Center for Positive Organizations to Recognize “Seeing More than Orange” with 2019 Award for Outstanding Published Article in Positive Organizational Scholarship

June 3, 2019


The Michigan Ross Center for Positive Organizations is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 Award for Outstanding Published Article in Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) is “Seeing More than Orange: Organizational Respect and Positive Identity Transformation in a Prison Context.” The article was written by Kristie M. Rogers (Marquette University) and coauthors Kevin G. Corley and Blake E. Ashforth (Arizona State University) and published in Administrative Science Quarterly (2017).

“Seeing More than Orange” shares profound findings from a 15-month qualitative study
of incarcerated women hired by Televerde, a marketing solutions company in Phoenix,
AZ, to perform professional business-to-business marketing services.

During the research study, Rogers and her colleagues conducted 92 formal and informal
interviews with inmates and managers and completed 185 hours of observation, coding
and analyzing the data to discover that the generalized and particularized respect the
inmates received at Televerde allowed them “to distinguish between their inmate identity
and their desired future selves and to construct transitional identities that facilitated
positive change.”

“While society in general accords little worth to incarcerated women, stereotyping them
as dangerous people, evil women, and bad mothers, this company views them as
valuable individuals deserving of a chance to be successful members of the business
world, a positive approach that results not only in a drastically lower recidivism rate for
the employees but also industry-leading performance for the organization,” write the
authors, who conclude that “organizations can play a generative role in improving the
lives of their members through respect-based processes.”

In an associated interview with Harvard Business Review, Rogers describes the value of
generalized, or “owed” respect, and particularized, or “earned” respect. Owed respect,
Rogers says, “is simply the way that people are treated with a level of civility, with a
basic regard that is professional, that is decent.” Earned respect, she explains,
recognizes “valued achievements, valued attributes of a particular person and gives
them a chance to be unique, to stand out in a positive way.”

Honorable Mentions will be given to four additional papers, which uncovered important
insights through empirical studies:

  • “Anchored Personalization in Managing Goal Conflict between Professional
    Groups: The Case of U.S. Army Mental Health Care,” published in Administrative
    Science Quarterly, by Julia DiBenigno;
  • “Deep Help in Complex Project Work: Guiding and Path-Clearing Across Difficult
    Terrain,” published in the Academy of Management Journal, by Colin M. Fisher,
    Julianna Pillemer, and Teresa M. Amabile;
  • “Negotiating the Challenges of a Calling: Emotion and Enacted Sensemaking in
    Animal Shelter Work,” published in the Academy of Management Journal, by Kira
    Schabram and Sally Maitlis; and
  • “Is it Better to Give or Receive? The Role of Help in Buffering the Depleting
    Effects of Surface Acting,” published in the Academy of Management Journal, by
    Marilyn A. Uy, Katrina Jia Lin, and Remus Ilies.

The Award was established in 2008 by the Center for Positive Organizations, part of the
Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Article submissions
must be empirical in orientation and address key issues or themes in Positive
Organizational Scholarship, but may be based on any discipline, such as psychology,
sociology, or organizational studies.

Rogers, Corley, and Ashforth will be honored for their inspiring empirical contribution to
the field at the 2019 Biennial Positive Organizational Scholarship Research
Conference June 5 – 6, 2019, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.