Industrial Organizational Psychology

Rodger Griffeth's Research Lab

   Dr. Griffeth's research involves investigations of organizational turnover and human resource management.

   Test-Retest of the Employment Opportunity Index and Several Turnover Related Measures

   Griffeth and colleagues (2005) developed the Employment Opportunity Index (EOI), a multidimensional instrument to assess the of role of employee job market perceptions.  The current study examined the test-retest reliability of the EOI five dimensions with three different samples.  The results show some variation among the dimensions.

  Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Measure of the Turnover 
Events and Shocks Scale (Tess)

   Over three separate studies, we developed and validated an inventory of critical workplace events that might induce thoughts of quitting—or “shocks to the system.”  This construct plays a pivotal role in Lee and Mitchell’s (1994) unfolding model, being supposedly responsible for the nontraditional ways by which leavers vacate their job.  The unfolding model—and the centrality of shocks—have primarily been validated by retrospective reports by former leavers.  To better corroborate this model and shocks, we developed and validated a psychometrically valid measure that assesses 55 common workplace events and/or shocks.  In Study 1 (a large sample of nurses), factor analysis identified six distinct factors for workplace shocks.  Using survival analysis with scales based on these factors predicted turnover (beyond that accounted for by job attitudes and perceived alternatives).  Study 2 (with case workers) replicated this factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis and determined that weighting events by their “causal impact” only slightly improved predictive strength over unweighted predictors.  Study 3 (with retail store personnel) determined that shock scales predicted job longevity with survival analysis.

Jeff Vancouver's Research Lab

      Dr. Vancouver oversees two labs with overlapping interests. The Laboratory for the Study of Self-Regulation focuses on developing an integrative theory of human motivation and behavior. Specifically, the self-regulation perspective suggests that humans (and other organisms) seek to obtain and maintain goals (i.e., desired states) for themselves and their environments. Goal striving is represented as a simple negative feedback loop or control process (i.e., like the cruise control of car). The self-regulation perspective holds that many goals, and thus feedback loops, exist with humans. Understanding how individuals allocate resources among these goals is key to understanding human behavior. To some extent this likely involves representations of contingencies or beliefs about capacities (e.g., self-efficacy; outcome expectancies). Indeed, much of the work in the lab is devoted to the role of self-efficacy beliefs (or their lack of a role) in human behavior. Also, because the goal striving is dynamic, nonlinear, and complex (due to the large number of goals), Dr. Vancouver uses computational models to represent theories of how the processes operate. Toward that end, Dr. Vancouver directs another lab, called HEIDi (Human-Environment Interaction Dynamics initiative) that aligns scholars from other disciplines within Psychology, Engineering and Computer Science, Philosophy, and other areas. These scholars are also interested in representing human behavior computationally and in terms of the interactions between the person and his or her environment.    


Recent and important publications:

Overviews of the general areas of inquiry by Dr. Vancouver can be found in:

  •  Vancouver, J. B. (in press). Motivation. Chapter in the Handbook of Human-Systems Integration (Boehm-Davis, F. Durso, and Lee, Eds.). Washington, DC: APA
  • Vancouver, J. B., & Day, D. V. (2005). Industrial and Organization Research on Self‑Regulation: From Constructs to Applications. Applied Psychology: International Review, 54, 155-185. 
  • Austin, J. T., & Vancouver, J. B. (1996). Goal constructs in psychology: Structure, process, and content. Psychological Bulletin,120(3), 338-375.

An overview of Dr. Vancouver's the general theoretical approach can be found in:
  • Vancouver, J. B. (2008).  Integrating self-regulation theories of work motivation into a dynamic process theory. Human Resource Management Review, 18, 1-18.


Examples of computational models representing can be found in:

  •  Vancouver, J. B., Weinhardt, J.M., Vigo, R (in press). Change one can believe in: Adding learning to a computational model of self-regulation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processing. 
  • Vancouver, J. B., Weinhardt, J. M., & Schmidt, A. M. (2010). A formal, computational theory of multiple-goal pursuit: Integrating goal-choice and goal-striving processes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 985-1008.
  • Scherbaum, C. A., & Vancouver, J. B. (2010). If we produce discrepancies, then how? Testing a computational process model of positive goal revision. Journal of Applied Social Psychology40, 2201-2231.
  • Vancouver, J. B., Tamanini, K. B., & Yoder, R. J. (2010). Using dynamic computational models to reconnect theory and research: Socialization by the proactive newcomer example.Journal of Management, 36, 764-793. 
  • Vancouver, J. B. & Scherbaum, C. A. (2008). Do We Self-Regulate Actions or Perceptions? A Test of Two Computational Models. Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory, 14, 1-22.
  • Vancouver J. B., Putka, D. J., & Scherbaum, C. A. (2005). Testing a Computational Model of the Goal‑Level Effect: An Example of a Neglected Methodology. Organizational Research Methods8, 100‑127.


Papers on how to create computational models and what might be good problems to model in the field are: 

  • Vancouver, J.B., & Weinhardt, J.M., (2012). Modeling the mind and the milieu: Computational modeling for micro-level organizational researchers. Organizational Research Methods, 15, 602-623.
  • Weinhardt, J. M. & Vancouver, J. B. (2012). Computational models and organizational psychology: Opportunities abound. Organizational Psychology Review, 2, 267-292.


Papers on Self-efficacy include:

  • Vancouver, J. B., Gullekson, N. L., Morse, B. J. & Warren, M. A. (in press). Finding a Between-Person Negative Effect of Self-Efficacy on Performance: Not Just a Within-Person Effect Anymore. Human Performance.
  • Vancouver, J.B., Weinhardt, J.M., Warren, M., Covey, A., Purl, J., Milakovic, A., & Li, X. (2013). Do management scholars mistakenly believe in the capacity of self-efficacy? In D. Svyantek & K. Mahoney (Eds.), Received Wisdom, Kernels of Truth, and Boundary Conditions in Organizational Studies (pp. 77-103). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Vancouver, J. B., More, K. M., & Yoder, R. J. (2008). Self‑efficacy and resource allocation: Support for a nonmonotonic, discontinuous model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 35-47.
  • Vancouver, J. B. & Kendall, L. N. (2006). When self‑efficacy negatively relates to motivation and performance in a learning context. Journal of Applied Psychology91, 1146-1153.
  • Vancouver, J. B., Thompson, C. M., Tischner, E. C., & Putka, D. J. (2002). Two studies examining the negative effect of self-efficacy on performance. Journal of Applied Psychology,87, 506–516.
  • Vancouver, J. B., Thompson, C. M., & Williams, A. A. (2001). The changing signs in the relationships between self‑efficacy, personal goals and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology86, 605-620.


Responses to criticism of Dr. Vancouver's work are: 

  • Vancouver, J. B. (2012). Rhetorical Reckoning: A Response to Bandura. Journal of Management38, 465-474.
  • Vancouver, J. B. (2005). The Depth of History and Explanation as Benefit and Bane for Psychological Control Theories. Journal of Applied Psychology90, 38-52.


Ryan Johnson's Research Lab

Trained in both traditional Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology and Occupational Health Psychology (OHP), Dr. Johnson's primary research interests focus on exploring relationships between work and non-work life, and within that framework, is driven by the motivation to address three key questions:

1)What processes and theoretical mechanisms underlie relationships between work and the health and wellness of employees and their families?  Research here focuses on establishing the mechanisms through which aspects of work ultimately impacts health.For example, a recent project explored exhaustion as a linking mechanism between emotion regulation at work and health behaviors at home.

2)How can adverse outcomes at the intersection of work and non-work life be reduced through intervention, resources, and work redesign? This work focuses on evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of change initiatives, both at home and at work, which may better facilitate performance in both work and non-work domains of life. For example, a current project examines how an intervention designed to increase support for employee's work and family life may have unintended performance outcomes beneficial to employees and the organization, in addition to the hypothesized improvements in health and well-being.

3)What role do individual differences play in the relationships between work and non-work life? Individual differences are a central tenet of much of Dr. Johnson's work. The research focus here is on uncovering differences between people, and exploring how knowledge of these differences can be harnessed to improve employee well-being and organizational effectiveness. For example, a recent study examined the role of mindfulness in predicting differences in reactivity to depleting job demands.

Current research projects incorporate all three areas of inquiry (and more!), and utilize data from archival sources (e.g., O*Net), daily diaries, surveys, objective health assessments (e.g., sleep actigraphy), and large-scale randomized control trials. Dr. Johnson works collaboratively with colleagues in other disciplines, is a member of the Work, Family, and Health Network, and hopes to infuse the Ohio University I-O program with OHP research and training while making connections with other researchers in the department and university.

Highlighted Publications:
Allen, T. D., Johnson, R. C., Kiburz, K. M., & Shockley, K. S. (2013). Work-family conflict and flexible work arrangements: Deconstructing flexibility. Personnel Psychology, 66, 345-376.
Johnson, R. C., & Allen, T. D. (2013). Examining the links between employed mothers' work characteristics, physical activity, and child health. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 148-157.
Allen, T. D., Johnson, R. C., Saboe, K. N., Cho, E., Dumani, S., & Estep-Evans, S. (2012). Dispositional variables and work-family conflict: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80, 17-26.
Johnson, R. C., Kiburz, K. M., Dumani, S., Cho, E., & Allen, T. D. (2011). Work-family research: A broader view of impact. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 4, 389-392.

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