Published on July 19, 2023 by Morgan Black  
Mertz, McCombs
Mertz, McCombs

Two faculty members in Samford University’s Brock School of Business, Breanne Mertz and Kate McCombs, have had their individual research on workplace topics published in national and international journals.

Mertz, an assistant professor of marketing, was a co-author for “Dignity in the workplace: a frontline service employee perspective” which was published by the Journal of Marketing Theory in Practice.

The study examines how work-life balance, social impact and ethical leadership contribute to perceptions of frontline employee dignity in the workplace. In their work, Mertz and her co-authors theorize that promoting and respecting human dignity in the workplace positively affects frontline employee well-being, increases organizational commitment and decreases turnover intention. Data collected in their study showed that work-life balance, ethical leadership and social impact are significantly related to workplace dignity which is positively related to organizational commitment and negatively related to turnover intentions.

McCombs, an assistant professor of management, was a co-author for “Understanding employee work-life conflict experiences: Self-leadership responses involving resource management for balancing work, family, and professional development” which was published by the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, a journal of the British Psychological Society. 

Her study uses data to explore the work-life conflict experiences of employees undergoing professional career development in the form of gaining a graduate degree. The data revealed that employees report three types of work-life conflict experiences—energizing, depleting and maintaining. In the paper, the authors demonstrate that when employees report energizing experiences, they utilize behavioral strategies of self-goal setting and self-observation to acquire more resources. When employees report depleting experiences, they utilize constructive thought strategies for the evaluation of dysfunctional beliefs and self-talk to recover from resource loss. Finally, they also found that when employees report maintaining experiences, they utilize natural rewards strategies to protect their stock of resources. The link between self-leadership strategies and work-life conflicts plays a crucial role in understanding how conflict can be resolved. 

At Samford, Mertz teaches courses related to consumer behavior, social media marketing and marketing principles. McCombs teaches courses related to leadership, human resource and organizational management, and entrepreneurship.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.