Podsakoff earned a BA and a MBA from California State University Fresno, and a DBA from Indiana University in 1981, with a thesis "Performance models, microeconomics and schedule responding in humans. He then joined the faculty of Ohio State University, and then came to Indiana University, where he spent most of his career. He became an Emeritus professor there in 2013, and joined the faculty of Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL as a visiting professor.
His principal research and teaching interest is in the area of leadership.
Podsakoff has published over 80 articles, books, or book chapters. His books are:Scott, W E, and Philip M. Podsakoff. Behavioral Principles in the Practice of Management. New York: Wiley, 1985. ISBN 9780471062486
Organ, Dennis W, Philip M. Podsakoff, and Scott B. MacKenzie. Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Its Nature, Antecedents, and Consequences. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2006 ISBN 9780761929963. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 408 librari3es
Simpson, Douglas B, and Philip M. Podsakoff. Workshop Management: A Behavioral and Systems Approach. Springfield, Ill: Thomas, 1975 ISBN 9780398033644
His typical articles in management‘s research methods are：
Podsakoff, P., & Organ, D. (1986). Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12, 531-544. Podsakoff, P., & Todor, W. D. (1985). Relationships between leader reward and punishment behavior and group processes and productivity. Journal of Management, 11, 55-73. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 879-903.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
In 2000, the Industrial/Organizational Psychologist (TIP) identified him as one of the 100 Most published authors in the Journal of Applied PSychology and Personnel Psychology in the 1990s. He was included in the ISI list of most cited authors in Business for each of the years 2003-2011.
In 2004, he was awarded the William A. Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for the best publication in a refereed journal in the field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology. In 2013, he was awarded the Academy of Management's Research Methods Division's Lifetime Achievement Award.
He served on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, Leadership Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology.