Internal Homogeneity acceptable, although this is disputable (Lebreton Most of the climate dimensions had Cronbach’s alpha & Senter, 2008). Conservatism (rWG(J) = 0.80) had a > 0.70 (See Table 7 for descriptive statistics for the somewhat lower agreement than the other dimensions, climate dimensions and the innovation scale). The only but it remained above an acceptable level. exception was autonomy (0.64), but this dimension As mentioned earlier, the participants were asked presented very similar values to those of the validation to answer the survey based on their perception of study of OCM (0.67) (Patterson et al., 2005). The the total organizational climate. There was a high innovation scale reached a high Cronbach’s alpha agreement internally in the departments. It can thus be (0.92) and seemed to be homogeneous when question argued that it was meaningful to a) interpret the mean 3 was excluded. This question was removed from values as each department’s organizational climate, subsequent analysis for two reasons: It had a very and b) utilize this for the further analyses (see James, large variability, and was the only question in the Demaree, & Wolf, 1984). innovation survey that remained unanswered by


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When calculating rWG(J), a so-called uniform null distribution was used, which assumes that perceptions of the climate were not influenced by any form of bias. If the participants in the investigation were to be affected by different forms of bias, this could result in estimates of the agreement being too high (Lebreton & Senter, 2008). The results displayed that the innovation scale had a mean agreement of (0.71), as determined by Kendallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coefficient of concordance (W). One department distinguished itself with a lower agreement (0.29), but the decision was made not to exclude this department from further analysis since the mean agreement was acceptable according to a similar study (West & Anderson, 1996) and the number of raters per department was relatively low. Studies have demonstrated that a large number of raters increase the inter-rater agreement (Lebreton & Senter, 2008)

Discussion The objective of this study was to test the generalizabilty of existing research on the relationship between climate and innovation in the service sector. Hypothesis 1 predicted that seven climate dimensions would have positive relationships with innovation. There was only limited support for hypothesis 1: Non-significant relationships were found for six of the seven climate dimensions. Nevertheless, the results supported the fact that intellectual stimulation has a positive relationship with innovation, and showed a medium effect size. An organizational climate perceived as supportive and encouraging toward new ideas and change seems to be positively related to innovation in organizations in the service sector. Hypothesis 2 predicted that the climate dimensions outward focus and product emphasis would have a positive relationship with innovation. Hypothesis 2 was not supported by the results as neither outward focus nor product emphasis had statistically significant relationships with innovation. The results does not support the hypothesis that an organizational climate that puts emphasis on the market and clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs, as well as on the quality of services and products, is positively related to innovation in organizations within the service sector. Hypothesis 3 predicted that the climate dimensions conservatism and formalization would have a negative relationship with innovation. There was partial support for hypothesis 3 as the climate factor conservatism seemed to have a significant negative relationship with innovation. This dimension also displayed a medium effect size. Conservatism involves to what degree the work is performed in

11 an established manner. An organizational climate characterized by this seems to be negatively related to innovation in organizations in the service sector. On the basis of the main hypothesis in the study, it was expected that the certain dimensions of organizational climate would have positive and negative relationships with innovation. The results partly support the main hypothesis since two climate dimensions; intellectual stimulation and conservatism presented significant relationships with innovation. On the whole, the results indicate that existing research of the organizational climate and innovation at least to some extent can be generalized to the service sector, and that the organizational climate is of importance for innovation also in organizations within the service sector. Relationships With Other Findings Two of the eleven climate dimensions showed significant relationships with innovation. This means that nine climate dimensions had non-significant relationships in this study, and did not correspond with prior findings. The effect sizes of the significant dimensions were comparable to findings from the meta-analysis that was the starting point of this investigation (Hunter et al., 2007). Intellectual stimulation was one of the dimensions with the largest effect size in the meta-analysis, and has also in other studies predicted innovation (Patterson et al., 2005). The results from this study showed a medium effect size and the dimension had a somewhat lower effect on innovation as compared to prior findings. The dimension conservatism demonstrated a medium effect size. With regard to the latter climate dimension, the meta-analysis by Hunter et al. includes only factors that have a positive relationship with innovation, and none with negative relationships. There is, in other words, a limited basis for comparison for this dimension, even if there seems to be a somewhat lower effect size as compared to climate factors on average according to the meta-analysis by Hunter et al. There are few studies that have examined climate factors hypothesized to be negatively related to innovation (Amabile et al., 1996). Interestingly this kind of climate dimension, conservatism, seems to be more strongly related to innovation in organizations in the service sector than most other climate dimensions. As mentioned earlier, innovation in the service sector takes place to a large extent in interaction with information and communication technology. In addition, innovation often involves development and change of the organizations procedures (Miles, 2005; Nijssen et al., 2006). Based on this understanding of service innovation, it seems reasonable to assume


12 that conservatism, meaning to value an established, traditional manner of working, is negatively related to innovation in organizations in the service sector. Although it is not possible to come to any definite conclusions based on this study, the findings suggest that these so-called inhibiting climate factors should be investigated to a larger extent than has been done in former studies. It was expected that the effect sizes of the climate dimensions were somewhat lower in general in this study than in the meta-analysis by Hunter et al. (2007). However, it was surprising that no relationship was found between innovation and nine of the eleven climate dimensions. This could be due to at least three factors: First of all, this was a study of innovation in the service sector. Surveys performed by Statistics Norway (2006) show that organizations in the Norwegian service sector are generally less innovative than for instance organizations in the manufacturing sector. Moreover, the meta-analysis by Hunter et al. (2007) show that the service sector has lower effect sizes of the climate on innovation as opposed to other sectors, such as research and development and manufacturing. Hunter et al. claimed that this was due to few variations in innovation in the service sector. It is, in other words, possible that a small amount of innovation in the organization as a whole, or little variability between departments, resulted in fewer significant relationships and smaller effect sizes. Secondly, the study was performed on a departmental/organizational level. Amabile et al. (1996) claim that it is more difficult to find effects on this level and that the effects are generally larger on a team level. The meta-analysis by Hunter et al. (2007) confirms this by demonstrating that studies based on theories for team processes (e.g., West, 2002) provide larger climate dimension effects on creativity and innovation as opposed to those based on relationships on an organizational level. Thirdly, it is possible that the dissimilarities between the results from the meta-analysis and the study were due to national and cultural differences. Cultural differences might have influenced the relationship between the organizational climate and innovation, although there were no clear indications of this in the results. In sum, this study replicates some of the results from similar studies. However, the results are not necessarily comparable, as the study differs from the majority of prior studies with regard to sector (service), theoretical framework (organizational climate) as well as cultural context (Norway). The possible limitations of the study can also represent alternative explanations of why the results differ with those of previous studies.

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Limitations There are six possible main limitations of the study: First of all, the characteristics of the sample could represent a possible limitation. The survey included only one organization with four departments, and the sampling strategy was not randomized. This made it possible that certain characteristics of the organization affected the relationship between the organizational climate and innovation. Furthermore, the service sector is so diverse that it would be challenging to draw general conclusions of innovation processes in organizations (ECON, 2005; Europe INNOVA, 2007). However, as discussed earlier, the company consisted of four large departments comparable to large service companies in terms of size. Although there were only four departments, these departments covered quite different business areas, representing different industries in the service sector. Thus, it could be argued that it was possible to investigate the generalizability of the research on organizational climate and innovation in the service sector. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that the somewhat small sample reduced the statistical power of the study, and made it more difficult to find significant differences. The response rate of the organizational climate survey is another possible limitation of the study. The average response rate across the departments was 37 %. However, there are some reasons to believe that this was not a serious limitation of the study: For one, the response rate was about average for studies in organizational research (Baruch & Holtom, 2008). Moreover, the means and standard deviations of the organizational climate dimensions were quite similar to those of earlier studies (Patterson et al, 2005). Furthermore, an analysis demonstrated that there were few and small significant differences on the climate dimensions between early and late respondents, indicating that non-response bias was not a serious threat to the results However, this analysis cannot rule out completely that the somewhat low response rate could still be a threat to the generalizability of the results (Rogelberg & Stanton, 2007). A third limitation of the study was that the climate and innovation data were collected at different points in time. An important assumption was that the organizational climate had remained stable during this period. A similar study, using a comparable research design, found that the climate was generally stable over time, and that there did not exist any relationship between climate stability and innovation (Abbey & Dickson, 1983). This supports the theoretical assumption that organizational climate is stable over time.


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The assumption that organizational climate influences innovation represents a fourth limitation. We have made this assumption on the basis of several scientific studies concluding that organizations create work environments in which innovation is promoted or inhibited. However, it was not possible to draw any conclusions with regard to causality in this study, since this was a type of cross-sectional design. Hence, we do not know for certain whether a certain organizational climate promoted and inhibited innovation, or whether innovation created a certain kind of climate. Findings from longitudinal studies have shown both the expected relationships that climate influences the outcome factors such as performance and service, but also inverse and reciprocal relationships suggesting that outcome factors might influence climate (Van de Voorde, Van Veldhoven & Paauwe, 2010; Schneider, Hanges, Smith & Salvaggio, 2003; Ryan, Schmit & Johnson, 1996). Confounding variables might also have affected the data. Demographic variables were included in the analyses, and the effect of these were covaried out, but the relationship between climate and innovation may also have been influenced by variables such as leadership and Human Resource Management systems. For instance, recent studies have found that organizational climate acts as a moderating variable of the effect of Human Resource Management systems on innovation (e.g. Shipton, Fay, West, Patterson & Birdi, 2005). Fiftly, only executives and administrative employees rated the organizational climate and innovation. It is possible that regular employees would have perceived the climate or the innovation differently. However, there are some arguments in favour of using this sampling strategy: First of all, it can be a comprehensive task to administrate a survey to all employees in an organization â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a fact that may reduce the chance of organizations participating in such research projects. Moreover, it is also possible that the executives in large departments have a better overview of the general organizational climate and also play important roles in forming this climate by influencing what kind of behaviour that is rewarded (Baer & Frese, 2003). Finally, the method of ranking the departments in the statistical analyses has the drawback of the analysis not taking into account the relative difference between departments with regard to climate dimensions on innovation. Correlational analyses could have been performed to shed further light on this issue, but the choice was made not to do so due to the low number of participating departments. For the same reason, the MANCOVA analyses were carried out on an individual level.

On the whole, this study has several potential limitations. However, most of these weaknesses are common in studies of organizational climate and innovation, and represent a considerable challenge for the research field in general (Anderson et al., 2004; Hunter et al., 2007). Taking these challenges into consideration implies that the results should be interpreted with caution and considered in relation to other research on organizational climate and innovation, as well as research on innovation in the service sector. Implications The findings from this study contribute to an increased understanding of the relationship between climate and innovation in organizations in the service sector. In addition, the results may lead to the development of new hypotheses on which climate factors that are of importance in the service sector. Perhaps the most important conclusion from this study is that some organizational climate dimensions seem to be related to innovation in the service sector, suggesting a certain degree of generalizability of existing research. However, only a few of the dimensions had significant relationships to innovation, compared to studies in the research and development sector and the manufacturing sector. Thus it can be argued that there is a need for more research investigating the relationship between climate and innovation in the service sector, as well as how a climate for innovation emerges and operates in service sector organizations. The climate dimensions negatively related to innovation seem to be at least as important as the climate dimensions with positive relationships with innovation. This has three main implications: First of all, it is in line with Amabile and colleaguesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (1996) proposition that inhibiting factors have received insufficient attention. Hopefully this research might lead to future studies investigating the effect of inhibiting climate factors. Secondly, it might inspire to further development of hypotheses on which climate dimensions that are of specific significance in the service sector: Could it for instance be possible that inhibiting climate factors have a larger significance in the service sector compared to other sectors? Another interesting subject is the possible interaction effect between climate dimensions: Do climate dimensions promoting innovation lose their effect in the presence of inhibiting climate dimensions? Research on interaction effects has unfortunately been rare in research on innovation (Anderson et al., 2004). Thirdly, the results may influence how executives and consultants try to facilitate


14 innovation in organizations by focusing on both promoting and inhibiting factors, and also by taking into account existing knowledge on innovation in specific sectors. On the whole, the results present potential implications for researchers, executives and consultants. The service sector plays an increasingly dominating role in the economic growth and employment in industrial countries. Moreover, service innovation is considered by the European Union as central to its ten-year growth strategy known as Europe

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2020 (Europe Innova, 2011). It is for these reasons important to determine what conditions inhibit and promote innovation in the service sector. A complete understanding of innovation should include knowledge across sectors. One could argue that increased research efforts on innovation in the service sector can contribute to the development of innovation research and how to conceptualize, investigate and promote innovation in organizations.


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Appendix A: Definitions of dimensions from the Organizational Climate Measure1

Name of climate dimension

Definition

Welfare

The extent to which the organization values and cares for employees

Autonomy

Designing jobs in ways which give employees wide scope to enact work

Involvement

Employees have considerable influence over decision-making and – the free sharing of information throughout the organization

Training

A concern with developing employee skills

Integration

The extent of interdepartmental trust and cooperation

Supervisory support

The extent to which employees experience support and understanding from their immediate supervisor

Formalization

A concern with formal rules and procedures

Tradition

The extent to which established ways of doing things are valued

Innovation & flexibility

The extent of encouragement and support for new ideas and innovative approaches; and – an orientation toward change

Outward Focus

The extent to which the organization is responsive to the needs of the customer and the marketplace in general

Reflexivity

A concern with reviewing and reflecting upon objectives, strategies, and work processes, in order to adapt to the wider environment

Clarity of organizational goals

A concern with clearly defining the goals of the organization

Effort

How hard people in organizations work towards achieving goals

Efficiency

The degree of importance placed on employee efficiency and productivity at work

Quality

The emphasis given to quality procedures

Pressure to produce

The extent of pressure for employees to meet targets

Performance feedback

The measurement and feedback of job performance

1 From: “Validating the organizational climate measure: links to managerial practices, productivity and innovation”, av Malcolm G. Patterson, Michael A. West, Viv J. Shackleton, Jeremy F. Dawson, Rebecca A. Lawthom, Sally Maitlis, David L. Robinson & Alison M. Wallace. 2005. Journal of Organizational Behavior: 26, 385-386.


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References Abbey, A., & Dickson, J. W. (1983). R&D work climate and innovation in semiconductors. Academy of Management Journal, 26(2), 362-368. Ahmed, P. K. (1998). Culture and climate for innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management, 1(1), 30-43. Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Lazenby, J., & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the Work Environment for Creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 1154-1184. Anderson, N., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Nijstad, B. A. (2004). The routinization of innovation research: a constructively critical review of the state-of-thescience. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(2), 147-173. Anderson, N. R., & West, M. A. (1998). Measuring climate for work group innovation: development and validation of the team climate inventory. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 19(3), 235-258. Baer, M., & Frese, M. (2003). Innovation is not enough: climates for initiative and psychological safety, process innovations, and firm performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(1), 45-68. Baruch, Y., & Holtom, B. C. (2008). Survey response rate levels and trends in organizational research. Human Relations, 61(8), 1139. Bernstrøm, V., Lone, J.A., Bjørkli, C.A., Ulleberg, P., & Hoff, T. (2011). Validating the Norwegian Organizational Climate Measure (NOCM). Unpublished manuscript. Bunce, D., & West, M. A. (1995). Self perceptions and perceptions of group climate as predictors of individual innovation at work. Applied Psychology, 44(3), 199-215. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Hillsdale. Damanpour, F. (1991). Organizational innovation: a meta-analysis of effects of determinants and moderators. Academy of Management Journal 34(3), 555-590. ECON. October 28, 2005. Innovasjon i tjenester – Utarbeidet for Nærings- og Ministry of trade and commerse. ECON-report no. 2005-080, Project no. 44720. Release date: April 11th, 2009, at: http:// www.nhoservice.no/getfile.php/Filer/ Publikasjoner/Innovasjon.pdf

Ekvall, G. (1996). Organizational Climate for Creativity and Innovation. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5, 105-123. European Commission. (2011). Innovation Union. Visited at: 17th March, 2011: http://ec.europa. eu/research/innovation-union/index_ en.cfm

Europe INNOVA. (2007). Fostering Innovation in Services – A Report of the Expert Group on Innovation in Services. Visited: 15th March, 2011, at: http://www.europe-innova.org/servlet/ Doc?cid=7550&lg=EN

Europe INNOVA. (2011). Meeting the challenge of Europe 2020 – The Transformative Power of Service Innovation – Report by the Expert Panel on Service Innovation in the EU. Visited: 15th March, 2011, at: http://www.europe-innova.eu/c/ document_library/get_file?folderId=38352 8&name=DLFE-11303.pdf

Hunter, S. T., Bedell, K. E., & Mumford, M. D. (2007). Climate for creativity: A Quantitative Review. Creativity Research, 19(1), 69-90. James, L. R., Demaree, R. G., & Wolf, G. (1984). Estimating within-group interrater reliability with and without response bias. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(1), 85-98. Janssen, O., van de Vliert, E., & West, M. (2004). The bright and dark sides of individual and group innovation: a Special Issue introduction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(2), 129-145. LeBreton, J. M., & Senter, J. L. (2008). Answers to 20 questions about interrater reliability and interrater agreement. Organizational Research Methods, 11(4), 815. Medbestemmelsesutvalget. (2010). Medvirkning og medbestemmelse i arbeidslivet. (NOU 2010:1). Oslo: Departementenes servicesenter, Informasjonsforvaltning. Miles, I. (2005). Innovation in services. I: Jan Fagerberg, Richard R. Nelson, (red.), Oxford Handbook of Innovation. (433–458). New York: Oxford University Press. Mumford, M. D. (2000). Managing Creative People: Strategies and Tactics for Innovation. Human Resource Management Review, 10(3), 313-351. Nijssen, E.J, Hillebrand, B., Vermeulen, P.A.M, Kemp, R.G.M. (2006). Exploring product and service innovation similarities and differences. International journal of research in marketing. 23, 241-251. Organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD). 2005. Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data. Paris: OECD. Patterson, M. G., West, M. A., Shackleton, V. J., Dawson, J. F., Lawthom, R., Maitlis, et al. (2005). Validating the organizational climate measure: Links to managerial practices, productivity and innovation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 379-408. Preissl, B. (2000). Service innovation: What makes it different? I: J. S. Metcalfe, & I. Miles (red),


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Innovation systems in the service economy; Measurement and case study analysis (125−148). Boston: Kluwer. Rogelberg, S. G., & Stanton, J. M. (2007). Introduction: Understanding and Dealing With Organizational Survey Nonresponse. Organizational Research Methods, 10(2), 195. Ryan, A.M., Schmit, M.J., and Johnson, R. (1996), ‘Attitudes and Effectiveness: Examining Relations at an Organizational Level,’ Personnel Psychology, 49, 853–882. Sapprasert, K. (2007). The impact of ICT on the growth of the service industries. Unpublished working paper, Centre for studies of technology, innovation and culture, (TIK), University of Oslo. Oslo: Norway. January 12th, 2009, at: http:// www.tik.uio.no/InnoWP/Organizational%20 Innovation%20Koson%20Sapprasert.pdf

Schneider, B., Hanges, P.J., Smith, D.B., and Salvaggio, A.N. (2003), ‘Which Comes First: Employee Attitudes or Organizational Financial and Market Performance?’ Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 836–851 Shipton, H., Fay, D., West, M. A., Patterson, M. & Birdi (2005). Managing people to promote innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management 14 (2), 118-128. Statistics Norway (2006). Innovasjon i norsk næringsliv, 2004. Visited: 27. January, 2008 at:

17 http://www.ssb.no/innov/arkiv/art-200604-26-01.html

Tesluk, P. E. (1997). Influences of Organizational Culture and Climate on Individual Creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 31(1), 27-41. Van De Voorde, K., Van Veldhoven, M., & Paauwe, J. (2010). Time precedence in the relationship between organizational climate and organizational performance: a cross-lagged study at the business unit level. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(10), 1712-1732. West, M. A. (1996). Reflexivity and work group effectiveness: A conceptual integration. Handbook of work group psychology, 555-579. West, M. A. (2002). Sparkling Fountains or Stagnant Ponds: An Integrative Model of Creativity and Innovation Implementation in Work Groups. Applied Psychology, 51(3), 355-387. West, M. A., & Anderson, N. R. (1996). Innovation in top management teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(6), 680-693. West, M. A., & Farr, J. L. (1990). Innovation at work. Innovation and creativity at work: Psychological and organizational strategies, 3–13. West, M. A., Smith, H., Feng, W., & Lawthom, R. (1998). Research excellence and departmental climate in British universities. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 71(3), 261-281.


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The Relationship Between Personality of Leaders and Team Effectiveness Ola Edvin Vie1, Gunnhild Åberge Vie2

Abstract Research within the trait-based perspective on leadership has re-emerged after the development of the five-factor model (FFM) of personality theory as an organising framework for personality. This line of research has connected personal characteristics of leaders with effectiveness and organizational results, which are of major practical significance and relevance for organizational success. This study explores the relationship between personality of leaders and effectiveness, with the latter measured as team effectiveness. Of the FFM dimensions, only

Introduction Leadership has been of interest for thousands of years, inspired by great military leaders as Caesar and Alexander the Great. Although the trait-based perspective on leadership held a prominent place in early leadership research, its popularity declined rapidly after a very influential and critical review by Stogdill, who concluded in 1948 that personality measurements were too fragmented to be of any use (see also Judge, Bono, Ilies, & Gerhardt, 2002; Northouse, 2004). However, with the development of the five-factor model of personality theory (McCrae & Costa, 1995) as an organizing framework for personality, research within the trait-based perspective on leadership has re-emerged. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between leaders’ personality and effectiveness. Both working from leadership defined as the exercise of influence on others to accomplish shared objectives (Yukl, 2010), and following the suggestion by Hogan et al. (1994), leadership effectiveness is measured as team effectiveness in this study. Team effectiveness has not been widely used as a measure for leadership effectiveness. This is illustrated by Judge et al. (2002, p. 769), who did not include a single study using group performance as a leadership effectiveness criteria. This study therefore 1Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU E-mail: ola.edvin.vie@iot.ntnu.no 2 Department of Public Health and General Practice, NTNU E-mail: gunnhild.vie@gmail.com

Extraversion is correlated to TPI Results. Although Extraversion fails to significantly predict TPI Results, analysis of the relationship between FFM and TPI Results subscales reveal that Extraversion predicts Effectiveness, and Openness predicts Cohesion and Innovation. These significant results are found despite a small and uncommon sample. Together with similar results from previous studies, this suggests that findings from this study are both reasonable and trustworthy. Received: 21.02.11, Accepted: 08.06.11 adds a unique perspective to studies on leaders’ personality and effectiveness. Personality and Leadership The five-factor model (FFM) of personality theory (McCrae & Costa, 1995) has been recognised as the most reliable trait-based measurements of personality. Neuroticism (N) represents the tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, insecurity, and depression. Extraversion (E) is the disposition to be sociable and assertive, and to experience positive affects as energy and zeal. Openness to Experience (O) represents the tendency of curiosity about the inner and outer world, greater capacity for imagination, and preference for variety. Agreeableness (A) refers to the interpersonal tendency to be altruistic, trusting, compliant, and sympathetic to others. Conscientiousness (C) consists of qualities like planning, organising, achievement striving, punctuality and reliability. Costa and McCrae (1992) developed the Revised NEO Personality Instrument (NEO PI-R), which measures the five dimensions and six corresponding lower level facets for each factor. For the self-report ratings, the alpha coefficients of the five domains are reported to range from .86 to .95 (Costa & McCrae, 1992), indicating excellent internal consistency. According to McCrae & Costa (2003), personality traits are remarkably stable through adult life (McCrae & Costa, 2003), and the generalisability of FFM has been explored with respect to cultures and gender (Costa, Terracciano, & McCrae, 2001). NEO PI-R has also been translated to and published in a Norwegian version (Martinsen, Nordvik, & Østbø,


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Barrick and Mount (1991) Salgado (1997) Barrick et al. (2001)

N

E

O

A

C

-0,09

0,18

0,08

0,1

0,22

-0,12

0,05

0,03

-0,04

0,18

-0,09

0,21

0,1

0,1

0,25

Note. N= Neuroticism E=Extraversion O=Openness A= Agreeable C= Conscientiousness

Table 1. Correlations between FFM and job performance for managers 2003); the alpha coefficients of the five domains in this version is also reported to range from .86 to .95 (N=4178) (Martinsen, Nordvik, & Østbø, 2005). To an increasing degree, FFM has been connected to different psychological variables such as performance and leadership effectiveness. Many metaanalyses report that Conscientiousness is positively and Neuroticism is negatively correlated to job performance across different vocations (e.g. Barrick & Mount, 1991; Roberts, Kuncel, Shiner, Caspi, & Goldberg, 2007; Salgado, 1997; Tett, Jackson, & Rothstein, 1991). As a group, managers received significant correlations between job performance and Conscientiousness and Extraversion (Barrick & Mount, 1991), while Salgado (1997) reported significant correlations with Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Barrick, Mount, and Judge (2001) conducted a second-order meta-analysis based on 15 prior meta-analytic studies. Their results support previous findings that Conscientiousness is a valid predictor across performance measures and for all occupational groups studied. Although Neuroticism is found to be a negative predictor to overall work performance, the relationship to specific criteria and occupational groups is not consistent—producing a weak correlation to managerial occupation as an example. Of the five personality dimensions, only Conscientiousness and Extraversion have correlations with job performance that is higher than .10 (Barrick, et al., 2001) — thus supporting the findings from Barrick and Mount (1991) with regard to managers. According to Hogan, Curphy and Hogan (1994), studies of personality and leadership could focus on either emergent or effective leadership, the former referring to “factors associated with someone being perceived as leaderlike” (Hogan, et al., 1994, p. 496). Whereas emergent leadership is a within group Studies

phenomena, leadership effectiveness is a between group comparison (Judge, et al., 2002). In the studies included in the meta-analysis by Judge et al. (2002), leadership success or effectiveness is assessed by either subordinates or superiors. As illustrated in table 2, the correlation coefficients between leadership effectiveness and the five personality dimensions are all reported to be significant. However, the regression analysis concludes that only Extraversion (β = 0.18) and Openness (β = 0.19) are significantly predictive of leadership effectiveness (Judge, et al., 2002). At the lower level of traits, four facets display moderately strong correlations with leadership: E2 Gregariousness (0.37), E3 Assertiveness (0.37), C4 Achievement striving (0.35), and C3 Dutifulness (0.30). The studies are also divided into three settings: Business, military or government, and students (Table 2). Correlation coefficients for all five traits are the highest in studies involving students. These results may be explained by fewer situational restrains in student settings, giving personality a purer influence (Nordvik, Moldjord, & Gravråkmo, 2005). Several studies have considered the relationship between employees’ personality and team effectiveness at both the individual and group level. Barrick et al. (1998) reported that team performance, rated by superiors, is significantly related to a higher mean group level of Neuroticism (-0.24), Agreeableness (0.34), and Conscientiousness (0.26). In a metaanalysis of personality and performance in team jobs involving interpersonal interaction, all five personality dimensions are significantly related to job performance (Mount, Barrick, & Stewart, 1998), a result consistent with the findings from the previously mentioned second-order meta-analysis by Barrick et al. (2001) with respect to teamwork. Correlations N

E

O

A

C

Judge et al. (2002) (overall)

-0,22

0,24

0,24

0,21

0,16

0,15

Judge et al. (2002) (Business) Judge et al. (2002) (Students) Judge et al. (2002) (Government/Military) McCormack and Mellor (2002)

-0,15

0,25

0,23

-0,04

0,05

0,3

-0,27

0,4

0,28

0,18

0,36

0,4

-0,23

0,16

0,06

-0,04

0,17

0,08

-0,09

-0,17

0,03

0

0,26

0,32

Note. N= Neuroticism E=Extraversion O=Openness A= Agreeable C= Conscientiousness 

Table 2. Correlations between FFM and leadership effectiveness


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology Studies

Mount et al. (1998) Barrick et al. (2001) Lim and Ployhart (2004) Maximum context Lim and Ployhart (2004) Typical context

N

E

O

A

C

-0,27

0,22

0,16

0,33

0,21

-0,22

0,16

0,16

0,34

0,27

-0,13

0,11

-0,31

-0,21

-0,05

-0,56

0,5

0,37

0,28

0,18

Note. N= Neuroticism E=Extraversion O=Openness A= Agreeable C= Conscientiousness  

Table 3. Correlations between the FFM and team performance from these studies is reported in table 3, together with the results from Lim and Ployhart (2004). In 2002, Bjørn Z. Ekelund of Human Factors AS started developing the Team performance Inventory (TPI), a team-based measurement based on the input-process-output model. TPI was first tested through practical use in 2003, and based on norms from approximately 160 teams, a new version was introduced in 2006 (Ekelund, 2003, 2006). The theoretical structure of TPI consists of four main factors: Team input, Team processes, Leadership, and Team output—of which only the latter is of interest in this study. Team output is captured by five sub-factors: Effectiveness, Satisfaction, Cohesion, Innovation and Collaboration (Ekelund, 2006). In this case, effectiveness is regarded as the appreciation accomplished objectives from sources outside the team—sources perceived by the team members themselves. The Satisfaction factor should reflect how satisfied the different team members are and how little frustrations they feel. Cohesion is meant to reflect both the affectivity between team members and team members’ continued commitment to the team. The Innovation factor measures whether the team actually changes their working method to meet their objective. Collaboration captures and measures the degree of collaboration and conflicts between the team and other teams or organisations. Following the suggestion from Mathisen et al. (2004), analyses on team level instruments is conducted using aggregated data on a team level, not individual. Summary The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between personality and leadership effectiveness, understood as team results. Correlation analysis of the relationship between personality and team results will be followed up with regression analysis with the five NEO PI-R dimensions and TPI Results. Based on previous research (e.g. Judge, et al., 2002), it is expected that four of the five dimensions will be positively related to TPI Results, while Neuroticism will be negatively related:

Hypothesis 1a: Neuroticism is negatively related to TPI Results. Hypothesis 1b: Extraversion is positively related to TPI Results. Hypothesis 1c: Openness is positively related to TPI Results. Hypothesis 1d: Agreeableness is positively related to TPI Results. Hypothesis 1e: Conscientiousness is positively related to TPI Results.

Method Sample The sample consists of (a) 27 team leaders and (b) 117 team members, a total of 144 respondents. The team leaders and members constitute 27 teams representing a wide range of teams like project teams (2), work groups (2), and departments (3), but mainly leadership teams (20). The size of these teams varies from 3 to 10 persons, with a mean of five. Of these participants, 54 are female and 90 are male, resulting in a distribution of 37.5% female and 62.5% male. The distribution of the different age groups across the participants is: 102 under 30 years, 11 between 30 and 40 years, 12 between 40 and 50 years, and 11 over 50 years. The teams had existed in a range from less than three months to over four years, where 21 teams had existed less than a year. The teams are mainly geographically situated in Trondheim (22), but teams from both Oslo and Steinkjer are also present in the sample. Of the 27 team leaders, 8 are female and 19 are male, resulting in a distribution of 29.6% female and 70.4% male. Their age ranges from 18 to 54 years, with a mean age of 29.41 years (SD = 10.26 years). The samples represent a wide range of occupations and education, consisting of many persons holding higher education degrees (24), including students (8) and student politicians (8). Instruments Two instruments are applied in this study: a Norwegian translation of NEO PI-R (Martinsen, et


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  Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness

Mean

SD

43,73

9,04

55,51

11,55

51,03

10,06

50,16

9,67

52,81

9,45

Table 4. Descriptive statistics for the five NEO PI-R dimensions al., 2003) and an early Norwegian version of TPI (Ekelund, 2003). The NEO PI-R consists of 240 items measuring 30 facets, which defines the five basic factors of FFM. The items are contextualised statements rated on a fivepoint rating scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. The Norwegian NEO PI-R base consists of 4279 cases, and the alpha coefficients of the five domains are reported to range from .86 to .95 (Martinsen, et al., 2005). The early version of TPI (Ekelund, 2003) consists of 81 items measuring team premises, processes, leadership, and results. For each item, there is a five-point scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Each team member answered all items individually, and the items were subsequently aggregated to the team level. Procedure Both teams and team leaders were recruited on a broad basis by contacting various organizations and individuals. The TPI inventory was distributed to the team members and collected by the team leaders. In addition, the leaders responded to the NEO PI-R inventory, and were instructed to answer honestly but not to reflect too extensively on their responses. Confidentiality has been guaranteed, with individual feedback to teams and leaders being offered. The feedback to the team involved a TPI-profile with a subsequent presentation and discussion of the profile in the team. Feedback to the team leader involved sharing the results of his/her personality profile (NEO PI-R) and complemented with information on how to interpret the profile.

Results Descriptive Statistic NEO PI-R. For each NEO PI-R dimension and facet, a T-score is calculated with a norm mean of 50 and SD of 10. Given sample means and SD, it is possible to examine the sample deviation from the norm. The mean and SD for the five NEO PI-R dimensions for the 27 leaders is presented in table 4. The leader

sample receives the highest T-score means on: E4 Activity (60.9), C4 Achievement Striving (60.2), C1 Competence (59.4), E3 Assertiveness (58.4), E5 Excitement-seeking (57.1), and E6 Positive emotions (57.1). Lowest scores are obtained on N2 Angry hostility (43.5), N4 Self-consciousness (43.7), N1 Anxiety (44.0), and N6 Vulnerability (44.7). As expected, on the five dimensions the group scored highest on Extraversion (55.2) and lowest on Neuroticism (43.6). The standard deviation in the sample varies between 9.04 and 11.55 for the five dimensions, and varies between 6.28 and 12.66 for the facet level, representing a sufficient spread with regard to the size of correlation coefficients. TPI. Following both the argument made by Mathisen et al. (2004) and as a consequence of the TPI as an team level instrument, analyses in this study are conducted on a team level using aggregated data. The aggregations were completed by computing the mean for each variable in each team. The results from the descriptive analyses of the four TPI scales and their corresponding sub-scales are presented in table 4 at both the team and individual level. Cronbach’s alpha analyses of the four overall scales reveal alphas ranging from 0.92 to 0.69 for Team processes, Leadership and Results, indicating acceptable reliability of these overall scales. Team results’ sub-scales reach values indicating acceptable reliability, with the exception of Collaboration. This sub-scale reached only a value of 0.27, which indicates problems with this scale. Following Mathisen et al. (2004), the level of agreement between team members within each team is calculated using the multiple-item estimator for within group inter-rater reliability (rwg(j)) (James, Demaree, & Wolf, 1984, 1993). The rwg(j) is an index of agreement among respondents’ ratings of a single scale based on multiple items and is a measure of the internal consistency. The average rwg(j) for all scales is reported in table 4 and shows that the value for the TPI Results is 0.98, while the value for the sub-scales range between 0.94 and 0.84, indicating acceptable level of agreement.


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

 

Team level (N=27) Scale

Sum

Results (Overall) (22 items) Effectiveness (3 items) Satisfaction (7 items) Cohesion (3 items) Innovation (4 items) Collaboration (5 items)

Mean

SD

 

 

Rwg(j)

Alpha

Individual level (N=144) Sum

Mean

SD

Alpha

79,75

3,63

4,32

0,98

0,69

79,56

3,62

7,81

0,79

9,89

3,3

1,13

0,84

0,7

9,89

3,3

1,97

0,64

28,25

4,04

1,94

0,94

0,78

28,06

4,01

3,71

0,8

13,19

4,4

1,19

0,88

0,8

13,1

4,37

1,97

0,84

13,44

3,36

1,76

0,88

0,8

13,43

3,36

2,57

0,76

14,99

3

1,7

0,88

0,27

15,08

3,02

2,55

0,45

Table 5. Descriptive statistics, reliability, and internal consistency at team level and individual level for TPI Results with subscales Relationship between personality and TPI Results The five NEO PI-R dimensions are correlated to TPI Results as reported in table 6. Following Lim and Ployhart (2004) values with p < 0.10 (one-tailed) is considered to be statistically significant because of the low statistical power arising from the small sample size. Correlation analyses show that only the correlation between Extraversion and TPI Results is statistically significant at the 0.10 level (1-tailed). Correlations between personality and the five TPI Results sub-scales are also analysed. The correlations between Neuroticism and Effectiveness, Extraversion and Effectiveness, Openness and Cohesion, Openness and Innovation, and Conscientiousness and Collaboration are statistically significant. To explore whether TPI Results can be predicted from the personality variables, a regression analysis is conducted with the five NEO PI-R dimensions as independent variables and TPI Results as the dependent variable. As reported in table 7, neither the overall model nor the personality dimensions reach significant levels, thereby rejecting hypothesis 1a - e. Regression analyses with the TPI Results subscales as dependent variables reveal that Extraversion significantly predicts Effectiveness (0.49), and that Openness predicts Cohesion (0.29) and Innovation (0.45). These results signal that TPI Results may be too broad a construction to obtain significant relation with personality.  

Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness

Results

Effectiveness

Discussion To summarise the results in this study: While only Extraversion is found to correlate to TPI Results, but the personality dimension fails to significantly predict TPI Results. However, although Extraversion fails to significantly predict TPI Results, analysis of the relationship between the FFM and the TPI Results sub-scales reveal that Extraversion predicts Effectiveness, and Openness predicts Cohesion and Innovation. The significant results emerge despite a low sample size (N = 27), which suggests that the results nevertheless are surprisingly robust. The size of the correlations and regression coefficients in this study is comparable to the effect sizes reported by Barrick et al. (2001) and Judge et al. (2002). The lack of more significant results may be explained by low sample size (N = 27). The significant relationship between Extraversion and Effectiveness supports the results found by Lim and Ployhart (2004) in a typical context, although neither of the other FFM dimensions are found to be related. The positive relation between Openness and Innovation makes intuitive sense, as a leader open to new ideas possibly would help facilitate new ideas in a team as well. It is harder to explain the statistically significant positive correlation coefficient between Neuroticism and Effectiveness (0.40). This result deviates strongly from what was expected, as Neuroticism is conceived as being negatively related to leadership personality, Satisfaction

Cohesion

Innovation

Collaboration

0,16

0.40**

-0,11

0,22

-0,07

0,18

0.30*

0.55**

0,03

0,23

-0,02

0,23

0,25

0,11

-0,12

0.32*

0.42**

0,04

0,04

0,09

-0,1

-0,03

0,13

0,03

-0,18

-0,21

0,2

-0,15

-0,15

-0.28*

* Correlation is significant at the 0.10 level (1-tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed).

   

   

   

Table 6. Pearson’s correlations between the five personality dimensions, TPI Results and the five corresponding sub-scales


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology  

Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness Overall R²

Results

Effectiveness

Satisfaction

Cohesion

Innovation

Collaboration

0,03

0,25

-0,05

0,15

-0,21

0,07

0,27

0.49**

0,11

0,06

-0,01

0,14

0,22

0,07

-0,08

0.29*

0.45**

-0,05

0,07

0,06

-0,06

-0,03

0,24

-0,04

-0,01

0,07

0,19

0,02

-0,07

-0,23

0,15

0.37*

0,06

0,16

0,25

0,11

* Correlation is significant at the 0.10 level (1-tailed). ** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (1-tailed).

   

   

   

Table 7. Standardized regression coefficients (ß) with personality as predictor of TPI Results and the five corresponding sub-scales although the corresponding regression coefficient is not significant. Two of the three questions behind the Effectiveness variable measure whether the team has received praise or recognition for their work from people outside the team. It is possible to imagine that team members having a team leader high on Neuroticism are more inclined to seek approval from people outside the team than from their leader. It is possible to imagine that although leaders high in Neuroticism will be prone to negative effects of stress, they might increase their effort to make their team succeed, due to self-consciousness and fear of negative judgment. High Neuroticism might in itself not be a huge problem; it depends on how the person deals with his or her emotional instability. However, speculations like these do not give a very satisfactory explanation for this puzzling result, and further research on this issue is recommended. The reason for lack of strong relationships between personality traits and leadership efficiency in both prior studies and the present one is difficult to pin down. It is possible that the lack of significant results is due to range restrictions in the critical variables in the sample, thus implying that the lack of significant coefficients are the result of common characteristic personality trait profiles and team performance profiles—which would result in no variance in the variables and no correlations. In this study, it is possible that the TPI Results subscale measures have too little variance to allow for the discovery of significant relationships. However, there is no reason to suspect too little variance in the personality profile of the leader, as the SD’s for the five NEO-PI R dimensions very close to 10 (see table 4). One of the main strengths of this study is the use of team effectiveness as an indicator of leadership effectiveness, as suggested by Hogan et al. (1994). In addition, this study follows the advice by Mathisen et al. (2004) and conducts analyses on a team level using aggregated data, because the TPI is a team

level instrument. High alphas and Rwg illustrate a measurement with acceptable reliability. Limitation and directions for future research Like any other empirical study, there are several possible limitations to the findings in this study. The first and perhaps the major limitation, is the relatively small sample size. Although 144 leaders and team members participated in this study, the sample size is reduced to only 27 as the unit of analysis is at the team and leader level. The sample also consists of many young respondents in teams that had existed for less than a year, which may imply that effect sizes would be different using other samples. Future research will have to extend or replicate this study using different samples, measures, and contexts. A final limitation is the use of group means as an indicator of team leadership, processes, or results. As the TPI is administered as a self-report instrument to team members before being aggregated to a team level, the only information available about the teams is their members’ perception. There is a danger that this perception gives an incorrect picture of how the team actually works; following Gladstein (1984), it could be wise to include measures based on outsiders’ assessment of the team as well. Another point is that the dispersion of the team members’ ratings may be a reflection of team alignment. Despite these results, the need to explain how the leader of a team influences processes and results in the team still exist. In a follow up of this study, it would not be necessary to use the TPI as a team measurement; other team inventories could be applied as well. The NEO PI-R instrument is one of the most widely used personality inventories, which opens up the possibility to conduct future research on the facet-level—considering how personality facets are connected to leadership behaviour or other aspects of leadership. This study is one of many that found a clear relationship between leaders’ personality


24 and effectiveness, but future research will have to continue replicating this relationship. Of the many existing leadership theories, leadership behaviour seems to be the most promising candidate to connect leader personality and team results, which is the main purpose of this study. Future studies are encouraged to study several other relationships connected to leadership and effectiveness. Among possible fields of study are the relationship between leaders’ personality and behaviour, leaders’ behaviour and effectiveness, and the possibility that team results are mediated by other factors like team processes. Conclusions Although Extraversion failed to significantly predict TPI Results, analysis of the relationship between FFM and TPI Results sub-scales revealed that Extraversion predicted Effectiveness, and Openness predicted Cohesion and Innovation. These significant results are found despite a small and uncommon sample. Also, a semblance of results in previous studies suggests that findings from this study are reasonable and trustworthy. This study fits into a larger stream that connects personal characteristics of leaders with effectiveness and organizational results. This line of

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research illustrates the importance of measurements that can help in the processes of selection and development of effective leaders. This has major practical significance and relevance for the success of organisations. In conclusion, we want to mention that responses from the team-member participants have been highly positive. From the discussions of the TPI results with many of the teams involved in this study, our impression is that teams see great value in using a team instrument as the TPI. Using this inventory may enable teams to raise the difficult question of how the team and its members are actually performing. Many of the teams in this study have for the first time evaluated themselves by using TPI. The test administrator ought to take part in a shared inquiry with his or her “clients” to understand and interpret the meaning derived from the applied instrument. After all, the team members’ appraisal of the usefulness of an inventory is more concerned with lessons learned for the future vs. psychometric qualities or an underlying theoretical model.


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References Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big 5 Personality Dimensions and Job-Performance - a Meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44(1), 1-26. Barrick, M. R., Mount, M. K., & Judge, T. A. (2001). Personality and Performance at the Beginning of the New Millennium: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go Next? International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9(1&2), 9-30. Barrick, M. R., Stewart, G. L., Neubert, M. J., & Mount, M. K. (1998). Relating member ability and personality to work-team processes and team effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(3), 377-391. Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) and NEO Fivefactor Inventory (NEO-FFI): Professional Manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resoources, Inc. Costa, P. T., Terracciano, A. A., & McCrae, R. R. (2001). Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: robust and surprising findings. Journal of personality and social psychology, 81(2), 322-331. Ekelund, B. Z. (2003). Manual for Team Performance Inventory (TPI). Oslo: Human Factors AS. Ekelund, B. Z. (2006). Manual for TPI + LEDERFEEDBACK. Dansk versjon. Oslo: Human Factors AS. Gladstein, D. L. (1984). Groups in Context - a Model of Task Group Effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 29(4), 499-517. Hogan, R., Curphy, G. J., & Hogan, J. (1994). What We Know About Leadership - Effectiveness and Personality. American Psychologist, 49(6), 493-504. James, L. R., Demaree, R. G., & Wolf, G. (1984). Estimating within-Group Interrater Reliability with and without Response Bias. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(1), 85-98. James, L. R., Demaree, R. G., & Wolf, G. (1993). R(Wg) - an Assessment of within-Group Interrater Agreement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(2), 306-309. Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 765-780. Lim, B. C., & Ployhart, R. E. (2004). Transformational leadership: Relations to the five-factor model and team performance in typical and maximum contexts. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(4), 610621. Martinsen, Ø. L., Nordvik, H., & Østbø, L. E. (2003). Norske utgave av Revised NEO Personality

25 Instrument (NEO PI-R). Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk. Martinsen, Ø. L., Nordvik, H., & Østbø, L. E. (2005). Norske versjoner av NEO PI-R og NEO FFI. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 42, 421423. Mathisen, G. E., Einarsen, S., Jørstad, K., & Brønnick, K. S. (2004). Climate for work group creativity and innovation: Norwegian validation of the team climate inventory (TCI). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 45(5), 383-392. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1995). Trait Explanations in Personality Psychology. European Journal of Personality, 9(4), 231-252. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (2003). Personality in Adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory Perspective. Mount, M. K., Barrick, M. R., & Stewart, G. L. (1998). Five-Factor Model of personality and performance in jobs involving interpersonal interactions. Human Performance, 11(2-3), 145165. Nordvik, H., Moldjord, C., & Gravråkmo, A. (2005). Personlighet, ledelse og offiserprofiler. In C. Moldjord, H. Nordvik & A. Gravråkmo (Eds.), Militær ledelse og de menneskelige faktorene (pp. 145-178). Trondheim: Tapir Akademisk Forlag. Northouse, P. G. (2004). Leadership. Theory and Practice (Third ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication. Roberts, B. W., Kuncel, N. R., Shiner, R., Caspi, A., & Goldberg, L. R. (2007). The Power of Personality: The Comparative Validity of Personality Traits, Socioeconomic Status, and Cognitive Ability for Predicting Important Life Outcomes. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2(4), 313-345. Salgado, J. F. (1997). The five factor model of personality and job performance in the European Community. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(1), 30-43. Stogdill, R. M. (1948). Personal factors associated with leadership: A survey of the literature. Journal of psychology, 25, 35-71. Tett, R. P., Jackson, D. N., & Rothstein, M. (1991). Personality Measures as Predictors of JobPerformance - a Meta-Analytic Review. Personnel Psychology, 44(4), 703-742. Yukl, G. A. (2010). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education.


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Commentary Stein Knardahl

The General Nordic questionnaire for psychological and social factors at work (QPSNordic): corrections

The article by Hoff and coworkers published in the Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology (1:12-19, 2009) compared two questionnaire instruments with a classical strength, weakness, opportunities, threats (SWOT) interviews of five subjects. The article’s presentation of the General Nordic questionnaire for psychological and social factors at work (QPSNordic) contains some significant errors which misrepresents the basic assumptions behind the instrument. Hoff and coworkers (2009) maintain that “The concept of psychosocial work environment within work psychology research is primarily based on stress and motivational theories of work. In particular, the demand control model (Karasek and Theorell, 1990) and the effort-reward imbalance model (Siegrist, 1996), have been utilized, …”. Furthermore, they state that “In terms of measurement, QPSNordic is oriented towards the psychosocial environment while general measures of organizational work environment/climate arguably spans wider beyond the perceptions of social relationships” and “The General Nordic questionnaire for psychological and social factors at work (QPSNordic) is a survey that is generally based on the demand control model, the effort-reward imbalance model and the job characteristics model. In addition, the survey contains some ‘extra-organizational’ topics such as leadership, organizational culture and climate, work groups and teams. These topics are however, not included as a coherent model of organizational functioning” Contrary to what is maintained by Hoff et al (2009), the QPSNordic, was developed to produce a comprehensive assessment of a wide range of work factors related to work content, role expectations, social relations, leadership behaviors, culture and climate, and team work. The QPSNordic was explicitly developed to encompass other factors that those Stein Knardahl, Dept of work psychology and physiology, National institute of occupational health, P.O.Box 8149 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.

covered by the classical job-strain and effort-reward imbalance models. Indeed one of the participants of the development team left the group because we decided to include a wide range of other factors that have a potential for impacting on health, job involvement, and turnover intent. Furthermore, the structural equations model for validation purpose (Dallner et al, 2000) includes the ‘extra-organizational’ topics mentioned by Hoff and coworkers plus human resource primacy and empowering leadership. The research articles based on the instrument that we are currently preparing, explicitly argue for the need to study other factors than those encompassed by the classical models. With the QPSNordic, Christensen and Knardahl (2010) showed that role conflict and empowering leadership were prospectively associated with neck pain. There are no references to the term ‘psychosocial’ in the report of the validation/psychometric testing of the QPSNordic (Dallner et al, 2000). Indeed, we made the point of avoiding the term ‘psychosocial’ since it is highly unspecific and also used for health outcomes. The QPSNordic consists of 123 items, 11 of which are background questions and questions about employment, and working hours and schedule. There are 26 scales (with 80 items) and 22 single items (5 more if one counts alternatives on two items). The QPSNordic was developed after reviewing existing instruments employed in the Nordic countries. The report of its development explicitly states that QPSNordic is “designed for the assessment of psychological, social, and organizational work conditions”. (Dallner et al, 2000). There are clear advantages as well disadvantages of assessing the situation of an organization by a general, validated, and psychometrically verified instrument. One disadvantage is that there will almost always be jobspecific factors like shift schedules etc that cannot be addressed by a general instrument. We recommend combining a validated questionnaire with group-based methods in a survey-feedback loop in order to assess job-specific factors and for developing proposals for changes. The QPSNordic measures a comprehensive set of psychological and social factors at work, both at individual and group level. It is not entirely clear that formal structures are reliably elucidated by subjective methods like interviews or questionnaires.


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References: Christensen, J.O., & Knardahl, S. (2010). Work and neck pain: A prospective study of psychological, social, and mechanical risk factors. Pain, 151, 16273. Dallner, M., Elo, A-L., Gamberale, F., Hottinen, V., Knardahl, S., Lindström, K., Skogstad, A. & Ørhede, E. (2000). Validation of the General Nordic Questionnaire (QPSNordic) for psychological and social factors at work. Nordic Council of Ministers, Nord 2000:12 (171 pages).

27 Hoff, T., Straumsheim, P., Bjørkli, C.A., & Bjørklund, R.A. (2009). An external validation of two psychosocial work environment surveys – a SWOT approach. Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology, 1, 12-19. Karasek, R., & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy work. Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. USA: Basic Books. Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of higheffort/low reward conditions. Occupational Health and Psychology, 1, 27-41.


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Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

Bokanmeldelse The Organization of Hypocrisy Forfatter: Nils Brunsson Forlag: Liber AB Oversetter: Nancy Adler År: 2006 (2. utgave) Sider: 235 Lest av psykolog Rolf Marvin Bøe Lindgren Kan hykleri være av det gode? Ja, synes Brunsson å mene, og i The Organization of Hypocrisy forsøker han å forklare hvorfor. Det er vanskelig å si om han lykkes eller ikke. Brunsson postulerer et skille mellom organisasjoner: Organisasjoner som er politisk orienterte og organisasjoner som er handlingsorienterte. Organisasjoner, hevder han, produserer prat (talk), avgjørelser og handling. De politiske skal først og fremst produsere prat og avgjørelser, mens de handlingsorienterte først og fremst skal produsere handling. Ved å gå gjennom cases: svenske kommuner og svensk industri belyser han, pedagogisk, hvordan han tenker – og han tenker nok litt på tvers av måter det er vanlig å tenke på. Blant annet mener han at mens vi vanligvis tenker at prat (ikke bare diskusjoner, men også meddelselser og kommunikasjon) og avgjørelser skal være verktøy for handling, viser han eksempler på at alle tre kan ha verdi i seg selv, ikke bare handling. Brunsson definerer hykleri som manglende samsvar mellom hva som sies, hva som avgjøres, og hva som faktisk skjer. Av og til, hevder han videre, er et positivt resultat av et av dem bare mulig dersom det ikke er samsvar med de to andre. I boka utdyper han dette. Bokas styrke og svakhet ligger i alle måtene han utdyper og viderefører resonnementet sitt på. Han lover empiriske studier på vellykket hykleri, men det han faktisk presenterer er referater og vurderinger fra sitt eget virke som konsulent. Man må altså stole på Brunssons evne til korrekt og relevant redegjørelse for sitt arbied for å godta at han kan underbygge resonnementene sine. Videre er språket hans vanskelig: Lange setninger og ofte bruker han svært uvanlige ord helt unødvendig. Det er urettferdig å skrive ei anmeldelse på ei enkelt gjennomlesning: Dette er ei bok det må jobbes med. Jeg vet ikke om det kommer av at språket kunne ha vært knadd bedre, eller om det kommer av at han inviterer leseren med på å tenke uvanlige og dype tanker – men ut fra det jeg tror jeg har skjønt, velger jeg å tro det siste.

Jeg våger å komme med en illustrasjon. Det ble i mange kretser ansett som hyklersk å boikotte SørAfrika. Andre land gjorde verre ting og til dels det samme, men det ble ikke boikottet. Her er det altså manglende samsvar mellom det som blir sagt (alle skal behandles likt), avgjørelser (politiske resolusjoner), og handling (noen land boikottes, andre ikke). Men mange av diskusjonene som boikotten avstedkom hadde verdi i seg selv og mange avgjørelser hadde gode signaleffekter. Apartheid ble jo tilslutt avskaffet, antagelig som følge av boikotten. Det er nærliggende å tenke seg at Brunssons argumentasjon er grunnleggende kynisk, altså at det han sier koker ned til at hensikten helliger midlet. Diskusjonene hans om synd, moral og etikk tyder på at han har tenkt på dette og at slik er det ikke. Det er snarere slik at man må tenke annerledes rundt hykleri. Når han kommer til diskusjonen om praktiske anvendelser av måten han tenker på, kommer jeg på andre tanker. Er det slik i det sosialdemokratiske Sverige at det å åpenlyst drive salg og å tenke markedsøkonomisk er så kulturfremmed at det må selges inn bakveien som akademisk begrunnet? Det virker litt sånn. Min egen erfaring med å samarbeide med svenske akademikere om saker som har konsekvenser for næringslivet er at svensker ser på skillet mellom akademia og kommers som absolutt. Forsøker Brunsson å bygge bro her? Men hvis boka er et innlegg i en debatt som er relevant bare for Sverige, hvorfor gir han ut boka på engelsk for et internasjonalt marked da? Fordi han anser problemet som universelt? Eller, og med utgangspunkt i hva han skriver, er ikke dette usannsynlig: fordi det kan være nødvendig for å bli hørt i Sverige? Brunsson avslutter boka med et kapitel om antatte praktiske implikasjoner, og det han sier minner mistenkelig om hva man sier i salgskurs. Han nevner ikke ordet salg en eneste gang, men det er tydelig at det han ønsker, er å formidle noe om hvordan man blir hørt, hvordan man får ting igjennom, og hvordan man blir bevisst hva man egentlig ønsker å få gjennom: Er en gitt organisasjon samfunnsgavnlig fordi den produserer de resultatene den skal, eller kan den være samfunnsgavnlig selv om den ikke gjør dét, dersom den bidrar med nyttig prat eller nyttige avgjørelser? The Organization of Hypocricy er i utgangspunktet ei bok som tar opp et kontroversielt tema: Hykleri som noe man ikke bare ikke kan unngå men som man heller ikke nødvendigvis skal unngå. Han definerer da


Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology

heller ikke hykleri som bevisst løgn og manipulasjon, men instrumentelt som manglende samsvar mellom hva man sier, hva man avgjør og hva som blir gjort, og hvor årsakene til misforhold kan være så ymse. Og han sveiper innom massevis av refleksjoner og grublerier hvor jeg slett ikke ser relevansen til hovedargumentet hans. Bortsett fra at Brunsson mener at prat kan være av verdi i seg selv uten at det

29 nødvendigvis leder til avgjørelser som samsvarer med det som blir sagt. Brunssons bok er full av spennende refleksjoner som utfordrer til tenkning. Ei enkel gjennomlesning er ikke nok til å avgjøre om han lykkes med det. Men han får meg i det minste til å tenke tanker jeg ikke har tenkt før. Jeg forlanger ikke mer av ei bok enn dét.


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Vi spør bedriften! SJOP-redaksjonen synes det er bra at folk som har noe å si får uttale seg, også utenfor rammene av APA- og Chicago- standard. I «Vi spør bedriften» kan ulike bedrifter fortelle hvordan ledelsen forstår og legger til rette for viktige tema på arbeidsplassen. I denne runden spør vi tre, norske bedrifter om hvordan de tenker rundt medarbeiderevaluering.

1. På hvilke områder blir de ansatte hos dere systematisk evaluert og av hvem?

1.

2. Hva blir resultatene brukt til?

Statsbyggs Jan Ombudstvedt, HR-sjef, visjon er og Anette Bø Andreassen, å være «Statens førstevalg». Derfor HR-rådgiver, Statsbygg er vi opptatt av kontinuerlig forbedring både internt og ovenfor eksterne kunder. Den interne medarbeidermålingen (arbeidsmiljøundersøkelsen) gjennomføres hvert halvannet år, og ut ifra dette får ledere i Statsbygg en rapport for sin enhet som de bruker i videre tiltaksarbeid. Lederne får også en egen, privat rapport der de er målt opp i mot Statsbyggs lederprinsipper. I tillegg foregår det interne kundeundersøkelser avdelingene imellom. For å imøtekomme statlige, politiske mål og krav har vi en omfattende målstruktur, som miljømål, universell utforming eller kulturminnevern. Annethvert år gjennomfører vi en omfattende kundeundersøkelse der våre kunder blant annet evaluerer sine kontaktpersoner i Statsbygg. Undersøkelsen måler kundenes erfaringer med driftsansatte/forvaltere for eiendommene, i tillegg til erfaringer med Statsbygg som byggherre. Kunden evaluerer Statsbyggansatte med hensyn til hvor tilfreds de er med sine kontaktpersoner, om de er tilgjengelige, om de følger opp som avtalt og om de har nytte av kundemøtene. I tillegg blir forvaltere og driftspersonell samlet sett vurdert for tjenestespesifikke spørsmål knyttet til eiendomsforvaltning. Det samme er tilfelle for prosjektledere i byggherre og rådgivningstjenesten. Kundenes evaluering bearbeides til rapporter på ulike undernivåer i tillegg til virksomhetsnivå. Underdelingen gjør det mulig å se resultater for eiendommer og prosjekter. I tillegg til resultater for hvert spørsmål genereres en

2.

3. Hvorfor blir de ansatte evaluert på nettopp denne måten?

4. Hva er de potensielle konsekvensene av å få en lav skåre på evalueringen?

Kundetilfredshetsindeks (KTI), en samleskåre basert på alle spørsmål i undersøkelsen. Resultatene blir i hovedsak brukt til å utarbeide overordnede tiltak på strategisk og operativt nivå. Videre kan vi si at de bidrar til kunnskapsdeling gjennom erfaringsoverføring, og videreutvikling av styringssystemer, kompetansehevingsprogram, arbeidsprosesser, roller og ansvar. Statsbygg benytter ikke denne målingen direkte som en måling av ansatte, men som en pekepinn på forholdet til kunden. Vi sikrer styringsinformasjon med hensyn til konkrete tiltak og oppfølging av den enkelte kunde. Forvalter for en gitt eiendom, eller prosjektleder for et byggherreoppdrag, går igjennom resultatene med kunden. De ser sammen på forbedringspunkter og mulige løsninger. Tiltaksarbeidet er rettet mot det som fungerer og hva den enkelte medarbeider selv har mulighet til å påvirke. En viktig del av Statsbyggs virksomhetsplan er at vi skal kjenne kundens ambisjoner og forventninger. Resultatene fra kundeundersøkelsen hjelper oss til å iverksette overordnede tiltak for å styrke lojalitet og tilfredshet med Statsbygg. Undersøkelsen er også ment å gi medarbeiderne en bedre forståelse for forretningsmessige forhold. Forvalterne får en fin mulighet til å motta tilbakemelding på hvordan arbeidsforholdet fungerer ute på eiendommen, da det er de driftsansatte som har den daglige kontakten med kunden. Et kvantitativt format gjør det enkelt å sammenlikne resultater innad i Statsbygg og over tid. En rapport utgjør også et fint samtalegrunnlag mellom kunden og Statsbygg. Det er interessant å se sammenhenger mellom resultater fra den interne medarbeidermålingen og evalueringen fra kunden; manglende samhandling i Statsbygg kan eksempelvis ha betydelig innvirkning på inntrykket kunden har av Statsbygg. Statsbygg bruker ikke resultatene på individnivå og ser de ikke som en vurdering av den enkeltes prestasjoner. Som statlig bedrift foretar vi generelt ingen rangering av ansatte og har ingen straff eller bonus som kan påvirkes. Samlet sett kan

3.

4.


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1. På hvilke områder blir de ansatte hos dere systematisk evaluert og av hvem?

2. Hva blir resultatene brukt til?

det likevel bli iverksatt tiltak hvis noe peker seg ut. som en hovedutfordring. For Statsbygg betyr en lav skåre at vi har en felles utfordring som må ha fokus i virksomhets- og strategiplaner.

1.

Alle ansatte Erik Roth, Direktør i Posten organisasjonsutvikling, Norge har to årlige Posten medarbeidersamtaler (plan, ledelse, utviklings- og styringssamtaler) med sin leder. Medarbeidere får tilbakemeldinger på prestasjon, kompetanse og egenskaper, og man blir sammen enig om mål for arbeid i kommende periode. Medarbeider kan gi tilbakemeldinger på arbeidsmiljøet, og evaluere egen leder på ledelsesprinsippene (tydelig, synlig, gi & ta ansvar, utvikle & inspirere). Begge parter evaluerer hverandre på verdiene (åpenhet, respekt, mot, samhandling, redelighet). Medarbeider flagger sine ambisjoner og utviklingsbehov, og lager ut ifra det en utviklings- og karriereplan. Posten Norge har siden 2001 gjennomført en årlig undersøkelse av medarbeidernes trivsel på jobben. Undersøkelsen dekker områdene motivasjon, kompetanse, organisatoriske rammer, verdier, verdibasert ledelse, helsefremmende arbeidsmiljø, attraktiv arbeidsplass, kunde- og resultatfokus. Organisasjonsundersøkelsen måler utviklingen på de strategiske satsningsområdene på personalområdet. Ledertalenter og erfarne ledere blir vurdert i årlige Leder Reviews for å sikre at dyktige ledere kan gjøre karriere i hele konsernet. I Leder Reviews måles topp- og mellomledere på prestasjon (lederegenskaper og resultatoppnåelse), potensial, ambisjon og vilje til mobilitet. Utviklingsbehov og utviklingstiltak iverksettes på bakgrunn av evalueringene. Resulterer i talentbase av mellomledere samt mobilitetsog beredskapsplaner for å sikre rekruttering til topplederstillinger.

3. Hvorfor blir de ansatte evaluert på nettopp denne måten?

2.

4. Hva er de potensielle konsekvensene av å få en lav skåre på evalueringen?

Resultatene brukes først og fremst til å utvikle medarbeidere og ledere gjennom evaluering og tilbakemelding. Deres prestasjoner og motivasjon er avgjørende for at Posten Norge skal nå sine strategiske mål som for eksempel kundetilfredshet. Resultatene fra Organisasjonsundersøkelsen brukes til å utarbeide handlingsplaner for den enkelte enhet, mens medarbeidersamtalen resulterer i en utviklingsog karriereplan for den enkelte medarbeider. I Leder Review identifiserer man kandidater med et høyt potensial for å gjøre karriere i konsernet på topp og mellomledernivå. Disse kandidatene får skreddersydde individuelle utviklingstiltak og prioriteres til ulike lederutviklingsprogram internt og eksternt som for eksempel Talentprogrammet og Topplederprogrammet. Ved ledige stillinger i konsernet blir kandidatene vurdert inn. Medarbeidersamtalen er et viktig ledelsesverktøy i Posten Norge. Samtalen er en formell samtale som gjennomføres iht. fastsatte rutiner og skjematikk for at leder skal kunne være tydelig på hva som er arbeidstaker sitt ansvar, og at oppgaver blir utført i henhold til det som avtales. Organisasjonsundersøkelsen er viktig for at ansatte skal få si sin mening uten å bli identifisert, og at enheter får synliggjort forbedringsområder. Leder Reviews skal sikre en objektiv og transparent evaluering av ledere på tvers av organisatoriske enheter. Gjennom Leder Reviews skal ledere med høyt potensial gis karrieremuligheter og ikke uønsket turnover. Først og fremst er det viktig å avdekke hva som er årsaken til den lave skåren, det er ofte et sammensatt bilde. Dernest iverksettes det tiltak på individ eller enhetsnivå. Dersom det er behov, involveres fagkompetanse som for eksempel Bedriftshelsetjenesten eller vernetjenesten. Det er viktig med tett oppfølging ift. gjennomføring av tiltak fra overordnet leder. Dersom tiltakene ikke bærer frukter kan omplassering være nødvendig. For toppledere er lav skåre på organisasjonsundersøkelsen et av de kriteriene som kan medføre tap av bonus.

3.

4.


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1. På hvilke områder blir de ansatte hos dere systematisk evaluert og av hvem?

1.

2. Hva blir resultatene brukt til?

På hvilke områder Kirstin Margrethe Hovi, blir de ansatte hos Seksjonssjef, Hydro dere systematisk evaluert og av hvem? Vårt mål er at alle ansatte skal evalueres minst årlig gjennom medarbeidersamtalen. Alle ledere og spesialister i Hydro evalueres gjennom vårt standardverktøy Hydro Leadership Development Process – HLDP. HLDP tar for seg den ansattes måloppnåelse både på nøkkelindikatorer (KPIer) og i forhold til Hydros verdier. I forkant av medarbeidersamtalen arrangeres det et evalueringsmøte der som et minimum leder og leders leder i tillegg til en senior personalmedarbeider deltar. Basert på dette gjennomfører linjeleder medarbeidersamtalen med medarbeideren. Øvrige ansatte evalueres gjennom lokalt tilpassede systemer. Vi regner med at mer enn 75 prosent av

3. Hvorfor blir de ansatte evaluert på nettopp denne måten?

4. Hva er de potensielle konsekvensene av å få en lav skåre på evalueringen?

alle ansatte får tilbud om medarbeidersamtale minst en gang per år. Målet er at alle ansatte skal få dette tilbudet. Resultatene brukes først og fremst som underlag for utvikling av den enkelte medarbeider. Hydros personalpolicy skal bidra til å frigjøre den enkelte medarbeiders potensial. HLDP er en viktig faktor til dette. HLDP brukes først og fremst til å gi den enkelte medarbeider konstruktiv tilbakemelding for å kunne frigjøre sitt potensial. Målet er å bygge på styrker og bidra til å forbedre svakheter. Dette kan skje gjennom utvikling i nåværende stilling eller ved skifte av stilling. I enkelte tilfeller vil konsekvensen være at medarbeideren søker nye muligheter utenfor selskapet. Det gis i dag ingen totalscore på evalueringen.

2. 3. 4.


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Skråblikk

Antakelser, forskning og aktualiteter under kritiske briller Det er lett å anta. Mange påstander i media forblir uimotsagt, antakelser i befolkningen og fagfelt blir akseptert uten spørsmål, og motbeviste «sannheter» lever godt i mange år etter at grunnlaget for dem er ettertrykkelig revet vekk. Denne spalten tar for seg denne typen problemer. Kvinner er dårligere ledere enn menn. Sånn, da var det sagt. Hvis du er tilstrekkelig provosert (eller positivt overrasket), kan det være en idé å lese videre.

Ledelse og søken etter den Hellige Gral Det er skrevet millioner av bøker om ledelse1. Flesteparten av disse deler et, i mine øyne, uheldig trekk: de beskriver Ledelse som én sann og rett løsning. Løsningene som beskrives er forskjellige, men urovekkende mange av bøkene er unyanserte presentasjoner av én ting som løsning på alle ledelsesproblem. Dette er bøker i salg til almuen, ikke forskning. Bøkene gir likevel et bilde av hvilke trender og skillelinjer som har preget og preger fagfeltet. Jeg vil kjapt ramse opp noen av disse. –– Generisk versus spesialisert ledelse. I Norge har det vokst frem en tro på at ledelse, ihvertfall på toppnivå, er generisk: det gir seg utslag i at toppledere hopper fra bedrift til bedrift, på tvers av bedriftstyper, fag og målgrupper. Voksende tro på generisk ledelse er en av flere faktorer bak fremveksten i økonomifaglig bakgrunn i lederstillinger, en dreining som har skapt konflikter spesielt i kunnskapsbedrifter og det offentlige. –– Ledelse som personlighet eller metode. Fokus er gjerne enten på hvilke egenskaper ledere bør inneha, eller på hva de bør gjøre. Sjelden begge deler. Dette henger sammen med: –– Medfødt eller lært ledelse. I samme tidsperiode som fremveksten av new public management har idéen om «den fødte leder» kommet tilbake og vokst sterkere. Selv om det ikke er noe nødvendig likhetstegn mellom de tre fenomenene, har proponenter av medfødt ledelse gjerne beskrevet god ledelse som generisk og avhengig av personlighet, mens motstandere beskriver lært ledelsesmetode som fagspesifikk. 1 Bokstavelig talt. Kjappe søk på Amazon viser nesten 700.000 bøker om «management», ca 70.000 om «leadership», osv.

–– En skillelinje som i større grad har preget forskningen enn den allmenne ledelseslitteraturen handler om hvorvidt ledelse er eller bør være likt på tvers av geografi og kulturer eller ikke. Denne problemstillingen var tidligere mest aktuell for multinasjonale firma, men blir stadig mer aktuell også i lokale, ettersom forskjellige kulturer i stadig mindre grad kan skilles geografisk. –– Det meste som er skrevet om ledelse omhandler toppnivå, og gir uttrykk for en tro på at god ledelse (om det er personlighet eller metode) er det samme på mellomledernivå som toppnivå. Så hva vet vi, egentlig? Mengden skriverier om ledelse hinter om en sterk tro på ledelsens betydning for bedrifter – en sterk tro på at riktig ledelse er (noe av?) det mest viktige for at en avdeling eller bedrift skal gå bra. Vi kan også slutte at troen på at ledelse er medfødt, generisk og personlighetsavhengig gir grunnlag for skyhøye lederlønninger: hvis man tror på at ledelse i all hovedsak kan læres, ville de fleste store bedrifter antakelig brukt mindre ressurser på sine toppledere, og heller satset mer på opplæringsprogrammer for bedriftens ledertalenter. Ledelsesforskning er, som det meste av organisasjonspsykologisk forskning, ullent og kjempeutfordrende. Dessverre. Det er mulig å gjennomføre eksperimentell ledelsesforskning, men det gjøres det i liten grad i praksis pga. store kostnader og høy risiko. Fra et vitenskapsteoretisk perspektiv er det meste av det jeg har lest om ledelse dårlig fundert. Jeg vil komme med et par eksempler: det dukker stadig vekk opp studier hvor man har sett på toppledere for å avdekke (1) på hvilke måter de er like, (2) på hvilke måter forskjeller mellom dem henger sammen med bedriftenes utvikling og (3) på hvilke måter de avviker fra normalbefolkningen. Når det gjelder (1) på hvilke måter de er like, er det normalt umulig å si om de er like pga selvseleksjon (spesielle personlighetstyper ønsker å bli toppledere), seleksjonsbias (man velger prototypiske ledere, uavhengig av om de er gode eller dårlige), eller shaping (ledere blir likere over tid pga. liknende typer belastning og erfaring). At ledere likner på hverandre på bestemte egenskaper innebærer ikke med nødvendighet at de aktuelle egenskapene er ønskelige. Sammenheng mellom bedrifters utvikling og egenskaper ved ledere (2) overser ofte at et en-til-enforhold mellom leder og bedrift innebærer at samtlige egenskaper ved bedriften og samtlige egenskaper ved lederen er sammenfiltret. Ettersom antall faktorer som påvirker bedrifters utvikling er enormt, er det dermed bortimot umulig å trekke entydige slutninger angående enkeltfaktorers påvirkning. Forskjeller


34 mellom ledere og normalbefolkningen (3) kan være interessante å vite om, men analysene har stort sett samme problemstillinger som analyser av likheter mellom ledere (1). De artiklene jeg har sett belyser sjelden hvor uvanlige de aktuelle egenskapene hos toppledere er i normalbefolkningen (vesentlig i forhold til hvorvidt ledere fortjener superlønninger fordi de er supermennesker eller ikke), og ser ofte bort fra demografiske og sosioøkonomiske faktorer (hvis ledere gjør det bedre enn normalen på bestemte tester, og man ser bort fra f.eks. utdanning, er det slett ikke sikkert at det er uttrykk for særegenskaper hos ledere). Og til sist: vi kan si mye om hvordan ledere er idag, og hvordan det tilsynelatende fungerer. Det gir imidlertid ikke grunnlag for å si hvordan det ville vært dersom lederne var annerledes. Hvilket bringer meg tilbake til min første påstand om at kvinner er dårligere ledere enn menn: Sett at vi aksepterer at kvinner og menn er forskjellige på egenskaper som er vesentlige for ledelse, og ledere selekteres til dels på prototypiske egenskaper basert på status quo blant ledere. Siden status quo er at de fleste ledere er menn, vil prototypisk seleksjon innebære at man velger på basis av typisk «mannlige» egenskaper. De kvinnene som når gjennom nåløyet vil dermed stort sett overgå den gjennomsnittlige mannlige leder på mannlige egenskaper. Ingen pusekatter, altså. Hvis vi for moroskyld antar at kvinner i utgangspunktet

er mer egnet enn menn til å lede, oppstår et artig paradoks: de kvinnene som ender opp som toppledere er dårligere ledere enn mennene, ettersom de overgår mennene på ugunstige måter. Nå aner ikke jeg om menn eller kvinner faktisk er best som ledere. Tverrsnittbasert forskning kan i liten grad informere oss om hvordan verden ville sett ut dersom ting var annerledes. Ledelsesforskning er, fra et vitenskapsteoretisk perspektiv, enormt utfordrende, og krever ideelt sett eksperimentelle eller kontrollerte design for å kunne svare på de mest prekære spørsmålene. I forhold til de fem kulepunktene ville det overraske meg hvis det «riktige» svaret ikke ligger et sted mellom ytterpunktene: noen medfødte egenskaper eller personlighetstrekk er stort sett fordelaktige i de fleste ledelsessituasjoner på tvers av de fleste kulturelle skillelinjer. Samtidig vil mange gode ledelsesmetoder kunne læres, og bestemte kulturer, ledelsesnivå eller fagfelt vil ha sine særutfordringer. Jeg skulle gjerne lest litt mer edruelige bøker om ledelse. Tanker om, ris, ros og idéer til tema for spalten mottas med takk på kim. rand-hendriksen@psykologi.uio.no.

Kim Rand-Hendriksen er psykolog utdannet ved universitetet i Oslo, og innbiller seg ikke at han er ekspert på temaene i denne spalten. Til daglig jobber han med en doktorgrad på forskningssenteret ved Akershus Universitetssykehus, der han leker med statistikk, diller med økonomi, fjoller med helse og jakter på livskvalitet.


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Kurs i inn- og utland Nedenfor er noen utvalgte kurs for den reiseglade akademiker. Vi har gjort et lite søk på kurs i inn- og utland og nedenfor finner du et lite utvalg av de seminarer, møter og konferanser som går av stabelen.

Av norske evenementer er følgende planlagt: Psykologikongressen 2011 02.08.11 Oslo FOSAP Årsmøte og seminar 11.08.11 Holmestrand FPP seminar og årsmøte 2011 22.09.11 Halden NEON konferansen 2011 16.11.11 Oslo

Internasjonalt har vi blant annet: 9th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference (IOP). http://www.iopconference.com. au/ 23rd to 26th of June 2011. APA Convention 2011 http://www.apa.org/ convention/index.aspx August 4-7, 2011 in Washington, D.C., 6th Biennial National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence March 29-31, 2012 San Francisco, CA International Congress on Traumatic Stress and Anxiety Disorders June 29 - July 1, 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

24th Annual Conference of the International Association for Conflict Management July 3-6, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey 12th European Congress of Psychology July 4-8, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey 2nd Asia Pacific Rim International Counseling Conference July 7-8, 2011 in Hong Kong Second World Congress on Positive Psychology July 23-26, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA 7th International Conference of the International Academy for Intercultural Research July 24-28, 2011 in Singapore 11th European Conference on Psychological Assessment (ECPA2011) August 31 - September 3, 2011 in Riga, Latvia 25th European Health Psychology Conference September 20-24, 2011 in Hersonissos, Greece 3rd Global Conference on Bullying and the Abuse of Power November 3-5, 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic Division 13 Mid-Winter Conference February 3-12, 2012 in Pasadena, CA International Test Commission Conference July 3-5, 2012 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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SJOPs fagfellepanel Nedenfor følger en oversikt over våre trofaste fagfeller som stiller opp for tidsskriftet på kort varsel til tross for travle hverdager. Vi har vært heldige og fått noen av Norges fremste eksperter innen ledelse, personlighet, belønningssystemer, metode, organisasjonslæring, innovasjon, arbeidsmiljø, helse, sykefravær, aksjonsforskning og positiv psykologi til å være våre fagfeller. Tusen takk for all innsats så langt. All honnør til dere! Jan Ketil Arnulf, BI Henning Bang, UiO Cato Bjørkli, UiO Roald Bjørklund, UiO John Frode Blichfeldt, HiO Fanny Duckert, UiO Tove Helene Edvardsen, Hartmark Consulting Ståle Einarsen, UiB

Carl Erik Grenness, UiO Thomas Hoff, UiO Geir kaufmann, UiO Astrid Kaufmann, BI Karoline Kopperud, BI, Leif Christian Lahn, HiO Jakob Lauring, Aarhus University Øyvind Martinsen, BI Stig Berge Matthiesen, UiB

Hilmar Nordvik, NTNU Guy Notelaers, UiB Kjell Nytrø, NTNU Astrid Richardsen, BI Per Øystein Saksvik, NTNU Nils Sortland, UiB Frode Stenseng, UiO Alfred Wagenaar, Radboud University Nijmegen


Scandinavian Journal of Organizational Psychology