Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 2012

CONTENTS

REGULAR ARTICLES

Innovating the Routine? Signs of Evolving Organizational Performance in Surveys of Federal Managers
E. Gibson

Maintaining Dignity – A Case of Outsourced Paper Plant
S. Kalliola and J. Niemelä

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick: How Contract Representatives Deal with Problems
D. M. Daley

Employee Attachment to Workplace: A Review of Organizational and Occupational Identification and Commitment
S. Hassan

Something Old and Something New: Using the Technology Acceptance Model to Evaluate Nonprofit Certification
L. A. D. Slatten

ABSTRACT. Several nonprofit associations have implemented assessment and certification programs intending to produce institutional improvement for member organizations. Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as a foundation, this study develops and tests an extension of TAM with organizations that chose to participate in one such program, (the Louisiana Standards for Excellence organizational assessment), and with those that did not. The results of this quantitative study largely validate TAM and indicate that dimensions such as usefulness, access barriers related to resources, attitudes, executive director pro-activity and behavioral intent all influence the decision to pursue voluntary certification. These findings advance current theory and contribute to the foundation for future research aimed at understanding user-adoption behavior in a general sense, and more specifically, in the nonprofit sector.

ABSTRACT. Outsourcing has gained favor since the 1980s, and Finnish paper companies used it as late as 2006, when a group of female cleaners were outsourced from the case plant of this study. This article focuses on the context of outsourcing, characterized by the bargaining power and choices made by the bargaining parties, the responses of the cleaners over time and the potential theoretical explanations of the outcome. The responses, such as disappointment and anger, mental and physical tiredness, sickness absenteeism, and starting to get adjusted, were interpreted in the frameworks of occupational culture, the job characteristics model, old and new craftsmanship, and relational and transactional psychological contracts. The method was a combination of naturalistic inquiry and abduction. The study points out that more than one theoretical framework was needed to gain an understanding of the situation.

ABSTRACT. This article provides a critical review of four constructs—organizational identification, organizational commitment, occupational identification, and occupational commitment—to advance our understanding about how public sector employees from different occupations may become psychologically attached to their organizations. This review is intended to clarify previous inconsistencies as well as spark new interest among public administration researchers to examine sources and consequences of public employees' organizational identification and commitment. This article also elucidates about how public sector employees' attachment to their occupations may influence their attachment to their organizations. In that effort, this article reviews interrelationships among the four constructs. Finally, based on the patterns of connections observed, a future research program including seven testable research propositions is proposed.

ABSTRACT. Insufficient achievement of performance management in the federal government is widely acknowledged, despite the absence of an accepted way for determining when and how progress has been made. The process of maturation is traced through a model based on Stinchcombe's innovation framework, enabling progress toward utilization of performance management to be gauged. The premise of this model is that change has to permeate the organization, reaching the level of routines, to be implemented operationally. Assessment of performance management maturity employs a match between the obstacles expected in the distinct stages of adoption and implementation and the hindrances federal agencies have encountered. Quantitative analysis of data provided by pooled Government Accountability Office surveys of federal managers points to activity at the adoption stage, but not at the implementation stage, calling into question the maturity of the performance initiative.

ABSTRACT. The contracting process is fraught with difficulties. While successful completion of a contract is the goal, problems and challenges often arise. This requires skills in negotiation or mediation. Dealing with these problems, even if it means recommending contract termination, is part of the job of the contract representatives who oversee the specific projects. Data from the Contracting Officer Representatives survey conducted by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (2005) is used. An index of perceived outcomes (deliverables or services were timely, of high quality, complete, contributed to the agency mission, fair and reasonable, and of good value) was constructed. Roughly, half the respondents indicated that they had had to deal with a problem or challenge. Problem-solving actions (discussions with contactors and other governmental officials, the submission of official documentations, and the recommendation of non-payment or termination sanctions) were submitted to a regression analysis (R2 = .19). From a dozen options, only discussion of the problem with contractors and with their own supervisors along with the recommendation of contract termination registered some meaningful importance (Standardized Betas .1 to .2).

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