Aimée A. Kane is an Assistant Professor of Management in at the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University. Professor Kane develops and teaches core courses at the undergraduate level and master's level, in which she provides students with structured opportunities to make unique and valuable contributions for individual and collective learning. Introduction to Management helps undergraduate students acquire research-based, contemporary knowledge of human behavior and organizations, apply that knowledge to analyze organizational situations, and develop interpersonal and communication skills critical to effective management. Organizational Behavior helps MBA Sustainability students learn some of the ways in which they as employees, consultants, and managers can improve employee performance and commitment - key factors underlying sustainable and effective organizations.
Her research explores the conditions under which and processes through which people, who are separated by group boundaries (e.g., newcomer vs. old-timer status, organizational divisions, and national cultures), learn from and collaborate effectively with one another. In these situations effective teamwork involves the utilization of members' knowledge and interpersonal acceptance. Although Dr. Kane uses a combination of research methodologies, her primary tool for understanding the social psychological dynamics underlying effective teamwork in these situations is the controlled behavioral experiment. For example, with the support of the National Science Foundation Dr. Kane, Dr. Linda Argote, and Dr. John Levine developed an experimental knowledge transfer paradigm in which a member transfers from one group to another transmitting knowledge in the form of an origami production routine. Such a methodology enables researchers to examine group-level conversations and behaviors giving us a rich understanding the processes through which teams learn from each other and from their newest members.
Prior to joining Duquesne, Kane was an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at New York University's Stern School of Business. She also previously worked for the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon University as a research associate and teaching consultant. Professor Kane became interested in understanding how to create and transfer organizational and group-level knowledge when she worked as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs and Company. She has also worked as an intern in finance, marketing and sales at the General Electric Capital Company, Philip Morris and Unilever Mexico.
She holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. in organizational behavior and theory from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Spanish, magna cum laude, and a certificate in markets and management studies from Duke University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Argote, L. & Kane, A.A. (2009) Superordinate identity and knowledge creation and transfer in organizations. In N.J Foss and S. Michailova (Eds.) Knowledge Governance: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives (pp. 166-190). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Levina, N. & Kane, A.A. (2009) I am not one of them anymore: Onshore immigrant managers on offshored softwaredevelopment projects. Best Paper Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. (Nominee for the Carolyn Dexter Award from the OCIS Division of the Academy of Management)
Salazar, M. R., Lant, T. K., & Kane, A. A. (2009). Predicting Participation in Experimental Interdisciplinary Team Structures for Knowledge Creation. Best Paper Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Academy of Management.
Levina, N. & Kane, A.A. (2009) Immigrant Managers as Boundary Spanners on Offshored Software Development Projects: Partners or Bosses? Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration (IWIC'09), 978-1-60558-198-9. (Winner of best paper award).
Kane, A. A. (2010). Unlocking knowledge transfer potential: Knowledge demonstrability and superordinate social identity. Organization Science, 21(3), 643-660.
Kane, A. A. & Rink, F. (2011) Newcomers as active agents: Team receptivity to integrating vs. differentiating identity strategies. Best Paper Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.
An overarching question drives Dr. Kane's research: what enables people who are separated by group boundaries (e.g., newcomer vs. oldtimer status, organizational divisions, and national cultures) to learn from and collaborate effectively with one another? To begin to answer this interdisciplinary question, Dr. Kane draws on well-established research from the organizational sciences on organizational learning (for reviews, see Argote, 1999; Argote & Miron-Spektor, 2011), and from the field of social psychology on small groups (for reviews, see Choi & Levine, 2011; Levine & Moreland, 1994) and on social identity and intergroup relations (for reviews, see Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000; Haslam & Ellemers, 2005).
One stream of research indicates that an enabler of effective teamwork in these situations is the extent to which people feel a sense of belonging to an overarching group, termed "superordinate identity." Along with colleagues, Drs. Argote and Levine, she developed and tested a theory of superordinate identity and knowledge transfer (Argote and Kane, 2009; Kane, Argote, & Levine, 2005; Kane, 2010). This work went beyond establishing the causal relationship, uncovering the underlying process (a mediator) through conversational level analysis to be the focusing of group attention, termed "knowledge consideration" and identifying situations under which the effects were stronger (moderators), including the extent that the merits of knowledge are apparent, termed "knowledge demonstrability" and the quality of the knowledge. A managerial implication of this National Science Foundation supported work is the value of highlighting common membership in a superordinate group when aiming to facilitate the transfer superior knowledge that is low in demonstrability with concealed merits. With the ever-increasing availability of information, it is this kind of knowledge with concealed merits that may be overlooked to the detriment of organizations and society. Dr. Kane is currently exploring (at a theoretical level) the applicability of this work to the environmental sustainability context with a MBA Sustainability Fellow, Alison Steele.
Dr. Kane's newest steam of research focuses on team receptivity to newcomers. The aforementioned research indicates that teams are more receptive to newcomers when both belong to an overarching group (i.e., same organization), which is not the case for the many employees moving from one organization to another. In the US, for example, the median duration of tenure with an employer is only four year (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). What can these newcomers, many of whom bring valuable knowledge and perspectives, do to increase team receptivity? Along with colleagues, Dr. Kane is beginning to examine the conditions under and processes through which newcomers can take steps to increase knowledge utilization and interpersonal acceptance. For example, with Dr. Floor Rink at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, she is examining whether an integrating strategy emphasizing one's team identity leads to greater knowledge consideration and, in turn, knowledge utilization, than a differentiating strategy emphasizing one's personal identity. This work suggests that individual newcomers, who do not benefit from already sharing a salient identity with a group, can indeed take steps to increase team receptivity.