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Spotlight on Local I-O Organizations

Michelle A. Donovan
Intel Corporation

Did you see the January TIP article, Finding the Epicenter of I-O Psychology? Heres the link if you havent: http://www.siop.org/tip/Jan%2004/08sachau.htm. The article included a really cool map that showed where all I-O psychologists across the U.S. are located. It was great to see that weve already featured many local I-O groups in the areas with the most I-O psychologists (New York, the Bay Area, and Minneapolis) in this column. But there has been one local organization that represents a hotbed of I-O psychologists and until now has eluded usCIOPthe Chicago Industrial-Organizational Psychologists! Since most of us are currently making plans to head to Chicago for the upcoming SIOP conference we thought it would be fun to feature this local group in this column. And they didnt let us down. They are a wild bunch and decided to lead with some great recommendations on how I-O psychologists can make the most of their visit to Chicago! Read on for more details

CIOP: Bringing Together Chicagos I-O Community

Mike Helford
Roosevelt University

The Top 5 things to do in Chicago for I-O psychologists:

1. Go up to the Sears Tower 103rd floor skydeck and try some high-altitude job analysis of the workers below.

2. Help the Chicago Bears develop training for effective team competencies.

3. Take the Chicago riverboat architecture tour and assess satisfaction across building styles.

4. Try deep-dish Chicago pizza while estimating structural equation models.

5. Develop a performance management system to reward high-performing sharks at the Shedd Aquarium.

First off, the Chicago Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (CIOP) would like to welcome everyone to Chicago for the upcoming SIOP conference! We think youll find our city to be as splendidly diverse as our local I-O group. As you can see from our top five list there are a multitude of ways for I-O psychologists to enjoy the windy city. For those of you not familiar with usCIOP provides a place for I-O psychologists and graduate students to come together, to hear about what is going on out there, catch up with each other, and network. In Chicago, we are fortunate to have a large and active I-O community with lots of local internal and external practitioners and more than seven graduate programs in I-O psychology!

We typically meet about five times per year and end each season (which follows the academic year) with our annual dinner meeting in early June. Typically, a regular CIOP meeting includes one or two speakers on a given topic, followed by discussion, usually on a Friday afternoon. After each meeting, we have an informal social get-together (which is announced as non-CIOP sponsored for liability reasons) at a nearby restaurant or bar, where we get to rub shoulders and socialize outside of the usual structured meetings for a longer period of time. We typically have 30 to 80 people attend a given meeting, the locations of which bounce around to various sites in the Chicago area. In the past, we did a pretty good job of alternating between academic and corporate sites, but post-September 11th, we had a tougher time finding corporate locations that were willing to host large groups like CIOP. So, recently our meetings have been held more in suburban and academic settings. Our most recent annual dinner meeting was held in the Sears Tower (where else?!) and Mike Burke was our featured speaker, who talked about the effect sizes of different modes of training. We typically invite the SIOP president-elect to speak at our annual meeting and have been fortunate to host Bill Macey, Ann Marie Ryan, Nancy Tippins, and Angelo DeNisi.

Topics covered by CIOP have been eclectic within I-O and have included executive coaching, personorganization fit, cross-cultural issues, online testing, e-learning, situational judgment tests, legal issues in selection, and marketing of consulting services, to name a few. Each January, we have a session oriented toward students, focusing on career paths within I-O, where a panel of three or four speakers (usually an internal person, external consultant, and an independent) talk about their own walks of life in the field, provide advice for development, and answer questions. This careers session is usually held on a Saturday to allow more students to attend who are busy working during the week.

Prior to the late 1990s, CIOP went by the very unpronounceable acronym, GCAIOP (Greater Chicago Area Industrial-Organizational Psychologists). After years of tongue twisting and receiving funny looks (Its not enough to explain to the lay person about I-O psychology?), we took a vote to find a simpler name, resulting in our current nickname, which you will hear pronounced several ways (same as SIOP, chi-OP, shy-OP, ki-OP, and occasionally just spelling it out). Early on, GCAIOP was run by Bill Macey, Gary Morris, Nam Raju, Sally Hartmann, Joe Orban, Jane Halpert, John Orr, Paul Sackett and many others. In fact, GCAIOP was key in hosting the first-ever SIOP conference in Chicago in 1986.

After more than 2 decades, CIOP is going strong with an increase in student membership. Our current board has five members plus a newsletter editor, and like many local groups, that role is evolving as we move to a Web-based newsletter to save postage costs and more efficiently reach members. The board communicates primarily by e-mail and meets as needed a few times a year. Currently, our board consists of Brian Kitzman as program chair and vice president, Michael Barr as membership chair and secretary, Tom Sawyer as treasurer, Mike Helford as president, and Melissa Lautner as newsletter editor. Lastly, the student rep is a new position on our board, initiated by the determined work of Anjani Panchal over the last few years, and our current student rep is Jacqueline Caruso. So what keeps the board up at night? Currently we are working to clarify our mission and are experimenting with different meeting formats. Its a challenge, though, as any day of the week, any location, any format never seems to please everyone in this diverse group! And in terms of topics we have also experienced diversity in the preferences of our membersthe students tend to prefer more nuts and bolts I-stuff, while practitioners tend to be a bit more interested in broader O-stuff. So as any good I-O psychologist would dowe rely on the data (we conduct an annual topics rating survey) to provide us with direction each year.

When you are in Chicago we invite you to truly experience and enjoy our city. Take a moment to go visit the Sears Tower, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, and most importantlyvisit CIOP at http://www.ciop.net or say hello to us at the conference! Wed also like to thank Michelle Donovan for launching this column and for working with Dale Rose to chair a SIOP session on local I-O groups back in 2002as that was the beginning for us to network and learn about other local I-O groups! Its about time that local groups started talking and sharing our challenges and best practices. Were glad we could contribute by sharing what were up to at CIOP and we hope to see you in Chicago at SIOP this April!

Future Spotlights on Local Organizations

Stay tuned for the July issue of TIP when we profile the Houston Area Industrial and Organizational Psychologists (HAIOP). This spring theyll be celebrating their 25th anniversary.HAIOP has come a long way in the last quarter-century, and theyre eager to share some of their best practices with other local groups.

To learn more about local I-O organizations, see http://www.siop.org/IOGroups.aspx for a list of Web sites. If you have questions about this article or are interested in including your local I-O psychology group in a future Spotlight column, please e-mail Michelle Donovan at michelle.a.donovan@intel.com.


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