The Dark Side of Pay-for-Performance Programs

Perform better, get paid more, is the basic tenant of pay-for-performance (PFP). One type of PFP strategy is bonuses, which are easy to hand out and motivate employees to accomplish short-term goals. PFP can be used at all levels of the organization, from CEOs to managers to entry-level workers. Want that project done by the end of the month? An extra monetary incentive won’t hurt! Or will it?

[…]

The Impact of Networking on Employee Turnover

Networking involves building, maintaining, and using professional relationships. When people talk about networking, they are usually quick to point out the benefits of being connected to others. The more people you connect with, the more information you can gain about strategies for dealing with difficult people, trends in the industry, and potential job opportunities. As employees gain more information and connect with more people, does that increase or decrease the likelihood that they will voluntarily leave their current job? New research (Porter, Woo, & Campion, 2016) suggests that the answer depends on whom you are networking with.

[…]

Overflowing Stress: How Personal Stress Leads to Stress on the Job

Overflowing Stress: How Personal Stress Leads to Stress on the Job

Stressful events that occur outside of the workplace can negatively affect work outcomes such as employee stress, job commitment, and turnover intentions. This phenomenon is called negative spillover, because employees are not always able to “check” their personal stress and worries “at the door” when switching from their home environment to their work environment.

Most research has focused on the spillover between an employee’s family role and work role. However, employees can also be affected by non-family experiences that occur in their personal lives outside of work (e.g., housing crises, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc.). Examples of negative spillover include being irritable, distracted, or tired at work because of problems at home. These personal experiences can result in work outcomes that negatively impact both employees and organizations.

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Age-Inclusive HR Practices Lead to Improved Organizational Outcomes

Age-Inclusive HR Practices Lead to Improved Organizational Outcomes

Most industrialized countries are facing challenges posed by aging populations. Correspondingly, companies have to manage and engage a more age-diverse workforce than ever before. Sometimes, employees from three or even four different generations may work in the same company. Boehm, Kunze, and Bruch (2014) examined the effects of age-inclusive HR practices on organizational outcomes and found promising results.

[…]

Are You Managing and Keeping Your Star Performers?

Every organization wants to retain its best people, because star performers are essential to success. But this maxim has become even more prevalent in today’s business world.

The authors claim that the 20th century was about reforming the business world into factories that valued conformity and having everyone do their tasks in the same way. But the current business climate has people working to solve more problems in more unique ways. The projects that we work on involve quick turn-arounds and efficiency.

In short, the business world has moved away from the conformity of the 20th century and into the creativity of the 21st century. This change has made star performers even more valuable, according to the authors of the study.

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Interviews: How to Identify a Deceptive Job Candidate

Almost every company has to go through some type of interviewing process in order to select which applicant they will hire.

But applicants frequently use a deceptive type of impression management, which can lead to organizations hiring the wrong person for the job. This can be a serious issue for companies if they hire a deceptive applicant whose work does not match up with the way they performed in their interview.

Companies cannot hope to completely stop applicants from using deception impression management in interviews. But organizations can try to alleviate the problem by selecting interviewers capable of detecting when an applicant is being deceptive.

[…]

How Service Employees React to Mistreatment by Rude Customers

Dealing with rude customers is a universal truth to working in service positions. We’ve all been there, standing awkwardly in the checkout lane as a red-faced customer furiously berates an employee for some perceived injustice or inconvenience. Intriguingly, how employees react to this rude behavior might be influenced by cultural values.

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The Consequences of Fit Across Cultures

Previous research has demonstrated that fit – the compatibility between an employee and a work environment – tends to lead to better attitudes, better job performance, and lower turnover (Arthur, Bell, Villado, & Doverspike, 2006). However, this research has focused predominantly on populations in North America. Today, companies operate across geographical boundaries in a globalized world of business, and it does not seem prudent to apply results found in North America to countries in Europe and Asia. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand if fit across cultures predicts work attitudes and job performance across the globe.

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Self-efficacy and Job Performance

Is self-efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to succeed – the result of past performance or a cause of future performance? Research thus far has shown that both perspectives are true: that past performance is a driver of self-efficacy (Kozlowski, Gully, Brown, Salas, Smith, & Nason, 2001) and that self-efficacy is a driver of future performance (Sitzmann & Ely, 2011).

[…]

Emotional Labor: How Faking a Smile at Work Affects Job Satisfaction

Have you ever given a fake smile to someone at work even though you weren’t feeling happy or very excited to see him? If so, you’ve engaged in a process known as emotional labor in which you manage your emotions in order to act in an appropriate way in a work setting. Maybe you wouldn’t go to such efforts when around friends and family, instead feeling free to express the emotions you actually feel. In a work setting though, it may not be best to show your irritation about missing lunch to your brand new client.

[…]

Building a Positive Work Environment: Acts of Kindness at Work

According to researchers Sonnentag & Grant, a positive mood that comes from helping someone is so powerful that it can last till bedtime. Firstly, when you believe that you have helped someone at work you feel good. Then, over the day, you think about it, reflecting on the positive features of the event. This reflection spills over into the rest of your day, leaving you feeling good all day long. Due to our tendency to be more engaged with positive emotions and to detach from negative ones, we improve the positive parts of these memories in our minds, giving them greater power to make us happy.

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

For customer service agents job performance is affected by which emotion management strategies they use when dealing with difficult customers. According to research by Little, Kluemper, Nelson, and Ward, problem-focused strategies like addressing a problem’s source, decrease caller’s negative feeling and result in positive customer feelings. On the other hand, emotion-focused strategies like distracting the caller from a problem increases in the intensity of a customer’s negative emotions and a decreases their positive emotions.

[…]

Whistle While You Look For Work

Staying positive increases your chances of finding a job, according to a recent study in Personnel Psychology. Feelings of positive affect relate to job outcomes, such as the number of interviews and job offers. Specifically, positivity influence a job seeker’s motivation and procrastination behavior, which in turn influences job-search outcomes. So, with unemployment at nearly 8%, try to stay positive, and hopefully, good things will come your way.

[…]

Raise employee engagement with volunteerism

In this study, learn how strong volunteer programs are a win for the NGO, a win for the employee who volunteers, and a win for the company that sponsors the volunteerism. To measure the actual benefits or drawbacks of company-sponsored volunteerism programs, Caligiuri, Mencin, and Jiang gathered responses from employees, NGO managers, and line managers.

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Creativity and Firm Performance

The impact of creativity on firm performance depends on the riskiness of a firm’s strategy, the firm’s size, and the ability of the firm’s employees to transform creative ideas into new products and services, according to a study by Yaping Gong, Jing Zhou, & Song Chang. When a company has a risky strategy, creativity leads to decreased firm performance. On the other hand, creativity leads to increased firm performance when the size of the company is small or when a company has a high capacity to transform creative ideas into novel products and services (a.k.a., absorptive capacity).

[…]

Responsibly Irresponsible

Imagine that while waiting in line at Starbucks for your tall extra dry half-caff non-fat cappuccino with two Splenda, you notice that the person in front of you drops a dollar. In response, you pick up the dollar, give it back to the person, and give yourself a gold star. The next morning, while waiting for your skinny vanilla latte with no whip, the person again drops a dollar, but instead of returning it, you keep it, since you filled your moral quota for the week the day before. In other words, being morally responsible on Monday gives you license to act immoral on Tuesday. This is what Margaret E. Ormiston of the London Business School & Elaine M. Wong of the University of California at Riverside found, but the venue was Fortune 500 companies instead of coffee shops. Specifically, a firm’s past corporate social responsibility was positively related to future corporate social irresponsibility. Further, the more moral a CEO appears in public, the stronger this relationship is.

[…]

Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way (IO Psychology)

What comes to mind for most of us when we think of leadership styles we admire can be summed up in two words, “transformational leadership.” Transformational leaders inspire others with a mission and vision for the future, and motivate their followers to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.

Traditionally, the bulk of research in the area of transformational leadership has focused on transformational leaders’ personal qualities and how they drive change. Less has been known about the conditions under which a transformational leadership style is most successful and when it has the most impact on followers.

[…]

Boundaries to success: Conditions under which human resource practices do and do not increase performance of small firms

Previous research has demonstrated that human resource practices aimed at acquiring, training, retaining, and motivating a proficient workforce (e.g., high-investment human resource systems, high-performance work systems) increase firm performance 1. However, the research on the impact of human resource practices on firms with less than 100 employees is more sparse and less certain. In addressing this void in the literature, Clint Chadwick of the University of Kansas, Sean A. Way of Cornell University, Gerry Kerr of the University of Windsor, & James W. Thacker of the University of Windsor analyzed the human resource practices and performance of 96 for-profit, private-sector Canadian small firms from areas such as wholesale trade, manufacturing, and retail.

[…]

Value alignment for jobs and occupations (IO Psychology)

When designing a job, consider the values of the occupation within which the job resides, according to research by Erich C. Dierdorff of DePaul University & Frederick P. Morgeson of Michigan State University. For example, imagine that you’re designing an internal consultant job that you expect to be filled by someone who comes from the occupational field of industrial and organizational psychology. In crafting the type of tasks that this job will involve, consider the values of the occupation as a whole. For instance, if people within the occupation tend to value achievement and independence, ensure that the job you create incorporates these features. If you do so, it’s likely that the employee will derive satisfaction from his or her job.

[…]

Job performance and personality

Topic: Personality
Publication: Personnel Psychology (1991)
Article: The big five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis
Authors: Murray R. Barrick & Michael K. Mount
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin

PR_035-_SI_-_28_06_12-066Personality and job performance are related, according to a study performed by Murray Barrick of Texas A & M University and Michael K. Mount of the University of Iowa. Those who are conscientious – which refers to, among other things, being punctual, orderly, detail oriented, and organized – performed their job better. This finding is particularly strong because, in terms of methodology, it was found through a process known as a meta-analysis in which the results of many studies – 117 in the case of this investigation that yielded a sample size of nearly 24,000 – are combined.

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Working too much? Spending lots of time with family? You’re probably not sleeping enough

Topic: Work-life Balance
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2012)
Article: Borrowing from sleep to pay work and family: Expanding time-based conflict to the broader nonwork domain
Authors: Barnes, C. M., Wagner, D. T., & Ghumman, S.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Tr_-_Pr_-_05_-_18_10_10-177Pretend for a minute that you have a lot you want to do today. This is probably not a difficult task. You have important projects to get done for work, you want to spend time with family and friends, and you really would like to get a decent night’s sleep. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get everything done. So what do you do less of?

Research in the work-life balance literature mainly focuses on time spent at work and time spent with family. In other words, if you spend more time at work, you spend less time with family, and if you spend more time with family, you probably spend less time working. But what about other important activities that you do, like sleep?

[…]

Come a Little Closer: Community diversity and inclusiveness affect organizational outcomes (IO Psychology)

Topic: Diversity
Publication: Personnel Psychology (Winter 2012)
Article: Crossing the threshold: The spillover of community racial diversity and diversity climate to the workplace
Authors: B. R. Ragins, J. A. Gonzalez, K. Ehrhardt, & R. Singh
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Organizations are looking to increase diversity in the workplace, and the United States is becoming more racially diverse as well. But are the racial composition and inclusiveness of the community also important to organizational outcomes? A recent study of accounting professionals in the U.S. indicates that they are.

[…]

What Attracts Applicants Throughout the Recruiting Process?

Topic: Recruiting, Human Resources

Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2012)

Article: Recruiting through the stages: A meta-analytic test of predictors of applicant attraction at different stages of the recruiting process

Authors: K. L. Uggerslev, N. E., Fassina, and D. Kraichy

Reviewed By: Megan Leasher


In the competition for true talent, I often picture companies as robots donned in red or blue plastic, battling in a yellow ring to conquer and win the best of the best candidates.  But my retro devotion to Rock’em Sock’em robots always reminds me that someone is controlling the levers.  The moves of the Blue Bomber and the Red Rocker are really being choreographed by each company’s recruiters.  Recruiters launch the battle, and candidates’ perceptions of the organization and its corresponding brand image must be considered throughout the process.  If recruiters and organizations know what will keep applicants interested and continuing through the process, they have a better chance at getting the best talent on board.  But what sorts of things matter to candidates?  And do these things change as a function of the stage of the process?

[…]

Getting by Giving: Why Leaders Succeed by Serving (IO Psychology)

Topic: Leadership, Organizational Performance
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: CEO Servant Leadership: Exploring Executive Characteristics and Firm Performance
Authors: Peterson, S. J., Galvin, B. M., Lange, D.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli


Sometimes you have to give more to get more. The same is true when it comes to how CEOs lead their company and how well their company performs. According to Peterson and her colleagues, when the CEO (usually the most powerful and influential player in the organization) demonstrates servant leadership their firm becomes more successful.

[…]

A new rating scale for multisource feedback (IO Psychology)

Topic: Feedback, Job Performance, Measurement
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2012)
Article: Evidence for the effectiveness of an alternative multisource performance rating methodology
Authors: B. J. Hoffman, C. A. Gorman, C. A. Blair, J. P. Meriac, B. Overstreet, & E. K. Atchley
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Do you receive multisource feedback (also called 360 degree feedback) at work? Based on its extreme popularity, my guess is that you do. An important question, therefore, is how to make the ratings more accurate and thus more informative for development. Brian Hoffman and his colleagues recently conducted two studies in which they developed and evaluated the efficacy of a new type of scale, called frame-of-reference scales (FORS), to use in multisource feedback systems.

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Scoring Biodata Measures (IO Psychology)

Topic: Selection, Assessment
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2012)
Article: Unlocking the key to biodata scoring: A comparison of empirical, rational, and hybrid approaches at different sample sizes
Authors: J. M. Cucina, P. M. Caputo, H. F. Thibodeaux, & C. N. Maclane
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Cucina and his colleagues recently conducted a study to explore the best method of scoring biographical data (biodata) measures. Biodata can be scored using empirical keying methods in which the assessor weights item responses based on the objective relationship between the item and performance; rational keying, in which scorers come up with subjective estimates of that relationship based on theory; and a hybrid approach, in which assessors use both rational and empirical keying). In this study, the authors answered seven research questions. We’ve provided you with the questions and answers for your own biodata-scoring enjoyment.

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Let Me Hear from You: Encouraging Employee Voice Behavior (IO Psychology)

Topic: Engagement, Fairness
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2012)
Article: Applying Uncertainty Management Theory to Employee Voice Behavior: An Integrative Investigation
Authors: Riki Takeuchi, Zhijun Chen, & Siu Yin Cheung
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

In recent years, IO psychology has taken note of the desire that many organizations have for their employees to make creative suggestions to improve the organization. The importance of these contributions (collectively known as employee voice behavior) appears to be increasing, particularly as organizations try to “innovate from within,” as opposed to relying as much on external sources for their innovative ideas. However, this desire for employee voice comes with a challenge: employees may be reluctant to share ideas, particularly if they challenge the status quo in the organization or their workgroup. Therefore, if employees are going to use their “voice,” it is important that employees feel they can trust their bosses and the management of the organization.

[…]

Like Pulling Teeth: How to Get Greater Employee Feedback (Human Resource Management)

Topic: Feedback, Leadership, Job Attitudes
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Ask And You Shall Hear (But Not Always): Examining the Relationship
Between Manager Consultation and Employee Voice
Authors: Tangirala, S., & Ramanujam, R.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Whether you’re a researcher, consultant, HR professional, or manager, you know that the best sources of information about a job or organization are the employees themselves. But, you also know that gathering open, honest, and constructive feedback can sometimes be difficult. This type of feedback is also called voice, or an employee’s expression of opinions, concerns, or suggestions, and is either increased or decreased by both external and internal factors.

[…]

Predicting someone’s propensity to morally disengage (IO Psychology)

Topic: Assessment, Personality, Ethics, Counter-Productive Work Behavior, Workplace Deviance
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2012)
Article: Why employees do bad things: Moral disengagement and unethical organizational behavior
Authors: Celia Moore, James R. Detert, Linda Klebe Treviño, Vicki L. Baker, & David M. Mayer
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Organizations obviously want their employees to be ethical. While there are existing measures that are used to predict who will act immorally, the authors of this paper proposed a new construct that they called an individual’s propensity to morally disengage – an individual difference in how people think about ethical decisions and behavior that allows them to act unethically without feeling bad about it.

[…]

The Human Side of Organizational Change (IO Psychology)

 Topic: Change Management, Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (2012)
Article: The Role of Affect and Leadership during Organizational Change
Authors: M.-G. Seo, M. S. Taylor, N. S. Hill, X. Zhang, P. E. Tesluk, N. M. Lorinkova
Reviewed By: Lauren A. Wood

Organizational change initiatives have become increasingly commonplace in the modern workplace. Despite their increased prevalence, typically, change efforts fail to achieve the organization’s desired results. Although multiple reasons for change failure have been identified, researchers are increasingly taking notice of the role that the “human element” plays in the change process.

[…]

Predicting executives’ ability to think strategically (IO Psychology)

Topic: Leadership, Personality
Publication: Personnel Psychology (Winter 2011)
Article: Developing executive leaders: The relative contribution of cognitive ability, personality, and the accumulation of work experience in predicting strategic thinking competency.
Authors: Lisa Dragoni, In-Sue Oh, Paul Vankatwyk, & Paul E. Tesluk
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Effective leaders need to think strategically. So, if you’re looking to develop leaders or choose someone for a leadership position, it would help to know what predicts strategic thinking. In a recent study, Lisa Dragoni and her colleagues investigated how work experience, cognitive ability, and personality traits relate to executives’ ability to think strategically.

[…]

When Normal Performance Isn’t Normal Performance

Topic: Performance, Performance Appraisal
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality of individual
performance
Authors: O’Boyle Jr., E., & Aguinis, H.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

The gloves are off because O’Boyle and Aguinis have just challenged a perennial assumption of the performance literature. What kind of challenge you say? The authors advocate that the distribution of individual performance does not follow a normal, or Gaussian distribution, but rather a power, or Paretian distribution. On the surface this challenge may seem academic, but if true this conclusion could have serious implications for how performance, and the methods and tools used to assess it, are conceptualized and valued.

[…]

Are cognitive ability tests insulting your applicants? (IO Psychology)

Topic: Organizational Justice, Fairness, Interviewing, Assessment, Selection
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2011)
Article: Status and organizational entry: How organizational and individual status affect justice perceptions of hiring systems
Authors: Sumanth, J. J., & Cable, D. M.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

It is well known in the field of IO psychology that cognitive ability tests are very predictive of employee performance.  However, applicants often see them as unfair and do not like taking them; more informal and much less valid methods (like informal interviews) tend to be preferred by applicants. In this study, Sumanth and Cable (2011) investigated the effect that the status of the organization and the career status of the applicant would have on applicants’ perceptions of the selection system’s fairness.

[…]

How leaders may affect followers’ resistance to change (IO Psychology)

Topic: Leadership, Change Management
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2011)
Article: Leadership and employees’ reactions to change: The role of leaders’ personal attributes and transformational leadership style Authors: Oreg, S., & Berson, Y.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

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.

[…]

Leadership Potential, Age, and Gender: What if you’re not a young man? (IO Psychology)

Topic: Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2011)
Article: Age and gender-based role incongruence: Implications for knowledge mastery and observed leadership potential among personnel in a leadership development program
Authors: Hirschfeld, R. R., & Thomas, C. H.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

In your organization, you likely (and certainly should) have females and older workers in your leadership pipeline. However, could their age or gender affect their observed leadership potential (OLP) or their mastery of leadership knowledge? Hirschfeld and Thomas (2011) used archival data to investigate these questions.

[…]

The effectiveness of computer-based simulation games (IO Psychology)

Topic: Training
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: A meta-analytic examination of the instructional effectiveness of computer-based simulation games
Author: Sitzmann, T.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Computer-based simulation games are increasingly being used in training, but how does their effectiveness compare to that of traditional training methods? And what are the most important features of simulation games? Sitzmann (2011) sought to answer these questions in her recent meta-analysis.

[…]

Smile Like You Mean It: Reducing Turnover By Communicating Organizational Honesty (IO Psychology)

Topic: Recruiting, Turnover
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Mechanism Linking Realistic Job Previews with Turnover: A Meta-
Analytic Path Analysis
Authors: Earnest, D. R., Allen, D. G., & Landis, R. S.
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman

Nerd alert! I love me some realistic job previews (RJPs to those in the know). So, you can imagine my glee when I saw a brand-spankin’ new meta-analysis in the current P-Psych that dealt with RJPs. RJPs include any kind of manuals, presentations, videos, and written or verbal information that contains positive, negative, and neutral
information to job candidates or new hires.

[…]

A Bad Boss Can Ruin Your Marriage

Topic: Conflict, Stress, Work-Life Balance, Workplace Deviance
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: The Fallout from Abusive Supervision: An Examination of Subordinates and Their Partners
Authors: Carson, D. S., Ferguson, M., Perrewé, P. L., & Whitten, D.
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman

Maybe this can be filed in the “Well, Duh” folder, but new research has shown that bad bosses can mess up your relationships at home. “What?,” you say, “stress from work means that I’m not my best at home?!” Yeah. If you are one of the unfortunate people to have an emotionally abusive supervisor (one that gets mad at you for no reason, belittles you in front of people, etc.), you can end up taking that stress home with you in the form of work-family conflict. To make matters worse, that conflict that you’re experiencing affects your spouse or significant other and makes them tense. Then, the snowball gets a little speed from your partner’s tension by affecting important family outcomes (like staying together). Bottom line: an abusive supervisor isn’t just a pain at work for you – you end up taking that negativity home with you, which hurts your family.

[…]

Why LMX Works: Some Reasons Why High-Quality Relationships Are So Important

Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (Autumn 2011)
Article: How Leader–Member Exchange Influences Effective Work Behaviors: Social Exchange and Internal–External Efficacy Perspectives
Authors: Walumbwa, F. O., Cropanzano, R., & Goldman, B. M.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory has been an influential leadership theory for many years. The central tenet of LMX theory is that managers and other individuals in leadership positions are likely to form relationships with their subordinates that differ in quality. A leader’s relationship with some subordinates may be close, personal, and open, while their relationship with other subordinates may be more formal, with less communication about non-work issues. LMX theory posits that these relational differences will lead to a variety of outcomes, including differences in performance and satisfaction among employees.

[…]

IO Psychology:Organizational Culture: If the Shoe Fits

Topic: Job Attitudes, Turnover
Publication: Personnel Psychology (2011)
Article: Understanding newcomers’ adaptability and work-related outcomes: testing the mediating roles of perceived P-E fit variables
Authors: M. Wang, Y. Zhan, E. McCune, D. Truxillo
Reviewed by: Chelsea Rowe

When considering a new position at a new firm, we often try to predict how well we will fit with that company. We consider how well our own goals align with those of the company (Person-Organization Fit), how well we could get along with the people we’d potentially be working closely with (Person-Group Fit), and how well the demands of the actual position line up with our own unique skills and abilities (Person-Job Fit). These three considerations combine to formulate a more holistic picture of how well we will fit in within a potential work setting (Person-Environment Fit).

[…]

Human Resource Management: Reduce Turnover? It Depends…

Topic: Human Resource Management, Turnover
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: The Impact of Motivation, Empowerment, and Skill-Enhancing Practices on Aggregate Voluntary Turnover: The Mediating Effect of Collective Affective Commitment
Authors: Timothy M. Gardner, Patrick M. Wright, Lisa M. Moynihan
Reviewed by: Mary Alice Crowe-Taylor, Ph.D.

The greater the use of motivation-enhancing practices such as pay raises and promotions, and empowerment-enhancing practices, such as quality-improvement and problem-solving groups, the less group-level turnover the organization will have, as shown in this longitudinal study with variables aggregated to the group level. The HR practices’ impact is partially indirect, through collective organizational commitment.

[…]

Predicting CWBs: Have We Been Measuring the Wrong Things?

Topic: Counter-Productive Work Behavior, Personality
Publication: Personnel Psychology, 64, 2 (Summer 2011)
Article: Reconsidering the Dispositional Basis of Counterproductive Work Behavior: The Role of Aberrant Personality
Authors: Wu, J. & Lebreton, J. M.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rad

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) remains a heavily-researched area in I-O psychology. CWBs can take a variety of forms, from relatively minor acts of workplace theft to dramatic outbursts of workplace violence. Regardless of who they target or how severe they might be, CWBs are always a negative phenomenon, and organizations have a vested interest in predicting the likelihood that employees (or applicants) might engage in these behaviors. Traditionally, work linking personality characteristics to CWBs has been done using common personality frameworks, such as the Big 5. However, previous research has generated mixed findings in terms of how well these “common” personality traits predict CWBs.  As such, Wu and Lebreton suggest that it may be more effective to attempt to predict an individual’s likelihood of engaging in CWBs by measuring aberrant personality profiles. In their paper, Wu and Lebreton theoretically examine the links between CWBs and a number of aberrant personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.

[…]

Don’t Dump the Dimensions: A New Model for Evaluating Assessment Center Participants

Topic: Assessment
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: Exercises and Dimensions are the Currency of Assessment Centers
Authors: Hoffman, B. J., Melchers, K. G., Blair, C. A., Kleinmann, M., & Ladd, R. T.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Assessment centers (ACs) remain a popular, and often effective, way for organizations to evaluate candidates, both in hiring and promotion settings. One choice that confronts users of assessment centers concerns the type of information that is gathered about candidates. A traditional practice with ACs has been to use multiple exercises to measure multiple job-relevant dimensions of candidate performance. However, some research has suggested that task-performance ratings are a more effective way to assess candidates. Some authors have even advocated for the abandonment of dimension ratings in AC practice.

[…]

Want to increase performance? Take a look at Psychological Capital

Topic: Performance, Talent Management, Human Resource Management
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: Psychological capital and employee performance: A latent growth modeling approach
Authors: Peterson, S. J., Luthans, F., Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Zhang, Z.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

You’ve probably heard about human capital being related to performance, but what about psychological capital? Human capital refers to the skills and knowledge that employees possess which are relevant to the organization. Psychological capital, however, is a higher-order construct consisting of efficacy (confidence), hope, optimism, and resilience. The study described in this article explores the variability of psychological capital within individuals and the relationship between psychological capital and performance.

[…]

Putting U in Unique in Selection Interviews: Understanding how being unique will give you the Better Advantage

Topic: Selection, Interviewing
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2011)
Article: The uniqueness effect in selection interviews
Authors: N. Roulin, A. Bangerter, & E. Yerly
Reviewed By: Jade Peters

The absence of past and present interview selection literature revolving around the Uniqueness Effect is shocking.  The Uniqueness Effect is when an applicant gives unique or individual answers to traditional interview questions that are different than what is expected in the interview and the interviewer sees this as a good quality.  This is entirely different from the contrast effect in which a poor interviewee performance can make the next interviewee look even better than it should to the interviewer (the two concepts are often confused). 

[…]

Employee engagement: Wild goose chase or golden egg?

Topic: Job Performance, Job Attitudes
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2011)
Article: Work engagement: A quantitative review and test of its relations with task and contextual performance
Authors: Christian, M.S. Garza, A.S., Slaughter, J.E.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Try this: pick your favorite search engine and type in the phrase “employee engagement.” A quick glance at the results would tell you that you’ve searched a phrase that has been on many of the minds in the business and HR worlds. Despite employee “engagement” becoming a popular buzz word with organizations, some important questions still remain: What is it? Is it substantively different from other work attitudes? Does it help us predict employee performance above and beyond other, more well-established constructs?

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Companies use job competencies? Might want to jot these down.

Topic: Job Analysis, Organizational Development, Competency Modeling
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2011)
Article: Doing competencies well: Best practices in competency modeling
Authors: Campion, M.A. Fink, A.A. Ruggeberg, B.J. Carr L. Phillips G.M. Odman R.B.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Campion and colleagues provided 20 best practices for competency modeling from an experiential standpoint. They organized their list around three topic areas: analyzing competencies, organizing competencies, and using competencies. Although a more thorough reading of each practice is highly recommended, a few practices have been highlighted as being especially important.

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Predicting and developing leaders: Traits or behaviors?

Topic: Human Resources, Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2011)
Article: Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity
Authors: D. S. DeRue, J. D. Nahrgang, N. Wellman, S. E. Humphrey
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

You want to hire the best potential leaders for your organization, but how do you know whom to choose? Do you pick the most extraverted applicant? The most intelligent? The most charismatic? The literature on what makes for an effective leader is fragmented, so this article is an attempt to integrate the literature on trait and behavioral theories of leadership and determine their relative importance.

[…]

Think Positive: Positive Leaders Emit Positive Results

Topic: Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2010)
Article: An investigation of the relationships among leader and follower psychological capital, service climate, and job performance
Authors: F. O. Walumbwa, S. J., Peterson, B. J. Avolio, C. A. Hartnell
Reviewed By: Lauren Wood

Researchers over the past decade have gained much knowledge pertaining to the effects of positivity in the workplace. One variable central in this research is psychological capital (described by an individual’s degree of efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience). In general, employees with high psychological capital cultivate positive organizational outcomes (such as work performance) as well as decrease negative work outcomes (such as counterproductive work behavior). So, what circumstances exist to promote employee psychological capital in organizations?

[…]

Are Muslim Employees Targets of Workplace Discrimination?

Topic: Culture, Diversity
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2010)
Article:  An experimental field study of interpersonal discrimination toward Muslim job applicants
Authors: E. B. King and A. S. Ahmad
Reviewed By:  Kerrin George

A recent New York Times article (Greenhouse, 2010) reported rising discrimination against Muslim employees at work related to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy and the friction created over the building of an Islamic Center near the site.  Such discrimination ranges from overt attacks (e.g., calling Muslim employees terrorists) to preventing them from wearing religious garb or taking prayer breaks at work.   Although explicit religious discrimination in the workplace is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the interpersonal experiences of Muslim Americans may still be affected by negative stereotypes of this group as “dangerous”. 

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In the Eye of the Follower: Leaders vs. Narcissists

Topic: Leadership
Publication: Personnel Psychology (FALL 2010)
Article: Visionary communication qualities as mediators of the relationship between narcissism and attributes of leader charisma
Authors: B. M. Galvin, D. A. Waldman, P. Balthazrd
Reviewed By: Lauren Wood

The relationship between leadership and narcissism has received much attention in the academic literature recently. Because narcissists share a variety of characteristics with charismatic leaders, some researchers question whether narcissistic leadership is really all that bad. Charismatic leaders are seen by followers as confident, energizing, and determined. And, apart from their self-centered perspective, narcissists are also regarded as confident, inspirational, and driven.  So are narcissistic traits necessarily detrimental to leaders?

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With Age Comes Wisdom…And Better Job Attitudes

Topic: Diversity, Job Attitudes
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2010)
Article: The relationships of age with job attitudes: A meta-analysis
Authors: T.W.H. Ng and D.C. Feldman
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Today, more than half of the American workforce is between the ages of 40 and 75.  This trend, known as the ageing workforce, has raised a number of important organizational issues of late, including the association between employee age and attitudes about work.  Employees’ job attitudes are particularly important from an organization’s perspective because of their link to engagement and performance on the job.

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Error Management Training: What’s Age Got to Do with It?

Topic: Training
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2010)
Article: The effectiveness of error management training with working-aged adults
Authors: M. Carter and M.E. Beier
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Two recent trends that have important implications for training and workforce development include: (1) the aging workforce and (2) the increase in learner-led, online training.  One intervention that has shown great potential is Error Management Training (EMT).  EMT is a fairly simple intervention that allows trainees to explore the learning environment and frames errors/mistakes as “good for learning” (during training at least).  In other words, in EMT, errors are not considered things that should be avoided, but rather opportunities to learn. 

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The Good News about Structured Interviews

Topic: Staffing
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2010)
Article: Are highly structured job interviews resistant to demographic similarity effects?
Authors: J.M. McCarthy, D.H. Van Iddekinge, and M.A. Campion
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Interviews are by far one of the most commonly used personnel selection tools and for good reason: They work (at least when they’re structured)!

One potential problem with interviews is that irrelevant personal characteristics of interviewees (i.e., gender, race) may affect interview ratings; interviewees who are similar (race, gender) to interviewers will receive higher ratings in an interview than those who are dissimilar to the interviewers.  This can ultimately lead to illegal practices and failing to hire the best applicants. This potential problem is known as demographic similarity.  The underlying reason this may occur is that people view others who are similar to themselves more favorably than those who are different (e.g., She is just like me so she must also be awesome!).

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Making offers they can’t refuse: Quick job offers yield higher acceptance rates

Topic: Staffing
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: The Effect of Job Offer Timing on Offer Acceptance, Performance, and Turnover
Authors: W.J. Becker, T. Connolly, J.E. Slaughter
Reviewed By: Ben Sher

Congratulations, you’re hired!  … Wait, where’d you go?

Have you ever found that your extensive, meticulous, and rigorous process of filling positions identifies applicants who are no longer interested in working for you? If so, you are not alone.

Research by Becker, Connolly, and Slaughter (2010) suggests that applicants who receive job offers soon after their final interview are more likely to accept them than those who receive delayed offers.

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Do Situational Judgment Tests Work?… and more

Topic: Selection
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2010)
ArticleSituational judgment tests: Constructs assessed and a meta-analysis of their
criterion-related validity

Authors: M.S. Christian, B.D. Edwards, and J.C. Bradley
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

A situational judgment test (STJs)
is a test which asks a person to evaluate a realistic work situation and identify the best option for handling it (e.g., “A customer is complaining that his phone is no longer working and wants a full refund even though the warranty ran out yesterday.  What do you do?”).  They garner a lot of attention in selection contexts because of their effectiveness for predicting job performance, their ability to measure many performance predictors (constructs) and their tendency to reduce sub-group differences that are often found with pure cognitive ability tests.  But some of the advantages of SJTs may also be disadvantages.

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Why Work Group Satisfaction Matters

Topic: Employee Satisfaction, Job Performance, Teams
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2010)
Article: Satisfaction, citizenship behaviors, and performance in work units: A meta-analysis of collective construct relations
Authors: D.S. Whitman, D.L. van Rooy, and C. Viswesvaran
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

The happy worker is the productive worker, right?  Not necessarily.  Indeed, much of the past research on job satisfaction (which is extensive, to say the least) suggests that at the individual employee level, job satisfaction and performance are weakly related.  This finding, however, tends to go against common sense.  Doesn’t it seem reasonable to believe that employees who are satisfied at work perform better than those who are not as satisfied or dissatisfied at work?  It apparently does to many researchers and thus the search for clarification continues.

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Predicting Job Performance with Implicit Words Games?

Topic: PersonalityMeasurement, Job Performance
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2010)
ArticleWe (sometimes) know not how we feel: Predicting job performance with an implicit measure of trait affectivity
Authors: R.E. Johnson, A.L. Tolentino, O.B., Rodopman, and E. Cho
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

In the world of emotions, trait affect refers to the predisposition some people have to generally experience positive or negative emotions.

Trait affect is often broken up into Negative Affect (NA) and Positive Affect (PA). While high levels of NA are associated with negative emotions such as fear and anxiety, high levels of PA are associated with positive emotions such as excitement and joy.  It should not come as a surprise that PA tends to relate favorably to work performance whereas the opposite is true for NA.

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Guiding Trainees through e-Learning the Quick and Easy Way

Topic: Training
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2009)
Article: A multilevel analysis of the effect of prompting self-regulation in technology-delivered instruction
Authors: T. Sitzmann, B.S. Bell, K. Kraiger, and A.M. Kanar
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Let’s start with a sobering reality check: Many trainees are ineffective at managing their time and effort in self-paced e-learning environments. This is problematic because organizations are becoming increasingly reliant on e-learning to deliver training to its workforce. And since e-learning is clearly here to stay, the question is: How can we help trainees manage their learning and benefit from e-learning?

[…]

Hiring an Army of Me

Topic: Job Analysis
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2009)
ArticleUsing web-based frame-of-reference training to decrease biases in personality-based job analysis: An experimental field study
Author: H. Aguinis, M.D. Mazurkiewicz, E.D. Heggestad
Reviewed by: Katie Bachman

Job analysis is one of the cornerstones of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and the method for executing a job analysis is practically gospel. The New Testament of Job Analysis states: Thou shalt include personality measures in your study. While this is still controversial for the Old Testament adherents, including personality measures in job analysis has some face validity and, more importantly, some research to back it up. The problem, however, with implementing a personality-based job analysis (PBJA) comes down to the subject matter experts (SMEs) rating the importance of certain traits to their jobs.

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Self-Starting Research on a Test of Personal Initiative

Topic: Research Methodology
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2009)
ArticleA situational judgment test of personal initiative and its relationship to performance.
Author: R. Bledow, M. Freese
Reviewed By: Katie Bachman

Predicting performance is the Holy Grail of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I hate to whine, but how can we possibly measure performance when those darn applicants don’t take our perfectly designed tests properly? Sarcasm aside, self-report measures using Likert scales (e.g., 5-point rating scales, where 1 = Low and 5 = High) tend to elicit generalized responses based on previous experience or self-concept, both of which might not represent reality.

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Stressed at Work? Here’s a Drink on Me!

Topic: Stress
Publication: Personnel Psychology (AUTUMN 2009)
Article: Daily work stress and alcohol use: Testing the cross-level moderation effects of neuroticism and job involvement
Authors: S. Liu, M. Wang, Y. Zhan, and J. Shi
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Many employees (perhaps as many as 92.5 million in the U.S. alone) use alcohol to cope with daily work stress. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having an adult beverage after a long day of work, but research suggests that employees who use alcohol tend to have more health and work-related problems than those who do not.

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Job Descriptions: Lost in Translation?

Topic: Decision MakingJob analysis
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: The transportability of job information across countries.
Blogger: Larry Martinez

I have never seen such a long article with no punch line. Taylor, Kan Shi, and Borman, armed with data from four different countries and elaborate theory-based hypotheses were at the beginning of a great rags-to-riches story (think the first 45 minutes of any Mighty Ducks movie).  Unfortunately, the findings fell flat, at least in a world governed by the rule that p must be < .05.  But that’s OK, the findings are still interesting!

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Diversity just makes cent$

Topic: Diversity
Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Mean racial-ethnic differences in employee sales performance:  The moderating role of diversity climate.
Blogger: Larry Martinez

Having lots of diversity in your organization seems like a generally good business principal; after all, almost every one of the top companies have mission statements that include diversity as one of their overarching goals. Benefits of having a diverse workforce include having access to untapped client-bases, a better corporate image, reduced legal liability, and improved performance, creativity, and problem solving.  But is having a diverse workforce really enough?

[…]

Keeping the Fires Lit

Topic:  Coaching, Leadership, Training
Publication:  Personnel Psychology
Article: An empirical examination of posttraining on the  job supplements for enhancing the effectiveness of interpersonal skills training.
Blogger:  Katie Bachman

The nagging question for anyone who has ever led a training session has to be: “Did they get it?”  In the quest to make training more meaningful, researchers in Personnel Psychology evaluated how supplemental training materials given out after the usual training session effected progress.  Managers learning interpersonal skills were put into one of four quasi-experimental groups.  While some received no follow-up to the standard training session, others were given upward feedback (i.e. notes from their subordinates on their progress), a workbook of self-coaching follow-up activities, or both.

[…]

Can Personality Predict Turnover?

Topic: Turnover
Publication: Personel Psychology
Article: Understanding the impact of personality traits on individuals’ turnover decisions: a meta-analytic path model.
Blogger: Katie O’Brien

Apparently, it can!  While the rest of us who study turnover have been looking mostly at environmental influences that lead people to quit, Ryan Zimmerman has been collecting a stash of personality variables.  In the latest issue of Personnel Psychology, Zimmerman presented a meta-analysis and path model of 86 empirical studies published in the past few decades that have any connection between personality and turnover.  Frankly, I’m glad someone’s doing it and eternally thankful it’s not me.  Talk about your project from Dante’s Inferno – this kind of research project has its own circle of hell.  Anyway, enough with my methodology nightmares, let’s get to the juice.

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