Organizational - Industrial Psychology

News and Events


The Center for Leadership Research & Development (CLR&D) is focused on Preparing a generation of leaders in business, not-for-profit, and ministry settings, by utilizing our experience and competence in conducting cutting-edge applied research on the journey, formative experiences, and lessons learned by leaders; creating research-based tools, resources, and processes to help leaders learn and get help in real time; establishing strategic partnerships with other leaders, experts, networks, and clearing houses; and training a cadre of highly skilled leaders, researchers, and leadership development practitioners.


Driven by Important Questions:


What difference do leaders make? What does it mean to invest deeply in the learning and development of a generation of leaders? How do we learn from past experiences and current challenges? Who are the mentors, coaches, and guides who can help us lead? What is character and what difference does it make? We believe that seeking answers to these questions is important, and that process is something we call research.


Publications/Tools/Strategic Partnerships:


The Center for Leadership Research & Development is closely affiliated with the Department of Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Seattle Pacific University, and affixed with the community of people and organizations committed to developing the leadership potential in a generation. Our recent publications include writings on calling, character, sacrificial leadership, leadership development, career transitions, mentoring, executive coaching, and HR innovations. We are Innovators in using web-based technologies to develop leaders in real time. When it comes to developing a generation of leaders, our faculty, students, alumni, and strategic partners are known for their deep thinking about the realities of leading well, and for their skill at making research and tools accessible to leaders just like you.

Connect with the CLR&D:

YRU 2012 May 20th, 6-8pm, Upper Gwinn Commons

for more information & to register visit YRU 2012

Every day we are surrounded by hundreds of people who are trying to figure out what their lives are all about. Some of these people have lost their jobs. Others have jobs, but feeling completely off track. Some have experienced great blessings in life, while others feel a sense that they missed out on their purpose at some point along the way. Some are deeply burdened by guilt and shame about a mistake they made, and many of these people are wondering if they are the only ones.

Whether this is you or someone you know, many of us feel a sense that we need a safe space to talk intentionally about the challenges and opportunities in our lives. We feel that we have a unique opportunity to provide that space on May 20th.

What will it be like?

Every person a participant. No big name speakers.

Engaging, Energizing, Conversational, Real.

Full of Hope and yes, Love. While none of us can shy away from the real regrets and mistakes we have made in the past, we are attempting to learn from them, and creating paths to hope and possibility in the midst of challenges and pain. It’s no secret that SPU is a community that is faith based, made up of many people who come from a Christian faith perspective. For that reason, we are committed to making YRU a place where people might find hope and possibility in the midst of whatever they are facing.


Congratulations Victoria Campbell!

Congratulations to 2007 cohort member Victoria Campbell, who successfully defended her dissertation on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012. The title of her dissertation is: The gender wage gap: Perceptions of self-efficacy and argumentativeness in salary negotiations.

The Chair of her committee is Rob McKenna, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Other committee members are Dr. Lynette Bikos, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology, and Dr. Scott Edwards, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Congratulations Victoria & committee!

Congratulations Joy Hereford

Congratulations to 2005 cohort member Joy Hereford, who successfully defended her dissertation Februrary 2012. The title of her dissertation is: Enough is Enough: The Curviliniear Relationship Between Personality and Leadership.

The Chair of her committee is Paul Yost, Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Other committee members are Joey Collins, PsyD., Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and Thane Erickson, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology.

Congratulations Joy & committee!



"A Compass in Chaos: Navigating Transitions in Work & Life"

December 1, 2011, 1:00-5:00 (Thursday)

January 6, 2012, 1:00-5:00 (Friday)

Library Seminar Room
Seattle Pacific University

January 21, 2012, 9:00-2:00 (Saturday)

Cremona, Room 101
Seattle Pacific University

click here for more information on workshop

Congratulations Glenna Chang!

2006 I-O psychology cohort member Glenna Chang, who successfully defended her dissertation on Tuesday, May 3, 2011!  The title of her dissertation is “The Hidden Curriculum: Hazing and Professional Identity”. The Chair of her dissertation committee is Paul Yost, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology.  Other committee members are Lynette H. Bikos, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, and Dana L. Kendall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology.


Congratulations Richard Kobayashi!

 2006 I-O Psychology cohort member Richard M. Kobayashi successfully defended his dissertation titled: "Looking for a Sign: It's what Customers Expect" on April 18th, 2011. 

His chair is Margaret Diddams, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, and his committee members are Joey  A. Collins, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Gary L. Karns, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Professor of Marketing in SPU's School of Business and Economics. 


Congratulations Diana Ecker!

The faculty in the Department of Industrial-Organizational Psychology is proud to announce that we have selected Diana Ecker as the 2010-2011 Scottish Rite Scholarship recipient.  The Industrial-Organizational Psychology Scottish Rite Scholarship is awarded to a 2nd year doctoral student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology who has shown evidence of outstanding scholarship, leadership in research activities, and an overall commitment to the program and its mission.  Diana has a sincere passion for leadership development across many domains and is serving as a lead researcher on work with the Free Methodist Church of North American and their 1,000 pastors.  Our decision was based on her excellence as a student, a person, a growing scholar, and as a outstanding member of our I-O and SPU community.  We are proud to be able to select Diana for this great honor.


Congratulations Tanya Nicole Boyd!

2005 PhD cohort member Tanya Nicole Boyd successfully defended her dissertation titled “The surprising impact of purpose: The effects of calling on the relationship between job demands and burnout.” The Chair of her dissertation committee is Rob McKenna, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Industrial / Organizational Psychology. After teaching in the School of Business and Economics here at SPU for the last two years, Tanya and her family are moving to Lawrence Kansas where she will take the position of Project Manager for Organizational Development at Collective Brands, the parent company for Payless Shoes.  

Yost's Articles Published

Dr. Paul Yost has recently published several articles and commentaries on how companies and individuals can more leverage on-the-job development.  Recent publications include:

Yost, P. R., & Plunkett, M. M. (2010).  Developing leadership talent through experiences. In Strategy driven talent management: A leadership imperative (pp. 313-348). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Yost, P.R. (2010).  Integrated talent management at Microsoft. In R. Silzer, & B. Dowell (Eds.), Strategy driven talent management: A leadership imperative (pp. 641-654). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Yost, P. R., & Plunkett, M. M. (2010). Ten catalysts to spark on-the-job development in your organization. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 3, 20-23.

Yost, P. R., & Chang, G. (2009). Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 442-445.


Yost’s Book Published

Ask any group of leaders how they learned to lead and they will tell you that it wasn’t in a classroom—it was on-the-job in trial-by-fire experiences that pushed them to the edge of their comfort zones. Real Time Leadership Development takes this as our starting point, providing practical and research-based guidance, tools, and checklists that leaders can use to capture the lessons that may be passing them by every day. We also provide the simple steps that any organization can take to ensure they are building a strong and sustainable leadership pipeline.

Some of the key topics discussed are how you can identify the critical experiences, leadership competencies and relationships that are most critical in your development, how to craft and get the most out of a stretch assignment, how to build a personal board of advisors, and, most importantly, how you can move beyond yourself to build a team and organization where development isn’t something extra but is a natural part of the way you do business.

McKenna to read from his book

Dying to Lead on February 12th, 2009

Rob McKenna, associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology, shares principles of sacrificial leadership from his book, Dying to Lead. Click here for more information.

McKenna's Book Published

Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology Rob McKenna published his new book, Dying to Lead: Sacrificial Leadership in a Self-Centered World, in September 2008.

Professor McKenna wrote the book as a reflective guide into the pressures and realities that leaders face every day on the job. It’s an ideal book for leaders in businesses, churches, and beyond. 10/6/2008

Listen to “Leading Beautifully”

on iTunes U

As part of SPU's 2008 Day of Common Learning held October 15, Industrial-Organizational Psychology faculty members Joey Collins, Margaret Diddams, Rob McKenna, and Paul Yost led a workshop in which they discussed qualities great leaders possess and ways they co-create the future with the people they lead. The workshop, “Leading Beautifully: Practicing the Art of Leadership,” is now available on SPU’s iTunes U.

Listen and find out how great leaders draw on the gifts and potentials of others as the skills they use to lead beautifully. 10/15/08

McKenna, Yost Publish Article on Pastoral Learning Agility

Associate Professors of Industrial-Organizational Psychology Rob McKenna and Paul Yost, along with doctoral student Tanya Boyd, published an article in the Fall 2007 issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology titled "Learning Agility in Clergy: Understanding the Personal Strategies and Situational Factors That Enable Pastors to Learn From Experience."

The article is the second publication that highlights their ongoing research on the development journey of more than 100 senior pastoral leaders across the United States. 11/12/2007

Diddams Co-Publishes Article With Former Doctoral Student

Margaret Diddams, professor of organizational psychology, had the privilege of co-authoring a journal article with her former student, Dr. Joan Kimball. The article, "Affect Regulation as a Mediator of Attachment and Deliberate Self-Harm," was published in the Spring 2007 edition of Journal of College Counseling. 3/5/2007

Diddams Lectures in India

Margaret Diddams, professor of organizational psychology, gave a series of three lectures on the topic of globalization in India and its implication for Christian ministry to master of divinity students at the Asian Collage of Cultural Studies in Secunderabad, India.

She also led two workshops on thesis development and writing to the graduate ministry leadership students. The college is affiliated with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) and Operation Mobilization India. 2/12/2007

McKenna Publishes Article

Rob McKenna, associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology and chair of the industrial-organizational psychology program, published an article in the June 2006 issue of the Christian Management Report titled "Managing in the Midst of Chaos: A Leader's Reality."

The article highlights McKenna's research on the personal challenge of leading in times of adversity and challenge. 8/21/2006


Apply Now! Organizational Psychology

Deadline Dec. 15th



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Published Faculty

Faculty Publications and Research


Dying to Lead by Dr. Rob McKennaReal Time Leadership Development

Dr. Rob McKenna published Dying to Lead: Sacrificial Leadership in a Self-Centered World.

Dr. Paul Yost published his book: Real Time Leadership Development.

Click here to view a list of all research team and faculty publications.