Employees and Mental Illness

In 2018 the stigma of mental illness still plagues the workplace, along with the direct and indirect costs associated with healthcare and lost productivity. In the face of negative attributions attached to mental health conditions, how do employees manage their conditions as well as the demands of their jobs? How do organizations develop cultures and systems that allow employees with mental illness to thrive in their respective roles while minimizing the costs for workers and the companies who employ them? How is mental illness conceptualized as a unique social identity warranting increased attention in management research? What are the avenues for future scholarly attention?

A recent article offers insights and contributions to the literature, as well as raising implications for policy and practice. Kayla B. Follmer of Salisbury University and Kisha S. Jones of The Pennsylvania State University recently published “Mental Illness in the Workplace: An Interdisciplinary Review and Organizational Research Agenda” in the Journal of Management. With millions of adults affected annually by mental illness and many active in the workforce, the need is great to supplant the limited knowledge of many organizations and leaders on how to support employees with mental illness.

From the Abstract:

Given the prevalence of and consequences associated with mental illness in the workplace, we believe this review is both critical and timely for researchers and practitioners. This systematic review broadens the extant literature in both theoretical and practical ways in an effort to help lay a foundation for the organizational scholarship of employees with mental illness, a group that has traditionally been underrepresented in the management and industrial-organizational psychology literatures. After defining and conceptualizing mental illness as a social identity, we systematically review the existing empirical research on employees with mental illness across multiple fields of study. Using research that accounts for individual, other, and organizational perspectives, we present a model that outlines the performance, employment, career, and discriminatory outcomes that characterize the experiences of individuals with mental illness as well as individual and organizational strategies that moderate the relationship between having a mental illness and experiencing those outcomes. Together, this article provides a synthesis of what is known about employees with mental illness while also highlighting avenues for future scholarly attention.

Read the article for free until the end of April.

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What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

siop2013

The 28th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology takes place April 11-13, 2013 in Houston. As the society’s website states,

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance.

JOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWWhile we gear up to gain new insights from this year’s conference, which will focus on innovation, we’re pleased to bring you new research from top scholars in the field. Jason R. Pierce of Indiana University, and Herman Aguinis of Indiana University, who will be presenting at the conference, published “The Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Effect in Management” in the Journal of Management’s February 2013 issue. The abstract:

A growing body of empirical evidence in the management literature suggests that antecedent variables widely accepted as leading to desirable consequences actually lead to negative outcomes. These increasingly pervasive and often countertheoretical findings permeate levels of analysis (i.e., from micro to macro) and management subfields (e.g., organizational behavior, strategic management). Although seemingly unrelated, the authors contend that this body of empirical research can be accounted for by a meta-theoretical principle they call the too-much-of-a-good-thing effect (TMGT effect). The authors posit that, due to the TMGT effect, all seemingly monotonic positive relations reach context-specific inflection points after which the relations turn asymptotic and often negative, resulting in an overall pattern of curvilinearity. They illustrate how the TMGT effect provides a meta-theoretical explanation for a host of seemingly puzzling results in key areas of organizational behavior (e.g., leadership, personality), human resource management (e.g., job design, personnel selection), entrepreneurship (e.g., new venture planning, firm growth rate), and strategic management (e.g., diversification, organizational slack). Finally, the authors discuss implications of the TMGT effect for theory development, theory testing, and management practice.

Click here to continue reading, and stay tuned for more related research as we head towards SIOP 2013.