Research Grants Awarded 2016-2011

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The SHRM Foundation awarded 31 research grants between 2011 and 2016 that span topics of employment discrimination, organizational participation, social media, global virtual teams and more.

2016

Funding Awarded: $351,304

Fostering Employee Adaptation, Well-Being, and Commitment in Turbulent Times by Mindy Shoss, Ph.D., University of South Florida and Dustin Jundt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University

Funded: August 2016  Expected Completion: August 2018

Abstract: Today's rapidly-changing business environment demands that employees adapt to changes in work tasks. We posit that sensemaking serves as a mechanism through which employee perceptions of contextual factors (e.g., HR strategies, social factors, task environment) and employee personality impact adaptive performance and related outcomes. We plan to test our model via multilevel SEM utilizing self, peer, and supervisor survey data from two organizations (one of which incorporates three time points). This research addresses calls to study and develop theory around antecedents of adaptive performance, and highlights potential environmental and selection mechanisms leverageable for HR practice.


Leveraging High Performance Work Systems Through HRM System Strength by Cheri Ostroff, Ph.D., University of South Australia, and Marie Wilson, Ph.D., University of South Australia

Funded: October 2016  Expected Completion: October 2018

Abstract: As "business partners," senior HR practitioners require greater understanding and stronger tools to leverage high performance work practices for organizational impact. We address both academic and practice gaps by examining HRM system strength, long theorized as a 'missing link' in understanding how high performance work systems enable organizational performance. Understanding the impact of HRM system strength speaks to the need for HR managers to deliver practices that enhance the effectiveness of an organization through better design of both practices and the process of their delivery. A multilevel, split sample survey design and HLM will be utilized to assess HRM system strength as a moderator of the HPWS-organizational effectiveness relationship as well as the means through which HRM strength operates.


Communicating One Million HRM Research Findings by Frank A. Bosco, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Krista L. Uggerslev, Ph.D., Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Fred Oswald, Ph.D., Rice University, and Piers Steel, Ph.D., University of Calgary

Funded: February 2017  Expected Completion: February 2019

Abstract: Setting evidence-based practice into motion has been stymied by two distinct challenges: accessing the scientific literature and synthesizing scientific findings. We aim to address these challenges by creating a cloud-based knowledge management system for academic and professional HRM knowledge including links to professional white paper series. Our methodology includes two primary studies. The goal of Study 1 is to arrive at a navigable, dimension-reduced taxonomy (i.e., ontology) of the universe of HR-related constructs and variables that includes both practitioner and scientist parlance. The goal of Study 2 is to assess and further enhance the usability of the revised taxonomy for interacting with over one million findings curated in the metaBUS project.


Mining the Team: Using Big Data to Explore the Effects of Technology Use and Temporal Interaction Patterns on Team Collaboration and Team Performance by Ning Li, Ph.D., The University of Iowa, and Jia Yu, Ph.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa

Funded: February 2017  Expected Completion: February 2019

Abstract: Rapid developments in technology have deeply impacted employees' behaviors. One prominent example is the recent rise of online collaboration tools (i.e., application software designed to help people collaborate with others to achieve collective goals), which have significantly changed the way people interact with others. Using the big data provided by an online collaboration software company (Teambition), our research seeks to develop a dynamic theory of team interactions by examining how the structural and temporal aspects of team interaction patterns promote team effectiveness. The results can be used by corporate leaders and HR managers to improve collaboration efficiency among employees.


Male Champions for Gender Inclusive Organizations by Katina Sawyer, Ph.D., Villanova University, and Anna Marie Valerio, Ph.D., Executive Leadership Strategies, LLC

Funded: February 2017  Expected Completion: February 2019

Abstract: Men have a critical role to play as agents of change in women’s leadership. The purpose of the proposed work is to explore effective behaviors of male champions. To determine these behaviors we propose: 1) a qualitative study, utilizing coded interviews with high-level male champions and women supported by male champions, to determine key gender inclusive leadership behaviors and 2) a large-scale quantitative study which examines the relationship between gender inclusive leader behaviors and employee outcomes using HLM. Our results are expected to benefit researchers, employees and organizations by promoting effective behaviors to drive gender inclusive leadership.

2015

Funding Awarded: $256,055

Comprehensive Test of Generation as a Moderator of Turnover Antecedents: Are Custom Retention Strategies Needed for Millennial Talent? by Roger Griffeth, Ph.D., Ohio University

Funded: January 2016     Expected Completion: January 2018 

Abstract: There is little if any evidence for the following major question in generational research: Do Millennials differ from previous generations at the outset of employment regarding what factors predict turnover? This investigation is an ambitious attempt using twenty-three databases collected over 35 years to push intergenerational research into a position of allowing practical recommendations. CTMA1 will be used to compare generations as each cohort enters the workforce, testing the strength of antecedents in predicting turnover. We will also compare results found in the CTMA to a new sample collected cross-temporally to determine accuracy of a non-cross-temporal design to predict turnover.

Enhancing Perspective and Authenticity to Improve Age-Diverse Mentoring Relationships by Jennifer L. Wessel, Ph.D., University of Maryland and Eden B. King, Ph.D., George Mason University

Funded: January 2016   Expected Completion: January 2018 

Abstract: The aging of the workforce creates opportunities for older, experienced employees to transmit their expertise to younger employees via mentoring. Age-dissimilar interactions, however, can be fraught with challenging interpersonal dynamics. Using two professional samples and a field experimental design, we will examine the process by which age dissimilarity affects mentoring quality. Further, we will examine the efficacy of short, easy-to-implement reflective interventions focused on perspective-taking and authenticity building in improving mentoring within age-diverse dyads. Using dyadic moderated-mediation analyses, our results will expand our knowledge of age diversity and mentoring, as well as provide HR professionals with practical diversity management tools. 

Generation Y and Work Behavior: Are They Really That Different? A Cross Cultural Examination Using Data Mining of Social Network Websites - Pilot Study by Hilla Peretz, Ph.D., Ort Braude College, Israel, Emma Parry, Ph.D., Cranfield University, and Yitzhak Fried, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Funded: June 2015   Completed: February 2017

Media Summary:  Interest in generational differences has ballooned over recent years with both HR practitioners and consultants designing management practices based on the popular workforce segments of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. Despite this interest, empirical evidence for generational differences in work values is mixed and inconclusive. In this study, which was based on the analysis of massive database of social media websites in four different countries (1,860,000 Tweets and 368,800,000 Facebook users), results suggest that reality of generational differences is more complex than previous researchers have argued and that the Western notion of generational differences is not valid everywhere. In the US, researchers found differences between age groups equating to Generation X and Millennials, but this was not true in India, Argentina or Russia. Researchers also found that the work values of the younger generations in the four countries were not the same as each other. For example, in the US Millennials valued advancement and change, and Generation X valued balance and stability. In India, all generations valued fairness and contribution to society and in Argentina teamwork and friendships were important, suggesting that a global approach to generational diversity is not appropriate.

Leaders' Role in Fostering Employees' Recovery by Ronit Kark, Ph.D., Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Sabine Sonnentag, Ph.D., University of Mannheim, Germany   

Funded: June 2015     Expected Completion: July 2017 

Abstract: Work is becoming increasingly demanding. This intense lifestyle takes its toll on employees, highlighting the importance of recovery from work. The proposed project studies leaders’ role in fostering employees’ recovery from work (LRR) and subsequent positive outcomes in the work, family and community domain. This research will enable HR practitioners to better understand LRR, providing them with novel assessment and training tools. Our project comprises three empirical studies that validate the concept of LRR, developing a measure and testing its outcomes in a multi-source field study and in a daily-survey study. We will analyze the data using a multi-level approach (Mplus). 

2014

Total Funding Awarded: $284,617     

Bridging Communication Gaps in HR by Mapping Constructs and Findings by Frank A. Bosco, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Krista L. Uggerslev, Ph.D., Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Piers Steel, Ph.D., University of Calgary, Sven Kepes, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael A. McDaniel, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, and N. Sriram, Ph.D., Implisci.com

Funded: June 2014     Completed: July 2016 

Media Summary: The field of Human Resource Management is paving a new evidence-based pathway with metaBUS: A “Big Data” approach to published HR research findings. Whereas HR professionals previously had to comb through webpages, whitepapers, or journal articles seeking rigorous data to drive their decisions, metaBUS now provides an intuitive search engine of nearly one million published scientific findings in one location – the largest database of curated, published research findings anywhere in the social sciences. By using flexible search options, users may discover relevant research, conduct rapid research summaries, and visualize results in digestible ways – without all the theory and jargon. Next steps will expand data visualizations and interfaces to improve the availability of cumulative evidence to guide HR practice and decisions. Go to Metabus.org for more information about this project.


Free-Riding in Global Virtual Teams: An Experimental Study of Antecedents and Strategies to Minimize the Problem by Vas Taras, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Tom O'Neill, Ph.D., University of Calgary, Piers Steel, Ph.D., University of Calgary and William Tullar, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Funded: June 2014     Completed: July 2016 
 

Media Summary: Research shows that between 50 and 70 percent of all white-collar workers in OECD countries at least occasionally work on projects that require online collaboration in permanent or temporary virtual teams. Of those, 20 to 35 percent involve collaborations across national borders. Multiple surveys of corporate employees and student project teams have shown that over 90 percent of all global virtual teams (GVTs) at least occasionally face the problem of free-riders (social loafers, free-loaders) on the teams.  Free-riding launches a downward vicious cycle: free-riding induces a feeling of injustice, which undermines team morale, which undermines effort, which leads to conflicts, which in turn leads to … more free-riding. This study tested strategies to minimize the free-rider problem in Global Virtual Teams by subjecting over 2,500 GVTs composed of over 15,000 people from over 40 countries to a series of experiments to better understand what causes free-riding and what could be done to mitigate the problem.

Their results showed that free-riding is a wide-spread problem in GVTs and it very negatively affects team morale and greatly undermines team performance. However, a number of relatively simple interventions can significantly reduce free-riding in GVTs, including:       

  1. Before the project even starts, making teams smaller, creating a sense of difficulty of entry into the team and a feeling of a great privilege of being a member of this particular team, and prompting team members to learn more about one another and connect at the personal level to create a sense of reciprocal social obligations reduces free-riding by up 25%.
  2. When free-riding occurs, providing the team with an opportunity to complain or by providing costly coaching to the team and the free-rider has a negligible effect and does not reduce free-riding. However, announcing that free-rides will be excluded from the project is their performance does not improve immediately is a very efficient and effective strategy which reduces free-riding by 54%. Notably, the exclusions almost never have to be actually executed; merely the threat of exclusion cuts the number of free-riders in half.

By employing these simple prevention and mitigation strategies, a medium-size organization with a few dozen global virtual teams can save millions of dollars annually by precluding performance and morale losses caused by free-riding.


Can Human Resource Management Policy Reduce Workplace Telepressure? Effects on Employee and Organization Outcomes by Larissa K. Barber, Ph.D., and Alecia M. Santuzzi, Ph.D.

Funded: December 2014    Expected Completion: February 2018 

Abstract: This research will investigate social sources that may increase or reduce workplace telepressure in technology-mediated work environments and its effects on employee and organizational performance and health indicators. Workplace telepressure can add to our understanding of why employees stay connected with work during non-work time, and how such behavior may negatively affect organizations. Using a mixed methods approach, we will examine workplace norms and organizational policies that may influence workplace telepressure among employees, and how such behavior may be associated with organizational outcomes. We will analyze the quantitative data using multilevel structural equation modeling and qualitative data using thematic analysis.

2013

Total Funding Awarded: $602,093

Role of Leaders` Global Role of Leaders Global Capital in Advancing Multi-Cultural Team’s Innovation and Effectiveness by Alon Lisak, Ph.D., Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel, Cynthia Lee, Ph.D., Northeastern University and Miriam Erez, Ph.D., Technion, Israel

Funded: June 2013      Completed: December 2015 

Media Summary: This study aimed to identify the factors that contribute to the success of global leaders in managing culturally diverse teams towards innovative performance. The researchers studied 82 multicultural teams and their leaders in an R&D center of a large German producer of automotive parts, located in China.  They identified the leaders' global identity, which conveys the sense of belongingness to the global community and specifically to their multicultural teams. These leaders conveyed a sense of inclusion to their followers, and the recognition in the importance of innovation for their sustainable competitive advantage. Leaders with high global identity were perceived by their followers as fostering of shared team innovation goals. These teams recognized the importance of leveraging their cultural diversity and used communication inclusion to assure that they understand one another, which resulted in their team innovation performance. The effect of the leaders' fostering of team shared innovation goal on team members' communication inclusion was stronger when team members' perceived diversity was high rather than low. Based on this study, multinational organizations should assess the global identity of managers whom they consider for global leadership roles. They should provide potential leaders the opportunity to gain experience in working in the global context and their training program should emphasize the advantages of diversity, in particular for team innovation.  

Social Media to Learning and Work Engagement by Wendy Murphy, Ph.D., Babson College and Bala Iyer, Ph.D., Babson College

Funded: March 2013     Completed: October 2015

Media Summary: Knowledge workers today are expected to exhibit creative, collaborative, critical-thinking and communication skills under new technology modalities. This study explored the impact of relationships fostered through informal mentoring and social media. Findings show that technology-mediated relationships foster both learning and engagement at work, complementing support from a network of mentoring relationships. Our research suggests that increasing employees' opportunities to learn and develop relationships also leads to increased work engagement and retention. These results suggest that organizations should encourage the use of internal social media platforms and provide training programs that show employees how to connect and support one another and expand their informal mentoring networks.

Now and Then: High Potential Women Leaders and their Peers by Lynn Offermann, Ph.D., George Washington University

Funded: June 2013     Completed: August 2016 

Media Summary: Using a longitudinal approach and both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) methods, the researcher followed the careers of 101 women identified in 1985 as high-potential college women leaders in order to examine the factors that predict greater career success and satisfaction.  Results indicate that both career satisfaction and perceived career progress were significantly predicted by undergraduate leadership and competitive orientations as well as engaging in organizational networking.  Orientations toward seeing oneself as a leader in college – not just occupying a leader role – differentiated between women later achieving senior leadership roles in their careers and those who did not, suggesting the importance of forming a leadership identity early in life. There were no differences in career satisfaction or salary for those with or without children, but women who left the workforce for some period (an “off ramp”) earned an average of over $38,000 less per year than those who did not, and women achieving the most senior leadership were less likely to have taken an off ramp than other women. Receiving support for work from family and friends was positively related to perceived career success, satisfaction and perceived progress, but not to salary.   Understanding individuals as embedded within their out-of-work environments – their culture, families, and their own aspirations and orientations – can help us better assist women as well as men to bring more of their talents to their organizations and to derive greater satisfaction and success from their occupational efforts.


Creating and Sustaining Virtual Teamwork Effectiveness: An Examination of Leveraging Polarities by Jean Leslie, Ph.D., Center for Creative Leadership, Emily Hoole, Ph.D., Center for Creative Leadership and John Mathieu, Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Funded: December 2013     Completed: January 2017 

Media Summary: Challenged by constant reliance on technology, lack of face-to-face interactions, and working across time zones, virtual teams need to be able to address unresolved tensions inherent in virtual teamwork. This research shows that the team's ability to leverage virtual team polarities (on-going tensions within teams that appear in opposition but are synergetic –for example, task focused and relationship focused; unified team and diverse individuals) positively relates to team effectiveness, including team performance as well as individual team members' satisfaction, trust, commitment, professional development, learning, and sustainability/viability. Organizations should provide increased education on polarity thinking and polarity management, coupled with increased emphasis on information sharing between team members. 


My Family Enriches Your Work? Exploring the Mechanisms of Supervisor-Subordinate Positive Crossover by Sandy Wayne, Ph.D., and Eric Michel, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Funded: December 2013     Expected Completion: March 2017 

Abstract: This proposed study integrates family-work enrichment (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006), defined as the extent to which family experiences improve one’s experiences at work, and social learning theory (Bandura, 1969, 1977) within a dyadic spillover-crossover model.  Our study aims to identify how supervisor role modeling of family-work enrichment positively impacts the subordinate’s enrichment and work outcomes.  Two firms, a U.S. restaurant chain and an international building products firm, have agreed to participate in this study.  We plan to survey employees and managers and test the proposed model with hierarchical linear modeling.  Results of our study will provide recommendations for how leaders and their organizations can create a family-friendly work environment.

2012

Total Funding Awarded: $643,593

States of Organizational Participation and Withdrawal: Measurement Development and Theory Validation by Rodger W. Griffeth, Ph.D., Ohio University, Thomas W. Lee, University  of Washington, Peter W. Homm, Arizona State University and Terence R. Mitchell, University of Washington

Funded: December 2012     Completed: July 2015 

Media Summary: As organizations struggle to address growing employee turnover rates and the associated costs, a new, practical H.R. solution may be on the horizon. Recent thinking by Hom, Mitchell, Lee & Griffeth (2012) introduced the idea that employee quit decisions might be better conceived as consisting of four groups (enthusiastic stayers and leavers, and reluctant stayers and leavers) instead of the traditional two groups (enthusiastic stayers and leavers). In recent empirical tests of this notion, Lee, Li, Mitchell, Hom & Griffeth (under review), confirmed the proximal withdrawal state theory of turnover may not only enhance an organization's ability to predict employee turnover, but provide the means for organizations to target interventions to those employees in which an intervention may produce the most cost-effective impact.  Reluctant stayers (individuals who want to leave, but have stay) are most similar to enthusiastic leavers (individuals who want to leave and can leave) in terms of their low organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and embeddedness to their current job/community. On the other hand, reluctant leavers (individuals who have to leave, but want to stay) are most similar to enthusiastic stayers (individual who want to stay and can stay) in terms of their high organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and embeddedness.  The authors conclude that identifying employees by these states, may in the future provide organizations with practical tools to better manage their workforce and where possible, address worker and organizational issues to promote retention of high performing employees.

When Talent Loss Poses the Greatest Risk: Understanding the Effects of Departure Sequencing, Clustering, and Timing on Organizational Performance by John Hausknecht, Ph.D., Cornell University and Jacob A. Holverda, Ph.D., Iowa State University

Funded: October 2013     Completed: December 2014

Media Summary:
 With more than 50 million workers separating from their employers in 2013 alone, it has become critical to understand the consequences of this massive movement of workers into, through, and away from firms. The goal of this study was to better understand when talent-related losses pose the greatest risk to organizational health. In contrast to traditional "resource loss" approaches that are grounded in turnover rates, the study focuses more deeply on the underlying human capital within work units to recast the issue as one of "resource-preservation." Results show that measuring the capacity of units to perform—which encompasses more than just turnover—is a reliable, leading indicator of customer satisfaction, unit revenues, and profits.  This approach more easily distinguishes between concentrated losses of critical talent versus routine movement of more peripheral employees, thereby allowing organizations to target interventions to those units where the risk to operational performance is greatest.  

Investigating the Healthy Adoption of Investigating the Healthy Adoption of Mobile Communication Technologies to Manage Work Demands: Implications for HR and Beyond by Stacie Furst-Holloway, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, Elaine Hollensbe, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, Suzanne Masterson, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, Therese Sprinkle, Ph.D., Quinnipiac University

Funded: June 2012    Completed: June 2015

Media Summary: 

The widespread use of mobile communication technologies (MCTs), including laptops, smart phones and tablets, has created a world in which employees may now connect to work anywhere, anytime. It is not uncommon, for instance, for employees to use MCTs to complete work-related tasks before or after work hours or to check in with work via email multiple times while off hours. However, research suggests that these behaviors can result in a number of negative outcomes for employees, including greater work-home conflict, stress, and burnout. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to understand how individuals can use MCTs in ways that lead to positive outcomes in both the work and home domains. To address this issue, we used a mixed methods approach that included interviews with a diverse group of 33 professionals and an on-line survey of more than 500 employees, their supervisors, peers, and significant others.

Our findings suggest that employees' MCT use was influenced not just by personal preferences for segmentation or integration of work and home boundaries, but also (and more strongly) by organizational norms regarding technology use. In particular, when employees observed others in the organization they respected or whose opinions they valued using technology to integrate, they were more likely to do the same. Additionally, while the use of integration tactics was associated with greater job satisfaction, employees were seen by their supervisors and peers as more focused at work and higher performing when they used segmentation rather than integration tactics.  Employees also were seen by their significant others as less focused on the home role when they used integration tactics. Being unfocused at home was associated with lower relationship satisfaction (as reported by significant others). Taken together, our findings have a number of implications for HR practitioners.  First, given the desirability of job flexibility for many employees, HR practitioners should support integration efforts by providing tools to help employees manage their time, reduce stress, and find effective ways to disconnect or detach from work so that they have time to recover from the 24/7 work cycle. Second, given how strongly organizational norms influenced employee behaviors, HR can help those in supervisory positions become more aware of their own behaviors and the signals those send to employees to avoid creating unnecessary "pressures to respond" off hours. Finally, because our findings suggest that segmentation is associated with greater perceptions of focus at work, HR may wish to establish informal policies or guidelines suggesting how and when technology can be used so that employees can balance the need to be available with the pull of being distracted by technology.


 Why Employees React to HR Practices Differently: Using HR Practice Saliency to Explain the Variability in the Effects of HR Practices on Employee Outcomes by David P. Lepak, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Kaifeng Jiang, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Sargam Garg, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Funded: December 2012    Completed: June 2015

Media Summary: 

Towards Understanding Effective Corporate Leadership and Motivation in Africa by Terri Lituchy, Ph.D., University of the West Indies, Barbados and Corcordia University, Canada, Betty Jane Punett, Ph.D., University of the West Indies and David Ford, Ph.D., University of Texas, Dallas

Funded: December 2012     Completed: March 2014

Media Summary:
 The current interest in Africa, and particularly in HRM in Africa, is driven by a new interest in doing business in Africa, and recognition that African countries are increasingly part of the global economy, with impressive economic growth rates in some countries.  The LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Motivation in Africa and the African Diaspora) research project addresses an important current issue for HRM practitioners: leadership and motivation in Africa.  The study identified effective leadership and motivation approaches which derive from and are applicable in Africa. Dr. Terri Lituchy and her LEAD research team found differences in effective leadership in Africa that is not common in western research or business. These include being a big man, religion and spirituality, and Ubuntu that are not included in Western measures of leadership. The LEAD research suggests that basic needs are key to motivation in an African context. This is not surprising given the relative poverty in many countries in Africa. It suggests that some simple "rewards", such as the provision of subsidized meals at the worksite would be a substantial motivator. HR professionals can use results such as this to investigate the impact of providing subsidized meals on attendance, performance and turnover. The costs and benefits of providing subsidized meals are quantifiable and can be evaluated by HRM departments. Similarly, our initial results suggest the importance of the male in leadership positions. The findings are intended to inform the preparation of indigenous training and development programs for use by HR practitioners in African countries.

Identifying and Mitigating Human Capital Risk in Enterprise Risk Assessment by Robert E. Ployhart, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, William Shepherd, Ph.D., University of South Carolina and Donald Hale, Jr., University of South Carolina

Funded: October 2012     Completed: December 2014

Media Summary: 
This study examines the consequences of an individual turnover event on a unit's financial performance. Using a large sample of bank branches, the results show that employee and manager turnover both produce an immediate five to six percent drop on branch financial performance. The recovery rate for an employee turnover event is approximately 10 months, meaning that it will take the average branch 10 months to recover to pre-turnover levels of performance. The recovery rate for a manager turnover event is even slower and takes approximately 16 months. The recovery rates are also slower when branch employees work more interdependently. Thus, even a single turnover event can have lasting serious financial consequences on the collective unit. These findings underscore the importance of modeling turnover, and talent more generally, as a possible determinant of financial risk for business units. 

The Science and Practice of Executive Coaching: Development of a Process-based Model and Measurement Toolkit of Executive Coaching Effectiveness by Eduardo Salas, Ph.D., Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida

Funded: January 2013     Completed: March 2015

Media Summary: The researchers conducted a study to examine the factors that contribute to coachings' effectiveness as a development resource. Results show that coaching has significant positive relationships with coachee insight, an outcome that is highly correlated with the more distal outcome of intended goal attainment. While factors like coachee motivation, coachee structure schema,  'coachability' are predictive of successful coaching engagements, it was also found that working alliance and information sharing partially mediate the relationship between specific coaching behaviors (e.g. regulating motivation; coaching authentically) and coachee insight outcomes. Our meta-analytic findings show that coaching has the strongest effects on coachee behavioral change as opposed to attitudinal changes and that coaching elicits strong working alliance between coach and coachee.  These findings suggest that coaches must spend time honing a positive working relationship with coachees that is characterized by trust, mutual respect, shared goal setting, and open and honest communication in order to achieve maximal coaching outcomes.

High Performance Work Systems in Nonprofit Organizations: Surfacing Better Practices to Improve Nonprofit HRM Capacity by Sally Coleman Selden, Ph.D., Lynchburg College and Jessica E. Sowa, Ph.D., University of Colorado, Denver

Funded: August 2012     Completed: August 2014

Media Summary:
 The performance of nonprofit organizations can be enhanced by the adoption of various components of High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) employed by many for profit organizations, according to a recent study by Sally Selden and Jessica Sowa, titled "High Performance Work Systems in Nonprofit Organizations: Surfacing Better Practices to Improve Nonprofit HRM Capacity." The authors surveyed 344 human service nonprofit organizations in eight states, chose the 16 highest performing nonprofits, interviewed the executive directors and surveyed employees and volunteers of these 16 organizations. The study found performance was higher in nonprofits that adopted High Performance Work Systems. Employee satisfaction was also higher in organizations that used HPWS practices that involved effective information sharing, quality on-boarding, good compensation programs (including rewards other than salary), and management practices that engendered trust between management and employees. 

2011

Total Funding Awarded: $408,214

Best Places to Work: How “Making the List” Impacts the Strength and Sustainability of Subsequent Recruitment and Turnover Outcomes
 by Brian R.Dineen, Ph.D., Purdue University and David Allen, Ph.D., University of Memphis

Funded: March 2011     Completed: October 2013

Media Summary: "Best Places to Work" (BPTW) and similar competitions have proliferated and represent a form of third party employment branding. Yet, little is known about their degree of impact on recruitment and turnover outcomes. Using archival data over a four-year period, our research shows that success in BPTW competitions is associated with decreased turnover in subsequent years. Furthermore, this decrease is mostly present among companies with younger workforces, among smaller companies, and among companies in which the workforce is initially more satisfied. Also, among companies that receive consistent rankings over a four-year period, and in comparison with unranked companies, turnover initially decreases considerably, but after a three-year period it returns to previous levels. Finally, we find that applicant pool quality reported by the same company respondent in consecutive years exhibits an increase the year following a first-time BPTW ranking, irrespective of company size. 


Daily Fluctuations in Work Design: Impact on Employee Attitudes, Well-being, Emotions, Physical Health, and Performance by Adela Garza, Ph.D. and Fred Morgeson, Ph.D., Michigan State University 

Funded: December 2011   Completed: July 2015

Media Summary: For as long as there has been work, organizations, managers, and workers have structured, designed, and otherwise manipulated the content and organization of work tasks, activities, relationships, and responsibilities. The field of work design has evolved to study this process and for much of its history has viewed work designs as stable, largely unchanging features of work. The current research questions this assumption and finds that instead of being highly stable, work designs can vary considerably over time. By studying the daily work experiences of 77 information technology workers over a three week period, we find that more than half of the variability in work design is due to individual worker differences rather than stable features of the work. Some work characteristics like autonomy are particularly variable whereas others like interaction outside the organization are more stable. In addition, individual worker sources of influence on the work tend to affect more task-related work characteristics whereas interpersonal sources of influence (e.g., customers, supervisors, coworkers) tend to influence more socially oriented work characteristics. This study is the first to comprehensively study this kind of daily variability in work designs.

Overqualification among Different Demographic Groups: Consequences and Moderators by Aleksandra Luksyte, Ph.D., University of Western Australia and John Cordery, Ph.D., University of Western Australia and Jasmine Seah, Synergy

Funded: December 2011     Completed: December 2014

Media Summary: The modern workforce has become increasingly diverse, for example with women constituting half of the working population (Bardasi & Gornick, 2008). The influx of immigrants has contributed to the growing racial diversity in OECD countries (Lee, 2005); older employees are routinely delaying their retirement (Gordo, 2011), and more and more organizations employ people with disabilities (OECD, 2010). In this study, researchers explored whether people from demographically diverse backgrounds are more likely to end up in employment for which they are overqualified and, if so, what organizations can do to minimize this. The results of this research have demonstrated that younger women who are also members of minority groups are particularly susceptible to overqualification, whilst men with disabilities are also more likely to report being overqualified. The organization's climate for inclusion was beneficial for minorities in terms of reducing perceived overqualification. Further, creative and helping behaviors were more frequently observed when overqualified employees had, for whatever reason, voluntarily chosen a job for which they were overqualified.

Organizational Safety Climate and Supervisor Safety Enforcement: Multi-level Explorations of the Causes of Accident Under-Reporting by Tahira M. Probst, Ph.D., Washington State University, Vancouver  

Funded: December 2011     Completed: October 2013

Media Summary: Over 3 million employees are injured at work each year in the United States.  While staggering, research indicates that these national surveillance statistics significantly underestimate the true number of workplace injuries due to employee accident under-reporting with as many as 80% of all accidents going unreported. Unfortunately, little is known about factors that might predict such accident under-reporting. In the current study, survey data collected from 1379 employees in 35 organizations indicated that organizational safety climate and supervisor safety leadership behaviors predicted employee accident reporting. Specifically, employees working in organizations with a poor safety climate and who had supervisors with poor safety leadership skills engaged in more accident under-reporting. However, the importance of the supervisor's safety leadership appears to vary depending on the context of the broader organization's safety climate. In organizations with poor safety climates, greater supervisor enforcement was related to reduced employee underreporting. However, in organizations with positive safety climates, employee underreporting was low regardless of the individual-level of supervisor enforcement. This suggests that organization-wide efforts to improve the overall safety climate may be more effective than targeting individual-level supervisors. On the other hand, if the organization's safety climate is not a positive one, then the extent to which employees accurately report accidents is largely dependent on the enforcement behaviors of their individual supervisors.


Achieving Fairness When Treating Employees Differently: The Case of Idiosyncratic Deals (I-deals) by Sandy Wayne, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago Robert C. Liden, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chenwei Liao, University of Illinois at Chicago and Jeremy D. Meuser, University of Illinois at Chicago

Funded: December 2011     Completed: October 2013

Media Summary: The current study examined employee and team outcomes associated with differential treatment in the workplace—that is, when leaders treat some members of the team differently from other members.  Based on surveys completed by 961 employees and their managers from 71 restaurants of a U.S. chain, we found that when managers developed different quality relationships with members of a team, a climate of unfairness existed, lowering team/restaurant performance.  However, employees who had received a special deal from their manager in the form of a customized work arrangement were more likely to perceive their manager as fair and perform at a high level when their manager developed distinct relationships with subordinates.  The results illustrate how differential treatment in the workplace may have negative outcomes for teams but positive outcomes for the individual recipients of special deals.

Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: Strategies for Human Resource Managers Interested in Expanding Integrated Employment Practices by Meredith Weiss, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  Dana Hanson-Baldauf, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Funded: December 2011     Completed: December 2013

Media Summary: Despite compelling research favoring the inclusion of workers with I/DD in the labor market, this population of adults experience over a 90% unemployment rate.  This study addresses a gap in the research literature by capturing the perspectives of employers who hire and retain workers with I/DD with three goals: to identify (1) how individuals are employed, (2) factors that contribute to their employment and retention, and the impact of their inclusion on the employing organization. Study findings support the growing body of evidence that individuals with I/DD can and do bring value to today's labor market in diverse and meaningful ways, particularly when employed with appropriate and personalized supports and accommodations.  Five factors lending to successful integrated employment outcomes, as reported by study participants, follow: good fit, management style, third-party support, a supportive climate, and workplace accommodations. Reported accommodations include visual and process-oriented supports; assistive tools, procedural modifications, communication and work logs, and the allocation of personal space.  In light of the findings, an integrated employment model of "good fit" is proposed outlining four critical and interdependent variables: the commitment of an employer, individual readiness for employment, a strong support network, and an enabling work environment.  Implications for HR professionals, including considerations and strategies, are provided in the research document.   
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