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Where Have All the “Workers” Gone? A Critical Analysis of the Unrepresentativeness of Our Samples Relative to the Labor Market in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Literature
by Mindy E. Bergman & Vanessa A. Jean


Volume 9  Issue 1

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Commentaries are due
October 5, 2015


In this essay, we demonstrate that samples in the I-O psychology literature do not reflect the labor market, overrepresenting core, salaried, managerial, professional, and executive employees while underrepresenting wage earners; low- and medium-skill, first-line personnel; and contract workers. We describe how overrepresenting managers, professionals, and executives causes research about these other workers to be suspect. We describe several ways that this underrepresentation reduces the utility of the I-O literature and provide specific examples. We discuss why the I-O literature underrepresents these workers, how it contributes to the academic–practitioner gap, and what researchers can do to remedy the issue.  



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