Two Seattle University scholars are stars in the field of business management but they approach research from different vantage points.
Gregory Prussia is an ace numbers cruncher who quantitatively pursues questions of leadership, organizational safety and more. Holly Slay Ferraro, an ever-curious qualitative researcher, prefers to collect stories especially those related to race, gender, aging and organizations. Ferraro’s style is conceptual and interpretive; Prussia’s is analytical.
For Prussia, scholarly work is almost always in collaboration with others who rely on his statistical techniques and expertise as a quantitative analyst. Prussia’s contributions include nearly 30 conference presentations and more than 20 publications, including the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies and the Journal of Applied Psychology, on topics such as organizational change, leadership and coping with job loss.
As a scholar, it’s Ferraro’s mission to offer a new lens to think more inclusively in the workplace and empower students with new approaches to understanding the workforce.
A member of the faculty since 2007, Ferraro’s research often wrestles with issues of professional identity as well as the influence of social identity race and gender, for example and their sway over career outcomes. She recently wrote an article for the journal, Human Relations, that examines how stigmatized cultural identities impact professional identities.
Midlife career transitions and decisions are among her current research interests, including age-related discrimination and how goals and motivations change with age. Ferraro suggests older workers still want to contribute in significant ways, but not necessarily by moving up the career ladder. She’s also looking at family businesses where intergenerational dynamics pose identity challenges when founding generations aren’t prepared to step down.
Perceptions of self-confidence and group confidence are among the research interests of Prussia, on the SU faculty since 1993. One of his works points to how self-confidence is a key link in leadership behavior and performance outcomes. He currently is developing an instrument to measure performance management and researching what motivates people to want to cross an organization’s virtual boundaries.
This pair is on the leading edge of ever-shifting workplace phenomena, tackling even some of the age-old questions from a fresh perspective.
Videos by Eric Becker