November 03, 2016

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Julia Lee at

When the Going Gets Tough, What Keeps Job Seekers Thriving? A Relational Perspective on the Job Search

Talk Description:

Researchers have suggested that interpersonal behaviors impact job seekers, but have not theoretically or empirically examined relational factors on a daily basis. We develop and test a theoretical framework for understanding how job seekers’ daily learning and vitality—also known as thriving—is shaped by the interpersonal treatment that they experience from individuals around them.

Using an experience sampling study among 204 low-income job seekers collecting government assistance, we find that interpersonal mistreatment is negatively associated with thriving, whereas interpersonal opportunity reframing—a form of relational support that enables job seekers to view adversity as challenges that can be overcome—was positively associated with job seekers’ thriving.

Moreover, we introduce and find support for the moderating role of an underdog reactance orientation—defined as the extent to which individuals are motivated when they are underestimated by others—in shaping these effects. We discuss theoretical implications for the job search and self-adaptation literatures.


Madeline (Maddy) Ong is a PhD Candidate in the Management & Organizations area at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She conducts research in two broad areas: ethics and leadership development. Her dissertation work explores individuals’ moral development in the aftermath of wrongdoing. When not working on her dissertation, she enjoys playing with her cat and watching late-night talk shows.