Thomas Becker

Professor of Business Administration,

Department: Business Administration
Campus Address: 208 Lerner Hall
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-6822


Thomas E. Becker is a professor of management in the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.  He received his Ph.D. in I/O psychology from The Ohio State University in 1990.  His primary research interests are employee commitment, integrity, motivation, job performance, and research methods.  He has published in leading journals in psychology and management and co-edited a book, Commitment in Organizations, with John Meyer and Howard Klein.  He has served as an associate editor at Human Performance, and as a member of the editorial board at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.  Internationally, he has held the Belgian International Franqui Chair in the Human Sciences and a Mercator professorship at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.  He is a member of the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.



  • Ph.D. – The Ohio State University, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1990
  • M. A. – The Ohio State University, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1988
  • B. A. – University of South Florida, 1982
  • Curriculum Vitae


Becker, T. E., Ullrich, J., & Van Dick, R. (2013).  Within-person variation in employee commitment: Where it comes from and why it matters.  Human Resource Management Review, 23, 131-147.  [Lead article of a special issue on advances in understanding workplace commitments.]

Becker, T. E.  (2011).  Nepotism and the commitment of relevant parties.  In R. G. Jones (Ed.), Understanding and adapting to organizational nepotism (pp. 129-145).  New York: Routledge.

Eisenberger, R., Karagonlar, G., Stinglhamber, F.,Neves, P., Becker, T. E., Gonzalez-Morales, M. G., & Steiger-Mueller, M. (2010).  Leader-member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 1085-1103.

Klein, H. J., Becker, T. E., & Meyer, J. P. (Eds.).  (2009).  Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions. New York: Routledge.

Becker, T. E.  (2009).  Interpersonal commitments. In H. J. Klein, T. E. Becker, & J. P. Meyer (Eds.). Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions (pp. 137-178).  New York: Routledge.

Becker, T. E., Klein, H. J., & Meyer, J. P.  (2009).  Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions.  In H. J. Klein, T. E. Becker, & J. P. Meyer (Eds.), Commitment in organizations: Accumulated wisdom and new directions (pp. 419-452).  New York: Routlege.

Jeffries, F. J., & Becker, T. E.  (2008).  Trust, norms, and cooperation: Development and test of a simplified model.  Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, 9, 316-336.  [Selected for the editor’s 2008 best paper of the year award.]

Becker, T. E., & Bennett, R.  (2007).  Employee attachment and deviance in organizations.  In J. Langan-Fox, C. Cooper, and R. Klimoski (Eds.), Research companion to the dysfunctional workplace: Management challenges and symptoms (pp. 136-151).  Northampton, MA: Elgar.

Meyer, J. P., Becker, T. E., & Van Dick, R.  (2006).  Social identities and commitments at work: Toward an integrative model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 665-683.

Van Dick, R., Becker, T. E., & Meyer, J. P.  (2006).  Commitment and identification: Forms, foci, and future.  Introduction and overview. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 545-548.  (Editors’ introduction to a special issue.)

Becker, T. E.  (2005).  Potential problems in the statistical control of variables in organizational research: A qualitative analysis with recommendations.  Organizational Research Methods, 8, 274-289.  [Chosen by ORM’s editor as #2 on the Top 10 list of the journal’s all-time “most noteworthy manuscripts.”]

Aquino, K., & Becker, T. E.  (2005).  Lying at work: How individual and situational factors influence the use of neutralization strategies. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 661-679.

Becker, T. E.  (2005).  Development and validation of a situational judgment test of employee integrity.  International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 13, 225-232.

Becker, T. E.  (2005).  Changing places in a small world: An American in Brussels.  The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 42, 101-105.

Meyer, J. P., Becker, T. E., & Vandenberghe, C.  (2004).  Employee commitment and motivation: A conceptual analysis and integrative model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 991-1007.

Becker, T. E.  (2004).  Why pragmatism is not practical. Journal of Management Inquiry, 13, 224-228.

Becker, T. E.  (2004).  Review of the book Postmodernism and management: Pros, cons, and the alternative.  Personnel Psychology, 57, 783-786.

Becker, T. E., & Kernan, M.  (2003).  Matching commitment to supervisors and organizations to in-role and extra-role performance.  Human Performance, 16, 327-348.

Becker, T. E.  (2003).  Is emotional intelligence a viable concept?  Academy of Management Review (Dialogue), 28, 192-196.

Becker, T. E.  (2002).  A mostly informal analysis of our marketplace of ideas. The Industrial – Organizational Psychologist, 40, 77-84.

Gopinath, C., & Becker, T. E.  (2000).  Communication, procedural justice, and employee attitudes: Relationships under conditions of divestiture. Journal of Management, 26, 63-83.

Becker, T. E.  (1998).  Integrity in organizations: Beyond honesty and conscientiousness. Academy of Management Review, 23, 154-161.

Locke, E. A., & Becker, T. E.  (1998).  Rebuttal to a subjectivist critique of an Objectivist approach to integrity in organizations.  Academy of Management Review, 23, 170-175.

Locke, E. A., & Becker, T. E.  (1998).  Locke and Becker’s reply to Weiss.  Academy of Management Review (Dialogue), 23, 391-392.           

Locke, E. A., & Becker, T. E.  (1998).  Objectivism’s answer to the sad, old world of skepticism. Academy of Management Review (Dialogue), 23, 658-659.

Becker, T. E., Billings, R. S., Eveleth, D. M., & Gilbert, N. W.  (1997).  Validity of three attachment style scales: Exploratory and confirmatory evidence. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 57, 477-493.

Becker, T. E., Billings, R. S., Eveleth, D. M., & Gilbert, N. W.  (1996).  Foci and bases of commitment: Implications for performance.  Academy of Management Journal, 39, 464-482.

Becker, T. E., & Martin, S. L.  (1995).  Trying to look bad at work: Methods and motives for managing poor impressions in organizations.  Academy of Management Journal, 38, 174-199.  (Note: Summaries of this article were published in the July-August 1995 issue of the Harvard Business Review and the August 1995 issue of the Academy of Management Executive.)

Becker, T. E., Randall, D. M., & Riegel, C. D.  (1995).  The multidimensional view of commitment and the theory of reasoned action: A comparative evaluation.  Journal of Management, 21, 617-638.

Becker, T. E., & Eveleth, D. M.  (1995, August).  Foci and bases of employee commitment: Implications for job performance.  Best Paper Proceedings of the 1995 Academy of Management Meetings, Vancouver, B.C.

Becker, T. E., & Cote, J. A.  (1994).  Additive and multiplicative method effects in applied psychological research: An empirical assessment of three models. Journal of Management, 20, 625-641.

Becker, T. E., & Randall, D. M.  (1994).  Validation of a measure of organizational citizenship behavior against an objective behavioral criterion.  Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54, 160-167.

Becker, T. E., & Billings, R. S.  (1993).  Profiles of commitment: An empirical test.  Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14, 177-190.

Becker, T. E., & Vance, R. J.  (1993).  Construct validity of three types of organizational citizenship behavior: An illustration of the direct product model with refinements.  Journal of Management, 19, 663-682.

Becker, T. E.  (1992).  Foci and bases of commitment: Are they distinctions worth making?  Academy of Management Journal, 35, 232-244.

Becker, T. E., & Colquitt, A. L.  (1992).  Potential versus actual faking of a biodata form: An analysis along several dimensions of item type. Personnel Psychology, 45, 389-406.

Becker, T. E., & Klimoski, R. J.  (1989).  A field study of the relationship between the organizational feedback environment and performance. Personnel Psychology, 42, 343-358.

Awards & Honors

University Excellence in Teaching Award, 2013

Mercator Fellowship, German Science Foundation, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 2010

Associate Editor of Human Performance, 2008-2011

Guest editor, special issue of the Journal of Organizational Behavior on workplace commitment and identification (with John Meyer and Rolf van Dick), 2005-2006

Belgian International Francqui Chair in the Human Sciences, 2003

CBE Continuing Excellence in Research Beyond Tenure Award, 1998

Department of Management and Systems Advising Excellence Award, 1995

Director, DeYoung Executive-in-Residence Program, 1993 - 1995

Seafirst Distinguished Faculty Award, 1993

Shell Instructional Excellence Award, 1992


Organizational Behavior and Leadership (aka Understanding People in Organization, Organizational Behavior and Administration):  Department of Business Administration, University of Delaware (Fall, 1995 - present)

Topics include motivation, leadership, decision making, group dynamics, and organizational change.  Students are undergraduates, MBA students, and employees enrolled in the university's MBA programs.

Strategic Human Resource Management (aka HRM):  Department of Business Administration, University of Delaware (Fall, 1995 - present)

Topics included job analysis, human resource planning, organizational development, performance appraisal, recruitment and selection, and legal issues.  Students are undergraduates and MBAs.

Seminar on Organizations: Employee Commitment and Motivation: Department of Business Administration, University of Delaware (Fall, 2003 – Spring, 2004)

This seminar for senior management majors took an in-depth look at commitment and motivation. 

Titans, Teams, and Technology:  Department of Business Administration, University of Delaware (Summer, 1995 - 2001)

This special seminar focused on building skills in leadership, teamwork, and the use of management information technology (especially internet applications and group systems software).  Included exercises in group creativity, transformational leadership and vision, and team problem-solving.  Participants were full-time MBA students and employees of MBNA.

Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Behavior:  Department of Management & Systems,

Washington State University (Fall, 1991, Spring, 1994)

Topics included attitude and attitude assessment, decision making, group structure and process, leadership, motivation, and organizational change and development.  Students were Ph.D candidates in management and industrial psychology.

Compensation:  Department of Management & Systems, Washington State University  (Spring, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995)

Topics included strategic perspectives in compensation, job evaluation, market surveying, employee benefits, pay discrimination, and the union role in wage and salary administration.

Personnel Psychology:  Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University  (June - August, 1989)

Topics included research methods, criterion development, selection, personnel decisions, training, performance appraisal, and job attitudes.

Inferential Statistics:  Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University  (September - December, 1988)

Topics included probability theory, frequency and probability distributions, central tendency and variability, sampling distributions and point estimation, and hypothesis testing.

Analysis of Variance:  Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University  (January - March, 1989)

Topics included sensitivity of experiments and statistical assumptions, analytical comparisons and analysis of trend, higher-order factorials, and within-subjects designs.

Multiple Regression and Correlation:  Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University  (March - June, 1989)

Topics included bivariate correlation, statistical power, hierarchical, simultaneous, and stepwise analysis, analysis of sets, and coding of variables.

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.5 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Club, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Lerner College faculty - like Meryl Gardner, whose research on foods and moods was recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer discovery learning experiences and emphasize data-based analytics to enrich the student experience. Here, students at Vita Nova, our award-winning restaurant run through HRIM, joined professional chefs and winemakers in hosting a 2014 Mid-Atlantic Wine and Food Festival event.

The Institute for Financial Services Analytics is a collaboration between the Lerner College, UD's College of Engineering and JPMorgan Chase, and hosts events for academics and the business community designed to address consumer analytics and industry applications.

Undergraduate scholarships, made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends, enable us to support promising scholars. Here, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and his mother, Leni Markell, join recipients of the William Markell Scholarship (center), which benefits students in Accounting and MIS.

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