Solved by verified expert:You are part of a team at your organization where you are employed currently or at an organization with which you are familiar. This team is made up of members of the different departments at the organization. The executive director has tasked each member of the team to independently research the following two questions (respond with one full paragraph for each question):(1) What theory of leadership most closely aligns with our current practice within our organization and do you think it is most appropriate or would another serve us better?(2) What leadership theory would you recommend that might be more effective, and why? (Note: if you think the current leadership theory is a good fit and is effective, explain why you think it is working and should remain in place).On your own, you will have to conduct research on leadership theories and present a 2-paragraph summary of the central ideas of a leadership theory you believe is most appropriate for the organization.A summary that paraphrases the central idea of the leadership theory that you think is most appropriate for your organization (or an organization with which you are familiar). Provide a rationale to support why you think the leadership theory is appropriate for your organization and include specific lessons that can be learned from the theory, based on your observations and experience. Be sure to include the appropriate citation and reference for the reading from which you are paraphrasing.You might want to start your summary like this: “Based on my analysis of various leadership theories, I think the passage that best captures the central idea of a leadership theory that is particularly relevant and important to our organization is found in Ulrich, Smallwood, and Sweetman (2008) on page X.” Then, include the appropriate reference at the end of your summary. For example:Reference:Ulrich, D., Smallwood, N., & Sweetman, K. (2008). Defining leadership code. In The leadership code: Five rules to lead by (pp 1–24). Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.
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Vol. 63, No. 2—SUMMER, 2010
S. BARTHOLOMEW CRAIG
Book Review Editor
ANDREW P. CLARK
North Carolina State University
2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
BOOK REVIEW ADVISORY PANEL
Gary B. Brumback, Palm Coast, FL
Victoria Buenger, Texas A&M University
John W. Fleenor, Center for Creative Leadership
Robert G. Jones, Missouri State University
Claude Levy-Leboyer, Institut de Recherches et D’Applications en
Psychologie du Travail
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford University
Samuel B. Pond III, North Carolina State University
Malcolm James Ree, Our Lady of the Lake University
Paul Spector, University of South Florida
Paul W. Thayer, North Carolina State University
D. Brent Smith (Editor). The People Make the Place: Dynamic Linkages
Between Individuals and Organizations.
Reviewed by Jon Billsberry, Danielle L. Talbot, Patrick C. Nelson,
Julian A. Edwards, Steven G. Godrich, Ross A. G. Davidson,
and Christopher J. P. Carter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Geoffrey Miller. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior.
Reviewed by David W. Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Peter Carblis. Assessing Emotional Intelligence: A Competency Framework
for the Development of Standards for Soft Skills.
Reviewed by James A. Penny. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dave Ulrich, Norm Smallwood, and Kate Sweetman. The Leadership
Code: Five Rules to Lead By.
Reviewed by Lee J. Konczak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Carol Kinsey Goman. The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science
of Body Language at Work.
Reviewed by William A. Gentry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
James W. Smither and Manuel London (Editors). Performance Management:
Putting Research Into Action.
Reviewed by Gary B. Brumback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Books and Materials Received . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
D. Brent Smith (Editor). The People Make the Place: Dynamic Linkages
Between Individuals and Organizations. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum
Associates, 2008, 316 pages, $79.95 hardcover.
Reviewed by Jon Billsberry, Coventry University, Danielle L. Talbot,
Patrick C. Nelson, Julian A. Edwards, Steven G. Godrich, Ross A.G.
Davidson, and Christopher J.P. Carter, The Open University.
The People Make the Place is a festschrift celebrating the work of
industrial/organizational psychologist Benjamin Schneider. It contains 11
specially written chapters each addressing a different element of Schneider’s work. The twelfth chapter, written by the honored scholar, summarizes the contributions and uses the opportunity to clarify many of the
ideas surrounding attraction-selection-attrition (ASA) theory.
The festschrift is an awkward book form. As a book honoring the work
of a living person, with contributions coming mainly from the honoree’s
doctoral students, there is often a lack of criticism with the contributors in
awe of the subject and writing in an overly deferential manner. Although
there is a degree of “walking on egg shells” in the first 11 chapters, authors are prepared to offer criticism of Schneider’s work when warranted.
Interestingly, the honoree is even less reserved in the final chapter and is
prepared to criticize both himself and the contributors. Despite the awkwardness of the form, this is a successful book and the cumulative effect
of the chapters is a much-needed clarification of ASA theory.
Before examining the contribution of the individual chapters, Schneider’s main contribution, ASA theory, needs some explanation. Based on
the fundamental ideas that “similarity leads to attraction” and that people’s
behavior is determined by an interaction of internal (e.g., personality, values) and external (or situational) factors, Schneider proposes a process by
which organizations become more homogeneous in terms of the type of
people they employ. The process has three separate sequential processes:
attraction, selection, and attrition. In short, his conjecture is that organizations attract and select people who are similar to people already employed
by the organization, and once employed, people who find that they are
misfits leave. The effect of this process is an increasing homogeneity
among employees over time and that organizations are a product of the
people employed there, that is, “the people make the place” (Schneider,
The opening chapter by Dickson, Resick, and Goldstein occupies a
key place in the book. Its role is to establish a common understanding of
the ASA framework upon which the other contributors can build. They do
this with a short and selective review of the literature. As they note, “the
recent literature on P-O fit has largely taken ASA as a given” (p. 20), but
the conjectures in the remainder of their chapter prompt a more critical
assessment of the theory. For example, like Schneider’s original paper, the
authors extrapolate from vocational choice studies to predict that people
choose between organizations based on fit even though there is evidence
suggesting this might not be correct (e.g., Billsberry, 2007). Later on,
the number of conjectures lays bare how little is actually known about
ASA theory other than some oft-cited propositions. Interestingly, reading
the conjectures about boundary conditions highlights how ASA theory
has not incorporated factors outside its process parameters that might be
expected to soften or even eradicate its potential problems in terms of
Jackson and Chung in Chapter 3 of the book have produced a very
interesting paper that succeeds in doing something that many authors of
chapters in commissioned books have struggled with, namely, they have
used their expertise in a closely related area to provide insight about the
subject of the book. These authors are renowned scholars in the field of
demography, a field that people commonly confuse with organizational
fit. The authors usefully clarify the difference between the two. Demography is concerned with similarity and difference in social differences such
as ethnicity, age, and educational background, whereas organizational fit
is concerned with psychological similarity and difference. In the body
of their chapter the authors suggest many new research avenues for fit
researchers based on advances in demography. Sadly, there are too many
to mention here, but anyone looking for new research avenues in organizational fit is encouraged to put this chapter at the top of their reading
When person-environment fit received its organizational impetus in
the late 1980s, two theoretical approaches competed for attention. One of
these was Schneider’s own. The other was Chatman and her colleagues
(Chatman, 1989, 1991; O’Reilly, Chatman, & Caldwell, 1991). In her
papers, Chatman defined person-organization fit and set methodological guidelines that many researchers followed, so it is interesting to see
a chapter from Chatman in this book. In collaboration with Wong and
Joyce, she returns to the interactional roots of ASA and considers the
merits of viewing the theory through these rather than through a congruence lens. Their basic argument is that viewing ASA via interactions
provides greater depth and richer insights especially when the focus is on
Ployhart and Schmitt offer an essay on the multilevel implications of
the ASA framework. Given the difficulty of the ideas under scrutiny, the
authors provide an elegant and wonderfully clear exposition. The ASA
framework is inherently a multilevel theory. It involves a process working
at the level of the individual members of staff through their decisions
about where to work, whom to employ, and whether to continue with their
employment leading to the organizational level outcome of homogeneity.
This process, as the authors note, offers the unique “possibility of uniting
micro and macro staffing” (p. 87). In their discussion of the issues, Ployhart
and Schmitt argue that the individual ASA process has both compositional
(about similarity) and compilational (about dissimilarity) elements. The
outcome is both new language and new approaches to the study of ASA
One common feature of many P-O fit studies is that although there
is specificity in the “P” (or person) component of the fit equation, the
“O” (or organization) component is often imprecise when viewed from
the individual’s perspective. For example, when the Organizational Culture Profile (OCP; O’Reilly et al., 1991) is used, the individual’s values
are compared to an assessment of the organization’s values as assessed
by senior managers (cf. Edwards & Cable, 2009). This takes the assessment of fit away from individuals’ own cognitions. In the chapter by
Newman, Hanges, Duan, and Ramesh, the authors propose a resolution to
this salience issue by advocating the use of social network analysis to construct the organizational environment. The authors’ intriguing theoretical
application of these ideas suggests that outliers and isolates are the most
accurate assessors of the climate and challenges the existence of “high
fit” environments by demonstrating that “the tendency toward network
balance creates network segregation” (p. 106).
Rentsch, Small, and Hanges use their chapter to supply a summary
of cognitive similarity in teams. Interestingly, by choosing to examine
similarity at the team level, the chapter offers a different perspective to
mainstream ASA theory. As Schneider says, “you have to think simultaneously individual and organizational” (p. 284) when addressing the
ASA cycle. The relevance of the ideas to Schneider’s theory is therefore
somewhat unclear, although their summary of measurement approaches
that may be used in the study of cognition in organizations is useful in
outlining the pros and cons of using aggregated scale scores, collective
consensus, structural assessments, and qualitative assessments.
The chapter by Bowen sits uncomfortably in the book. However, its
inclusion is vital. This is the one chapter that does not address ASA
theory. Instead, the focus is on Schneider’s other great contribution, service
climates. The chapter provides an overview of service climate, centrally
positioning Schneider’s contribution and thereby concentrating on the
organizational behavior and HRM implications, leaving marketing and
operations management in the shadows. Bowen does not try to link service
climate with ASA theory. Although this is perfectly understandable, it is
a missed opportunity.
Nishi and Wright use their chapter to develop a model of strategic
human resource management that integrates the concept of variability. The
authors say that Schneider’s ideas were the inspiration for their model,
but they are prominent by their absence. Although the model is wellconstructed, readers would benefit from a more in-depth discussion of the
role ASA plays in it.
The chapter by Bradley, Brief, and Smith-Crowe stands out from the
others in the book. It is twice the length of the others and is clearly in two
halves, each of which could stand on its own. The role of the first half
seems to be to introduce the reader to organizational ethics via a definition
of organizational goodness. This sits rather awkwardly in the book as it
hardly references Schneider or his work. The second half of the chapter
makes an effort to apply this material to Schneider’s ideas, but the authors
envisage goodness as a trait-like quality and this sits uncomfortably with
the interactional nature of ASA theory.
The eleventh chapter, written by Wanous and Reichers, is very different
from those that precede it. Rather than reviewing a domain or engaging
in conceptual thinking, they offer an empirical piece that turns the table
on ASA theory and explores whether the situation or, more specifically,
the physical environment, makes the place. The authors report two studies
that look at the impact that moving to new premises has on the rankings of
business schools. Given the size of some of these investments, for example,
greater than $120 million, some considerable impact would be expected.
The findings are startling, except for a 1-year temporary positive effect for
people who worked or studied in both the old and new premises, the move
to new premises had a slight negative impact. Of course, showing that “the
situation does not make the place” is not the same as showing that “the
people make the place,” but the results are in line with Schneider’s theory.
Instead, the real audience for this short and delightfully written chapter
is senior decision makers who make large investment decisions for their
Schneider’s concluding chapter balances self-deprecation and gratitude to his colleagues with a synthesis of ideas relating to ASA theory.
This synthesis, coupled with a critical reading of the other chapters in the
book, does much to clarify ASA theory. Anyone embarking on an ASA
study would now be clear that they must measure psychological similarities (or dissimilarities) between people (e.g., personality, goals, and
values) in a longitudinal study that predicts organizational level outcomes
(e.g., homogeneity, innovation, responsiveness, and ambidexterity). In the
language of organizational fit, person-person (or person-people) supplementary fit is the focus of attention in multilevel designs.
Despite these useful clarifications, there is still an ASA clarification agenda. The theory is still equivocal on the definition of the word
“attraction.” In the initial 1987 paper, it comes across as a phase in the
ASA cycle involving people’s decisions to apply to companies. But in
this book, there is a clear move away from defining attraction as a phase
and a move towards defining attraction as a psychological cognition or
emotion (e.g., “I feel attracted to this organization”). If attraction is a
feeling, rather than a phase, it undermines the notion of a self-reinforcing
cycle through the organizational entry and exit process. Taking this a stage
further, Schneider opens the door to perceptions of similarity rather than
actual similarity, which is how similarity in ASA studies has been previously envisaged; “perceptions of fit serve as a foundation for what follows
in the model” (p. 276).
Other unanswered problems with ASA theory remain. What is the
currency of similarity? Personality, values, and goals have all been studied,
but what other forms of psychological similarity are in play? Studies
addressing this issue would be particularly welcome. Although similarity
and dissimilarity are highlighted by Schneider, Chatman raises the issue
of assessing fit through interactions. This is a particularly interesting point
because of the long-standing tension in ASA theory regarding interactional
psychology. This is one of the main foundations upon which the theory is
built, but similarities, not interactions, are preferred in most ASA studies.
Ultimately the book highlights one crucial omission in knowledge
about ASA theory and one that should be a prime concern for researchers.
After more than 20 years of research on the ASA framework, will still
have little data on whether homogeneity is good or bad for organizations.
Reading this book demonstrates that there are people on both sides of the
argument and they are all interested in knowing the answer to whether
increased homogeneity helps or hinders organizations. Until we have an
answer to this question, we will always be wondering about the value of
Ben Schneider’s legacy.
Billsberry J. (2007). Attracting for values: An empirical study of ASA’s attraction proposition. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, 132–149.
Chatman J. (1989). Improving interactional organizational research: A model of personorganization fit. Academy of Management Review, 14, 333–349.
Chatman J. (1991). Matching people and organizations: Selection and socialization in
public accounting firms. Administrative Science Quarterly, 36, 459–484.
Edwards JR, Cable, DM. (2009). The value of value congruence. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 94, 654–677.
O’Reilly CA, Chatman J, Caldwell DF. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile
comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit. Academy of Management
Journal, 34, 487–516.
Schneider B. (1987). The people make the place. P ERSONNEL P SYCHOLOGY, 40, 437–
Geoffrey Miller. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. New
York: Viking, 2009, 374 pages, $26.95 hardcover.
Reviewed by David W. Martin, Professor of Psychology, North Carolina
State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
The primary audience for Spent is the consumer, who Miller encourages to make better informed product decisions. A second audience is the
product marketer, who Miller believes should use a more scientific basis
for creating and selling products. A smaller audience is the evolutionary
psychologist, me, who Miller wants to convince that consumer behavior
is largely a product of sexual selection. This book is written for a general reader but has enough practical advice to interest a marketer and just
enough science to interest an academic. And his writing style is lively
enough to entertain us all.
The author claims that consumer products fall into two categories: “(1)
things that display our desirable traits and bring us ‘status’ when others
see that we own them, and (2) things that push our pleasure buttons . . .”
(p. 20). This book is about the former. As an evolutionary psychologist,
Miller would say that the products we buy are a form of costly signaling
used as fitness indicators to increase the chances that we will be chosen
for mating. In a previous book (The Mating Mind) Miller argued that
much of the human mind (intelligence, artistic creativity, humor) evolved
as a set of fitness indicators to improve our chances of being selected
for sexual reproduction. We use our minds to create narrative, art, and
jokes, to display our mating fitness much like the peacock displaying his
elaborate tail so the peahen will choose him. In Spent, Miller claims that
the consumer believes, and marketers promote, the notion that products
displayed to others convince them that the consumer has the desirable
personality traits necessary to be chosen, chosen for friendship, for status,
for employment, and ultimately, for reproduction. Miller makes it clear
that the consumer is mistaken; others are less influenced by the products we
display than we believe. A 5-minute conversation typically reveals more
information about our personality traits than the costly signaling provided
by all the Rolex watches, BMWs, and De Beers diamonds we own.
Miller claims that marketing “has become the most dominant force in
human culture” (p. 37) and does not understand why business schools and
academic marketing journals have completely ignored recent advances in
evolutionary psychology and paid so little attention to individual differences research. He is a big fan of the Big Five personality traits, (Openness,
Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Stability, and Extraversion) although
he adds general intelligence to make it the “Central Six.” If the most
successful marketers are those who know the most about their product
users, Miller believes marketers would be better served using scientifically
validated measures of th …
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