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DeShon Richard P. DeShon
Ph.D. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. 1993
Masters Industrial and Organizational Psychology, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. 1991
Bachelors Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 1988
Primary Program: Organizational
306 Psychology
(517) 353-4624

Research Statement

Regulatory Dynamics

My primary research program focuses on the dynamics of organizational behavior across multiple levels of analysis. Longitudinal data are increasingly important in the study of organizational behavior. However, the current models used to represent the patterns present in longitudinal data are largely limited to the study of recursive relations (i.e., HLM and SEM). This is inconsistent with what we know about the self-regulated functioning of organizations, teams, and individuals where feedback loops and cyclical processes are thought to be the norm. My current research utilizes multivariate time series analyses to explore the dynamic cycles underlying regulatory processes in individuals (i.e., motivation) and teams (i.e., coordination and interdependence). 


Multilevel Theory 

Although my primary research focus is on the functioning of dynamic systems within a particular level of analysis (e.g., individual motivation or team coordination), I am fascinated with the process through which aggregate functioning of micro-level units yields macro-level phenomena and behavior (i.e., emergence). In fact, it becomes difficult to ignore this process when using fully dynamic, multivariate models. I am currently developing a new approach to the study of multilevel phenomena in organizational science that allows one to see how the dynamic functioning of micro-units yields emergent phenomena at the macro-level of analysis. This approach also has strong implications for the current process of aggregating micro-unit responses to represent macro-level phenomena in organizational science. 



I enjoy exploring and evaluating new methods for conducting organizational science research. In this area my research clusters into two distinct approaches. First, I invest considerable energy into exploring the applicability and utility of models and research paradigms developed in physics, biology, engineering, and economics for improving organizational science research. Examples of these efforts are the application of diffusion models to the study of motivation and the application of power law dynamics to the study of team performance. Second, I continue striving to identify new measurement approaches that can be used productively in organizational science. My current approach explores individual and team cognitive representations of key organizational science constructs and the way respondents transform these representations into quantitative estimates. 

Related Research Websites
The Influences of Social Context on Multiple-Goal Regulation Over Time SinHui Chong and Dr. Rick DeShon
Given the prevalence of teams as the organizing unit of work in organizations, employees must balance the simultaneous pursuit of both individual and team goals. Existing research clearly demonstrates that, when given two distinct but equivalent goals, individuals differentially allocate resources toward the task with the highest performance-goal discrepancy (e.g., Schmidt & DeShon, 2007). This finding is consistent with a control theory representation of multiple goal pursuit. However, team goals are somewhat unique in that they involve both task and social components (Marks, Mathieu, & Zaccaro, 2001), yet the role of social context has not received attention in the multiple-goal pursuit paradigm. Our research uses an experimental design to investigate whether the social context presented by a team goal will amplify the salience of the performance—goal discrepancy of the team goal as compared to the individual goal.
Organizational Survey Item Project Rick DeShon & Christopher Dishop
Apply text processing and multiple machine learning techniques to identify the concept space present in a given set of survey items.
The NASA Lab - Studying Processes and Effectiveness in Lab, Field, and Astronaut Analog Teams Dr. Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Dr. Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, Jessica Santoro Webb, Rory Dixon, Jeff Olenick, Simon Golden, Mike Morrison, Chris Dishop, & Joe Smith
The primary focus of our research is on understanding and assessing the dynamics of team functioning. The research is designed to improve team effectiveness for long duration space crews (funded by NASA, $1.2M; $110K; $1.2M; $100K). The research has multiple studies in progress organized around two primary foci. First, we are conducting several data collections of "analog" teams operating in isolated, confined, and extreme environments (i.e., the Antarctic and Mars mission simulations). These studies provide benchmark data on the dynamics of team functioning. Second, we are developing social interaction "badges" to capture team interaction dynamics in real time. Long term, the goal is to provide real time assessments of team functioning and to aid the team as needed to maintain effectiveness

Research Publications    
2013Park, G., Spitzmuller, M., & DeShon, R. P. (2013). Advancing our understanding of team motivation: Integrating conceptual approaches and content areas. Journal of Management, 20, x.
2013Braun, M. T., Kuljanin, G., & DeShon, R. P. (2013). Spurious results in the analysis of longitudinal data in organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 00, 1–29.
2013DeShon, R. P. (2013a). Inferential meta-themes in organizational science research: Causal inference, system dynamics, and computational models. In N. W. Schmitt, S. highhouse & I. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology, volume 12: Industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., Vol. 12). John Wiley and Sons.
2013DeShon, R. P. (2013b). Multivariate dynamics in organizational science. In S. W. J. Kozlowski (Ed.), The oxford handbook of organizational psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 117–142). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
2011Kuljanin, G., Braun, M. T., & DeShon, R. P. (2011). A cautionary note on modeling growth trends in longitudinal data. Psychological Methods, 16, 249–264.
2010Schmidt, A. M., & DeShon, R. P. (2010). The moderating effects of performance ambiguity on the relationship between self-efficacy and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 572–581.
2009DeShon, R. P., & Rench, T. A. (2009). Clarifying the notion of self-regulation in organizational behavior. In G. P. Hodgkinson & J. K. Ford (Eds.), International review of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 24, pp. 217–248). Wiley-Blackwell.
2009Converse, P. D., & DeShon, R. P. (2009). A tale of two tasks: Reversing the self-regulatory resource depletion effect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1318–1324.
2008Von Eye , A. & DeShon, R. P. (2008). Characteristics of measures of directional dependence - Monte Carlo studies. Interstat, 14, 1-33.
2008Mathieu, J. E., DeShon, R. P., & Berg, D. D. (2008). Mediation inferences in organizational research: Then, now, and beyond. Organizational Research Methods, 11, 202–223.