Friday, May 02, 2008

First issue of new SIOP journal

SIOP (the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology) has a new journal. It's called "Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice."

The idea of the journal is to offer a couple of focal articles and then print several peer commentaries associated with each.

In the inaugural (March 2008) issue, two topics are covered.

In the first focal article, Macey and Schneider treat us to a historical and research-based view on a very hot topic, employee engagement. Here's a sample:

"The notion of employee engagement is a relatively new one, one that has been heavily marketed by human resource (HR) consulting firms that offer advice on how it can be created and leveraged. Academic researchers are now slowly joining the fray, and both parties are saddled with competing and inconsistent interpretations of the meaning of the construct."

The authors provide a great overview of the different ways of viewing engagement. The treatment is generally positive, and they sum up their view this way:

"Although engagement may best a profile model of a multidimensional construct, we see engagement as not only a set of constructs but also a tightly integrated set, interrelated in known ways, comprising clearly identifiable constructs with relationships to a common outcome."

The focal article is followed by no less than 13 commentaries from a variety of authors, both academics and consultants. The authors follow with a reply and point out that the debate over engagement is a great example of the "research-practice gap."

The second topic is assessment centers. In it, Charles Lance investigates why they don't work the way they're supposed to. Specifically, candidate ratings seem to reflect the particular exercise they're completing--not the dimensions they're supposed to be rated on. The conclusion sums up their view nicely:

"It is now time to acknowledge the last quarter century's worth of research findings and reorient assessment away from broad dimensions and toward exercise-based assessment."

The focal article is followed by ten peer commentaries by folks such as Ann Howard, Winfred Arthur, and Filip Lievens, and the authors' response.

Great, in-depth stuff for those of you out there interested in either topic.

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