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Merits, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2023) – 10 articles

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17 pages, 3318 KiB  
Article
A Social-Ecological Model for Inclusion Processes in Urban Agriculture of Vienna, Austria
by Sophie Kathrin Schaffernicht and Elisabeth Quendler
Merits 2023, 3(2), 415-431; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020024 - 8 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1549
Abstract
The target group of this study—people with disabilities who work and who are cared for in institutions that offer occupational therapy—is largely absent from the discussions about urban agriculture. When implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, education and [...] Read more.
The target group of this study—people with disabilities who work and who are cared for in institutions that offer occupational therapy—is largely absent from the discussions about urban agriculture. When implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, education and work are essential aspects, especially for the self-determination of people with disabilities. However, people with disabilities are currently often prevented from truly participating in society. The main research objective of this study lies on the identification on systemic barriers to inclusion into horticultural working life as well as possible solutions. The aim of this study was to find out how inclusion processes could be facilitated in the field of urban agriculture in Vienna. A pilot project was carried out for this purpose during May and October 2019. A university, three social institutions with seven employees, two horticultural farms with two farm managers and fifteen people with disabilities took part in this pilot project. During the tomato harvest, action research was applied, evaluated and modified. At the same time, the authors tried to contribute to Grounded Theory. One of the results of this study is the suggestion that offers in the field of urban agriculture should go beyond pure cooperation between social institutions and horticultural farms. A social-ecological scenario with agro-ecological inclusion farms is elaborated. It is concluded that the establishment of such farms in terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in Vienna could bring the city closer to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. This is exemplified in a new framework on social-ecological inclusion processes in the world of work. Full article
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10 pages, 265 KiB  
Article
Engaging “Care” Behaviors in Support of Employee and Organizational Wellbeing through Complexity Leadership Theory
by Merike Kolga
Merits 2023, 3(2), 405-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020023 - 1 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the attributes of nurturing, empathy, and relating rather than directing moved into the spotlight as important skills for leadership. These skills are representative of the concept of “care” that is often associated with women’s or feminine leadership. The importance [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the attributes of nurturing, empathy, and relating rather than directing moved into the spotlight as important skills for leadership. These skills are representative of the concept of “care” that is often associated with women’s or feminine leadership. The importance of care as a component of leadership had not received significant attention in the leadership literature until the pandemic brought the need for care onto center stage. This article argues that care will continue to be an important attribute of leadership and an essential attribute of an androgynous leadership style—that includes behaviors typically classified as male and those behaviors typically classed as female—that is needed to navigate the increasing complexity of the world most effectively. The article further argues that complexity leadership theory provides the most appropriate leadership approach through which complex adaptive organizations can initiate and foster the development of “care” behaviors as part of an androgynous approach to leadership which produces system-wide benefits in complex systems more capable of addressing the global challenges of the climate crisis and increased environmental disasters, future pandemics, local wars, terrorist attacks, and other phenomena. Full article
15 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Education, Off-the-Job Vocational Training, and Early Employment Outcomes: Evidence from Italy
by Giorgia Casalone and Eliana Baici
Merits 2023, 3(2), 390-404; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020022 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
Education and training are primary sources of individual human capital. We explored the relationship between education and off-the-job vocational training and the impact of training programmes on youth employment in Italy. We focused on three outcomes: employment probability, use of formal/informal job search [...] Read more.
Education and training are primary sources of individual human capital. We explored the relationship between education and off-the-job vocational training and the impact of training programmes on youth employment in Italy. We focused on three outcomes: employment probability, use of formal/informal job search channels, and skill matching. We identified programme effects by comparing the outcomes of treatment and control groups using propensity score matching with a robustness check to assess the potential bias due to unobservable characteristics. Individuals with vocational high school degrees are more likely to participate in vocational training programmes, but in southern regions, individuals with technical or generalist high school degrees also attend vocational training programmes. Vocational training programmes have positive effects on youth employment outcomes, reduce the use of informal job search channels, and improve skill matching, especially in the centre-northern regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young People and the Labor Market: Challenges and Opportunities)
24 pages, 1254 KiB  
Review
Challenges Women Experience in Leadership Careers: An Integrative Review
by Enkhzul Galsanjigmed and Tomoki Sekiguchi
Merits 2023, 3(2), 366-389; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020021 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 42520
Abstract
A part of diversity management is working to achieve gender equality and create a comfortable working environment for women. However, in many organizations, gender biases and stereotypes frequently occur, consciously or unconsciously, regardless of whether women take on leadership roles. In addition, women [...] Read more.
A part of diversity management is working to achieve gender equality and create a comfortable working environment for women. However, in many organizations, gender biases and stereotypes frequently occur, consciously or unconsciously, regardless of whether women take on leadership roles. In addition, women must overcome a variety of challenges when taking on leadership roles or aspiring to become leaders. Based on the above background, we review and integrate the literature on management and career studies related to the challenges that women face in the process of advancing to leadership positions in organizations. Specifically, we examine the external and internal factors that create the various obstacles that women who aspire to leadership positions in structured organizations face from a gender perspective. Based on the integrative review, we discuss the implications for practices to increase the number of female leaders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership in the Workplace)
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15 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Pursuing Educational Partnerships in Diasporic Contexts: Teachers Responding to Pacific Voice in Their Work
by Cherie Chu-Fuluifaga and Martyn Reynolds
Merits 2023, 3(2), 351-365; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020020 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 1484
Abstract
In Aotearoa New Zealand, teachers have signaled that they would like to further their development as classroom practitioners, as a way of improving their capabilities as professionals. They want to foster strengths-based authentic partnerships between themselves and their diasporic migrant communities. This article [...] Read more.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, teachers have signaled that they would like to further their development as classroom practitioners, as a way of improving their capabilities as professionals. They want to foster strengths-based authentic partnerships between themselves and their diasporic migrant communities. This article attends to Pacific education, the education in Aotearoa New Zealand of students with migratory links to one or more Pacific Island Nations through a strength-based lens. We report on a Professional Learning Development (PLD) research endeavor, Learning From Each Other, that focused on supporting partnerships between Pacific communities and teachers. We provide a window on the sense making of teachers as they listen to, and are challenged by, diasporic Pacific community voice. Particular emphasis is placed on how teachers explore and transform their approach to partnership by negotiating with habitual practice. The examples given, selected for their apparent ordinariness, relate to new understandings of space and time. The study provides lessons applicable to other situations where access to quality education is problematic for diasporic, migrant communities and where teachers need support for the re-thinking that is required for enhanced partnership arrangements of benefit to all. Full article
19 pages, 2003 KiB  
Article
Finnish Police Supervisors’ Conceptions of Workplace Learning and Its Sustainability
by Annamaria Lumiala and Kaija Marjukka Collin
Merits 2023, 3(2), 332-350; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020019 - 4 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Workplace learning (WPL) is a complex phenomenon involving the intertwined processes of working and learning. Recent studies have shown the importance of sustainable perspectives in WPL situations. In the literature, sustainable development is still predominantly referred to environmental, economic and social sustainability. In [...] Read more.
Workplace learning (WPL) is a complex phenomenon involving the intertwined processes of working and learning. Recent studies have shown the importance of sustainable perspectives in WPL situations. In the literature, sustainable development is still predominantly referred to environmental, economic and social sustainability. In this study, sustainable perspectives denote the widespread use of previous knowledge, the rapid application of new knowledge and the effects of this knowledge on well-being, thus leaning on human sustainability. The purpose of this study is to examine conceptions of WPL among Finnish police supervisors and to reveal whether sustainable learning perspectives manifest. Eight thematic interviews were analysed using phenomenographic and theory-driven content analyses. The analysis produced six main categories of WPL, and sustainable learning perspectives manifested in all categories. This study confirms previous findings regarding WPL and presents similarities in sustainable learning perspectives to those found in previous research. Learning outcomes can be improved by understanding WPL conceptions and sustainable learning perspectives; thus, the findings of this study can help organisations, supervisors and human resources better plan and implement sustainable WPL possibilities for employees and their careers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue People—the Next Sustainability Frontier)
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14 pages, 433 KiB  
Article
To Share or Not to Share: A Framework for Understanding Coworker Collaborative Consumption
by Charles Touma and Anita D. Bhappu
Merits 2023, 3(2), 318-331; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020018 - 30 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
We extend prior research by empirically demonstrating employees’ attitude–behavior gap when sharing goods and services with coworkers using platform technology. We also integrate theories on psychological ownership and territoriality in organizations with the theory of planned behavior and the technology acceptance model to [...] Read more.
We extend prior research by empirically demonstrating employees’ attitude–behavior gap when sharing goods and services with coworkers using platform technology. We also integrate theories on psychological ownership and territoriality in organizations with the theory of planned behavior and the technology acceptance model to develop an individual-level framework for understanding employees’ adoption of organization-sponsored sharing platforms, or lack thereof. Specifically, our abductive analysis of interview data from a field study illustrates how psychological ownership attitudes, sustainable consumption norms, and technology usability perceptions influence employees’ sharing motivations and intentions. Our findings and framework provide organizations with a roadmap for increasing employee engagement and corporate social responsibility through coworker collaborative consumption. Managers should promote sustainable consumption in their organization and strengthen related employee norms to facilitate the sharing of goods and services among coworkers, which helps build community at work. Managers should also ensure that the chosen organizational-sponsored sharing platforms are easy to use so that employees perceive this technology as useful and feel confident using it. The implementation of these strategies should enable organizations to successfully extend the sharing economy to the workplace. Future research could also leverage our contextualized construct definitions to develop survey measures for quantitatively testing and refining our framework. Full article
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21 pages, 743 KiB  
Systematic Review
Peeling Away the Layers of Workplace Gossip: A Framework, Review, and Future Research Agenda to Study Workplace Gossip as a Dynamic and Complex Behavior
by Vanessa Begemann, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Maie Stein
Merits 2023, 3(2), 297-317; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020017 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2873
Abstract
Workplace gossip, a ubiquitous organizational behavior broadly defined as talking about an absent target in an evaluative way, has received increasing scientific attention over the past few years. The complexity and dynamism of the workplace gossip phenomenon create challenging research conditions such that [...] Read more.
Workplace gossip, a ubiquitous organizational behavior broadly defined as talking about an absent target in an evaluative way, has received increasing scientific attention over the past few years. The complexity and dynamism of the workplace gossip phenomenon create challenging research conditions such that studies focusing on the allegedly same type of workplace gossip can produce differential findings. To address this problem and better align theory and methodology, our manuscript first proposes a framework of workplace gossip that accounts for the interdependencies of the context-embeddedness and dynamism of workplace gossip. Guided by this framework, we systematically evaluate extant workplace gossip research, spanning a total of N = 104 empirical research articles. Highlighting current methodological challenges that indicate a neglect of the dynamic nuances and contexts of workplace gossip, we argue that previous organizational research painted an overly simplistic picture of workplace gossip. By looking beyond traditional organizational research designs, we derive recommendations to advance research on workplace gossip and, ultimately, to establish it as a complex and dynamic social interaction behavior. Full article
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34 pages, 961 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Strategies to Increase the Number of Women Working in the UK Surveying Profession
by Sinéad Clarkson, Lucy Hind and Sambo Lyson Zulu
Merits 2023, 3(2), 263-296; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020016 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2084
Abstract
The surveying profession in the UK construction industry continues to be blighted by a skills shortage, and this continues to constrict growth. Therefore, it is suggested that this should make it easier for women and other underrepresented groups to be employed in the [...] Read more.
The surveying profession in the UK construction industry continues to be blighted by a skills shortage, and this continues to constrict growth. Therefore, it is suggested that this should make it easier for women and other underrepresented groups to be employed in the construction industry. While this is the case, barriers to entry have been well researched. This study aimed to identify what methods have been previously successful at increasing female engagement within the surveying profession in the UK. This study followed a mixed-method, complementary approach, combining quantitative and qualitative questions in an online questionnaire, which was distributed via social media (LinkedIn) and the researchers’ contacts, and achieved 44 responses over a period of six weeks. The target population was female UK residents employed in surveying roles. Quantitative data on both awareness and opinion of the methods used during previous initiatives to engage women with surveying underwent reliability analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, and a Spearman’s rank order correlation to assess the relationship between time in industry and opinion on the efficacy of the methods used in each initiative; however, no statistically significant relationship was found. To better understand the opinions of women already in the industry, the qualitative data underwent thematic analysis via inductive coding, the results of which then underwent descriptive statistical analysis. The study found a broad lack of awareness of previous initiatives, with most respondents having little or no awareness of the five initiatives examined. However, evidence suggested there was general support for the methods used in those initiatives, such as intervention at school age, increasing the visibility of women in surveying roles, and changes to workplace culture. There was no statistically significant link between time in industry and opinion on the efficacy of each initiative. Key themes included concerns regarding the implementation of current initiatives, and enthusiasm for intervention at school age as the best method to engage more women with the surveying profession. The findings have implications for both practice and future research. First, professional institutions, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, should be aware of the limitations of the initiatives they put in place to encourage women into their profession. Second, the results have an impact on other professions. However, a cross-comparative study that examines initiatives by other professional institutions would be useful. Full article
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15 pages, 841 KiB  
Article
Millennials and Early Retirement: An Exploratory Study
by Igor Tkalec
Merits 2023, 3(2), 248-262; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits3020015 - 30 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2672
Abstract
The article explores the extent to which working conditions and health factors shape Millennials’ preferences to retire early in the European context. On the one hand, Millennials’ approach to life and work potentially implies a preference to retire early. Yet, on the other [...] Read more.
The article explores the extent to which working conditions and health factors shape Millennials’ preferences to retire early in the European context. On the one hand, Millennials’ approach to life and work potentially implies a preference to retire early. Yet, on the other hand, the ongoing trend of tightening conditions and penalizing early retirement, as well as the expected decrease in living standards in old age for Millennial cohorts, restricts options and discourages early retirement. The results indicate that Millennials across Europe do not explicitly express a wish to retire early. This holds true most prominently for Millennials who are healthy and satisfied with their job. The analysis employs a classification decision tree model as the main method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young People and the Labor Market: Challenges and Opportunities)
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