My initial interest in organization theory stems from seeing organizations as lenses for understanding society (Coleman, 1990; Perrow, 1991) and society as a shaping force for the existence and appearance of organizations (Stinchcombe, 1965). But what has maintained my interest in organization theory has been how organizations and society are constantly changing with respect to each other. Whether slow (e.g., the transition of the United States economy from manufacturing- to service-based) or fast (e.g., the dot-com boom), these changes lead me to study organizations contextually and to theorize about the dynamics of organizations and society.
Broadly speaking, then, my research focuses on understanding the relationship between institutional change and organizational behavior. I study the changing climate within organizations as well as the change patterns through several filters (i.e. knowledge management, organizational memory, organizational psychology and cultural effects) and I try in several cases to measure the overall impact on human productivity.
I am also deeply interested in knowledge management processes within organizations, following the hybrid concept on managing knowledge assets or in other words, the balanced approach between the functionalist and interpretive way of thinking. In the same pattern, I am also working on modeling organizational memory. For this purpose, I have worked on a concept, which stems from parallelisms between, human and organizational memory.
Finally, my scientific interest is also focused on managerial topics, which have a close relation to organizational behavior concept. Those topics are Strategic management, Leadership, Empowerment and Talent Management.
Below, I am trying to outline my research profile, by quoting my dissertation synopsis as well as some representative research papers.
1. Dissertation: Strategic Knowledge Management in Modern Organizations. The impact of “Communication and Knowledge Motivator Model on Industrial Productivity”
In my dissertation, I study the effectiveness of the implementation of a hybrid knowledge management system model, characterized as “Communication and Knowledge Motivator - CKM” on the productivity increase of the workers, on the formulation of a basic organizational memory, on the efficient knowledge management and on the treatment of knowledge gap between old and recently recruited personnel. Moreover, by the implementation of the CKM model I study the knowledge management index and also the job satisfaction improvement. My model is applied in a Greek public organization.
The application of the CKM model is evolved in approximately four years, while it takes place in 6 successive steps. Each step is a small knowledge management project itself, with specific intentions. Those steps are a) the build-up of communication channels between employees, b) the organization of frequent get-togethers in order to improve tacit knowledge exchange, c) the in-company seminars d) the training programs organized outside the company, e) the organization of knowledge fairs and f) the design and implementation of knowledge tanks.
Results, being supported from the academic literature, indicate that there is a significant positive impact of the CKM model application on each worker’s productivity (old and recently hired staff), while a positive impact is also observed on specific indexes, like the knowledge management diagnostic tool and the job satisfaction index.
My dissertation is completed with a series of structural set of proposals which are based on the research conclusions and aim on the improvement of business processes, on the improvement of workers’ productivity and also on the creation and implementation of continues and permanent knowledge management system.
The benefits that arise from my doctoral dissertation concern a) the academic community, which has the ability to continue further the research in this specific field in order to improve the already successful model, b) the society, which through relevant knowledge management programs is in a position to achieve higher productivity and prosperity and c) the national economy, which thorough knowledge management systems can find a way to improve its competitiveness.
2. Paper 1. Modeling and benchmarking organizations’ memory capabilities
The paper proposes a functional model for enhancing and evaluating organizations’ memory capabilities. The model consists of well-tested and refined managerial measures that interact seamlessly with one another in order to deliberately preserve past experiences and make them available to support subsequent and increasingly sophisticated activities. Further, it applies the phenomenological model of human memory on the organizational field, by introducing that organizational memory is founded on individual and team interactions, knowledge management processes and technology.
The proposed model is based on five dimensions: a) bond quality between employees; b) knowledge diffusion processes; c) organizational training systems, d) knowledge storage capabilities; e) memory and knowledge-based decision making procedures. It acts as an organizational memory diagnostic tool of whether an organization provides and enhances organizational memory and reveals certain ways of acting towards forming organizational memory. Finally, the paper implements the proposed model in four business sectors in Greece, discusses the findings and proposes a number of strategic policies towards organizations’ memory enhancement.
3. Paper 2. Managers’ workplace attitudes, tolerance of ambiguity and firm performance
The aim of the research is to investigate how managers’ personal traits, emotions and attitudes shape their tolerance of ambiguity (TOA); and consequently, the influence of managers’ ambiguity tolerance in organizations’ financial performance. Design/methodology/approach – Survey data were collected from 54 Greek banks. A total of 412 senor-level managers completed questionnaires examining TOA, personal traits, emotions and attitudes in the workplace. Principal components analysis and ordinary least-squares regressions were used to explore the hypotheses of the paper.
Three factors characterize managers’ emotions in the workplace, namely pleasure, arousal and dominance; and, respectively, two factors their involvement, namely importance and interest. Further, locus of control, importance, job satisfaction, pleasure and organizational commitment critically affect managers’ TOA, which, in turn, seems to influence positively organizations’ profitability. Research limitations/implications – Further research is required in Greek banking industry regarding the influence of managers’ emotional and cognitive attributes in organizations’ financial performance. Likewise, this research should be expanded to other industries.
The findings provide further support on the significance of emotional and cognitive attitudes in the workplace; the paper suggests policies to enhance managers’ TOA, and thus, organizations’ profitability.
The originality of this study lies in the finding that emotional and cognitive characteristics affect managers’ TOA, which, in turn, influences significantly organizations’ profitability. Another significant contributing factor is that the study is carried out in Greece, where few studies have been conducted in this area.
4. Paper 3. Empowerment in the Greek Public Sector. Evidence from Top-Management Executives
The paper examines empowerment as a resource based view strategy for the development of Greek public sector. Empowered organizations are expected to become the norm in the postmodern age, to gain commercial advantages and to be in a position to create and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage. However, it is widely believed that traditional command and control structures disempower organizational members, especially in the public sector. Within this context, our research uses the well-known Whetten and Cameron (1995) questionnaire for empowerment on a survey conducted among top management executives serving in four major Greek public sector organizations. Principal component factor analysis within a sample of 165 top-management public sector executives reveals the five empowerment dimensions, namely meaning, self-efficacy, self- determination, trust and personal control. After the discussion of the findings, a number of tactics and policies about the enhancement of executives’ empowerment conclude the paper.
5. Paper 4. CEOs’ attitudes to change, strategic flexibility and organizational performance in Greek ICT industry
In this paper, we examine the relationships between CEOs’ attitudes to change (cognitive, affective & behavioural attitudes; tolerance of ambiguity; individual readiness for organizational change), strategic flexibility and organizational performance. Survey data were collected from 159 Greek firms from ICT industry. The paper hypothesizes that strategic flexibility mediates the relationships between CEOs’ attitudes to change and organizational performance. The research findings note the importance of CEOs’ attitudes in fostering flexibility; they indicate how each attitude influences strategic flexibility; as well as they confirm that strategic flexibility affects positively organizational performance. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
5. Future Research
Following the completion of my dissertation, I have plans for continuing to examine in a more thorough manner the relationship between knowledge management and organizational performance. I intend to create patterns for organizational excellence through managing intellectual assets and also to broaden my scientific horizons through the involvement in other managerial areas related to organizational behavior, such as leadership and strategic management.
In addition, my scientific interest is also focused on Talent Management, Human Resources Development and connection with Organizational Performance.
Currently I am involved in several research teams at University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki, Greece) and also at The Economics Studies University in Athens, Greece and also at 3 major European Universities, expecting a publication record of 12-18 papers per year.
I will also continue my work with my research team on statistical techniques and we plan to use also derivatives methods in our future papers.
-Coleman, J. S. (1990), Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
-Katsaros K.K., Tsirikas, A. & Nicolaidis, C. (2014), Managers’ workplace attitudes, tolerance of ambiguity and firm performance: the case of Greek banking industry, Management Research Review, 37 (5), pp.442 – 465
-Katsaros K.K. & Tsirikas, A., (2014), CEOs’ attitudes to change, strategic flexibility and organizational performance in Greek ICT industry, Accepted for publication in International Journal of Management Sciences
-Perrow, C. (1991), A society of organizations. Theory and Society, 20: pp. 725-762.
-Stinchcombe, A. L. (1965), Social structure and organizations. In J. G. March (Ed.), Handbook of Organizations, pp. 142-193. Chicago: Rand McNally.
-Tsirikas, A., Katsaros, K.K. & Nicolaidis, C. (2012), Modeling and benchmarking organizations’ memory capabilities, International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, 8 (3/4), pp. 328–351
-Tsirikas, A.&Katsaros, K.K. (2014), Empowerment in Greek Public Sector: The Evidence from Top Management Executives, Advances in Business Related Scientific Research Journal, 5 (1), pp.67-81.