ISM research fits into six broad vertical categories of thematic areas: 1) Marketing and Consumer Behavior; 2) Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; 3) Strategy; 4) Internationalization, Innovations and Economics; 5) Politics and Governance and 6) Finance and Corporate Governance.
Within these six vertical areas we focus our research efforts on three overlapping topics that cut across all the thematic areas: 1) sustainability and health; 2) smart innovations, and 3) internationalization. Research areas are structured in such a way that research in traditional fields (such as marketing or economics) is aligned with common denominators based on horizontally stretching topics. Horizontal and vertical integration of topics enables us to align our efforts, focus and efficiently contribute to overall ISM strategic aims.
Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management research group’s research incorporates a range of research areas with the focus on aging human resources, imprinting, authentic leadership, innovative performance management, CSR and employee motivation, work engagement, organizational learning capabilities, education. The group members’ research has appeared in scholarly journals such as Journal of Vocational Behavior or The International Journal of Human Resource Management and International Journal of Manpower. Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management researchers are active members in international projects (e.g., EWORLD, COST Action). Since 2007 the group is actively engaged in comparative HRM research and is an active member of Cranfield Network on International Human Resource Management (CRANET). Our researchers also participate in Global Work Design project (since 2015). Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management group researchers have experience in attracting and successfully implementing grants and actively pursue research collaborations with Alberta School of Business, BI Norwegian Business School, Georgia Southwestern State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, Institute for Technology Assessment and System Analysis (ITAS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Monfort College of Business, Technical University of Denmark, Vienna University of Economics and Management, and others.
Sustainable human resources and diversity management
Workforces in most industrialized countries are ageing rapidly, largely due to falling birth rates, rising life expectancy, the increase in the regular retirement age and encountering various forms of disability (OECD, 2006; Ross, 2010; Toosi, 2012; WHO, 2011). Employability and performance of representatives of vulnerable groups of society, such as persons of older age or those with disability, require some specific HR practices (Kooij et al., 2013; Schur et al., 2014) which are related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Responsible HRM, Sustainable HRM and other concepts, which ISM researchers have studied. Sustainable HRM (SHRM) is still at pioneering phase (Ehnert and Harry, 2012; Ehnert, 2014; Kramar, 2014). SHRM is built on synthesis effect (Mariappanadar, 2014) where organizations can improve organizational outcomes (for example financial outcomes) through HRM as well as reduce the harm on employees, because two polarities (financial outcomes and employee wellbeing) are not mutually exclusive, but they are mutually reinforcing (Mariappanadar and Kramar, 2014). Thus, the function of SHRM practices is the joint facilitation of organizational goals and employee long-term well-being. ISM scholars’ research focuses on diversity and HRM in different sectors, especially in healthcare, as well as different contexts, concentrating particular attention on the context of the Industry 4.0 and emerging technologies. We advance theory of individual adaptability by revealing factors related to individual adaptability during a life-span. ISM research focuses on the antecedents of adaptability at the micro-individual and meso organizational level which might shape, promote and/or hinder how and why individuals, and especially older individuals (i.e., aged 50+), can and actually do successfully adapt to changes at work. ISM research enriches the existing literature of HRM by providing further advancement of SHRM theory, which is still in the initial phase, by revealing emerging human resource management practices dedicated to sustainable management of disadvantaged groups of society. We also contribute to job design theories by identifying changes in the job design related with emerging technologies, as well as the role of SHRM in the context of the Industry 4.0 and emerging technologies.
In the area we seek to answer the following questions:
Leadership and organizational development
Studies of leadership as a complex phenomenon became prominent as a response to the challenges of modern societies and to volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. Leadership research has grown exponentially in the last decade, as the focus of the research in management field has shifted from managers to leaders and leadership. Traditionally, it was the leader’s personality and leadership styles, as well as general leadership processes, which attracted the attention of scholars. Recently, the number of new leadership theories has grown, advancing the field with relational approach, looking into the dynamics of follower and leader outcomes within complex systems and change processes. Such crucial characteristics of emergent relational leadership as authenticity, servantism, morality are on the debates agenda. ISM researchers contribute in these studies in seeking to answer the question of how a leadership style affects organizational behavior. Alonderienė and Majauskaitė (2016) investigate the relationship of leadership style and job satisfaction, while Reardon et al. (2013) focus on the relationship with employee organizational commitment. Vaiginiene et al. (forthcoming) analyze leadership development needs. Barvydienė (2015) focuses on the charisma of a leader. Miniotaitė and Bučiūnienė (2013) as well as Petkevičiūtė, Barvydienė and Šurpikienė (2018) perform the research on authentic leadership. Pilkienė, Morkūnaitė and Miniotaitė (2017) investigate servant leadership. The emerging trend of leadership as a process is covered by Pilkienė, Alonderienė, Chmieliauskas, Šimkonis, and Müller (2018). This group of researchers seek to disclose the process of balanced leadership in project-based organizations, how balanced leadership occurs, how it is governed and how it is transferred.
Innovations in OB/HRM
As the environments and organizational processes becomes more complex, rapidly changing and challenging, the key priority of every organization is to maximize the innovative potentials. Value creating innovation initiatives tend to depend heavily on employees’ knowledge, skills, abilities and work behavior. Innovative work behavior is considered to be the most important factor in addressing emerging issues and sustaining competitive advantage. Consistent with this, there is a growing body of management literature on the determinants and key influences of innovative work behavior and innovations in human resource management. At ISM we seek to answer such questions as how e-HRM creates value for multinational companies? What is the impact of perceived procedural and interactional justice on employee innovative work behavior? What is the relationship between artificial intelligence systems implementation with leadership behaviours for innovation, knowledge management and individual innovative work behaviour? What is the relationship between HRM innovation and knowledge management?
Education and development
The standard educational topics involve improving efficiencies in higher education administration, more efficient/effective dissemination of information, and improving the understanding of knowledge and skills. While these topics still remain relevant, the current focus in Education and development research area is on adjusting and integrating new technologies into education and professional development. More specifically, ISM research concentrates on 1. Experiential education – moving beyond understanding the information to the ability to apply the information in a real time context; 2. Creativity and entrepreneurship development. 3. Globalization of education and expanding the cultural understanding; and 4. Improving the management of educational institutions. Furthermore, with the last decade changes in technology, the area of education and development research has expanded to focus on the mode of education. This includes implementing efficiencies in technology without losing the acculturation and maturation aspects of the traditional education. Particular current topics of interest for ISM researchers include: 1. Flipped classrooms, 2. Online/distance education, and 3. Blended learning formats. Our research focuses on analyzing how to improve the education of our stakeholders, increase the efficiency of higher education and how technology can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of education to all of our stakeholders.
Marketing and Consumer Behavior
Marketing and Consumer Behavior group’s research focuses on consumers’ preferences and choices, international marketing, health related consumer behavior, consumer traits, social networks and e-marketing. The group’s empirical research covers a diverse range of methodological approaches such as structural equation modeling and experimental design. The group members’ research has been published by highly ranked journals (e.g. Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Business Research, Journal of International Marketing, Advances in Consumer Research). Marketing and Consumer Behavior group researchers have experience in attracting and successfully implementing national and international grants and actively pursue research collaborations with Groningen University, VU Amsterdam University, Vienna University of Economics and Management, KU Leuven, Vienna University, Monfort College of Business, University of Tokyo, and others.
International markets and consumers
International trade fosters freedom by breaking the cycle of poverty, enhancing development, competition, creating jobs, lowering prices and reducing inequalities among countries. For decades governments have made efforts to reduce trade barriers such as tariffs, taxes, or subsidies. However, these efforts fall short of their expectations as the main barriers to free international trade may lay not within physical borders or regulatory rules, but within consumer minds. International consumer research shows that, indeed, consumers may encounter psychological barriers, such as consumer ethnocentrism (Shimp and Sharma 1987), consumer animosity (Klein et al, 1998) or domestic psychological ownership (Gineikiene, Schlegelmilch and Auruskeviciene, 2016) when buying foreign products. In contrast, people also can host favorable attitudes toward foreign countries such as country affinity (Oberecker and Diamantopoulos, 2011) or cosmopolitanism (Riefler et al., 2012). Understanding the conditions when and how consumers favor foreign or domestic products may extend our knowledge on how to reduce inequalities between countries. In order to answer these questions new concepts and theoretical approaches have to be tested. International markets and consumers is one of the major ISM research lines which focuses on testing how different contexts define consumer behavior across countries. Drawing from negativity bias, fading affect bias, and ambivalence literature, ISM researchers provided evidence that consumer nostalgia acts as a countervailing force to consumer animosity in historically connected markets (Gineikiene and Diamantopoulos, 2017). We also shed understanding by exploring the role of ingroup favoritism, expressed as collective psychological ownership for domestic goods and developed a measurement scale to assess this phenomenon (Gineikiene, Schlegelmilch, & Auruškevičienė, 2017). Integrating findings from international marketing and health related consumer behavior, we provided evidence that domestic and foreign food products elicit different perceptions of healthiness (Gineikiene, Schlegelmilch, & Ruzeviciute, 2016). We show that consumer disidentification with the former ingroup can hinder consumption of foreign products (Gineikiene and Škudiene, 2017).
Sustainable and healthy consumption
Sustainable consumption ensures that present needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland Commission 1987). Similarly, acting in a responsible way towards one’s health can improve the quality of lives we lead. Research in the area of sustainable and healthy consumption can expand our understanding on what factors drive positive changes in people’s behavior. Integrating recent findings from health-related consumer behavior, social influence and psychology literature, ISM researchers work on novel approaches to help consumers make better decisions and smarter choices. We test how various consumer decision making insights can be applied to encourage such changes in different domains – making more sustainable decisions, changing unhealthy lifestyle and habits to healthier ones, increasing consumer satisfaction and overall consumer welfare and wellbeing. In the area of health-related consumer behavior we delve deeper into the psychological processes of attitude formation by extending findings in the consumer decision making area and showing that exposure to functional food can increase ambivalent evaluations that may consequently spill over to the evaluations of the entire product category (Gineikiene & Fennis, 2017). Furthermore, we show that consumer disinhibition drives both licensing (choosing an indulging option after a healthy one) and its antipode, consistency, in consumer judgment and choice (Fennis & Gineikiene, 2017). In another set of papers, we explore the process of healthiness bias formation for domestic goods (Gineikiene, Schlegelmilch, & Ruzeviciute, 2016); and food choices of health conscious and sceptical consumers (Gineikiene, Kiudyte, Degutis, 2017). ISM research contributes to revealing how different emotions and aversive states, such as stress, can affect consumer decisions in the market place and what the downstream consequences for consumer behavior are (Fennis, Gineikiene, Barauskaite, Koningsbruggen, under review).
Consumer attitudes and decision making
Consumers are constantly confronted with a wide variety of advertising messages, product information, social influence attempts and other environmental cues targeted at changing their behavior. How do people think, reason and feel in these situations? How do they select between different products, brands, companies? How can culture, environment and significant others change the ways we think and behave? These are several overarching questions our researchers are exploring in the area of Consumer attitudes and decision making. The core themes in this research area concentrate around such topics as consumer purchasing behavior, motivation and emotions, identity, and social influence. ISM research tackles such questions as how consumers reason and select between alternative products and services. For example, we extend findings in the consumer decision making area by showing that exposure to innovative food products can backfire and yield ambivalent evaluations that may spill over from single product exemplars to evaluations of the entire product category (Gineikiene and Fennis, 2017). Our researchers show that values are important determinants of attitudes towards recycling and recent recycling behavior is the most important predictor of intentions to recycle (Pikturnienė and Bäumle, 2016) and ambient scent changes risk related to behavior and decision making (Gagarina & Pikturniene, 2015, 2016). ISM researchers also explore the role of nostalgia in consumer decision making and provide evidence that the bigger the discrepancy between one’s chronological and cognitive age, the more nostalgic products one buys (Barauskaitė-Kazlauskė and Gineikienė, 2017) and that activated disease threat promotes consumer preferences for nostalgic products (Barauskaite, Gineikiene and Fennis, 2017).
Social networks and e-marketing
Over the last decades e-marketing and social networks have dramatically changed the way businesses operate and market themselves. Due to the rise of the Internet and social media, firms can reach way more customers and communicate with them over various platforms in a faster and relatively low-cost way. New knowledge is needed for researchers, policy makers and practitioners in order to understand how consumer and firm behavior change giving the rise of the Internet and social networks. The main focus of the research on Social networks and e-marketing at ISM is related to the effects of these practices on firm’s strategy, performance and consumer behavior. Our researchers demonstrate that social media marketing capabilities are critical to improving a firm’s performance: looking into social media marketing capabilities from resource-based view (RBV) perspective we show how generation, dissemination and responsiveness to information contribute to a firm’s marketing strategy and performance (Venciūtė, in progress). In another line of research, we explore the influence of e-marketing strategy on the success of internationalization process and show that remote technologies have changed the networks and communication behavior of a company (e.g, Škudiene, Auruškevičienė, & Šukevičiūtė, 2015, Ivanauskienė, Auruškevičienė, Ramonienė, & Škudienė, 2015). Moreover, our researchers provide evidence on key drivers affecting purchase decisions online and via mobile channels (Šalčiuvienė; Auruškevičienė, Ivanauskienė, 2014; McCorkle; Jurkus; Auruškevičienė; Reardon, 2013; Miller, Reardon, Šalčiuvienė, Auruškevičienė, Lee, Miller, 2009).
Strategy research group’s research focuses on the areas of Strategy and business innovations, International management and Micro foundations of business strategy. The research group seeks to provide answers to the fundamental question of strategic management – what are the factors influencing a long-term success of organizations. Our research interests cover such key areas as micro foundations of business strategy, strategy and business model innovations, mission driven organizational culture, internationalization, international business expansion, business development and corporate strategy. The group members’ research has appeared in scholarly journals such as Technological Forecasting and Social Change and Journal of Modelling in Management.
Strategy and business innovations
At ISM we aim to explore the frontiers of strategic management and its link to other disciplines. The static approach of research in the field of strategy is in the past, so it is more important to focus on relevant topics such as networks and alliances, organizational capabilities, entrepreneurship, global strategy, strategic process, resource-based view, strategy evolutionary approach, technological competencies, strategy and economics, psychological foundations of strategic management and innovation. Out of these, another direction of strategy research evolves, i.e. strategy activation. There is a lot of research performed globally on strategy formulation and implementation. However, research on organizational capacity to activate and make strategy really work is limited. This direction of research initiated with John P. Kotter’s article “Accelerate!” in 2012 where he discussed the value of technologies and how they can be used to create a shadow organization made up of willing coalitions of people ready to drive the company’s strategic frontiers. The handovers that take place between strategy formulation and implementation need to be eliminated and we aim to research what they are and what makes strategy alive in organizations. The results of this research help strategies to become more effective because they are crafted on strong organizational DNA. So that the link between formulation and implementation – strategy activation – is the focus of strategy research at ISM.
International business and trade play an important role in the growth of most national economies. Due to the growing global competition internationalisation has become an increasingly common strategy for firms around the world. International business is a multidisciplinary field that has been studied from diverse domains, such as economics, organisation studies, organisational behaviour and human resource management, entrepreneurship, etc. It also addresses a wide array of research areas that fall under such broad streams as the internationalisation process, the impact of cultural differences on the success of a firm’s internationalisation and managerial decision-making, issues related to the operations of multinational companies, headquarter-subsidiary relationships in regards to control, autonomy, knowledge transfer, etc. A growing research stream in international business relates to the internationalisation of firms from emerging and post-Soviet economies, which are still lagging in their internationalisation process in comparison to advanced economies.
ISM research in the field of international business falls under the following strands. First, given the dearth of research on the internationalisation of firms in the post-Soviet context, ISM researchers seek to contribute to the field of international business by investigating the internationalisation – drivers, barriers, resources, strategies, social capital, etc. Secondly, given the relevance of human resources in a firm’s internationalisation and the impact of institutional and cultural environments on it, ISM is also engaged in comparative HRM research and is an active member of Cranfield Network on International Human Resource Management. Finally, ISM researchers also conduct research on the internationalisation of higher education institutions.
Microfoundations of business strategy
The traditional unit of analysis in studying competitiveness has primarily been the firm or industry where researchers have explained firm-level outcomes mainly using firm-level variables, such as capabilities, industry structure or similar. Microfoundations of business strategy unpack such collective constructs as organizations and study the underlying constituents and networks. The area emphasizes the role of heterogeneous individuals, top management and their interaction in driving firm-level outcomes. Technologies increasingly allow to study underlying constituents who are not only the individuals within the organization—important as they are—but also the sets of processes, routines, artefacts or “things” that also play a huge role in organizational outcomes, and microfoundations lay the solid background for these studies. ISM contribution concentrates in two areas: behavioral strategy (managerial and organizational cognition) and microfoundations of knowledge management and learning. Utilizing up-to-date social network analysis (SNA) methodologies as well as social and cognitive psychology tools, we consider the role of conscious and unconscious biases of executives, managers, teams, and organizations in strategic decision making, and seek to answer how the mental processes of individual managers affect collective leadership behavior. One of the fruitful application areas at ISM deals with emerging business models and economics of platforms. Another area is managerial learning networks and their impact on organizational outcomes and on the society.
Internationalization, Innovations and Economics
The research group is engaged in investigating internationalization processes in firms in different industries, and their effects on a firm level outcomes, innovative capacities of entrepreneurial firms and their responses to changing institutional setting (Šarapovas, Huettinger, Ričkus, 2016; Kazlauskaitė, Autio et al., 2015; Huettinger, 2014). The research topics address corporate taxation, tax competition (Zirgulis, Šarapovas, 2017; Zirgulis, 2014; Zirgulis, Huettinger, 2014), crisis diagnosis and crisis management within a firm (Kurschus, Šarapovas, Cvilikas, 2015; Kurschus, Šarapovas, Pilinkienė, 2017), economic and political effects of demographics (Poškutė, Greve, 2017), and real estate economics. Research topics in economics are divided into three major areas: microeconomics, macroeconomics and financial markets. These areas also relate to the areas suggested for research in undergraduate and graduate final research projects (Mauricas, Darškuvienė, Mariničevaitė, 2017; Mariničevaitė, Mauricas, 2017; Zirgulis, Petručionis, Huettinger, 2016; Zirgulis, Eitutis, 2016; Mariničevaitė, Ražauskaitė, 2015; Levišauskaitė, Varanauskienė, 2013; Huettinger, Zirgulis, 2013; Grigaliūnienė, 2013).
Politics and Governance
The main focus of our research in this area is on emergent perceptions, attitudes and norms of economic and political agents on the national, European and global arenas. Specific topics include changing attitudes towards the Communist past (Matonytė 2013a, 2013b), perceptions of threats to society’s wellbeing (Matonytė, et al. 2017), Europeanness of Lithuanian political, economic and media elites (Matonytė, Šumskas, Morkevičius et al. 2016; Matonytė, Bernatavičiūtė, Šumskas, 2016) and evolution of Lithuanian political institutions post 1990 (Matonytė, Šumskas 2014; Matonytė, Vobolevičius 2014), attitudes of the US think-tank community towards Lithuania (Boyd 2017). The second thematic category consists of publications on the reciprocal relationship of political institutions, such as election rules, cabinet partisanship or international agreements with economic and political indicators. Specific topics include trade and the strength of military alliances (Vobolevičius, Gerazimaitė 2015), electoral rules and innovation policy (Krūminas 2016), partisanship and patronage (Vobolevičius, 2016), the psychology and intellectual history of civic defense (Boyd, 2015).
Finance and Corporate Governance
Research of the group is within the broad area of Financial Economics, including asset pricing, behavioral finance, firm governance and performance. Specific research themes include research on active investment portfolio management strategies, employing dynamic regime-switching asset pricing models (Maheu and McCurdy, 2000; Chesnay and Jondeau, 2001; Hauptmann et al., 2012), under different financial market regimes and instruments employed consistent with adaptive market hypothesis (Lo, 2017). Another group focuses on research on the differentiation of savings and investments behavior, planning and budgeting habits over the life-cycle, when level of fragility is dependent on income and wealth, assessing the role of financial education and attitudes (Klapper et al. 2012; Lusardi et al. 2016). The focus of the third thematic area is a firm’s governance and performance in the context of glocalization, exploring factors of behavior on a company level, based on assessing ownership structures, board composition and other corporate governance determinants.