Jason Kanov
Associate Professor
Western Washington University

Related Research Interests

I am interested in interpersonal work—the effortful handling of relationships and interactions. One stream of my research explores how moments of interpersonal disconnection within organizations impact the work of maintaining those relationships and the accomplishment of task work. Of particular relevance for the PRW Microcommunity is the finding that moments of disconnection sometimes trigger reconnection work. I aim to further examine this link between “negative” relational experiences and the building of positive relationships.

I also study suffering and compassion. In particular, I am interested in examining the interpersonal work involved with the expression of suffering and the doing of compassion. Bringing an interpersonal-work lens to this research reveals the skillful and effortful aspects of these processes and thus deepens our understanding of their nature and their consequences for individuals and organizations.

Relevant Publications

  • Kanov, J., Powley, E. H., & Walshe, N. D. (2017). Is it ok to care?: How compassion falters and is courageously accomplished in the midst of uncertainty. Human Relations, 70(6): 751-777.
  • Lilius, J., Kanov, J., Dutton, J., & Maitlis, S. (2011). Compassion revealed: What we know about compassion at work (and where we need to know more). In K. S. Cameron & G. M. Spreitzer (Eds.) Handbook for Positive Organizational Scholarship. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Lilius, J. M., Worline, M. C., Dutton, J. E., Kanov, J. M., & Maitlis, S. (2011). Understanding compassion capability. Human Relations, 64(7), 873-899.
  • Lilius, J. M., Worline, M. C., Dutton, J. E., Kanov, J. M., Frost, P. J., & Maitlis, S. (2008). The contours and consequences of compassion at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 193–218.
  • Dutton, J. E., Lilius, J. M., & Kanov, J. M. (2007). The transformative potential of compassion at work. In D. Cooperrider, R. Fry and S. Piderit, (Eds.), New Designs for Transformative Cooperation (p. 107-126). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Frost, P. J., Dutton, J. E., Maitlis, S., Lilius, J. M., Kanov, J. M., & Worline, M. C. (2006). Seeing organizations differently: Three lenses on compassion. In C. Hardy, S. R. Clegg, T. B. Lawrence, & W. Nord (Eds.), The Handbook of Organization Studies (2nd ed., p. 843–866). London: Sage.
  • Kanov, J. M., Maitlis, S., Worline, M. C., Dutton, J. E., Frost, P. J., & Lilius, J. M. (2004). Compassion in organizational life. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(6), 808-827.
  • Dutton, J. E., Frost, P. J., Worline, M. C., Lilius, J. M., & Kanov, J. M. (2002). Leading in Times of Trauma. Harvard Business Review, 80(1), 54-61.