Management Matters Issue 2

The Department of Management Studies' annual newsletter

The Department of Management Studies' annual newsletter


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The Department of <strong>Management</strong><br />

Studies is proud<br />

to publish its second newsletter!<br />

This time we are<br />

going green. In this second<br />

issue of our newsletter, we<br />

are adopting a fully digital<br />

format, and thus making<br />

the newsletter interactive.<br />

For instance, you can click<br />

on names in the newsletter<br />

to find out more about that<br />

person. There are also clickable<br />

links throughout the<br />

newsletter such as for navigation,<br />

video clips, further<br />

details on research, etc. In<br />

this and future issues of the<br />

newsletter, we will continue<br />

to enhance the newsletter<br />

to improve your reading<br />

experience. Happy reading!<br />

The overarching goal of management science is to improve the functioning of organisations.<br />

Accordingly, management researchers use the scientific method to investigate important<br />

management matters. In recent times, corporate scandals and ethical meltdowns<br />

have put the spotlight on specific management matters such as counterproductive work<br />

behaviours, managing diversity, safety management, and leadership. Other topical issues<br />

in management research include dealing with homosexuality perceptions and brand<br />

management. In this second issue of <strong>Management</strong> <strong>Matters</strong>, our Department’s researchers,<br />

both faculty and doctoral candidates, tackle all of these important issues.<br />

Our researchers used a range of primary research methods to investigate most of the<br />

abovementioned issues in relation to Trinidad and Tobago’s context. Quantitatively, our<br />

researchers used an experimental design to study perceptions of service employees’ homosexuality;<br />

large survey studies to examine workplace deviance, sexual harassment, and<br />

workplace bullying; and a multilevel longitudinal design to investigate leader-member<br />

exchanges in relation to subordinates’ intention to leave. Qualitatively, one of our researchers<br />

used interviews to investigate customers’ perceptions of a brand’s country of<br />

origin. In addition to primary research, our subject matter experts report on the best<br />

practices with respect to safety and diversity management.<br />

As custodians of the present and future workplace, we urge you to draw from our Department’s<br />

research to improve your organisation. We also look forward to your continued<br />

support as well as feedback and suggestions for future issues of our newsletter.

The landmark ruling on the<br />

decriminalisation of buggery<br />

laws in Trinidad and Tobago<br />

has brought the issue of homosexuality<br />

to the forefront<br />

of the national psyche. Research<br />

conducted by Cherisse<br />

Permell-Hutton and Barney<br />

Pacheco is therefore timely in<br />

its investigation of how heterosexual<br />

consumer attitudes<br />

are affected by their perception<br />

of the sexual orientation<br />

of employees in a service<br />

setting.<br />

An experimental design was<br />

used to manipulate the nonverbal<br />

gender cues exhibited<br />

by service employees in a<br />

high- and low-contact service<br />

setting. As predicted, heterosexual<br />

customers who perceived<br />

the service employee<br />

to be homosexual vs. heterosexual<br />

had a significantly<br />

more negative attitude towards<br />

the employee and<br />

company. Attitudes towards<br />

the company were also more<br />

negative for a high-contact vs.<br />

low-contact service but, surprisingly,<br />

there was no significant<br />

difference in attitudes<br />

towards the employee across<br />

service types.<br />

Overall, the results suggest<br />

that in Trinidad and Tobago,<br />

where homosexuality is stigmatised,<br />

managers need to<br />

take into account employees’<br />

nonverbal behaviours, which<br />

may result in the perception<br />

of homosexual orientation<br />

and negatively affect consumer<br />

attitudes. The findings also<br />

pose serious implications for<br />

relocation policy development<br />

and employee training by<br />

multinationals operating locally,<br />

in light of possible discrimination<br />

and even overt<br />

hostility by customers towards<br />

employees they perceive as<br />

homosexual.<br />

How can you improve safety in your manufacturing<br />

company? Where should you focus?<br />

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)<br />

can feel pretty complex, and perhaps even<br />

overwhelming. In our research into safety<br />

systems, my co-author, Kit Fai<br />

Pun, and I identified 3 factors to<br />

focus on as follows:<br />

(1) OSH Oversight elements,<br />

which communicate the company<br />

safety policy, fulfil OSHA documentation<br />

requirements, and<br />

ensure the safety system is supported<br />

by a dedicated safety leader and<br />

good collaboration on an OSH Committee.<br />

(2) OSH Arrangements, which focus on proactivity<br />

through effective risk assessments,<br />

emergency plans, procedures for work in<br />

confined spaces and control of hazardous<br />

materials, as well as safeguarding of moving<br />

parts.<br />

(3) Improvement Drivers, which keep advancing<br />

the safety system through<br />

“...ensure the safety top managers who are knowledgeable<br />

and committed to safety, em-<br />

system is supported<br />

ployees who build safety into how<br />

by a dedicated safety<br />

they do their jobs, accident reporting<br />

and investigation, and finally<br />

leader and good<br />

collaboration on an training, information, instruction,<br />

OSH Committee” and supervision.<br />

Planning and implementing improvements<br />

to the above areas can considerably improve<br />

safety and reduce losses caused by<br />

accidents and incidents. To learn more,<br />

watch the video below and click here to<br />

read the publication.

The vastly changing landscape in<br />

Trinidad and Tobago is compelling<br />

gate how the strength of brands<br />

and their country of origin can<br />

practice. First, the study confirms<br />

the influence of branding on con-<br />

brand owners to develop influence consumer behaviour. sumers’ preferential behaviour<br />

creative and persuasive strategies<br />

to defend their competitive turf.<br />

Many local companies are investing<br />

in building stronger brand<br />

images through advertising, promotion,<br />

innovation and many<br />

other initiatives that create trust<br />

and distinctive appeals. But, the<br />

success of these strategies depends<br />

The results from 157 customer<br />

interviews supported the role of<br />

strong brands on favorable consumer<br />

behaviour. However, the<br />

findings suggest that favourable<br />

consumer behaviour depends on<br />

the brand’s country of origin.<br />

Consumers appeared less inclined<br />

to focus on marketing cues when<br />

and strongly supports initiatives<br />

to strengthen the image and appeal<br />

of local brands. Second, the<br />

study highlights the ‘halo-effect’<br />

of a brand’s country of origin on<br />

favorable consumer behaviour.<br />

Third, the effects of a country’s<br />

poor reputation may be reduced<br />

if the marketer embarks on adver-<br />

on the incremental value brands are manufactured in tising and promotional campaigns<br />

customers gain from the purchase<br />

of local brands. Meena Rambocas<br />

countries with favorable reputations.<br />

This study has three main<br />

designed to promote the quality<br />

and perceived value of the brand.<br />

and Aniera Ramsubhag investi-<br />

implications for management<br />

Sexual harassment has become a topical and<br />

pervasive issue that has been receiving considerable<br />

media attention globally, inclusive of Trinidad<br />

and Tobago. Sexual harassment<br />

usually takes the form<br />

of unsolicited physical contact<br />

and unwelcomed verbal and<br />

non-verbal advances. In Trinidad,<br />

sexual innuendos are<br />

deeply embedded in the national<br />

culture. Specifically, music and literature in<br />

Trinidad is filled with sexual imagery and metaphors,<br />

which may make it difficult for employees<br />

to discern sexual boundaries in interactions. Paul<br />

Balwant, Odell Jueanville, and Shalini Ramdeo<br />

investigate mental health as a mechanism in the<br />

relationship between sexual<br />

harassment and organisational<br />

commitment. The findings suggest<br />

that mental health is a<br />

mechanism for men, but not<br />

women. Perhaps women may<br />

generalise the source of sexual<br />

harassment from their supervisor or coworker to<br />

the organisation as a whole, and thus direct blame<br />

to the organisation. See the video for implications.<br />

Shalini Ramdeo<br />

Extant research indicates that<br />

reactions to workplace bullying<br />

have ramifications for<br />

individuals, organisations, and<br />

society. To date, researchers<br />

have focused almost exclusively<br />

on the prevalence, antecedents,<br />

and consequences of<br />

bullying. However, few attempts<br />

have been made to<br />

understand the reasons for<br />

the underlying effects on employees’<br />

work-related outcomes<br />

when they are exposed<br />

to bullying. Shalini’s contribution<br />

to knowledge lies in explaining<br />

‘why’ exposed employees<br />

and bystanders react<br />

to workplace bullying and<br />

‘how’ this reaction comes<br />

about. Using a sample of 500<br />

employees from organisations<br />

in Trinidad and Tobago, the<br />

findings supported the mediating<br />

effects of (1) procedural<br />

justice on organisational commitment<br />

and turnover intent,<br />

and (2) interactional justice on<br />

organisational commitment<br />

and organisational citizenship<br />

behaviour (to individuals).<br />

These findings were consistent<br />

for the bystander and<br />

procedural justice, but procedural<br />

justice also mediated<br />

the relationship between bullying<br />

and organisational citizenship<br />

behaviour (to organisation).<br />

The findings further<br />

supported the moderatedmediation<br />

effects of perceived<br />

organisational support on<br />

turnover intent and organisational<br />

citizenship behaviour<br />

(to individuals) for exposed<br />


The Department<br />

of <strong>Management</strong><br />

Studies is<br />

excited to announce the<br />

launch of our sleek new website.<br />

We have made numerous<br />

changes to the website to<br />

include dropdown menus and<br />

a more streamlined navigation.<br />

There are a myriad of<br />

smaller changes throughout<br />

the website, all with the intention<br />

of making your browsing<br />

experience better. As we continue<br />

to improve our website<br />

design, we welcome your<br />

feedback on these changes.<br />

We also invite you to bookmark<br />

our website so that you<br />

can quickly peruse the latest<br />

news and events at the Department.<br />

You can click the<br />

above icon to access the website<br />

or visit http://sta.uwi.edu/<br />

fss/dms/<br />

Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most<br />

diverse island states in the Caribbean region.<br />

As microcosms of society, this diversity<br />

is reflected within organisations island<br />

wide. As such persons of diverse ages, races,<br />

sexes, sexual orientations and religious<br />

addition, the acceptance of diverse people<br />

will be influenced by the extent to which<br />

the organisation actively recognises the<br />

contribution of all individuals on their merit,<br />

rather than relying on stereotypes (to determine<br />

their worth and value).<br />

beliefs are employed across different sectors.<br />

Academic scholars are engaged in an<br />

ongoing debate as to whether or not organisations<br />

Disparate treatment on the basis of sex,<br />

race, ethnicity, origin, religion, marital status<br />

benefit from diversity, and have<br />

and disability, has been outlawed in Trinidad<br />

and Tobago, through the enactment of<br />

suggested that the following gains may be<br />

the Equal Opportunity Act, 2000.<br />

realised by diverse organisations:<br />

increased innovation and<br />

“...benefits are not However, a 2007 survey conducted<br />

creativity; a wider and more diverse<br />

necessarily realised by the UK based Chartered Institute<br />

talent pool; increased simply by virtue of<br />

of Personnel and Development<br />

(CIPD) found that legislation is only<br />

productivity; and increased market<br />

share as a result of the di-<br />

having a diverse<br />

one factor which may influence an<br />

workforce ” organisation’s decision to embrace<br />

verse staff members attracting a<br />

wider range of clients and/or customers.<br />

diversity. They found that factors<br />

such as a desire to recruit and retain talented<br />

However, these benefits are not necessarily<br />

realised simply by virtue of having a diverse<br />

workforce. In fact, there are certain context<br />

specific factors that may impede the accrual<br />

employees; the pursuit of a CSR agenda;<br />

a moral obligation; and an improvement in<br />

business performance and other tangible<br />

benefits were also persuasive.<br />

of the desired benefits. These factors include<br />

the existing organisational culture<br />

and the extent to which it is inclusive; the<br />

extent to which diverse groups depend on<br />

and interact with each other in order to<br />

successfully complete a task/project; and<br />

the extent to which inclusivity is championed<br />

by the organisation’s leadership. In<br />

For organisations employing a homogeneous<br />

staff, a transition towards heterogeneity<br />

is not a panacea. Any movement towards<br />

greater inclusivity will require a clear<br />

change management strategy and will be<br />

best achieved by taking incremental steps<br />

towards this goal.

Ansylla Payne-Quan<br />

Kep<br />

Workplace deviance is one of the<br />

most costly, destructive issues<br />

facing organisations today. Workplace<br />

deviance refers to purposeful,<br />

norm-violating employee<br />

behaviours that may harm businesses<br />

and/or its members. Research<br />

has largely focused on the<br />

negative outcomes of deviant<br />

work behaviours. However, employee<br />

perceptions and attitudes<br />

can predict the extent to which<br />

employees engage in deviance.<br />

Riann Singh conducted a study<br />

with a Trinidad sample of 969<br />

employees which explored the<br />

relationship between employee<br />

perceptions of organisational<br />

support, organisational trust, their<br />

embeddedness within their organisation<br />

and the extent to<br />

which such perceptions and attitudes<br />

impact deviance. The findings<br />

suggest that employees’<br />

perception of organisational support<br />

and organisational trust each<br />

negatively predicts deviant behaviours.<br />

However, when support<br />

and trust are high, if employees<br />

are not highly embedded in their<br />

jobs, deviance can increase.<br />

This study has two important<br />

practical implications. First, the<br />

findings suggest that organisations<br />

should strive to treat employees<br />

in a consistent and positive<br />

manner during all employee<br />

interactions to help build support<br />

systems and maintain trust. Second,<br />

organisations should be<br />

wary of attempts to retain employees<br />

who perceive little organisational<br />

support or little organisational<br />

trust since such retention<br />

strategies can negatively impact<br />

employees who are deeply embedded<br />

by possibly initiating an<br />

increase in deviant behaviours.<br />

Service level employees in the<br />

fast food industry are known<br />

to be very transitory, negatively<br />

impacting operational<br />

efficiency and customer service<br />

delivery for many businesses<br />

therein. Ansylla conducted<br />

a quantitative, longitudinal,<br />

multi-level study that<br />

focused on West Indian based<br />

fast food companies. In this<br />

study, Ansylla investigated<br />

Leader-Member Exchange as<br />

a predictor of subordinates’<br />

intention to leave an organisation.<br />

In that relationship, she<br />

further examined emotional<br />

intelligence and perception of<br />

supervisory support as a moderator<br />

and mediator respectively,<br />

and thus adds to management<br />

research in this regard.<br />

Ansylla collected three<br />

waves of data, with the sample<br />

being drawn from fast<br />

food employees based in<br />

Trinidad, St. Lucia, and St.<br />

Kitts. The findings supported<br />

the proposed relationships<br />

with the exception of the<br />

moderating effect of emotional<br />

intelligence.<br />

Then, drop by for our annual research week! This<br />

year, our three-day Research Week was fully<br />

sponsored by our partner TSTT, which is a testament<br />

to one of the main goals of the<br />

Department which is industry engagement.<br />

On the first day, Masters students<br />

presented a snapshot of their research<br />

which ranged from addressing HR issues<br />

in the workplace to efficiently managing sport<br />

facilities across the island. On the second day,<br />

the general public was treated to four panel sessions<br />

with a mix of industry experts including<br />

Robert Mayers and David Abdullah, and subject<br />

matter experts from the Department including<br />

Vaalmikki Arjoon and Acolla Lewis-Cameron.<br />

Some of the issues addressed include marketing<br />

strategies for an economy in decline, devaluation<br />

for financial success, governance of<br />

state enterprises and managing human resources.<br />

Research Week closed with a Business<br />

Challenge for the undergraduate Industrial<br />

Relations students for which they confronted<br />

the current industrial relations challenges facing<br />

Trinidad and Tobago before a panel of esteemed<br />

industry experts including the president of the<br />

Energy Chamber of Commerce.

Professor Rajendra Ramlogan launched his book of poetry titled, “My Words, My Liberation”.<br />

The Department has launched “The University of the West Indies/Republic Bank <strong>Management</strong> Challenge” to generate<br />

novel solutions to workplace issues via students’ research.<br />

We congratulate (1) Ryan Manbodh for being the Most Outstanding <strong>Management</strong> Studies Student in 2017 and (2)<br />

Terryann Floyd for receiving the AFUWI Scholarship for the 2017/2018 academic year.<br />

The UWI STA Tourism Society was officially launched in January 2018 with the goal of educating, engaging, and<br />

empowering students and the public about the wonders of the Tourism industry.<br />

<strong>Management</strong> Studies Newsletter <strong>Issue</strong> 02 June, 2018 | Editor: Paul Balwant

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