Westaby, James (jdw43)

James Westaby

Professor of Psychology and Education

Office Location:

226A Thmps

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Social and Organizational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.A., Psychology (honors), University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Post-Doctoral Scholar, Penn State University

Scholarly Interests

Visit Prof. Westaby's Lab for More Information: 





  • Dynamic network theory: How social networks influence goal pursuit and performance
  • Network goal analysis of complex systems
  • Pioneering work combining social network and goal theories
  • Applications of dynamic network theory to: Individual goal pursuits, team performance, personality, culture, conflict resolution, work/family balance, and dynamic network intelligence
  • Network goal analysis of massive online communities and systems
  • Social interaction analysis of dyads, couples, and groups
  • Behavioral reasoning theory and the prediction of individual behavior
  • Computational models of social, organizational, and leadership systems
  • Founder and Director of the Dynamic Network Lab

Selected Publications


  • Westaby, J. D., Pfaff, D. L., & Redding, N. (2014). Psychology and social networks: A dynamic network theory perspective. American Psychologist, 69, 269-284. Click Here: Dynamic network theory (Westaby, Pfaff, & Redding, 2014)
  • Westaby, J. D., & Parr, A. K. (2020). The network goal analysis of social and organizational systems: Testing dynamic network theory in complex social networks.  Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56, 107-129.  Click Here: Network goal analysis paper (Westaby & Parr, 2020)
  • Westaby, J. D. (2012). Dynamic network theory: How social networks influence goal pursuit. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Westaby, J. D., & Shon, D. (2017).  Simulating the Social Networks in Human Goal Striving.  In R. R. Vallacher, S. J., Read, & A. Nowak (Eds.), Computational models in social psychology (1st ed.). pp. 231-257.  New York, NY: Psychology Press (Frontiers of Psychology series).
  • Westaby, J. D., & Echtenkamp, A. (2017). Humor and Organizational Networks: Functions and Dysfunctions.  In C. Robert (Ed.), Humor in the workplace (1st ed.). pp. 45-59.  Routledge.
  • Westaby, J. D., & Redding, N. (2014). Social networks, social media, and conflict resolution. In P.T. Coleman, M. Deutsch, & E.C. Marcus (Eds.), The handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). pp. 998-1022. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Westaby, J. D., Woods, N., & Pfaff, D. L. (2016). Extending dynamic network theory to group and social interaction analysis: Uncovering key behavioral elements, cycles, and emergent states. Organizational Psychology Review.  


  • Westaby, J. D. (2005). Behavioral reasoning theory: Identifying new linkages underlying intentions and behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 98, 97-120.
  • Wagner, M., & Westaby, J. D. (in press).  Changing pay systems in organizations:  Using behavioral reasoning theory to understand employee support for pay-for-performance (or Not). Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.
  • Westaby, J. D., Probst, T. M., & Lee, B. C. (2010). Leadership decision-making: A behavioral reasoning theory analysis. Leadership Quarterly, 21, 481-495.
  • Westaby, J. D., & Lowe, J. K. (2005). Risk taking orientation and injury among youth workers: Examining the social influence of supervisors, coworkers, and parents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1297-1305.
  • Westaby, J. D., Versenyi, A., & Hausmann, R. C. (2005). Intentions to work during terminal illness: An exploratory study of antecedent conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1027-1035.
  • Lee, B. C., Westaby, J. D., & Berg, D. (2004).  Impact of a National Rural Youth Health and Safety Initiative: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 1743 -1749.

Related Articles

Analyzing the Webs We Weave

James Westaby views individual and organizational performance as the product of the conflicting motivations within network structures

Uniform Praise

A graduate of TC's leadership program for Army officers says the experience "changed the very lens through which I view the world"


Dynamic Network Theory

Psychology and social networks: A dynamic network theory perspective. American Psychologist, 69, 269-284

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