The Recipe for Creating Proactive Employees

Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology (2015)
Article: Building and sustaining proactive behaviors: The role of adaptivity and job satisfaction
Reviewed by: Alex Rechlin

Employers seek proactive employees – those who will initiate positive change in the organization. However, not much is known about how to build and sustain proactivity in the workplace. One perspective is that adaptability is important for being proactive later on. Adaptability is adjusting and changing your behavior when a change occurs. The current authors (Strauss, Griffin, Parker, & Mason, 2015) argue that adaptability is important for knowledge acquisition, increasing change-related self-efficacy, and maintaining positive relationships. Through these mechanisms, adaptability may lead to greater proactivity at a later time.


How Employees Develop Passion For Work

Publication: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2015)
Article: Finding a Fit or Development It: Implicit Theories About Achieving Passion for Work
Reviewed by: Winnie Jiang

As a new generation enters the workforce, a growing number of people are seeking passion for work. They desire to attain passion, or a strong sense of enjoyment, fulfillment, identification, and motivation from their work. Ample studies have demonstrated that passion for work predicts positive individual and organizational outcomes, including positive affect (or good feelings), lower job burnout, and higher job satisfaction.


Do Telecommuters Have Better Job Performance?

With the dawn of the technological age upon use, telecommuters are employees who are able to work in remote locations, such as home, outside of the traditional work setting. Rather than commute into work every day, technology enables people to work virtually and perform tasks while physically apart from their colleagues and supervisors.


Fathers in the Workplace: Can Men Really Do it All?

Publication: The Academy of Management Perspectives
Article: Updating the Organization MAN: An Examination of Involved Fathering in the Workplace
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

With more actively involved fathers in the workplace, the role of the working man is changing. The ideal worker, or an employee that is perpetually available and committed to work with minimal responsibilities outside of the job, clashes with men’s ability to be involved fathers, or men that are involved with and accessible to their children.

In order to investigate the changing expectations of fatherhood in the workplace and determine how involved fathering impacts work-related outcomes, the researchers (Ladge et al., 2015) conducted two studies. The first study involved interviews with 31 new fathers about their career and fatherhood, and the second study administered a survey to 970 fathers who worked in four different Fortune 500 organizations.


Aging Workforce: Employees Who Are Healthy and in Control Stay Working

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Individual and Work Factors Related to Perceived Work Ability and Labor Force Outcomes
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

In our currently aging workforce, one in five workers are now age 55 or older. Given this changing demographic, it is important to identify the factors that lead to early departure from the workforce. One of the critical factors is perceived work ability, or the balance between personal resources and work characteristics. In order to prevent premature departure of the workforce, this study (McGonagle, Fisher, Barnes-Farrell, & Grosch, 2015) identified what leads to perceived work ability, and what happens when employees experience it.


Caregivers in the Workplace: How to Improve Their Well-Being

Currently, one in five American families includes an individual with caregiving duties, and caregivers in the workplace are becoming much more common. Given the advent of the sandwich generation, or those people who care for both children and aging parents, this number is expected to rise. Even more, the increase of women in the workforce is leading to more working caregivers than ever before, because women tend to be the primary caregiver to both children and elderly parents.


What Type of Happy Employees Can Benefit Organizations?

Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Putting Your Best “Face” Forward: The Role of Emotion-based Well-being in Organizational Research
Reviewed by: Winnie Jiang

We tend to think that organizations with happy employees are more likely to be successful. Happier employees tend to have better performance and are less likely to leave their companies. However, when asked what happy employees are like or what it means to be a happy employee, chances are people would not give consistent answers. Are happy employees those who receive higher salaries or those who enjoy higher job and life satisfaction? If both types of employees are considered happy, which type is actually beneficial to organizations?


How a Sense of Calling Can Affect Career Decisions

What helps determine whether people pursue their sense of “calling”? The advice I always got was, “Work hard, get a respectable job in a stable industry and then pursue your passion on the side.” This shaped my extrinsic motivation, or the type of motivation that comes from outside a person, when pursuing a career. Others take to heart advice from notable public figures like the late Steve Jobs who said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” This kind of advice fosters intrinsic motivation, or the type that comes from within a person, when pursuing a career. The pursuit of a career that meets at the intersection of these two approaches would be ideal, but often economic realities deter many. Recently, two researchers sought to understand what influences career decisions when these approaches clash.


The Secret Recipe for Good Workplace Conflict

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Can Conflict Be Energizing? A Study of Task Conflict, Positive Emotions, and Job Satisfaction
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

The term “Workplace Conflict” sounds ominous. It conjures up images of yelling, screaming, finger pointing and, in rare cases, hunkering down under makeshift table forts and lobbing used Styrofoam cups at rival camps.

But can workplace conflict occasionally be good? New research by Todorova, Bear, and Weingart (2014) has found that, under the right circumstances, frequent workplace conflict can lead to an exchange of valuable information and, eventually, to higher job satisfaction.


Tell Me Again: How Retelling Stories in the Workplace Builds Culture

Publication: Academy of Management Review
Article: Retelling stories in organizations: Understanding the functions of narrative repetition
Reviewed by: Anjali Banerjee

The little stories that tend to get passed around an office on a daily basis can have a profound impact on life in the workplace. “Did you hear about Susie? She was fired just for fixing the boss’ coffee wrong. Right on the spot, just like that!”

A new study on retelling stories in organizations by Stephanie L. Dailey and Larry Browning seeks to understand the functions this sort of narrative repetition can have. Ultimately, the authors found storytelling in the workplace builds the foundation for a unique organizational culture.