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Does Your Vote Matter?

9/19/2018-

by SIOP Administrative Office

Shape SIOP Leadership to Shape I-O Psychology’s Future

I-O psychologists have been studying the importance of leadership since the beginning of the discipline, and the subject never grows stale.  A current example is the upcoming Leading Edge Consortium (register now!), which is once again exploring a facet of the topic, with its focus on High Potential Talent.

Googling the phrase “I-O psychology articles on leadership” returns nearly four and a half million hits.  One would think that SIOP’s voting members would eagerly participate in the annual process of selecting leaders. However, Kurt Kraiger, SIOP president for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, says, “This is probably a dirty little secret, but there are a lot of elections that are determined by just a small number of votes.”

In fact, according to Steve Kozlowski (SIOP president 2015-2016), “Only about one third of SIOP voting members participated in the last presidential election,” he continued. “Compare that to 58% for the last United States presidential election or 94% for the last Australian national election. So, we’ve got a long way to go!”

SIOP has just begun the annual election process for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, with the call for nominations closing at midnight EDT on September 30. In addition to the president-elect, SIOP seeks nominations for three portfolio officers: External Relations, Instructional and Educational, and Professional Practice. Read about the responsibilities of the executive board members here.

Following the above link to the SIOP bylaws, you’ll see some of Kurt Kraiger’s work.  It was during his presidential tenure that the current governance structure was implemented. That’s just one example of how leadership shapes the SIOP organization.

“We have many challenges in our profession; they range from our brand to professional education, how we do graduate education, how we attract new members, how we promote best practices in organizations, how we get basic research funding,” says 2006-2007 President Jeff McHenry. “The challenges are so many that we can’t possibly tackle them all, and the priorities are set by the executive board.”

SIOP members are active and passionate advocates in many arenas, and that passion has been reflected in several past and current initiatives: Corporate Social Responsibility, SIOP and the United Nations, and the Veteran Transition Project are a few.  Fred Oswald, immediate past president, points to the development of SIOP’s government relations and advocacy work as one of the proudest achievements of his tenure.

The Committee for Ethnic and Minority Affairs, the Women’s Inclusion Network, and the LGBT Committee have been actively working to support their constituencies in the workplace, in SIOP, and in the wider social context. 

As a look at the @SIOPtweets Twitter feed illustrates, SIOP members are not shy about voicing their opinions on social media. So why aren’t they more active in the election process? 

Perhaps the organization’s identification with its annual conference has something to do with it.  But as Mort McPhail (president, 2016-2017) says, “SIOP is more than the annual conference. It’s also a large and complex organization with activities throughout the year. Participating in SIOP also means being a part of this larger organization, and voting is one aspect of that participation.”

McPhail urges members to participate in officer nominations now and to stay involved throughout the course of the election process. “Be a vital part of SIOP community and vote for the leaders who will guide the organization into the future.”  Make your nominations here.

Leaetta Hough, 2005-2006 president, summed it up neatly: “People in leadership positions can and do make a difference, and your voice needs to be represented.  This is your professional organization and SIOP influences the field of I-O psychology—its future and yours.  Your voice, your vote matters.  Please vote in the upcoming SIOP elections.”