Browsing by Author "Shadnam, Masoud"
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- ItemA postpositivist commentary on self-fulfilling theories(2019) Shadnam, MasoudAcross the vast terrain of social and economic sciences, it is well documented and established that some theories become self-fulfilling in the sense that they shape the social reality they purport to describe (, ; ). In their recent article  highlight an important gap in this literature—that is, we do not know much about when and how theories become self-fulfilling. Reflecting on this gap, they propose a process model for self-fulfilling theories and identify six boundary conditions that determine whether a theory becomes self-fulfilling or not.
- ItemChoosing whom to be: theorizing the scene of moral reflexivity(2020) Shadnam, MasoudDescriptive studies of morality in organizations have to date been largely focused on the scene of individual decision making without paying adequate attention to other important scenes. However, an integral part of what people understand as morality is comprised of those moral norms that they appropriate in the scene of moral reflexivity, i.e. through conscious reflection, analysis, and deliberation. In this article, I bring in and integrate a diverse set of insights, primarily from the sociology of morality, to identify what contextual factors condition the moral reflexivity of organizational members, both in terms of triggering their reflexivity and in terms of orienting their thoughts. The result is an integrative framework that delineates three core dimensions representing the conditioning effect of context on individual moral reflections: Symbolic resources, attention prompts, and the existing self-concept. Finally, I discuss the implications of the offered framework for management and organization studies of moral phenomena.
- ItemHeterologous and homologous perspectives on the relation between morality and organization illustration of implications for studying the rise of private military and security industry(2013) Shadnam, MasoudOrganization studies of morality have paid scant attention to theorizing the relation between morality and organization before engaging in empirical work, which has resulted in inconsistent and incompatible theories implicitly entailed in different empirical studies. In this article, I distinguish between two theoretical perspectives regarding this relation—heterologous and homologous—based on whether morality and organization are viewed as distinct and independent from one another or orders of intertwined constitution. I discuss the implications of taking each perspective for research question and design, and show how the choice of theoretical perspective leads to starkly different conclusions about a single phenomenon. I also illustrate these arguments in the case of studying the recent rise of private military and security industry. To conclude, I highlight the theoretical and methodological contributions of the distinction between heterologous and homologous perspectives and discuss future avenues that it opens for organization research on morality.
- ItemIn whom we trust? A framework for understanding the moral agency in organizational trust(2016) Saghafian, Marzieh; Shadnam, MasoudAmong the wide variety of morally charged concepts, trust has probably received the most scholarly attention in organization studies of the recent decades. The most recent development in this growing literature focuses on the role of the agency of involved actors in processes of trust creation, maintenance, and repair. This paper aims to contribute to this conversation through examining the role of the trustee's moral agency. Drawing on the Emirbayer and Mische's (1998) temporal framework of agency, we discuss how each temporal dimension of agency — iterative, projective, and practical-evaluative — forms a different basis for trusting an organization. We also formulate a number of propositions to specify the circumstances under which each dimension of moral agency becomes salient in generating perceptions of trustworthiness. We conclude by discussing how the primary basis of trust-based decision making may change as a function of contextual factors such as the history of the relationship, the degree of stability of the environment, and the balance of power between the trustor and the trustee.
- ItemInstitutional theory(2008) Lawrence, Thomas B.; Shadnam, MasoudInstitutional theory is a theoretical framework for analyzing social (particularly organizational) phenomena, which views the social world as significantly comprised of institutions - enduring rules, practices, and structures that set conditions on action.
- ItemLeading in an Amish paradise: humanistic leadership in the Old Order Amish(2020) Keim, Charles; Shadnam, MasoudThe authors examined the traditional leadership practiced by the Old Order Amish located in the Holmes and Wayne counties of America. Despite popular stereotypes, this community is remarkably innovative and resilient. Amish leadership aligns with the central tenets of humanistic leadership and provides a rich illustration of how such a leadership paradigm can foster a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community. Unlike current leadership models that focus on instrumental values like wealth, profit and growth, Amish leadership is concerned with faith, community and living a simple life with purpose and dignity.
- ItemThe regulation of morality in formal organizations: the case of Iranian oil industry(2011) Shadnam, MasoudQuestioning the moral foundations and consequences of formal organizations has become a central concern in organization theory. Despite the extensive research in this broad area, organization scholars have not yet adequately investigated the systematic effects of a formal organization on the morality of its own members, particularly from a process perspective. As a result, today little is known about the internal dynamics of organizations as it treats and influences the morality of organizational members. To address this issue, the present study takes a discursive understanding of morality and explores the intra-organizational processes that regulate the moral discourse of organizational members. The theoretical foundation of this research draws on the literatures of institutional theory and critical management studies, and highlights two domains – practice and privilege – as primary sites of moral regulation in organizations. The question that guides the present study is – what are the common patterns of regulating practice and privilege that characterizes the organizational regulation of morality? This work investigates these patterns in the context of the Iranian oil industry, which has been the largest industry and the main source of national income in Iran for the past century. The oil industry is particularly appropriate and interesting for this study because in the face of several radical changes in the broader moral order of the Iranian society, the organizations of this industry have been able to regulate the morality of their members regarding the issues of concern for their business. The findings suggest that organizations in this industry regulate the morality of their members mainly through four processes: Repositioning, restructuring, reframing, and cooperating/not cooperating. The collected data also points to some of the salient institutional characteristics that underlie the organizational regulation of morality. I discuss the insights that these findings provide for organization research on moral phenomena and highlight the various aspects of the active role of organization in regulating morality. I conclude the thesis with a review of the implications for theoretical understanding of morality and propose directions for future research in this area.
- ItemTheorizing morality in context(2015) Shadnam, MasoudHow does context condition morality? This is one of the core questions of the sociology of morality and also one that has remained largely untheorized till date. In this article, we draw on insights from symbolic interactionism, and develop a theoretical framework that highlights the role of context in variation of morality. This framework is informed by a view of the self as a reflexive process that engages with moral norms through giving a self-account in relation to the norms. Based on this view, we distinguish between three contextual dimensions that condition morality: symbolic forms, scenes of address, and narrating subjects. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the presented theoretical framework for sociological studies of morality.
- ItemThrough the looking glass: leadership in the age of surveillance(2018) Keim, Charles; Shadnam, MasoudThe last few decades have witnessed a dramatic rise in the use of surveillance, particularly in organizational life (Anteby & Chan, 2018). Primary forms of surveillance, such as the supervisor’s gaze, are being augmented by sophisticated devices capable of tracking more than employees’ work habits: public and private affairs, past and present choices, opinions and attitudes are increasingly recorded, retained, and used to predict or shape future behavior. The technologies of surveillance, elaborate in their subtlety, inexpensiveness, and accessibility, coupled with the proliferation of individual devices (e.g., cell phones), are decentralizing a strategic tool previously the exclusive domain of the managerial elite. Hence, a vision of what the future of leadership holds must grapple with the increased surveillance leaders will face by those inside and outside of the organization. The ascendancy and proliferation of surveillance have significant implications for leadership. In this brief paper, we identify and discuss two core implications: first, surveillance systems will alter the criteria discriminating between future leaders—i.e., leader emergence will increasingly rest on individuals’ knowledge of what surveillance systems capture as well as their performative capacity to enact behaviors suited for those systems. Second, the effectiveness of leaders within a time of heightened surveillance will place a premium on the forbearance and flexibility of leaders to work with one another within an organizational field.
- ItemUnderstanding widespread misconduct in organizations: an institutional theory of moral collapse(2011) Shadnam, MasoudReports of widespread misconduct in organizations have become sadly commonplace. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, accounting fraud in large corporations, and physical and sexual harassment in the military implicate not only the individuals involved, but the organizations and fields in which they happened. In this paper we describe such situations as instances of "moral collapse" and develop a multi-level theory of moral collapse that draws on institutional theory as its central orienting lens. We draw on institutional theory because of its explicit concern with the relationships among individual beliefs and actions, the organizations within which they occur, and the collective social structures in which norms, rules and beliefs are anchored. Our theory of moral collapse has two main elements. First, we argue that morality in organizations is embedded in nested systems of individuals, organizations and moral communities in which ideology and regulation flow "down" from moral communities through organizations to individuals, and moral ideas and influence flow "upward" from individuals through organizations to moral communities. Second, we argue that moral collapse is associated with breakdowns in these flows, and explore conditions under which such breakdowns are likely to occur.
- ItemWho calls it? Actors and accounts in the social construction of organizational moral failure(2020) Shadnam, Masoud; Crane, Andrew; Lawrence, Thomas B.In recent years, research on morality in organizational life has begun to examine how organizational conduct comes to be socially constructed as having failed to comply with a community’s accepted morals. Researchers in this stream of research, however, have paid little attention to identifying and theorizing the key actors involved in these social construction processes and the types of accounts they construct. In this paper, we explore a set of key structural and cultural dimensions of apparent noncompliance that enable us to distinguish between four categories of actors who engage in constructing the label of moral failure: dominant insiders, watchdog organizations, professional members, and publics. The analysis further clarifies which category of actor is more likely to succeed in constructing the label of moral failure under which circumstances, and what accounts they are likely to use, namely scapegoating, prototyping, shaming, and protesting.