Chatman, J. & O’Reilly, C. (2016)
Paradigm Lost: Reinvigorating the study of organizational culture.
Research in Organizational Behavior (2016), In Press
In spite of the importance of organizational culture, scholarly advances in our understanding of the construct appear to have stagnated. We review the state of culture research and argue that the ongoing academic debates about what culture is and how to study it have resulted in a lack of unity and precision in defining and measuring culture. This ambiguity has constrained progress in both developing a coherent theory of organizational culture and accreting replicable and valid findings. To make progress we argue that future research should focus on conceptualizing and assessing organizational culture as the norms that characterize a group or organization that if widely shared and strongly held, act as a social control system to shape members’ attitudes and behaviors. We further argue that to accomplish this, researchers need to recognize that norms can be parsed into three distinct dimensions: (1) the content or what is deemed important (e.g., teamwork, accountability, innovation), (2) the consensus or how widely shared norms are held across people, and (3) the intensity of feelings about the importance of the norm (e.g., are people willing to sanction others). From this perspective we suggest how future research might be able to clarify some of the current conflicts and confusion that characterize the current state of the field. PDF
Goncalo, J., Chatman, J., Duguid, M., & Kennedy, J. (2015)
Creativity from constraint: How the PC norm influences creativity in mixed-sex work groups.
Administrative Science Quarterly, 60: 1-30.
As work organizations become increasingly gender diverse, existing theoretical
models have failed to explain why such diversity can have a negative impact on
idea generation. Using evidence from two group experiments, this paper tests
theory on the effects of imposing a political correctness (PC) norm, one that
sets clear expectations for how men and women should interact, on reducing
interaction uncertainty and boosting creativity in mixed-sex groups. Our
research shows that men and women both experience uncertainty when asked
to generate ideas as members of a mixed-sex work group: men because they
may fear offending the women in the group and women because they may fear
having their ideas devalued or rejected. Most group creativity research begins
with the assumption that creativity is unleashed by removing normative constraints,
but our results show that the PC norm promotes rather than suppresses
the free expression of ideas by reducing the uncertainty experienced
by both sexes in mixed-sex work groups and signaling that the group is predictable
enough to risk sharing more—and more-novel—ideas. Our results demonstrate
that the PC norm, which is often maligned as a threat to free speech,
may play an important role in promoting gender parity at work by allowing
demographically heterogeneous work groups to more freely exchange creative
Chatman, J., Caldwell, D., O’Reilly, C., & Doerr, B. (2014).
Parsing organizational culture: The joint influence of culture
content and strength on performance in high-technology firms.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35 (6): 785-808.
The relationship between organizational culture and financial performance remains elusive even though
researchers have studied it for some time. Early research suggested that a strong culture that aligns members’
behavior with organizational objectives boosts financial performance. A more recent view is that, because
strong cultures promote adherence to routines and behavioral uniformity, they are less effective in dynamic
environments. We suggest that the relationship between culture and performance can be reconciled by recognizing
that culture encompasses three components: (1) the content of norms (norm content); (2) how widely
members agree about norms (culture consensus); and (3) how intensely organizational members hold particular
norms (norm intensity). We hypothesize that “strong cultures”—where a high consensus exists among
members across a broad set of culture norms—can contribute to better financial performance even in dynamic
environments if norm content intensely emphasizes adaptability. We test this hypothesis in a sample of large
firms in the high-technology industry. Firms characterized by higher culture consensus and intensity about
adaptability performed better three years later than did those characterized by lower consensus, lower
intensity about adaptability, or both. We discuss how parsing culture into content, consensus, and intensity
advances theoretical and empirical understanding of the culture–performance relationship.
Chatman, J. & Caldwell, D. (2014).
Leading organizations: The challenge of developing a strategically
effective organizational culture without succumbing
to the negative effects of power.
In D. Teece & M. Augier,
Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Strategic Management.
Leadership has been a defining focus in organizational research,
and yet critical questions remain about the specific mechanisms
by which leaders affect strategy and performance. We argue that,
in addition to factors such as their individual attributes and behaviours,
leaders who create and maintain a strategically relevant ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
and establish consistency in strategic orientation among their management teams
enable their organizations to perform well. We also suggest that the very
status that enables leaders to shape their organization also subjects
them to the biases that are associated with attaining POWER.
O’Reilly, C., Caldwell, D., Chatman, J., & Doerr, B. (2014)
The promise and problems of organizational culture: CEO personality,
culture, and firm performance.
Group and Organization Management, 39 (6): 595–625.
Studies of organizational culture are almost always based on two assumptions:
(a) Senior leaders are the prime determinant of the culture, and (b) culture is
related to consequential organizational outcomes. Although intuitively
reasonable and often accepted as fact, the empirical evidence for these is
surprisingly thin, and the results are quite mixed. Almost no research has
jointly investigated these assumptions and how they are linked. The purpose
of this article is to empirically link CEO personality to culture and organizational
culture to objective measures of firm performance. Using data from respondents in
32 high-technology companies, we show that CEO personality affects a firm’s culture
and that culture is subsequently related to a broad set of organizational outcomes
including a firm’s financial performance (revenue growth, Tobin’s Q), reputation,
analysts’ stock recommendations, and employee attitudes. We discuss the implications
of these findings for future research on organizational culture.
Chatman, J. & Chang, V. (2014).
Culture change at Genentech.
California Management Review. 56 (2): 113-129.
This case study describes the culture change process and positive outcomes at one of Genentech’s largest divisions,
Immunology and Opthamology (GIO). Senior Vice President Jennifer Cook worked with her team to develop a culture
that would tie together four brands that previously were not in the same division. Despite various challenges
along the way, Cook pursued a culture change approach with definitive and relatively rapid outcomes. This is a
story of the role of leaders in undertaking and inspiring major culture change.
O’Reilly, C., Doerr, B., Caldwell, D., & Chatman, J. (2014).
Narcissistic CEOs and executive compensation.
The Leadership Quarterly, 25 (2): 218-231.
Narcissism is characterized by traits such as dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement,
grandiosity, and low empathy. There is growing evidence that individuals with these characteristics
often emerge as leaders, and that narcissistic CEOs may make more impulsive and risky decisions.
We suggest that these tendencies may also affect how compensation is allocated among top
management teams. Using employee ratings of personality for the CEOs of 32 prominent
high-technology firms, we investigate whether more narcissistic CEOs have compensation packages
that are systematically different from their less narcissistic peers, and specifically whether these
differences increase the longer the CEO stays with the firm. As predicted, we find that more
narcissistic CEOs who have been with their firm longer receive more total direct compensation
(salary, bonus, and stock options), have more money in their total shareholdings, and have larger
discrepancies between their own (higher) compensation and the other members of their team.
Sherman E. & Chatman J. (2011).
In The Encyclopedia of Management. E. H. Kessler (Ed.), Sage.
Chatman, J., Goncalo, J., Kennedy, J., & Duguid, M. (2011).
Political correctness at work.
In E. Mannix & M. Neale,
Research on managing groups and teams.
Vol. 15, JAI Press, Elsevier Science: London.
Chatman, J. (2010).
Norms in mixed race and mixed sex work groups.
In James P. Walsh and Arthur P. Brief (Eds.)
Academy of Management Annals
, Vol. 4 (1), 447-484.
Norms determine regular patterns of behavior and influence members'
identification with a group. They are also a proximate way to predict and
understand behavior in diverse work groups but, surprisingly, have not been
extensively examined in this context. After reviewing research on group
norms and the psychology of prejudice, I suggest that reaping the benefits of
the increased range of available task relevant resources in demographically
diverse work groups may depend on the strength and content of the norms it
adopts, but that diverse groups face distinct obstacles in developing strong
norms that create satisfying interpersonal interaction and effective work
performance. I consider the difficulties diverse work groups have in forming
strong norms and then focus on how anti-bias norms, which are directed
toward preventing behaviors associated with prejudice and discrimination
and address members' security concerns, and openness norms, which
promote people's ability to individuate those whom they might otherwise
stereotype as well as address nurturance concerns, may increase a work
group's ability to optimize social interaction and performance amidst
diversity. I suggest that reorienting psychological and organizational research
on prejudice to focus on group norm strength and content may be a way of
both understanding and solving the greater challenges of discrimination.
Chatman, J. A. (2010).
Overcoming Prejudice in the Workplace.
In J. Marsh, R. Mendoza-Denton & J. Smith (Eds.),
Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology (pp. 75). Boston: Beacon.
Chatman, J., & Kennedy, J. (2010).
Psychological perspectives on leadership.
In N. Norhia and R. Kurana (Eds.)
Leadership: Advancing the discipline.
PP 159-182. Harvard Business Press, Boston.
O’Reilly, C., Caldwell, D., Chatman, J., Lapiz, M., and Self, W. (2010).
How Leadership matters: The effects of leadership alignment on strategic execution.
The Leadership Quarterly.
21 (1): 104-113.
Research has confirmed that leader behavior influences group and organizational behavior, but we know less about how senior leaders ensure that group and organizational members implement their decisions. Most organizations have multiple layers of leaders, implying that any single leader does not lead in isolation. We focused on how the consistency of leadership effectiveness across hierarchical levels influenced the implementation of a strategic initiative in a large health care system. We found that it was only when leaders' effectiveness at different levels was considered in the aggregate that significant performance improvement occurred. We discuss the implications of these findings for leadership research, specifically, that leaders at various levels should be considered collectively to understand how leadership influences employee performance.
Self, W. & Chatman, J. (2009).
Identification and commitment in groups.
In J. M. Levine and M.A. Hogg (Eds.),
Encyclopedia of group processes and intergroup relations.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Caldwell, D., Chatman, J., O’Reilly, C., Ormiston, M. & Lapiz, M. (2008).
Implementing Strategic Change in a Health Care System: The Importance of Leadership and Change Readiness,
Health Care Management Review
, 33 (2).
Background: Shifts in the environment can compel health care organizations to change their strategies. However strategic change frequently fails because individuals do not adopt the behaviors necessary to successfully implement the new strategy. Purpose: This study explores how three variables—agreement with new strategy, leaders’ actions, and groups’ general orientation toward change—can influence members of physician teams to take actions supporting a strategic shift aimed at improving patient satisfaction.
Caldwell, D., Chatman, J., O’Reilly, C., Ormiston, M. & Lapiz, M. (2008).
Chatman, J. (2008).
Integrating themes and future research opportunities in work group diversity.
Capstone chapter in Phillips, K., Mannix, E., and Neale, M. (Eds.) (pp. 295-308).
Research on managing groups and teams.
Vol. 11, JAI Press, Elsevier Science: London.
Chatman, J., Boisnier, A., Spataro, S., Anderson, C., & Berdahl, J. (2008).
Being distinctive versus being conspicuous: The effects of numeric status and sex-stereotyped tasks on individual performance in groups.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
, 107: 141-160.
Being in the numeric minority (e.g., being a solo woman in a group of men) influences how well a person performs within a work group. But being the solo member is only one way in which people can be atypical in a group; a person can also represent a social or demographic category that has not typically been associated with the task that the group is working on. Using a design with four categories of group composition (minority, balanced, majority, homogeneous) and two categories of tasks (sex-typical, sex-atypical) we found that the sex composition of the group interacted with the sex typicality of the task to influence both positive deferrals by group members and individual performance in groups. But, rather than consistently reducing performance as prior research has suggested, being numerically atypical enhanced individual performance when the task was typical for that person’s sex. Further, positive deferrals mediated between the interaction of numeric composition and task typicality in influencing individual performance suggesting that both majority group members and the solo member affect one another’s performance in groups. We conclude by discussing why understanding the interplay between these two sources of stereotyping, numeric composition and task typicality, is important for understanding the social nature of individual performance in groups.
Chatman, J. (2008).
Three ideas for managing diversity.
, Volume 5 (5).
Chatman, J, Wong, E., & Joyce, C. (2008).
When Do People Make the Place? Considering the Interactionist Foundations of the Attraction-Selection-Attrition Model.
In, Brent Smith (Ed.),
A Festschrift to Benjamin Schneider.
Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 65-88.
Without question, one of Ben Schneider’s most important contributions has been to formulate and test the attraction-selection-attrition (ASA) model (e.g., Schneider, 1987). One can view his 1987 seminal paper in the context of research and debates that preceded it, particularly through the theoretical lens of the person-situation debate. Though psychologists had long struggled to answer the nature-nurture question of whether stable person characteristics or situational attributes account for more varia tion in behavior, the debate became most heated after Walter Mischel wrote a treatise on the primacy of situations in 1968. Many, such as Block (1978) and Bowers (1973), argued against Mischel’s initial position. Most researchers in organizational psychology now accept that behavior is a function of characteristics of the person and the environment (Magnus son & Endler, 1977). The challenge, however, as Schneider (1987) astutely noted, has been to develop concepts and methods that determine not only if person and situation attributes are valid predictors of behavior, but also, more importantly, when and to what extent they predict behavior.
Caldwell, D., Chatman, J., & O’Reilly, C. (2008).
Profile comparison methods for assessing person-situation fit.
In C. Ostroff and T. Judge (Eds.),
Perspectives on organizational fit.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey
Lyons, R., Chatman, J., & Joyce, C. (2007).
Innovation in services: Corporate culture and investment banking.
California Management Review, 50 (1), 174-191.
Leaders of most service businesses find little guidance in existing writing on innovation. The central themes of R&D, intellectual property, and breakthrough technologies often miss how service businesses evolve by steadily generating and implementing new ideas. The lack of guidance would not be puzzling if services’ share in the business sector were small, or if innovation in services were unimportant. However, neither is true. In modern economies, service businesses account for most of the value created. In the U.S., for example, services now account for about 78% of GDP; the major economies of Europe and Asia are similar in their service emphasis. 1 Even the manufacturing sector, which accounts for most of the remainder, incorporates significant services in the products it creates.
Spataro, S. E., & Chatman, J. A. (2007).
Identity in the competitive market: The effects of inter-organizational competition on identity-based organizational commitment.
In C. Bartel, S. Blader, and A. Wrzesniewski, Eds.,
Identity and the Modern Organization
, pp. 177-200. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Anderson, C., Srivastava, S. Beer, J., Spataro, S., & Chatman, J. (2006).
Knowing your place: Self-perceptions of status in social groups.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 91 (6): 1094-1110.
Status is the prominence, respect, and influence individuals enjoy in the eyes of others. Theories of positive illusions suggest that individuals form overly positive perceptions of their status in face-to-face groups. In contrast, the authors argue that individuals’ perceptions of their status are highly accurate— that is, they closely match the group’s perception of their status—because forming overly positive status self-perceptions can damage individuals’ acceptance in a group. Therefore, the authors further argue that individuals are likely to refrain from status self-enhancement to maintain their belongingness in a group. Support for their hypotheses was found in 2 studies of status in face-to-face groups, using a social relations model approach (D. A. Kenny & L. La Voie, 1984). Individuals showed high accuracy in perceiving their status and even erred on the side of being overly humble. Moreover, enhancement in status self-perceptions was associated with lower levels of social acceptance.
Chatman, J. & Flynn, F. (2005).
Full-cycle micro organizational behavior research.
, 16 (4): 434-447.
We advocate a full-cycle approach to conducting organizational behavior research. Full-cycle research begins with the observation of naturally occurring phenomena and proceeds by traveling back and forth between observation and manipulation-based research settings, establishing the power, generality, and conceptual underpinnings of the phenomenon along the way. Compared with more traditional approaches, full-cycle research offers several advantages, such as specifying theoretical models, considering actual and ideal conditions, and promoting interdisciplinary integration. To illustrate these advantages, we provide examples of an implicit approach to conducting full-cycle research and present suggestions for fostering more explicit full-cycle research programs in the future. We encourage individual researchers to adopt this approach rather than to assume the field will naturally avoid the inevitable vulnerabilities that emerge from relying on particular methodological approaches. We conclude by discussing the relevant constraints and opportunities for engaging in full-cycle organizational research.
Chatman, J., & Spataro, S. (2005).
Using self-categorization theory to understand relational demography-based variations in people's responsiveness to organizational culture.
Academy of Management Journal
, 48 (2): 321-331.
We investigated how demographic differences affected people’s responses to organizational cues to cooperate with their coworkers. Officers from a large financial services firm who were more demographically different from their coworkers behaved more cooperatively when their business unit emphasized collectivistic rather than individualistic cultural values. Our results imply that understanding and managing cooperative behavior requires considering the interplay between relational demography and organizational culture.
Chatman, J., O’Reilly, C., & Chang, V. (2005).
Developing a human capital strategy at Cisco Systems.
California Management Review
, 47 (2): 137-167.
This article considers how organizational leaders can use human capital to gain competitive advantage. It also draws on research in strategic implementation and organizational change to illustrate how organizations need to adjust to changed market conditions if they are to continue to grow and be successful over time. Cisco is not simply investing in developing the next generation of leaders because it is a nice thing to do, but rather because Cisco’ s ability to execute its strategy in a vastly different competitive environment depends critically on developing leaders who have a different skill set and who embrace a different organizational culture than the previous generation. Cisco’s experience illustrates the challenges leaders face as organizational life cycles evolve and require managers to develop new capabilities. The new competitive environment requires that Cisco learn to leverage scale and efficiency rather than unbridled growth. Although different in specifics, these ar e the challenges that almost all successful organizations will face in their evolution. The lessons from Cisco provide a template that other leaders can use in managing organizations through various stages of evolution and different types of growth.
Chatman, J., & O’Reilly, C. (2004).
Asymmetric effects of work group demography on men’s and women’s responses to work group composition.
Academy of Management Journal
, 47 (2): 193-208.
Attitudes among 178 professional men and women working for a clothing manufac turer and retailer depended on their work groups' sex composition. Findings were consistent with status considerations: women expressed a greater likelihood of leaving homogeneous groups than did men, even though women expressed greater commit ment, positive affect, and perceptions of cooperation when they worked in all-female groups. These results suggest that similarity-attraction may be inadequate as the primary theoretical foundation for understanding how work group sex composition influences men and women.
Chatman, J. & Cha, S. (2003).
Leading by leveraging culture.
California Management Review
, 45 (4): 20-34.
Also reprinted in S. Chowdhury (Ed.) (2004).
Next Generation Business Handbook: New Strategies from Tomorrow's Thought Leaders
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Malka, A. & Chatman, J. (2003).
Intrinsic and extrinsic work orientations as moderators of the effect of annual income on subjective well-being.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
, 29 (6): 737-746.
Income is only weakly associated with both subjective well-being (SWB) and job satisfaction in the United States, a surprising finding in light of the importance placed on financial status in capitalistic societies. To explore this further, the authors examined intrinsic and extrinsic work orientations as potential moderators of the effects of financial compensation on SWB and job satisfaction. Master’s of business administration students (N = 124) completed measures of work orientation and, 4 to 9 years later, reported their current salary, SWB, and job satisfaction. As predicted, individuals high in extrinsic orientation experienced higher SWB and job satisfaction to the degree that they earned more money, whereas those high in intrinsic orientation were lower on SWB at higher income levels. These findings are discussed in terms of the Values as Moderators Perspective of SWB and Cognitive Evaluation Theory.
Boisnier, A., & Chatman, J. (2003).
Cultures and subcultures in dynamic organizations.
In Mannix, E., and Petersen, R. (Eds.),
The dynamic organization
(pp: 87-114), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, New Jersey.
Flynn, F. & Chatman, J. (2003).
“What’s the norm here?” Social categorization as a basis for group norm development.
In Polzer, J., Mannix, E., and Neale, M. (eds.)
Research in managing groups and teams
(pp: 135-160). JAI Press, Elsevier Science: London.
Social categorization processes may lead work groups to form different types of group norms. We present a model of norm formation and suggest that group norms may emerge immediately following the group’s inception. Further, the content of such norms may be influenced by group members’ demographic heterogeneity. We outline a profile of work group norms and describe how social categorization processes influence the norm formation process. We also develop a series of testable propositions related to these norms. Finally, we discuss the implications of our social categorization model for future research on work groups in organizations.
Flynn, F., Chatman, J., & Spataro, S. (2001).
Getting to know you: The influence of personality on the impression formation and performance of demographically different people in organizations.
Administrative Science Quarterly
, 46 (3): 414-442.
This paper extends social categorization theory to understand how personality traits related to information sharing may correspond with positive perceptions of demographically different people, thereby enhancing their experience and performance in organizations. We tested our hypotheses in a sample of MBA candidates and a sample of financial services firm officers and found that people who were more demographically different from their coworkers engendered more negative impressions than did more similar coworkers. These impressions were more positive, however, when demographically different people were either more extraverted or higher self-monitors. Further, impressions formed of others mediated the influence of demographic differences on an individual's performance such that the negative effect of being demographically different disappeared when the relationship between impression formation and performance was considered. This suggests that demographically different people may have more control over the impressions others form of them than has been considered in previous research.
Flynn, F. & Chatman, J. (2001).
Strong cultures and innovation: Oxymoron or opportunity?
In S. Cartwright et al., (Eds.),
International handbook of organizational culture and climate
, Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 263-287.
Chatman, J., & Goncalo, J. (2001).
People in organizations.
In P.B. Baltes & N.J. Smelser, (Eds.),
International encyclopedia of social and behavioral sciences
(Vol. 16, pp. 11183-9). Elsevier Science Ltd: New York, NY.
Chatman, J. & Flynn, F. (2001).
The influence of demographic composition on the emergence and consequences of cooperative norms in groups.
Academy of Management Journal
, 44 (5), 956-974.
Drawing from social categorization theory, we found that greater demographic heterogeneity led to group norms emphasizing lower cooperation among student teams and officers from ten business units of a financial services firm. This effect faded over time. Perceptions of team norms among those more demographically different from their work group changed more, becoming more cooperative, as a function of contact with other members. Finally, cooperative norms mediated the relationship between group composition and work outcomes.
Cartwright, S., Cooper, C., Earley, C., Chatman, J., Cummings, T., Holden, N., Sparrow, P. & Starbuck, W. (eds.), (2001).
International handbook of organizational culture and climate.
Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
Organizational culture and climate continues to engage academic interest and debate. Culture has increasingly been linked to a diverse range of individuals and organizational behaviours. However, despite the international interest and importance of the concept, the dominant literature in this field has tended to reflect an Anglo-US model and perspective. There are no significant texts which have attempted to combine and integrate the more traditional with the more emergent perspective. This book will be the first volume to offer authoritative, critical and comprehensive discussion and information on the topic. It will review the current state of the art in terms of the theoretical and methodological issues and problems and it will consider future research directions.
Jehn, K. & Chatman, J. (2000).
The influence of proportional and perceptual conflict composition on team performance.
International Journal of Conflict Management
, 11 (1): 56-73.
Past conflict research and theory has provided insight into the types of conflict and styles of conflict resolution in organizations and groups. A second generation of conflict research is now needed that recognizes that the type of conflict present in a group relative to the other types present (proportional conflict composition) and the amount of conflict perceived relative to the amount perceived by other members (perceptual conflict composition) may be critical to group functioning. Therefore, we propose two types of conflict composition in teams and investigate the links between proportional and perceptual conflict composition conflict, and team effectiveness (i.e., individual and team performance, commitment, cohesiveness, and member satisfaction) in two organizational samples. We find group conflict compositions consisting of high levels of task‐related conflict compared to relationship and process conflict (proportional task conflict) are high performing, satisfied teams. In addition, when team members disagree about amounts of conflict present (high perceptual conflict), we find evidence of negative group outcomes. Implications for managers and group members are discussed.
Chatman, J., Caldwell, D., & O'Reilly, C. (1999).
Managerial personality and early career success: A semi-idiographic approach.
Journal of Research in Personality
, 33: 514-545.
Understanding the relationship between personality and behavior requires accounting for a broad set of traits within each person and the demands of a specific role or situation. To address these requirements, we assessed the relevance or ordering of traits within an individual (an idiographic approach) and compared these orderings across individuals occupying similar organizational situations (a nomothetic approach). We illustrate the utility of this semi-idiographic approach with a longitudinal study of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students. The MBAs whose personalities were more similar to a template of the successful young manager received more job offers upon graduating and, subsequently, earned higher salaries, were more likely to be working full-time, and had changed jobs less often than did those who fit the managerial template less well.
Chatman, J., Polzer, J., Barsade, S. & Neale, M. (1998).
Being different yet feeling similar: The influence of demographic composition and organizational culture on work processes and outcomes.
Administrative Science Quarterly
, 43 (4): 749-780.
Drawing from self-categorization theory, we tested hypotheses on the effects of an organization's demographic composition and cultural emphasis on work processes and outcomes. Using an organizational simulation, we found that the extent to which an organization emphasized individualistic or collectivistic values interacted with demographic composition to influence social interaction, conflict, productivity, and perceptions of creativity among 258 MBA students. Our findings suggest that the purported benefits of demographic diversity are more likely to emerge in organizations that, through their culture, make organizational membership salient and encourage people to categorize one another as having the organization's interests in common, rather than those that emphasize individualism and distinctiveness among members.
Reprinted in C. Cooper and W. Starbuck, (Eds.) (2005).
Work: Contexts and Consequences: The 100 Best Papers in Organizational Behavior
Vol. 2. London: Sage Publications, 87-120.
O'Reilly, C. & Chatman, J., (1996).
Culture as social control: Corporations, cults and commitment.
In B. Staw & L. Cummings (eds.),
Research in organizational behavior
. Vol. 18. (pp. 157-200) JAI Press.
The notion of “organizational culture” has attracted a broad base of scholarly interest. While many researchers study culture using an ethnographic approach, we examine it from a functional perspective, viewing culture within groups and organizations as a social control system based on shared norms and values. From a psychological perspective, we show how a shared normative order or culture can influence members’ focus of attention, shape interpretations of events, and guide attitudes and behavior. Specifically, we explore the psychological mechanisms used to develop social control systems and demonstrate how similar these approaches are across a variety of strong culture settings, ranging from conventional organizations to more extreme examples of cults and religious sects.
Chatman, J. & Barsade, S. (1995).
Personality, culture and cooperation: Evidence from a business simulation.
Administrative Science Quarterly
, 40 (3): 423-443.
Deriving predictions from congruence theory, we explored the personal and situational sources of cooperation by contrasting behavior under conditions of personality fit and misfit with culture in an organizational simulation. We assessed MBA students' disposition to cooperate and randomly assigned them to simulated organizations that either emphasized collectivistic or individualistic cultural values. We found that cooperative subjects in collectivistic cultures were rated by coworkers as the most cooperative; they reported working with the greatest number of people, and they had the strongest preferences for evaluating work performance on the basis of contributions to teams rather than individual achievement. Results also showed that cooperative people were more responsive to the individualistic or collectivistic norms characterizing their organization's culture: They exhibited greater differences in their level of cooperative behavior across the two cultures than did individualistic people. We discuss the organizational implications of the conditions influencing behavioral expressions of personal cooperativeness.
Chatman, J. & Jehn, K. (1994).
Assessing the relationship between industry characteristics and organizational culture: How different can you be?
Academy of Management Journal
, 37: 522-553.
This study investigated the relationship between two industry characteristics, technology and growth, and organizational culture. We examined this relationship by comparing the cultures of organizations within and across industries. Using 15 firms representing four industries in the service sector, we found that stable organizational culture dimensions existed and varied more across industries than within them. Specific cultural values were associated with levels of industry technology and growth. One implication of this finding is that the use of organizational culture as a competitive advantage may be more constrained than researchers and practitioners have suggested.
O'Reilly, C. & Chatman, J. (1994).
Working harder and smarter: A longitudinal study of early career success.
Administrative Science Quarterly,
We measure the effects of motivation and ability on the early career success of a sample of Master's of Business Administration (MBA) graduates in the early years of their careers. We argue that performance is a joint effect of two important individual characteristics: general cognitive ability and motivation. General cognitive ability, which is representative of the general population, refers to individual differences in tasks or pursuits that demand mental effort, such as abstraction, rule inference, generalization, and manipulating or transforming problems. Motivation is conceptualized as a stable mental state that energizes human behavior. Results show that the combination of high general cognitive ability and motivation is significantly associated with more early career success. MBAs who were both smarter and worked harder were more successful in their job search upon graduation, were earning higher salaries, had more rapid pay increases, and received more promotions in their early careers. These findings add to the mounting evidence that studying enduring individual characteristics is critical to predicting behavior.
Chatman, J. (1991).
Matching people and organizations: Selection and socialization in public accounting firms.
Administrative Science Quarterly
, 36: 459-484.
To investigate how the fit of an employee with his or her organization as a whole is established and maintained and what the consequences are in organizations, this study tracked the early careers of 171 entry-level auditors in eight of the largest U.S. public accounting firms and assessed the congruence of their values with those of the organization. Person-organization fit is shown to be created, in part, by selection (assessments of who the person is when he or she enters the organization) and socialization (how the organization influences the person's values, attitudes, and behaviors during membership. Results show some support for three general hypotheses: First, recruits whose values, when they enter, match those of the firm adjust to it more quickly; second, those who experience the most vigorous socialization fit the firm's values better than those who do not; and third, recruits whose values most closely match the firm's feel most satisfied and intend to and actually remain with it longer.'
Reprinted in Chinese in Collection of the Administrative Science Quarterly Award-Winning Papers
Peking: Peking University Press, 2005, 55-91.
Chatman, J., Putnam, L., & Sondak, H. (1991).
Integrating communication and negotiation.
In, M. Bazerman, R. Lewicki, and B. Sheppard (Eds.)
Research in negotiations in organizations
, 3, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
O'Reilly, C., Chatman, J. & Caldwell, D. (1991).
People and organizational culture: A Q-sort approach to assessing fit.
Academy of Management Journal
, 34: 487-516.
This article brings together three current themes in organizational behavior: (1) a renewed interest in assessing person-situation interactional constructs, (2) the quantitative assessment of organizational culture, and (3) the application of "Q-sort," or template-matching, approaches to assessing person-situation interactions. Using longitudinal data from accountants and M.B.A. students and cross-sectional data from employees of government agencies and public accounting firms, we developed and validated an instrument for assessing person-organization fit, the Organizational Culture Profile (OCP). Results suggest that the dimensionality of individual preferences for organizational cultures and the existence of these cultures are interpretable. Further, person-organization fit predicts job satisfaction and organizational commitment a year after fit was measured and actual turnover after two years. This evidence attests to the importance of understanding the fit between individuals' preferences and organizational cultures.
Caldwell, D., Chatman, J. & O'Reilly, C. (1990).
Building organizational commitment: A multi-firm study.
Journal of Occupational Psychology
, 63: 245-261.
Although much research has been conducted in the area of organizational commitment, few studies have explicitly examined how organizations facilitate commitment among members. Using a sample of 291 respondents from 45 firms, the results of this study show that rigorous recruitment and selection procedures and a strong, clear organiz- ational value system are associated with higher levels of employee commitment based on internalization and identification. Strong organizational career and reward systems are related to higher levels of instrumental or compliance-based commitment.
Culnan, M., O'Reilly, C. & Chatman, J. (1990).
Intellectual structure of research in organizational behavior, 1972-1984: A co-citation analysis.
Journal of the American Society for Information Sciences
, 41: 453-458.
Chatman, J. (1989).
Improving interactional organizational behavior: A model of person-organization fit.
Academy of Management Review
, 14: 333-349.
In order for researchers to understand and predict behavior, they must consider both person and situation factors and how these fac- tors interact. Even though organization researchers have developed interactional models, many have overemphasized either person or situation components, and most have failed to consider the effects that persons have on situations. This paper presents criteria for improving interactional models and a model of person-organization fit, which satisfies these criteria. Using a Q-sort methodology, individual value profiles are compared to organizational value profiles to determine fit and to predict changes in values, norms, and behaviors.
O'Reilly, C., Chatman, J., & Anderson, J. (1987).
Message flow and decision making.
In Porter, L., Putnam, L., Roberts, K., & Jablin, F. (Eds.),
Handbook of organization communication.
Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, Inc.
Chatman, J., Bell, N., & Staw, B. (1986).
The managed thought: The role of self-justification and impression management in organizational settings.
In Gioia, D., & Sims, H. (Eds.),
The thinking organization: Dynamics of social cognition.
S.F., CA: Jossey-Bass. p.191-214.
O'Reilly, C., & Chatman, J. (1986).
Organizational commitment and psychological attachment: The effects of compliance, identification, and internalization on prosocial behavior.
Journal of Applied Psychology,
71 (3): 492-499.
Previous research on organizational commitment has typically not focused on the underlying dimensions of psychological attachment to the organization. Results of two studies using university employees (N = 82) and students (N = 162) suggest that psychological attachment may be predicated on compliance, identification, and internalization (e.g., Kelman, 1958). Identification and internalization are positively related to prosocial behaviors and negatively related to turnover. Internalization is predictive of financial donations to a fund-raising campaign. Overall, the results suggest the importance of clearly specifying the underlying dimensions of commitment using notions of psychological attachment and the various forms such attachment can take.