Rethinking Control and Trust Dynamics in Organizations
Expanding our Understanding of Formal and Informal Mechanisms of Collaboration across Levels of Analysis
Submission deadline: 1st November 2020
Fabrice Lumineau, Purdue University
Chris P. Long, St. John's University
Sim B. Sitkin, Duke University
Nicholas Argyres, Washington University in St. Louis
JMS Editor: Riikka Sarala, University of North Carolina – Greensboro
Questions surrounding how various control and trust-based governance mechanisms can and should be arranged has attracted significant scholarly attention. Micro- and meso-focused organizational researchers have examined control-trust dynamics within organizations, for example between managers and subordinates (e.g., Cardinal et al., 2017; Sitkin and Roth, 1993; see Long and Sitkin, 2018 for a review). Macro-focused scholars have examined ways in which contractual and relational governance mechanisms impact inter-organizational relationships, and interactions between firms and their environments (e.g., Mayer and Argyres, 2004; Poppo and Zenger, 2002; see Cao and Lumineau, 2015 and McEvily et al., 2014 for reviews).
Scholars have focused their attention on control-trust dynamics for two primary reasons. First, when levels of control and trust are effectively balanced within an organizational governance system, individuals within that system exhibit high levels of commitment, motivation, cooperation, and performance because they clearly understand the standards that they need to achieve, and are confident that they will benefit from working to achieve those standards (Bachmann, 2001; Bijlsma-Frankema and Costa, 2005). However, because control and trust-building efforts draw on distinct and often opposing psychological mechanisms, it can be difficult for organizational authorities to balance these efforts to achieve positive outcomes (Christ, 2013; Long, 2010; Vosselman and van der Meer-Kooistra, 2009; Weibel, 2007).
Scholarship on the control-trust dynamics of governance is currently at an important crossroads. Recently, a review of the control-trust dynamics literature (Long and Sitkin, 2018) and a meta-analysis of contractual and relational governance (Cao and Lumineau, 2015) identified several theoretical oversights and conceptual blind spots that have significantly limited the capacities of researchers to build a cumulative and coherent knowledge base about control-trust dynamics. For example, while scholars across disciplines (e.g., organizational behavior, strategic management, international business, organization theory, marketing, accounting, and supply chain management) conduct research on control-trust issues, much of the published work to date has been "siloed" in different disciplinary perspectives, each of which leverages a limited number of theories to address a narrowly focused set of issues. This has resulted in a control-trust literature that is fragmented around competing perspectives, each of which examines only certain aspects of, or mechanisms underlying, complex control-trust relationships. This leads to potentially mis-specified models. In addition, cross-disciplinary communication has been hindered by inconsistencies in how scholars define key control and trust-related terms across academic fields (Long and Sitkin, 2018).
AIMS AND SCOPE OF THE SPECIAL ISSUE
The purpose of this Special Issue is to showcase research examining both the workings and effects generated by organizational governance systems comprised of formal and informal mechanisms of control (monitoring, contracting, and performance management) as well as various forms of trust-enhancing activities (including calculative, relational, and institutional trust).
Our goal for this Special Issue is to encourage management scholars in the field to conduct broad and deep examinations of the fundamental, complex and often conflicting psychological, sociological and economic factors influencing organizational control-trust dynamics (Long and Sitkin, 2018; Lumineau, 2017). We aim to help resolve decades-old theoretical dilemmas that have persisted in this area, such as when control and trust serve as substitutes and complements, when controls can be used to build trust, and when trust is and is not a form of control (Bradach and Eccles, 1989). The Special Issue encourages scholars to develop theory and evidence about such interactions, in order to provide more accurate and complete pictures of the contextual tapestry within which control-trust dynamics occur.
In addition to facilitating essential conceptual refinements, we expect that papers published in this Special Issue will chart new theoretical paths in topical areas related to the control-trust dynamics of organizational governance. For example, we encourage submitting authors to respond to the repeated calls of scholars (e.g., Cao and Lumineau, 2015; Long and Sitkin, 2018) to more directly address contextual influences on control-trust dynamics, such as how legal or other external influences on organizations align with our understanding of cultural factors influencing control and trust development. Contributions to the Special Issue could also help management scholars comprehend how emerging technologies such as distributed ledger, blockchain, or electronic monitoring change our established ideas about adverse selection, moral hazard, and hold-up problems in ways that are leading organizations to adjust (and in some cases radically alter) the mechanisms they utilize to encourage coordination, design agreements and attempt to foster positive relationships between independent actors (Christ, 2013; Long and Weibel, 2018).
TOPICS OF INTEREST
We believe that this Special Issue will help management scholars to reevaluate and reorient control-trust research around a range of important issues such as:
This list of issues is illustrative rather than exhaustive. As this Special Issue will be focused on the control and trust dynamics in a variety of contexts, studies that demonstrate how different mechanisms interact would be of particular interest, as would be papers examining the antecedents and consequences of multiple mechanisms. We especially welcome truly innovative and path-breaking research and projects bringing together scholars from distinct levels of analysis, research traditions, or disciplines. We welcome diverse methods, including qualitative, field, survey, archival, laboratory, and computational methods as well as the study of a broad range of intra- and inter-organizational phenomena for different kinds of organizations, including firms, not-for-profit organizations, and voluntary organizations.
SUBMISSION PROCESS AND DEADLINES
The deadline for submissions is 1st November 2020.
Full call available here: http://www.socadms.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/JMS-SI-RCTD-Call-for-Papers.pdf
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