A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Organizational Determinants of Violence and Performance


Organizational Determinants of Violence and Performance

Investigators: 

Project Details

Abstract: 

This project involves research designed to examine which organizations, in a given socio-political environment, are likely to pose the most significant terrorist risk. The project employs an industrial and organizational (IO) psychology paradigm to assess organizations' levels of violence, innovation, and financial stability. (Formerly Organizational Determinants of Violence and Capacity for Destruction).

Methodology: 

The project employs an industrial and organizational (IO) psychology paradigm to assess organizations' levels of violence, innovation, and financial stability. The research team identified a sample of 80 comparable organizations from around the globe, clustered into four categories (violent/hierarchical, non-violent/hierarchical, violent/cell-based, non-violent/cell-based) and employed a historiometric methodology to assess organizations' structures and their abilities to a) recruit and maintain membership, b) raise finances, and c) spread ideology, while their level of destruction is based upon measures in the Global Terrorism Database. The project involves a three-part data analysis plan. First, the team is conducting discriminant function analyses on the organizational practice and structure variables. Next, the team is regressing innovation criteria (innovation in recruiting, fundraising, and spreading ideology) and destructiveness criteria (damage to people, symbols, property, and systems) onto significant functions to examine how structure/practice differences predict various organizational-level outcomes. Finally, the research team is applying hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), nesting the violent organizations' attack-level criteria (e.g., creativity and destructiveness of an organization's attacks) in organizational-level variables (e.g., type of organizational structure).

Timeframe

Project Period: 
July 2012 to December 2016