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Elon University / Today at Elon / Brian Lyons, Robert Moorman present on applicant ghosting, reneging behaviors

In a session during the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology annual conference, Lyons and Moorman presented research they co-authored with alumna Alina Prengel ’20.

Brian Lyons, associate professor of management, and Robert Moorman, Frank S. Holt Jr. Professor of Business Leadership, presented research at the 2022 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) annual conference in Seattle.

Frank S. Holt Jr. Professor of Business Leadership Robert Moorman and Associate Professor of Management Brian Lyons in front of their poster at the 2022 SIOP conference.

The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business professors co-authored the paper, “Antecedents and Contextual Influences of Applicant Ghosting and Reneging Behaviors,” with Alina Prengel ’20, who graduated from Elon as part of the university’s international business dual degree program.

The paper presents an initial examination into the role of the Dark Triad – narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy – in predicting applicant ghosting and reneging behaviors during the selection process, as well as how fear of missing out (FoMO) may moderate these relationships.

“Results suggest that psychopathy positively predicted ghosting, but not reneging,” the authors wrote in the paper’s abstract. “Narcissism and Machiavellianism were unrelated to the behaviors. Although FoMO did not moderate any relationship, it was positively related to ghosting behavior.”

Alina Prengel standing in front of mountains
Alina Prengel ’20 is traveling through Asia and was unable to attend the SIOP conference.

The research project began as Prengel’s senior thesis, with Lyons serving as her mentor, and was included in Elon’s 2020 SURF program. Prengel continued to work with Lyons and Moorman on the project after graduating from Elon and ESB Business School with two degrees in international business. Last October, the professors submitted part of her thesis de ella for consideration at the 37th annual conference of SIOP and learned it was accepted earlier this year.

“Alina’s thesis will serve as the foundation of future applicant maladaptive behavioral studies,” Lyons shared. “In addition, completing her thesis during the pandemic and having it presented at one of the premier conferences in the field is a testament to her ability and achievement motivation for her. Conference attendees—academics, practitioners and graduate students—who visited our session were genuinely impressed that this study was part of her undergraduate thesis. ”

After graduation, Prengel joined the Master in Management program at the University of Mannheim, one of Germany’s leading business schools, where she is focusing on information systems. She completed internships with Mercedes-Benz and Horváth, and plans to write her thesis about fairness perceptions in algorithmic decision making. She was unable to join the professors at the conference due to her study abroad commitments in Asia.

Lyons has taught human resource management and organizational behavior courses at Elon since 2014. His research interests involve recruitment, selection, counterproductive work and off-duty behavior, and leadership effectiveness.

Moorman, who joined Elon in 2011, teaches leadership and organizational behavior courses as well as serves as the chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. His research interests include the study of leader integrity, work group cooperation, organizational justice and the performance of organizational citizenship behaviors.

SIOP is the premier professional association for the science and practice of individual and organizational (IO) psychology. The organization’s conference included more than 200 in-person sessions, 100 virtual sessions and 500 poster sessions.

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