The field of work psychology investigates the origins of human work behavior — and its ramifications for the individual worker, the employing organization, and those with whom the individual interacts — both on and off the job. This volume presents new concepts in the field, framing issues and topics in creative ways that encourage the reader to rethink how we study and think about people at work.

  • Part 1 focuses on understanding the meanings we attach to work, a topic that has been neglected by researchers. The chapters in this part reconceptualize the normal entry points for studying work and working and identify new areas to explore.
  • Part 2 highlights advances in theory that help us better understand and integrate important workplace concepts; two chapters explore less traditional topics — the psychology of greed, and identity issues that are relevant to retirement.
  • Part 3 highlights some key advances in measurement that permit researchers to examine more sophisticated and complex relationships.
  • Part 4 provides insight into bridging the gap between practice and research and making research on the psychology of work relevant and applicable.

This volume will be of interest to organizational psychologists, organizational behavior researchers, and those interested in human resource management, organizational development, and labor relations. The contributors honor the work of Daniel Ilgen and Neal Schmitt, pioneers in the field, whose influence and lifetime contributions have shaped the field of work psychology as it is known today.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Advancing the Understanding of Work: Theory, Measurement, and Practice
J. Kevin Ford, John R. Hollenbeck, and Ann Marie Ryan

I. The Nature of Work

  1. Work and Being: The Meanings of Work in Contemporary Society
    Charles L. Hulin
  2. Working as Human Nature
    Howard M. Weiss

II. Advancing Theory

  1. Work Team Motivation: Progress and Perils
    Daniel R. Ilgen
  2. To Act as a Leader
    Richard Klimoski and Benjamin Amos
  3. On the Psychology of Greed
    Stephen W. Gilliland and Jennifer S. Anderson
  4. Distinguishing Commitment Bonds From Other Attachments in a Target-Free Manner
    Howard J. Klein
  5. Coping With Work–Family Conflict: A Multisystem Perspective
    Debra A. Major and Heather M. Bolen
  6. Turmoil or Opportunity? Retirement and Identity-Related Coping
    Samantha Conroy, Danny Franklin, and Anne M. O'Leary-Kelly

III. Advancing Methods

  1. Variance as a Construct: Understanding Variability Beyond the Mean
    Cheri Ostroff and C. Ashley Fulmer
  2. Advances in Modeling Dimensionality and Dynamics of Job Performance
    David Chan
  3. Identifying and Assessing Dimensions of Leader Emotion Management
    Heather M. Mullins, Jose M. Cortina, Kate LaPort, Eric J. Weis, and Gia A. DiRosa

IV. Advancing Research and Practice

  1. The Study of Phenomena That Matter
    Robert E. Ployhart
  2. Two Practitioners' Reflections on the Scientific–Practitioner Divide
    John D. Arnold and Brad A. Chambers
  3. Does Research Inform Practice? Practitioner Views on the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Research–Practice Gap
    John M. Rauschenberger and Phyllis M. Mellon
  4. Promoting Productive Collaborations to Advance the Psychology of Work
    Neal Schmitt


About the Editors

Editor Bios

J. Kevin Ford, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Michigan State University. His major research interests involve improving training effectiveness through efforts to advance our understanding of training needs assessment, design, evaluation, and transfer.

Dr. Ford also concentrates on understanding change dynamics in organizational development efforts and building continuous learning and improvement orientations. He has published more than 50 articles or chapters and four books relevant to industrial and organizational psychology. Currently, he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Psychology and Human Performance. He is an active consultant with private industry and the public sector on training, leadership, and organizational change issues.

Dr. Ford is a Fellow of APA and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and his master's and doctorate in psychology from The Ohio State University.

John R. Hollenbeck, PhD, received his doctorate in management from New York University in 1984, and is currently the Eli Broad Professor of Management at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Business Administration at Michigan State University.

Dr. Hollenbeck has published more than 60 articles and book chapters on the topics of team dynamics and work motivation, as well as two bestselling textbooks in the areas of organizational behavior and human resource management. Along with Daniel R. Ilgen, he founded the Michigan State University Team Effectiveness Research Laboratory, and this facility has been dedicated to conducting large-sample team research since 1991.

Dr. Hollenbeck was the acting editor at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes in 1995, the associate editor at Decision Sciences from 1999 to 2004, and the editor of Personnel Psychology between 1996 and 2002. He was the first recipient of the Ernest J. McCormick Award for Early Contributions to the field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology in 1992 and is a Fellow of APA.

Dr. Hollenbeck was recognized with the Michigan State University Teacher-Scholar Award in 1987 and the University Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006.

Ann Marie Ryan, PhD, is a professor of organizational psychology at Michigan State University. Her major research interests involve improving the quality and fairness of employee selection methods, and topics related to diversity and justice in the workplace. She also has recently conducted research on work/nonwork interference. In addition to publishing extensively in these areas, she regularly consults with organizations on improving assessment processes.

She is a past president of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and past editor of the journal Personnel Psychology.

Dr. Ryan has a long record of professional service on association committees, National Academy of Science panels, and the Defense Advisory Committee on Military Testing. She received her BS with a double major in psychology and management from Xavier University, Ohio, and her master's and doctorate in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Ryan was recognized with the Michigan State University Distinguished Faculty Award in 2011.

Reviews & Awards

A scholarly cross-examination of the latest understandings about work psychology from both a practical and scientific point of view, The Nature of Work is a welcome addition to college and library collections and professional psychology shelves.
Midwest Book Review