Roya Ayman, IIT Division of Industrial Organizational Psychology

People Power

How do you measure an organization’s effectiveness? Conventional wisdom might dictate an analysis of sales and growth. As a psychologist, Roya Ayman takes a closer look at another kind of capital: the company’s people.

“Everything from gender roles to the factors affecting employees’ mental health issues can impact performance in the workplace, which ultimately dictates how well a company performs,” says Ayman, a professor in IIT’s Division of Industrial Organizational Psychology, the oldest of its kind in Chicago.

Ayman, who co-edited the widely used book Leadership Theory and Research: Perspectives and Directions and authored many peer-reviewed articles and chapters, conducts research spanning such topics as work-family conflict, gender and culture in the workplace, organizational climate, and leadership and team effectiveness. Her work on culture and leadership was recognized, and she was identified as a fellow by the Leadership Trust, UK. In addition to her academic research, she is the director of the Industrial Organizational Psychology Training Program and a faculty advisor for IIT’s Leadership Academy, which provides unique leadership and educational opportunities for IIT students.

She also has headed consulting projects with a variety of national and international organizations in areas such as government (national fire department); health; educational, manufacturing, and management consulting; information technology; and finance. These projects have included topics on leadership effectiveness, men and women in the workforce, global leadership, women as global leaders, and leader and leadership development.

As a graduate advisor, Ayman is educating and inspiring the next generation of industrial organizational psychologists. In the past 30 years at IIT, she has supervised over 33 dissertations and 57 masters theses in addition to other research projects. Her alumni are successful leaders in industry and faculty in higher education.

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