Management Faculty, Ph.D.s Explore Organizational Behavior

Published on March 8, 2010

Department of Management Co-Chairs Conference Addressing
How Employees and Employers Interact During Economic Downturn

Leanne Atwater

Faculty and doctoral students from the Department of Management at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business shared research ideas and presented workshops during the 31st Annual Industrial Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior Conference, held March 12-14.

Co-sponsored by the UH Bauer Department of Management and the Department of Psychology in the UH College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, the conference addressed the challenges both employees and employers face in a down economy, related to industrial organizational psychology (the psychology of organizations and the workplace) and organizational behavior (the study of how individuals and groups act in organizations).

“The Department of Management is pleased to co-host this year’s IOOB conference in Houston,” said Professor Leanne Atwater, chair of the department. “This was a fantastic opportunity for our graduate students to interact closely with faculty and students from around the country to explore research ideas and present research papers.”

Several faculty members and Ph.D. students from the department led discussions in the organizational behavior track of the three-day conference, including Professor Steve Werner, whose workshop titled “Compensation Research: What Does the Elephant Look Like?” referred to a parable of six blind men asked to describe an elephant by feeling different parts of the animal and coming up with six different responses.

Steve Werner

“Compensation is much like the elephant in the parable,” Werner said. “It has been studied by I/O psychologists, sociologists, legal scholars, labor economists, strategists, international business scholars, accounting scholars, finance scholars, industrial relations scholars and organizational theorists, among others. Using compensation as an example, this workshop looked how different disciplines view the same phenomenon and how cross-disciplinary research may help paint a more accurate picture of the subject in question.”

Atwater also presented a workshop with Derek Avery, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology. “Recognizing and Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Publication Process” got doctoral students off on the right foot  as they begin their careers by offering lessons learned about publishing in academic journals. Atwater and Avery both shared experiences they have acquired in a variety of research related roles including author, editorial board member, peer reviewer and journal editor.

“The discussion was designed to help attendees to avoid many of the common pitfalls that prevent authors from publishing their work in the best possible outlets,” Atwater added.

The conference also featured keynote addresses from industrial organizational psychology and organizational behavior experts from across the country.

By Jessica Navarro

Posted Under: Doctoral

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