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Theme Tracks

Theme Tracks are conferences within a conference, delving deep into a cutting-edge topic or trend and are designed to appeal to practitioners and academics. For each theme there will be multiple integrated sessions (e.g., invited speakers, panels, debates) scheduled back-to-back throughout the day in the same room. You may stay all day to take advantage of the comprehensive programming and obtain continuing education credits for participation in the full track or you may choose to attend just sessions of most interest to you.

Thursday Theme Track

Saturday Theme Track
Using Data to Influence Organizational Decisions and Strategy
6 CE credits for attending entire program

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain broad vs. focused decisions to support business strategy
2. Recognize and overcome the inherent resistance of business professionals to analytical decision-making
3. Assess HR and I-O practices against the dimensions of well-established decision sciences
4. Reframe the HR and I-O practices and decisions in my own organization.
5. Communicate quantitative results effectively and accurately, using methods that are understandable by and impactful for business professionals.

Introduction: Using Data to Influence Organizational Decisions and Strategy. (Session TBA)
This full-day program will focus on how data can be leveraged to influence strategic decision making. Sessions will explore people analytics, data-based decision making, and the skills required for infusing strategy with I-O data. The program will be interactive, including a wide range of formats such as expert panels, research symposia, and science–practice “lightning rounds.”

Chair: Deborah E. Rupp, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Presentation: Learning in Action: Leveraging Data From the Employee Experience to Drive Performance. (Session TBA)
A case study focused on multiple aspects of the employee experience will be presented. Data from different levels, sources, and so forth will be brought together and analyzed, and implications will be discussed. The lessons around doing these kinds of analyses as well things to plan for, things you cannot plan for, and a plan for how to get started will be provided.

Presenters: Wayne Cascio, University of Colorado Denver; and Anne Herman, Kenexa. Chair: David Woehr, University of Tennessee Knoxville. 

Presentation: People Decisions That Support and Shape Organizational Strategy: Science and Art. (Session TBA)
Business strategy requires uniqueness to differentiate from competitors.  Alternatively, science is the search for non-unique, generalizable, replicable solutions.  Therein lays a paradox for how decisions are made in organizations.  Based on a study of HR executives’ evidence-based decision making, we explore the art of addressing this challenge.

Presenters: Scott Brooks, OrgVitality; and Richard Vosburgh, ArchPoint Consulting/HRPS. Chair: Anne Herman, Kenexa.  

Symposium: Improving Decision Makers’ Consumption of Data-Based Findings. (Session TBA)
We will share insights for overcoming traditionally poor receptivity of business leaders to empirical and quantitative information.  Presentations focus on managers’ preference for intuitive over data-driven decisions, techniques for communicating results to business leaders, and the impact on practice of published literature.  We will close with a facilitated panelist/audience discussion.

Presenters: Scott Highhouse, Bowling Green State University; Nathan Kuncel, University of Minnesota; and Sara Rynes, University of Iowa. Chair: Evan Sinar, Development Dimensions International (DDI).

Lightning Round: Telling a Compelling Story With Data in Five Minutes. (Session TBA)
In this fast-moving session, each of 10 presenters uses 5 minutes and 20 automatically progressing slides to share personal highlights, lowlights, and insights about advocating for data-driven organizational decisions and persuading executives to take recommended action based on sophisticated data analyses, with a focus on presentation brevity, creativity, and impact.

Presenters: Elizabeth Kolmstetter, U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Denise Rousseau, Carnegie Mellon University; Jeff Facteau, PreVisor; Doug Reynolds, DDI; Brian Welle, Google; Steve Hunt, Successfactors; Rich Cober, Marriott; Robert Gibby, P&G; Rod McCloy, HumRRO; and Eric Heggestad, UNC Charlotte. Chair: Autumn Krauss, Kronos. 

Panel Discussion: What Convinces Us Doesn’t Necessarily Convince Execs: What They Didn’t Teach You in Grad School About Influencing. (Session TBA)
What does it take to influence in today's organizations?  A little relationship building, some data, and a lot of persistence.  Panelists will share successes and challenges, valuable lessons they had (or wished they had!) from grad school, as well as insights on how to influence leaders and drive change.

Presenters: Nancy T. Tippins, Valtera; Allan H. Church, PepsiCo; and Kurt Kraiger, Colorado State University. Chair: Michelle Donovan, Google.

Closing Keynote and Wrap-Up Session: People Analytics: Is It All in Our Heads? (Session TBA)
The quest to make I-O knowledge more managerially relevant continues. An untapped contribution may be for I-O to study the mental models of leaders as they make decisions about HR/employment.  Can the tools of psychology be used to uncover the reasons why organization leaders often seem to ignore/mis-apply I-O evidence/knowledge? To be followed by an integrative Q&A.

Presenter: John Boudreau, University of Southern California. Chair: Jeff Kudisch, University of Maryland.