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.
An overarching question motivates Dr. Kane's research: what enables people who are separated by group boundaries (e.g., organizational divisions) to learn from and collaborate effectively with one another? Her research takes an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on and contributing to literatures from the organizational sciences on group and organizational learning and from the psychological sciences on social identity and group socialization. In conducting this research, she employs various laboratory and field methodologies, including small group experiments, social network analysis, questionnaires, and interviews. Her research has been published in leading academic journals such as Academy of Management Annals, Organization Science, and Organizational Studies. She currently serves on the editorial board of Organization Science. In 2014 and in 2015 she received the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Outstanding Research Award.
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 knowledge when she worked as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs and Company. She 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.
Kane, A. A., & Rink, F. (2015). How newcomers influence group utilization of their knowledge: Integrating versus differentiating strategies. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 19, 91 - 105. doi:10.1037/gdn0000024
Kane, A. A. & Rink, F. (2015). Team Newcomers. Oxford Bibliographies in Management. Ed. Ricky Griffin. New York: Oxford University Press. doi : 10.1093/OBO/97801998467400050
Dokko, G., Kane, A. A., Tortoriello, M. (2014) One of us or one of my friends: How social identity and tie strength shape the creative generativity of boundary-spanning ties. Organization Studies, 35, 707-726. doi: 10.1177/0170840613508397.
Rink, F. & Kane, A.A. (2014) Conflict and change in teams: The innovative newcomer challenge. In O.B. Ayoko, N.M. Ashkanasy, & K.A. Jehn (Eds.) Handbook of Conflict Management Research (pp. 205 - 220). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Edgar.
Kang, R., Kane, A. A., & Kiesler, S. (2014). Teammate inaccuracy blindness: When information sharing tools hinder collaborative analysis. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW ‘14). NY: ACM Press. doi: 10.1145/2531602.2531681
Rink, F., Kane, A. A., Ellemers, N., & Van der Vegt, G. S. (2013) Team receptivity to newcomers: Five decades of evidence and future research themes. Academy of Management Annals, 7, 245-291. doi: 10.1080/19416250.2013.766405
Kane, A. A. & Steele, A. L. (2012) Taking actions to deal with climate change risks and opportunities: Developing strong superordinate identities within corporations to promote knowledge transfer and creation. In J.A.F. Stoner and C. Wankel (Eds.) Managing Climate Change Business Risks and Consequences: Leadership for Global Sustainability (pp. 207-225). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Salazar, M. R., Lant, T. K., & Kane, A. A. (2011). To join or not to join: An investigation of individual facilitators and inhibitors of medical faculty participation in interdisciplinary research teams. Clinical and Translational Science, 4, 274-278. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-8062.2011.00321.x
Kane, A. A. (2010). Unlocking knowledge transfer potential: Knowledge demonstrability and superordinate social identity. Organization Science, 21, 643-660. doi: 10.1287/orsc.1090.0469
An overarching question motivates Dr. Kane's research: what enables people who are separated by group boundaries (e.g., organizational divisions) to learn from and collaborate effectively with one another? To address this question, her research takes an interdisciplinary perspective. For example, her work on knowledge transfer draws on and contributes to the literature from the organizational sciences on organizational learning (for reviews, see Argote, 2013; Argote & Miron-Spektor, 2011) and to the literature from the psychological sciences on social identity (for reviews, see Ellemers, 2012; Haslam 2004). Her related work examining team receptivity to newcomers draws on and contributes to the aforementioned social identity literature as well as to the group learning literature (for reviews, see Argote, Gruenfeld & Nanquin, 2001; Wilson, Goodman, Cronin, 2007) and to the group socialization literature (for reviews see Levine & Choi, 2011; Levine & Moreland, 1994). As detailed below, her research projects span the organizational and psychological sciences.
Dr. Kane’s work on knowledge transfer (Argote and Kane, 2009; Kane, Argote, Levine, 2005; Kane, 2010; Kane & Steele, 2012) contributes a social psychological perspective to the organizational learning literature. It highlights the intergroup nature of knowledge transfer and advances the extent to which people feel a psychological sense of belonging to an overarching group, termed "superordinate social identity," as an important enabler of this exploratory learning process. This research, which was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, goes beyond establishing this causal relationship, identifying situations under which the effect is 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 work is the value of highlighting a common membership in a superordinate group when aiming to facilitate the transfer of superior knowledge that is low in demonstrability. 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.
The focus of the aforementioned work on the micro-underpinnings of knowledge transfer also enriches the social identity literature. For example, Kane (2010) develops theory and provides evidence of a mindful process whereby superordinate social identity motivates knowledge consideration, the focusing of attention on determining the value of another’s knowledge, which, in turn, accounts for the transfer of less demonstrable knowledge. Prior to this work, the dominant psychological view was that shared identity led people to blindly adopt opinions from members of one’s own group (e.g., Abrams, Wetherell, Cochrane, Hogg & Turner, 1990). In recent years, social identity researchers have begun building on the mindful perspective Dr. Kane advanced, for example, linking shared identity and effective communication (Greenway, Wright, Willingham, Reynolds, & Haslam, 2015).
Field research conducted by Dr. Kane and colleagues on knowledge sharing and collaboration across organizational boundaries underscores the importance of social identity and provides insights into its organizational applicability. Along with Dr. Gina Dokko and Dr. Marco Tortoriello, Dr. Kane examines the conditions under which the diverse knowledge provided by boundary-spanning ties to contacts on other work teams within the same organizational division is generative of creative ideas. Social network analysis of data collected in a R&D division of a global high-technology firm shows that stronger employee identification with the superordinate division enhances creative generativity, whereas stronger team identity renders interactions with colleagues on other work teams less generative of creative ideas, an effect that is attenuated by tie strength (Dokko, Kane, & Tortoriello, 2014). This work highlights that identification at nested organizational levels represent distinct social contexts with a local team identity acting as an impediment and a superordinate identity acting as facilitator. A qualitative study of immigrant managers of offshore software development projects conducted with Dr. Natalia Levina further underscores that cross-boundary knowledge sharing and collaboration are enhanced not merely by collaborators belonging to a common entity but rather by the extent that they identify with the common social entity (Levina & Kane, 2009; Levina & Kane, 2015).
Dr. Kane’s work on team receptivity to newcomers enriches the group learning and socialization literatures. In a review of five decades of research in the organizational and psychological sciences on team responses to newcomers, Dr. Kane and colleagues, Dr. Floor Rink, Prof. Dr. Naomi Ellemers, and Prof. Dr. Gerben Van Der Vegt show that, on balance, teams are willing to reflect on their existing practices in the presence of new members, but are relatively unwilling to socially accept newcomers or utilize their knowledge (Rink, Kane, Ellemers, Van Der Vegt, 2013; also see, Kane & Rink, 2015a; Rink, Kane, Ellemers, & Van Der Vegt, in press). Kane (2010) and Kane et al. (2005) operationalized knowledge transfer via membership change, which means that the work provides insights into team receptivity to newcomers. In particular, these studies demonstrate that teams are more receptive to the unique knowledge of new members when team members identify strongly with a superordinate group that includes the newcomer. Accordingly, teams would be advised to draw newcomers from within their organization, but the applicability of this implication is limited by the benefits and prevalence of inter-organizational mobility. Research conducted and in process with Dr. Rink addresses whether newcomers themselves can increase team receptivity and proposes that newcomers calibrate the way they contribute knowledge to address social identity concerns (Kane & Rink, 2011; Kane & Rink, 2015b, 2015c; Rink & Kane, 2014). Experimental studies confirm that newcomers are accepted more easily and, hence, enhance the utilization of their knowledge when the newcomers themselves use an integrating strategy (i.e., plural pronouns) that emphasize their new team rather than the more common differentiating strategy (i.e., singular pronouns) that emphasize personal identity and separation from the team. This work, much of which was supported by a grant from the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust, identifies factors for replacing team resistance with team receptivity to newcomers that are amenable to managerial intervention.
Two additional projects, involving graduate students, identify factors for enhancing boundary spanning and collaboration that are amendable to managerial intervention. The first project, which includes Dr. Theresa Lant and began when Dr. Maritza Salazar was a graduate student at New York University, focuses on whether medical experts choose to participate (or not) in interdisciplinary research teams. Drawing on insights from group socialization research, this work posits and finds that factors increasing the likelihood of participation include individuals’ distinctive expertise and their boundary spanning collaboration experience (Salazar, Lant, & Kane, 2011). The second project is an ongoing collaboration with graduate student Rougu Kang and her advisor Dr. Sara Kiesler at Carnegie Mellon University. A dominant perspective in the literature is that teams tackling complex problem benefit from the using technologies to share information among analysts separated by distance and time (Bruns, 2012), but this National Science Foundation supported project suggest that such optimism be tempered (Kang, Kane, & Kiesler, 2014). In particular, experiments reveal that analysts often experience “teammate inaccuracy blindness,” mistaking inaccurate information as helpful and performing worse than counterparts who receive only raw data from teammates. Although subsequent experiments show teammate inaccuracy blindness to be rather pervasive, adding information from an additional teammate can help overcome the tendency.
Dr. Kane employs a variety of research methodologies in her examination of the aforementioned conditions and processes through which people separated by psychological, organizational, and physical boundaries learn from and collaborate effectively with each other. The field studies conducted in organizational settings employ interviews, questionnaires, and social network analysis (i.e., Dokko et al., 2014; Levina & Kane, 2009; Salazar et al., 2011), whereas the experimental studies primarily employ novel knowledge sharing designs developed by Dr. Kane and colleagues with the support of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Palumbo Charitable Trust, (e.g., Kane et al., 2005; Kane, 2010; Kang et al., 2014; Kane & Rink, 2015). Taken together these laboratory and field methodologies complement one another, enhance generalizability, and provide a rich understanding of effective collaboration across group boundaries.