|Department:||Department of Management, Master of Human Resources
Darla Moore School of Business
|Office:||Darla Moore School of Business, Room 406C|
|Resources:||Curriculum Vitae [pdf]|
Mark Maltarich, assistant professor of management at the University of South Carolina, studies how to form and lead teams and how to diagnose and solve team-related problems in organizations. His research examines complexities of combining individual talent into teams, managing team processes and conflict, rewarding teams, and the causes and consequences of turnover for work units. Maltarich also studies the research methods used to analyze data from individuals in groups. His research has appeared in some of the top journals in the management field, and he serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Psychology. He earned his Ph.D. in Business from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, holds an MBA from DePaul University and earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Northwestern University. Before earning his Ph.D., Maltarich worked in management for the Midwest’s largest independent wine and spirits retailer.
What courses do you teach?
I teach Organizational Behavior (MGMT 376) to undergraduates, Competing Through People (MGMT 770) to the Professional MBA students, and Consulting and Organizational Development (MGMT 730) in the Master of Human Resources program.
Why should a student take your class? How does your class help students become employable?
Many students in my undergraduate class will soon be facing workplace issues for the first time — discipline, motivational problems, organizational politics and leading people. I aim to leverage the knowledge from a long line of management research to prepare students to ask the right questions to address these issues successfully. I emphasize the role of the situation — there’s almost never one right answer that always works, but if you can recognize the swing factors, there’s a right answer for every situation.
What do you research?
I’m interested in how life gets complex when individuals are put into groups or teams. I ask questions like: How do individual skills and abilities combine to drive group performance? When does diversity on teams help or get in the way? When is conflict productive? Should we pay teams based on group performance or reward individuals for their contribution? Why do people leave a group, and what happens to the rest when they do?
I also research the way we measure and analyze data for studying groups, which is more complicated than the ways we treat individuals.
How do your research projects make a difference?
Simply put, my research can help managers design team-based work, form work teams and lead teams to be more satisfied and perform better.
Briefly describe a few of your current projects.
One example project asks why the research has had problems finding a benefit for firms that fire workers more freely. My co-authors and I argue that the downside of firing is the same as when people quit — there are costs for replacing and training new workers, and you can end up shorthanded for a while. In the long term, though, weeding out the worst employees should be a good thing because you can replace them with better workers. We show that this is true and explain why prior studies have found something different.
How do you involve students in your projects?
I have several collaborations involving doctoral students, and I have worked on projects with undergraduates for special projects like honors theses. My work presents some opportunities for exceptional undergraduates to get exposure to data analysis and scientific writing.
What inspires you about your work?
To me, the most exciting thing about my work is the opportunity to create knowledge — I start with a question that nobody knows the answer to, make progress toward an answer and share it with others. In the field of teams, I find this especially exciting because teams are used in so many workplaces to get work done. That means the answers I find have the potential to make an impact on the real world.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I have two children, which occupies a lot of my time. I sometimes coach their sports teams, and I coached a team that competed in a Lego robot competition. I enjoy making music — I play guitar in a couple of pretty bad bands, and I also play banjo. I recently took up running, and I have completed two half marathons.