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Statement and Guidelines on Professional Behavior Within SIOP


As a professional society, SIOP fully supports and values our members having spirited discussions, differing viewpoints and scientific debates. These types of interactions are important and necessary for advancing the science and practice of industrial-organizational psychology. They are also the hallmark of a scientifically-based profession.

We also pride ourselves in our professionalism. Thus, behaviors such as intimidation, incivility, bullying, unfair discrimination, harassment, drug and alcohol abuse, property damage and other forms of disruptive behavior are not in keeping with the spirit of our profession.


SIOP Members and SIOP Conference attendees are expected to treat each other, SIOP staff, and others in a professional manner and behave professionally while conducting or engaging in SIOP business or participating in SIOP activities.

What is prohibited? Abusive behavior toward others and other forms of unprofessional behavior while conducting or engaging in SIOP business or participating in SIOP activities will not be tolerated. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying
  • Physical or verbal intimidation (including shouting or angry outbursts directed toward others)
  • Derogatory verbal or physical behavior
  • Directing profanity toward others
  • Behavior that has the effect of humiliating others
  • Mobbing (i.e., group bullying an individual)
  • Sexual harassment and other forms of harassment
  • Property damage
  • Illegal drug use or alcohol abuse
  • Other unprofessional or inappropriate behavior

Unprofessional behavior is not limited to face-to-face interactions. As such, it also includes written, electronic, and telephone communication.

What if such behavior occurs? Ideally, inappropriate behavior is addressed informally by those who are parties to the behavior or who are witnesses to the behavior. SIOP members, staff members, and SIOP Conference attendees who believe they are being subjected to discourteous or offensive behavior are encouraged, when appropriate, to ask the person engaging in the behavior to stop. To the extent that these types of unprofessional behaviors are observed by others, it is also recommended that observers step in to ask the behavior be stopped immediately within the context of the situation. For example, a session chair, in response to an insulting comment made by an audience member or panel member might make a statement such as "Let's make sure comments are not insulting.”

In the event an incident is serious in nature and is not resolved and/or there are repeated incidents, a formal complaint should be made in a timely manner. Complaints should be made to SIOP’s Executive Director or President of the Society; if both of those persons are implicated in the complaint, report or inquiry, it should be directed to the President-elect or to the Financial Officer/ Secretary. You will be asked to provide details of the incident or incidents, names of individuals involved and names of any witnesses. It would be best to communicate your complaint in writing, but this is not mandatory. Complaints may be made on a confidential or anonymous basis, but please note that a sufficient amount of detail is needed to proceed or act on a concern.

The complaint will be referred to the Executive Board Emergency Action Committee (excluding those who might be implicated in the complaint) for initial evaluation. The initial evaluation will address whether there is sufficient information to pursue the claim further, whether the alleged behavior is serious in nature and meets the criteria identified in this policy, and whether it might be resolved through a less formal means.

Where appropriate, the Emergency Action Committee will initiate an investigation. Insofar as practicable and consistent with legal process and full and effective investigation, every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality of the complainant and the individual(s) who is implicated in the complaint. Upon completion of an investigation, the results will be shared with the full Executive Board (excluding those who might be implicated in the complaint).   If disciplinary action is being considered, those who are implicated in the completed investigation will have an opportunity to appeal to the Executive Board before a disciplinary action is made.  Disciplinary actions by the Executive Board could range from a conversation with the person, a formal written warning, or for particularly egregious or repeated incidents, barring the person from attending workshops or sessions or even a recommendation to revoke the person's SIOP membership. All disciplinary decisions by the Executive Board will be final.

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