Ryan Lahti, MA, PhD
Current city of residence:
Orange County, CA
Organization for which I currently work:
Ernst & Young
Westin Hotels & Resorts
Executive Coaching & Development
Leadership Team Performance
Strategic Workforce Planning
Talent Management Infrastructure
BA in Psychology, Business Administration;
MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology;
University of North Texas
Thesis title and abstract:
The Impact of Information Technology on the Quality of Life
Information technology (IT) is computer and telecommunications hardware and software that aid in the processing, collection, and transmission of text, voice, and pictorial information. Due to this technology, employees can do their work virtually anywhere and anytime that IT allows. This study surveyed 138 full-time employees in southern California to assess the impact of computers, modems, pagers, and cellular phones on employee quality of life. Findings include an increase in IT use being associated with an increase in off-site work, and an increase in off-site work being associated with an increase in work-nonwork conflict for males.
Dissertation title and abstract:
The Organizational Socialization of a Dynamic Workforce: A Focus on Employee and Contract Worker Knowledge Transfer
Within the last decade, more organizations are utilizing a non-traditional workforce. Specifically, these organizations are utilizing contract workers as resources to provide services and manufacture products. While this change in workforce provides benefits to organizations, the change also presents numerous challenges such as turnover.
The turnover involved in such a relationship along with the addition of newcomers translates into an organizational socialization and knowledge transfer (KT) issue, because contract workers as well as employees need to be efficiently brought into a new organization, and knowledge needs to be shared with these new individuals so that they can effectively contribute to the work process. It is contended that organizations follow a typical, informal organizational socialization “policy” which involves KT in getting new contract workers and employees up to speed. This study addressed the typical organizational socialization policy as it is represented by formal knowledge transfer (FKT) via instructor-led/classroom training (ILT) and computer-based training (CBT) and by informal knowledge transfer (IKT) via a social network. The study focused on IKT, because companies understand this type of KT the least. In order to evaluate the organizational socialization of contract workers for this study, the contract worker population was compared to a baseline population of employees which was broken up into two employee groups: “rookies” and experienced hires. The formal and informal transfer of three types of knowledge (job task, role, and organizational norms) was assessed by using surveys and interviews (including social network methods) on a research population consisting of 166 employees (both rookies and experienced hires) and contract workers from a Fortune 100 company. The findings include: (a) Job task knowledge was transferred more often than role and organizational norms knowledge, (b) coworkers were used more than managers a source of knowledge overall, (c) worker classification as well as job task and role knowledge explained significant amounts of variance in performance, and (d) network size impacted performance.