Jensen Lecture Series - Dr. Laura Doering

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 1:15pm

Dr.Laura Doering

Jensen Lecture Series Presents Dr. Laura Doering from University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management on Friday February 15, 2019 at 1:15 pm in the Room 329 (McKinney Conference) Soc/Psych Bldg.


Abstract: Organizations that pursue multiple goals must manage tensions. One of the most effective approaches to managing such tensions is framing dual goals as mutually-reinforcing and rewarding employees for pursuing both. Although this approach ameliorates conflict at the organizational level, we argue that it can have negative consequences for employees. Drawing on organizational capacity research, we propose that organizations have a single dominant capability even when pursuing multiple goals. Thus, even when organizations reward employees for dual pursuits, they subtly train them to favor the dominant goal. As a result, employees experience less job fit when performing tasks associated with non-dominant goals. We examine these propositions using qualitative and quantitative data from a commercial microfinance bank in Latin America. The bank officially valorized the dual pursuit of profit and poverty alleviation, and compensated officers equally for pursuing both aims. Nevertheless, our qualitative data reveal how the bank subtly trained officers to favor profitability. Our quantitative data show that, as a result, officers were more likely to quit as their jobs included more poverty-alleviation work. We probe the generalizability of these findings across the microfinance industry. There, we find that employee turnover rates increase as organizations take on clients whose characteristics clash with the organization’s dominant goal of profitability or poverty alleviation. Overall, our study reveals how organizational strategies to avoid tensions when pursuing multiple goals can create unintended strain for employees.

Photo of Dr.Laura Doering

McKinney Confrence Room 329 Soc/Psych Bldg


Dr. Craig Rawlings