Published

Laura Little
Laura Little

A research article co-authored by Laura Little, director of the Institute for Leadership Advancement and an associate professor of management, has received the Academy of Management Journal Best Paper Award for 2016. 

The award recognizes the most outstanding research paper published in one of the discipline’s leading journals. The paper, “Professional Image Maintenance: How Women Navigate Pregnancy in the Workplace," was released in the February 2015 issue of the journal.

The article refuted many of the stereotypes associated with pregnant workers, finding that most pregnant workers desired to be seen as the same people they were before pregnancy. In some cases, pregnant employees worked harder to maintain that image. It uncovered no evidence that pregnant women are not serious or committed workers.

Contenders for the award are judged on how well the paper: Answers the most important research questions concerning general management theory and practice; presents an important idea or original hypotheses; advances theory and new understandings, utilizes appropriate data, sound methods and significant results; and will affect research and practice in the future.

Collaborating with Little on the study were Virginia Smith Major of The Connection Inc., a nonprofit social services agency in Connecticut; Amanda S. Hinojosa of the University of Houston - Clear Lake; and Debra L. Nelson of Oklahoma State University.