Professor Stephen Woods
Academic and research departmentsDepartment of People and Organisations.
I am Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology, and Head of the Department of People and Organisations at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey.
My main research specialism is personality at work and my research in this area focuses on psychometric and personality trait assessment, and personality development and change at work. I also conducts research on recruitment and selection in organizations, with special interests in how to ensure fair and effective assessment and digital selection procedures and analytics. I have wider interests in human resource management and development, for example in diversity management, coaching and well-being at work.
My work is published in scientific and professional journals (e.g. Journal of Applied Psychology; Journal of Vocational Behavior; Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology), scholarly books, and international conferences. I am an Associate Editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, and Editorial Board member for the journal Work and Stress. I co-author an international text in Work and Organizational Psychology (Woods, Stephen A. & West, Michael A. 2020, The Psychology of Work and Organizations).
I collaborate with industry to help put research into action, and to help develop solutions to real world challenges of management, as a work and organisational psychologist in the UK and with businesses and organisations globally, especially in the areas of HR assessment and development.
I joined Surrey Business School in June 2022. Since gaining my PhD in 2004, I held a lectureship at University of Nottingham, a Readership at Aston Business School, was previously Chair at Surrey Business School (2014-2019) and a Chair at University of Liverpool, as well as a visiting Professorship at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Affiliations and memberships
Personality assessment at work, especially the structure and effectiveness of trait assessments used in organizations and human resource management.
Personality change and development at work, particularly how work influences traits through working life.
Recruitment and selection, particularly the challenges of finding, assessing and hiring people in the digital age.
The role of work and organizational psychology in making work more positive, for example through improving diversity management and inclusion, workplace well-being, and personal development.
Indicators of esteem
Academy of Management (2018)
Winner, best overall paper at the Careers Division of the AoM Conference 2018:
Zhou, Y., Zou, M., Woods, S., & Wu, C. (2018, July). The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2018, No. 1, p. 11598). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.
British Psychological Society, Division of Occupational Psychology (2019)
Invited Keynote Speaker to Annual DOP Conference 2019.
The Influence of Work on Personality Development and Change through Life: Implications for Thriving at Work
Postgraduate research supervision
I am interested to hear from prospective PhD students whose interests are aligned to my research areas.
Example completed and current PhD students:
- Hannah Collis (Commenced 2018; University of Surrey) Well-being effects of personality change at work
- Emily Kitson (Commenced 2017, University of Surrey) Safety Behaviour at Work: The Role of Personality and Stress
- Mojdeh Mehganrad (Awarded 2019, University of Surrey) When Employee Engagement is Shared: An Examination of Engagement Crossover Effects between Co-workers
- John Barratt (Awarded 2019, Aston University) Performance and recruitment in the UK Care Sector
- Jo-anne Kandola (Awarded 2016, Aston University) Examining the impact of implicit bias on gender discrimination in personnel decision making
- Rebecca Jones (Awarded 2016, Aston University) Coaching Effectiveness: An Examination of the Individual and Practice Antecedents of Outcomes of Coaching
- Daniel Hinton (Awarded 2016, Aston University) Ethnic differences in cognitive ability: Issues for testing in organizations
- Amr Swid (Awarded 2013, Aston University): Proactive Personality and the Big Five in Predicting Newcomer Socialization
I teach modules on Business and Occupational Psychology at undergraduate level at Surrey Business School and Department of Psychology.
I also teach on the MSc Occupational and Organizational Psychology and supervise student dissertations in the Department of People and Organizations.
I run workshops on effective competencies of leadership for the Surrey Business School MBA Programme.
Woods, S. A., Wille, B., Wu, C. H., Lievens, F., & De Fruyt, F. (2019). The influence of work on personality trait development: The demands-affordances TrAnsactional (DATA) model, an integrative review, and research agenda. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 110, 258-271.
Woods, S. A., & Anderson, N. R. (2016). Toward a Periodic Table of Personality: Mapping Personality Scales Between the Five-factor Model and the Circumplex Model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(4), 582-604.
Woods, S. A., Lievens, F., De Fruyt, F., & Wille, B. (2013). Personality across working life: The longitudinal and reciprocal influences of personality on work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(S1), S7-S25.
Woods, S. A., Ahmed, S., Nikolaou, I., Costa, A. C., & Anderson, N. R. (2020) Personnel selection in the digital age: a review of validity and applicant reactions, and future research challenges. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1-14.
Woods, S. A., & Hampson, S. E. (2010). Predicting Adult Occupational Environments From Gender and Childhood Personality Traits. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(6), 1045-1057.
Zhou, Y., Zou, M., Woods, S. A., & Wu, C. H. (2018). The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment: An Intra-individual Analysis of Subjective Well-being Recovery through Reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology.
Woods, S. A., Edmonds, G. W., Hampson, S. E., & Lievens, F. (2020). How our work influences who we are: Testing a theory of vocational and personality development over fifty years. Journal of Research in Personality, 85, 103930.
Woods, S. A. & West, M. A. The Psychology of Work and Organizations. CENGAGE: London.