- Managing Toxic Emotions at Work: An Empirical Study of HR’s Role and its Impact on Personal Well-Being and Organizational Effectiveness: an empirical, qualitative study designed to better understand the role of HR practitioners in dealing with organizational tension and toxic emotions and the impact that assuming this role has on their personal well-being and their organization (Research was approved for funding by Sullivan University in December 2017).
The study resulted in the development of a new grounded theory and conceptual model which suggested that a central aspect of the HR practitioner’s role is to act as an organizational toxin handler. This study also confirmed the five core actions of a toxin handler first identified in Peter Frost’s (2006, 2004, 2003) ground-breaking work. Further, this empirical study, one of the earliest of its kind to focus on the HR profession, extended Frost’s earlier work by finding that coaching and advising managers was an additional core action for toxin handlers working in the HR domain. Finally, the study yielded practical recommendations—both individual and systemic—that may help to minimize the negative impact of toxin handling on HR practitioners while ensuring that this important work can continue to contribute to positive organizational outcomes.
- An Examination of Exceptional U.S. Army Leaders: What They Do and How They Impact Their Employees and Organization: a study designed to identify the behaviors of leaders in the U.S. Army who are perceived as exceptional by their subordinates, how they differ from leaders who are simply effective, and how both types of leaders affect their employees and their organization (Research was approved for funding by Sullivan University in December 2016).
The purpose of the study is to contribute to the future operational readiness and institutional strength of the U.S. Army by examining the perceptions of senior officers about how the core practices of exceptional leaders differ from other types of leaders, and how great leaders impact those under their command and the organization.
- Crossing the Line: An Examination of Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Army: a study designed to examine leaders in the U.S. Army to determine when negative leadership behaviors “cross the line” of acceptable norms (as perceived by military personnel), as well as why such negative behaviors are often tolerated or rewarded (Research was approved for funding by Sullivan University in January 2014). alternative
- Taming the Beast: How American Corporations Unwittingly Conspire to Make Workplace Bullying a Rational Choice: a study designed to understand workplace bullying from an individual, situational and systemic perspective in an effort to determine potential leverage points for intervention (Research was approved for funding by Sullivan University in April 2013).
Although their approach is widely criticized, it is fair to say that bullies represent a functional part of many organizations. They come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and both genders. Bullying is targeted and abusive behavior. It is personally destructive and should have nothing to do with advancing legitimate organizational goals. Despite its negative connotations, though, anyone who works in an American corporation can easily see that arrogant and abusive leaders are frequently rewarded with promotions, increased pay and bonuses, as well as more power and influence. In a nutshell—bullying pays off. This paper will examine the ways American corporations unwittingly conspire to make workplace bullying a rational choice.
- Is a C+ Good Enough?: Executive Perceptions of Human Resources: a study designed to better understand how senior organizational leaders view HR practitioners in order to identify the potential issues which can create workplace conflict—and why (Research was approved for funding by Sullivan University in April 2012).
- Caught in the Crossfire: When HR Practitioners Become Targets of Bullying: a study designed to understand the prevalence of workplace bullying among HR practitioners and whether or not it is related to their organizational role (Research was funded from the inaugural faculty grant pool and awarded by Sullivan University in April 2011).
- “Tough Boss” or Workplace Bully?: A Grounded Theory Study of Insights from Human Resource Professionals: a dissertation study designed to help identify and distinguish a workplace bully from a manager who is simply operating as a “tough boss” from the unique organizational perspective of HR professionals (Fielding Graduate University, February 2009).