Professor of Management and Organizations
Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow
Ph.D. in Human Resource Management/Organizational Behavior, Arizona State University, 1993
B.S. in Business Administration/Human Resources, Brigham Young University, 1989
Greg Stewart is fascinated by the complexities of human behavior in business. That fascination is what inspired him to study human resources and the dynamic role it plays in business management.
"I'm particularly interested in the employee selection process and how people make selections," he explains.
Stewart has studied topics like first impressions during interviews and how a simple handshake influences the tone of an entire interview.
Stewart and his research team discovered that a handshake performed at the onset of a job interview has a strong relationship to the overall evaluation received from the interview.
"Our study found that a handshake provides a glimpse of the real you," he says. "A handshake is part of the persona you portray, and we linked the handshake to personality traits. We learned that extroverted people shake hands better and are better at interviews."
The study revealed that people with strong handshakes do better in social situations where they must interact spontaneously with other people.
The study also revealed male-female differences in shaking hands. Women, as a whole, have a weaker handshake; however, when a woman executes a firm handshake, she gets more benefit from it than a man. Given that women on average don't have as firm of a handshake, those that do seem to stand out and gain extra positive attention.
The next time you extend your hand remember Stewart's advice on a good handshake: a firm, complete grip, good eye contact, and a handshake that moves up and down vigorously.