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Darla Moore School of Business


Lynn A. McFarland

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Management
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-7688
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 406D
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [PDF]
Lynn McFarland headshot


Lynn A. McFarland’s research focuses on three distinct but synergistic areas. First, understanding how organizations can attract a more diverse and qualified workforce is a theme throughout her research. The focus of this research has been on increasing workforce diversity through staffing and increasing quality applications through positive applicant reactions. This research also examines how applicant experiences in hiring processes can have post-hire consequences for both the individual (engagement) and the organization (customer satisfaction). McFarland’s second program of research examines how applicants manage the impressions they make on potential employers in recruitment and hiring processes. Finally, within both of these areas, McFarland integrates contextual theories and perspectives to understand how the environment can change applicant behavior and reactions.

McFarland’s research has been published in top academic journals that include the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. She serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Group & Organization Management. McFarland has also published several book chapters and her research has been accepted for presentation more than 65 times at national and international conferences.

McFarland received her doctorate from Michigan State University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Prior to joining the Management Department, she was the founder and president of Human Capital Solutions, Inc., an HR consulting firm specializing in staffing and performance management, and worked with organizations in both the private and the public sectors.

Most semesters I teach Principles of Management (MGMT 371). I have also taught a masters level course in Leadership Development and I teach an Executive Education course on leadership.

I emphasize practical, real-world examples to demonstrate the value of basic management theories. Before joining the Moore School, I founded an HR consulting practice and worked with both private and public sector employees. Oftentimes, I use my own consulting experiences in HR management as examples of how basic management theories can be applied. Students generally find this very useful because they can more clearly see how theory and practice are linked.

Further, the content of the Principles of Management (MGMT 371) course I teach is relevant to students’ everyday lives. Therefore, when I teach this course, I use examples that are relevant to students lives, right now. For example, we discuss how to set effective goals, how to plan to achieve those goals, and what you can do when you and/or those around you are losing motivation to achieve those goals.

One of my research areas seeks to understand how applicants react and experience different types of recruitment and hiring practices. Another area of interest to me is understanding how applicants use impression management to convey a particular impression to employers.

Many organizations struggle to hire qualified applicants. My research helps identify strategies organizations can use to hire a diverse and qualified workforce.

My research on impression management provides advice to employers about what they can do to ensure that applicants present their authentic selves in recruitment and hiring processes. On the other hand, my work provides insights to applicants about when impression management attempts may backfire and how to present one’s best, but true, self to employers.

I have a study that examines how identity disclosures in hiring processes affect employment outcomes for men and women. We find that women who share gendered-identity information tend to be perceived less favorably than men sharing similar types of information. Further, I am working on a study that demonstrates that applicant reactions can have consequences at the store level, including turnover and customer satisfaction.

I work with students on many of my projects. The role they take largely depends on how much time they want to invest and how much they know about the research area. For example, some undergraduates have coded data for me or helped prepare a manuscript for journal submission. Other students (typically Juniors and Seniors) have been able to contribute to the research substantively and are coauthors on the paper. I also work extensively with doctoral students.

I love doing research that is important theoretically and practically. My favorite research projects are those that answer a pressing question or problem facing managers, but also allows an understanding of a phenomenon on a deeper level. I strive to do this in all of my research.

In my spare time I love spending time with my family (my husband and four kids) and travelling. I’m also a bit of a gamer—I love video games, but I am also obsessed with escape rooms!



  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2000
  • M.A., Michigan State University, 1998
  • B.A., Manhattan College, 1995

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.