Stories of Research to Reality: Deborah Rupp on Fairness in the Workplace

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In early May SAGE gathered seven social scientists on Capitol Hill to tell stories, stories of their discipline’s impact on society and the economy, and stories of their own academic journey. The underlying goal of “Stories of Research to Reality: How the Social Sciences Change the World” was both to mark SAGE’s 50th birthday as an independent publisher and to demonstrate the value and impact of social science itself, increasingly under attack as either a waste or a luxury by some legislators.

Deborah Rupp (2)

The entire event, moderated by prominent blogger and George Washington University political scientist John Sides and held at the Hart Senate Office Building, was recorded; the seven individual videos are being published over the next seven weeks.  Each tale presents one facet of the real-world value of actual social and behavioral science research, with the implicit message that this is scholarship we should be encouraging.

The first speaker in this series is Deborah E. Rupp, a management professor at Purdue University and the William C. Byham Chair in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

She conducts research on organizational justice, behavioral ethics, corporate social responsibility, and humanitarian work psychology; as well as issues surrounding behavioral assessment, technology, bias, and the law. Her research has been cited in U.S. Supreme Court proceedings, and she has worked with organizations around the world such as UNICEF, the Emirates Group, and the South Korean government. Rupp has published three books and more than 80 papers and chapters, and is the former editor-in-chief of Journal of Management, the top-ranked empirical journal in business, management, and applied psychology.

In her talk, Rupp describes  some of the specific areas she’s taken her discipline — industrial organization psychology, which is the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace – such as exploring aging in the workplace, recruiting and training returning veterans for civilian fields, and the psychological impact of being unemployed. She then zeroes in on her current research, studying unfairness (or the perception of unfairness) on the job.

Employees who believe their job is just are happier, healthier and more productive, while those who field aggrieved are sicker, less productive and prone to introduce unwanted behaviors from theft to litigiousness. “People,” she explains, “expect other people to treat each other fairly – just because.”

Upcoming speakers in this series include:

Bruce Bueno De Mesquita | Julius Silver Professor of Politics, New York University

Claire M. Renzetti | professor of sociology, University of Kentucky

John W. Creswell | professor of educational psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Michael Reisch | Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice, University of Maryland

Jim Knight |research associate, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, and director of the Kansas Coaching Project

Kerric Harvey | associate professor of media and public affairs, and associate director of the Center for Innovative Media, George Washington University

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Republished with permission. The original post was published on Social Science Space.

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