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Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour

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    Irrational Optimism in a Declining Industry: Sir Adam Beck's Interurban Railway Proposal
    (Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, 2004) Mentzer, Marc S.
    Sir Adam Beck, best known for his advocacy of publicly owned electric utilities, in 1920 sought to build a network of electric interurban railways, essentially long-distance trolleys, in southern Ontario. Beck’s proposal illustrates the phenomenon of irrationally optimistic responses to decline of an industry.
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    Visa Policies and Innovation: How Powerful Is Your Passport?
    (Decision Sciences Institute, 2019) Mentzer, Marc S.
    The growth of isolationist ideologies in the United States and other countries has generated interest in the relationship between international mobility and innovation. This study focuses on visa policies as an indicator of a country’s openness to cross-border flows of people, and examines the relationship between visa policies and innovation.
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    The Impact of Discount Airlines on Fares in Canada
    (Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, 1999-06) Mentzer, Marc S.
    Analysis of airfares for domestic flights in Canada shows that the presence of low fare carriers has no impact on the fares of major carriers serving a given city pair. WestJet, the sole exception, did have a downward effect on major airlines' fares.
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    Discount Carriers vs. Air Canada: The Impact on Domestic Airfares, Revisited
    (Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, 2003-06) Mentzer, Marc S.
    An analysis of airfares among major Canadian cities indicates that WestJet, alone among the discount carriers, exerts competitive pressure on the fares offered by Air Canada. The role of other discount carriers and the many brands newly created by Air Canada are also discussed.
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    Determinants of Occupational Earnings in the United States: A Causal Modeling Approach
    (International Journal of Management, 1989-06) Fryxell, Gerald E.; Mentzer, Marc S.
    The "comparable worth" controversy has raised the issue of the fairness of labor markets: Are predominantly female occupations paid less than predominantly male occupations because they are less demanding, or because they are predominantly female? Unfortunately, previous methodologies have failed to account for complex interactions among such variables as seasonality, education, and the different facets of job difficulty. In this paper a causal modeling approach on U.S. data is used in an attempt to disentangle these multiple effects. The results indicate that the strongest direct effects on occupational earnings is educational attainment; this is followed by labor force stability, male domination, and least of all, job difficulty. The results indicate that the female composition of an occupation has a large and negative direct effect on earnings and has a greater overall influence than job difficulty.
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    International Loose-Coupling Linkages in the Airline Industry
    (International Journal of Management, 1992-06) Mentzer, Marc
    Many airlines have recently been forming equity interlocks with airlines in different countries. In other cases, these linkages are non-equity in nature and emphasise joint-marketing programs. This study indicates that this technique is used primarily by already-large airlines, possibly to increase market dominance in anticipation of international airline deregulation.
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    The Payment of Gratuities by Customers in the United States: An Historical Analysis
    (International Journal of Management, 2013-09) Mentzer, Marc
    Contrary to some travel guidebooks which state that the payment of gratuities (tips) in the US is due to low wage levels or the quirks of minimum wage laws, the roots of US tipping are comprised of a number of historical forces present in the hospitality industry between the Civil War and the early 1920s. Up to 1900, hotel proprietors regarded gratuities as a bribe to the server to give away excessive amounts of food to customers. However, a shift in hoteliers’ attitudes occurred with the increased popularity of the “European Plan”, in which hotel rooms were priced separately from hotel meals. This trend caused owners of dining establishments to regard tips as a supplement to wages rather than as a bribe. In addition, the advent of Prohibition after World War I had the indirect effect of making the European Plan more widespread, and with that trend, the payment of gratuities at meals became even more common. Even though international travel sometimes leads to misunderstandings regarding tipping, the custom is now thoroughly entrenched in US practice.
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    Human Resource Management Practices and Voluntary Turnover: A Study of Internal Workforce and External Labor Market Contingencies
    (The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2016-03-30) Schmidt, Joseph; Willness, Chelsea; Jones, David; Bourdage, Joshua
    We tested relationships between employee quit rates and two bundles of human resource (HR) practices that reflect the different interests of the two parties involved in the employment relationship. To understand the boundary conditions for these effects, we examined an external contingency proposed to influence the exchange-based effects of HR practices on subsequent quit rates—the local industry-specific unemployment rate—and an internal contingency proposed to shape employees’ conceptualization of their exchange relationship—their employment status (i.e., full-time, part-time, and temporary employment). Analyses of lagged data from over 200 Canadian establishments show that inducement HR practices (e.g., extensive benefits) and performance expectation HR practices (e.g., performance-based bonuses) had different effects on quit rates, and the former effect was moderated by unemployment rate. The effects of HR practices on quit rates did not differ between FT and PT employees, but a different pattern of main and interactive effects was found among temporary workers. These findings suggest that employees’ exchange-based decisions to leave may be less affected by the number of hours they expect to work each week, and more by the number of weeks they expect to work.
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    The Effects of Strategic HR System Differentiation on Firm Performance and Employee Outcomes
    (Human Resource Management, 2018-09-04) Schmidt, Joseph; Pohler, Dionne; Willness, Chelsea
    The purpose of this research was to understand the extent to which firms apply different human resource management systems to different occupations within the same organization (HR differentiation), and how this influences both firm and employee outcomes. We conducted two studies pertaining to these questions. The first study was based on data collected from managers and the results showed that firms differentiate their HR investments based on the strategic value of occupations, which was further associated with the human capital of those occupations; differentiation in human capital was also associated with firm performance. The second study was based on data obtained from non-management employees. The findings of this study indicated that employees who were recipients of less HR system investment had lower fairness perceptions, which were further associated with turnover intentions and organizational citizenship behavior. Although the evidence from these studies suggests that firms may realize benefits from HR differentiation, managers should carefully consider how to balance the effects of differentiation on firm performance and employee well-being before implementing such systems.
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    Do Trends Matter? The Effects of Dynamic Performance Trends and Personality Traits on Performance Appraisals
    (Academy of Management, 2017-11-02) Schmidt, Joseph
    Two studies were conducted to understand how people make overall performance judgments based on dynamic performance trend information and the personality characteristics of ratees. University athletes were sampled in Study 1 and the results showed that improving performance trends resulted in higher appraisals of task performance. Contrary to previous experimental research, raters did not use trend information to make attributions about the targets’ effort or other behavioral characteristics. There were also interactions between performance trends and personality: performance trends were positively associated with task performance ratings for players with high extraversion and low agreeableness, while trends were unrelated to ratings for players at the opposite end of the continuum for these traits. The second study was an experiment designed to test the potential theoretical mechanisms that explained the effects observed in Study 1. The results showed that raters used performance trend information to derive task performance ratings, while they used personality information to derive ratings of citizenship behavior. Attributions about employee effort and ability were based on both performance trends and personality. The results also indicated that raters engaged in more deliberative (controlled) cognitive processing when the target’s personality and performance trend were incongruent, which may explain the interaction effects observed in Study 1. Implications for theories of social cognition and performance appraisal are discussed.
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    Making Stronger Causal Inferences: Accounting for Selection Bias in Associations Between High Performance Work Systems, Leadership, and Employee and Customer Satisfaction
    (Journal of Applied Psychology, 2018) Schmidt, Joseph; Pohler, Dionne
    We develop competing hypotheses about the relationship between high performance work systems (HPWS) with employee and customer satisfaction. Drawing on 8 years of employee and customer survey data from a financial services firm, we used a recently developed empirical technique—covariate balanced propensity score (CBPS) weighting—to examine if the proposed relationships between HPWS and satisfaction outcomes can be explained by reverse causality, selection effects, or commonly omitted variables such as leadership behavior. The results provide support for leader behaviors as a primary driver of customer satisfaction, rather than HPWS, and also suggest that the problem of reverse causality requires additional attention in future human resource (HR) systems research. Model comparisons suggest that the estimates and conclusions vary across CBPS, meta-analytic, cross-sectional, and time-lagged models (with and without a lagged dependent variable as a control). We highlight the theoretical and methodological implications of the findings for HR systems research.