Workshop: Work Climate in Organizations

Project: Research project

Project Details


Organizational scientists want to optimize the methods for creating innovative and quality products, often focusing on rational decision-making and mathematical models of costs and benefits of different outcomes. Yet, this focus overlooks the fact that working in organizations is a social experience that can be rewarding and inspiring, or even frustrating and exhausting, and organizational members experience of such work climates can hinder or override rational processes. These product-focused (e.g., mechanical engineering) and person-focused (e.g., organizational psychology) approaches to organizational effectiveness tend to be studied independently, to the detriment of complete understanding productive and innovative workplaces. Each discipline has their own theoretical assumptions and research paradigms, e.g., engineering scholars focus on computational models and algorithms, and organizational psychologists obtain subjective reports and observational data. Theoretical advances require awareness and integration across these disciplines. Methodological advances have also emerged that may permit better integration of these approaches, such as technology that records dynamic audio or video of team interactions and mapped in real time to the team processes and outcomes. Although scholars are becoming more aware that both the people-oriented and product-oriented approaches matter to organizational effectiveness, this does not mean that they understand how these should be integrated. Moving forward in the science of organizations requires cross-disciplinary discussions from scholars across academic silos. As such, this workshop seeks to foster communication between leaders in the fields of engineering design, business, and organizational psychology, in order to advance the science of organizations through novel interactions between these disciplines.

An interdisciplinary two-day workshop will be held at Penn State University in University Park, PA. The goal is to advance the science of organizations - specifically modeling organizational productivity and innovation - through communication about advances in theory and research. We will use three strategies to obtain this goal. First, there will be papers and presentations shared from leaders in several disciplines who share a common interest in modeling the productivity and innovation of organizations and openness to multidisciplinary perspectives. These leaders in the field include named professors and department chairs, editors of top journals, and active scholars with grant funding, from organizational psychology, business, computer science, and engineering. Second, scholars will discuss new methodological advances for studying how organizational members work together toward shared goals, including ways to integrate the rational decision making models and the subjective multilevel and dynamic human experience. Finally, there will be informal breakout sessions to encourage cross-disciplinary conversations about the presentations, and permit collaborative opportunities to emerge. Junior scholars and graduate students with related interests will be invited to attend to advance the next wave of organizational scholarship. This workshop will provide unique opportunities to build novel theories and research approaches that more truly and comprehensively capture the complexity of productive and innovative processes in today's workplace.

Effective start/end date3/15/1612/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $45,407.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.