Compare courses
Register

Videos

Nancy Rothbard: The Wharton Approach
The Wharton Approach: Analytical Rigor & Evidence-Based Research

Biography

Wharton School of Business
David Pottruck Professor

Professor Nancy Rothbard received her A.B. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Michigan. She is the David Pottruck Professor of Management and Chair, Management Department, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Prior to joining the faculty at Wharton, she was on faculty at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. Professor Rothbard’s research focuses on the interplay between emotions and engagement in multiple roles. Specifically, she explores how people’s emotional responses to one role or task affect their subsequent engagement in another role or task. She has examined these questions in the context of work and family roles and in the context of multiple tasks that people perform within the work role. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, and Personnel Psychology. In addition to her academic articles, Professor Rothbard has authored several Harvard Business School case studies. Her teaching cases touch on the topics of leadership, corporate culture, and organizational change. Professor Rothbard received the 2000 Likert Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan. She is also the recipient of the Gerald and Lillian Dykstra Award for Teaching Excellence and the Wharton Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, 2010.

Nancy Rothbard, Lakshmi Ramarajan, Steffanie L. Wilk (2017), Discordant vs. Harmonious Selves: The Effects of Identity Conflict and Enhancement on Sales Performance in Employee-Customer Interactions , Academy of Management Journal.

Amanda O'Neill and Nancy Rothbard (2017), Is Love All You Need? The Effects of Emotional Culture, Suppression, and Work-Family Conflict on Firefighter Risk Taking and Health , Academy of Management Journal, 60 (1). 10.5465/amj.2014.0952

Lieke ten Brummelhuis, Nancy Rothbard, Benjamin Uhrich (2016), Beyond Nine to Five: Is Working to Excess Bad for Health? , Academy of Management Discoveries.

Ariane Ollier-Malaterre and Nancy Rothbard (2015), Social media or social minefield? Surviving in the new cyberspace era , Organization Dynamics.

Adam Grant and Nancy Rothbard (2013), When in doubt, seize the day? Security values, prosocial values, and proactivity under ambiguity , Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, pp. 810-819. 10.1037/a0032873

Abstract: Researchers have suggested that both ambiguity and values play important roles in shaping employees’ proactive behaviors, but have not theoretically or empirically integrated these factors. Drawing on theories of situational strength and values, we propose that ambiguity constitutes a weak situation that strengthens the relationship between the content of employees’ values and their proactivity. A field study of 201 employees and their direct supervisors in a water treatment plant provided support for this contingency perspective. Ambiguity moderated the relationship between employees’ security and prosocial values and supervisor ratings of proactivity. Under high ambiguity, security values predicted lower proactivity, whereas prosocial values predicted higher proactivity. Under low ambiguity, values were not associated with proactivity. We replicated these findings in a laboratory experiment with 232 participants in which we measured proactivity objectively as initiative taken to correct errors: participants with strong security values were less proactive, and participants with strong prosocial values were more proactive, but only when performance expectations were ambiguous. We discuss theoretical implications for research on proactivity, values, and ambiguity and uncertainty.

Anca Metiu and Nancy Rothbard (2013), Task Bubbles, Artifacts, Shared Emotion, and Mutual Focus of Attention: A Comparative Study of the Microprocesses of Group Engagement , Organization Science. 10.1287/orsc.1120.0738

Abstract: Based on a comparative field study of two software development projects, we use ethnographic methods of observation and interview to examine the question of how interdependent individuals develop and maintain mutual focus of attention on a shared task, which we define as the group engagement process. Drawing on Randall Collins’ interaction ritual theory, we identify how mutual focus of attention develops through the presence of a task bubble that focuses attention by creating barriers to outsiders and through the effective use of task-related artifacts. Shared emotion both results from mutual focus of attention and reinforces it. Through our comparison between the two projects, we show that the group engagement process is enabled by factors at the individual (individual engagement), interaction (frequency and informality of interactions), and project (compelling direction of the overall group) levels. Our focus on group interaction episodes as the engine of the group engagement process illuminates what individuals do when they are performing the focal work of the group (i.e., solving problems related to the task at hand) and how they develop and sustain the mutual focus of attention that is required for making collective progress on the task itself. We also show the relationship between the group engagement process and effective problem solving.

Tracy Dumas, Katherine W Phillips, Nancy Rothbard (2013), Getting Closer at the Company Party: Integration Experiences, Racial Dissimilarity, and Workplace Relationships , Organization Science. 10.1287/orsc.1120.0808

Abstract: Using survey data from two distinct samples, we found that reported integration behaviors (e.g., attending company parties, discussing nonwork matters with colleagues) were associated with closer relationships among coworkers but that this effect was qualified by an interaction effect. Racial dissimilarity moderated the relationship between integration and closeness such that integration was positively associated with relationship closeness for those who were demographically similar to their coworkers, but not for those who were demographically dissimilar from their coworkers. Additionally, this moderation effect was mediated by the extent to which respondents experienced comfort and enjoyment when integrating. These findings highlight the importance of creating the right kind of interactions for building closer relationships between employees, particularly relationships that span racial boundaries.

Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, Nancy Rothbard, Justin Berg (2013), When worlds collide in cyberspace: How boundary work in online social networks impacts professional relationships , Academy of Management Review, 38 (4), pp. 645-669.

Abstract: As employees increasingly interact with their professional contacts on online social networks that are personal in nature, such as Facebook or Twitter, they are likely to experience a collision of their professional and personal identities that is unique to this new and expanding social space. In particular, online social networks present employees with boundary management and identity negotiation opportunities and challenges, because they invite non-tailored self-disclosure to broad audiences, while offering few of the physical and social cues that normally guide social interactions. How and why do employees manage the boundaries between their professional and personal identities in online social networks, and how do these behaviors impact the way they are regarded by professional contacts? We build a framework to theorize about how work-nonwork boundary preferences and self-evaluation motives drive the adoption of four archetypical sets of online boundary management behaviors (open, audience, content, and hybrid), and the consequences of these behaviors for respect and liking in professional relationships. Content and hybrid behaviors are more likely to increase respect and liking than open and audience behaviors; audience and hybrid behaviors are less risky for respect and liking than open and content behaviors but more difficult to maintain over time.

David R Lebel, Nancy Rothbard, Katherine Klein, Steffanie L. Wilk, Gina Dokko (Working), The Way You Do the Things You Do: How Extraversion and Conscientiousness Shape the Consequences of Individual Innovation.

Nancy Rothbard and Steffanie L. Wilk (2011), Waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed: Start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance , Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5), pp. 959-980. 10.5465/amj.2007.0056

Past Courses

  • ### MGMT610 - FOUND OF TEAMWRK & LDRSH

Management 610 is the first core course in the MBA Program and it cannot be waived. The first week of the fall term (in August) is dedicated to this formative and foundational experience. This course focuses on developing students' knowledge and skill set for teamwork and leadership. It is meant to be an intense immersion experience that draws strongly on the pedagogy of the Wharton Teamwork and Leadership Simulation, a team-based, highly interactive simulation that was custom-designed specifically to allow students to experience the core concepts they learn in this class. The three goals of this course are for students to learn: 1. Leadership behaviors: how to enact the skills that contribute to a team's effective performance. 2. Team dynamics: how to be an effective team member, as well as how to best design work teams; 3. Organizational awareness: understanding organizational culture. ,Format: A custom-designed Wharton-only simulation is paired with course sessions to deliver a unique learning experience. Classes will include experiental learning combined with debriefings, lectures, readings, class discussion and personal and group performance feedback. This course reflects the realities that informal leadership occurs in teams on an ongoing basis, that being a good team player is a part of leadership, and that many of one's early experiences with leadership will occur while working on teams. Because of the team-based nature of this course, and time intensive nature of this experience, attendance is mandatory for ALL five sessions of this class. ,NOTE: Credit-bearing, core coursework begins with the MGMT610: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership course.

  • ### MGMT933 - PSYCH & SOC. FOUND

This course, is required of all first-year doctoral students in Management and open to other Penn students with permission, provides an introduction to the psychological and sociological roots of management theory and research. The courseis predicated on the belief that to be effective as a contemporary management scholar one needs a background in "the classics." Therefore, we will be reading classics from the fields of psychology and sociology in their original form during this semester.

  • ### MGMT951 - MICRO ORG BEHAVR

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand theory and empirical research in the field of micro-organizational behavior. We will study a blend of classic and contemporary literature and examine theoretical propositions of individual and group behavior in organizations as well as discussing and critically evaluating empirical studies based on these theories. Sample topics includethe What is Micro-OB?, ther person versus situation debate, motivation, job design, group dynamics, leadership and organizational culture and socialization. Mgmt. 951 is a companion class to Mgmt. 961, and you can take it in either order.

  • ### MGMT961 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN MICRO

The purpose of this quarter course is to continue to explore key concepts and research programs in the field of micro-organizational behavior that we began to study in MGMT 951. To do so, we will cover a blend of classic and contemporary literature so that we can appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of micro-organizational behavior. In addition, for each topic we will then try to go beyond the existing literature. We will work to increase our understanding by re-framing the research variables, altering the perspective, bringing in new theory, and comparing levels of analysis. Building on the topics we examined in MGMT 951, we will explore further organizational behavior topics including identity, fit, extra role behaviors, job design, creativity, status, power and influence.

  • Society of Organizational Behavior, 2016
  • Wharton Faculty Fellow, 2016
  • Penn Fellow, 2015
  • Rackham Centennial Lecture, University of Michigan, 2012
  • Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, Wharton School, 2010
  • Best Career Division Symposium Award, Academy of Management, 2006 Description

"Learning from Career Histories" Symposium: "Is prior experience always beneficial? Learning from career histories"

  • Nominated for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, 2005 Description

For “Managing multiple roles: Work-family policies and individuals’ desires for segmentation.”

  • Finalist, Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, 2004 Description

For “Investment in work and family roles: A test of identity and utilitarian motives.”

  • Finalist, William A. Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for best publication in the field of industrial and organizational psychology, 2001 Description

For “Enriching or depleting? The dynamics of engagement in work and family roles.”

  • Finalist, Dorothy Harlow Best Paper Award, Gender and Diversity in Organizations, Academy of Management, 2001
  • Nominated for Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research,, 2001 Description

For "Mechanisms Linking Work and Family: Clarifying the Relationship Between Work and Family Constructs."

  • Likert Dissertation Award, University of Michigan, 2000
  • Hicks Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1998
  • Gerald and Lillian Dykstra Award for Outstanding Teaching, University of Michigan, 1996
  • Invited Participant OB/ODC/OMT Doctoral Consortium, 1996
  • Hicks Industrial Relations Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1994
  • Business Administration Fellowship, University of Michigan,, 1993

  • How three Penn professors are incorporating the holidays into their research, The Daily Pennsylvanian - 12/12/2016

  • How to Deal with a Boss Who Behaves Unpredictably, Harvard Business Review - 11/03/2016

  • Did Hillary Clinton’s victory really cause the glass ceiling to crack?, Marketplace.org - 07/28/2016

  • Why waking up on the wrong side of the bed could make you worse, Eyewitness News - 07/25/2016

  • How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday, Harvard Business Review - 07/21/2016

  • How to Work for a Workaholic, Harvard Business Review - 03/24/2016

  • Networking in the ‘Girls’ Lounge’, New York Times - 03/05/2016

  • Companies Pay Workers to Live Close to the Office, Wall Street Journal - 02/23/2016

  • Manage Your Emotional Culture, Harvard Business Review - 12/23/2015

  • Women are not necessary in the boardroom - 12/18/2015

  • Why It Pays to Make Your Boss Your BFF, TIME - 04/27/2015

  • Amazon’s Secrets of Success Don’t Include Coddling Workers, TheStreet - 04/16/2015

  • The Sales Director Who Turned Work into a Fantasy Sports, blogs.hbr.org - 03/27/2015

  • How to Separate the Personal and Professional on Social Media, blogs.hbr.org - 03/26/2015

  • This is what happens when you go into business with your spouse, Fortune - 01/17/2015

  • Eight Professors Appointed Penn Fellows, Penn Communications - 01/12/2015

  • Why Some Co-Workers Dread the Office Holiday Party, Psychology Today - 12/15/2014

  • Don’t Be a Grinch: Holiday Partygoers Get Ahead Faster, Ignites - 12/09/2014

  • Stressed Out by Work? You’re Not Alone, Knowledge@Wharton - 10/30/2014

  • Microsoft CEO Never Had To Ask For A Raise Or Promotion, Apparently, Huffington Post - 10/21/2014

  • How Child Care Is the Economy’s Hidden Driver - 09/20/2014

  • Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Desk—And Staying There, Psychology Today - 09/16/2014

  • Everybody have fun tonight, The Economist - 08/14/2014

  • How to Leave Work at Work. Mostly, Bloomberg Businessweek - 08/07/2014

  • Lean in … nicely: Women climbing corporate ladder still face backlash, NBC News Network - 07/14/2014

  • You Can Have It All, Psychology Today - 07/01/2014

  • 5 ways to actually get gamification to work effectively, Financial Post - 05/23/2014

  • Short courses help women get on board, Financial Times - 05/12/2014

  • How Women Can Use Business School to Hone Leadership Skills, US News & World Report - 04/17/2014

  • How ‘The Paradox Of Mandatory Fun’ Ruins Games At Work, Business Insider - 04/08/2014

  • Why Fostering a Culture of ‘Companionate Love’ in the Workplace, Knowledge@Wharton - 04/04/2014

  • Gamification: Powering Up or Game Over?, Forbes - 02/24/2014

  • Need a Fresh Start? Here’s How to Begin, Knowledge@Wharton - 01/06/2014

  • No office holiday party this year? Your employees may be better off, Washington Post - 12/21/2013

  • Office Parties Are Bad for Biz, Daily Beast - 12/19/2013

  • The One Thing To Remember At Your Office Holiday Party, Huffington Post - 12/13/2013

  • GSA Enables More Telework, Wall Street Journal - 09/20/2013

  • When Work is a Game, Who Wins?, New Yorker - 09/17/2013

  • Get Some Boundaries!, Huffington Post - 09/17/2013

  • Why Some People Have No Boundaries Online, Huffington Post - 09/11/2013

  • House Party: Working and Living at the Office, Wall Street Journal - 07/30/2013

  • What makes a perk work, Financial Times - 07/22/2013

  • More Offices Offer Workers Alcohol, Wall Street Journal - 06/25/2013

  • Should You ‘Friend’ The Boss On Facebook? More States Say No, AOL Jobs - 06/07/2013

  • Are we having fun yet? Why office parties may not help to bring co-workers together, The Economist - 05/02/2013

  • Workplace Socializing Doesn’t Always Bridge Racial Divides, Yahoo News - 04/21/2013

  • Does Giving at Work Leave Family Behind?, Huffington Post - 04/09/2013

  • The Work-at-Home Controversy May Never Go Away, The Fiscal Times - 03/15/2013

  • Why Working In The Office Is Bad For You, Huffington Post - 03/06/2013

  • Michael Mauboussin on the ‘Success Equation’, Knowledge@Wharton - 03/06/2013

  • Stuck in a Dead End Job? It Could be Your Fault, Fox Business - 12/06/2012

  • When Professional and Personal Lives Collide, Fox Business - 04/13/2012

  • What Happened to the Lunch Break?, LiveScience.com - 04/13/2012

  • Will Feeding Your Employees Make Them More Productive?, Huffington Post - 11/10/2011

  • Put on a Happy Face. Seriously, Wall Street Journal - 10/23/2011

  • How to Merge Corporate Cultures, Inc.com - 05/09/2011

  • Employee Mood Impacts Bottom Line, BusinessNewsDaily - 04/06/2011

  • Why flextime can backfire, Penn Current - 06/19/2006

  • Is Your HR Department Friend or Foe? Depends on Who’s Asking, Knowledge@Wharton - 07/29/2005

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • Love Culture: What It Takes to Create a Happy Workplace, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/10/2017
  • What Does ‘Sexual Harassment’ Mean Today?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/31/2017
  • Building a Career on the Foundations of the Information Revolution, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/04/2016
  • Better Pay or More Flexibility: It Doesn’t Have to Be a Trade-off, Knowledge @ Wharton - 05/11/2016
  • People Love Games — but Does Gamification Work?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/03/2016
  • Job Hunting? Why You Need a Strong Online Footprint, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/02/2016
  • Social Media Shaming: Can Outrage Be Effective?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 11/20/2015
  • Is Now the Best Time to Have a Baby in Corporate America?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/30/2015
  • Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/16/2015
  • Is Your Workplace Tough — or Is It Toxic?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/12/2015
  • Is Cultural Fit a Qualification for Hiring or a Disguise for Bias?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/16/2015
  • Transgender in the Workplace: What Firms and Employees Need to Know, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/12/2015
  • The Uncomfortable Questions You Should Be Asking about Pay Equity, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/09/2015
  • Separation of Church and Cubicle: Religion in the Workplace, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/30/2015
  • When Using Social Media, Beware the Invisible Audience, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/26/2015
  • Wake-up Call: Why Everyone Needs More Sleep, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/25/2015
  • If Not 40 Hours, Then What? Defining the Modern Work Week, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/28/2015
  • Why Child Care Is the Economy’s ‘Invisible’ Driver, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/17/2014
  • ‘When Worlds Collide’: Navigating the Minefield of Social Media, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/09/2014
  • Gamification: Powering Up or Game Over?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/11/2014
  • Cost Efficient, Open-space Office Designs: Ditching Desks — and Privacy, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/19/2013
  • Mind Your ‘Social’ Presence: Big-data Recruiting Has Arrived, Knowledge @ Wharton - 05/07/2013
  • Is the Party Over? The Unintended Consequences of Office Social Events, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/27/2013
  • To Close the Gender Gap, What Needs to Change — Women or the System?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/27/2013
  • When Working at Home Is Productive, and When It’s Not, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/13/2013
  • Passed Over for a Promotion? How Companies Can Retain the Runner-up, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/30/2013
  • From the Altar to IPO: The Highs and Lows of Married Business Partners, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/30/2013
  • iPerks: Apple, Like Others, Takes Steps to Woo Employees, Knowledge @ Wharton - 11/20/2012
  • The Eye-opening Impact of Sleep Deficits, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/01/2012
  • Going Boss-free: Utopia or ‘Lord of the Flies’?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/01/2012
  • Hold That Password: The New Reality of Evaluating Job Applicants, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/11/2012
  • Flipping the Switch: Who Is Responsible for Getting Employees to Take a Break?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/15/2012
  • The Discontented Thirties, Knowledge @ Wharton - 12/05/2011
  • Limited Seating: Mixed Results on Efforts to Include More Women at the Corporate Board Table, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/26/2011
  • Seeing Is Learning — Why Face Time Between Coworkers Is More Important Than You Think, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/30/2011
  • From Freelancers to Telecommuters: Succeeding in the New World of Solitary Work, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/29/2011
  • A Recession for Perks? What Companies Offer and What Employees Want, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/22/2011
  • Is Business-centric Social Networking a Revolution — or a Ruse?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/02/2011
  • You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby … or Maybe Not: Why Women are Losing Ground on Wall Street, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/27/2010
  • Europe’s Migrants: ‘The World Is a Smaller Place’, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/13/2010
  • So You Want to Live to 100? More of Us Will, and Here Is What Life Might Look Like, Knowledge @ Wharton - 12/09/2009
  • Available All the Time: Etiquette for the Social Networking Age, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/30/2009
  • ‘Locals,’ ‘Cosmopolitans’ and Other Keys to Creating Successful Global Teams, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/02/2009
  • Caught in the Middle: Rising Unemployment Takes Its Toll on Older Managers, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/08/2009
  • Hiring from Outside the Company: How New People Can Bring Unexpected Problems, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/03/2008
  • ‘Don’t Touch My Perks’: Companies that Eliminate Them Risk Employee Backlash, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/23/2008
  • Perk Place: The Benefits Offered by Google and Others May Be Grand, but They’re All Business, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/21/2007
  • More Confident, Less Careful: Why Office Romances Are Hard to Manage, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/21/2007
  • Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/04/2006
  • Reluctant Vacationers: Why Americans Work More, Relax Less, than Europeans, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/26/2006
Wharton School of Business
David Pottruck Professor

Professor Nancy Rothbard received her A.B. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Michigan. She is the David Pottruck Professor of Management and Chair, Management Department, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Prior to joining the faculty at Wharton, she was on faculty at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. Professor Rothbard’s research focuses on the interplay between emotions and engagement in multiple roles. Specifically, she explores how people’s emotional responses to one role or task affect their subsequent engagement in another role or task. She has examined these questions in the context of work and family roles and in the context of multiple tasks that people perform within the work role. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, and Personnel Psychology. In addition to her academic articles, Professor Rothbard has authored several Harvard Business School case studies. Her teaching cases touch on the topics of leadership, corporate culture, and organizational change. Professor Rothbard received the 2000 Likert Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan. She is also the recipient of the Gerald and Lillian Dykstra Award for Teaching Excellence and the Wharton Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, 2010.

Nancy Rothbard, Lakshmi Ramarajan, Steffanie L. Wilk (2017), Discordant vs. Harmonious Selves: The Effects of Identity Conflict and Enhancement on Sales Performance in Employee-Customer Interactions , Academy of Management Journal.

Amanda O'Neill and Nancy Rothbard (2017), Is Love All You Need? The Effects of Emotional Culture, Suppression, and Work-Family Conflict on Firefighter Risk Taking and Health , Academy of Management Journal, 60 (1). 10.5465/amj.2014.0952

Lieke ten Brummelhuis, Nancy Rothbard, Benjamin Uhrich (2016), Beyond Nine to Five: Is Working to Excess Bad for Health? , Academy of Management Discoveries.

Ariane Ollier-Malaterre and Nancy Rothbard (2015), Social media or social minefield? Surviving in the new cyberspace era , Organization Dynamics.

Adam Grant and Nancy Rothbard (2013), When in doubt, seize the day? Security values, prosocial values, and proactivity under ambiguity , Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, pp. 810-819. 10.1037/a0032873

Abstract: Researchers have suggested that both ambiguity and values play important roles in shaping employees’ proactive behaviors, but have not theoretically or empirically integrated these factors. Drawing on theories of situational strength and values, we propose that ambiguity constitutes a weak situation that strengthens the relationship between the content of employees’ values and their proactivity. A field study of 201 employees and their direct supervisors in a water treatment plant provided support for this contingency perspective. Ambiguity moderated the relationship between employees’ security and prosocial values and supervisor ratings of proactivity. Under high ambiguity, security values predicted lower proactivity, whereas prosocial values predicted higher proactivity. Under low ambiguity, values were not associated with proactivity. We replicated these findings in a laboratory experiment with 232 participants in which we measured proactivity objectively as initiative taken to correct errors: participants with strong security values were less proactive, and participants with strong prosocial values were more proactive, but only when performance expectations were ambiguous. We discuss theoretical implications for research on proactivity, values, and ambiguity and uncertainty.

Anca Metiu and Nancy Rothbard (2013), Task Bubbles, Artifacts, Shared Emotion, and Mutual Focus of Attention: A Comparative Study of the Microprocesses of Group Engagement , Organization Science. 10.1287/orsc.1120.0738

Abstract: Based on a comparative field study of two software development projects, we use ethnographic methods of observation and interview to examine the question of how interdependent individuals develop and maintain mutual focus of attention on a shared task, which we define as the group engagement process. Drawing on Randall Collins’ interaction ritual theory, we identify how mutual focus of attention develops through the presence of a task bubble that focuses attention by creating barriers to outsiders and through the effective use of task-related artifacts. Shared emotion both results from mutual focus of attention and reinforces it. Through our comparison between the two projects, we show that the group engagement process is enabled by factors at the individual (individual engagement), interaction (frequency and informality of interactions), and project (compelling direction of the overall group) levels. Our focus on group interaction episodes as the engine of the group engagement process illuminates what individuals do when they are performing the focal work of the group (i.e., solving problems related to the task at hand) and how they develop and sustain the mutual focus of attention that is required for making collective progress on the task itself. We also show the relationship between the group engagement process and effective problem solving.

Tracy Dumas, Katherine W Phillips, Nancy Rothbard (2013), Getting Closer at the Company Party: Integration Experiences, Racial Dissimilarity, and Workplace Relationships , Organization Science. 10.1287/orsc.1120.0808

Abstract: Using survey data from two distinct samples, we found that reported integration behaviors (e.g., attending company parties, discussing nonwork matters with colleagues) were associated with closer relationships among coworkers but that this effect was qualified by an interaction effect. Racial dissimilarity moderated the relationship between integration and closeness such that integration was positively associated with relationship closeness for those who were demographically similar to their coworkers, but not for those who were demographically dissimilar from their coworkers. Additionally, this moderation effect was mediated by the extent to which respondents experienced comfort and enjoyment when integrating. These findings highlight the importance of creating the right kind of interactions for building closer relationships between employees, particularly relationships that span racial boundaries.

Ariane Ollier-Malaterre, Nancy Rothbard, Justin Berg (2013), When worlds collide in cyberspace: How boundary work in online social networks impacts professional relationships , Academy of Management Review, 38 (4), pp. 645-669.

Abstract: As employees increasingly interact with their professional contacts on online social networks that are personal in nature, such as Facebook or Twitter, they are likely to experience a collision of their professional and personal identities that is unique to this new and expanding social space. In particular, online social networks present employees with boundary management and identity negotiation opportunities and challenges, because they invite non-tailored self-disclosure to broad audiences, while offering few of the physical and social cues that normally guide social interactions. How and why do employees manage the boundaries between their professional and personal identities in online social networks, and how do these behaviors impact the way they are regarded by professional contacts? We build a framework to theorize about how work-nonwork boundary preferences and self-evaluation motives drive the adoption of four archetypical sets of online boundary management behaviors (open, audience, content, and hybrid), and the consequences of these behaviors for respect and liking in professional relationships. Content and hybrid behaviors are more likely to increase respect and liking than open and audience behaviors; audience and hybrid behaviors are less risky for respect and liking than open and content behaviors but more difficult to maintain over time.

David R Lebel, Nancy Rothbard, Katherine Klein, Steffanie L. Wilk, Gina Dokko (Working), The Way You Do the Things You Do: How Extraversion and Conscientiousness Shape the Consequences of Individual Innovation.

Nancy Rothbard and Steffanie L. Wilk (2011), Waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed: Start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance , Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5), pp. 959-980. 10.5465/amj.2007.0056

Past Courses

  • ### MGMT610 - FOUND OF TEAMWRK & LDRSH

Management 610 is the first core course in the MBA Program and it cannot be waived. The first week of the fall term (in August) is dedicated to this formative and foundational experience. This course focuses on developing students' knowledge and skill set for teamwork and leadership. It is meant to be an intense immersion experience that draws strongly on the pedagogy of the Wharton Teamwork and Leadership Simulation, a team-based, highly interactive simulation that was custom-designed specifically to allow students to experience the core concepts they learn in this class. The three goals of this course are for students to learn: 1. Leadership behaviors: how to enact the skills that contribute to a team's effective performance. 2. Team dynamics: how to be an effective team member, as well as how to best design work teams; 3. Organizational awareness: understanding organizational culture. ,Format: A custom-designed Wharton-only simulation is paired with course sessions to deliver a unique learning experience. Classes will include experiental learning combined with debriefings, lectures, readings, class discussion and personal and group performance feedback. This course reflects the realities that informal leadership occurs in teams on an ongoing basis, that being a good team player is a part of leadership, and that many of one's early experiences with leadership will occur while working on teams. Because of the team-based nature of this course, and time intensive nature of this experience, attendance is mandatory for ALL five sessions of this class. ,NOTE: Credit-bearing, core coursework begins with the MGMT610: Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership course.

  • ### MGMT933 - PSYCH & SOC. FOUND

This course, is required of all first-year doctoral students in Management and open to other Penn students with permission, provides an introduction to the psychological and sociological roots of management theory and research. The courseis predicated on the belief that to be effective as a contemporary management scholar one needs a background in "the classics." Therefore, we will be reading classics from the fields of psychology and sociology in their original form during this semester.

  • ### MGMT951 - MICRO ORG BEHAVR

The purpose of this course is to examine and understand theory and empirical research in the field of micro-organizational behavior. We will study a blend of classic and contemporary literature and examine theoretical propositions of individual and group behavior in organizations as well as discussing and critically evaluating empirical studies based on these theories. Sample topics includethe What is Micro-OB?, ther person versus situation debate, motivation, job design, group dynamics, leadership and organizational culture and socialization. Mgmt. 951 is a companion class to Mgmt. 961, and you can take it in either order.

  • ### MGMT961 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN MICRO

The purpose of this quarter course is to continue to explore key concepts and research programs in the field of micro-organizational behavior that we began to study in MGMT 951. To do so, we will cover a blend of classic and contemporary literature so that we can appreciate the prevailing theories and findings in various areas of micro-organizational behavior. In addition, for each topic we will then try to go beyond the existing literature. We will work to increase our understanding by re-framing the research variables, altering the perspective, bringing in new theory, and comparing levels of analysis. Building on the topics we examined in MGMT 951, we will explore further organizational behavior topics including identity, fit, extra role behaviors, job design, creativity, status, power and influence.

  • Society of Organizational Behavior, 2016
  • Wharton Faculty Fellow, 2016
  • Penn Fellow, 2015
  • Rackham Centennial Lecture, University of Michigan, 2012
  • Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, Wharton School, 2010
  • Best Career Division Symposium Award, Academy of Management, 2006 Description

"Learning from Career Histories" Symposium: "Is prior experience always beneficial? Learning from career histories"

  • Nominated for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, 2005 Description

For “Managing multiple roles: Work-family policies and individuals’ desires for segmentation.”

  • Finalist, Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, 2004 Description

For “Investment in work and family roles: A test of identity and utilitarian motives.”

  • Finalist, William A. Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for best publication in the field of industrial and organizational psychology, 2001 Description

For “Enriching or depleting? The dynamics of engagement in work and family roles.”

  • Finalist, Dorothy Harlow Best Paper Award, Gender and Diversity in Organizations, Academy of Management, 2001
  • Nominated for Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research,, 2001 Description

For "Mechanisms Linking Work and Family: Clarifying the Relationship Between Work and Family Constructs."

  • Likert Dissertation Award, University of Michigan, 2000
  • Hicks Dissertation Research Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1998
  • Gerald and Lillian Dykstra Award for Outstanding Teaching, University of Michigan, 1996
  • Invited Participant OB/ODC/OMT Doctoral Consortium, 1996
  • Hicks Industrial Relations Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1994
  • Business Administration Fellowship, University of Michigan,, 1993

  • How three Penn professors are incorporating the holidays into their research, The Daily Pennsylvanian - 12/12/2016

  • How to Deal with a Boss Who Behaves Unpredictably, Harvard Business Review - 11/03/2016

  • Did Hillary Clinton’s victory really cause the glass ceiling to crack?, Marketplace.org - 07/28/2016

  • Why waking up on the wrong side of the bed could make you worse, Eyewitness News - 07/25/2016

  • How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday, Harvard Business Review - 07/21/2016

  • How to Work for a Workaholic, Harvard Business Review - 03/24/2016

  • Networking in the ‘Girls’ Lounge’, New York Times - 03/05/2016

  • Companies Pay Workers to Live Close to the Office, Wall Street Journal - 02/23/2016

  • Manage Your Emotional Culture, Harvard Business Review - 12/23/2015

  • Women are not necessary in the boardroom - 12/18/2015

  • Why It Pays to Make Your Boss Your BFF, TIME - 04/27/2015

  • Amazon’s Secrets of Success Don’t Include Coddling Workers, TheStreet - 04/16/2015

  • The Sales Director Who Turned Work into a Fantasy Sports, blogs.hbr.org - 03/27/2015

  • How to Separate the Personal and Professional on Social Media, blogs.hbr.org - 03/26/2015

  • This is what happens when you go into business with your spouse, Fortune - 01/17/2015

  • Eight Professors Appointed Penn Fellows, Penn Communications - 01/12/2015

  • Why Some Co-Workers Dread the Office Holiday Party, Psychology Today - 12/15/2014

  • Don’t Be a Grinch: Holiday Partygoers Get Ahead Faster, Ignites - 12/09/2014

  • Stressed Out by Work? You’re Not Alone, Knowledge@Wharton - 10/30/2014

  • Microsoft CEO Never Had To Ask For A Raise Or Promotion, Apparently, Huffington Post - 10/21/2014

  • How Child Care Is the Economy’s Hidden Driver - 09/20/2014

  • Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Desk—And Staying There, Psychology Today - 09/16/2014

  • Everybody have fun tonight, The Economist - 08/14/2014

  • How to Leave Work at Work. Mostly, Bloomberg Businessweek - 08/07/2014

  • Lean in … nicely: Women climbing corporate ladder still face backlash, NBC News Network - 07/14/2014

  • You Can Have It All, Psychology Today - 07/01/2014

  • 5 ways to actually get gamification to work effectively, Financial Post - 05/23/2014

  • Short courses help women get on board, Financial Times - 05/12/2014

  • How Women Can Use Business School to Hone Leadership Skills, US News & World Report - 04/17/2014

  • How ‘The Paradox Of Mandatory Fun’ Ruins Games At Work, Business Insider - 04/08/2014

  • Why Fostering a Culture of ‘Companionate Love’ in the Workplace, Knowledge@Wharton - 04/04/2014

  • Gamification: Powering Up or Game Over?, Forbes - 02/24/2014

  • Need a Fresh Start? Here’s How to Begin, Knowledge@Wharton - 01/06/2014

  • No office holiday party this year? Your employees may be better off, Washington Post - 12/21/2013

  • Office Parties Are Bad for Biz, Daily Beast - 12/19/2013

  • The One Thing To Remember At Your Office Holiday Party, Huffington Post - 12/13/2013

  • GSA Enables More Telework, Wall Street Journal - 09/20/2013

  • When Work is a Game, Who Wins?, New Yorker - 09/17/2013

  • Get Some Boundaries!, Huffington Post - 09/17/2013

  • Why Some People Have No Boundaries Online, Huffington Post - 09/11/2013

  • House Party: Working and Living at the Office, Wall Street Journal - 07/30/2013

  • What makes a perk work, Financial Times - 07/22/2013

  • More Offices Offer Workers Alcohol, Wall Street Journal - 06/25/2013

  • Should You ‘Friend’ The Boss On Facebook? More States Say No, AOL Jobs - 06/07/2013

  • Are we having fun yet? Why office parties may not help to bring co-workers together, The Economist - 05/02/2013

  • Workplace Socializing Doesn’t Always Bridge Racial Divides, Yahoo News - 04/21/2013

  • Does Giving at Work Leave Family Behind?, Huffington Post - 04/09/2013

  • The Work-at-Home Controversy May Never Go Away, The Fiscal Times - 03/15/2013

  • Why Working In The Office Is Bad For You, Huffington Post - 03/06/2013

  • Michael Mauboussin on the ‘Success Equation’, Knowledge@Wharton - 03/06/2013

  • Stuck in a Dead End Job? It Could be Your Fault, Fox Business - 12/06/2012

  • When Professional and Personal Lives Collide, Fox Business - 04/13/2012

  • What Happened to the Lunch Break?, LiveScience.com - 04/13/2012

  • Will Feeding Your Employees Make Them More Productive?, Huffington Post - 11/10/2011

  • Put on a Happy Face. Seriously, Wall Street Journal - 10/23/2011

  • How to Merge Corporate Cultures, Inc.com - 05/09/2011

  • Employee Mood Impacts Bottom Line, BusinessNewsDaily - 04/06/2011

  • Why flextime can backfire, Penn Current - 06/19/2006

  • Is Your HR Department Friend or Foe? Depends on Who’s Asking, Knowledge@Wharton - 07/29/2005

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • Love Culture: What It Takes to Create a Happy Workplace, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/10/2017
  • What Does ‘Sexual Harassment’ Mean Today?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/31/2017
  • Building a Career on the Foundations of the Information Revolution, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/04/2016
  • Better Pay or More Flexibility: It Doesn’t Have to Be a Trade-off, Knowledge @ Wharton - 05/11/2016
  • People Love Games — but Does Gamification Work?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/03/2016
  • Job Hunting? Why You Need a Strong Online Footprint, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/02/2016
  • Social Media Shaming: Can Outrage Be Effective?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 11/20/2015
  • Is Now the Best Time to Have a Baby in Corporate America?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/30/2015
  • Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/16/2015
  • Is Your Workplace Tough — or Is It Toxic?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/12/2015
  • Is Cultural Fit a Qualification for Hiring or a Disguise for Bias?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/16/2015
  • Transgender in the Workplace: What Firms and Employees Need to Know, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/12/2015
  • The Uncomfortable Questions You Should Be Asking about Pay Equity, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/09/2015
  • Separation of Church and Cubicle: Religion in the Workplace, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/30/2015
  • When Using Social Media, Beware the Invisible Audience, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/26/2015
  • Wake-up Call: Why Everyone Needs More Sleep, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/25/2015
  • If Not 40 Hours, Then What? Defining the Modern Work Week, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/28/2015
  • Why Child Care Is the Economy’s ‘Invisible’ Driver, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/17/2014
  • ‘When Worlds Collide’: Navigating the Minefield of Social Media, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/09/2014
  • Gamification: Powering Up or Game Over?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/11/2014
  • Cost Efficient, Open-space Office Designs: Ditching Desks — and Privacy, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/19/2013
  • Mind Your ‘Social’ Presence: Big-data Recruiting Has Arrived, Knowledge @ Wharton - 05/07/2013
  • Is the Party Over? The Unintended Consequences of Office Social Events, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/27/2013
  • To Close the Gender Gap, What Needs to Change — Women or the System?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/27/2013
  • When Working at Home Is Productive, and When It’s Not, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/13/2013
  • Passed Over for a Promotion? How Companies Can Retain the Runner-up, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/30/2013
  • From the Altar to IPO: The Highs and Lows of Married Business Partners, Knowledge @ Wharton - 01/30/2013
  • iPerks: Apple, Like Others, Takes Steps to Woo Employees, Knowledge @ Wharton - 11/20/2012
  • The Eye-opening Impact of Sleep Deficits, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/01/2012
  • Going Boss-free: Utopia or ‘Lord of the Flies’?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 08/01/2012
  • Hold That Password: The New Reality of Evaluating Job Applicants, Knowledge @ Wharton - 04/11/2012
  • Flipping the Switch: Who Is Responsible for Getting Employees to Take a Break?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 02/15/2012
  • The Discontented Thirties, Knowledge @ Wharton - 12/05/2011
  • Limited Seating: Mixed Results on Efforts to Include More Women at the Corporate Board Table, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/26/2011
  • Seeing Is Learning — Why Face Time Between Coworkers Is More Important Than You Think, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/30/2011
  • From Freelancers to Telecommuters: Succeeding in the New World of Solitary Work, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/29/2011
  • A Recession for Perks? What Companies Offer and What Employees Want, Knowledge @ Wharton - 06/22/2011
  • Is Business-centric Social Networking a Revolution — or a Ruse?, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/02/2011
  • You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby … or Maybe Not: Why Women are Losing Ground on Wall Street, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/27/2010
  • Europe’s Migrants: ‘The World Is a Smaller Place’, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/13/2010
  • So You Want to Live to 100? More of Us Will, and Here Is What Life Might Look Like, Knowledge @ Wharton - 12/09/2009
  • Available All the Time: Etiquette for the Social Networking Age, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/30/2009
  • ‘Locals,’ ‘Cosmopolitans’ and Other Keys to Creating Successful Global Teams, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/02/2009
  • Caught in the Middle: Rising Unemployment Takes Its Toll on Older Managers, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/08/2009
  • Hiring from Outside the Company: How New People Can Bring Unexpected Problems, Knowledge @ Wharton - 09/03/2008
  • ‘Don’t Touch My Perks’: Companies that Eliminate Them Risk Employee Backlash, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/23/2008
  • Perk Place: The Benefits Offered by Google and Others May Be Grand, but They’re All Business, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/21/2007
  • More Confident, Less Careful: Why Office Romances Are Hard to Manage, Knowledge @ Wharton - 03/21/2007
  • Plateauing: Redefining Success at Work, Knowledge @ Wharton - 10/04/2006
  • Reluctant Vacationers: Why Americans Work More, Relax Less, than Europeans, Knowledge @ Wharton - 07/26/2006
Show more

Other experts

DBA, Harvard University; MM, Indian Institute of Management; BTech, Maharaja Sayajirao University Arvind Bhambri specializes in strategic change, competitive strategy, global business development, and leadership. He has twice received the Golden Apple Award for MBA instruction. In a 2008 special...
Thorvald Haerem earned his Ph.D. at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark and is currently an Associate Professor of Organization Psychology at Norwegian School of Management. His research interests include technology in organizations, organizational and individual routines, behavioral decision m...