2022 Funded Research

THE PATH FOR WOMEN OF COLOR TO ASCEND IN HEALTHCARE: STAKEHOLDER PERSPECTIVES IN NURSING

Over 53% of women that held CEO roles had a clinical background, and 43.9% of them were nurses. Yet, this pipeline from bedside nursing to executive leadership has not effectively included WOC.  BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) make up 23.6% of the nursing workforce, but only 19% of first- and mid-level managers 14% of hospital board members and 11% of executive leaders.

No one sat down with me and said, Hey girl, this is how you play the game. This is how they do it, and this is how they win.” In her book The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, author Minda Harts shares candidly with women of color how to play the game. Playbooks like this are essential for women of color (WOC) to succeed in any corporate sector.

This pilot study will build upon our prior work, with a focus on advancement of WOC along the nursing pipeline. To develop such a playbook, by women of color, for women of color, this study aims to understand the nuanced personal, interpersonal and organizational experiences of WOC in one of the largest industries (healthcare), inside one of the largest occupations within that industry (nursing).  We seek to understand the pathway for advancement along this trajectory from pre-nursing positions to executive leadership  of WOC by gathering the stakeholder perspectives of the following four key groups: (1) WOC in healthcare support positions (e.g., nursing assistants, medical assistants, and technicians), as this group currently mirrors the diversity of the population we serve and offer a natural entry-point into professional bedside clinical nursing; (2) nurses practicing clinically at the bedside; (3) nurses in middle management; and (4) nurses in executive leadership roles with varying scopes (e.g., roles in executive clinical nursing leadership, operations, finance, human resources, or strategy).  We will conduct semi-structured interviews to elicit nuanced details on their perceptions of the following:  1) the structural and cultural barriers they face in the workplace; 2) recommendations for organizational strategies; and 3) potential policy changes that can break down barriers and promote equity for and inclusion of WOC in healthcare leadership.

We anticipate that the results of this pilot study will inform strategic interventions designed to mitigate barriers and create opportunities for advancement of WOC along this pathway from pre-nursing positions to executive leadership.

Research conducted by Larissa Morgan, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, Nursing Professional Specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Adjunct Professor of Nursing; Rebecca Trotta, PhD, RN, Executive Director of the Abramson Family Center for Nursing Excellence at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. Jaya Aysola, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for the Health Equity Advancement and Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

HOW PERCEPTIONS OF WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE DIFFER BY RACIAL CATEGORY: AN EXAMINATION OF ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN AS COMPARED TO WHITE AND BLACK AMERICAN WOMEN

 

Organizational research has documented differences between perceptions of men and women at work and differences between Black and white workers. Far less research has examined other demographic groups, such as Asian Americans. With the increasing heat of “Anti-Asian hate”, we plan to study the role and perceptions of Asian American women in the workplace. Through a series of studies, we will examine differences in how Asian American women are perceived as compared to White and Black American women at work. We will examine perceptions of competence, social skills, and leadership skills across different demographic groups. Our goal is to document the different perceptions, challenges and opportunities, Asian American women face at work.

Research conducted by Coral Zheng, incoming Doctoral Student, Cambridge Judge Business School and Professor Sunita Sah, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Cornell University.

UNDERREPRESENTED NEWCOMERS AND THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCE OF IDENTITY SHOCKS

Onboarding processes are naturally laden with difficulties for newcomers. While adapting to an unfamiliar environment, new employees are tasked with assimilating socially as they gain knowledge around both formal and informal role expectations (Saks & Gruman, 2012). Underrepresented newcomers can face additional challenges (Hurst, Kammeyer-Mueller, & Livingston, 2012). Their underrepresented identities create nuanced hurdles for adjustment given the salience of an added distinction between themselves and the established members. One nuance to their adjustment includes shocks to their underrepresented identities. Identity shocks or offenses reflect experiences that make the newcomer’s underrepresented identity salient in an adverse way. These shocks likely vary across the source (e.g. colleague, supervisor), the impact (e.g. innocuous, harmful), and the perceived intent (e.g. tone deaf, overt). Moreover, these categorical differences likely have varying impacts on the newcomer’s adjustment. Through qualitative means, this work seeks to explore how these categorical distinctions around an identity-based shock for underrepresented newcomers impacts their socialization experience, particularly their social integration and adjustment.

Research conducted by Tianna Barnes, Provost Postdoctoral Fellow, Management Department, the Wharton School

WHY EMPLOYEES FAIL TO SPEAK UP ABOUT WELL-BEING: THE PARADOXICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BURNOUT AND VOICE

Employee burnout is a longstanding and ubiquitous problem facing organizations, and it has only grown more severe since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Critically, organizational leaders will only be able to address issues surrounding burnout and employee well-being when employees are willing to honestly share their well-being concerns. We present and test a theoretical model that demonstrates a paradoxical relationship between employee burnout and voice on well-being. On the one hand, we propose that burnout is positively related to how important employees believe well-being issues are at work (issue importance), which positively relates to voice on well-being. By contrast, we argue that burnout is negatively related to employees’ belief that their voice will influence others (voice instrumentality), which enhances voice on well-being. As such, those employees who want to speak up about well-being cannot, and those who can do not. To date, we have found support for these mixed effects of burnout across two field studies, and we plan to conduct a series of experiments where we test practical interventions that may encourage both employees who are burned out, and those who are not, to voice on well-being. We are extremely grateful to the Leadership Center for providing funding that will help us design and implement these experiments. We hope that our research will enable organizational leaders to help their employees honestly and openly raise their concerns about well-being, and subsequently reduce and prevent burnout.

Research conducted by Michael R. Parke, and Marissa S. Shandell

CREATIVE EXPOSURE OR DISTRACTION? THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA USE ON EMPLOYEE CREATIVITY

Whether organizational leaders desire it or not, most employees use external social media while at work. Despite the fact that leaders may dictate policies on social media use at work—some forbidding it, others encouraging it—we lack theory and empirical evidence justifying either approach. We present and test a theoretical model that explicates the mixed effects of social media use on employee creativity. On the one hand, we argue that social media use enhances employees’ creative exposure (observing the creativity of others), which improves their creativity at work. On the other hand, we propose that social media use can distract employees from their work tasks, which reduces their creative output. Importantly, we also investigate creativity requirements as a key boundary condition, such that social media use leads to differential creative benefits depending on the levels of creativity requirements. Thus far, we have found general support for these predictions in two field studies, and we plan to conduct a series of experiments where we manipulate social media use and creativity requirements and have participants complete a creative task. We are grateful to the Leadership Center whose funding will help us successfully implement several of these studies. Ultimately, our research will help inform organizational leaders on how to establish better policies and practices that enable their workforce to receive benefits, while avoiding the costs, of social media use at work.

Research conducted by Pier Vittorio Mannucci, Michael R. Parke, and Marissa S. Shandell