Professor Nathan Hartman, of the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods, attended the 30th Annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference in Philadelphia April 23–25. Among those represented at the conference were equal parts business school professors, business consultants, and psychologists.

Hartman presented on the topic of his two recent studies pertaining to the mission of SIOP. The society’s mission is to focus on the scientific study of the workplace, including rigor and methods of psychology that are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment selection, training, organization development, performance, and work-life balance.

Hartman performed a study that looks at the direct relationship between leader development and motivation in the workplace. The study looked at components such as personal characteristics that would drive a person to move up the corporate ladder with training and advancement. The question at hand was whether the simple belief that you have the ability to move up is a factor, or vice versa. While the study concluded that millennials have the belief that leadership is a good goal, there was no difference in the final outcome simply based on one’s belief in their ability to promote to a leadership position.

Another part of Hartman’s study reflected taking a closer look at self-regulation in the workplace versus leader encouragement. The question at hand in this second study was whether focus on prevention or promotion produced better results. It was determined that while age plays a factor in the level of engagement and aspirations, promotion-oriented leadership leads to more engaged workers and therefore better development.