Home Home | About Us | Sitemap | Contact  
  • Info For
  • Professionals
  • Students
  • Educators
  • Media
  • Search
    Powered By Google

Obituaries

Bernard M. Bass

Bernard M. Bass, 82, passed away October 11, 2007 at his vacation home in Binghamton, NY. He was a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Management at Binghamton University (State University of New York) and a member of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College in Florida.

He was also the founding director of the Center for Leadership Studies at Binghamton and founding editor of The Leadership Quarterly journal.

Bernie obtained his PhD in Industrial Psychology in 1949 from Ohio State University. He subsequently held positions at Louisiana State University, University of California at Berkley, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, and SUNY-Binghamton.

During his career, he published more than 400 journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports, and 21 authored books and 10 edited books. He was a consultant and involved in executive development for many Fortune 500 firms and delivered lectures and workshops throughout the world. He also lectured and conducted workshops pro bono in a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations, including religious organizations, hospitals, government agencies, and universities.

His work is widely cited and he received millions of dollars in research grants. Translations of his work have appeared in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Japanese. In addition to authoring the Handbook of Leadership, Bernie focused for the past 25 years on research and applications to management development of transformational leadership. At the time of his death, he was working on the final stages of the 4th edition of the Handbook of Leadership.

Bernie has been honored with many awards for lifetime achievement by several professional organizations, including the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award in 1994 from SIOP and the Eminent Leadership Scholar Award in 2006 from the Leadership Network of the Academy of Management. A Festschrift in his honor was held in 2001.

His citation in TIP for the SIOP Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award mentioned more than a dozen major contributions to I-O psychology, including his work on the leaderless group discussion, survey feedback, empowerment, film and computer network feedback, contingent reinforcement, participative management education, and leadership as well as his seminal textbooks in the 1960s and 1970s that “developed new theoretical models for several I-O areas, ‘invented’ organizational psychology, and joined the ‘I’ and ‘O’ areas.”

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, who was instrumental in completing the newest edition of the Handbook of Leadership; his son Robert and his wife Maryanne and their three daughters, Rebecca, Megan, and Lauren; his son Jonathan and his wife Patricia and their three sons Joshua, Jeremy, and Jonathan Jr. and his wife Cristie and their two children; his daughter Laurie and her husband Steve; and his daughter Audie.

Marvin Dunnette

Marvin Dunnette, 80, a professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, who co-founded a global human resources consulting firm, died September 18, 2007 in St. Paul, MN.

He graduated in 1948 from the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota with high distinction in Chemical Engineering. He worked for a year in the Department of Mines and Metallurgy as a research chemist. In 1949, he entered graduate school to pursue studies in industrial psychology and received his doctorate in 1954.

Marv played many key roles in transforming industrial and organizational psychology from its empiricist and technological origins into its present status as a model of science and practice.

He is known for his emphasis on individual differences, focus on practical significance, ability to synthesize empirical literature, development of I-O psychologists, and thought leadership.

Throughout his working life, he blended science and practice, mentorship and entrepreneurship, research and consulting, academia and industry, always publishing. He helped his students and colleagues, indeed the entire field, to think about issues in different and testable ways.

He started his career in industry working for 3M Company. During his years at 3M, Marv developed new procedures for selecting and appraising research scientists, sales personnel, and clerical employees. He left 3M in 1960 to become an associate professor of psychology with tenure at the University of Minnesota, where his research led to authoring more than 250 articles, books, reviews, and reports.

He founded Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a management consulting firm in 1967 and served as its president until 1975 when he became chairman of its Board of Directors. In that same year, he and two colleagues, Walter Borman and Leaetta Hough, founded Personnel Decisions Research Institute (PDRI). The Research Institute does behavioral science research in areas related to improved and more productive utilization of human resources.

Today PDI is probably the largest nongovernmental employer of I-O psychologists in the world and is known for its leading edge and award-winning applications of science to the human capital assets of the world of work.

During his career, Marv either singly or through his research organizations developed improved selection procedures for occupations as diverse as police officers, lawyers, managers, firefighters, Navy recruiters, salesmen, prison guards, and power plant operators. Other research activities have involved motivation, morale, and job satisfaction of Army personnel, production workers, and salesmen; antecedents and consequences of adolescent drug use; interpersonal perception or empathy; and improved methods of job analysis and job performance appraisal.

He authored some of the most significant publications in the field of industrial and organizational psychology in the 20th century. His 1966 book, Personnel Selection and Placement, was regarded by many as the “bible” in personnel selection for many years.
Perhaps his most important publication, marking the transformation of I-O psychology into its present status, was his 1976 Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. A four-volume sequel followed in the 1990s.

Marv was most proud of his contributions to the lives of his students, 62 of whom received doctorates in psychology under his mentorship. Three of his students, John P. Campbell, Milt Hakel, and Leaetta Hough were later presidents of SIOP. He served as SIOP president in 1966–1967.

He received many accolades and honors during his professional career, including SIOP’s prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award in 1985. He also was elected a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and SIOP and holds the Diplomat in Industrial Psychology granted by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

His wife Leaetta, daughters Alex, Peggy, and Sheri, and three grandchildren survive him.

J. Ragan (Ward) Neilson

Jennefer Ragan (Ward) Neilson, 32, human resources specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, died October 29, 2007, after a one-year battle with breast cancer. She was born on February 18, 1975 in Shreveport, LA and grew up in Cape Girardeau, MO. She is survived by her husband Kerry Neilson, their 13-month-old daughter, Liliana Rae, and her extended family.

Ragan received her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1997 from Indiana University, where she worked with Dr. Peter Finn conducting research on depression and substance abuse. She earned her M.A. in I-O Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1999. There she worked with Dr. Lynn Bartels and Dr. Catherine Daus, focusing on the effects of physical appearance and perceived intelligence on assessment center ratings.

In 2005, she completed her PhD in I-O Psychology from Colorado State University, where she worked with Drs. Russell Cropanzano (until 2001) and Eric Heggestad (through 2005). Her dissertation focused on the joint effects of affect, disposition, and cognition on motivation. 

Ragan was a true scientist–practitioner. Her research primarily involved the structure and assessment of motivation and the application of motivation to work and academic settings.  She was a highly engaging and effective teacher and taught hundreds of students as a teaching fellow at Colorado State. In addition to her position at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, she also conducted work for the U.S. Geological Survey, Sun Microsystems, and the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Ragan was an active SIOP member and a model I-O psychologist. She will be greatly missed by the I-O community. 

The strength of spirit Ragan demonstrated during her illness served as an inspiration to her large circle of friends and family members.  Her ability to maintain a positive and loving attitude in the face of adversity demonstrated that she truly possessed “clarity of the big picture and perspective on what is important in life” (as stated in her dissertation dedication). 

The Ward/Neilson family’s request those wishing to make donations in Ragan’s memory contribute to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 5005 LBJ Fwy., Ste. 250, Dallas, TX 75244, www.komen.org.  Pictures of Ragan can be viewed or posted at jragan.shutterfly.com

Patricia Cain Smith

The field of industrial-organizational psychology lost one of its most eminent scholars and practitioners with the death of Patricia Cain Smith, 89, professor emerita of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, on October 26, 2007.

Pat entered the University of Nebraska in 1935 and after completing her honors thesis on gender differences in color preference, she graduated with a degree in mathematics and psychology in 1939.

Beginning her graduate studies in experimental psychology at Northwestern University and Bryn Mawr College, she transferred to Cornell University to work under T.A. “Art” Ryan in the area of industrial and business psychology. Pat completed her dissertation on the topic of industrial monotony and boredom, graduating from Cornell in 1942 with a major in industrial psychology and minors in experimental psychology and neurology.

In that same year, she married Olin “Olie” Smith, a fellow graduate student. Pat headed for a job in industry while Olie went off to army life.

Pat began her career at Aetna Life and Affiliated Companies, and 18 months later she joined Kurt Salmon Associates consulting firm where she applied the principles and techniques of industrial psychology in hundreds of new personnel departments, with demonstrated evidence that the application of sound principles in selection, placement, training, and supervision could improve profitability through increases in productivity, attendance and job tenure.

In 1948, the Smith’s returned to Ithaca and a year later she joined the Cornell University faculty. In 1963, Pat was promoted to full professor, the same year that marked the publication of one of her most recognized contributions to measuring job performance, Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS), which continues to be cited frequently and used in many applied situations. 

In 1966, Pat and Olie joined the new and rapidly growing doctoral program in psychology at Bowling Green State University. There she continued her work on understanding both the impact of work tasks and individual differences on job satisfaction.

Years of work begun at Cornell with Lorne Kendall, Chuck Hulin, and Ed Locke that continued at BGSU resulted in the publication of the highly influential and admired 1969 book, The Measurement of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement, which formally introduced the Job Descriptive Index and the Retirement Descriptive Index. The JDI quickly became the “gold standard” for measuring job satisfaction and continues to be used (in revised versions) today.

Pat’s interest in developing attitudinal measures continued with the development of the Job in General (an overall measure of job satisfaction) and both the Job Stress Index and Stress in General self report measures. Pat’s ascendancy to the top of the field of industrial-organizational psychology is reflected in two of her most influential book chapters, “ The Psychology of Men at Work” (1968) in the highly respected and broadly read Annual Review of Psychology and her classic, “Behavior, Results, and Organizational Effectiveness: The Problem of Criteria,” published in 1976 in the first Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

She served on numerous editorial boards, including Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Perceptual and Motor Skills, and American Educational Research Journal. She was actively involved in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and SIOP.

In 1984, Pat received SIOP’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.

In 2005, Pat bequeathed Bowling Green State University a $1 million dollar charitable trust gift. A portion of the charitable trust will go to the Olin and Patricia Smith Piano Accompaniment Fund to support student accompanists in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green. The remainder is designated for the Patricia and Olin Smith Faculty Development Fund to support faculty in the industrial-organizational psychology program.

A great woman and psychologist has left us, but leaves much behind that has made the world, and especially the world of work, a better place. In her own words, “Remember that psychology can be great fun…. The joy is particularly great if it can be shared.”

Editor’s Note:  We gratefully acknowledge Francis J. Yammarino, Clif Boutelle, Lori Anderson Snyder, Kim Hastey, Deborah, Rupp, and William Balzer for their assistance in preparing these obituaries.