Pieper earns national dissertation award

Jenna Pieper
Jenna Pieper

Jenna Pieper, assistant professor of management, won the Ralph Alexander Dissertation Award presented by the Academy of Management.

The award is only presented when a dissertation is deemed to have comprehensively addressed a significant problem in the human resources field.

Pieper’s dissertation studied the characteristics of the job referrer when trying to predict referral hire performances and the likelihood of the hire leaving the organization.

“I looked at characteristics such as if the referrer was a high performing employee, were they more likely to refer someone who was also a high performer,” Pieper said.

She also examined the tenure of the referrer to see the implications that had with the referral. Ultimately, she believes the overall rigorousness of her dissertation helped win the award.

“My dissertation looks at the whole story of referrals,” she said. “What happens to the referral hires as well as the one who refers. No one has ever looked at refers so that was new.”

One of the main overarching aspects of the dissertation was to examine if a referral hire leaves an organization whether that creates a snowball effect. Likewise, if the employee is retained does that increase retention and performance. She employed multiple outcomes in the dissertation and new methods that are unique to management research.

Pieper grew up in Harvard, Neb., and received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the UNL College of Business Administration faculty in August.

“I’m currently preparing two papers for publication based on my dissertation,” she said. “One is a collaborative paper with Dr. Dennis Duchon from CBA and Dr. Ingo Weller at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.”

Read more about Pieper at http://go.unl.edu/n67.