Richard Ivey Building 3330
- Inclusivity Initiatives in Organizations
- Affirmative Action/Employment Equity Programs
- Work/Life Balance Initiatives
- Job Attitudes and Work Values
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Alison M. Konrad arrived at Ivey in 2003 as a Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Ivey Business School and holder of the Corus Entertainment Chair in Women in Management. She earned her Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology at the Claremont Graduate University. She is a Fellow of the Eastern Academy of Management and has been a member of the Women's Executive Network (WXN) Advisory Board for Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100. Dr. Konrad was Chair of the Academy of Management's Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division in 1996-97 and President of the Eastern Academy of Management in 1997-98. She was President of the International Society for the Study of Work and Organizational Values in 2002-04. Prior to joining the school, she was Professor of Human Resource Management at the Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University.
Dr. Konrad's research interests center on gender and diversity in organizations. She received a CDN$113K grant from SSHRC to study Strategic Diversity Initiatives in Canadian organizations in 2004-07; a CDN$52K grant from SSHRC to study the impact of workplace diversity on innovation in 2007-10; a US$89K grant from the Graduate Admissions Council of Canada to study social networking among MBAs in 2008-09; and a CDN$149K grant from SSHRC to expand the social networking study to 2008-11. Her current work is funded by a $98K grant from SSHRC to study the impact of HRM practices in a diverse workplace (2012-17). Her work on gender effects on earnings, Affirmative Action programs, and gender differences in job attribute preferences has received three distinguished paper awards from the Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division of the Academy of Management. She was also recipient of the Division's Sage Award for Scholarly Contributions to Management in 1998. Her work on Employer Initiatives to manage the Welfare to Work Transition was funded by a US$108K grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Dr. Konrad has published over 50 research articles on gender and diversity in organizations in such outlets as the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Management Inquiry, Human Relations, the Psychological Bulletin, Sex Roles, and the Strategic Management Journal. Dr. Konrad is a member of the Editorial Board for Administrative Science Quarterly and the Academy of Management Learning & Education. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Academy of Management Review and was 2003-07 Editor of Group and Organization Management.
- HBA Leading People in Organizations
- Ph.D. Organizational Behaviour
- Corporations & Society: Women in Leadership
- BA, Monmouth College
- MA, Claremont Graduate University
- PhD, Claremont Graduate University
Recent Refereed Articles
Han, J. H.; Shin, D.; Castellano, W.; Konrad, A. M.; Kruse, D.; Blasi, J.,
(Forthcoming), "Creating Mutual Gains to Leverage a Racially Diverse Workforce: The Effects of Firm-Level Racial Diversity on Financial and Workforce Outcomes Under the Use of Broad-Based Stock Options", Organization Science.
Abstract: Despite substantial scholarly attention to workforce demographic diversity, existing research is limited in understanding whether or in what contexts firm-level racial diversity relates to performance and workforce outcomes of the firm. Drawing on social interdependence theory along with insights from social exchange and psychological ownership theories, we propose that the use of broad-based stock options granted to at least half the workforce creates the conditions supporting a positive relationship between workforce racial diversity and firm outcomes. We examine this proposition by analyzing panel data from 155 companies that applied for the “100 Best Companies to Work For” competition with responses from 109,314 employees over the five-year period from 2006 to 2010 (354 company-year observations). Findings revealed that racial diversity was positively related to subsequent firm financial performance and individual affective commitment and was not significantly associated with subsequent voluntary turnover rates, when accompanied by a firm’s adoption of broad-based stock options. However, under the nonuse of broad-based stock options, racial diversity was significantly related to higher voluntary turnover rates and lower employee affective commitment, with no financial performance gains. By documenting the beneficial effects of financial incentives in diverse workplaces, this paper extends theory asserting the value of incentives for performance.
Shin, D.; Garmendia, A.; Ali, M.; Konrad, A. M.; Madinabeitia-Olabarria, D.,
(Forthcoming), "HRM systems and employee affective commitment: The role of employee gender", Gender in Management: An International Journal.
Abstract: Purpose – Despite decades of studies on high-involvement human resource management (HRM) systems, questions remain of whether high-involvement HRM systems can increase the commitment of women. This study contributes to the growing body of research on the cross-level effect of HRM systems and practices on employee affective commitment by considering the moderating role of gender. Design/Methodology – Integrating social exchange theory with gender role theory, this paper proposes that gender responses to HRM practices can be different. The hypotheses were tested using data from 104 small and medium-sized retail enterprises and 6,320 employees from Spain. Findings – The findings generally support the study’s hypotheses, with women’s affective commitment responding more strongly and positively to employees’ aggregated perceptions of a shop-level high-involvement HRM system. The findings imply that a high-involvement HRM system can promote the affective commitment of women. Originality/value – This study investigates the impact of both an overall HRM system and function-specific HRM sub-systems (e.g., training, information, participation, and autonomy). By showing that women can be more positively affected by high-involvement HRM systems, this paper suggests that high-involvement HRM systems can be used to encourage involvement and participation of women.
Link(s) to publication:
Jones-Morales, J.; Konrad, A. M.,
2018, "Attaining Elite Leadership: Career Development and Childhood Socioeconomic Status", Career Development International, June 23(3): 246 - 260.
Abstract: Purpose: The existence of disadvantaged sub-populations whose talents are under-leveraged is a problem faced by developing and developed countries alike. Life history data revealed that a large proportion of elite business leaders in the Caribbean emerged from childhood poverty (families subsisting on US$1 to $2 a day, 40%). The purpose of this paper was to examine the key factors supporting the career development of elite leaders from a broad socioeconomic spectrum and both genders in order to build a model of career development for elite leadership.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Data were collected via in-depth interviews from a deliberately gender-balanced sample of 39 male and 39 female elite business leaders. Thematic analysis identified consistencies across independent interviews and resulted in a model identifying factors supporting pre-career development as key to eventual attainment of elite leadership.
Findings: Findings indicated that in childhood and youth, proactivity plus talent recognition and mentoring by adults enhanced access to early developmental opportunities. Early career mentoring guided talented youth to build personal drive, self-esteem, altruism and integrity, which created a foundation for developing career capital through values-based action. Altogether, these findings indicate the importance of pre-career relational capital to attainment of elite career success.
Originality/Value: Difficult-to-access elite leaders provided rich information emphasizing the importance of pre-career development in childhood and youth to eventual elite leadership attainment. Virtually all of the elites in the sample remember being identified as talented early in life and consider early messages about drive to achieve as well as support received from parents, teachers, and other interested adults to be critical to their success. Hence, a process of talent recognition and encouragement to excel appear to be crucial for connecting young people to important relational capital allowing them to eventually achieve elite status, particularly those individuals hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Link(s) to publication:
Konrad, A. M.,
2018, "Denial of racism and the Trump Presidency", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, January 37(1): 14 - 30.
The purpose of this paper is to document the racist undertones of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign rhetoric and draw implications regarding its impact on equality, diversity, and inclusion. Most contemporary individuals reject explicitly racist beliefs and strive to present themselves as having egalitarian attitudes toward other races and ethnicities. However, commonly held implicit biases toward historically marginalized racioethnic groups drive negative effect that is often unconscious and unacknowledged. Inconsistency between the conscious and unconscious aspects of contemporary racism generates a population of individuals who are uncomfortable with their attitudes, creating an opening for politicians willing to leverage racist rhetoric and gain support by resolving this inconsistency.
This paper applies social psychological theory and research to address the questions of what attracts otherwise non-racist individuals to racist-tinged rhetoric. The paper also provides theory-based interventions for reducing the attractiveness and impact of racist political campaigns.
Supporters of racist politicians resolve the conflict between their negative feelings toward racioethnic minorities and their espoused anti-racist views by distancing themselves from racist rhetorical content in three ways: by denying that racist statements or actions occurred, denying that the statements or actions are racist, and/or by denying responsibility for racism and its effects. These techniques provide supporters with validation from an authority that they can express their negative affect toward out-groups and still consider themselves to be good people and not racists.
Distancing from racism has allowed contemporary American extremists to reframe themselves as victims of closed-minded progressives seeking to elevate undeserving and/or dangerous out-groups at the in-group’s expense. Effective anti-racism techniques are needed to counter implicit biases in order to limit the attractiveness of extremist views. Implicit biases can be effectively reduced through training in counter-stereotypic imaging, stereotype replacement, and structured inter-group interaction. Effectively countering denial of the facts involves affirming the audience’s belief system while building skepticism toward the sources of misinformation.
While countering racist politicians requires commitment, these efforts are essential for protecting the identity of the USA as a society striving toward equality, diversity, and inclusion.
By articulating the social psychological principles underpinning racist-tinged populist rhetoric, this paper explains the attractiveness of racist statements by politicians, which tends to be under-estimated.
Link(s) to publication:
Konrad, A. M.; Seidel, M. D.; Lo, E.; Bhardwaj, A.; Qureshi, I.,
2017, "Variety, Dissimilarity, and Status Centrality in MBA Networks: Is the Minority or the Majority More Likely to Network across Diversity?", Academy of Management Learning & Education, September 16(3): 349 - 372.
Abstract: The value of the networks that MBA students develop is often limited by the tendency of people to favor connections with similar others, resulting in self-segregation among identity groups. In order to identify the origins of network diversity, a key question for theory and practice is whether majority or minority groups are more likely to develop diverse personal networks. This paper provides a partial answer to this question by integrating network theory with three conceptual dimensions of diversity: variety, dissimilarity, and status. This conceptualization suggests that individuals can display three distinct types of diversity in their networks with different theoretical antecedents and outcomes. Consistent with theoretical predictions, we find systematic differences between the networks of high-status majorities and low-status minorities in a longitudinal study of MBA student networks. Specifically, minorities show more variety, greater dissimilarity and lower status centrality in their networks compared to majorities. Tie strength and time period affect the findings in predictable ways. These results demonstrate the value of integrating diversity theory with network theory for understanding the development of inclusive networks in business schools. We conclude by discussing potential remedies to enhance the diversity of MBA student networks.
Link(s) to publication:
Ali, M.; Konrad, A. M.,
2017, "Antecedents and consequences of diversity and equality management systems: The importance of gender diversity in the TMT and lower to middle management", European Management Journal, August 35(4): 440 - 453.
Abstract: Strategic human resource management theory suggests that diversity and equality management (DEM) systems provide a firm with a competitive advantage, leading to superior performance. This study proposes and tests a moderated mediation model focusing on antecedents (i.e. top management team gender diversity) and consequences (i.e. performance) of DEM systems in the context of lower through middle management (LTMM) gender diversity. The model was tested in 248 medium-to large-sized organizations using time-lagged survey and archival data. The findings provide full support for the hypothesis that a gender-diverse top management team is positively associated with DEM systems. The results provide partial support for the following hypotheses: DEM systems are positively associated with performance and this relationship is moderated by LTMM gender diversity and DEM systems mediate the relationship between TMT gender diversity and performance. We discuss theoretical, research and practical implications.
Link(s) to publication:
Baldridge, D. C.; Konrad, A. M.; Moore, M.; Yang, Y.,
2017, "Childhood onset disability, strong ties and employment quality", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, July 36(4): 290 - 305.
Abstract: Purpose br Persons with childhood-onset disabilities are among the most marginalized populations, often unemployed or underemployment in jobs providing neither adequate hours for financial self-sufficiency nor fulfillment through skill-utilization. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which social capital in the form of strong ties with family and friends is associated with enhanced employment outcomes for persons with childhood-onset disabilities. brbr Designmethodologyapproachbr Questioning the current theoretical consensus that strong social ties are unimportant to employment quality, the authors draw on disability research and opportunity, motivation and ability social capital theory to propose a model of the impact of strong ties with family and friends on paid-work-hours and skill-utilization as well as the potential moderating role of gender and disability severity. The authors then test this model using data from 1,380 people with childhood-onset disabilities and OLS regression analysis. brbr Findingsbr As theorized, family-of-origin-size is positively associated with hours worked. Family-of-origin-size is also associated with having more close friends and children. These strong ties, in turn, are positively associated with hours worked. The impact of having more children on hours worked and skill-utilization, however, is positive for men but non-significant for women. brbr Originalityvaluebr This study breaks new ground by focusing on the association between strong ties with family and friends and employment quality for people with childhood-onset disabilities a marginalized and understudied group. Findings further indicate the particular vulnerability of women with disabilities.
Link(s) to publication:
Shin, D. J.; Konrad, A. M.,
2017, "Causality Between High-Performance Work Systems and Organizational Performance", Journal of Management, April 43(4): 973 - 997.
Abstract: Previous researchers have questioned whether the association between high-performance work systems (HPWS) and organizational performance indicates causality. Strategic human resource management theories, including the resource-based view of the firm and the behavioral perspective, have provided explanations linking human resource management practices to organizational performance. We add arguments based upon general systems theory to suggest a more complex relationship where performance provides feedback on HPWS in the form of information and resources. This feedback generates both the data and the slack resources needed to support an adaptive process of HPWS implementation. We test the causal associations between HPWS and performance using a large longitudinal data set with three time points. Findings showed that past HPWS positively contributes to later productivity as well as the reverse. The reciprocal relationship supports the need to extend strategic human resource management theory by considering productivity as an antecedent as well as an outcome of human resource management practices.
Link(s) to publication:
Bhardwaj, A.; Qureshi, I.; Konrad, A. M.; Lee, M. S. H.,
2016, "A Two-Wave Study of Self-Monitoring Personality, Social Network Churn, and In-Degree Centrality in Close Friendship and General Socializing Networks", Group & Organization Management, August 41(4): 526 - 559.
Abstract: We examine the role of self-monitoring personality in shaping network change in two important types of social relationships. In a two-wave social network study, we find that individuals with higher levels of self-monitoring derive persistent personality-linked in-degree centrality benefits in the general socializing network but have fading benefits over time in the close friendship network. Simultaneous examination of the formation and dissolution of relationships over time (network churn) reveals that this pattern of network change is shaped by differential reactions of relationship partners to individuals based upon level of self-monitoring in the two network types. Overall, by incorporating the dynamic reactions of relationship partners, the findings contribute to the understanding of the complex relationship between personality and social network development.
Link(s) to publication:
Zhu, Y.; Konrad, A. M.; Jiao, H. J.,
2016, "Violation and Activation of Gender Expectations: Do Chinese Managerial Women Face a Narrow Band of Acceptable Career Guanxi Strategies?", Asia Pacific Journal of Management, March 33(1): 53 - 86.
Abstract: We proposed a conceptual model arguing that stereotype violation and stereotype activation combine to create a narrow band of acceptable career strategies for women in management. Utilizing a sample of 324 Chinese managers (162 pairs of women and men matched on education, years of work experience, and employing organization), we examined the effects of gender on three career development outcomes: number of subordinates supervised, life satisfaction, and career satisfaction. Results indicated that being female had a significant negative main effect on all three outcomes. Ten significant interactions supported the theoretical effects of both stereotype violation and activation on women’s managerial career development, consistent with our conceptual model. The findings suggest that Chinese women in management face a narrow band of acceptable career strategies, especially in the area of creating social capital. The results highlight the importance of testing both stereotype violation and stereotype activation effects and of creating social capital through appropriate networking.
Link(s) to publication:
Konrad, A. M.; Radcliffe, V. S.; Shin, D. J.,
2016, "Participation in helping networks as social capital mobilization: Impact on influence for domestic men, domestic women, and international MBA students.", Academy of Management Learning & Education, March 15(1): 60 - 78.
Abstract: This study examines participation in helping networks among MBA students and its impact on subsequent ratings of influence by peers. Helping networks reflect the mobilization of social capital where network contacts exchange social and material resources. As such, helping networks are distinct from friendship networks which represent access to social capital but not necessarily its use. We identify three dimensions of social capital mobilization with different effects on status, specifically, mutual helping, non-mutual help-giving, and non-mutual help-receiving. Findings indicate that social capital mobilization through non-mutual help-giving is a positive predictor of influence among peers at a later point in time. Non-mutual help-receiving and mutual helping are unrelated to influence when non-mutual help-giving is controlled. Gender moderates this relationship but international student status does not. Non-mutual help-giving does not enhance the perceived influence of women, particularly among domestic men. These findings support theories of status devaluation for marginalized groups and have implications for the value of the MBA for female students relative to their male peers. Future research on the predictors and outcomes of social capital mobilization can enhance understanding of the organizational experiences of diverse identity groups.
Link(s) to publication:
Konrad, A. M.; Yang, Y.; Maurer, C. C.,
2016, "Antecedents and Outcomes of Diversity and Equality Management Systems: An Integrated Institutional Agency and Strategic Human Resource Management Approach", Human Resource Management, January 55(1): 83 - 107.
Abstract: This study examines the development and impact of diversity and equality management systems (DEMS). A national sample of human resource managers from 155 Canadian firms responded to surveys about their firm’s diversity and equality management (DEM) practices. Cluster analysis and latent class modeling identified three distinct approaches to DEM: classical disparity DEMS showing limited development of DEM-related practices, institutional DEMS involving complex selection mechanisms and monitoring of employment statistics, and configurational DEMS linking diversity to business strategy. Hypothesis-testing analyses indicated that both institutional and configurational DEMS were predicted by coverage by the Canadian employment equity program, federal contractor status, and the presence of a diversity expert on staff. Only configurational DEMS was predicted by inclusion of HRM in developing business strategy. Configurational DEMS positively predicted the employment of workers with disabilities and members of visible minority groups as well as ROA. These findings support the proposition based on Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) theory that DEM practices should be considered as bundles and that vertical linkage to strategy is important for DEM effectiveness. As such, SHRM theory explains how managers can structure strategic responses to institutional pressures that go beyond requirements to achieve strategic goals.
Link(s) to publication:
Sidani, Y. M.; Konrad, A. M.; Karam, C. M.,
2015, "From female leadership advantage to female leadership deficit: A developing country perspective", Career Development International, May 20(3): 273 - 292.
Abstract: Purpose This paper takes an institutional approach to identify cognitive, normative, and regulatory factors affecting women’s business leadership in an under-studied traditional society. The purpose of this paper is to assess how such forces work to create a case of female leadership deficit (FLD) in Lebanon. Designmethodologyapproach The authors analyze interview data to identify themes linking women’s leadership with societal institutional forces. The qualitative analysis provides an understanding at the societal level of analysis which is only partially tempered through organizational structures. Findings Misalignments among cognitive, normative, and regulative pillars inhibit real change. Organizational structures are not highly salient as the most important factors affecting women’s leadership. Rather, patriarchal structures, explicit favoring of males over females, and assignment of women to nurturing roles within the private sphere of the family are the major limiting factors impeding women’s ascension to leadership. Research limitationsimplications A promise of the institutional approach is enhancing the capacity to make meaningful comparisons between societies. This opens the door to uncovering whether documentable changes in regulations, cognitions, values, and norms regarding women in business leadership, will lead to observable changes in the size of FLD. Originalityvalue This study presents a case of institutional pluralism where a positive force in one direction (regulatory) is sometimes opposed by other forces (cognitive and normative) limiting meaningful change. This study helps to explain why societies differ in the size of the FLD and to identify factors that predict within societal changes in the size of this deficit over time.
Link(s) to publication:
Lee, S. H.; Qureshi, I.; Konrad, A. M.; Bhardwaj, A.,
2014, "Proactive Personality, Heterophily, and the Moderating Role of Proactive Personality on Network Centrality and Psychological Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study", Journal of Business and Psychology, September 29(3): 381 - 395.
Abstract: Purpose In a social network study, this research investigates proactive personality dissimilarity as a basis for friendship ties over time. It also examines the moderating role of proactive personality on the relationship between network centrality and satisfactionstress. DesignMethodologyApproach Longitudinal network data (two periods) were collected from business students (T1, n 197 T2, n 212). We captured the early stages of network formation and observed the changes in network structure over time. Findings Findings demonstrate proactive individuals develop ties with less proactive individuals over time, providing evidence of personality heterophily. In addition, proactive personality positively moderates the relationship between network centrality and satisfactionstress. Interestingly, people’s perceptions of their network position (out-degree ties) were more strongly associated with their personal outcomes than their number of ties as nominated by others. OriginalityValue This research is among the first to provide evidence of personality heterophily over time (relationships form because of differences in personality). Moreover, proactive personality is important to both the benefits and costs associated with network participation, pointing to paradoxical effects of proactive personality.
Link(s) to publication:
Konrad, A. M.; Moore, M. E.; Ng, E. S. W.; Doherty, A. J.; Breward, K.,
2013, "Temporary work, underemployment and workplace accommodations: Relationship to well-being for workers with disabilities", British Journal of Management, September 24(3): 367 - 382.
Abstract: This study examines whether employment status and workplace accommodations are associated with perceived well-being among workers with disabilities. Data from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) conducted by Statistics Canada were used to test the relationship between employment status, receipt of workplace accommodations and well-being. Findings indicated that fully utilized permanent employees showed greater life satisfaction and less perceived disability-related discrimination than either temporary workers or permanent workers who were underemployed. These findings support the theory that inadequate employment is associated with deleterious effects on employee well-being due to inferior need fulfilment and reduced social status. Workplace accommodations were associated with higher levels of well-being for all workers with disabilities and helped to mitigate the negative effects of temporary status and underemployment. These findings supported the theoretical extension of main effect and buffering models of workplace stress to the prediction of perceived workplace discrimination.
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Honours & Awards
- 2012-17: SSHRC Insight Grant, CDN$97,080 to study the impact of HRM systems in a diverse workplace.
- 2013: Winner, Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research for the paper, “Is using work-life interface benefits a career-limiting move? An examination of women, men, lone parents, and parents with partners,” Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(8), 1095-1119. Award co-sponsored by the Center for Families at Purdue U. and the Boston College Center for Work and Family.
- Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Ivey Business School, Western University (2003-present)
- Professor of Human Resource Management, Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University (2000-2003)
- Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University (1994-2000)
- Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University (1988-1994)
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, Stanford University (1986-1988)
- Gender and Diversity in Organizations
- Inclusivity Initiatives
- Employment Equity and Affirmative Action Programs
- Work-Life Program Initiatives
- Work Values and Attitudes