Susan Simkins




Professor of Psychology
617 Moore Building University Park, Pa 16802
(814) 863-7387


Ph. D., Ohio State University, 1996

Professional Bio

Investigating the drivers of effective teamwork and performance is the central focus of my research program. Given the preponderance of team-based structures in work settings, teams are currently one of the most actively researched areas in Industrial/Organizational psychology. Secondary lines of research focus on leadership and decision making. These areas of study intersect in that they emphasize the role of individual differences, cognition, and temporality as dominant themes.


My research follows three streams: team composition/diversity, team cognition/mental models, and the integration of time in team and leadership research.

•             Team performance depends, in part, on how successfully the diverse abilities, knowledge, and characteristics of members are leveraged or squandered. Thus, I have examined a wide range of individual differences, including demographics, cognitive ability, experience, and personality traits. I adopt a contingency and multilevel perspective in that the study of who is in the team (composition) is combined with an understanding of how the team is functioning (processes) and what the team is doing (task context) to predict team effectiveness.


•             Team cognition broadly reflects the cognitive activity occurring within a team. Although I investigate various forms of team cognition (e.g., cognitive consensus, transactive memory systems, situation awareness), my emphasis has been on team mental models. Team mental models highlight the importance of team members “being on the same page” with regard to how they view the group task and how they work together as a team.


•             Across both team composition and team cognition research streams, the integration of temporal and team dynamics has become fundamental to my research. I have examined time-based characteristics (e.g., time urgency, polychronicity, pacing styles, time perspective) as a previously unexplored, but potentially potent, form of diversity operating in teams. In addition, I have infused a temporal focus into the study of team cognition to better reflect the context of organizational teams. Recent research has explored temporal leadership and temporal conflict.


Recent Publications


Alipour, K., Mohammed, S., & Raghuram, S. (in press). Differences in the valuing of power values among team members: A contingency approach toward examining the effects of power values diversity and relationship conflict. Journal of Business and Psychology. DOI 10.1007/s10869-017-9488-7 Tesler, R., Mohammed, S., Hamilton, K., Mancuso, V., & McNeese, M. (2017). Mirror, mirror: Guided storytelling and team reflexivity’s influence on team mental models. Small Group Research, 1-39. doi: 10.1177/1046496417722025


Alipour, K. K., Mohammed, S., & Martinez, P. (2017). Incorporating temporality into implicit leadership and followership theories: Exploring inconsistencies between time-based expectations and actual behaviors. Leadership Quarterly (special issue on Dynamic Viewpoints on Implicit Leadership and Followership Theories), 28(2), 300-316.

Mohammed, S., Alipour, K., Martinez, P., Livert, D., & Fitzgerald, D. (2017). Conflict in the Kitchen: Temporal diversity and temporal disagreements in chef teams. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 21(1), 1-19.


Fitzgerald, D., & Mohammed, S., & Okudan-Kremer, G. (2017). Differences in the way we decide: The effect of decision style diversity on process conflict in design teams. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 339-344. DOI #: 0191-8869 Mohammed, S., & McKay, A. S. (2017). Selection for team membership: Complexity, contingency, and dynamism across multiple levels. In J. L. Farr and N. T. Tippins (Eds.), Handbook of Employee Selection (2nd edition, pp. 812-832). New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).


Hamilton, K., Shih, S., & Mohammed, S. (2016). The development and validation of a rational and intuitive decision style scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 98(5), 523-535. DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2015.1132426


Myer, A., Thoroughgood, C., & Mohammed, S. (2016). Complementary or competing climates: Examining the interactive effect between service and ethical climates on company-level financial performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(8), 1178-1190. DOI #: 0021-9010


Mohammed, S., Hamilton, K., Tesler, R., Mancuso, V., & McNeese, M. Time for temporal team mental models: Expanding beyond “what” and “how” to incorporate “when” (2015). European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (special issue, dynamics of Team Adaptation and Cognition), 24 (5), 693-709.


Gevers, J.M. P., Mohammed, S., & Baytalskaya, N. (2015). The conceptualization and measurement of pacing style. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 64(3), 499-540.

Mohammed, S., & Nadkarni, S. (2014). Are we all on the same temporal page? The moderating effects of temporal team cognition on the polychronicity diversity-team performance relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(3), 404-422.


Mohammed, S., & Harrison, D. (2013). The clocks that time us are not the same: A theory of temporal diversity, task characteristics, and performance in teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122(2), 244-256.

Susan Mohammed
Susan Mohammed