The Lit Review - An AMJ Podcast

This monthly podcast offers a deep dive into the research published in Academy of Management Journal. In every episode, AMJ Associate Editor Sekou Bermiss interviews authors and corporate leaders to obtain the story behind a recent research article. What was the inspiration behind the study and research domain? How can insights from this research be applied to pressing issues in organizations and markets? Season Three begins February 2024.

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Monday May 06, 2024

This episode, I speak with Scott Sonenshein, the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management in the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. 
In our conversation, we talk about a recent paper he published in AMJ, with co-author, Kristen Nault, about organizational resilience.  The paper explores the different ways that firms approach adversity and how these approaches can lead to distinctly different outcomes. 
We also discuss how resilience is best thought of as a verb and not a noun, and how leaders can prepare their organizations for adversity.
Sonenshein, S. & Nault, K. "When the Symphony Does Jazz: How Resourcefulness Fosters Organizational Resilience during Adversity."

Tuesday Apr 09, 2024

This episode, I speak with Gurneeta Vasudeva, an Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. 
In our conversation, we talk about her AMJ paper about how public-private collaborations can contribute to the success of socially beneficial innovation. We discuss the findings from this paper and the implications for efforts around the world that are attempting to solve some of society’s most pressing problems. 
Arslan, B., Vasudeva, G., & Hirsch, E. B. Public–Private and Private–Private Collaboration as Pathways for Socially Beneficial Innovation: Evidence from Antimicrobial Drug-Development Tasks. Academy of Management Journal,

Monday Mar 11, 2024

This episode, I speak with David Lucas, the Edward Pettinella Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and a Research Fellow with the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society. 
In our conversation today, we talk about a recent paper he published in AMJ, with co-authors, Matthew Grimes and Joel Gehman, about Remaking Capitalism into a more just, sustainable, and inclusive system.  The paper explores how legislation can shape how intensely firms focus on values-driven business. This leads to a broader discussion about the purpose of the modern firm and the paradoxical way that policy can in fact get firms to voluntarily shift away from a narrow focus on shareholder maximization.
Lucas, D. S., Grimes, M. G., & Gehman, J. 2022. Remaking Capitalism: The Strength of Weak Legislation in Mobilizing B Corporation Certification. Academy of Management Journal, 65(3): 958-987.

Monday Feb 12, 2024

This episode, I speak with Jeff Bednar, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources in the BYU Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. 
In the pod, we talk Jeff's recent article (with Jacob Brown, Ph.D.) looking at Organizational Ghosts, which is when leaders continue to influence behaviors and emotions within the organization long after they are gone. This leads to a larger conversation about heroes in organizations and what happens when a hero's legacy is challenged or when ghosts prevent the organization from making needed changes.
Source Article: Bednar, J. S. & Brown, J. A. Organizational Ghosts: How “Ghostly Encounters” Enable Former Leaders to Influence Current Organizational Members. Academy of Management Journal 

Sunday Dec 10, 2023

This episode, I speak with Ron Burt, the Charles M. Harper Leadership Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago and Distinguished Professor at Bocconi University in Milan.  
In our conversation, we talk about a recent AMJ paper, with co-author, Song Wang, about 'bridge supervision' in organizations, which occurs when a manager and their boss do not share any strong similar social connections. The current rise of remote employment, is likely to bring a rise in bridge supervision as well.  The paper explores how this trend may impact managerial behavior and performance.
We also discuss Ron’s concerns about the long-term consequences of remote work and about how his sabbatical as an executive at Raytheon informed his recent research including the best way to fail in an organization.
Burt, R. S. & Wang, S. 2022. Bridge Supervision: Correlates of a Boss on the Far Side of a Structural Hole. Academy of Management Journal, 65(6): 1835-1863. 

Monday Nov 06, 2023

This episode, I speak with Matt Semadeni, Professor of Strategy and Dean’s Council Distinguished Scholar at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. 
In our conversation today, we talk about CEO political ideology.   We discuss how political activism has shaped corporate leadership, strategy, and investing - which pulls the conversation in all sorts of interesting directions.  Finally, Matt shares his views about how organizations can approach politics by recognizing ideological differences and avoiding the negative contentious behaviors.
Anchor Paper
Semadeni, M., Chin, M. K., & Krause, R. 2022. Pumping the Brakes: Examining the Impact of CEO Political Ideology Divergence on Firm Responses. Academy of Management Journal, 65(2): 516-544.

Monday Oct 09, 2023

This episode, I speak with Hatim Rahman, an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.  
In our conversation today, we talk about a recent paper he published in AMJ, with co-authors, about digital labor platforms and how experimentation by platform designers can impact worker autonomy. I also talk with Hatim about the current state of employer-labor relations and the future impact of digital platforms on employment including a prediction that might already be true by the time this podcast airs.
Anchor Paper: Rahman HA, Weiss T, Karunakaran A. forthcoming. The Experimental Hand: How Platform-Based Experimentation Reconfigures Worker Autonomy. Academy of Management Journal 

Monday Sep 18, 2023

To kick off our 2nd season, I have two fantastic guests this episode: Angelica Leigh and Shimul Melwani, co-authors of the Best Paper published in AMJ in 2022, entitled, “Am I Next?” The Spillover Effects of Mega-Threats on Avoidant Behaviors at Work"
In our conversation, we talk about the phenomenon of “Mega-threats” and how they impact behaviors at work.   I also talk with them about their experiences working on a topic with so much emotional and social heft, as well as their views on the ongoing debate about the role of race as we study organizations a.k.a. “Naming The Thing”.
Angelica is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.  Shimul is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. 

Monday Jun 12, 2023

The guest this episode is Tim Pollock, the Haslam Chair in Business, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Kinney Family Faculty Research Fellow at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
In our conversation today we talk about scandals.  In his most recent work Tim and his co-authors investigate the anatomy of the scandal - asking the simple question: when is a firm’s bad behavior most likely to turn into a scandal? The answer to that question is a fascinating combination of both strategy and luck with insights for executives, employees, investors and other stakeholders.
Tim also discusses his recently published book on storytelling in academic writing. He shares some of the most common mistakes that he sees in writing and how anyone can make their writing more interesting.
*Note: Season 1 Finale!  Season 2 coming in the Fall 2023*

Monday May 08, 2023

The guest this episode is Laura Huang, Professor of Management and Organizational Dynamics, Distinguished Professor, and Faculty Director of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at Northeastern University.
Getting funding is one of the most important goals for a new organization, but funding decisions are not always driven by objective measures.
In this episode, we talk about how subtle individual differences can lead to inequities in new venture funding.  In a recent paper in AMJ, Laura and her co-authors investigate how gender differences in communication impact investor perceptions during the "pitch meeting".  We discuss the takeaways from this study and the larger role that academics should play in trying to develop solutions. Finally, Laura also shares some great insights about how everyone can turn their adversity into an EDGE.

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