I am Professor of Management, the Smeal College Executive Programs Fellow, and the Director of the Center for Teams and Negotiation at the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University.
My research focuses on social relations at work, with a primary focus on teamwork and the drivers of team success.
My research has been published in numerous outlets, including the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Personality, Personnel Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
My research has focused primarily on answering two questions:
How do you make a great team?
– and –
How do you make a team great?
Making a Great Team
My first interest focuses on the “bottom-up” formative design of teams. That is, if one wants to build a successful team from scratch, what are the issues that are most important? It is through this lens that I have addressed topics such as the “seeding” of teams (Humphrey, Hollenbeck, Meyer, & Ilgen, 2007), putting the best members into the most strategically core roles (Humphrey, Morgeson, & Mannor, 2009), configuring the reward structure in a team (Aime, Meyer, & Humphrey, 2010; Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon, & Ilgen, 2003), structuring the team to capitalize on different beliefs and opinions (Homan et al., 2008; Moon, Conlon, Humphrey, Quiqley, Devers, & Nowakowski, 2003), designing work to improve motivational and social processes (Harrison & Humphrey, 2010; Humphrey, Nahrgang, & Morgeson, 2007; Morgeson & Humphrey, 2006), and decomposing the relationship amongst team members (Hambrick, Humphrey, & Gupta, 2015)
Making a Team Great
My second interest deals with the “top-down” management of existing teams. That is, if we look at existing teams embedded in time, how does this temporal context affect a team’s functioning? Although it is valuable to create theories of teamwork that can be used to direct the formation of teams, or be applied to cross-sectional studies of teamwork, there is something fundamentally different in studying how change (in terms of such issues as personnel, rewards, group structure, or task requirements) in teams affects teamwork. My overarching concern in this area is how team members manage the change through their organizing processes. That is, how willing and able is a team to break its entrained routines and produce new processes and relationships? One common way that I have tackled this question is in looking at structural factors inhibiting (or enabling) the transition to new routines, such as role structure (Moon et al., 2004; Summers, Humphrey, & Ferris, 2012), reward structure (Johnson et al., 2006), or leadership structure (Hollenbeck et al., 2011). More recently, I have expanded this discussion by focusing on how power expression can shift across members as a function of new situational demands (Aime, Humphrey, DeRue, & Paul, 2013), finding that members must perceive a legitimate shift in power expression in order for teams to harness the unique capabilities of diverse, cross-functional teams.
Across both questions, I have an interest on the multilevel, multi-period, and multi-theoretical nature of teamwork (i.e., the microdynamics of teamwork; Humphrey & Aime, 2014). Ultimately, I want to know what the meaning of "team" really is, which means that I am curious about how individual team members are simultaneously role holders, part of numerous dyadic relationships, embedded in subgroups, operating in teams.
My primary teaching responsibilities have been focused on delivering Negotiation skills to numerous populations.
Negotiation Theory and Skills
B A 505
A core class in both the MBA and EMBA programs, providing an intensive immersion into negotiation. This class focuses on the essentials of dyadic negotiation, delivered through a combination of lecture, discussion, case analysis, and hands-on negotiations.
An elective MBA class, focused on multiparty negotiation. How do you navigate the complexity of a negotiation where many parties (who may not all be at the table) want different outcomes? This class is delivered through a combination of hands-on negotiations, observation, case-analysis, and discussion.
A three-course sequence comprised of Negotiation Essentials, Power and Influence, and Diagnosing and Leveraging Networks.
Michigan State University
Eli Broad College of Business
PhD, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
James Madison University
Department of Psychology
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Better to Give or Receive in negotiations?
Conlon, D. E., Tinsley, C. H., Humphrey, S. E., & Ellis, A. P. J. (2012). Is it sometimes better to receive than to give? Preferences for receiver roles over proposer roles in consumer behavior ultimatums. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 119, 64-77.
Where does Personal Reputation come from?
Zinko, R. A., Ferris, G. R., Humphrey, S. E., Meyer, C. J., & Aime, F. (2012) The nature of personal reputation in organizations: Two complementary studies aimed at construct and criterion-related validity. Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology, 85, 156-180.
Teams Change Differently
Hollenbeck, J.R., Ellis, A.P.J., Humphrey, S.E., Garza, A., & Ilgen, D.R. (2011). Asymmetry in structural adaptation: The differential impact of centralizing versus decentralizing team decision-making structures. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 114, 64-74
Role negotiation in teams
Beersma, B., Hollenbeck, J. R., Conlon, D. E., Humphrey, S. E., Moon, H., & Ilgen, D. R. (2009). Role negotiation in self-managed teams: The effects of history and composition on coordination and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 108, 131-142.
Diffusing the negative components of team diversity
Homan, A. C., Hollenbeck, J. R., Humphrey, S. E., van Knippenberg, D., Ilgen, D. R., & Van Kleef, G. A. (2008). Facing differences with an open mind: Openness to experience, salience of intra-group differences, and performance of diverse work groups. Academy of Management Journal, 51, 1204-1222.
Projects aren't safe at the beginning and end
Humphrey, S. E., Moon, H., Conlon, D. E., & Hofmann, D. A. (2004). Decision making and behavioral fluidity: How focus on completion and emphasis on safety changes over the course of projects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 93, 14-27.
A Video Game for Training Teams
Humphrey, S. E., Hollenbeck, J. R., Ilgen, D. R., & Moon, H. (2004). The changing shape of large scale programs of research: MSU-DDD as an illustrative example. In S. G. Schiflett, L. R. Elliott, E. Salas, & M. D. Coovert (Eds.), Scaled Worlds: Development, Validation and Applications. (pp. 200-219). England : Ashgate Publishing Limited.