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Paul  Spector

Paul Spector

Paul Spector
Distinguished Professor
  *Professor Spector is no longer accepting new doctoral students


Office: PCD 4138
Phone: 813/974-0357



Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of South Florida, 1975.


I am interested in both research methodology and in how organizational factors, work-nonwork interface, and personal characteristics interact to affect employee health, safety, and well-being. My methodology interests focus on the connection between design, measurement and statistics and in the nature of scientific inference. I have studied the proper use of control variables, and common method variance. My health and safety interests fit into the newly emerging interdisciplinary field of occupational health psychology. My students, colleagues and I study accidents/injuries at work, counterproductive work behavior (things people do that harm coworkers and employers such as aggression and theft), interpersonal conflict, job attitudes, job stress and workplace violence. We also study how personality affects each of these areas.

Research Synopsis

We have several research thrusts going on at the current time.

1. Counterproductive work behavior: We are studying potential antecedents of these behaviors to better understand why they occur.

2. Workplace violence: We are studying how the climate of an organization contributes to violence.

3. Common and uncommon method variance.

4. Job stress: We are studying the impact of illegitimate tasks, organizational constraints, and workload.

Specialty Area


Recent Publications

For more information, see Dr. Spector's Curriculum Vitae

Brannick, M. T., Chan, D., Conway, J. M., Lance, C. E., & Spector, P. E. (2010). What is method variance and how can we cope with it: A panel discussion. Organizational Research Methods, 13, 407-420.

Davidson, O. B., Eden, D., Westman, M., Cohen-Charash, Y., Hammer, L. B., Kluger, A. N., Krausz, M., Maslach, C., O’Driscoll, M., Perrewé, P. L., Quick, J. C., Rosenblatt, Z., & Spector, P. E. (2010). Sabbatical leave: Who gains and how much? Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 953-964.

Fritz, C., Sonnentag, S., Spector, P. E., & McInroe, J. A. (2010). The weekend matters: Relationships between stress recovery and affective experiences. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 1137-1162. One of 5 nominated as best paper for 2010.

Kessler, S. R., Bandelli, A. C., Spector, P. E., Borman, W. C., Nelson, C. E., & Penney, L. M. (2010). Reexamining Machiavelli: A three dimensional model of Machiavellianism in the workplace. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40, 1868-1896.

Lu, L., Cooper, C. L., Kao, S. F., Allen, T. D., Lapierre, L. M., O’Driscoll, M., Poelmans, S. A. Y., Sanchez, J. I., & Spector P. E. (2010). Cross-cultural differences in work-to-family conflict and role satisfaction: A Taiwanese-British comparison. Human Resources Management, 49, 67-85.

Spector, P. E., Bauer, J. A., & Fox, S. (2010). Measurement artifacts in the assessment of counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior: Do we know what we think we know? Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 781-790.

Spector, P. E. & Brannick, M. T. (2010). If Thurstone was right, what happens when we factor analyze Likert scales? (Commentary). Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Research and Practice, 3, 502-503.

Spector, P. E. & Fox, S. (2010). Counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior: Are they opposite forms of active behavior? Applied Psychology: An International Review, 59, 21-39.

Spector, P. E. & Fox, S. (2010). Theorizing about the deviant citizen: An attribution explanation of the interplay of organizational citizenship and counterproductive work behavior. Human Resources Management Review, 20, 132-143.

Bruursema, K., Kessler, S. R., & Spector, P. E. (2011). Bored employees misbehaving: The relationship between boredom and counterproductive work behaviour, Work & Stress, 25, 93-107.

Liu, C., Spector, P. E., Liu, Y, & Shi, L. (2011). The interaction of job autonomy and supervisor conflict in China and the United States: A qualitative and quantitative comparison. International Journal of Stress Management, 18, 222-245.

Mazzola, J. J., Jackson, E. M., Shockley, K. M., & Spector, P. E. (2011). Examining stress in graduate assistants: Combining qualitative and quantitative survey methods. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 5, 198-211.

Mazzola, J. J., Schonfeld, I. S., & Spector, P. E. (2011). What qualitative research has taught us about occupational stress. Stress & Health, 27, 93-110.

Nixon, A. E., Mazzola, J. J., Bauer, J. A., Krueger, J. R., & Spector P. E. (2011). Can work make you sick? A meta-analysis of job stressor-physical symptom relationships. Work & Stress, 25, 1-22.

Nixon, A. E., Yang, L. Q., Spector, P. E., & Zhang, X. (2011). Emotional labor in China: Examining moderators and consequences of the emotional labor process. Stress & Health, 27, 289-305.

Pagon, M., Spector, P. E., Cooper, C. L., & Lobnikar, B. (2011). Managers in suits and managers in uniforms: Sources and outcomes of occupational stress. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 13, 211-222.

Spector, P. E. (2011). The relationship of personality to counterproductive work behavior (CWB): An integration of perspectives. Human Resources Management Review, 21, 342-352.

Spector, P. E. & Brannick, M. T. (2011). Methodological urban legends: The misuse of statistical control variables. Organizational Research Methods, 14, 287-305. [Received ISI Thomson "Highly Cited" for Economics and Business in 2015].

Chang, C. H., Eatough, E. M., Spector, P. E., & Kessler, S. R. (2012). Violence prevention climate, exposure to violence and aggression, and prevention behavior: A mediation model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 657-677.

Fox, S., Spector, P. E., Goh, A., Bruursema, K., & Kessler, S. R. (2012). The deviant citizen: Measuring potential positive relations between counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85, 199-220. Best paper prize by the journal for 2012.

Masuda, A. D., Poelmans, S. A. Y., Allen, T. D., Spector, P. E., Lapierre, C. L., Cooper, C. L., Abarca, N., Brough, P., Ferreiro, P., Fraile, G., Lu, L., Lu, C. Q., Siu, O. L., O’Driscoll, M., Simoni, A. S., Shima, S., & Moreno-Velazquez, I. (2012). Flexible work arrangements availability and their relationship with work-to-family conflict, job satisfaction and turnover intentions: A comparison of three country clusters. Applied Psychology: An International Review 61, 1-29.

Yang, L. Q., Spector, P. E., Chang, C. H., Gallant-Roman, M., & Powell, J. (2012). Psychosocial precursors and physical consequences of workplace violence towards nurses: A longitudinal examination with naturally occurring groups in hospital settings. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49, 1091-1102.

Yang, L. Q., Spector, P. E., Sanchez, J. I., Allen, T. D., Poelmans, S. Cooper, C. L., Lapierre, L. M., O’Driscoll, M. P., Abaraca, N., Alexandrova, M., Antoniou, A. S., Beham, B., Brough, P., Çarikçi, I., Ferreiro, P., Fraile, G., Guerts, S., Kinnunen, U., Lu, C. Q., Lu, L., Moreno-Veláquez, Pagon, M., Pitariu, H., Salamatov, V., Shima, S., Simoni, A. S., Siu, O. L., Tillemann, K., Widerszal-Bazyl, M., & Woo, J. M. (2012). Individualism-collectivism as a moderator of the work demands-strains relationship: A cross-level and cross-national examination. Journal of International Business Studies, 43, 424-443.

Bruk-Lee, V. B., Nixon, A. E., & Spector, P. E. (2013). Social stressors at work and employee well-being: Does the type of conflict matter. Work & Stress, 27, 339-350.

Kessler, S. R., Bruursema, K., Rodopman, O. B., & Spector, P. E. (2013). Leadership, interpersonal conflict, and counterproductive work behavior: An examination of the stressor/strain process. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 6, 180-190.

Meier, L. L., Gross, S., Spector, P. E., & Semmer, N. K. (2013). Relationship and task conflict at work: Interactive short-term effects on angry mood and somatic complaints. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18, 144-156.

Meier, L. L. & Spector, P. E. (2013). Reciprocal effects of work stressors and counterproductive work behavior: A five-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 529-539.

Meurs, J. A., Fox, S., Kessler, S. R., & Spector P. E. (2013). It’s all about me: The role of narcissism in exacerbating the stressor-counterproductive work behavior relationships. Work & Stress, 27, 368-382.

Siu, O. L., Lu, C. Q., & Spector, P. E. (2013). Direct and indirect relationship between social stressors and job performance in Greater China: The role of strain and social support. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22, 520-531.

Yang L. Q., Johnson, R., Zhang, X., Spector, P. E., & Xu, S. (2013). Relations of interpersonal unfairness with counterproductive work behavior: The moderating role of employee self-identity. Journal of Business and Psychology, 28, 189-202.

Allen, T. D., Lapierre, L. M., Spector, P. E., Poelmans, S. A. Y., Cooper, C. L., Walvoord, A. G., O’Driscoll, M., Sanchez, J. I., Antonious, A. S., Brough, P., Guurts, S., Kinnunen, U., Pagon, M., Shima, S., & Woo, J. M. (2014). The link between national leave policy and work-family conflict among married working parents. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 63, 5-28.

Kessler, S. R., Spector, P. E., & Gavin, M. B. (2014). A critical look at ourselves: Do male and female professors respond the same to environmental characteristics? Research in Higher Education, 55, 351-369.

Spector, P. E., & Che, X. X. (2014). Re-examining citizenship: How the control of measurement artifacts affects observed relationships of organizational citizenship behavior and organizational variables. Human Performance, 27, 165-182.

Spector, P. E. & Meier, L. L. (2014). Methodologies for the study of organizational behavior processes: How to find your keys in the dark. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 1109-1119.

Spector, P. E., Rogelberg, S. G., Ryan, A. M., Schmitt, N., & Zedeck, S. (2014). Moving the pendulum back to the middle: Reflections on and introduction to the inductive research special issue of Journal of Business and Psychology. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29, 499-502.

Spector, P. E., & Zhou, Z. E. (2014). The moderating role of gender in relationships of stressors and personality with counterproductive work behavior. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29, 669-681.

Spector, P. E., Zhou, Z. E., & Che, X. X. (2014). Nurse exposure to physical and nonphysical violence, bullying, and sexual harassment: A quantitative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51, 72-84.

Yang, L.-Q., Caughlin, D. E., Gazica, M. W., Truxillo, D. M., & Spector, P. E. (2014). Workplace mistreatment climate and potential employee and organizational outcomes: A meta-analytic review from the target’s perspective. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19, 315-335.

Zhou, Z. E., Meier, L. L., & Spector, P. E. (2014). The role of personality and job stressors in predicting counterproductive work behavior: A three-way interaction. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 22, 286-296.

Bauer, J. A. & Spector, P. E. (2015). Discrete negative emotions and counterproductive work behavior. Human Performance, 28, 307-331.

Gazica, M. W., & Spector, P. E. (2015). A comparison of individuals with unanswered callings to those with no calling at all. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 91, 1-10.

Nixon, A. E., & Spector, P. E. (2015). Seeking clarity in a linguistic fog: Moderators of the workplace aggression-strain relationship. Human Performance, 28, 137-164.

Spector, P. E., Liu, C., and Sanchez, J. I. (2015). Methodological and substantive issues in conducting multinational and cross-cultural research. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2, 101-131.

Spector, P. E., Yang, L.-Q., & Zhou, Z. E. (2015). A longitudinal investigation of the role of violence prevention climate in exposure to workplace physical violence and verbal abuse. Work & Stress, 29, 325-340.

Zhou, Z. E., Yang, L.-Q., & Spector, P. E. (2015). Political skill: A proactive inhibitor of workplace aggression exposure and an active buffer of the aggression-strain relationship. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 20, 405-419.

Andel, S. A., Pindek, S., & Spector P. E. (2016). Being called to safety: Occupational callings and safety climate in the emergency medical services. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58, 1245-1249.

Becker, T. E., Atinc, G, Breaugh, J. A., Carlson, K. D., Edwards, J. R., & Spector, P. E. (2016). Statistical control in correlational studies: Ten essential recommendations for organizational researchers. Journal of Organizational Behavior. Early view

Eatough, E. M., Meier, L. L., Igic, I., Elfering, A., Spector, P. E., & Semmer, N. K. (2016). You want me to do what? Two daily diary studies of illegitimate tasks and employee well-being. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37, 108-127.

Pindek, S. & Spector, P. E. (2016). Organizational constraints: A meta-analysis of a major stressor. Work & Stress, 30, 7-25.

Spector, P. E., & Pindek, S. (2016). The future of research methods in work and occupational health psychology. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 65, 412-431.

Che, X. X., Zhou, Z. E., Kessler, S. R., & Spector, P. E. (In press). Stressors beget stressors: The effect of passive leadership on employee health through workload and work-family conflict. Work & Stress.

Gazica, M. W., & Spector, P. E. (In press). A test of safety, violence prevention, and civility climate domain specific relationships with relevant workplace hazards. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Nixon, A. E., Bruk-Lee, V. B. & Spector, P. E. (In press). Grin and bear it: Employees’ use of surface acting during coworker conflict. Stress and Health.

Pindek, S., & Spector, P. E. (In press). Explaining the surprisingly weak relationship between organizational constraints and job performance. Human Performance.

Pindek, S. & Spector P. E. (In press). A quantitative and qualitative review of what meta-analysis have contributed to our understanding of human resource management. Human Resources Management Review.

Spector, P. E., Rosen, C. C., Richardson, H. A., Williams, L. J., & Johnson, R. E. (In press). A new perspective on method variance: A metric-centric approach to the identification and control of extraneous sources of variance. Journal of Management.

Yang, L.-Q., Liu, C., Nauta, M., Caughlin, D. E., & Spector P. E. (In press). Be mindful of what you impose on your colleagues: Implications of social burden for burdenees’ well-being, attitudes, and counterproductive work behavior. Stress and Health.