Help-Seeking and Help-Giving as an Organizational Routine: Continual Engagement in Innovative Work

Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming

59 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2014

See all articles by Stine Grodal

Stine Grodal

Northeastern University

Andrew J. Nelson

University of Oregon

Rosanne Siino

Stanford University - Department of Management Science & Engineering

Date Written: February 4, 2014

Abstract

The literature on help-giving behavior identifies individual-level factors that affect a help-giver’s decision to help another individual. Studying a context in which work was highly interdependent and helping was pervasive, however, we propose that this emphasis on the initial point of consent is incomplete. Instead, we find that workplace help-seeking and help-giving can be intertwined behaviors enacted through an organizational routine. Our research, therefore, shifts the theoretical emphasis from one of exchange and cost to one of joint engagement. More specifically, we move beyond the initial point of consent to recast help-seeking and help-giving as an interdependent process in which both the help-seeker and the help- giver use cognitive and emotional moves to engage others and thereby propel a helping routine forward. In contrast to the existing literature, an organizational routines perspective also reveals that helping need not be limited to dyads and that the helping routine is shaped by the work context in which help is sought. Finally, we extend these insights to the literatures on routines and coordination and debate how our results might generalize even if helping is not part of an organizational routine.

Keywords: Help giving, help seeking, helping, routines, coordination, context

Suggested Citation

Grodal, Stine and Nelson, Andrew J. and Siino, Rosanne, Help-Seeking and Help-Giving as an Organizational Routine: Continual Engagement in Innovative Work (February 4, 2014). Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2392922

Stine Grodal

Northeastern University ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States
02115 (Fax)

Andrew J. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of Oregon ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403-1208
United States

Rosanne Siino

Stanford University - Department of Management Science & Engineering ( email )

473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-9025
United States

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