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The Growth of Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Quick Facts 

Steven G. Rogelberg
University of North Carolina Charlotte

Paula M. Gill
Bowling Green State University

At the University of North CarolinaCharlotte, we are in the process of establishing an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Organizational Science. As part of our efforts, each of the core disciplines comprising the proposed program (I-O, OB/HRM, Organizational Sociology, and Organizational Communications) provided data demonstrating the growth of their field. Part of the I-O data we collected stemmed directly from the SIOP archives. We thought that these data may be of interest to SIOP members. 

The Data

With the help of the SIOP Administrative Office, we collected trend data on I-O and organizational psychology graduate programs, SIOP conference attendance, and SIOP membership. 

Graduate Programs
To identify the number of I-O graduate programs across time, we used two sources. The earliest complete listing of graduate programs was found in the Graduate Training Programs in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior published by SIOP (1986). To examine the current set of graduate training programs, the SIOP Web page (January 15, 2004) was used (http://siop.org/GTP/GtpLookup.asp). In both sources, we only quantified those graduate programs that were either explicitly I-O psychology or explicitly organizational psychology.

By examining the data, it is evident that there is a substantial growth in the number of I-O and organizational psychology graduate programs. Over the 18-year span, there was found to be a 47.7% increase in doctoral programs overall and a 221.7% increase in MA/MS programs overall.

Table 1
                                                                   Number of programs

Program type                                         1986                         2004

MA/MS I-O Psych 22 66
MA/MS Org. Psych 1 8
     MA/MS Overall 23 74
PhD I-O Psych 40 52
PhD Org. Psych 4 13
     PhD Overall 44 65


Conference Attendance
In April 1986, SIOP held its first conference independent of the APA annual convention in Chicago, IL. It was estimated that 776 attendees attended the conference. In 2004, the annual convention was held again in Chicago. A total of 3,685 individuals registered for the conference. This record attendance represents a nearly 400% increase in attendees in less than 20 years. 

We were able to obtain detailed membership data from as early as December 1991. We compared these data to the membership data reported on December 2003. 

Table 2
Area of membership:           December    December      Percent of
                                                1991             2003           increase: 

Member 1,968 2,532 28.7%
Associate 176 339 92.6%
International Affiliate 84 200 138.1%
Students 888 1,990 124.1%
Student International Affiliate 3 139 4533.3%
Total 3,314 5,519 66.5%


These data are depicted graphically below.

Figure 1. 


Despite the fact that the indices we used to assess the growth of I-O have limitations and are somewhat narrow in scope, they each yield a similar set of resultsI-O psychology as a discipline is growing at a considerable pace. The next challenge is to systematically identify the factors (e.g., public awareness of I-O; high school and undergraduate student curriculums that promote student demand; university administrators perceptions of the importance of I-O; increased funding opportunities; organizational needs) behind the growth and to examine how these factors can be sustained and further nurtured. 

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