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SIOP Members in the News

Clif Boutelle

The news media continue to find SIOP members to be rich sources of information for their stories about workplace-related topics. And no wonder! SIOP members have a diverse range of expertise as evidenced by the listings in Media Resources on the SIOP Web site (www.siop.org). There are more than 100 different workplace topics with more than 1,700 SIOP members who can serve as resources to the news media to talk about those topics.

SIOP members who are willing to talk with the news media about their research interests are encouraged to list themselves in Media Resources. It can easily be done online. The key to any listing is the brief (very brief) description of expertise. That is what reporters look at, and a well-worded description can often lead the reporter to call.

Every mention in the media is helpful to our mission to gain greater visibility for the field of I-O psychology. It is often a slow process, but more and more reporters are learning about I-O and how SIOP members can contribute to their stories.

Following are some of the press mentions that have occurred in the past several months:

Checking credit history of potential employees is not a valid method of predicting job performance or likelihood to stay with the organization, say Jerry Palmer and Laura Koppes of Eastern Kentucky University. Their research was reported in several media during February, including the Orlando Sentinel, Fresno Bee, and Advance news magazine. 

The January 30 issue of Science magazine referred to a test codesigned by Paul Babiak of HRBackOffice in Hopewell, Jct., NY. The test can reveal psychopathic tendencies of corporate executives. Called B-Scan 360, it is currently being evaluated with the help of organizational clients and comprises a list of 107 behavioral descriptors such as lies and makes a slick presentation that could be red flags for psychopathy.

Paul Mastrangelo of Genesee Survey Services, Inc. in Rochester, NY was interviewed on a local television station WROC-TV about research he had conducted on cyber-slacking, or the personal use of company computers to play games, make purchases and look up information on the Internet.

Making performance reviews more effective for managers was the focus of an article in the January 23 issue of the Toronto Globe and Mail written by Richard Davis of CPI/Hazell and Associates in Toronto. Among his tips: Be firm. Some managers have a tendency when providing feedback to back off if the reaction is negative or defensive. Feedback should also be often and timely and be related to recent events, not something that happened months ago.

Dory Hollander, president of WiseWorkplaces in Arlington, VA, was a contributor to a January 19 Washington Post story about how the nurturing instincts of women can reinforce stereotypes about women. That is why they are often asked to do tasks (e.g. take notes at a meeting) that are below their job descriptions. Women tend to be more accommodating (than men) because its part of their makeup, Hollander said.

Taller people earn more money according to a study coauthored by Daniel Cable of the University of North Carolina and Tim Judge of the University of Florida. Several news media around the country, including the January 13 Wichita Falls (TX) Times Record News and the January18 Toledo Blade, carried stories about their study which appeared in the spring issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology. Their findings suggest that someone who is six feet tall could earn as much as $166,000 more over a 30-year career than someone who is five-foot-five.

Arla Day of St. Marys University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Adam Butler of the University of Northern Iowa were major contributors to a January 12 story in the Des Moines Register on coping with the departure for other jobs of coworkers who are close confidantes and social friends. Its not the end of the world, advised Butler. You made friends once when you first took the job and youre going to make them again, he said. Dont look at the situation as your loss, said Day. Reappraise the situation in a positive light. Be happy for your friend and his or her new job, she added. Instead of losing friends, you now have a place to stay when you visit their new city.

A meta-analysis by Nathan Kuncel and Sarah Hezlett of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Deniz Ones of the University of Minnesota showed that intelligence in the workplace is not that much different than intelligence in the classroom. They reviewed more than 100 studies involving some 20,000 people, and their findings contradicted the popular notion that abilities required for success in the real world of work differ greatly from what is need to achieve success in school. Their findings, originally published in the January issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. and internationally, including the January 11 issue of the London Times.

Dirk Steiner of the Universite de NiceSophia Antipolis in Nice, France and Jerald Greenberg of The Ohio State University were quoted in a Jan. 6 article in Le Monde. The topic was organizational justice and distributive justice for salaries.

How to jump start a work staff after being on vacation for a couple of weeks was the subject of a January 6 story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The writer sought suggestions from Robert Robinson, owner of The McCollum Group in Katy, TX. I would start off with a genuine, sit-down-around-the-table meeting...to fire up the workplace engines, he said. Those projects that drifted to the back burner need to brought to the front burner. Then, Id follow up with how was the vacation? later, he added.

When Donald Trumps reality show, The Apprentice, made its debut in January, much was written about the program in which eight men and eight women compete with each other to become president of one of Trumps companies. Ben Dattner of Dattner Consulting in New York City told The Christian Science Monitor (January 16) that Trump, like all employers, was going to have to make a prediction about which contestant was going to be successful. And in a Psychology Today (January 14) story that examined Trumps bigger-than-life ego and narcissistic personality, Dattner saidNarcissism works well in situations where big changes are necessary for growth. They (narcissistic personalities) can make tough decisions with being distracted by empathy, sadness or guilt.

In a Nov. 25 Wall Street Journal Managing Your Career column about how newcomers to a job can best adapt to the organizational culture, Dattner noted that new hires sometimes push too hard, too fast and do it in an undiplomatic way. He said they have to learn to strike the right balance as they navigate their way into a different business culture and win support.

For a story on the effectiveness of motivational speakers in an early December issue of the Daytona Beach News Journal, writer Jim Haug called on Suzanne Peterson of Miami University and Laura Koppes of Eastern Kentucky University. Peterson noted that motivational speakers can be effective if they stress the positive. But as a practical matter people cannot change their personality traits. So it makes no sense to say things like Be assertive, not aggressive. People must learn to work within their personality traits, she said. Koppes noted that everyone has different aspirations and that its an open question as to whether one person can motivate another.

Joe Colihan of IBM Global Employee Research in Minneapolis, MN was quoted in the December 24 Atlanta Journal Constitution for a story about an executive pay controversy at cash-strapped Delta Air Lines. After cutting his own salary, the CEO sent a memo to Delta employees saying that executives faced pay cuts as well because when sacrifices are required, it should be shared by all employee groups, not just the pilots and other workers. Colihan noted that the CEOs memo was a step in the right direction. The choice those other executives are making (about deferring their pay) is a big one. They have to decide, Am I in it for myself or am I in it for the team?

Lee Hakel and Esther Benitez of SIOPs Administrative Office in Bowling Green were interviewed about the planning needed for SIOPs annual conference in Chicago for the winter issue of Illinois Meetings and Events. Also, Mike Burke, SIOP president, touted the conferences broad applicability to not only practicing I-O psychologists and researchers but to anyone whos potentially interested in the applications of psychology to organizations.

The December 7 Toledo Blade, in an article about the changing trends of corporate Christmas parties and recognitions, quoted Ronald Downey of Kansas State University. He noted that many companies nationwide have diminished holiday perks for reasons other than cost. With a mixture of religious beliefs and backgrounds, it is impossible to please everyone, he said.

Joel Widzer of JlwConsulting in Tustin, CA outlined several strategies to combat fatigue for business travelers who have to spend long hours in the air and cross several time zones in the September issue of Global Business Jet magazine. He listed several countermeasures developed by NASA and the U.S. Air Force, including strategic napping and use of caffeine, social interaction, exercise, and proper drinking and eating habits.

Please let us know if you or a SIOP colleague have been quoted in the media. We will be glad to include to include it in SIOP Members in the News.

Send copies of the articles to SIOP at PO Box 87, Bowling Green, OH 43402, or tell us about them by e-mailing siop@siop.org, or fax to (419) 352-2645.

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