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Article

Ethical Leadership  

Suzanne van Gils and Niels van Quaquebeke

Business scandals in the early 2000s gave renewed rise to the question of how companies can be led ethically. Correspondingly, research on ethical leadership focuses on leaders as moral persons—but even more so as moral managers. This focus came with a more general shift within many Western societies toward issues of sustainability, social justice, and well-being, and it has simultaneously given rise to the development of related constructs such as servant, respectful, and authentic leadership. In general, ethical leadership research has contributed to a necessary debate about leaders’ roles and responsibilities. Nonetheless, recent meta-analyses and critical reviews have criticized the minimal to nonexistent incremental value of the current operationalization of ethical leadership beyond other leadership concepts, underscored the philosophically all too simplistic notion of ethics underlying the concept, and highlighted its construct redundancy with the domain of follower-focused leadership. As such, there appear to be fruitful avenues for further honing the construct and its operationalization so that research can meaningfully inform leadership practice.

Article

Ethics in Work and Organizational Psychology  

Joel Lefkowitz

Adequately appreciating any area of applied ethics necessarily begins with indispensable foundations from moral philosophy and moral psychology, which are the bases for understanding normative ethical principles. (Otherwise, one could be reduced to the rote memorization of a near-infinite list of “dos and don’ts.”) Personal and social values also are critical as they shape people’s conceptions of ethics and morality. (For example, what constitutes a harm or a wrong? What is the right thing to do?) Traditionally in moral philosophy there have been three ways of answering those normative questions: from deontology (determining what is permissible based on absolutist ethical principles of right and wrong); consequentialism (assessing which alternative is best because it produces the greatest good [or least harm] for all those affected); and virtue theory (being virtuous). Yet, they have all been shown to have weaknesses. For example, what happens when principles are contradictory? What counts as a good? Who determines what is a virtue? And situations sometimes lend themselves more readily to one or another approach, so prudence suggests understanding and being prepared to use all. A person experiences an ethical problem when faced with a choice that challenges one or more of their ethical principles, with potential significant impact on the well-being of others. Professionals often experience ethical dilemmas, which entail having to make uncomfortable choices—choices one would rather not have to make at all. It helps to be able to recognize the form or structure of the dilemma (e.g., contemplating a self-serving act that will harm others). What makes the situation painful is that the person is motivated to some appreciable degree to “do the right thing” (otherwise they wouldn’t be experiencing a “dilemma”). Professionals such as work and organizational psychologists (WOPs) encounter a variety of ethical challenges in the different venues in which they work—as educators, researchers, practitioners, and administrators. Recent empirical survey data concerning ethical situations experienced and reported by WOPs have become available, illustrating that variety. The process of ethics education and training ought to entail becoming familiar with one or more of the several decision-making models for facilitating ethical reasoning that are available in the professional literature.

Article

Evidence-Based Decision-Making and Practice in Organizations  

Alessandra Capezio and Patrick L'Espoir Decosta

Evidence-based practice originated in medicine in response to a science-practice gap and an overreliance on clinical expertise in clinical decision-making. The same gap persists in other fields including in management, work, and organizations. Incorporating evidence-based practice in these fields will enable more critical thinking and more trustworthy evidence usage from multiple sources, and provide a more structured approach to decision-making and practice. An evidence-based approach in organizations is needed to reduce uncertainty, de-bias managerial decision-making and judgment, reduce the uncritical emulation of “best practice,” and ameliorate the impacts of advice and prescriptions from management gurus and consultants. However, surprisingly few business schools’ leadership and management development programs are evidence-based or teach evidence-based practice in their curricula. While evidence-based practice is more prolific in industrial and organizational psychology as an allied field to management, it too has room for growth. Building on existing work, a more encompassing capabilities framework for evidence-based decision-making and practice (EDMP) in organizations, management, and allied fields including industrial and organizational psychology is proposed. This framework can be used to develop leadership and management curricula and help promote an understanding in academia and the broader business community of the limitations of the dominant “craft” model of logic and practice in organizations that results in uncritical emulation, decision neglect, and action bias.

Article

Gender in Organizations  

Karyssa Courey, Makai Ruffin, Mikki Hebl, Dillon Stewart, Meridith Townsend, Leilani Seged, Jordyn Williams, Cedric Patterson, Sara Mei, and Eden King

In the U.S., women represent an abysmally small number of Fortune 500 chief executive officers (CEOs) positions, and are generally absent from some of the highest status occupations and the highest echelons of leadership in almost every aspect of society. Scientific research has been brought to bear on this social problem, with the goal of building understanding, awareness, and change. In particular, psychological theory and evidence provide compelling documentation of the challenges that women encounter upon entering and navigating the workplace. The primary theoretical rationales used to explain gender disparities and challenges include social learning theory, social role theory, role congruity theory, lack of fit model, ambivalent sexism theory, and the stereotype content model. These theories emphasize the perceived misalignment between expectations of ideal workers or leaders and those of ideal women as a driver of workplace gender inequities that include women’s disadvantages in educational experiences, access to jobs and pay, leadership positions, sociobiological patterns, and caregiving demands. Workplace gender inequities in these areas can be remedied by implementing strategies for positive change such as empowering women, valuing feminine characteristics, creating equal opportunities, and changing workplace and societal cultures.

Article

General Coding and Analysis in Qualitative Research  

Michael G. Pratt

Coding and analysis are central to qualitative research, moving the researcher from study design and data collection to discovery, theorizing, and writing up the findings in some form (e.g., a journal article, report, book chapter or book). Analysis is a systematic way of approaching data for the purpose of better understanding it. In qualitative research, such understanding often involves the process of translating raw data—such as interview transcripts, observation notes, or videos—into a more abstract understanding of that data, often in the form of theory. Analytical techniques common to qualitative approaches include writing memos, narratives, cases, timelines, and figures, based on one’s data. Coding often involves using short labels to capture key elements in the data. Codes can either emerge from the data, or they can be predetermined based on extant theorizing. The type of coding one engages in depends on whether one is being inductive, deductive or abductive. Although often confounded, coding is only a part of the broader analytical process. In many qualitative approaches, coding and analysis occur concurrently with data collection, although the type and timing of specific coding and analysis practices vary by method (e.g., ethnography versus grounded theory). These coding and analytic techniques are used to facilitate the intuitive leaps, flashes of insight, and moments of doubt and discovery necessary for theorizing. When building new theory, care should be taken to ensure that one’s coding does not do undue “violence to experience”: rather, coding should reflect the lived experiences of those one has studied.

Article

Generative Emergence: Research and Praxis for Social Innovation  

Benyamin Lichtenstein

Generative emergence is one of many theories for how new entities are created; how a new order comes into being. Emergence itself is one perspective on change and transformation. However, whereas change is an alteration of existing structures, emergence refers to the creation of a new (social) entity. Explaining the phenomenon of creation, at all levels, is the goal of an emergence science. Generative emergence takes a step in that direction, which explains how emergence can be enacted in practice. Generative emergence derives from dissipative structures in thermodynamics, a theory of new order creation. In the experiment that produced the theory, heat energy is dissipated through a closed container (from a source to a sink), and the heat is continuously increased. At a threshold point, an entirely new level of order emerges across the molecular substrate, in the form of large whirlpools (visible to the naked eye). These macrostructures confer “orders of magnitude” more capacity to dissipate the incoming energy flux. This unique order-creation process has led to a strong multidisciplinary literature, carefully analogizing this order creation process to social systems. Specifically, in empirical research across multiple levels of analysis (from leadership to teams to ventures to strategies to new markets), the same four phases of activity have been identified. These four phases have been integrated into the theory of generative emergence, which reveals the sequential conditions through which a new system emerges. The phases are (a) disequilibrium organizing and stress, (b) experiments and amplifications to a critical threshold, (c) emergence of a new entity, and (d) stabilizing the new system into a dynamic state. Generative emergence also shows how each phase can be supported and enacted through the actions of leaders. Specifically, a close reading of empirical research on dissipative structures in social systems reveals a set of leadership interventions that have improved the likelihood that these phases would build in sequence, leading to the creation of an emergent—a new entity. As one example, consider phase 1: disequilibrium organizing and stress. Entrepreneurial leaders initiate this through opportunity recognition for the creation of new value. As they pursue this aspiration, the dramatic increase in organizing—with its concomitant upsurge in work hours and uncertainty—leads to growing stress and conflict. Here, generative leadership shows how to “manage” this stress, for example by providing space for internal innovations and “experiments” by employees, which might spark the new level of the organization. In like manner, each of the phases has leadership correlates, which together coalesce into the emergence of a new system—a new initiative, venture, organization, or macrolevel market. The power of the generative emergence theory is that the new order that results can dramatically increase the capacity of the system, and for all of its members. As such, the leadership actions which generate this outcome are worthy of careful exploration and enactment.

Article

Goal-Setting Theory: Causal Relationships, Mediators, and Moderators  

Gary P. Latham

Consciously setting a specific, difficult, challenging goal leads to high performance for four reasons. Specificity results in (1) the choice to focus on goal-relevant activities and to ignore those that are irrelevant. Challenge leads to an increase in (2) effort and (3) persistence to attain the goal. The combination of specificity and difficulty cue (4) the search for strategies to attain the goal. However, for this to occur, an individual or team must have the ability and the situational resources to attain the goal. In addition, the goal must be important; there must be commitment to goal attainment. Finally, feedback must be provided on goal progress so that adjustments can be made, if necessary, regarding effort or strategy for attaining the goal.

Article

The Group Dynamics of Interorganizational Collaboration  

Sandra Schruijer

This article addresses the relational dynamics of interorganizational relationships where multiple legally independent organizations work on a joint goal, for example in public–private partnerships, alliances, or joint ventures. It focuses on the dynamics of groups that consist of members representing different organizations and thus different interests, who come together to work on the multiparty task. The relational dynamics are understood from a so-called systems-psychodynamic perspective, which aims to understand the emotional life of social systems in context. The article first will depict the relational challenges of working across organizational boundaries. It then will briefly sketch how social psychology (the domain par excellence for studying intergroup relations and group dynamics) helps fathom the relational challenges and where its insights are incomplete. Then, a systems-psychodynamic perspective is introduced. The article proceeds with describing an action research approach that is sensitive to the emotional underpinnings of interorganizational relationships, by providing two illustrations: one involving a real-life infrastructural project, the other concerning a complex behavioral simulation of interorganizational dynamics. The article ends with some reflections on the use of a systems-psychodynamic perspective in understanding and working with multiparty dynamics.

Article

Group Processes  

Charles Stangor

Group process refers to the behaviors of the members of small working groups (usually between three and twelve members) as they engage in decision-making and task performance. Group process includes the study of how group members’ characteristics interact with the behavior of group members to create effective or ineffective group performance. Relevant topics include the influences of group norms, group roles, group status, group identity, and group social interaction as they influence group task performance and decision-making, the development and change of groups over time, group task typologies, and decision-making schemes. Relevant group outcomes include group cohesion, process losses and process gains in performance, free riding, ineffective information sharing, difficulties in brainstorming, groupthink, and group polarization. Other variables that influence effective group process include group member diversity, task attractiveness, and task significance. A variety of techniques are used to improve group process.

Article

Group Socialization  

Geoffrey J. Leonardelli

Group socialization refers to the psychological process by which individuals and groups mutually influence each other’s experience of being a group member. It is a significant topic, considered central to group members’ experience of group living, adjustment, and well-being, and it can be hotly contested, affecting groups of people that include less than a handful to thousands, millions, or more. Group socialization is most regularly interpreted to refer to how groups influence individuals’ transition to becoming group members. However, group socialization includes other membership transitions, too (e.g., becoming full members or exiting the group). Individual members can also influence what defines group membership for themselves and others. Social and self-categorization processes describe how people internalize group socialization, not only in terms of how socializing content is cognitively represented as a group prototype, but also in how people come to see themselves as group members through a process called self-stereotyping. Group socialization is different from, but can inform, group development (i.e., how groups change over time) and is a topic that is regularly negotiated by group members, as the literatures on socialization attitudes (e.g., assimilation, segregation, multiculturalism) and subjective group dynamics attest. Future research would benefit from understanding which principles of group socialization apply to all groups or specific types (small groups, categories). It would also benefit from understanding how multiple and competing group prototypes can be reconciled, the role of the intergroup context in group socialization, and the conditions under which group socialization is negotiated or simply internalized.

Article

History of Organizational Psychology  

Helio Carpintero

Organizational psychology represents an important theoretical and practical field of contemporary psychological science that studies mental and behavioral phenomena that take place in individuals and groups belonging to social organizations. From a historical point of view, the roots of this specialty can be traced to the psychological approaches to the world of industry and work that began to appear in the beginning of the 20th century. The discovery of the relevance of individual differences in both mental and behavioral processes paved the way to the creation of a scientific and technical knowledge that could maximize an adaptation of humans at work that would benefit industrial activities, would increase worker satisfaction, and bring progress and peace to all of society. Such specialized knowledge has evolved during the past century through a series of stages that permitted a growing theoretical complexity and more efficient technological interventions. This evolution of basic topics includes the study of the human operator; humankind’s capacities and abilities; the influence of social factors upon people in the workplace; and the structures of all sorts of organizations created to obtain desired and needed goals. The relevance of social powers influencing the world of labor have made possible the creation of a rigorous and complex body of scientific knowledge that continuously provides information, advice, and help to modern society in its economic, social, and political structures.

Article

Human–Computer Interaction  

Amon Rapp

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a multidisciplinary field of research that focuses on the understanding and design of interaction between humans and computers. HCI has its roots in Human Factors and Ergonomics and cognitive sciences, but over the years it has underwent a variety of deep transformations, by importing a variety of approaches, theories, and methods from other disciplines, like anthropology and sociology. Theoretical perspectives like phenomenology, social practices theories, and grounded theory, are now fruitfully used by HCI researchers to interpret the behavior of people interacting with technology and ground the design of new interactive systems. In the same vein, HCI techniques for understanding, designing, and evaluating the interaction span from ethnography, semi-structured interviews, participatory design, and scenario-based design, to controlled experiments, usability testing, and research through design methods. At the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, HCI tackles practically every aspect of people’s lives, including matters like, techno-spirituality, global crises, death, sexuality, physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as technologies like wearable devices, self-changing and bio-interfaces, robots, virtual, mixed, and augmented reality applications. In this complex landscape, several promising lines of HCI research, which intertwine the individual, social, and organizational levels of the usage of technologies, are “gameful” interaction, self-tracking and behavior change technologies, and conversational agents.

Article

Humanitarian Work and Organizational Psychology  

Stuart C. Carr

Humanitarian simply means putting people first. Humanitarian work and organizational psychology puts people first in at least two major ways. One is by enabling humanitarian workers and organizations (like aid charities, for instance) to become more effective in what they do. The other is by aiming to help make working conditions, regardless of sector or type of work, humanitarian. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labor Organization (ILO) associated the world of work with a range of inhumane and unsustainable working conditions. A ‘new normal’ for working conditions was insecure, precarious work, working poverty, and income inequality. Viewed through this lens, the COVID-19 virus became a disruptor, with the potential to either set back or dramatically advance the preexisting 2016–2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs had been focusing, and subsequently refocused minds even more, on “eradicating poverty in all its forms,” everywhere. A focal point within humanitarian work and organizational psychology is that any eradication of poverty, post COVID-19, must include not simply a return to 2019-style economic slavery-like conditions but unfettered access to sustainable livelihood. Humanitarian work and organizational psychology arguably contributes toward advancing the SDGs, and putting people first, in at least four main ways. Using the metaphor of a house, first its foundations are ethical (serving empowerment rather than power), historical (in humanitarian work and human services like employee assistance programs), conceptual (replacing the idea of “job” with sustainable livelihood), and political (advancing new diplomacies for bending political will to humanitarian evidence and ethics). Second, its levels are systemic, spanning individual (e.g., selecting for humanitarian values), organizational (e.g., helping food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing startup training for business entrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods), and societal (advocating for humanitarian interventions like wage subsidies and other forms of social protection). Third, its spaces traverse poverty lines; minimum, living, and maximum wages; formal and informal sectors; and transitions and transformations among unemployment, underemployment, and decent work. Fourth, its vistas include promoting livelihood security for all by balancing automation with social protection like universal basic income (UBI), and organizational social responsibility (protecting the biosphere). In these ways we may also sustain our own livelihoods, as humanitarian work and organizational psychologists.

Article

Human Resource Management and Organizational Psychology  

David E. Guest

Human resources (HR) management addresses those policies, practices, and activities concerned with the management of people in organizations. Although it is typically considered at multiple levels of analysis, it provides an important context for the application of work and organizational psychology. Core research questions address the determinants of HR strategy and practices adopted by organizations and how these are linked to outcomes including in particular organizational performance and employee wellbeing. Much research explores this linkage process including how far HR practices are able to ensure employee abilities, motivation, and opportunities to contribute; the distinctive role of human capital; how employees react to these practices; and the steps management can take to ensure their effective implementation. Most research confirms an association between the adoption of a greater number of what are typically termed “high performance” or “high involvement” HR practices and higher organizational performance and employee wellbeing. However, doubts remain about the causal direction of the association. Continuing research challenges include how best to measure HR practices, understanding more about contextual influences, and incorporating more fully the role of employee attitudes and behavior including employee attributions about the motives of management in their use of HR practices.

Article

Impression Management  

David M. Long

Impression management is defined as controlling how one is seen by others. Most of the important outcomes in life, including friends, romantic partners, job opportunities, and happiness, are contingent on how one is perceived in social situations. Since the 1950s scholars across multiple disciplines of social science have noted the importance of impression management and have developed key theoretical interpretations and taxonomies of how, why, and for whom impression management occurs and whether it is likely to have its intended effect. Virtually any behavior can be used for impression management purposes, and the desired outcomes range from positive, when the behaviors are intended to be seen in a favorable light, to negative, when the behaviors are intended to be seen in an unfavorable light. Although impression management has been relatively free of controversy as a scholarly topic, some disagreements have formed around the ethics of managing impressions, how to best measure impression management, and whether impression management explains some of the more venerable topics in social science such as prosocial behavior, cognitive dissonance, and moral judgment. A typical episode of impression management occurs when an actor performs an act in the hope of influencing targets in a certain way, and scholarly work has noted the importance of the target in this process since the target is not only the audience who judges the actors’ performances but also the critic who provides the actors with feedback that can be used in subsequent performances. Other work has investigated how easy it is to mismanage an impression, such as when “humble bragging” and giving “backhanded compliments.”

Article

Individual Differences at Work  

Adrian Furnham

There is a great deal of research on whether personality, ability, and motivation correlate with behavior in the workplace. This is of great importance to all managers who know the benefits of able, engaged, and motivated staff compared to staff who are alienated and disenchanted. The research is an area of applied psychology that is at the interface of work, personality, and social psychology. Predominantly, the research aims to identify measurable characteristics (i.e., personality traits) of an individual that are systematically related to work output and to explain the mechanism and process involved. Research on the relationship among personality and organizational level, promotion level, and salary, all of which are related, is difficult because in order to validate the findings, it is important to get representative and comprehensive measures of work output, which few organizations can provide. The results suggest that personality plays an important part in all the outcomes and that three traits are consistently implicated. The higher people score on trait Conscientiousness and Extraversion and the lower they score on trait Neuroticism, the better they do at work. Similarly, intelligence plays an important role, particularly in more complex jobs. Recent literature has looked at management derailment and failure, with the idea that studying failure can illuminate success, as well as prevent a number of systematic selection errors. This approach is based on “dark-side” traits and the paradoxical finding that some subclinical personality disorders correlate with management success.

Article

Individual Differences in the Vitamin Model of Well-being  

Peter Warr

Prominent among frameworks of well-being is the Vitamin Model, which emphasizes nonlinear associations with environmental features. The Vitamin Model has previously been described through average patterns for people in general, but we need also to explore inter-individual variations. For presentation, those differences can either be viewed generically, based on divergence in age, personality and so on, or through short-term episodes of emotion regulation, such as through situation-specific attentional focus and reappraisal. Both long-term and short-term variations are considered here.

Article

Industrial and Organizational Psychology From a Global Perspective  

Mo Wang, Chengquan Huang, Junhui Yang, and Zhefan Huang

As globalization has accelerated since the late 20th century, global business, workers, and researchers are more closely connected. Scientific research in industrial-organizational psychology also reflects the progress of globalization and the changes in global workers. One of the most significant changes is the growth of digital technology use (e.g., the Internet and artificial intelligence), digital equipment (e.g., computers and smartphones), and digital applications (e.g., emails and social media), which shapes the way worldwide employees work and how global businesses cooperate. Related to the development of technology, another significant change in the global business is the new forms of economy, such as knowledge economy, gig economy, digital platform-based economy, and shared economy, which changes traditional understanding of the nature of work. In addition to productivity-relevant changes, the more frequent cross-border mobility may also amplify the global uncertainty, such as the global pandemic since the outbreak of COVID-19. Globalization also comes with drastic changes in the nature of human capital and the strategic environment where more intense competition unfolds. Therefore, firms must constantly adapt their human resource (HR) systems to ensure human capital can be developed, bundled, and leveraged in a way that can sustain strategic decisions and competitive advantage. To understand the dynamic development of HR management, the research literature has identified two distinctive but complementary trends: convergence and divergence. The convergence trend predicts the emergence of universal HR systems due to gradually homogenous economic systems caused by the continuous progress of industrialization and technology. By contrast, the divergence trend anticipates the coexistence of multiple distinct HR systems resulting from insurmountable barriers of institutional contexts. Empirical evidence has shown that both trends exist in various HR domains, including recruitment, selection, training, and performance management. Further, globalization also cultivates some novel HR topics with an emphasis on how to manage human capital with high cross-cultural competence. While globalization brings opportunities, organizations and employees also face new challenges in cross-cultural settings, which requires both a deeper understanding of culture and the development of relevant skills to deal with these challenges. For organizations, it is important to realize their management practices may become ineffective in another cultural setting, and thus they need to be aware of the potential impacts of culture on organizational processes. Interfirm relationships may also feature an increased level of uncertainty and instability in intercultural settings. For individual employees, interpersonal dynamics at the workplace may become more complicated because of the increasing diversity in a globalized workplace. Cultural diversity, as a double-edged sword, may bring both opportunities and challenges (e.g., when differences cause conflicts and discrimination). To resolve the culture-related challenges of globalization, both the organizations and the employees need to appreciate cultural differences and equip themselves with the resources and capabilities to make the most of diversity.

Article

Informal Work  

Mahima Saxena

Informal work refers to a variety of nontraditional work and employment arrangements. It is different from to work in the informal economy, even though the terms are often used interchangeably. In the extant literature, terms such as precarious work, gig or freelance work, and nontraditional work are also used to describe informal work. Informal work is a ubiquitous phenomenon, found globally, across all or most nations in the world. The majority of research on informal work has occurred within the fields of economics, sociology, labor law, policy, and related disciplines. It has been recognized that not enough attention in the field of psychology, specifically Industrial and Organizational psychology, has been paid to informal work. For the research that does exist in different scholarly and applied disciplines, there is often terminological overlap and confusion with regard to different forms and formats of alternative work arrangements. In addition, the study of informal work is often plagued by negative stereotypes and colonially inspired schools of thought that consider traditional, generational, and nonorganizational work of a lower standard and quality than professionally driven office-going jobs. The latter are mainly a by-product of the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe and fail to account for the multitude of work and work formats found around the world. Further research and policy attention on informal work is needed to provide conceptual clarity on informal work arrangements and informal workers. Psychology can contribute toward an in-depth understanding of informal work, specifically by focusing on a person-centric, first-person experience of work that is often characterized as informal. Industrial and Organizational psychology can also shed light on the themes and characteristics of work that is typically considered informal. Ultimately, taking a decolonized, international, and boundaryless approach to the psychological study of informal work can contribute both to science and to key policy initiatives surrounding inclusive, global, and sustainable development and human flourishing that leave no one behind.

Article

Job and Work Design  

Anja Van den Broeck and Sharon K. Parker

Job design or work design refers to the content, structure, and organization of tasks and activities. It is mostly studied in terms of job characteristics, such as autonomy, workload, role problems, and feedback. Throughout history, job design has moved away from a sole focus on efficiency and productivity to more motivational job designs, including the social approach toward work, Herzberg’s two-factor model, Hackman and Oldham’s job characteristics model, the job demand control model of Karasek, Warr’s vitamin model, and the job demands resources model of Bakker and Demerouti. The models make it clear that a variety of job characteristics make up the quality of job design that benefits employees and employers alike. Job design is crucial for a whole range of outcomes, including (a) employee health and well-being, (b) attitudes like job satisfaction and commitment, (c) employee cognitions and learning, and (d) behaviors like productivity, absenteeism, proactivity, and innovation. Employee personal characteristics play an important role in job design. They influence how employees themselves perceive and seek out particular job characteristics, help in understanding how job design exerts its influence, and have the potential to change the impact of job design.