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Dr. James Smither



"A valuable MBA is more than a collection of facts and knowledge. It's the ability to do things well, to lead with integrity, and to make decisions that benefit a broad range of stakeholders."

Degrees Held:

  • PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – Stevens Institution of Technology, 1985
  • MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – Montclair State College, 1981
  • MA in Education – Seton Hall University, 1973
  • BA in Psychology – La Salle University, 1972

Career Highlights:

Jim teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in human resources management, decision making, training and development, and leadership skills. Previously, Jim was a senior manager in corporate human resources for AT&T where he was responsible for developing and validating employee selection programs for management-level positions. He also worked in strategic analysis and market research at AT&T. He received his BA (in psychology) from La Salle and has an MA from Seton Hall University, an MA from Montclair State University, and a PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Jim is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He has published over 55 scholarly articles and chapters; his research has been published in top-tier journals such as Personnel Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. He has served as a Consulting Editor at the Journal of Applied Psychology and as Associate Editor of Personnel Psychology. He has edited two books (published by Jossey-Bass) that present research/evidence-based best practices in performance management.

He has consulted with over 65 firms in human resources and leadership development. He’s worked with companies in a variety of industries such as pharmaceutical, telecommunications, semiconductor, accounting, airline, consumer products, aerospace, financial, packaging, casino, law, health care, education, and government.

A sample of recent publications:

  • Kim, K.Y., Atwater, L.E., Patel, P., & Smither, J.W. (2016). Multisource feedback, human capital, and the financial performance of organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101, 1569-1584.
  • Flynn, B., Smither, J.W., & Walker, A.G. (in press). Exploring the relationship between leaders’ core self-evaluations and subordinates’ perceptions of servant leadership: A field study. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies.
  • Smither, J.W., & Walker, A. G. (2015). The relationship between core self-evaluations, views of god, and intrinsic/extrinsic religious motivation. Psychological Reports, 116, 647-662.
  • Smither, J.W. (2015). The fate of performance ratings: Don’t write the obituary yet. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 8, 77-80.

In which online degree program do you teach?

MBA – General

  • Which classes do you teach online?

    Developing Leadership Skills and Human Resource Management

  • What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?

    I want them to walk away with practical skills that make them more effective in the workplace. A valuable MBA is more than a collection of facts and knowledge. It's the ability to do things well, to lead with integrity, and to make decisions that benefit a broad range of stakeholders.

  • What advice would you give to those considering the online MBA program?

    Be prepared to work hard. You will read a lot, complete many assignments, and engage with fellow students. The old adage is true: You will get out of it what you put into it.

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