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James K. Harter

Chief Scientist, Workplace Management and Well-Being, Gallup

Jim Harter, Ph.D., is chief scientist, workplace management and well-being, for Gallup’s workplace management practice. His research has been reported in several business bestsellers and in academic articles, book chapters, and publications such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller 12: The Elements of Great Managing, an exploration of the 12 crucial ingredients for creating and harnessing employee engagement. Harter’s latest book, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, is based on a global study of what differentiates people who are thriving from those who are not.

Harter is the primary researcher and author of the first meta-analysis to investigate the relationships between work unit employee engagement and business results. This study, which is updated periodically, currently covers 32,000 business units in 44 industries and 26 countries. He is co-author of “Manage Your Human Sigma,” published in Harvard Business Review (July/August, 2005). This groundbreaking management approach assesses and improves the quality of the employee-customer encounter.

Since joining Gallup in 1985, Harter has authored or co-authored more than 1,000 research studies for profit and nonprofit organizations on employee engagement and talent and on topics in industrial and organizational psychology and well-being. His specialties include psychological measurement and the estimation of the practical effect of management initiatives.

Harter received his doctorate in psychological and cultural studies in quantitative and qualitative methods from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives in Omaha with his wife, RaLinda, and their two sons.

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