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
  • “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.