Dr. Timothy A. Judge
UF Department of Management
2007-2008 UF Doctoral Mentoring Award Winner
A statement such as this is difficult to write, because as much as I might wish to believe otherwise, my philosophies and strategies in mentoring doctoral students have been more a product of learning from mistakes, and evolution, than enacting a conscious, predetermined plan of action. From this “realized strategy,” though, a few points of my underlying philosophy are salient to me.
Autonomy and self-direction. I have always chafed under the hand of firm direction, and, perhaps as a result, I encourage students to be autonomous and inner-directed in their studies. In most academic disciplines, the job of a faculty member is quite ambiguous, and the role of doctoral student may be even more so. Though I would hesitate to describe my philosophy as “sink or swim,” I do think students need to learn to operate comfortably within the loose boundaries that characterize our work. Too often, in my opinion, faculty members overly structure the student’s role, only to have the student founder when on their own. I tell my doctoral students they will never be more alone than when they are assistant professors; I view my job as to prepare students for how to self-manage their work and their careers. As a result of this philosophy, I am not a particularly effective advisor of students who can only function with explicit day-to-day guidance. Every model of student development has its weaknesses, and that is mine.
Discovery of strengths and intrinsic interests. I see my role, very strongly, as someone who does not mold or shape students to fit a pre-determined image or to conform to my research agenda. Rather, I view my role as facilitating students to discover their intrinsic interests, and to find and capitalize on their own inherent strengths. Although my doctoral students do work on projects in my areas of expertise, over time, I expect them to branch off into their own directions. One of the great joys of academia is that one has vast choices of areas of study. I can think of nothing more stultifying than to assign students research agendas. To no small degree, this philosophy is selfish. Of all the colleagues from whom I have learned the most in my career, far and away, I have learned the most from my students. As the imminent Robert Merton noted, there are strong forces toward convergence and ossification in academia. When my students come to pursue their own agendas, I learn a great deal from intellectual osmosis and, hopefully, this keeps me intellectually alive. Though business is an applied discipline, I try to teach my students to be part of the broader social science (particularly psychology and economics) community. This, I believe, greatly expands the range of topics to be studied, and enlivens both their and my research agendas.
High expectations. From time to time, I have conducted an informal, anonymous performance assessment where my students assess my supervisory and leadership style. One piece of feedback that I have consistently received is that while I give students considerable freedom for how they do their work, I hold them to very high — sometimes overly high — performance standards. As one of my students once noted to me, “You are impossible to please.” Though I do believe there are benefits to this style, there are also costs. Increasingly, I find myself worrying about whether I press my students too hard.
Progression of roles. Finally, if I do have a structural philosophy about student development, it is based on a progression of roles. Students begin their doctoral education as consumers of knowledge. When first-year students are involved in research, it is at the assistant stage: assistance in data collection, data entry, and data analysis. By the second year, students gain more experience in these assistant roles, but I also ask them to gain experience in writing and revising manuscripts. In the third year, students continue to acquire more skills, especially in writing and in idea generation. This last skill is, I think, the hardest to acquire. Anyone can think of a research idea in an abstract sense; but to take this abstraction, and adapt it in a way that is testable, conceptually compelling, unique, and interesting, is no small feat for any of us. Finally, in the fourth and fifth years, students truly are apprentices. They are capable of taking the lead on all aspects of research, and, if all goes well, I am in an advisory role. This is the most gratifying stage, because at that point one sees tangible evidence of what students can become and, selfishly, that is where I learn the most from my students. I no greater pride than when I see students become, with a few nudges from me here or there, into scholars that match their early promise.
Chair, past doctoral students: Brent Scott (PhD, University of Florida, 2007; now Michigan State University assistant professor); Ronald Piccolo (PhD, University of Florida, 2005; now University of Central Florida assistant professor); Amy Colbert (PhD, University of Iowa, 2004; now University of Iowa assistant professor); Remus Ilies (PhD, University of Florida, 2003; now Michigan State University associate professor); Joyce Bono (PhD, University of Iowa, 2001; now University of Minnesota associate professor); Brian McNatt (PhD, University of Iowa, 2001; now Old Dominion University assistant professor); Carl Thoresen (PhD, University of Iowa, 2001; now with Cornerstone Management Resource Systems); Steve Scullen (PhD, University of Iowa, 1998; now Drake University associate professor); Amir Erez (PhD, Cornell University, 1997; University of Florida associate professor); Daniel Cable (PhD, Cornell University, 1995; now University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor).
Awards of students supervised: Remus Ilies, 2007 Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of American Psychological Association); Joyce Bono, 2005 Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Remus Ilies, 2002 HumRRO Fellowship in I/O Psychology; Remus Ilies, Flanagan Award, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2002; Joyce Bono, 2000 HumRRO Fellowship in I/O Psychology; Daniel Cable, 2001 Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Steve Scullen, Best Dissertation Award from Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2000; Carl Thoresen, 1999 HumRRO Fellowship in I/O Psychology; Daniel Cable, Best Dissertation Award from Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1998; Daniel Cable, Best Dissertation Award from Human Resources Division, Academy of Management, 1998.
Chair, current doctoral students: Lauren Simon, 2007-present (PhD, expected 2011); Ryan Klinger, 2006-present (PhD, expected 2010); Charlice Hurst, 2005-present (PhD, expected 2009); Beth Livingston (co-chair with J. Kammeyer-Mueller), 2005-present (PhD, expected 2009); Erin Fluegge Woolf (co-chair with A. Erez), 2005-present (PhD, expected 2008).
Committee member, past and present doctoral students: Irene de Pater (PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2005; current affliation, University of Amsterdam); Thomas Greckhamer (PhD, University of Florida, 2006; current affiliation, Louisiana State University); Bruce Rich (PhD, University of Florida, 2007; current affiliation, California State University, San Marcos); Nathan Podsakoff (PhD, University of Florida, 2007; current affiliation, University of Arizona); Cindy Zapata-Phelan (PhD, University of Florida, 2008; current affiliation, Georgia Tech University); John Shaw (PhD, University of Florida, 2002; current affiliation, Mississippi State University); Kevin Carlson (PhD, University of Iowa, 1997; current affiliation, Virginia Tech University); Brian Collins (ABD, University of Alabama, expected 2008); Jun Xu, Marketing (ABD, University of Florida, expected 2008).