Announcement: Winners of 2023 Inaugural MOR RRBM Best Paper Award

Winners of the Inaugural MOR RRBM Best Paper Award

Hu, Y., Zhang, H., Gao, Y. (2021). In Search of Optimal Distinctiveness: Balancing Conformity and Differentiation via Organizational LearningManagement and Organization Review, 17, 690-725.

Liu, F., Liang, J., Chen, M. (2021). The Danger of Blindly Following: Examining the Relationship Between Authoritarian Leadership and Unethical Pro-organizational BehaviorsManagement and Organization Review, 17, 524-550.

To celebrate these two winning papers, we will hold a symposium at IACMR 2023 Conference featuring the award winning authors:

Time: June 16, 16:15- 18:15 
Venue: WLB 103 at Hong Kong Baptist University

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Award Committee – Jasmine Hu (Chair), Zilin He, Xuhong Li, and Eric Zhao, for their incredible work in selecting the winners, which involved more than 40 academic reviewers and 10 executive reviewers. The rigor they instigated in the selection process is also commendable, from reading all papers published in MOR in the past 5 years to short-listing 10 papers, from making sure all original data are accessible to rerunning the analyses for results replication. Their dedication and commitment to the integrity of this award is truly remarkable. 

Below please see more details about this award and nomination summary:

The Management and Organization Review (MOR) Responsible Research in Business and Management (RRBM) Best Paper Award is given to empirical research papers published in MOR in the past 5 years that exemplify the seven principles of RRBM, including service to society, valuing basic and applied contributions, valuing plurality and multi-disciplinary collaboration, sound methodology, stakeholder involvement, impact on stakeholders, and broad dissemination.

Nomination summary for Hu, Zhang, and Gao (2021):

This paper explores the achievement of the conformity-differentiation balance from a cross-level learning perspective, using a case study on the high-tech industry in China. The study highlights that there is a tradeoff between experimentation and imitation inherent in the conformity-differentiation paradox. This tradeoff can be characterized as the traditional exploitation-exploration tradeoff at both the firm and industry levels. The results are reinforced by a computer simulation.

The integration of optimal distinctiveness theory and ambidexterity has been considered appropriate and inspiring by academic reviewers. They found the variation in the conformity-differentiation balance at different stages of the industry cycle to be a sensible and significant aspect to understand. The multi-method approach, which includes an interesting case study and a simulation, enhances the generalizability of the insights and provides a comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

The executive reviewers acknowledge that this research is well-designed, conducted, and narrated. It is highly relevant for SME globalization and contributes to the collaboration of global resources. Moreover, it provides useful insights into firms’ strategic behavior on optimal distinctiveness, which is vital for not only Chinese firms but also worldwide firms. Overall, this research has important implications for practice and the larger society.

Nomination summary for Liu, Liang, and Chen (2021):

This paper investigates the reasons behind employees’ blind engagement in unethical behavior for organizational interests from the perspectives of leadership and morality. The study indicates that employees working under authoritarian leaders and those with a low level of moral efficacy are more likely to displace responsibilities, making them more prone to unethical practices. Both experimental and survey studies provide convincing evidence to support the findings.

The study suggests that organizations and managers should pay close attention to leadership styles, particularly authoritarian leadership, and work towards building employees’ moral efficacy to avoid unethical behavior. The paper highlights some effective pathways to prevent unethical pro-organizational behaviors.

The executive reviewers praised the paper for its practical implications. The study identifies the ethical concerns associated with authoritarian leadership, which are particularly prevalent among companies led by ethnic Chinese executives. This research provides valuable insights into how authoritarian leadership indirectly leads to subordinates’ unethical behaviors. It is a crucial step towards fostering a moral culture within organizations, which is essential for long-term business success.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 MOR RRBM Best Paper Award!