Alex Stajković

Professor of Organizational Behavior
M. Keith Weikel Distinguished Chair in Leadership
Department of Management
Wisconsin School of Business
University of Wisconsin-Madison

My research focuses on work motivation, an area of inquiry in Organizational Behavior. In studying what motivates people at work, the guiding conceptual framework for my empirical research has been Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). The social part of SCT recognizes social origins of human thought and action, and the cognitive part pertains to self-referent thought as the intermediary between experience and behavior. Together, SCT underscores that although people are affected by the environment they are also sentient agents of their experiences through cognition. I have used a multitude of designs and analyses in my research (e.g., laboratory and field experiments, ANOVA, Structural Equation Modeling, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Analytic SEM).

This program of research has been reported in 39 publications (21 journal articles, 2 books, 6 chapters in edited books, and 10 best-paper proceedings). I have co-authored with leading researchers in the world, including Albert Bandura of Stanford, the #1 ranked living psychologist, and Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, the co-founders of goal-setting theory. My work has been published in premier journals, including Psychological Bulletin, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology, and Journal of Management. In addition to my research, I have been a board member of the Journal of Applied Psychology since 2008, have served on the Advisory Council for Harvard Business Review since 2009, have given over 100 professional talks, and have consulted with companies around the world (Australia, Canada, China, Chile, Denmark, Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, & South Africa).


Coming in June 2019!

The authors canvas a broad range of knowledge concerning the problem of employee cognitive overload in contemporary organizations and rely on multidisciplinary research to propose cognitive automation as a solution that can address it directly. This book is a deep well of valuable information for those interested in solving real work problems with application of science of organizational behavior (SOB). Stajković and Sergent introduce four models to explain how subconscious goals are primed in organizations:

  1. Auto-motive model: Repeated practice with a goal makes cognitive automation possible.
  2. Goal contagion: Observing and inferring goals of others creates cognitive automation.
  3. Means-goal priming: Confidence in your goal pursuit enhances cognitive automation.
  4. A history of reinforcement: Money, feedback, and social recognition used to reinforce goal achievement become associated with the goal, resulting in cognitive automation.

Now Available at Amazon

This pocketbook is a straight-forward, easy-to-read reference guide to classic theories in work motivation. Making business choices based on fiery proclamations, flimsy data, and equivocal recommendations leads to questionable results. Evidence-based answers are needed. 

“”Management and Leadership: What Can MBA Do in My Workday?” is a straight-forward, easy-to-read, pocketbook formatted reference guide to classic theories in work motivation. Making business choices based n fiery proclamations, flimsy data, and equivocal recommendations leads to questionable results. Evidence-based answers are needed for career and corporate success. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “Management and Leadership” should be considered a ‘must read’ reference for all MBA students and graduates as they seek to establish themselves in the corporate world.” – Midwest Book Review

Featured in The New York Times

Alex was featured in a New York Times article titled, “3 Professors Shaping the Future of Business.” His research on core confidence as a predictor of work performances was featured. “Without confidence, Stajkovic discovered, even highly skilled employees struggle to perform their duties, which can lead to dissatisfaction and low engagement”

Named a Most-Influential OB Textbook Author

A recent study published in the Academy of Management Learning & Educationplaces Alex Stajkovic in the top one percent of most-cited textbook authors in the field of organizational behavior. He also placed in the study’s “most-cited articles in organizational behavior textbooks” category, and in the “most-cited articles in general management textbooks” category.

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