Stephen E. Humphrey

Color portrait of Stephen E. Humphrey


Department Management and Organization
Office Address 439 Business Building
Email Address

Download Photo Download Vita Google Scholar Personal Website

Stephen E. Humphrey is currently the Alvin H. Clemens Professor of Management & Organization in the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University, having joined Penn State in 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management (with a minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology) from Michigan State University and his B.S. in Psychology from James Madison University. Dr. Humphrey's research focuses on the structure of work, with a primary focus on teamwork and the drivers of team success. Dr. Humphrey's research has been published in outlets such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Strategic Management Journal. In addition, he co-edited The Handbook of Multilevel Theory, Measurement, and Analysis, and is a member of the Academy of Management, International Association for Conflict Management, and INGroup.


My research has focused primarily on answering two questions:

How do you make a great team?

- and -

How do you make a team great?

These two questions capture the essence of what I am passionate about in Organizational Behavior. Considering the two research interests, my first question gets at issues of the “bottom-up” formative design of work 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, putting the best members into the most strategically core roles, investigating the impact of dyadic relationships in teams, configuring the reward or leadership structure, structuring the team to capitalize on different beliefs and opinions, and designing work to improve motivational and social processes.

The second question 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? This question deals with such issues as member and role changes, changes in rewards and leadership structure, and the progression towards an endpoint.

Across both questions, a critical focus has been to break apart the nested levels within teams, such that I am interested in something more than just the climate of a team. Instead, I have tried to focus my research on the “organizing” of teams, exploring the fundamental components of a team (such as job characteristics, roles, dyads, and sub-groups) to see how individuals within these situations combine together to create “teams”. In pursuing my research, I have endeavored to test my questions in field, lab, and archival populations, primarily with a quantitative focus.


Ph D, Organizational Behavior/Human Resource Management, Michigan State University, 2004

BS, Psychology, James Madison University, 1999

Courses Taught

MGMT 420 – Neg Conflict Mgmt (3)
An exploration of the sources of interpersonal conflict and strategies of resolution in the managerial context.

MGMT 591 – Ord (3)
Experience in designing research for organizational science, to maximize the validity of eventual conclusions; methodological choices, constraints, and compromises (tradoffs).

MGMT 596 – Individual Studies (Variable)

MGMT 601 – Ph.D Dis Full-Time

BA 805 – Nego Theory Skills (1)
The ability to effectively negotiate is an essential skill for managers. Negotiations not only occur with customers or clients, but also between bosses and subordinates, among teammates and across departments. Being able to craft a successful deal, especially in difficult circumstances, requires knowledge of yourself, as well as the substantive material that you are negotiating. Effective negotiators know their own limitations as well as their strengths. They also listen well and have good analytical skills. And, they can craft agreements that garner gains for themselves as well as for other if such gains are possible. Successful negotiating is also closely allied with successful teamwork since both processes require listening, persuasion, influence skills, and creativity. This course will give students an overview of the difference between traditional (distributive) bargaining and interest-based (or integrative) negotiations. Students will learn the rudiments of interest-based negotiating and practice it in several negotiation simulations. They will learn how to identify their own and others' interests, to create and claim value and to craft constructive agreements for all parties. The course will concentrate on two person and small group negotiations as well as to deal with difficult opponents.

MGMT 600 – Thesis Research (Variable)

BA 597 – Special Topics (1)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently.

BA 802 – Team Proc and Perf (1)
Development of managerial skills and techniques for diagnosing, intervening and leading effective teams. B A 502 B A 502 Competencies for Converging Economies: Teams, Negotiations, and Ethical Leadership (2)B A 502 provides students with some basic knowledge about predictable team dynamics and how to constructively deal with issues that arise in the first year MBA teams. The course focuses on observation, diagnosis, and intervention skills for developing effective teams. Topics include diagnosing group dynamics, giving and receiving feedback to teammates, cross-cultural communication and conflict management techniques. The course provides a real-time practicum for diagnosing team issues and addressing team problems and conflicts. Students apply team process concepts and techniques as they work to complete team projects in their other core MBA classes. Students leave the course with an understanding of how to successfully lead a team and how to diagnose and correct dysfunctional team behaviors.

BA 596 – Individual Studies (1)

The purpose of this course is to understand the theory and practice of negotiation in a variety of settings, with specific emphasis on multiparty contexts. A basic premise of the course is that while a manager needs analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to problems, a broad array of negotiation skills and an understanding of multiparty dynamics are needed in order for these solutions to be accepted and implemented. The course will allow students to develop these skills experientially and to understand negotiation in useful analytical frameworks. This course will give students an overview of the unique challenges and intricacies associated with multiparty negotiation, providing an opportunity to understand and develop applied skills regarding (a) the formulation of strategy and tactics before, during, and after a negotiation, and (b) third-party intervention in multiparty negotiation. Students will learn the structural and social characteristics of multiparty negotiation and develop techniques for managing its complexity.

B A 505 – Negotiation Theory and Skills (2)
Development of managerial skills for distributive and integrative negotiationsat the two-party and team levels.

MGMT 528 – Seminar in Organizational Behavior (3)
Current theoretical and research issues applicable to the study of individual and group behavior within organizational settings.

MGMT 597A – Topics in Managing (4)
This course covers selected topics in Management. Students will explore topics such as leadership, negotiation strategies, work-life balance, leading teams, power and influence, and managaing a business network. The topics may change from year to year. Th

MGMT 590 – Colloquium (1.5)
Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

Selected Publications

Fletcher K. A., Summers J. K., Bedwell-Torres W. L., Humphrey S. E., Thomas S. E., Ramsay P. S., "Initial Development of Perceptions of Ability and Intent Factors of (Un)Trustworthiness in Short-Term Teams." Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2024
Carter K., Hetrick A., Chen M., Humphrey S. E., Morgeson F. P., Hoffman B., "The cultural context of work: How national culture impacts work design." Journal of Management, vol. 50, no. 1, 2024
Zavyalova A., Bundy J., Humphrey S. E., "A Relational Theory of Reputational Stability and Change." Organization Science, vol. 33, 2022
Min S., Humphrey S. E., Aime F., Quade M. J., Petrenko O., Fu S., "Dealing with New Members: Team Members' Reactions to Newcomer's Attractiveness and Sex." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 107, no. 7, 2022, pp. 1115-1129
Yuan Y., Humphrey S. E., Van Knippenberg D., "From Individual Creativity to Team Creativity: A Meta-Analytic Test of Additive and Disjunctive Aggregation Models and the Moderating Role of Task and Industry Context." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2022,
Humphrey S. E., Macy R., Wang C., "Teaching Entrepreneurial Negotiation." Negotiation Journal, vol. 38, no. 1, 2022,
Chen A., Trevino L. K., Humphrey S. E., "Ethical Champions, Emotions, Framing, and Team Ethical Decision Making." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 105, no. 3, 2020, pp. 245-273
Humphrey S. E., LeBreton J., "The handbook for multilevel theory, measurement, and analysis." (American Psychological Association), 2019
Karam E. P., Hu J., Davison R. B., Juravich M., Nahrgang J. D., Humphrey S. E., DeRue D. S., "Illuminating the “face” of justice: A meta-analytic examination of leadership and organizational justice." Journal of Management Studies, 2019
Knight A. p., Humphrey S. E., "Dyadic Data Analysis." 2019, pp. 423-448
Bhawani S., Leicht R., Taylor J., Humphrey S. E., "Organizational routine-matching in delivery of capital projects." 2018, pp. 733-743
Humphrey S. E., Aime F., Cushenberry L., Hill A., Fairchild J., "Team conflict dynamics: Implications of a multi-level longitudinal view of conflict for team performance." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 142, 2017
Hambrick D. C., Humphrey S. E., Gupta A., "When Does Executive Group Heterogeneity Matter Most (and Least)? Identifying The Structural Origins of Interdependence in Top Management Teams." Strategic Management Journal, 2015
Humphrey S. E., Aime F., "Team microdynamics: Towards an organizing approach to teamwork." Academy of Management Annals, vol. 8, 2014
Aime F., Humphrey S. E., DeRue D. S., Paul J., "The riddle of heterarchy: Power transitions in cross-functional teams." Academy of Management Journal, 2014
Wagner III J. A., Humphrey S. E., Meyer C. J., Hollenbeck J. R., "Individualism-collectivism and team member performance: Another look.." Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 33, 2012, pp. 946-963
Conlon D. E., Tinsley C. H., Humphrey S. E., Ellis A. P., "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, vol. 119, 2012, pp. 64-77
Summers J. K., Humphrey S. E., Ferris G. R., "Team member change, flux in coordination, and performance: Effects of strategic core roles, information transfer, and cognitive ability." Academy of Management Journal, vol. 55, 2012, pp. 314-338
Morgeson F. P., Humphrey S. E., Reeder M. C., "Team Selection." (Oxford University Press), 2012
Zinko R. A., Ferris G. R., Humphrey S. E., Meyer C. J., Aime F., "The nature of personal reputation in organizations: Two complementary studies aimed at construct and criterion-related validity." Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology, vol. 85, 2012, pp. 156-180
Humphrey S. E., Hollenbeck J. R., Meyer C. J., Ilgen D. R., "Personality configurations in self-managed teams: A natural experiment on the effects of maximizing and minimizing variance in traits." Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 41, 2011, pp. 1701-1732
Humphrey S. E., "What does a great meta-analysis look like?." Organizational Psychology Review, vol. 1, 2011, pp. 99-103
Jensen J. M., Conlon D. E., Humphrey S. E., Moon H., "The consequences of completion: How level of completion influences information concealment by decision makers." Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 41, 2011, pp. 401-428
Hollenbeck J. R., Ellis A. P., Humphrey S. E., Garza A., Ilgen D. R., "Asymmetry in structural adaptation: The differential impact of centralizing versus decentralizing team decision-making structures." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 114, 2011, pp. 64-74
DeRue D. S., Nahrgang J. D., Wellman N., Humphrey S. E., "Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: A meta-analytic test of their relative validity." Personnel Psychology, vol. 64, 2011, pp. 7-52
Harrison D., Humphrey S. E., "Designing for diversity or diversity for design? Tasks, interdependence, and within-unit differences at work." Journal of Organizational Behavior, vol. 31, 2010, pp. 328-337
Aime F., Meyer C. J., Humphrey S. E., "Legitimacy of group rewards: Analyzing legitimacy as a condition for the effectiveness of group incentive designs.." Journal of Business Research, vol. 63, 2010, pp. 60-66
Humphrey S. E., Moregson F., Mannor M., "Developing a Theory of the Strategic Core of Teams: A Role Composition Model of Team Performance." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 94, no. 1, 2009, pp. 48-61
Beersma B., Hollenbeck J., Conlon D. E., Humphrey S. E., Moon H., Ilgen D. R., "Role negotiation in self-managed teams: The effects of history and composition on coordination and performance." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 108, no. 1, 2009, pp. 131-142
Homan A., Hollenbeck J., Humphrey S. E., van Knippenberg D., Ilgen D. R., Van Kleef G. A., "Facing differences with an open mind: Openess to experience, salience of intra-group differences, and performance of diverse work groups.." Academy of Management Journal, vol. 51, no. 6, 2008, pp. 1204-1222
Morgeson F., Humphrey S. E., "Job and team design: Toward a more integrative conceptualization of work design." (Emerald Group Publishing Limited), vol. 27, 2008, pp. 39-92
Moon H., Marinova S. V., Hollenbeck J. R., Humphrey S. E., "Beneath the surface: Uncovering the relationship between extraversion and organizational citizenship behavior through a facet approach." International Journal of Selection and Assessment, vol. 16, 2008, pp. 143-154
Humphrey S. E., Nahrgang J. D., Morgeson F. P., "Integrating motivational, social, and contextual work design features: A meta-analytic summary and theoretical extension of the work design literature." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 16, 2007, pp. 1332-1356
Humphrey S. E., Hollenbeck J. R., Meyer C. J., Ilgen D. R., "Trait configurations in self-managed teams: A conceptual examination of the use of seeding to maximize and minimize trait variance in teams." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 92, 2007, pp. 885-892
Ellis A. J., Humphrey S. E., Conlon D. E., Tinsley C. H., "Improving customer reactions to brokered ultimatums: The benefits of prior experience and explanations." Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 36, 2006, pp. 2293-2324
Morgeson F. P., Humphrey S. E., "The work design questionnaire (WDQ): Developing and validating a comprehensive measure for assessing job design and the nature of work." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 91, 2006, pp. 1321-1339
Johnson M. D., Hollenbeck J. R., Humphrey S. E., Ilgen D. R., Jundt D. K., Meyer C. J., "Cutthroat cooperation: Asymmetrical adaptation of team reward structures.." Academy of Management Journal, vol. 49, 2006, pp. 103-119
Wagner J. A., Meyer C. J., Humphrey S. E., Hollenbeck J. R., "Effects of utilitarian and ontological individualism-collectivism on multitask performance in teams." Best Paper Proceedings, 64th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 2005
Humphrey S. E., Hollenbeck J. R., Ilgen D. R., Moon H., "The changing shape of large scale programs of research: MSU-DDD as an illustrative example." 2004
Moon H., Hollenbeck J. R., Humphrey S. E., Ilgen D. R., West B. J., Ellis A. P., Porter C. O., "Asymmetric adaptability: Dynamic team structures as one-way streets." Asymmetric adaptability: Dynamic team structures as one-way streets. Academy, vol. 47, 2004, pp. 681-695
Humphrey S. E., Moon H., Conlon D. E., Hoffman D. A., "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, vol. 93, 2004, pp. 14-27
Humphrey S. E., Ellis A. J., Conlon D. E., Tinsley C. H., "Understanding customer reactions to brokered ultimatums: Applying negotiation and justice theory." Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 89, 2004, pp. 466-482
Beersma B., Hollenbeck J. R., Humphrey S. E., Moon H., Conlon D. E., ilgen d. r., "Cooperation, Competition, and Team Performance: Towards a Contingency Approach." Academy of Management Journal, vol. 46, 2003, pp. 572-590
Moon H., Conlon D. E., Humphrey S. E., Quigley N., Devers C. E., Nowakowski J. M., "Group structure and incrementalism in organizational decision-making." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 92, 2003, pp. 67-79
Moon H., Hollenbeck J. R., Humphrey S. E., Maue B., "The tripartite model of neuroticism and the suppression of depression and anxiety within an escalation of commitment dilemma." Journal of Personality, vol. 71, 2003, pp. 347-368
Humphrey S. E., Hollenbeck J. R., Meyer C. J., Ilgen D. R., "Hierarchical team decision making." 2002
Humphrey S. E., Kahn A. S., "Fraternities, athletic teams, and rape: Importance of identification with a risky group." Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 15, 2000, pp. 1313-1322

Research Impact and Media Mentions

"Works well with others", Mother Jones Magazine
"Is corporate America cutting it's own throat?", Employers of America
"Simplifying Jobs Can Complicate Results, Research Finds", Society for Human Resource Management
"Social relationships matter in job satisfaction", Monitor on Psychology


Administrative Science Quarterly, Editorial Board, January 2020 - Present
Personnel Psychology, Editorial Board, January 2010 - January 2013
Organizational Psychology Review, Associate Editor, January 2009 - January 2017
Academy of Management Journal, Editorial Board, January 2008 - Present
Journal of Applied Psychology, Editorial Board, January 2008 - Present