RCIO 2018 Posters

This year's RCIO conference features 33 posters on a variety of research and application-oriented topics associated with I-O and other forms of psychology. Some research is already completed, some is underway, and some is in the development stages. New this year is a beta-test of an internship experience presentation format that we hope to expand in future RCIO conferences. The purpose of this poster session is to learn from and support each other as we work to push applied psychological research forward in work and organizational contexts. Click on the names and titles below to view more details about the featured posters for this year's conference.

Individuals engage in impression management behaviors in most social situations. However, one of the most prone settings to impression management is the work context. Even though the extent to which an individual performs impression management behaviors is influenced by situational factors, it is also plausible that there is a dispositional component involved. Therefore, it is important to be able to measure the extent to which individuals are likely to engage in impression management. In this study, an innovative approach to the measurement of impression management is proposed. Specifically, a conditional reasoning test (CRT) is developed to measure impression management propensity. Using 40 CRT items, data were collected from a sample of college students. While some initial evidence of validity is obtained, the items are in need of further refinement. Accordingly, a second round of data collection will be conducted in order to ensure the validity and reliability of the measure

Devon Hickman, Yalcin Acigkoz, Erich Iverson, and Zhen Graham

Appalachian State University

After-action reviews (AARs) are meetings in which teams meet to recall, analyze, and set goals according to previous performance. Strong evidence indicates that the use AARs can enhance performance (Tannenbaum, Cerasoli, 2013; LePine, Piccolo, Jackson, Mathieu, Saul, 2008). However, these studies do not examine the relationship between quality of AAR performance and team task performance. The present study utilizes 25 teams operating a simulated airline and examines the relationship between performance during the AAR and both subsequent and previous task performance. The NASA Flight Operations Center – Unified Simulation (FOCUS) lab at Middle Tennessee State University emulates a high-fidelity flight operations center where team members work together to operate a virtual airline. Each team participates in three simulations of which progressively increase in difficulty. AARs take place between simulations, allowing for teams to make meaning of their past performance, create goals accordingly, and ultimately improve. The purpose of this research is to analyze the relationship between AAR effectiveness and simulation performance of teams. Correlations did not reveal significant relationships between AAR performance and task performance. Suggestions for further research are discussed including utilizing a measure of adaptation rather than the current task performance measure which reflects routine performance.

Garrett Baber, Glenn Littlepage, and Richard Moffett III

Middle Tennessee State University

 

The purpose of this study is to identify perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace and non-workplace settings. Following the “Me Too” movement, the issue of what constitutes sexual harassment in workplace environments underwent intense speculation. Confusion about the behaviors that equate to sexual harassment not only delays making progress toward eliminating it, but risks the well-being of citizens, employees, and their organizations. Individuals who experience sexual harassment are thrust into states of psychological distress and are known to experience fear, negative moods, and a lowered satisfaction with life in general. Additionally, exhibiting behaviors of sexual harassment in the workplace has a debilitating effect on work groups and individual employees by creating hostile work environments. As a result, employees experience decreased job satisfaction and managers may notice the increased salience of turnover cues. Examining contrasting perceptions of sexual harassment in work and non-work settings articulates the need for better informed public and organizational policy. Seeking to phase out phrases such as “I didn’t know that was sexual harassment,” this study explores the existing gap between what is perceived to be sexual harassment by the individual and what is sexual harassment. Further, it examines the discrepancies between perceptions of sexual harassment in work settings versus non-work settings and seeks to inform organizations and the public about the perceptions surrounding sexual harassment. Our research questions were addressed with a survey taken by students from a southeastern college in the United States.

Brittany Branda, Alexandra I. Zelin, and Riley Tino

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

This study investigates the relationship between political skill and multi-faceted job performance as well as work relationship quality. Political skill is “the ability to effectively understand others at work and to use such knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance one’s personal and/or organizational objectives” (Ferris, 2005, p. 127). Ferris (2005) specifically provided four underlying dimensions of political skill: networking ability, apparent sincerity, social astuteness, and interpersonal influence. Prior meta-analytic evidence supports a significant positive correlation between political skill and task performance (r = .26; Munyon et al., 2015). While the relationship with job performance has received a good deal of research attention, less is known about how political skill may impact interpersonal relationships at work. Some evidence suggests that political skill can relate to interpersonal citizenship behavior (Andrews, Kacmar, & Harris, 2009), but specific relationship quality has not been sufficiently examined. The present study tested the relationship between political skill and performance in a diverse employee sample (N = 752) that was recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. In addition, we examined political skill as a predictor of relationship quality with both coworkers and supervisors. We examined these relationships using a longitudinal design, with political skill measured at Time 1 and performance and relationship quality measured two months later at Time 2. Using a series of regression analyses, we found support that political skill was positively related to performance, assessed as task performance, co-worker support, and teamwork, and positively related to both supervisor and co-worker relationship quality. When examined at the subscale level, there were some nuances in which aspects of political skill related to performance domain and relationship quality. We expect that our results could have implications for Industrial-Organizational psychology, in clarifying the literature on the outcomes of political skill. In addition, our results could have practical implications for the development of interpersonal skills training and leadership development.

Christian Saenz and Kristen Jennings Black 

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Evidence-based management practices that include big-data mining strategies have become commonplace in many areas of organizational management and have been shown to be effective. However, organizations have yet to fully take advantage of these analytic methods to improve their occupational safety. The proposed study aims to address this gap by developing a strategy to utilize data that organizations are already collecting to describe, diagnose, and predict workplace safety outcomes. The five proposed predictor variable categories are production, procedures, hazards, behaviors, and participation. Data will be collected from a large American Fortune 500 company that specializes in the production of advanced materials, chemicals, and fibers for everyday purposes.

Philip Hinson, Lauren Ferber, Tara O'Neil, Bill Griffin, Haley Driest, Yalcin Acikgoz, and Timothy Ludwig

Appalachian State University

Sexual harassment has become a prominent issue in workplaces and society as a whole. However, to effectively address the issue of sexual harassment and identify methods to reduce it in the workplace, it needs to be clearly defined and understood. Sexual harassment manifests in three forms which often overlap and are antecedents of one another: gender harassment, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion (The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, NASEM, 2018). Gender harassment is the most common form of sexual harassment and is characterized by crude behavior, hostility, objectification, and exclusion rooted in the basis of gender (NASEM, 2018). Examples of gender harassment include insults based on one’s gender and remarks about one’s physicality (NASEM, 2018). Unwanted sexual attention is sexual advances, either physical or verbal, that are unwanted, including sexual assault and pressure for a sexual or romantic relationship (NASEM, 2018). Finally, sexual coercion is when employment status or opportunities are conditional on engaging in sexual relations or activities (NASEM, 2018). I am creating a bystander intervention program to reduce the occurrences and prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace through establishing a community that takes responsibility of eliminating sexual harassment and an organizational culture of mutual respect and civility. Bystander intervention programs teach and empower individuals to interfere when observing behaviors and situations indicative of sexual harassment and discrimination (Orchowski & Gidycz, 2018). Specifically, this bystander intervention program will rely on a top-down approach and target organizational leaders to be the catalysts and models for organizational change. The more that an organization is perceived to be tolerant of sexual harassment, there is a higher likelihood for sexual harassment to occur (NASEM, 2018). Therefore, training leaders to confront harassment will hopefully establish organizational norms, beliefs, and expectations that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace. Additionally, research suggests that when leaders publicly confront sexism, there are higher perceptions that those behaviors will reduce sexist events in the future (Gervais & Hillard, 2014). Lastly, it has been shown that people are less likely to confront an individual with higher power than those possessing equal or lesser power (Ashburn-Nardo et al., 2014). Directing this training at leaders will increase the likelihood that people will take action in confronting because there will be a lower cost to benefit ratio than subordinates confronting superiors. Leaders will also serve as models for employees to base their future behaviors on.

Caitlin C. Meyer and Alexandra Zelin

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

Safety is a critical concern for many organizations, especially those in construction and manufacturing. A newer approach to improving an organization’s decision making involves the use of data analytics. In regard to safety, the use of data analytics would allow for detecting and tracking risk factors such as behaviors, environmental contingencies, production, procedures, and hazards that are associated with workplace injuries. However, many organizations do not have a culture involving the use and measurement of relevant variables on an ongoing basis. Accordingly, the purpose of the study is to develop a measure of safety culture with a specific emphasis on the extent to which data is being utilized for management of safety in an organization. This measure of safety culture and analytics will assist in determining the extent to which an organization is ready to utilize data analytics into their safety program.

Matthew M. Laske, Maira Compagnone, Soundarya Kanthimathinathan, Ashley Tollefsrud, Yalcin Acikgoz, and Tim Ludwig

Appalachian State University 

Early exposure to advanced math classes have shown higher levels of college readiness for students. However, there is evidence of a discriminatory gap among students of marginalized backgrounds in placement of these advanced courses. To examine this, three years of data from approximately 10,500 student will be used to develop and validate predictive models that examines both enrollment and performance in advanced math courses in the eighth grade. Data will come from a longitudinal study taking place in rural North Carolina. This research will use the predictive models to determine which students will be selected for eighth grade advanced math and if there is a selection bias for which eighth grade students are chosen to begin advanced math classes.

Jessica Harris, Yasmin Ayala-Johnson, Elise Haylett, Tessa Jackson, Sydney Kopelic, and Shawn Bergman

Appalachian State University

Research has indicated that level of education may have a significant impact on occupational success later in life. Consequently, those who pursue higher education may be awarded with greater occupational opportunities, and a higher quality of life later on. Several factors including socioeconomic status (SES), demographics and parental attitudes have been linked to students’ educational aspirations. Researchers will analyze data collected from 11 school districts in rural North Carolina, in order to observe how demographic factors, previous academic achievement, and perceived parental support may affect college aspirations. By assessing which factors are most predictive of college aspirations, the researchers hope to gain insight as to how early interventions can make the biggest impact and remain beneficial for previously underrepresented students.

Alexis Hellman, Rosalyn Rease, Melissa Bogert, Erich Iverson, Will Hodes, and Shawn Bergman

Appalachian State University

Across many organizations, agencies and programs have been tasked with building, training, and retaining the workforce needed. Yet, only few organizations have succeeded in their efforts by creating a culture in which workforce preferences align and overarching leadership support is provided. Such a cultural transformation requires not only a behavioral shift from employees, but especially from those in leadership positions, in order to break from the typical way that organizations have long encouraged them to behave. Although the importance of leadership has been emphasized in previous literature, no consistent description of leadership attributes or promising application of human system interventions currently exist to tackle those challenges. To understand leadership attributes and its accompanied behaviors within organizational settings, we hypothesized certain leader attributes in form of personality and communication behaviors to have a greater effect on organizational alignment and overall performance. Further, we hypothesized human system interventions in the form of leadership or group coaching to have a greater effect on leadership proficiency and ultimately on organizational alignment. The foundation of this research, here the conceptual model of leadership traits is based on a comprehensive literature review to specify leadership attributes into high-level categories of leadership communication and behaviors to align with employee preferences, thus improving cultural growth, and retention. Through a simulation-based platform the leadership proficiency attributes will be observed during a dynamic design team task. Students from the University of Alabama in Huntsville will be recruited to participate in this study. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be gathered about leader proficiency, efficiency and efficacy during the simulation. Leader qualities may be inevitable in fostering organizational alignment and cultural growth resulting in higher retention and lesser turnover rates. The data obtained will be analyzed to identify a) leadership attributes that support aligning employee preferences and b) the effect of potentially fruitful human system interventions as means for leadership, cultural and performance growth. Moreover, obtained results will be used to develop agent-based models with a focus on the representation of personality dependent attributes in models of agent interactions to display emergent agent behavior. The proposed research will identify attributes of leadership proficiency through experimental design as well as demonstrate how leadership interactions and attributes can be simulated in agent-based modeling. The goal of this research is to provide a state of the art overview of identified leadership attributes supportive towards organizational alignment and cultural growth. This is performed to advance leadership and cultural growth within organizations; and using results of the empirical and theoretical groundwork to develop in the field applications.

Kristin Weger, Raeshaun Jones, Lisa Matsuyama, Michael Buford, Jarielle Prince, and Sarah Rose Stough

The University of Alabama in Huntsville; The University of Alabama

Safety is a critical concern for many organizations, especially those in construction and manufacturing. A newer approach to improving an organization’s decision making involves the use of data analytics. In regard to safety, the use of data analytics would allow for detecting and tracking risk factors such as behaviors, environmental contingencies, production, procedures, and hazards that are associated with workplace injuries. However, many organizations do not have a culture involving the use and measurement of relevant variables on an ongoing basis. Accordingly, the purpose of the study is to develop a measure of safety culture with a specific emphasis on the extent to which data is being utilized for management of safety in an organization. This measure of safety culture and analytics will assist in determining the extent to which an organization is ready to utilize data analytics into their safety program.

Matthew M. Laske, Maira Compagnone, Soundarya Kanthimathinathan, Ashley Tollefsrud, Yalcin Acikgoz, and Tim Ludwig

Appalachian State University 

For years, I-O research has used surveys and scales to measure job satisfaction; however, a traditional survey may not always be the best option. Therefore, our research team utilized interviews as well as surveys to understand job satisfaction at the National Institute of Medical Research, Amani Centre (NIMR-AC). The Centre is in Muheza, Tanzania, a rural town one hour from the East African coast. We used a mixed methods approach with an aim to distinguish the key characteristics and variations of job satisfaction among the employees of NIMR-AC. The nature of the surveys, one-on-one interviews, and a focus group discussion were inductive. Due to the cultural context and the limited amount of I-O related research done in the region, we wanted to take a holistic approach in the search for significant themes. The current project discusses the influence that language and culture had on our research design. The end goal of the instrumentation design was for it to be culturally literate for the participants. We started the design process with a literature review of both job satisfaction and the few papers similar to the I-O psychology field that were in the East African context. This enabled us to better understand job satisfaction and how we could best investigate it for this site. Then, we gathered information regarding the interpersonal dynamics of the employees at NIMR-AC and the culture of the region’s workplaces to further direct our research. This gave us a better idea of what words and phrases would be best to use when translating to Swahili. Since we conducted the interviews and administered the surveys in Swahili, we had to pay careful attention to the translation of all the instrumentation. Lastly, and repeatedly throughout the design process, we sought the advice from experts in seemingly unrelated fields. The data will be analyzed using MAXQDA and SPSS in order to find themes. Analyses will provide the lab with real data pinpointing problems with job satisfaction and illuminating solutions. The current study aims to distinguish some of the differences of the design process when researching in a foreign context with the ultimate goal of encouraging other I-O researchers to investigate the workplace outside the Western world.

Fransuave L. Moore, Emily P. Moody, Alexandra L. Wright, and Malissa Clark

University of Georgia; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

This study will examine the relationship between workplace victimization and workplace behavior. Furthermore, this study will examine how the Dark Triad of personality affects that relationship. The study will be conducted as a Masters’ Thesis at Middle Tennessee State University. We propose that the there is a positive relationship between workplace victimization and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB) and a negative relationship between workplace victimization and occupational citizenship behaviors (OCB). We also propose that the Dark Triad (narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) each positively moderate the relationship between workplace victimization and CWB. Data on each of these constructs will be collected from participants through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. This study is intended to help gain an understanding of the range of negative effects that workplace victimization can have on both victims and organizations at large. This study will allow researchers and practitioners alike to understand the negative consequences of workplace mistreatment; also, it may motivate organizations to establish policies to protect their employees from harm.

James Parker, Alexander T. Jackson, Michael Hein, and Richard G. Moffett III

Middle Tennessee State University

This project aims to examine how workplace barriers and facilitators can affect an employee’s healthy choices. Barriers are factors that prevent the employee from making a healthy choice, whereas facilitators are factors that encourage the employee to make a healthy choice. It is imperative to understand how these barriers and facilitators affect the employee’s ability to make healthy choices in order to understand the importance of their presence within the workplace. The results of this study will further support previous research findings related to this topic, as well as support future attempts aimed to improve the overall well-being of employees in the workplace.

Sarah Graff, Cary Hayes McLeod, Alexander T. Jackson,  Theresa K. DePriest, and Joseph J. Mazzola

Middle Tennessee State University

Promoting gender equality has never been more relevant and important in today’s society. Language can be seen as a mirror of social structures (Matheson & Kristiansen, 1987). In the English language there is gendered language that is exclusively for males (e.g. he, him), exclusive for females (e.g. she, her), and gendered-neutral language (e.g. you, them). The gender-exclusive language uses on gendered-pronoun (he or she), yet refers to an opposite gender or gender-neutral description (e.g., fireman vs. firefighter). This study will evaluate how men’s and women’s (participants) perceptions of gender-exclusive versus gender-inclusive language by means of job advertisements affect their decision to apply for a job. Researchers suggest that ostracism, rejection, and discrimination are negative effects of individuals who experience gender exclusive language. Stout and Dasgupta (2011) argue that even when individuals aren’t directly ostracized, but who’s ingroup may be the receptor of these actions, their sense of belonging, motivation, and behavior is threatened. Social exclusion is a painful experience; so much that it activates the same areas in the brain associated with physical pain (Eisenberger, Lieberman, Williams, 2003). It also causes psychological unsympathetic reactions like depression, loneliness, anxiety, frustration, invisibility, and helplessness (Williams, Cheung, & Choi, 2000). The English that is spoken today commonly use male-exclusive language in many cases were gender-inclusive or female-inclusive language would be more appropriate and correct. This common practice is often seen in the work professional workplace. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of the use of gendered-language on participants such as using he to indicate males and she to indicate females. The sample will consist of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. We will measure the extent to which participants perceive job advertisement language as sexist, and their subsequent feelings of ostracism, motivation, and identification with regard to the job.

Angella Valencia and Alexandra Zelin

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga  

Many organizations utilize a team-focused work structure in the workplace. Researchers have studied how working as a team can improve organizational outcomes such as productivity and employee satisfaction (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). However, not all teams make positive outcomes (Hackman, 1998). Previous research has shown that effective teamwork can facilitate group and organizational effectiveness (Salas, Stagl, Burke, & Goodwin, 2007). Various models of teamwork process have been developed (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001; Rousseau, Aube, & Savoie, 2006; Salas, Sims, & Burke, 2005). A meta-analysis found a consistent relationship between the ten dimensions of teamwork identified by Marks et al. (2001) and team performance (LePine, Piccolo, Jackson, Mathieu, & Saul, 2008). Previous research has shown that team members with high cognitive ability, certain personality characteristics, and job-related knowledge and skills may contribute to better performance (Devine & Philips, 2001; Mathieu & Schulze, 2006; Morgeson, Reider, & Campion, 2005; Neuman & Wright, 1999). Among those characteristics, having aggregate member knowledge of teamwork showed a positive relationship with team performance (McClough & Rogelberg, 2003), but the relationship between individual teamwork knowledge and individual teamwork behaviors has not been widely examined. In this study, the relationship between teamwork knowledge and teamwork behavior will be examined. Building on the main relationship, this study will also investigate the impact of persons in core roles within a team. Certain characteristics of core team members, whose position would not be easily replaced and could not be completed by any other teammates, are known to be more important for overall team performance (Humphrey, Morgeson, & Mannor, 2009). The following hypotheses will be examined: Hypothesis 1: At the individual level, teamwork knowledge is positively related to teamwork behavior at the individual level. Hypothesis 2: Teamwork knowledge (Teamwork SJT score) of the core member is positively related to teamwork behavior of the core role-holder. Hypothesis 3: At the team level, there will be a positive correlation between teamwork knowledge and teamwork. Hypothesis 4: There is a positive relationship between the core member’s teamwork knowledge and team-level teamwork. The study will utilize teams participating in high-fidelity simulations of airline operations. Analysis plans will be discussed.

Jeeun Yi and Glenn E. Littlepage

Middle Tennessee State University

Autism Spectrum Disorder as a diagnosis is becoming more common than in past years. This results in a larger number of individuals attempting to enter the work force but facing challenges in the employment process. Organizations that hold social responsibility to high regards will be motivated to incorporate more ways to be inclusive. This study will examine specific jobs that would pair with lower and higher functioning individuals with ASD, alter the recruiting process to accommodate for a more inclusive environment, and focus on current employees to engage them in the change as well. This initiative will be an education intervention that will involve all employees in order to facilitate a more inclusive, welcoming environment. The current study will survey employees using the following: the employee engagement scale (Schaufeli, Salanova, González-Romá, & Bakker, 2002), job satisfaction scale (Spector, 1997), and levels of turnover intention scale (Allen, 2001). We will take a pre-initiative survey as well as a post-initiative survey to see whether our initiative is related to increases in job satisfaction and engagement in all employees, as well as a decrease in turnover intentions within the company.

Kayle M. Wilson, Karly E. Gawarecki, and Alaina C. Keim

Bellarmine University

The purpose of the study is to develop a scale to measure individual’s ethical misconduct perceptions in the workplace. The Ethics Resource Center (2014) identified the most frequent types of ethical misconduct within the United States. These behaviors served as the 28 initial items for the implicit perceptions of ethical misconduct scale. A previous study identified four dimensions of unethical misconduct: Deceit, Use of Drugs and Alcohol, Sexual Misconduct, and Theft. The perceptions of ethical misconduct survey items were reduced to reflect the four dimensions. Therefore, we propose a confirmatory factor analysis on a separate data set will confirm these dimensions. We also believe that perceptions of ethical misconduct will be positively correlated with counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). Additionally, individuals with dark personality traits, such as psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism, were more likely to perceive unethical misconduct as ethical.

Andrea Meggison, Macie E. Mussleman, Alexander T. Jackson, Kyle Marks, Stacey M. Stremic, and Kali Thompson

Middle Tennessee State University

A recent study out of Georgetown University found that 40 percent of undergraduates and 76 percent of graduate students work full-time. Although these percentages are relatively high, working students have traditionally been understudied (Park & Sprung, 2017). The dual demand of scholarly activities and job requirements can create inter-role conflict, which occurs when the demands of one area interfere with demands of another (Oviatt et al., 2017). Ample literature exists concerning role conflict, but work-school conflict has only recently garnered more attention. Work-school conflict (WSC) is defined as conflict that occurs when work requires time away from school or when work creates strain that can affect school performance (Markel & Frone, 1998). High WSC has been associated with higher levels of substance use, poor academic performance, depressive symptoms, and lower physical health (Butler, 2007; Oviatt et al., 2017). Poor job satisfaction and high levels of burnout are also correlated with WSC (Laughman, et al., 2016). The benefits of studying WSC are abundant. Laughman et al. (2016) found burnout associated with WSC was positively correlated with turnover intentions. A better understanding of WSC could allow managers to monitor workloads for students who may be experiencing WSC related burnout. Similarly, students may benefit from a better understanding of how work and school environments relate; this may help with aspects of work-school facilitation (WSF). WSF occurs when activities and experiences at work enhance students’ ability to meet their school requirements, and a positive relationship has been reported between WSF and school performance (Butler, 2007). Job-school congruence (JSC) is a related concept that occurs when job requirements and collegiate learning are complimentary (Butler, 2007). JSC occurs when knowledge gained in school is directly applied to the work setting. Job-school similarity concerns the extent to which a student’s academic interests match the job. For example, a student may find a higher level of facilitation if the job was closely related to his/her preferred major. The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of job-school similarity on WSC, WSF, academic performance, academic satisfaction, and job satisfaction. Hypothesis 1: More job-school similarity is related to decreased WSC. Hypothesis 2: More job-school similarity is related to increased WSF. Hypothesis 3: More job-school similarity is related to better academic performance. Hypothesis 4: More job-school similarity is related to higher academic satisfaction. Hypothesis 5: More job-school similarity is related to higher job satisfaction.

Richard Evitts and Mark Frame

Middle Tennessee State University

This study will examine how resilience effects the relationship between stress and burnout. Further, resilience will be moderated by a mindfulness intervention. The study will measure levels of stress, burnout, mindfulness, and resilience for all participants before and after a mindfulness intervention. There will be three groups, one that receives the mindfulness intervention, one that receives a stress invention, and a control group that will receive no intervention. Groups will be recruited from a Southeastern university. The results of this study will further explain the impact of mindfulness and resilience on burnout and stress on the job.

Stacey M. Stremic, Kendall Ray, and Alexander Jackson

Middle Tennessee State University

Using credit information for employee selection began around 1988, after polygraph tests for such purposes were banned. Organizations sought other methods that predicted employees’ behavior and gave insight into their honesty, responsibility and integrity. Since the early 1990s, credit information’s influence on hiring decisions has increased significantly. As of 2010, 47% of organizations use credit information for specific jobs, and 13% use them for all jobs (Bryan & Palmer, 2012). The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that organizations screen for negative credit histories and use that information to impact their hiring decisions (Bryan & Palmer, 2012). Many organizations anecdotally believe credit information indicates responsibility, honesty and accountability. This belief has face validity in the financial industry. Credit information has face validity in two ways during employee selection at financial institutions: 1) financial history relates to an ability to handle financial accounts, and 2) the opportunity to steal is greater at financial institutions (Nielson & Kuhn, 2009). While there may be face validity in the financial industry, most industries are relying on credit information to measure candidates’ conscientiousness and honesty. The assumption is that poor credit information implies some level of irresponsibility, which has the potential for workplace dishonesty or fraud (Bryan & Palmer, 2012). A study at Eastern Kentucky University on the validity of credit reports in predicting performance appraisal ratings and termination found no correlation between credit history and performance ratings (Bryan & Palmer, 2012). The purpose of this study is to determine if credit information has any unique contribution to the selection process, or if it is made redundant through other methods such as background and criminal checks. Data from a large government organization will be used, along with their selection process methods, to determine how much overlap exists between the different variables used in their selection process. A bivariate regression will be run on individual selection variables and a multiple regression will be run on the selection variables collectively. This study hopes to provide a better understanding of the unique contribution credit information may provide to the selection process.

Mandy Matsumoto Mark Frame, and Patrick McCarthy

Middle Tennessee State University 

This study attempted to validate the Measurement of Adaptive Performance (MAP) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on a group of law enforcement officials. The adaptability literature lacks construct clarity, so developing reliable and valid scales is a critical step toward conducting research that can answer important questions related to adaptability. Understanding employee adaptability would lead to better selection and retention practices because employers would have scientific information available to help them make better decisions about current and future employees. The results provide some evidence of the MAP model being a good fit for the data. Further research should be done to empirically examine the MAP.

Courtney Allen and Mark Frame

Middle Tennessee State University

The #metoo movement has spurred women and men to come forward with their stories and claims of sexual harassment. In addition to older adults, young adults have experienced sexual harassment in a variety of settings. These may include school, work, or even on the street. Around 51% of women and 53% of men had experienced some form of unwanted sexually charged interaction in public places, like cat-calling, by the age of 17 (Kearl, 2014). The purpose of the study is to examine how young adults perceive sexually harassing behaviors at work. I examine how these perceptions are influenced by one’s individual work centrality beliefs, parent’s work centrality beliefs, and social support. Participants will be recruited from MTSU’s student population to take an online survey asking them to rate their work centrality beliefs, their perceptions of their parent’s work centrality beliefs, and their perceptions of family support received. Individuals will also be rating their perceptions of sexually harassing behaviors, if they have experienced the behavior, and the frequency of experiencing the behavior. To analyze these perceptions, a series of multiple regressions will be conducted.

Jenna Kriegh, Judith Van Hein, Alexander T. Jackson, and Patrick McCarthy

Middle Tennessee State University

Previous research on Equity Sensitivity have focused on each type’s (Entitled, Benevolents, and Equity Sensitives) reaction to inequity based on preferences for input/output ratios in comparison to a referent other and sensitivity to the norm of reciprocity (Huseman et al., 1987). The purpose of this study is to better understand how individuals in each of the Equity Sensitivity categories act on their preferences for input/output ratios when paired with referents from the same or different ES categories. We will examine whether the individual will react in the expected manner regardless of the category to which the referent belongs, or whether social comparison or social desirability impact their behavior. Participants’ levels of equity sensitivity will be measured using the Equity Sensitivity Instrument (ESI, Huseman et al., 1985, 1987). They will then be presented with three hypothetical situations that pair them with an individual from one of the Equity Sensitivity categories. The participant will then be asked how much work (input) they will put into the task and how satisfied they would be working with that individual. Results could provide insight into how levels of Equity Sensitivity in dyadic relationships impact the level of effort an individual is willing to put into a collaborative task, and ultimately whether, and potentially why, ES impacts performance.

Thuy Truong and Brian J. O'Leary

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

This study investigated how sex of an observer, harasser, and victim may influence perceptions of sexual harassment (SH). We hypothesized that (1) women would perceive more sexual harassment than men, across all study conditions, (2) the most sexual harassment would be perceived in male harasser-female victim vignettes, (3) the least sexual harassment would be perceived in female harasser-male victim vignettes, (4) Men in the no definition control group would report the most perceived SH, those in the MacKinnon (more inclusive) definition condition would perceive slightly less SH than those in the control condition, but more than those in the EEOC. Four hundred and thirteen participants, 186 males and 227 females, age 18-25, were recruited via MTURK. Participants were invited to complete an electronic questionnaire asking them to rate the extent to which different vignettes qualified as SH. The vignettes differed in the level of their SH, from superficial, verbal comments to derogatory attitudes. Univariate ANOVAs indicate that that female participants were more likely to perceive SH than male participants across the vignettes. Additionally, more SH was perceived when the harasser was male and when the victim was female. Interactions were found between harasser sex and victim sex, between harasser sex, victim sex, and participant sex, and between definition condition, participant sex, and victim sex. The results help to further understanding of how individuals think of and perceive SH in a variety of work settings and situations. Applications range from legal proceedings to SH training in the workplace

Katherine G. Kaufling, Ciara G. Incorvati, Christopher B. Andrew, Allison C. Farmer, Hank Rothgerber, and Alania C. Keim

Bellarmine University

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a set of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interactions and interpersonal communication, repetitive behaviors, and narrow focus or interests. The severity of ASD is variable, but the symptoms span the entire lifespan of the individuals with ASD and few effective treatments for these symptoms have been identified. Each year in the United States, there are approximately 50,000 people with ASD who turn 18 years old in the United States (Shattuck et al., 2012). Where most 18 year olds are likely to go out and get a job, the employment prospect of individuals with ASD is not very bright. High school graduates with autism are underemployed when compared to their peers and less employed than high school graduates with other developmental or intellectual disorders (Roux, Shattuck, Rast, & Anderson, 2017). Despite this, some reports suggest that gainful employment can benefit individuals with ASD by providing them with desirable social interactions (Hendricks, 2010), and it is the focus of many service providers for individuals with ASD (Migliore et al., 2014). Like most adults, individuals with ASD benefit from the social status that comes with having a job and the degree of financial independence that employment affords them (Gerhardt & Lainer, 2011). Research has also found that employment is associated with an increase in personal dignity, improved self-esteem, increased adaptive abilities, better mental health, and improved cognitive performance for individuals with ASD (Hurlbutt & Chalmers 2004; Mawhood & Howlin 1999; Stephens et al. 2005). The principle means for addressing the underemployment and unemployment for individuals with ASD is to assist them with gaining the skills and training needed to apply for and get a job. Yet even with these efforts, the employment prospects of individuals with ASD has not significantly improved (Bennett & Dukes 2013; Taylor & Seltzer 2011). The present study will investigate the role that organizational communications about hiring and employment policies regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act may have on the potential recruitment of those with ASD as well as the degree to which potential applicants who do not have ASD view these inclusive statements as favorable.

Kendall L. Ray, Theresa K. DePriest, Tiffany D. Rogers, and Mark C. Frame

Middle Tennessee State University 

Despite telecommuting’s tremendous growth in the last decade, it appears some employees are hesitant to participate in remote work arrangements. Previous research has shown employees to have a negative attitude towards telecommuting when they perceive the work arrangement offers more disadvantages than advantages (Vega, Anderson, & Kaplan, 2015). In addition, Cooper & Kurland (2002) found that employees often limit the amount of time they spend away from the office working as a telecommuter because they fear becoming professionally isolated. To expand upon these findings, the current study aims to investigate whether the fear of negative work outcomes (social isolation, professional isolation, career harm, job insecurity, long work hours, and coworker resentment) influence employees’ willingness to telecommute or extent to which they participate. This study will further investigate the moderating role of telecommuting normativeness, the extent to which telecommuting is a common and accepted practice, at the department level. Using a snowball sampling method, telecommuters in the United States will self-report their perceptions of negative work outcomes as they relate to their current telecommuting situation. I predict that telecommuters’ perceptions of the negative work outcomes will negatively influence their attitude toward, and subsequent practice of, telecommuting.

Christina R. Green, Judith Van Hein, Alexander T. Jackson, and Patrick McCarthy

Middle Tennessee State University 

For the last decade, Middle Tennessee State University has established itself as a leader in training the next generation of aviation professionals through its Flight Operations Center – Unified Simulation program, also known as the NASA FOCUS Lab. The FOCUS Lab is a complex operation involving around a dozen students per team, who are assigned to nine different positions within the lab, as well as positions within a remotely operated flight simulator. As a high-fidelity simulation, the Lab requires detailed training protocols and documentation for each position, which incorporate duties and tasks designed to simulate those required by positions within real world airline flight operations centers. This proposal is for the collection and analysis of research data pertaining to training evaluations given to participants in MTSU’s FOCUS Lab, with the goal of evaluating efficacy and improvements made to training protocols over time, as well as conducting a training needs assessment to help enhance future training protocols. Research will include an in-depth examination of training evaluation data collected from FOCUS Lab participants over the last several years, including both qualitative and quantitative data. This data will be used as part of both personnel and task assessments.

Kriston Troy Brannan and Michael Hein

Middle Tennessee State University

According to McKinsey & Company (2014), US companies are spending almost $14 billion annually on leadership development, only 7% of senior managers think their companies are effectively developing their leaders, and 30% of US companies believe their leaders lack the right capabilities. The current research addresses the leadership development issue from the antecedent perspective, and we are extending Avolio & Hannah’s (2008) theory of developmental readiness. They argue that individuals who possess higher levels of developmental readiness will be more likely to maximize their development when exposed to a developmental experience. However, there has been little empirical research on the combined components of developmental readiness in a true representative sample of leaders. This study is looking to add empirical findings to this theory demonstrating that leaders who score higher on scales of developmental readiness components benefit more from leadership training. More specifically, we will be assessing trainees from a Tennessee state leadership program (LEAD TN) on six different scales related to developmental readiness. We will also record levels of perceived improvement across the course of the program in attempt to find positive relationships between developmental readiness and this criterion. If the relationships found between developmental readiness and trainee perceived improvement are significant, it should inform organizations about the importance of assessing these characteristics as antecedents to leadership growth. The results should answer the following question: why invest time and money into developing a leader if he or is she is not ready, willing, or able to engage in such development? Best practice would be to assess the leaders’ developmental readiness using a standardized tool of validated measures and provide these leaders with individualized feedback before beginning the developmental experience. Therefore, they would have time to work on their individual motivation and abilities needed to have a positive training experience.

Benjamin Chartoff, Richard Moffett, and Michael Hein

Middle Tennessee State University 

This study tested part of a theoretical model on resilience in the workplace proposed by Rees, Breen, Cusack, and Hegney (2015). We hypothesized that resilience would mediate the relationship between mindfulness and perceived stress. Using an online Qualtrics survey, we measured 127 student participants’ levels of mindfulness, resilience, and perceived stress. The results supported a positive relationship between mindfulness and resilience. In addition, there was a positive relationship between resilience and perceived stress. As a result, the proposed mediation was not supported. Resilience did not mediate the relationship between mindfulness and perceived stress. Future research should test alternative measures of psychological adjustment within the model (e.g., job burnout).

Stacey M. Stremic, Aneeqa Thiele, Macie E. Mussleman, and Alexander T. Jackson

Middle Tennessee State University

sms8x@mtmail.mtsu.edu 

With ever-growing tension between police and the community, both police organizations and communities are recognizing the need and working toward increased representation in police organizations (Brunson, 2007; Szeto, 2014). Despite the effort of many police organizations over the years, the problem of underrepresentation has not improved (Jordan, Fridell, Fagiani, & Kubu, 2009). It has become clear that there is something that has yet to be identified and/or studied preventing underrepresented populations from being interested in or recruited into police organizations. The U.S. Department of Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2016 report on Advancing Diversity in Law Enforcement identified three factors that may impact the recruitment of those in underrepresented communities into police organizations. These factors include lack of trust in police, the reputation or operational practices of police organizations, and lack of awareness of career opportunities in police organizations. While these factors were identified in the report, there was a lack of research supporting the factors. In an effort to gain a better understanding of what is preventing underrepresented groups from joining law enforcement, participants’ perceptions of trust, culture/policies/practices, and career opportunities in police organizations will be measured. Additionally, motivation to become a police officer and interest in a career as a police officer will be measured to increase the understanding of what does or does not contribute to underrepresented communities being interested in a career as a police officer. Regression analysis will be performed to predict interest in becoming a police officer by using the variables of trust, culture, policies/practices, and career opportunity.

Sayer-Jane Vermeer and Mark C. Frame

Middle Tennessee State University

Interventions which change the visual appearance of the work environment to positively impact employee and organizational outcomes are becoming increasingly common. For example, environmental interventions such as adding indoor plants, changing the color of the walls, and increasing the amount of artwork within a workplace can lead to reduced stress levels, anxiety, fatigue, and sick leave (Dijsktra, Pieterse, & Pruyn, 2008a; Dijkstra, Pieterse & Pruyn, 2008b; Nejati, Rodiek, & Shepley, 2016). However, more research is needed to discover exactly why changing the appearance of work environments have a positive effect and what factors may influence the effectiveness of these interventions. There is theoretical and empirical support for the notion that the benefits of these interventions are in part due to the increased aesthetics of the environment. For example, Maslow (1954) wrote of a need for aesthetics, Kaplan & Kaplan (1989) argued that the aesthetic component of an environment can help individuals recover from mentally draining experiences, and Dijstrka, Pieterse, & Pruyn (2008) found that adding indoor plants to a room had positive psychological benefits due to the increase in the perceived attractiveness of the room. In this study, we seek to examine the impact that the perceived aesthetics of a workplace and the prevalence of aesthetic elements have on full time adult employees’ post work recovery needs, turnover intention, and job satisfaction. Additionally, we seek to examine if individual’s need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace and mindfulness levels moderate these relationships. Our ultimate goal with this work is to offer a model and methodological approach that can be useful to those interested in studying the impacts of the appearance of a workplace on employee job satisfaction, stress, and intention to stay at their job. A better understanding of this relationship will allow organizations to more effectively change the workplace to have greater positive impacts on employees’ health and happiness. This research comprises of two phases. First, participants complete a survey that measures relevant variables such as mindfulness levels, need for an aesthetically pleasing workplace, individual differences (e.g., personality), and asks them to identify any aesthetically pleasing visual elements that are present in their workplace (e.g., plants, artwork, colorful walls). If participants consent to continue to phase two, they will be asked to upload three photos of their workplace. These photos will be thematically coded to identify what elements are frequently present in environments that are rated as aesthetically pleasing.

Lydia Johnson, Christopher J. Cunningham, Brian O'leary, and Kristen Jennings Black

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

The purpose of this project was to examine three students’ different paths and perspectives of internships at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the Learning, Growth and Management Department (LG&M). The need for this project was highlighted by a lack of internship practicum-based information presented in past research conferences. This poster first examines the different teams and functions of those teams that the interns were apart of during their internships at TVA. Then the project identifies types of jobs that I-O Psychology Masters candidates can expect to be qualified and/or recruited for within the constraints of TVA and the LG&M department. Next, key projects, and SIOP competencies strengthened through these projects, will be discussed. Finally, recommendations for students seeking internships and companies seeking to recruit top quality I-O students are given. In sum, while this project only examines three students’ paths at one company and in one department, we believe this information will help I-O psychology students identify internships that can develop important competencies that SIOP has designated as necessary to be a successful I-O psychology practitioner and offer helpful recommendations for students and companies alike.

Caitlin McMullan, Lydia G. Fogo, and Sofia Rodriquez

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga/TVA