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Personnel Research and General Electric In the 1950s, General Electric developed a personnel research department. A number of talented psycholo- gists worked here and generated influential theories and methods that helped spur the growth of I-O psy- chology. The personnel research group at GE was trained to be enterprising when generating ideas and empowered to put these ideas to action in many of the General Electric businesses. Kevin Mahoney South Dakota State University Tyler Miller South Dakota State University 146 The development of the personnel research function at GE can be directly attributed to the efforts of Her- bert Meyer (1917–2006). Meyer was educated at the University of Michigan through the GI Bill, and came to work at General Electric by way of a contract with the Psychological Corporation. During his early years with GE, Meyer performed a needs analysis for Employee Relations, and also designed a well-received manage- ment development program for senior level managers. In so doing, Meyer quickly became well-respected at GE. Meyer’s bosses frequently tried to find him a per- manent specialty in one area such as performance ap- praisal or training; Meyer declined, not wanting to be narrowed. Meyer thought GE should have a personnel research function, reasoning that many other organi- zations (IBM, GM, and DuPont) already had them. Im- pressed by this idea, Meyer’s superior (according to Meyer’s autobiographical sketch, n.d.) “asked me to prepare a job description to explicate what I had in mind. I, therefore, was fortunate to be able to describe what I thought was an ideal job for an industrial psy- chologist.” Meyer not only picked his own job, he de- veloped a personnel research function at GE, known initially as the Behavioral Research Service, and soon hired several doctoral-level psychologists. Along with this, there was an advisory board for this group, in- April 2014 Volume 51 Issue