Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour
- Ivey Professor in Leadership
Fernando Olivera is an Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Ivey Business School. He joined the Ivey Faculty in 1998. He earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial Administration from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Electronics Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico.
Olivera's primary research interests are in the areas of organizational memory, group and individual learning, and the impact of communication technology on group work. His work has been published in the Academy of Management Review, Small Group Research, the Journal of Management Studies, the Research on Managing Groups and Teams book series, and other books and conference proceedings. He co-edited the volume Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management: New Directions. He has presented his work at various academic conferences, including the Academy of Management Annual Meetings, the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Professor Olivera teaches courses in Organizational Behavior and Interpersonal Negotiations in Ivey's MBA, EMBA and Ph.D. programs.
- Interpersonal Negotiations, MBA Elective
- Organizational Behavior Special Fields II: Group Behavior and Cross Level Research, PhD Course
- Executive Education
- BS, ITESM
- MS, Carnegie Mellon University
- PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
Recent Refereed Articles
Compeau, D.R., Olivera, F.,
2014, "From ‘theory light’ to theorizing: a reaction to Avison and Malaurent", Journal of Information Technology, December 29(4): 346 - 349.
Abstract: The field of information systems (IS), like all academic disciplines, must periodically pause and reflect on its policies, practices, and underlying assumptions. Over the years, various discussions have helped us think about, among other things, the nature of rigor in our research (e.g., Dubé and Paré, 2003; Straub et al., 2004), the importance of relevance to practice in addition to rigor (e.g., Darke et al., 1998; Robey and Markus, 1998; Applegate and King, 1999; Benbasat and Zmud, 1999; Davenport and Markus, 1999; Lee, 1999; Rosemann and Vessey, 2008; Straub and Ang, 2011), and the value of diverse approaches (both methodological and theoretical) to our developing understanding of the phenomena we study (e.g., Robey, 1996; Lee, 1999, 2011; Benbasat and Zmud, 2003; Mingers, 2004; Davison and Martinsons, 2011; Galliers, 2011; Myers, 2011).
Link(s) to publication:
Casey, A.J., Olivera, F.,
2011, "Reflections on Organizational Memory and Forgetting", Journal of Management Inquiry, September 20(3): 305 - 310.
Abstract: Organizational memory plays a central role in theories of organizational learning and forgetting. However, we still know little about how knowledge becomes embedded in organizational memory or the reasons and processes through which organizational memory decays. The objective of this article is to clarify the relationship between organizational memory and forgetting, and identify areas that require development if we are to improve our understanding of these constructs. Specifically, we point to the importance of theorizing about (a) the dynamic nature of organizational memory and forgetting, (b) the role of time in theories and research of organizational memory and forgetting, and (c) the processes through which individuals maintain, discard, or remember knowledge, including the dynamics of power.
Link(s) to publication:
Purdy, N., Laschinger, H., Finegan, J., Kerr, M., Olivera, F.,
2010, "Effects of work environments on nurse and patient outcomes", Journal of Nursing Management, November 18(8): 901 - 913.
Abstract: Aim To determine the relationship between nurses' perceptions of their work environment and quality/risk outcomes for patients and nurses in acute care settings. Background Nurses are leaving the profession as a result of high levels of job dissatisfaction arising from current working conditions. To gain organizational support for workplace improvements, evidence is needed to demonstrate the impact of the work environment on patient care. Method A multi-level design was used to collect data from nurses (n = 679) and patients (n = 1005) within 61 medical and surgical units in 21 hospitals in Canada. Results Using multilevel structural equation modelling, the hypothesized model fitted well with the data [chi(2) = 21.074, d.f. = 10, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.985, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) = 0.921, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.041, Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR) 0.002 (within) and 0.054 (between)]. Empowering workplaces had positive effects on nurse-assessed quality of care and predicted fewer falls and nurse-assessed risks as mediated through group processes. These conditions positively impacted individual psychological empowerment which, in turn, had significant direct effects on empowered behaviour, job satisfaction and care quality. Conclusions Empowered workplaces support positive outcomes for both nurses and patients. Implications for nursing management Managers employing strategies to create more empowered workplaces have the potential to improve nursing teamwork that supports higher quality care, less patient risk and more satisfied nurses.
Olivera, F., Goodman, P., Tan, S.L.,
2008, "Contribution Behaviors in Distributed Environments", MIS Quarterly, March 32(1): 23 - 42.
Abstract: In this paper, we develop a framework for understanding contribution behaviors, which we define as voluntary acts of helping others by providing information. Our focus is on why and how people make contributions in geographically distributed organizations where contributions occur primarily through information technologies. We develop a model of contribution behaviors that delineates three mediating mechanisms: (1) awareness; (2) searching and matching; and (3) formulation and delivery. We specify the cognitive and motivational elements involved in these mechanisms and the role of information technology in facilitating contributions. We discuss the implications of our framework for developing theory and for designing technology to support contribution behaviors.
Zhao, N.B., Olivera, F.,
2006, "Error Reporting in Organizations", Academy of Management Review, October 31(4): 1012 - 1030.
Abstract: We develop a framework of individual error reporting that draws from research in human error, learning, discretionary behaviors, and high-reliability organizations. The framework describes three phases that underlie error reporting: error detection, situation assessment, and choice of behavioral response. We discuss theoretical implications of the framework and directions for future research.
Olivera, F., Straus, S.,
2004, "Group-to-Individual Transfer of Learning: Cognitive and Social Factors", Small Group Research, August 35(4): 445 - 465.
Abstract: We investigate the effects of group collaboration on member learning in a laboratory experiment. Based on theoretical ideas from research on cooperative learning, we test the hypothesis that groups provide opportunities for transfer of learning to individuals and that such learning occurs via cognitive and social processes that arise during group interaction. Eighty-six students solved puzzles either individually, in groups, or individually while observing a group. Analysis of subsequent individual performance on a transfer task showed that participating in or observing a group caused transfer of learning, whereas working alone did not. Furthermore, results suggest that transfer of learning occurred mainly due to cognitive, but not social, factors. Implications for structuring group work are discussed.
Vince, R., Suttcliffe, K., Olivera, F.,
2002, "Organizational Learning: New Directions", British Journal of Management, September 13(2): 1 - 6.
Abstract: The papers in this special issue are derived from the conference on `Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management: New Directions' hosted by the Ivey School of Business, the University of Western Ontario, Canada in June 2001. This conference was the fourth in a series of international conferences in organizational learning, and the first of these to formally extend the general context of the papers and presentations to both organizational learning and knowledge management. This is the third collection of papers from the series of international conferences on organizational learning to be published in a British journal, following on from and developing the collections produced from two former conferences, both held at Lancaster University, that appeared in Management Learning in September 1998 and in the Journal of Management Studies (JMS) in September 2000.
2000, "Memory systems in organizations: An empirical investigation of mechanisms of knowledge collection, storage and access", Journal of Management Studies 37(6): 811 - 832.
Abstract: This research examines the concept of organizational memory in the context of multi-unit organizations. It addresses the question: how do organizations collect, store and provide access to their experimental knowledge? A framework is developed for organizational memory systems and empirically assess the usefulness of this framework in the context of a multinational, business consulting organization. multiple memory systems were identified, including social networks, knowledge centers and various computer-based programs. Findings are presented and discussed with respect to the characteristics and perceived effectiveness of these memory systems.
Works in Progress
- "Remembering organizational memory" with Andrea Casey
- "Learning with laptops: Information technology and the transformation of an MBA program" with Abhijit Gopal, Teresa Marcon and Deb Compeau
- "Multitasking behaviors in groups" with Deb Compeau and Carlie Bell
- "Emotional responses to errors" with Natalie Zhao
- Teaching and Research Assistant, Carnegie Mellon University
- Project Director, ITESM
- Development Director, TELMEX
- Errors and Error Reporting
- Organizational Memory and Forgetting
- Group-to-Individual Transfer of Learning
- Effects of Technology on Group Processes