My research primarily focuses on emotion and motivation. In particular, I examine what conditions cause certain unpleasant emotions (e.g., envy, anger, disappointment, resentment), how these emotions drive various perceptions and behaviors, and what interventions can help people to deal with these unpleasant emotions constructively, both for themselves and for the organization. Studying emotions has brought my research into various other topic areas including personality, organizational justice, and social comparison.
I have also conducted research on topics aside from emotions and motivation. For example, one branch of my research focuses on the costs and benefits of distractions in the workplace. My colleagues and I believe that distractions can sometimes be a good thing for employees, specifically because they may prevent excessive levels of boredom during simple or mundane tasks. Other research topics I am actively working on include (a) investigating the relationships between job crafting, burnout, and work engagement, and (b) investigating when social support can be either helpful or harmful for job satisfaction.
An important theme that cuts across all of my research is that I attempt to push back against various assumptions made by researchers and laypersons alike regarding what is "good" and what is "bad." For example, research that I conduct with my colleagues has illustrated that (a) people can react to envy constructively, despite it being an unpleasant emotion, (b) distractions can sometimes improve task performance, particularly when the task is simple), and (c) social support from coworkers can make highly cynical people less satisfied with their jobs. In doing so, I hope that my research will pushed for a more nuanced consideration of the work context, and lead to more targeted organizational interventions to develop a psychologically healthy and productive work environment.