Top 5 Most Popular Article Reviews – June 2014

Check out I/O AT WORK’s Top 5 most popular article reviews for June 2014 on Diversity, Stereotypes, Work Teams, Deceptive Candidates and more!

5.Diversity Climate Cues in Recruitment: Do They Really Work?

Diversity in the workplace has become an increasingly important topic in recent years. A new study examines the draw of diversity during the hiring process, with a focus on how a prospective employee’s perception of an organization’s diversity climate may ultimately affect their interest in pursuing a given job.


4.Breaking the Mold: How Challenging Gender Stereotypes Reduces Bias

It’s a well-known fact that gender stereotyping has historically played a role in organizational leadership selection. But a new study suggests that job candidates who do not fit the stereotypical mold are viewed more objectively, resulting in more fair decisions during the selection process. The research suggests that exposure to those that break the stereotypical mold can also provide inspiration for other women.


3.How to Create Successful Work Teams

Teamwork is essential to organizational success. But assembling a team that can work together effectively can make all the difference in whether a given project succeeds or fails. A new study suggests members’ individual needs play a significant role in intragroup conflict, and should be strongly considered when putting a work team together.


2.Interviews: How to Identify a Deceptive Job Candidate

The applicant interview is crucial in finding the perfect candidate for a given position. But what happens when applicants use deceptive impression management to weasel their way into a job. A new study examines how organizations can try to alleviate the problem by selecting interviewers capable of detecting when an applicant is being deceptive.


1. Welcome to the Future: Investigating Mobile Devices as Assessment Platforms

In the past, the advent of greater access to computers and the Internet inexorably changed the methods by which organizations recruited talent, and also the way in which possible hopefuls searched for and applied to these organizations. A new study suggests that assessment via mobile phone could be the wave of the near future.

Top 5 Most Popular Article Reviews – May 2014

Check out I/O AT WORK’s Top 5 most popular article reviews for May 2014. Take a look and see if the most popular article surprises you!

5. The Impact of Envy on High Performers in the Workplace

Employees who work harder and achieve more are highly valued by employers. But all too often these high performers’ achievements and rewards attract the envy of their peers. A new study examines the role jealousy plays in workplace victimization, as well as factors that could help organizations avoid this sort of bullying altogether.


4. Feedback and Organizations: The Importance of a Feedback-Friendly Culture

Feedback in the workplace is essential for employee development and advancement. A new study suggests that creating a feedback-friendly culture can help boost employee performance and improve the company’s overall well-being. It also offers tips for how leaders can create a feedback-friendly culture.


3. How Shared Leadership Impacts Team Effectiveness

In “A meta-analysis of shared leadership and team effectiveness,” the authors analyze 42 different studies and three categories of leadership styles (new-genre, traditional, and cumulative) to gain a better understanding of how Shared Leadership ultimately impacts team effectiveness in the workplace.
2.Taking control back: Surviving an Abusive Supervisor

Abusive supervisors have become increasingly common in recent years, and can have a devastating effect on workplace morale and productivity. A new study examines how employees can maintain job performance while dealing with an abusive supervisor, and ultimately found that the individual’s personality has a more significant effect than their choice of coping strategy.


1. Thriving At Work Rather Than Just Going Through the Motions

Do you want to excel at what you do, instead of just going through the motions? A new study on thriving at work finds that employees who are more hopeful, efficacious, resilient, optimistic, and have supportive supervisors are more likely to succeed, which in turn is related to greater self-development and work performance.

Top 5 Most Popular Article Reviews – April 2014

Below are I/O AT WORK’s Top 5 most popular article reviews for April 2014. Check it out and see if the most popular article surprises you!

5. How Organizations Can Fast-Track Transitioning Leaders

Employees transitioning into leadership roles need to quickly adapt to new expectations and responsibilities– skills that often come from experience. But a new study suggests that supervisors facilitate leader development, both by showing great leadership during the training phase and by telling crucial info on areas of responsibility and reporting channels right up front.


4. Why Try to “Fit” In at Work? The Importance of Work Engagement and Person-Job Fit

As organizational restructuring and downsizing lead to tougher competition for jobs, it’s become more crucial than ever for organizations to maximize each employee’s person-job fit. A new study finds that highly engaged employees tend to increase their own person-job fit by changing the physical and interpersonal attributes of their work in order to meet the needs of the position. In other words, they work harder to fit in better.



3. How leaders may affect followers’ resistance to change

Does your organization go through change? I’d be willing to bet that it does, so you may be interested in what kind of impact leaders have on their followers’ intentions to resist organizational change. The authors of this study investigated how the traits, values, and behaviors of leaders explain their followers’ resistance intentions.


2. Can your personality effect how well you adapt to changes in the workplace?
In an ever-changing business world, the ability to adapt quickly to changes in the workplace is incredibly valuable to employers. A new study on “Personality and Adaptive Performance at Work” examines how emotional stability and ambition influence an employee’s ability to handle change. Ultimately, it found that personality was one of several key factors that determine how people adapt.


Writing Opportunities1. Work With Us: Writing Opportunities for Journal Article Reviews

I/O AT WORK is currently seeking graduate-level students in industrial/organizational programs and PhDs to provide content for our informational website that serves the I/O, OE, OD and HR communities. I/O AT WORK helps to bridge the gap between I/O research and it’s practical application by publishing on-line reviews of important, relevant, and applicable research. Our site enables users to stay up-to-date on current research in a highly efficient way. Due to the interest in the site and the demand for increased content, we are currently seeking additional writers. Please email mary.gabbett1 (at) gmail (dot) com for additional information.

Top 5 Most Popular Article Reviews – February & March 2014

For 2014, I/O at Work is trying something new. We will be listing our top 5 most popular article reviews by month. Since February was such a short month, we’ve combined it with March. Our list might surprise you so check it out and let us know what you think!


resistance-to-change5. How leaders may affect followers’ resistance to change
Does your organization go through change? I’d be willing to bet that it does, so you may be interested in what kind of impact leaders have on their followers’ intentions to resist organizational change. The authors of this study investigated how the traits, values, and behaviors of leaders explain their followers’ resistance intentions.


4. How Service Employees React to Mistreatment by Rude Customers
We’ve all seen employees in the service industry subjected to abusive behavior by rude customers. A new study by Ruodan Shao and Daniel P. Skarlicki finds that employees’ reactions to mistreatment by customers varies in individualistic and collectivistic cultures. It also suggests several solutions for dealing with the stress such rude treatment often causes.


3. How Positive Events Can Impact Work-Related Stress
Everyone knows that stress can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, depression, and exhaustion. But a new study found that positive events such as a compliment from a supervisor or achieving a work-related goal can go a long way toward improving employee health, suggesting that “positive intervention” can lead to less work-related stress.


2. Are You Promoting Work Engagement, or Workaholism?

There’s a fine line between work engagement and workaholism. The former can lead to positive, dedicated employees; the latter can lead to burnout, bad attitudes, and quitting. Youngkeun Choi examines the differences between the two, offering organizations guidance on encouraging work engagement and discouraging workaholism.


1. Taking Feedback to Heart: How To Find the Coaching In Criticism
All too often, we respond to constructive feedback defensively, getting hurt feelings over what we consider to be criticism of our performance. In their article, Find the Coaching in Criticism, authors Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone suggest six simple steps that can help you take feedback to heart without getting hurt, and instead using it to grow and improve as a person.

Are You Promoting Work Engagement, or Workaholism?

Publication: Social Behavior and Personality (November, 2013)
Article: The Differences Between Work Engagement and Workaholism, and Organizational Outcomes: An Integrative Model
Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor, Ph.D.

All business organizations want their employees to be highly involved in their work (which is also known as Work Engagement), but not obsessive-compulsive about it (a.k.a. Workaholism).

Unchecked workaholism can eventually lead employees to burnout, inclinations to leave the company, and other behaviors that put good organizational citizenship at risk.

But how can organization leaders spot the difference between healthy and unhealthy levels of work engagement, and encourage employees towards the former? In “The Differences Between Work Engagement and Workaholism, and Organizational Outcomes: An Integrative Model,” author Youngkeun Choi offers some guidance.

Knowing The Difference

While at work, truly engaged employees tend to be positive, dedicated, and absorbed in their work (Schaufeli et al, 2002).

From previous research, we know that employees suffering from workaholism usually work excessively hard without finding any enjoyment in it. They tend to be perfectionists, distrusting of their coworkers, and often suffer from poorer mental and physical health.

Encouraging Work Engagement

So what can a business organization do to encourage healthy levels of Work Engagement?

The best solution is to provide job resources for its employees. In this article, Choi found that both social support from colleagues and supervisory coaching have a positive impact on Work Engagement, leading to employees who approach their jobs with more vigor, dedication and absorption.

To the organization’s benefit, employees with greater work engagement more often reported that they didn’t intend to quit, and that they were more likely to help others and be a good organizational citizen.

Discouraging Workaholism

What can an organization do to discourage Workaholism among its employees?

Perhaps not surprisingly, the solution is the same: Provide job resources. According to Choi’s research, when ample job resources were available, fewer characteristics of workaholism were reported, regardless of the demands of the job.

Choi concluded that providing resources such as performance feedback, supervisory coaching and colleagues’ support is the key to developing engaged workers who don’t fall into the trappings of becoming workaholics.

Top 5 Most Popular Article Reviews – January 2014

I/O at Work is trying something new for 2014. We will be listing our top 5 most popular article reviews by month. Take a look at the list and see if anything surprises you. We’re always open to feedback so if you find this top 5 format helpful please let us know!


Who-You-Know.700 5. Problem Solving at Work: It’s Not What You Know, but WHO You Know

Better relationships build better, stronger organizations. To start problem solving at work, invest in forming relationships with those you work with.


Abusive-Supervisor.7004. Consequences of Abusive Supervision

Schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying. But what about bullying in the workplace? A new study on abusive supervision suggests that supervisor aggression can create emotional exhaustion among employees, ultimately leading to feedback avoidance.


Executive Coaching.700

3. What Does an Executive Coach Do? 7 Things You Should Know

There is a lot of buzz around the term “Executive Coach” so what does an executive coach do and what do you need to know before you hire one?


Emotional-Intelligence.3002. Managing Your Emotions: Four Simple Steps to Success

Everyone has negative thoughts and feelings from time to time. It’s how we process and deal with these emotions that define us. Read on to learn four easy practices that can help with managing your emotions and erasing obstacles in your path to success.


Burnout.7001. Can Personality Predict Burnout?  *Most Popular Review*

A new study suggests that certain personality traits may be able to predict manager burnout. Guess which ones they are.

How Power Distance Agreement Improves Performance in the Workplace

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, November 2013
Article: Leader–Team Congruence in Power Distance Values and Team Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Procedural Justice Climate
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Research in I-O psychology suggests that, when leaders and their employees share similar attitudes about how work should be done, it creates positive outcomes in the workplace.

A recent study by Cole, Carter, and Zhang (2013) has found that agreement on the appropriate amount of power distance– the disparity in control between employees and their supervisors– can play an especially significant role in workplace harmony, leading to improved performance.

When people expect leaders to assume complete authority and make all decisions, the company’s culture is said to be high on the power distance index. When those leaders are expected to make decisions democratically, using employee input, and employees are assumed to be on equal footing, the culture is said to be low on the power distance index.

As part of the study, researchers examined the extent to which leaders and their employees agreed on power distance expectations. When this agreement was higher, two positive outcomes were usually found: Team performance improved, as did organizational citizen behaviors (when employees go beyond their formal job descriptions to benefit the organization).

But why did this happen? The authors found that, when leaders and employees had similar expectations regarding power distance, there was agreement as to who should be making the decisions. For example, when high power distance was expected, all parties agreed that the leader should be making decisions unilaterally.

This type of agreement leads to a perception of procedural justice, or the feeling that employees are being treated fairly. In our example, the employees do not expect to make decisions, and perceive it as fair when they are not asked to do so. Procedural justice was ultimately associated with higher job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors.

The authors concluded that organizations should find ways to discover the power distance expectations of leaders and their employees. When agreement is low, the organization can then take steps to help correct the mismatch and train leaders to better suit their followers. Ultimately, this knowledge of team members’ preferences can be an important step towards improving overall team performance.

Top 10 HR Stories 2013

I/O at Work has had a busy year bringing you the latest findings in I/O research and its applications in the HR world. Our writers have reviewed some of the most useful research articles enabling our readers to stay informed about new HR strategies and developments. Below is a list of our top 10 HR stories of the year in descending order. Check the list for important and useful information and let us know if you’re surprised by #1 .


10.  Are turnover rates and organizational performance related?



9. Further predictors of academic performance



8. Whistle While You Look For Work



7. Talking about my generation: Exploration of the impact of generation on motivation



6. Empowering Leaders vs. Directive Leaders: Which is more effective?



5. How to get Promoted: Lessons from the movie Office Space



4. Does a Job Furlough Affect Performance?



3. How to Become Indispensable



2. Leave a Penny, Take a Penny: Effective Giving



1. Dealing with Difficult Customers: address the problem, not the emotion



What’s Missing from the Research on Work-Family Balance?

Publication: Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (April, 2011)
Article: How Work-Family Research Can Finally Have An Impact on Organizations
Reviewed by: Nupur Deshpande

Although research on work–family balance has continued to grow and develop in recent years, there is a notable gap between what we know and what actually gets implemented in the workplace. Initially it was a field that focused on women and minorities as they began to join the workforce; however, in the modern era, work-family research has gone through quite a bit of evolution. As companies began to offer work-family related perks in an effort by human resource management to make their companies more attractive to employees, work-family balance began to become a vital part of any discussion regarding benefits and productivity. The term family now holds many more meanings than it did before, and the phrase work-family balance is being replaced in many discussions with work-life balance, so as to include a broader spectrum of non-work and personal roles held by employees at various stages of personal, social, and professional development.

Unfortunately, a growing number of employers are reducing or eliminating some family friendly benefits. Generally, the first programs to go are flextime, elder care referral, and adoption assistance, as well as paid maternity leave. Research presents a compelling argument for why employers should continue to offer and enhance their work-family policies despite the economic downturn. Research indicates that these work-family balance oriented policies promote positive employee attitudes, such as Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment, and foster a continued supply of potential candidates, who stay with an organization and thus save the organization money due to low turnover, decreased absenteeism, and fewer accidents.
So, why are more and more employers turning away from family friendly policies? The article suggest that, in part, the fault lies with the type of research being done.

More work needs to be done examining the pivotal role technology plays in blurring work-family boundaries. Researchers must realize that policies do not affect everyone in the same way. In this era of globalization, researchers also need to focus more internationally, where work is very much an offshoot of the culture in which it resides. Additionally researchers should focus on discovering how employees cope with the burdens of managing limited resources, such as their time and energy, while attempting to achieve and maintain a healthy work-family balance.

In short, we need to speak more practically about what is working; why it is working; and what employees and companies can do — whether it’s policies that support working from home, various types of telework, flextime, maternity and paternity leave, or something new – to ensure that work-family balance creates a happy, productive employee, enabling companies to achieve their full potential.

Employee Behavior and Wearable Monitoring Devices

Publication: Harvard Business Review
Article: Wearables in the Workplace
Reviewed by: Megan Leasher

Is big brother watching you? Is he hiding in your clothes?

This article focuses on wearable computing and tracking devices that record the behaviors of employees. They both monitor and measure the speed of task completion, as well as any changes in the way tasks are completed. The goal of these wearable monitoring devices is to provide feedback on employee behaviors and task performance that can be used to better design work, improve the efficiency of task flow, and hold employees accountable to certain productivity standards.

The idea behind this research is not new, and was actually made very popular by Frederick Taylor’s time and motion studies a century ago. What is new is the technology now available for monitoring. In the modern era of technical sophistication, a human doesn’t have to observe employees’ actions. Instead, highly advanced wearable monitoring devices can easily scrutinize employee behavior and generate data for three kinds of analysis:

  1. Measurement of people’s work movements to track the speed of work tasks.
    When these wearable monitoring devices are used for productivity reasons, employees are generally annoyed by the feelings of “surveillance;” however, when they are used for safety and/or fatigue monitoring, employees find them much easier to accept.

  3. Analyzing time and motions needed to successfully complete a complicated process
    This type of monitoring can be used with groups to help employees collaborate better and work smarter, if not necessarily faster. Also, these are commonly used with pilots to improve communication and allow better interpretation of information in the cockpit.

  5. Data quantifying the physiological things inside of us: Monitoring things like heart rate and cognitive processing to understand health and or thought patterns.

It almost sounds like a psychological debate over mind versus body. Are we just fancy, mindless robots to be tweaked and refined for ultimate production outputs, or are we humans making critical judgments to accomplish the goals of our work, in the way we each best see fit? As a scientist, I find these devices fascinating and beneficial. But, as a human, I also find them somewhat intrusive and borderline invasive. My own polarization makes me wonder how they will be used and received in more organizations going forward.