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Theme Track


 Saturday Theme Track
“Breakthrough: Expanding I-O Psychology through Connection"


The goal of the 2014 SIOP Theme Track is to present a series of sessions that describe research, practice, or conceptual ideas about how making connections between various disciplines or schools of thought can enhance I-O psychology. All sessions are adopting a novel format – “TED-style” talks, which involve dynamic speakers presenting information in a digestible, engaging manner.

We are specifically focusing on connections in five areas:

  • East Meets West - how understanding cultural differences and effectively managing these differences can contribute to individual and organizational effectiveness
  • Neuroscience Meets Leadership – the application of neuroscience and cognitive psychology to leadership theory and practices
  • Business Meets Psychology - connections that psychologists and business practitioners can make to enhance how they work together to help companies achieve greater success
  • Deductive Research Meets Inductive Research –how these different research paradigms can jointly facilitate breakthrough discoveries
  • Technology Meets Application - showcase different ways that I/O psychologists that can leverage technology to improve our research and practice

All theme track sessions offer continuing education (CE) credit for psychology purposes. The number of credits awarded for each individual session is listed below. The theme track sessions were created to appeal to practitioners and academics with a graduate education in psychology. There is no additional cost to attend beyond the cost of basic conference registration. SIOP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SIOP maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Additionally, SIOP is an HR Certification Institute Approved Provider. The following sessions are also available for PHR/SPHR/GPHR recertification credits: East Meets West, Neuroscience Meets Leadership, and Technology Meets Application.

Schedule for Saturday, May 17, 2014 (in Theatre 310)

7:30  – 8:50 Theme Track Kickoff/East Meets West
9:00  – 10:20 Neuroscience Meets Leadership
10:30  – 11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:00  – 12:20 Business Meets Psychology
12:30  – 1:50 Deductive Research Meets Inductive Research
2:00  – 2:50 Technology Meets Application

Theme Track Kickoff/ East Meets West
1.5 continuing education (CE) credits

This session will start with a short overall kickoff to the theme track sessions by Kristen Shockley, the Theme Track Chair. An overview of the day’s sessions will be presented, along with the learning goals for each session.

The East Meets West session will explore how cultural values inform the research and practice in industrial and organizational psychology. Three speakers will present in the session, and each talk will focus on innovative ways to conceptualize, operationalize, and measure cultural values and their multi-level effects on employees and organizations. Specific topics for the session include approaches to conceptualize cultural differences, a multi-level framework to understand the systematic effects of cultural values, and the assessment and development of cultural competence. Overall, the goal of this session is to present cutting edge research on cross-cultural psychology and to inspire new ways to incorporate the cultural values into the examination of employee outcomes and organizational phenomena.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the state of the art of research and theory concerning the different ways to conceptualize and measure cultural values.
  • Explain the systematic, multi-level nature of the effects of cultural values on employees and their organizations.
  • Describe factors related to assessing and building cross-cultural competencies.

Presenter Bios:

Alana Conner, Executive Director, Stanford Center for Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions (SPARQ). Dr. Conner received her Ph.D. in Cultural Psychology from Stanford University. Her research examines ethnic and gender culture clashes in the workplace, social class conflicts in healthcare, and regional, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities. She has published in the top journals of her field (e.g., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science), as well as in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, where she served as senior editor for five years. She is also a coauthor (with Hazel Rose Markus) of Clash! 8 Cultural Conflicts That Make Us Who We Are, and consults with organizations such as The World Bank and Kaiser Permanente to design interventions that enhance the wellbeing of diverse populations.

Michele Gelfand, Professor of Psychology at University of Maryland. Dr. Gelfand received her Ph.D. in Social/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Her work explores cultural influences on conflict, negotiation, justice, and revenge; workplace diversity and discrimination; and theory and methods in cross-cultural psychology. She has published extensively in top psychology journals that span disciplines (e.g., Science, Annual Review of Psychology) and is the author of several books focused on culture and psychology. She has received numerous awards for her work and is currently the PI on a multi-university research initiative to study culture and negotiation in the Middle East.

Richard Griffith, Professor of Psychology at Florida Institute of Technology. Dr. Griffith received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron. He is the author of over 75 publications and presentations in the area of personnel selection and is the editor and author of several books, chapters, and journals on the topic. He has conducted funded research for the Department of Defense examining the measurement and training of cross-cultural competence and the development of region specific cultural databases. He is director of FIT’s Institute for Cross Cultural Management, which aims to develop leaders and organizations to succeed in the global environment. Customers include Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies including the U.S. Military, and NASA. He has been the PI or Co-PI on funded research evaluating measures of cross cultural competence, developing new measures, and proposing new theories leading to enhanced measurement.

Coordinators: Daisy Chang and Greg Schmidt

Neuroscience Meets Leadership
1.5 continuing education (CE) credits

Three speakers will present in the session, and each talk will balance discussion of research on neuroscience with the application of these practices to the workplace. Specific topics are listed below. Overall, the goal of the session is to increase audience awareness of the extant research involving neuroscience and leadership and to encourage thinking about how neuroscience can be used to advance traditional methods of studying leadership.

Steven Poelmans will discuss the concept of "quiet leadership", and argue that for an optimal use of the brain for productivity and wellbeing, leaders need to give clear direction, filter information, manage conflict and stress, and lead by example. David Waldman will discuss evidence that suggests that intrinsic neurological activity predisposes leaders to be more or less effective and how leaders can stimulate important neurological behavior on the part of others. On the practice side, neurofeedback will be discussed. This process involves receiving real-time feedback on brain activity during leadership activities. Leaders can use this method adapt behaviors and view the neurological consequences, striving to align them with the ideal models of leadership. William Becker will focus on the aspects of the human brain, specifically the mirror neuron system, that provide our capacity for empathy. He will elaborate on how this capacity varies across individuals and how such variation in empathy responses can contribute to effective (or manipulative) leadership styles.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe examples of neuroscience theory and research that have been applied to the study of leadership.
  • Identify neuroscience research methodologies that can be applied to the study of leadership.
  • Describe how findings from neuroscience research can be used in practice to develop leaders.

Presenter Bios:

David Waldman, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. Dr. Waldman received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University. His research focuses on leadership processes at individual, team, and organizational levels of analysis. At these various levels, my research deals with singular leaders (e.g., CEOs), as well as more plural forms of leadership (e.g., shared leadership in teams). He does work connecting effective leadership behavior/characteristics with neuroscience theory and methodology. His research is published in numerous journals, including Academy of management Perspectives, the Leadership Quarterly, and Organization Science.

Steven Poelmans, Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración (EADA) Business School.
Dr. Poelman received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Navarra in Spain. His research, teaching and consulting mainly focuses on employee wellbeing and flexible work arrangements, cultural intelligence, coaching, and brain resilience, mostly with a cross-cultural perspective. His research has been published in journals like the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Human Resource Management Review, and Personnel Psychology. He is a member of the NeuroLeadership Institute, an organization focused on helps individuals and organizations fulfill their potential through better understanding how the human brain functions, at the level of individuals, teams and whole systems, and is currently serving as editor of the newly founded Neuroleadership Journal.

William Becker, Assistant Professor, Departments of Management and Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Texas Christian University. Dr. Becker has a PhD in Management with a minor in Cognitive Science from the University of Arizona. His research interests center on emotions from a neuroscience perspective, organizational entry and exit, and group processes. He has published in top journals including Journal of management, journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel Psychology. He currently serves as author of a reoccurring TIP column called Organizational Neuroscience.

Coordinators: Samantha Taylor and Kristen Shockley

Business Meets Psychology
1.5 continuing education (CE) credits

I-O psychologists are trained in applying psychological principles to the people side of the business world in order to achieve positive outcomes with regards to employee performance and satisfaction. However, psychologists do not always have sufficient interest, training or knowledge of the business drivers and financial measures that may either limit or enhance how effectively they are able to assist the business. On the other hand, business leaders who are proficient in applying business principles may overlook, not have time for, or understand the unique value a greater understanding of people and psychology can contribute to business outcomes. I-O psychologists frequently interact via the HR department on narrow projects involving assessment or development-- rather than with the broader business. Business leaders frequently encounter psychologists through HR initiatives viewed as tangential to achieving business results. Therefore opportunities for mutual awareness of what the other side brings to the table in addressing organizational challenges are limited, with myths and misunderstandings the result.

This session seeks to help I-O psychologists and business leaders achieve breakthroughs in solving organizational challenges by increasing a reciprocated awareness of what factors drive actions and decisions from these two perspectives. The session will begin with an examination and dispelling of some of the myths and misunderstandings between the business and psychological perspectives in organizations. Next a series of mini case studies will be used analyze various dynamics that have lead either to success or failure of the two perspectives working together. The session will end with practical ideas and lessons learned on how to maximize the intersection between psychologists and business leaders to the benefit of the whole organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and correct common misunderstandings between the business and psychological perspectives within an organization.
  • Describe key dynamics that can contribute to either the success or failure of the business and psychological perspectives working together in an organization.
  • Identify ways you can enhance collaboration and communication between the business and psychological perspectives in your organization.

Presenter Bios:

David Dotlich, CEO and Chairman, Pivot: Dr. Dotlich is the founder of Pivot, the world’s largest provider of customized executive learning for companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Nike, PG&E, Merck, Kraft, Bank of America, Fidelity, Sara Lee, Target, Sun, Shell, Novartis, Medtronic, and Toshiba. Previously he was the President of Mercer Delta Consulting, CDR International, and was Executive Vice-President of Honeywell International. He has also co-authored 11 books on various business topics. He received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric (Speech Communications) and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.

Todd Carlisle, Director of Staffing at Google. Dr. Carlisle leads a team of about 120 recruiters at Google recruiting candidates into teams for HR, Finance, Legal, Corporate Communications, Facilities, Business Consulting, YouTube, and Google. Since starting in this role in 2009, his team has hired over 4500 employees into Google. Prior to taking this position, he was the first person in Google's People Analytics group in HR. This group helped to ensure Google made data-driven HR decisions through complex analysis and client consultation. Dr. Carlisle received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Texas A&M University.

Coordinators: Eric Popp and Joanna Rock

Deductive Research Meets Inductive Research
1.5 continuing education (CE) credits

Research in I-O psychology has traditionally followed the deductive paradigm, where one logically deduces hypotheses from existing theory(ies), and then tests them through empirical observation, which either lends support or not to the initial theoretical deduction. Inductive research, strictly speaking, unfolds in the reverse sequence – it begins with empirical observation, which is then used to formulate a theory. More often than not, deductive research is associated with quantitative data, while inductive research is associated with qualitative data, although these associations are not set in stone. To some extent, these two research paradigms are considered separate or mutually exclusive, as scholars are often linked to one paradigm or the other (e.g., “He does qualitative research.”). The goal of this session is to help people understand and appreciate how the application of both paradigms to a program of research, rather than exclusively applying one or the other, is more likely to yield research breakthroughs. The presenters will provide examples and clear recommendations on how and when to combine both approaches.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how experimental design and statistical methodology are related to inductive and deductive approaches.
  • Identify strategies for dealing with “big data” and “small data” under inductive and deductive approaches.
  • Explain the process of theory testing, refinement, and discovery within deductive and inductive research approaches.

Presenter Bios:

Fred Oswald, Professor of Psychology at Rice University. Dr. Oswald received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Minnesota. His research centers on personnel selection issues in psychology, modeling and measuring group differences in psychological tests, and developing quantitative models of meta-analysis that deal with studies missing psychometric information. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals, such as Psychological Assessment, Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Applied Psychology.

Ron Landis, Nambury S. Raju Professor of Psychology in the College of Psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Landis received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Michigan State University. Dr. Landis has primary research interests in the areas of structural equation modeling, multiple regression, and other issues associated with measurement and the prediction of performance. His work has been published in top-tier journals including Organizational Research Methods, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology, and Journal of Applied Psychology. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a 3-year NSF-funded study ($1.3 M) examining the roles of emotion, cognition, and meta-cognition in learning science. Dr. Landis has also served as a consultant for a number of public and private sector organizations.

Jeffrey R. Edwards, Belk Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behavior, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina.  Dr. Edwards received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and Theory from Carnegie Mellon University.  His research addresses person-environment fit, stress and coping, and methodological topics that include difference scores, polynomial regression, structural equation modeling, construct validity, and the development and evaluation of theory.  He is past editor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, past chair of the Research Methods Division of the Academy of Management, and a fellow of the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Center for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis.

Coordinators: Laurent Lapierre and Kristen Shockley

Technology Meets Application
1 continuing education (CE) credit

The goal of this session is to discuss and provide exemplars of how technological innovations can be used to advance the science and practice of I-O psychology. The two talks will focus on examples of technology used in research and practice, and the presenters will touch on their own experiences with the technologies.

Research: Ben Waber will describe his research that uses cutting edge wearable sensing technology to investigate how people communicate with each other in the real and virtual world and how their communication patterns impact happiness, individual performance, and organizational success.

Practice: The rapidly increased ability to assess someone's attitudes and behaviors without inviting them to take an "assessment" has dramatically altered the way we understand how to identify, place, and develop talent within an organization. Kevin Impelman will explore how emerging technologies can say something about personality based on your tweets or speech patterns, how big data and analytics will drive recruitment and selection decisions, and how the gamification of assessment will change how individuals engage and learn from the assessment process.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify new technologies, such as sociometric badges, simulation and gamification platforms, and social media text analytics that are available and relevant to I-O psychologists.
  • Describe how new technologies, such as sociometric badges, simulation and gamification platforms, and social media text analytics, can be applied to research and practice to advance the field.
  • Describe challenges associated with implementing technologies for research and practice.

Presenter Bios:

Ben Waber, President and CEO of Sociometric Solutions. Dr. Waber’s work centers around using real time data flows to rethink management of people, physical architecture, corporate planning, and training, among other things. He has been featured in Wired, NPR, and The New York Times, among other outlets, and he has given invited talks at Google, EMC, and Samsung. His research was selected for the Harvard Business Review's List of Breakthrough Ideas and the Technology Review's Top 10 Emerging Technologies. He is currently serving as a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, where he received his Ph.D in Media, Arts, and Sciences.

Kevin Impelman, Management consultant at Kenexa, an IBM Company. Dr. Impelman received his Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of North Texas. Current at Kenexa, he is responsible for providing thought leadership, developing innovative products/services, and advising clients on best practices in talent management. Kevin also designs and manages projects addressing talent assessment and strategy, including the development and implementation of customized selection systems for all levels of the organization. He has a particular interested in the role of technology in assessment and training.

Coordinator: Kristen Shockley


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