Who we are

The Future of Work Initiative brings together researchers across the university to examine the evolution and future of work and the impact of MSU research in this area. The core faculty of this initiative come from three units within the College: The School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Economics. Faculty from across the university have also partnered with us.

This cross-disciplinary research team will continue to grow as the Initiative evolves, and one of the goals of this group is to recruit more Social Science faculty with expertise in the human-technology interface, as well as bringing in HR executives and major companies to form an interdisciplinary consortium of MSU CSS faculty, industry leaders and STEM scientists.


Leading the way

Tara S Behrend

Director and John Richard Butler II Endowed Professor, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations

Dr. Behrend joined Michigan State University in 2023 from the Purdue University Department of Psychology. She brings with her an impressive record of scholarly achievements, research, and leadership in the field of industrial and organizational psychology and beyond.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Dr. Behrend earned her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. She has written three books, including Workforce Readiness and The Future of Work (2019), Technology and Measurement Around the Globe (2023), and The Future of Human-Technology Partnerships at Work (2024).

Tara’s previous leadership roles include Program Director for the National Science Foundation, where she chaired the Future of Work working group and oversaw the Science of Organizations program. She is a former Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Behrend was recently elected as a board member for the National Academies Board on Human-Systems Integration and currently serves as the President of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).




Faculty Affiliates

  • Peter Berg
  • Kevin Ford
  • Kevin Hoff
  • Hye Jin Rho
  • Emilie Jackson


The work we do 

  • Examining how the experience of work is changing in the face of technological and social forces.
  • Increasing opportunities for collaboration among researchers
  • Elevating, promoting and distinguishing interdisciplinary research at MSU
  • Engaging students in courses related to the evolving nature of work