Ph.D. Student Receives Prestigious Dissertation Award

Bidgood Hall

Yi-Ren Wang, a recent graduate of the Culverhouse’s management doctoral program, was recently selected by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s Awards Committee to receive the 2022 S. Rains Wallace Dissertation Award. Yi-Ren received this award for her dissertation, Precariousness, Anticipatory Justice, and Belief in Delayed Pay-Off Affect Workers’ Intertemporal Choice Orientation: Implications on Socioeconomic Mobility, which was supervised by the Culverhouse College Associate Professor of Management Mike Ford.

In her dissertation, Yi-Ren investigated psychological barriers to upward mobility among workers in precarious jobs that lack security and schedule certainty. Findings across three studies suggest that, compared to workers in more secure work arrangements, workers in these precarious situations are less likely to believe their efforts will be rewarded in the future and as a result tend to show less personal initiative, tend to hold lower career aspirations, and engage in less self-development. Results also suggest that anticipatory organizational justice, or the belief that one will be treated fairly in the future, is a strong factor in motivating personal initiative and self-development, which have potential to improve the status of workers in precarious situations.

This award is given by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) to the person who completes the best doctoral dissertation research germane to the field of I-O psychology. The winning dissertation research demonstrates the use of research methods that are both rigorous and creative.

Yi-Ren received a plaque and a cash prize of $1,000, and she presented her dissertation research along with several other SIOP award winners in a “Best Science of I-O” session at the 2022 SIOP Annual Conference in April. You can find a list of past S. Rains Wallace Dissertation Award winners at the SIOP website.

Yi-Ren is now an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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