Research Projects led by Dr. Ellen Ernst Kossek

Breaking Bias: Leadership Excellence and Gender in Organizations Conference

  • Conference Website
  • A unique conference that bridges research and practice on the advancement of women in organizations was held on March 21-23, 2018 at Purdue University.
  • The Breaking Bias Conference brought leading-edge researchers and innovative business leaders together to explore the latest findings in the advancement of gender and diversity.
  • Scholars and practitioners from more than 45 universities and 20 companies around the world (e.g., England, Australia, Norway, Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands) met to present their papers and exchange ideas with thoughtful leaders from practices and meet with faculty and students at Purdue University.
  • Researchers gained first-hand knowledge of the challenges and questions faced by corporations, and companies learned the latest findings and recommendations found both in academic research and in the best practices of their peers.
  • Keynote speakers included academic experts on intersectionality, inclusion, organizational interventions, and implicit bias from industry (Roche, Walmart, Amazon, McKinsey, and City of Indianapolis, Exelon) and academia.
  • Previous conference in 2016
  • Paper Abstracts from the conference

Faculty Retention and Success through Intergroup Dialogue and Inclusion Alliance (FIDIA) Workshops

Dr. Ellen Ernst Kossek is a member of the FIDIA work group. Created and funded by the Office of the Provost, the alliance proposes a faculty-centered culture transformation initiative. The objectives of the FIDIA are:

  1. Promote awareness of inequity, biases, and social justice issues from a range of disciplinary backgrounds;
  2. Provide evidence-based strategies for promoting inclusion and belonging;
  3. Prepare faculty (at a predominately white institution and predominately male STEM discipline representation) to succeed in increasing diversity and inclusion on campus;
  4. Foster collegiality and interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty; and
  5. Conduct continued research on the experiences of underrepresented groups of faculty (including women in several disciplines and faculty of color) on campus, ways to improve campus culture, and rigorous evaluation of the proposed core activities

The core activities of the FIDIA includes:

  1. Diversity and inclusion educational opportunities targeted to various levels of faculty;
  2. Intergroup dialogue;
  3. Research and workshops

Our Research

  • Comparing the Effectiveness of Work-Family Interventions: Effects on Supervisors, Employee and Organizations – Funded by Russell Sage Foundation

While there is public policy interest in workplace policies to strengthen work-life support for working families (including many women, single parents, and hourly workers), most of the policy studies to date have focused on leaves and scheduling predictability. We sought to understand several other critical and under-examined areas: 1) implications of increased organizational work-life support for supervisors’ roles, skills, and own work-life demands; 2) modification of cell phone accessibility policy to provide job control over boundaries since over 90% of Americans have a cell phone and there is little research on work-life electronic communication policy; and 3) the continued need for scientific evaluation of innovative work-life practices and training. We partnered with a national food retail company to implement two different intervention programs in 69 stores with a control group and compared the effectiveness of each intervention program.

  • Family Supportive Leadership Training and Workplace Assessment Tool – Funded by National Institute of Health (NIH)

Managing the demands of work and personal life is a major stressor, affecting employees and productivity. Yet, there are virtually no evidence-based workplace supervisory training interventions to address this critical public health concern. Research has shown work-family conflict can affect employees’ health, workplace productivity, family interactions, safety, and wellness on and off the job, in addition to the well-being of employees and their families. We evaluated the Work-Life Supportive Supervisor Training (FSST), the only rigorously field-tested training of its kind, to further its mission to help organizations translate evidence-based work-life research into practice. The project aims included: (1) adapt and improve the design and delivery of the online training; (2) develop an online pre- and post-intervention Workplace Assessment Tool that will provide an evaluation of employee perceptions of the workplace work-life and occupational health context, including the perceived organizational and managerial support for employees’ work-life needs; (3) implement the Workplace Assessment Tool and SCORM-compliant training with a cross-section of employees and work environments to assess usability and effectiveness; and (4) collect data from potential adopters at two organizations to establish final proof of concept.

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