2018 FEATURED Research Sessions

Advancing Healthy Work: Education, tools and work stress prevention

Work is fundamental to well-being and economic security. However, existing evidence indicates that work is a social contributor to chronic illness; partly explained by the quality of the job and employment arrangements. The “sources of stress” in the way work is organized include excessive work hours, precarious work, “psychosocial work stressors,” (e.g. demands and control) which objectively exist in the organization of work and contribute to burnout, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease. This symposium will present and offer discussion about what is healthy work, describe an innovative educational campaign addressing these issues (The Healthy Work Campaign), highlight the development of online tools to identify work stressors including an intervention toolkit that provides stakeholders with resources to implement healthy work solutions. Lastly, we discuss international policies and resources for work stress prevention that can provide guidance on strategies to advance work stress prevention policies and programs in the US.

Co-Presenter Bios:

Peter Schnall, MD, MPH
School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles
Peter is a well-known expert on work stress and cardiovascular disease. His research, combined with that of others, has led to two major book publications, The Workplace and Cardiovascular Disease (Hanley and Belfus, 2000), which is the standard text in the field, and Unhealthy Work: Causes, Consequences, Cures (Baywood Publishing, 2009)

Marnie Dobson, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for Social Epidemiology, Los Angeles, CA
Marnie is a sociologist and one of the leading experts in the areas of gender and work, emotional labor, and work organization/psychosocial stressors and mental health outcomes. She was a co-editor of Unhealthy Work: Causes, Consequences, Cures (Baywood Publishing, 2009).

BongKyoo Choi, Sc.D., MPH.
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health University of California, Irvine,CA. Dr. Choi is an expert in psychosocial occupational epidemiology (mental health, WRMSDs, and CVD risk factors), work stress theories and methodologies, work stress physiology, cross-cultural studies, and quality of working life policies.

Dean Baker, M.D., MPH
Professor, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA.
One of the leading experts in occupational health, Dr. Baker received the 2014 Kehoe Award for Excellence in Education and Research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.


What happens when leaders encourage followers to capitalize on their strengths and bring their best selves to work? Previous research in positive psychology suggests that employing a strengths-based leadership approach, rather than focusing on correcting followers’ deficits, helps set the stage for more positive workplace dynamics. Drawing on the theory of the reflected best-self concept, we argue that leaders who encourage employees to use their strengths also encourage followers to self-disclose and discourage silence and withholding of improvement-oriented ideas. We further propose that the mechanism underlying this more proactive leader-follower relationship is employee self-efficacy. In addition, we examine leader behavioral integrity as an important foundation for this relationship, as the success of a strengths-oriented approach may depend on whether followers trust leaders to “walk the talk”. Based on two waves of survey data from employees in 44 organizations, we demonstrate that leaders who encourage employees to use their strengths at work contribute to their self-efficacy and, in turn, reduce potentially unhealthy silence behaviors. However, this finding is dependent on followers’ perceptions that the leader “practices what s/he preaches” (i.e., high levels of leader behavioral integrity). Our study highlights potential benefits and challenges for organizations seeking to implement a strengths-based approach in the workplace.

Co-Presenter Bios:

Michelle C. Bligh, PhD.
Professor of Organizational Behavior Dean, School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA.
Her research interests focus on organizational culture and the role of leaders in influencing and changing corporate cultures, particularly in post-merger organizations. In addition, her research interests include charismatic leadership, interpersonal trust, and political and executive leadership. She has helped a variety of public and private-sector organizations assess and improve their effectiveness in the areas of leadership development, organizational culture, and change management.

Marlies Veestraeten, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at NEOMA Business School in Reims, France. Marlies completed her doctoral research in Business Economics. Her expertise and experience are in leadership and managerial research and training. Her passion is conducting research on "bright" and "dark" sides of leadership and their impact on employees, teams, and organizations at large.

FEATURED POSTER PRESENTATION: Exploring the Relationship Between Affective Well-being, Kindness, and Teamwork

The present study examined the relationship between kindness, job-related affective well-being, and teamwork. Results were consistent with the hypotheses, in that those who perform acts of kindness experience greater job-related affective well-being, and those who prefer working in teams have greater well-being. The findings from the sample of 300 employed adults suggest that those who perform acts of kindness and enjoy teamwork are likely to experience better well-being than those who do not.


Reina Daugherty, Masters Student
Toni DiDona. Ph.D., Associate Professor
Jose Gonzalez, Masters Student
Susanh Perez, Masters Student, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Albizu University, Miami, FL, USA

Paving the Way for Women in the Workplace

Flash Talk
Women's experiences in the workplace have received in-depth attention from scholars and practitioners alike. Much of the research concludes with advice on how women can alter their behavior in order to be better “players of the game.” With most organizations being made by men for men, women are told to play by men’s rules to succeed. In their book, Through the Labyrinth, Eagly and Carli (2007) describe the obstacles faced by women in the workplace as a maze of twists and turns that obstruct their career paths. It is advised that women learn how to navigate the labyrinth. This is yet another burden placed on women. Instead of navigating the labyrinth, we should be working to dismantle the walls that obstruct our careers. Many organizations are making strides in this regard, but there is much more to be done.


Krista Jensen, Graduate Student, Claremont Graduate University

Joy and meaning in the work of nurses: Factor analysis of an instrument.

A resilient, compassionate, and engaged nursing workforce who find joy and meaning in their work is critical to delivering healthcare value.

Creating an atmosphere that promotes fulfillment and thriving creates joy – and joy is contagious. We report on advances in measurement in nursing workforce engagement and thriving in the workplace.

Presenter :

Mary Wickman, PhD, RN, Director of Nursing and Interim Dean of Graduate Programs, Vanguard University.

Race, Gender and Leader Development: A qualitative analysis on 360-degree feedback

Leader development is a method of choice for many organizations that wish to stay competitive in today's society. Multi-source feedback (commonly referred to in practice as 360-degree feedback) is one of the most popular sources of leader development. Past research on multi-source feedback yield mixed results especially for those leaders who are both women and minority. The current study investigates multi-source feedback for women of color (specifically Black women) through a qualitative phenomenological lens.

Presenter :

Amber Kea-Edwards, Graduate Student, Claremont Graduate University

Personality & Leader Self-Development

The talk will focus on personality traits, introverted and extraverted leaders, and on median scorers on personality inventories. Research findings on personality in organizations suggest that there are advantages to median scorers in performance, versatility, adaptability, and cognitive diversity. A focus on self-transcendent values and continuous self-development provides insight for leaders and others interested in achieving an integrated or best self.

Presenter :

Orlando Saiz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

A researcher with the focus on the effects of personality, cognitive styles, and values on leadership, and experience in data-informed consulting.

Releasing Creative Block “Can Meditation Rekindle Creativity?”

Fashion designers increasingly experience creative block due to increased pressures placed on their creativity through constant global consumer demands. It is suggested that forced, pressurized attention to creativity tunes the brain away from unconscious thought association and cognitive flexibility; critical features of creativity’s incubational stage. Open monitoring meditation is closely associated with enhancing creativity and promotion of divergent thinking. This presentation proposes a positive link between creative block release and open monitoring meditation.

Presenter :

Barbara Blatz-Stone
Barbara Blatz-Stone
Claremont Graduate Student

Barbara Blatz-Stone, is soon to complete her MA in Developmental and Organizational Positive Psychology. As a professional key player in fashion design and management for over twenty years, she has led creative and technical teams in delivering multi-million dollar collections to domestic retailers such as Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Target, JC Penney, and Walmart, as well as internationally throughout Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia. She is now leveraging her years of creative design, leadership, and mentoring to customize a professional path based on partnerships and coaching, through the lens of positive psychology. Barbara is a firm believer that creative positivity stems from mindfulness and meditation, grounding her work-life balance.

Mindfulness and Organizational Life-Cycle

Organizations have been exploring the practical benefits of training employees to practice mindfulness as a well-being initiative. Both the practice of developing mindfulness and trait mindfulness can be leveraged at multiple levels of analysis for performance benefits. This talk arranges mindfulness within four phases of the organizational life-cycle (attract, retain, develop, and exit) as a first step towards creating a framework for the nomenclature of a ‘mindfulness culture’ for both performance and well-being.

Presenter :

Jason Beck
Claremont Graduate Student

Doing Good is Good for Business

Success is being redefined. Social impact is uniting for-profit and not-for-profit companies as the separation between personal values; consumer orientation and professional alignments dissolves. This call to action is shaping how organizations define strategic vision and operations to ensure growth and sustainable success. Emerging business models are integrating the power of “doing good “in product/ service design along with organizational culture crafting and as a key measurement in business achievements. During this session participants explore the impact and integration of personal values, corporate social responsibility and organizational success.

Presenter :

Judith Lukomski

Chief Evolution Officer, Transitions Today Inc., and President Ellevate Professional Women's Network Orange County Chapter

Reconceptualizing Multilevel Leader-Follower Shared Outcomes

As conceptions of leadership change from leader-centric or even follower-centric perspectives to more collective approaches that account for both leaders and followers, there is an emergent need for constructs that assess combined leader-follower shared outcomes at both the dyad and team levels of analysis. The goal of this research is to address this need by taking a fresh conceptual approach to shared outcomes -- one that represents a true partnership between leaders and followers. We propose a new set of multilevel outcomes that emerge as a consequence of the shared efforts, process, and products of work teams composed of leaders and followers. We offer a four-component framework that is parallel to, yet distinct from, conventional models of work role performance (see Griffin, Neal, & Parker, 2007) and leadership outcomes (e.g., Antonakis, Avolio, & Sivasubramainiam, 2003). We present our multilevel analogs to these outcomes, the relationship of our proposed framework to research on leader-member exchange (LMX) and shared leadership, and the potential contributions of our framework to understanding of groups and teams.

Presenter :

Gerard Beenen

Motivating newcomers: A self-determination theory perspective

Current perspectives on newcomer socialization have focused on the processes by which organizational tactics and individual proactivity enable newcomers to adapt, with less emphasis on the impact of the supervisor on newcomer motivation. Self-Determination Theory (SDT) perspective can help explore how autonomy supportive supervision addresses newcomers’ psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, which in turn motivates their organizational commitment and retention. In a longitudinal study of 489 MBA interns, we found autonomy supportive supervision had a stronger influence on commitment and retention than organizational tactics, and these effects were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. We propose SDT offers promise as a motivational lens for examining newcomer learning and adaptation.

Presenter :

Gerard Beenen

Values, Self-Concept, and Follower Role Orientation

Countless resources have been dedicated to the study of leaders; yet, significantly less research has intentionally explored the role of followers in the leadership process. However, this disparity has begun to shift as followers are being recognized as vital contributors to the leadership process and, furthermore, as “active co-creators” (Bligh & Kohles, 2012) of leadership. Addressing the component of Followership dealing with how “followers see themselves,” (Carsten & Uhl-Bien, 2012), this study will investigate the relationship between followers’ values, self-concept, and followership role orientation.

Presenter :

Faith Peterson
MSOP Student

Put the Oxygen Mask on First: Resilient Coping and Productivity

This workshop discusses face to face and online trainings that create resilience in work settings. Different strategies on how to enhance coping and sustained performance through resilience (ranging from self-care to words of affirmation, stress reduction, and time management strategies) are taught. Recommendations are given how individuals at-risk for burnout (e.g., health care professionals, entrepreneurs) can enhance a sustainable performance in themselves and others.

Presenter :

Sibylle Georgianna, Ph.D.
Sarah Hohmann
Raveena Martin
Charity Culp

Career climates that enhance Potential

Careers no longer adhere to the traditional career path of staying within a single organization. Rather than being directed by the organization, workers tend to self-direct their careers according to their values. However, organizations can still play a part in enhancing career development. This study aims to identify best practices and contextual characteristics in real world organizations that signal career climates, which can create an environment for optimal performance and development.

Presenter :

Kathryn Doiron
Christoper Chen
Elizabeth Kolowsky
Brandon Sorenson