IACMR Research Seminar Series

IACMR Research Seminar Series Session #24

Theme: Pushing the Boundaries of Organizational Research: Examining Cannabis Use at Work, Human-animal Work, and Technology-induced Cultural Change
Speaker: Kai Chi Yam, National University of Singapore
When: 9:00-10:15 a.m. May 25, 2022 (China Time, UTC+8)
Language: English
Where: Zoom
Registration link: https://www.xcdsystem.com/iacmr/forms/index.cfm?ID=z0BuDLE

In this talk, I will present three working papers aimed at pushing the boundaries of research in organizational behavior. The first paper examines cannabis use and its effects on creativity. This research is timely because cannabis use has been legalized in over 15 states, with a trend towards global legalization. In two experiments where we randomly assigned people to consume cannabis and measured creativity behaviorally through novice and expert crowdsourced raters, we find support for our prediction that cannabis use facilitates joviality, which translates to more favorable evaluations of creativity of one’s own ideas and others’ ideas. However, our prediction that cannabis use facilitates creativity via joviality was not supported. These findings suggest that cannabis use may positively bias evaluations of creativity but have no impact on actual creativity. The second paper examines human-animal work, defined as a work activity that represents a collaboration between humans and animals that is neither a form of leisure nor a duty tied to what the culture construes as a non-work role. In an experience sampling study with zookeepers in Singapore and a multi-wave, multi-source survey study with U.S employees who regularly work with animals, we find that human-animal work evokes the emotion of compassion, which in turn spillover to affect employee prosocial behavior towards their human colleagues as well as increase task performance. These mediated effects are moderated by how employees perceive animals – employees are more likely to experience compassion, and in turn become more prosocial and work better when they generally perceive animals to be able to experience emotions and bodily sensations. The third paper examines how exposure to technologies, specifically artificial intelligence, might explain global and regional declines in religiosity. Using historical and cross-cultural data from millions of individuals, we find that the rise of AI can explain religious decline across nations, American metropolitan areas, and individuals. This effect has significant workplace implications – decline in religiosity is associated with decreased prosocial behavior and increased unethical behavior and workplace incivility.

Speaker’s Bio

Dr. Kai Chi (Sam) Yam is an Associate Professor of Management and Dean’s Chair at the National University of Singapore Business School, where he also serves as Assistant Dean (Faculty Development) and Head for the Department of Management and Organization. Sam received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from the University of Washington. Sam’s research focuses primarily on the behavioral sciences in the domains of behavioral ethics, leadership, humor, and the future of work. He has published over 50 papers in premier management and psychology journals. Sam was named by Poets and Quants as one of the Best 40 under 40 Business Professors in the world in 2016. In 2022, he won three early career awards, including the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from Association for Psychological Science, the Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award (Science) from Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Early Career Achievement Award from Academy of Management Human Resources Division.