RRBM Honor Roll

The RRBM Honor Roll publications have been selected as examples of research that is both rigorous and relevant. The listing below offers credible insights for society.

These publications have been selected for the RRBM Honor Roll by the Selection Board with the exception of 2019 articles selected by a pre-test review panel.

 

Nature of the publicationJournal article
Title of the publication“AM I NEXT?” THE SPILLOVER EFFECTS OF MEGA-THREATS ON AVOIDANT BEHAVIORS AT WORK
Journal name/Book publisherAcademy of Management Journal
DOIdoi.org
Abstract

“Mega-threats”—negative, identity-relevant societal events that receive significant media attention—are frequent occurrences in society, yet the influence of these events on employees remains unclear. We draw on the theory of racialized organizations to explain the process whereby exposure to mega-threats leads to heightened avoidant work behaviors for racial minority employees. We theorize and find—across two studies centered upon various mega-threats, including a mass shooting targeting Asian Americans and police killings of Black civilians—that event observers who share identities with mega-threat victims become vicarious victims, which triggers an experience of “embodied threat,” an appraisal of the increased likelihood of personally encountering identity-based harm. The experience of embodied threat coupled with the racialized nature of organizational structures, which limits the agency of racial minorities, then compels employees to engage in threat suppression. Furthermore, we find that threat suppression consumes psychological resources, leading to heightened avoidant work behaviors, or higher work withdrawal and lower social engagement, but, when the psychological safety of identity-based discussions is high, it attenuates this effect. Altogether, our paper advances research on mega-threats and race in organizations, and yields practical insights that can assist managers in reducing the detrimental effects of mega-threats on employees.

Author #1Angelica Leigh
Affiliation Author #1Duke University
Author #2Shimul Melwani
Affiliation Author #2University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill