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Workshop 14 (half day)

Managing I and O Work in a Union Environment: Lessons of Experience

Presenters: Lee Sanborn, Ford (retired)
  Joe Gafa, UAW-Ford (retired)
  Jerard F. Kehoe, Selection & Assessment Consulting
Coordinator: Deborah Whetzel, HumRRO

The work of I-O psychologists in organizations often engages unions that represent employee’s interests.  Represented employees are affected by the training, compensation, selection, work processes, surveys, and organization changes designed and managed by I-O psychologists.  Because of their impact on employees and the organization, unions and I-O psychologists both have some stake in the design, management, and consequences of those programs.  This workshop will (a) describe the interests of unions and psychologists in several key HR processes including training, work teams, pay, and selection, (b) teach techniques for establishing and managing communications between psychologists and unions, (c) identify key elements of HR processes where psychologist and union interests are likely to be aligned and to conflict, (d) describe strategies for engaging unions in managing the issues arising from aligned and conflicting interests, and (e) describe the lessons learned from successes and failures in the presenters’ own experience and the experiences of others, including workshop participants.  The workshop is based primarily of the applied experience of the presenters and is not intended to review the research on union relationships in organizations.  The workshop will actively engage participants to describe their own experiences and identify their questions/problems for the presenters to address.  A special strength of this workshop is that it will provide participants with the unusual opportunity to learn directly from a union leader who has extensive experience with the types of HR processes of interest to unions and psychologists.

The workshop is designed to enable participants to:
• Describe important union–psychologist interests in key HR programs including training, work teams, pay, and selection
• Develop strategies for mutual communication and work involvement between unions and I-O psychologists
• Analyze and design HR processes that capitalize on opportunities for union support and recognize and address potentially conflicting interests

Lee Sanborn is an organizational psychologist by trade and training.  He recently retired after 25 years at Ford Motor Company, much of it involved in making their work teams effective.  He has consulted to, coached, evaluated, and trained work teams in virtually every Ford plant in North and South America.  He has worked extensively with plant leadership, UAW leadership, and plant floor work teams and their leaders.  Lee acted as the Ford’s work teams “guru” for 15 years, during which work teams were implemented in all of Ford’s plants in the U.S. and internationally.  Along with coaching plants, he was a leader in creating processes that were used Ford-wide related to teams.  These included developing and implementing training around work teams; developing tools to assess the effectiveness of work teams, as well as their leadership and support; and developing surveys to measure employee attitudes toward teams.  Originally from Maine, Lee graduated from Cornell University and received his PhD in I-O psychology from the University of Houston.  Prior to working for Ford, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and worked for various oil companies in Houston.  He currently resides in Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

Joe Gafa has just recently retired from the UAW (United Automobile Workers) and Ford Motor Company. His last position held (appointed in March 2002) was assistant director of the UAW/Ford Joint Programs, reporting to UAW Vice President Bob King. He managed such as Joint Apprenticeship, Health & Safety, Quality, Employee Involvement, Job Security/Production Standards, and Continuous Improvement (Total Cost). He also was a member of the joint governing body that managed the National Joint Programs Center for Ford and the UAW.  He hired into Ford in April 1965 at the Sterling Axle Plant as a machine operator before serving an apprentice as a tool maker.  In 1971, he transferred to the Van Dyke Plant, Local 2280. He served one term on the executive board, two terms as plant chairman, and one term as Local 2280 president. He was appointed to the UAW, National Ford Department in July 1989.  His assignments have included 2 years on the National Joint Apprenticeship Committee, then 6 years servicing local leadership in the UAW/Ford powertrain plants, and more than 5 years working on joint implementation of the Ford Production System (Lean) in all Ford/U.S. plants.  Culture change and restructuring management/union relationship to work together with workers in a union environment was the goal.   

Jerry Kehoe has 28 years experience working on selection programs and assessment-based HR programs. Twenty-three of those years were at AT&T where he had responsibility at various times for selection programs in manufacturing, customer service, sales, technical, management, and leadership jobs. In 1996, Jerry assumed overall leadership and direction for AT&T’s selection and assessment function, including responsibility for union relationships relating to AT&T selection strategies. In September 2003 Jerry founded Selection & Assessment Consulting.  Jerry has several publications and conference presentations on selection and assessment topics including computerized testing, fairness, scoring strategies, and test validity.  In 2000, he edited the SIOP Professional Practice Series volume, Managing Selection in Changing Organizations: Human Resource Strategies. From 2002–2005, he served as an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology. He also has served on numerous professional committees including in 2001–2003 the SIOP subcommittee that revised Principles for the Validation and Use of Employment Selection Procedures. In 2002, SIOP awarded Jerry with Fellow status for his contributions to this profession. He received his doctorate in quantitative psychology in 1975 from the University of Southern California and is licensed in New Jersey.  


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