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ISU Professor Alex Bolinger’s research accepted into one of the top management journals in the world

July 12, 2018

Portrait of Alex Bolinger

POCATELLO – The research of Alex Bolinger, an associate professor of management in Idaho State University’s College of Business, will be published this October in one of the top management journals in the world, the Academy of Management Review. 

The article, “Contributing from Inside the Outer Circle: The Identity-Based Effects of Noncore Role Incumbents on Relational Coordination and Organizational Climate,” explains the contributions of team members in “noncore” roles. These noncore members may receive little recognition or individual rewards, but their work is critical – they are often the “glue” that holds the team together.

Drawing on examples of teams from contexts ranging from airlines to hospitals to sports, the paper theorizes how the quality of relationships between noncore team members and members who occupy more visible, core roles (e.g., the surgeon on a surgical team) facilitate or hinder work coordination and team performance. It also explains how some individuals reject, or grudgingly accept, noncore roles on a team, whereas others embrace and bring their best to noncore roles.

“We open the paper with the story of a great noncore role player from the National Basketball Association, Shane Battier,” Bolinger said. “Battier did not get to touch the ball that much, but he played great defense and did all of the little things that helped his team win.”

“Michael Lewis, the author of ‘Moneyball,’ wrote in the New York Times that while the usual statistics might have indicated that Battier was a below-average player, ‘every team [Battier] played for suddenly acquired a magical ability to win.’ I believe that there are people like Battier who are essential to teams in every kind of organization, and our goal with this article was to shine a light on how they contribute.”

Academy of Management Review is unique in that it publishes conceptual articles which highlight cutting-edge ideas to guide future organizational research. The journal is the second-ranked management journal in the world, according to Journal Citation Reports, and is listed by the Association of Business Schools as one of only four “world elite” management journals. Statistically, this journal only accepts about 6 percent of all submissions. 

Bolinger credits his co-authors from Oregon State University, Anthony Klotz and Keith Leavitt, for their guidance through the difficult publication process.

“I am particularly grateful to Anthony and Keith, whose experience with AMR and insightful ideas were critical,” Bolinger said. “Thanks also to Pete Frischmann, my former colleague at ISU, for facilitating that collaboration, and to my dean, Tom Ottaway, for supporting my travel to Oregon to work with my co-authors face-to-face. I am delighted that we overcame the odds and that Idaho State University is now represented in the pages of Academy of Management Review.”



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