Stephen Woods

Professor Stephen Woods

Professor in Work and Organisational Psychology
MSc (Occ Psych) PhD (Psych) CPsychol
+44 (0)1483 686731
43 MS 03

Academic and research departments

Department of People and Organisations.


Affiliations and memberships

HCPC Registered Practitioner Psychologist
Practitioner Occupational Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council
British Psychological Society
Full Member of the Division of Occupational Psychology
Member of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology
Academy of Management
Member of the US Academy of Management


Research interests

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


My teaching

Courses I teach on


Postgraduate research supervision

My publications


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 Psychology101(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 Behavior34(S1), S7-S25.

Woods, S. A., & Hampson, S. E. (2010). Predicting Adult Occupational Environments From Gender and Childhood Personality Traits. Journal of Applied Psychology95(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. & West, M. A. The Psychology of Work and Organizations. CENGAGE: London.


Guillaume YRF, Dawson JF, Otaye-Ebede L, Woods SA, West MA (2015) Harnessing demographic differences in organizations: What moderates the effects of workplace diversity?, Journal of Organizational Behavior
To account for the double-edged nature of demographic workplace diversity (i.e,. relational demography, work group diversity, and organizational diversity) effects on social integration, performance, and well-being-related variables, research has moved away from simple main effect approaches and started examining variables that moderate these effects. While there is no shortage of primary studies of the conditions under which diversity leads to positive or negative outcomes, it remains unclear which contingency factors make it work. Using the Categorization-Elaboration Model as our theoretical lens, we review variables moderating the effects of workplace diversity on social integration, performance, and well-being outcomes, focusing on factors that organizations and managers have control over (i.e., strategy, unit design, human resource, leadership, climate/culture, and individual differences). We point out avenues for future research and conclude with practical implications.
Woods SA (2008) Performance measures: the elusive relationship between job performance and job satisfaction, Oxford University Press
Woods S, Mustafa M, Anderson N, Sayer B (2018) Innovative Work Behavior and Personality Traits: Examining the Moderating Effects of Organizational Tenure, Journal of Managerial Psychology 33 (1) pp. 29-42 Emerald

The literature on individual differences in innovative work behavior reveals inconsistencies in the relations of personality traits and tenure on innovation at work. To provide greater clarity about the effects of these antecendents, this paper reports a study of the moderating effects of tenure on the associations of traits and innovative work behavior, and applies a theoretical lens based on trait-activation theory.


146 employees of a UK based financial institution completed measures of Conscientiousness and Openness, and had three aspects of innovative work behavior (idea generation, promotion, and realization) rated by their line-supervisor. All participants were on graduate training programmes. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the moderating effects of tenure on the associations of the self-reported traits with the supervisor-rated innovative work behavior outcomes.


Tenure moderated the effects of Conscientousness on innovative work behavior, with highly conscientious employees being less innovative with longer tenure. Tenure moderated the effect of Openness with idea generation with highly open employees generating more ideas if they were longer tenured.

Practical Implications:

Management of innovation requires differentiated strategies based on the personality traits and tenure of individual employees. Implications for recruitment, socialization and development are discussed.


This is the first study to examine empirically the interactions of traits and contextual factors (i.e. organizational tenure) on innovative work behavior, framed around a strong theoretical foundation (i.e. trait activation theory). The study also makes notable contributions by measuring innovative behavior using a supervisor-rated and multidimensional approach.

In this study, we examine the structures of 10 personality inventories (PIs) widely used for personnel assessment by mapping the scales of PIs to the lexical Big Five circumplex model resulting in a Periodic Table of Personality. Correlations between 273 scales from 10 internationally popular PIs with independent markers of the lexical Big Five are reported, based on data from samples in 2 countries (United Kingdom, N = 286; United States, N = 1,046), permitting us to map these scales onto the Abridged Big Five Dimensional Circumplex model (Hofstee, de Raad, & Goldberg, 1992). Emerging from our findings we propose a common facet framework derived from the scales of the PIs in our study. These results provide important insights into the literature on criterion-related validity of personality traits, and enable researchers and practitioners to understand how different PI scales converge and diverge and how compound PI scales may be constructed or replicated. Implications for research and practice are considered. (PsycINFO Database Record
Woods SA, Hampson SE (2010) Predicting adult occupational environments from gender and childhood personality traits., Journal of Applied Psychology 95 (6) pp. 1045-1057 American Psychological Association
To test aspects of a theory of the role of personality and gender on the development of vocational interests and their subsequent effects on adult occupational choices, the authors of this study examined associations among childhood personality traits, gender, and occupational environments more than 40 years later. Participants (N = 587) were assessed on the Big Five by their teachers when the participants were between 6 and 12 years old. In middle-age (late 40s), the participants reported their occupation. Holland's (1997) RIASEC vocational types (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional) were used to characterize the job environments of reported occupations. Childhood Openness/Intellect and Conscientiousness, but no other Big Five traits, were associated with occupational environments. For the most strongly sex-typed work environments, associations with Openness/Intellect were moderated by gender. These findings suggest that the roots of the strongest gender-stereotyping effects in occupations may be found not only in the social factors associated with gender but also in the individual differences of children related to Openness/Intellect.
Woods SA, 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) pp. S7-S25 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This paper focuses on the role of personality at different stages of people's working lives. We begin by reviewing the research in industrial, work, and organizational (IWO) psychology regarding the longitudinal and dynamic influences of personality as an independent variable at different career stages, structuring our review around a framework of people's working lives and careers over time. Next, we review recent studies in the personality and developmental psychology domain regarding the influence of changing life roles on personality. In this domain, personality also serves as a dependent variable. By blending these two domains, it becomes clear that the study of reciprocal effects of work and personality might open a new angle in IWO psychology's long-standing tradition of personality research. To this end, we outline various implications for conceptual development (e.g., trait stability) and empirical research (e.g., personality and work incongruence). Finally, we discuss some methodological and statistical considerations for research in this new research domain. In the end, our review should enrich the way that IWO psychologists understand personality at work, focusing away from its unidirectional predictivist influence on job performance toward a more complex longitudinal reciprocal interplay of personality and working life.
Singh M, Woods SA (2008) Predicting General Well-Being From Emotional Intelligence and Three Broad Personality Traits, Journal of Applied Social Psychology 38 3 pp. 635-646 Wiley Online Library
Woods SA, Sofat JA (2013) Personality and engagement at work: the mediating role of psychological meaningfulness, Journal of Applied Social Psychology 43 (11) pp. 2203-2210 Wiley
In this study, we examined the associations of personality traits of the Big Five model with work engagement, and tested a theoretical model in which these associations are mediated by the positive state of psychological meaningfulness (perceptions that work is valuable and meaningful). In a sample of 238 UK working adults, we found that the personality facets assertiveness and industriousness were the strongest predictors of work engagement, and that both exhibited direct and indirect effects, mediated by psychological meaningfulness. Neuroticism demonstrated a marginal indirect association with engagement, again mediated by psychological meaningfulness. Our findings offered good support for our model, explaining a pathway from personality traits to engagement. Practical implications for management are discussed.
Zibarras LD, Woods SA (2010) A survey of UK selection practices across different organization sizes and industry sectors, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 83 (2) pp. 499-511 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
This paper presents results of a study examining the methods used to select employees in 579 UK organizations representing a range of different organization sizes and industry sectors. Overall, a smaller proportion of organizations in this sample reported using formalized methods (e.g., assessment centres) than informal methods (e.g., unstructured interviews). The curriculum vitae (CVs) was the most commonly used selection method, followed by the traditional triad of application form, interviews, and references. Findings also indicated that the use of different selection methods was similar in both large organizations and small-to-medium-sized enterprises. Differences were found across industry sector with public and voluntary sectors being more likely to use formalized techniques (e.g., application forms rather than CVs and structured rather than unstructured interviews). The results are discussed in relation to their implications, both in terms of practice and future research.
Woods SA (2003) Five reasons to be optimistic about the future of personality assessment as a selection tool, Selection and Development Review 19 4 pp. 12-14 BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Kouvonen AM, Väänänen A, Woods SA, Heponiemi T, Koskinen A, Toppinen-Tanner S (2008) Sense of coherence and diabetes: a prospective occupational cohort study, BMC Public Health 8 1 pp. 46-46 BioMed Central Ltd
Jones RJ, Woods S, Hutchinson E, others (2014) The Influence of the Five Factor Model of Personality on the Perceived Effectiveness of Executive Coaching., International Journal of Evidenced Based Coaching and Mentoring 12 2 pp. 109-118 Oxford Brookes University Business School
Woods SA, Hardy C (2012) The higher-order factor structures of five personality inventories, Personality and individual differences 52 4 pp. 552-558 Elsevier
Zibarras LD, Port RL, Woods SA (2008) Innovation and the ?Dark Side?of Personality: Dysfunctional Traits and their Relation to Self-Reported Innovative Characteristics, The Journal of Creative Behavior 42 3 pp. 201-215 Wiley Online Library
Darviri SV, Woods SA (2006) Uncertified absence from work and the Big Five: An examination of absence records and future absence intentions, Personality and individual differences 41 2 pp. 359-369 Elsevier
Guillaume YRF, Dawson JF, Priola V, Sacramento CA, Woods SA, Higson HE, Budhwar PS, West MA (2014) Managing diversity in organizations: An integrative model and agenda for future research, European journal of work and organizational psychology 23 5 pp. 783-802 Routledge
Guillaume YRF, Dawson JF, Woods SA, Sacramento CA, West MA (2013) Getting diversity at work to work: What we know and what we still don?t know., Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86 2 pp. 123-141 Wiley
Woods Stephen A., Hinton Daniel P., von Stumn Sophie von, Bellman Jeffries James (2017) Personality and Intelligence: Examining the Associations of Investment-related Personality Traits with General and Specific Intelligence, European Journal of Psychological Assessment Hogrefe Publishing
In this study, we examine the associations of the scales of the California Psychological Inventory (CPI; a measure of personality traits) with intelligence measured by four cognitive ability tests, completed by a sample of 4876 working adults. We framed our analyses of the correlations around the investment perspective on the personality-intelligence relationship that proposes traits are associated with investment in intellectual activity, which develops cognitive abilities over time. In particular, we report associations between investment-related scales (Intellectual Efficiency, Flexibility, Achievement via Independence, Psychological-mindedness, and Tolerance) and a higher-order personality factor (Originality) of the CPI with intelligence measured at broad and narrow levels of abstraction. We found positive associations between investment-related scales, and Originality with observed ability test scores and factor g extracted from test scores. We found positive associations of traits with unique variance in verbal ability measures, but negative with measures of quantitative and visuo-spatial abilities. Our study extends the literature on investment theories of intelligence-personality relations, is the first study to examine the associations of multiple scales of the CPI with intelligence measures, and adds much needed data to the literature from a working adult sample.
Woods SA (2004) Contextualising personality assessment: using meta-perceptions of the Big Five to improve the prediction of work performance,
Van Oudenhoven JP, de Raad B, Askevis-Leherpeux F, Boski P, Brunborg GS, Carmona C, Barelds D, Hill CT, Mla
i? B, Motti F, others
(2008) Terms of abuse as expression and reinforcement of cultures, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 32 2 pp. 174-185 Elsevier
Woods SA, West MA (2014) The psychology of work and organizations, Cengage Learning EMEA
Woods SA, Hampson SE (2005) Measuring the Big Five with single items using a bipolar response scale, European Journal of Personality 19 5 pp. 373-390 Wiley Online Library
Dancer LJ, Woods SA (2006) Higher-Order Factor Structures and Intercorrelations of the 16PF5 and FIRO-B, International Journal of Selection and Assessment 14 4 pp. 385-391 Wiley Online Library
Woods Stephen, Patterson FC, Koczwara A, Sofat JA (2016) The value of being a conscientious learner: Examining the effects of the Big Five personality traits on self-reported learning from training, Journal of Workplace Learning: employee counselling today 28 (7) pp. 424-434 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Purpose ? The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of personality traits of the Big Five model on training outcomes to help explain variation in training effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach ? Associations of the Big Five with self-reported learning following training were tested in a pre- and post-design in a field sample of junior medical practitioners (N 99), who attended a training workshop on self-awareness. Associations are reported of personality traits with post-training learning measured immediately following the workshop and one-month later controlling for pre-training learning. Findings ? Conscientiousness was related to post-training learning at both times. None of the remaining Big Five factors were associated with post-training learning. Research limitations/implications ? The study contributes to the literature on personality and training outcomes, clarifying the associations of traits with outcomes in a pre-and-post design. Although the study sample has limitations, the findings have implications for numerous lines of future research, in particular in understanding the role of training in relations of personality and job performance. Practical implications ? Practitioners should consider ways to encourage training participants to approach training conscientiously. Personality assessment might help people reflect on their approach to learning to adapt it during training. Originality/value ? No study has previously examined the role of personality traits in training outcomes using a pre- and post-design. The role of conscientiousness in workplace learning is underlined by the findings. While dimensions such as openness and extraversion may encourage people to participate in training, conscientiousness may make the difference in promoting internalized individual development and change following training.
Napiersky U, Woods Stephen (2016) From the Workplace to the Classroom: Examining the Impact of Self-leadership Learning Strategies on Higher Educational Attainment and Success, Innovations in Education and Teaching International 55 (4) pp. 441-449 Taylor & Francis
Self-leadership is a concept from the organizational and management literature broadly combining processes of self-goal setting, self-regulation and self-motivation. Research has typically focused on the impact of self-leadership on work performance outcomes, with little attention to potential benefits for learning and development. In this paper we employ a longitudinal design to examine the association of a number of processes of self-leadership with higher educational attainment in a sample of business students (N=150). Self-reported use of strategies related to behavioural, cognitive, and motivational aspects of self-leadership were measured in the first semester of the academic year, and correlated with end-of year grade point average. We found that in particular, self-goal setting, pro-active goal-related behaviour, behaviour regulation and direction, motivational awareness, and optimism were all significant predictors of educational attainment. We discuss implications for educational research and for teachers and tutors in practice.
Russell E, Woods S, Banks A (2017) Examining conscientiousness as a key resource in resisting email interruptions: Implications for volatile resources and goal achievement, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 90 (3) pp. 407-435 Wiley
Within the context of the conservation of resources (COR) model, when a resource is deployed, it is depleted ? albeit temporarily. However, when a ?key?, stable resource, such as Conscientiousness, is activated (e.g. by using a self-control strategy, such as resisting an email interruption), we predicted that (1) another, more volatile resource (affective well-being) would be impacted, and that (2) this strategy would be deployed as a trade-off, allowing one to satisfy task goals, at the expense of well-being goals. We conducted an experience-sampling field study with 52 email-users dealing with their normal email as it interrupted them over the course of a half-day period. This amounted to a total of 376 email reported across the sample. Results were analysed using random coefficient hierarchical linear modelling (HLM), and included cross-level interactions for Conscientiousness with strategy and well-being. Our first prediction was supported ? deploying the stable, key resource of Conscientiousness depletes the volatile, fluctuating resource of affective well-being. However, our second prediction was not fully realized. Although resisting or avoiding an email interruption was perceived to hinder well-being goal achievement by Conscientious people, it had neither a positive nor negative impact on task goal achievement. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Jones R, Woods SA, Guillaume Y (2016) The effectiveness of workplace coaching: A meta-analysis of learning and performance outcomes from coaching, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 89 pp. 249-277 Wiley
This study presents a meta-analysis synthesizing the existing research on the effectiveness of workplace coaching. We exclusively explore workplace coaching provided by internal or external coaches and therefore exclude cases of manager-subordinate and peer coaching. We propose a framework of potential outcomes from coaching in organizations, which we examine meta-analytically (k = 17). Our analyses indicated that coaching had positive effects on organizational outcomes overall (´ = 0.36), and on specific forms of outcome criteria (skill-based ´ = 0.28; affective ´ = 0.51; individual-level results ´ = 1.24). We also examined moderation by a number of coaching practice factors (use of multisource feedback; type of coach; coaching format; longevity of coaching). Our analyses of practice moderators indicated a significant moderation of effect size for type of coach (with effects being stronger for internal coaches compared to external coaches) and use of multisource feedback (with the use of multisource feedback resulting in smaller positive effects). We found no moderation of effect size by coaching format (comparing face-to-face, with blended face-to-face and e-coaching) or duration of coaching (number of sessions or longevity of intervention). The effect sizes give support to the potential utility of coaching in organizations. Implications for coaching research and practice are discussed.

The financial restructuring of the US department store industry is commonly interpreted as a time of corporate excess, value-destruction and ultimately collapse. This research aims to re-analyse these events using qualitative methods to understand the background to the leveraged transactions and to review the implications that their failure had for the longer term strategy and structure of the US department store industry.


The research is based on two extensive periods of fieldwork in the United States when the author interviewed (n=28) many of the protagonists of the 1980s restructuring period and those who inherited the management of the bankrupt businesses in the 1990s. By adopting a qualitative perspective, we are accessing social and human perspectives of these developments as well as their wider effects.


The leveraged transactions were conceptually an appropriate attempt to centralise the structure of the industry but their execution was not possible under such extreme financial distress. However, bankruptcy protection provided the environmental conditions to realise the benefits of more efficient strategic and subsequent wide-ranging structural change.


This research differs from economistic readings of the period that analyse changes in market value of the constituent firms and the more reactionary journalistic accounts. The paper re-casts the failed financial restructuring in a new light, underlining the regenerative effects of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in promoting firm revival, alongside visionary leadership.

Woods SA, Browne S (2007) Convenience store location planning and forecasting - A practical research agenda, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management 35 (4) pp. 233-255 Emerald

To compare the accepted techniques of location analysis in the food sector with the realities of ?real world? forecasting in convenience store (c-store) retailing. To offer a conceptual framework for c-store operators intending to become more strategic in their small store location planning but currently lacking established expertise or extensive research budgets.


Outlines potential best practice based on industry experience, and contact and discussion with location analysts and retail consultants, as well as a wide ranging examination of the academic literature in this area.

Research/practical implications:

First, to briefly detail the strategic regulatory motivations and location planning implications of the major UK food retailers entering this market. Second, to summarise the established sales forecasting techniques in food retailing. Third, to review why these established approaches are difficult to apply to convenience stores in neighbourhood markets. Fourth, to detail basic approaches that should be further developed by small store operators lacking budgets to develop specialist location planning departments.


Academic conceptualisations of location planning in the convenience store sector are largely absent from the literature. This paper adopts a practical perspective.

Selenko Eva, Berkers Hannah, Carter Angela, Woods Stephen A., Otto Kathleen, Urbach Tina, De Witte Hans (2018) On the dynamics of work identity in atypical employment: setting out a research agenda, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 27 (3) pp. 324-334 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Starting from the notion that work is an important part of who we are, we extend existing theory making on the interplay of work and identity by applying them to (so called) atypical work situations. Without the contextual stability of a permanent organizational position, the question ?who one is? will be more difficult to answer. At the same time, a stable occupational identity might provide an even more important orientation to one?s career attitudes and goals in atypical employment situations. So, although atypical employment might pose different challenges on identity, identity can still be a valid concept to assist the understanding of behaviour, attitudes, and well-being in these situations. Our analysis does not attempt to ?reinvent? the concept of identity, but will elaborate how existing conceptualizations of identity as being a multiple (albeit perceived as singular), fluid (albeit perceived as stable), and actively forged (as well as passively influenced) construct that can be adapted to understand the effects of atypical employment contexts. Furthermore, we suggest three specific ways to understand the longitudinal dynamics of the interplay between atypical employment and identity over time: passive incremental, active incremental, and transformative change. We conclude with key learning points and outline a few practical recommendations for more research into identity as an explanatory mechanism for the effects of atypical employment situations.
Ahmed Sara, Woods Steve (2018) New Technology in Personnel Selection, Academy of Management Specialized Conference 2018. Global Proceedings Surrey AOM
Rapid changes in selection technologies have impacted inexorably the science and practice of personnel selection in recent years. Technological advances are allowing organizations to use new internet-based selection procedures (IBSPs) as well as big data and analytics to make empirical-based employment decisions by collecting and analyzing the digital footprints that job applicants leave behind them in social networks, social media and other internet platforms. The aim of the paper is to make a contribution to these important and emerging issues by reviewing the literature in this area and designing a study to examine applicant privacy and fairness reactions to 10 types of new selection procedures. It also aims to examine the application of these new selection and assessment practices in organizations across 10 countries.
Perry Patsy, Fernie John, Woods Steve (2018) The International Fashion Supply Chain and Corporate Social Responsibility, In: Fernie J, Sparks L (eds.), Logistics and Retail Management Kogan Page
Watson I, Woods Steve, Fernie J (2015) 'Passivity' A Model of Grocery Retail Price Decision-making Practice, European Journal of Marketing 49 (7/8) pp. 1040-1066 Emerald Group Publishing
Purpose ? This paper explores the applied context of grocery retail pricing practice to understand how pricing executives approach ?regular price? decision-making (as opposed to promotional pricing). The study seeks to inductively develop a model of regular price decision-making in grocery retailing. Methodology ? The research employs an inductive methodology involving interviews with pricing executives working for grocery retailers that account for approximately 85% of UK, and 64% of US, grocery market retail sales. Our approach is appropriate given the underdeveloped research insights into regular pricing within food retailers. Findings ? We find that regular pricing is undertaken with little sophistication; typically on the basis of simple, inflexible rules that result in conflicting goals. We identify a typology of three pricing roles, though all share an underdeveloped understanding of the effects of price changes on customer demand and the implications of competitor reactions. These contexts, causes and conditions lead to a range of consequences; notably a degree of pricing inertia, ?customer-less? pricing, and ?enforced symbiosis? ? coping outcomes. Taken together we identify a theory of ?passivity? pricing. Originality/value ? The research presents a contribution to new knowledge in the field of retail marketing by developing theory in retail pricing. In contrast to much extant research on grocery pricing, this paper accesses the insights and opinions of the pricing executives themselves. It exposes the realities of regular price decision-making across two developed retail markets and offers managerial insights. Keywords: retailing, pricing, grocery retailing, EDLP, HiLo, food retailing Article classification: Research paper
Reynolds J, Woods Steve (2010) Location decision-making in retail firms: evolution and challege, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management 38 (11/12) pp. 828-845 Emerald
The paper has three objectives: first, to reflect on the contribution of this journal to the study of retail location assessment and decision-making; second, to use the results of a questionnaire survey of retailers to assess the employment of location assessment techniques a decade since a similar survey conducted by Hernández and Bennison (2000); third, in the light of these results, to conclude what likely challenges the location planning profession will face over the next decade.
Huo Yuanyuan, Chen Ziguang, Lam Wing, Woods Steve (2018) Standing in My Customer's Shoes: Effects of Customer-oriented Perspective Taking on Proactive Service Performance, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology Wiley
We develop a theoretical framework that delineates the process by which customer-oriented perspective taking contributes to employees? proactive service performance. Drawing from motivated information processing and proactivity perspectives, the model hypothesizes that employees? customer-oriented perspective taking enhances their role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE), which in turn enhances proactive customer service performance and proactive complaint-handling performance. A three-wave, time-lagged study, involving 145 frontline employees and their immediate supervisors in the Chinese hospitality industry, tests the research model. The results of structural equation modelling show taking customers? perspectives results in a high level of RBSE. This relationship grows stronger if employees exhibit a strongly proactive personality. A high level of RBSE also mediates the interactive effects of customer-oriented perspective taking and proactive personality on proactive customer service performance and proactive complaint-handling performance. These findings provide insights for research on perspective taking, RBSE, and proactive service performance.
Woods Steve, Wille Bart, Wu Chia-huei, Lievens Filip, De Fruyt Filip (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 (B) pp. 258-271 Elsevier
Although personality is typically conceptualised in industrial, organizational, and vocational psychology as enduring and stable, an increasing volume of research now shows that personality changes throughout the lifespan, with work being a potentially important influence of trait development. This paper reviews and integrates the emergent literature in this area, and in doing so proposes a new Demands-Affordances TrAnsactional (DATA) model of personality development at work, against which research is evaluated. This DATA model clarifies how personality-related behavior at work is called upon by work demands at four different levels (vocation, job, group and organization) and proposes Person-Environment (PE) fit as the main guiding mechanism for personality trait change at work. Drawing on this model, we develop a predictive framework of work demands that influence personality and outline eight core questions to advance this field.
Zhou Ying, Zou Min, Woods Stephen A., Wu Chia-Huei (2018) The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment: An Intra-individual Analysis of Subjective Well-being Recovery through Reemployment., Journal of Applied Psychology American Psychological Association
Previous research shows that unemployment has lasting detrimental effects on individuals? subjective well-being. However, the issue of how well-being evolves after individuals switch back into the labour force has received little theoretical and empirical attention. This study examines the extent to which reemployment restores individuals? subjective well-being following a period of unemployment. Applying fixed effects models to the large-scale longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey, we find that recovery of subjective well-being upon reemployment is fast, complete and enduring, even when individuals take less favourable employment options to return to work. By contrast, transitions into economic inactivity following unemployment are accompanied by persistent scars on subsequent well-being trajectories. This study advances our understanding of well-being development over the entire employment-unemployment-reemployment cycle.
Woods SA, Patterson F, Koczwara A, Wille B (2016) Personality and Occupational Specialty: An Examination of Medical Specialties using Holland?s RIASEC Model, Career Development International 21 (3) pp. 262-278 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to re-examine the role of personality in occupational specialty choice, to better understand how and in what ways personality traits might influence vocational development after a person has chosen a career. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study tested hypotheses in a sample of UK medical students, each of whom had chosen their specialty pathway, and completed a measure of the Big Five personality traits. Associations of the junior doctor?s Big Five personality traits with the Holland RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional) profiles of their medical specialty selections (derived from the O*NET database) were examined. Findings: Findings provided good support for our hypotheses. Junior doctors? Agreeableness (with Social) and Neuroticism (with Realistic, Artistic, and Enterprising) were the main predictors of the RIASEC profiles of their specialty selections. Research Implications: The findings suggest that personality traits influence specialty selection in predictable ways, and differently compared to occupational choice. The paper discusses findings within a theoretical framework that explains how and why trait influences on within-occupational specialty selection differ from influences on occupational interest and choice more broadly. The potential mechanisms underlying these associations are explored in the context of motivational aspects of Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Practical Implications: Within-occupation specialties should feature in career guidance discussions and interventions more explicitly to enable people to decide whether occupational specialties are available that appeal to their individual differences. Originality/Value: This is the first study to examine the relations of personality and occupational specialty through the lens of the RIASEC model, and the first to propose cross-occupation theoretical pathways from personality to specialty choice. The data from the field of medicine enable us to test our propositions in a suitably diverse set of occupational specialties.
This study presents a field experiment to test the question: What are the individual characteristics that influence whether coaching is beneficial for people's performance. We focus our attention on the Big Five personality traits, core self?evaluations and goal orientation. Using a control group for comparison, coaching was provided to a sample of working adults (N = 84) and both self?ratings and supervisor?ratings of performance (N = 74) were measured over three time points. Our analysis indicates that individuals high in Openness and avoid goal orientation and low in core self?evaluations benefit the most from coaching. We contribute to the literatures on coaching effectiveness and the wider learning and development literatures by providing an empirically robust examination of the interaction between individual differences and coaching and the subsequent impact on performance. Furthermore, our findings suggest that coaching may be an effective development technique for individuals who tend to perform less well in other forms of instructional learning due to their individual characteristics.