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SIOP Members in the News

Anne Marie Carlisi
Carlisi & Associates

Beverly Dugan

In the past several months, our world has been changed forever. The horrific terrorist attacks on our country and the worldwide economic downturn have, among other things, left people with numerous questions about how to deal with the resulting changes in the workplace. SIOP members continue to be a source of answers and expertise for the members of the media reporting on workplace impacts of these and other events.

Some SIOP members who have contributed to recent media stories include the following:
Jack Hautaluoma
, professor of psychology at Colorado State University and an expert in crisis management, provided advice and expertise to the Dallas Morning News on September 14. In an article on the challenge of regrouping and creating a sense of normalcy in the workplace after the terrorist attacks, Hautaluoma advised that people might recover faster within the structure of their workplace. People can get therapeutic benefits from working, he said. If youre looking for meaning in a time of great confusion, work is going to give it to you. Hautaluoma provided similar advice in Picking up the Pieces, an article which appeared in Fortune Small Business Online on September 18. Theres solace in routine, he said, and order and routine can help us all heal from the disruption caused by the attacks.

Joann S. Lublins October 2 column, Managing Your Career in the Wall Street Journal, dealt with the upheaval job seekers face in relocating for new positions in the wake of the terrorist attacks and rising unemployment. In the column, Dory Hollander, a partner of WiseWorkplaces, an executive-coaching firm in Arlington, VA, advised job seekers not to act out of desperation, but to consider their values and priorities in order to avoid a bad geographic and career move. Prepare a checklist of your most important values and possible trade-offs; but dont let a great opportunity get away, said Hollander. If youre offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that doesnt exactly match your checklist, you might want to do it anyway.

Two SIOP members were cited in the May 27 Orlando Sentinels article entitled, Executive Coaches Keep Top Managers in Shape. The article discussed the increase in executive coaching as standard practice in many Fortune 500 companies. As business rules change, many executives depend on coaches as trusted advisors to help them sort out ideas regarding technology, globalization, heightened competition, and increasing complexity. Kelly Brookhouse, a director in Motorolas office of leadership, reported that Motorola expects to increase spending on coaching for high-potential middle managers to ensure the company has individuals who are really connected with who they are and how they lead and what gets them energized. Tanya Clemons, IBMs vice president of executive development, credited the 30 organizational psychologists who coach IBMs top 300 managers with creating a climate where everyone in the organization feels empowered and capable and committed.

James Campbell Quick, professor of organizational behavior at the University of Texas in Arlington, supported research conducted at Drexel University that found a poor job fit can lead to physical illness. In Finding the Right Job Can Make Employees Healthier, which appeared on May 22 in the Lansing State Journal, Quick stated that insecure, anxious people are just not equipped to deal with discretionary latitude. Employees who are ill suited to highly complex jobs with a lot of decision-making freedom may benefit from stress relief training. If they cannot change, however, Quick concurred with the research finding that their immune functioning might become impaired.

Philip Mirvis, an organizational psychologist and consultant based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, appeared on the PBS broadcast of Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith. On the program, Mirvis discussed the pervasive stress workers face in trying to balance work and family responsibilities. He talked about executives like Hewlett Packards CEO, Lew Platt, whose jobs force them to make trade-offs between their financial aspirations and time with their children. He encouraged public policy reform, and supported the innovative steps corporations like Hewlett Packard have taken to reform the way work is organized to allow employees more time with their families.

Jack Wiley and his firm, Gantz Wiley Research, were profiled in the October 21 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The article highlighted Wiley and his colleagues survey research that helps companies link employee and customer satisfaction information to improvement in financial performance. Noting the advances in survey research, Ann Marie Ryan, professor of psychology at Michigan State University, stated that technological advances have allowed data about worker and customer attitudes to be collected and analyzed in a quicker fashion. This allows conclusions drawn by firms like Gantz Wiley to be used by executives to respond directly to the results and implement change. The article also cited Gantz Wileys WorkTrends USA, which is an annual survey of 10,000 workers used by the National Academy of Sciences for its 1999 study The Changing Nature of Work. This year, on behalf of the American Red Cross, WorkTrends will include questions about how workers and workplaces have been impacted by the recent terrorist attacks.

An article by Brent Cunningham, entitled The Art of Managing Morale in the September-October issue of the Columbia Journalism Review quotes Pierre Meyer, president of MDA Consultants, Inc. The article discusses morale in newsrooms in light of cutbacks, layoffs, and buyouts in the newspaper industry. Meyer, who has studied newsrooms for 25 years, talked about his experiences working in a variety of newsrooms and the importance of leadership to newsroom morale.

Paul Spector, professor of industrial psychology at the University of South Florida, weighed in on the controversy surrounding forced distribution performance evaluation systems in the May 28 edition of Fortune magazine. Although several of Fortunes Most Admired Companies use forced distribution rating systems to facilitate budgeting and eliminate poor performers, recently some forced distribution rating systems have been challenged in class-action lawsuits. Spector, taking the side of forced choice opponents, cited that good employees are sometimes penalized by these systems and, conversely, mediocre employees in a weak group of colleagues can be overrated. In many cases, said Spector, the lowest performer might not be that much lower than the highest. And, the controversy continues.

Two SIOP members were quoted in the article, Send In the Clones: Finding People in the Information Technology Industry Like Current Key Employees is Difficult, which appeared in the September 22 issue of CFO Magazine. Joy Hazucha, senior vice president with Personnel Decisions International, noted that employment testing could help companies match the right applicants to the right jobs. These days, IT workers need more skills than just the technical ones, and she pointed out that employers make a mistake when they dont consider that these people also have to work with a team, and in some cases, as a project manager or software developer. In light of the high cost of hiring the wrong IT worker for a job, Leatta Hough, president of the Dunnette Group, added that using experienced test administrators in the selection process can help eliminate applicants who try to fake responses to tests. Hough stated that experienced test administrators, look for a spike or an overall high scoreto find them out.

The Wall Street Journals Work Week column on October 23, included an item quoting Stephen Gilliland, a professor and vice dean at the University of Arizona. He is a lead author of an article in the fall issue of Personnel Psychology citing a study that says rejection letters should be more constructive. Form letters stating that the applicant did not get the job are a real turn-off, says Gilliland. These people could still be potential employees and/or future customers, he says. It is much better for employers to explain in a constructive manner why the applicant did not get the job, the study points out.

David Peterson, senior vice president of Personnel Decisions International was quoted in the October issue of Business Finance Magazine. In the article entitled, The Top 6 Career Blunders, Peterson talked about three of the blunders that derail the careers of finance executivespoor communication, tunnel vision, and failure to network. Peterson advised finance executives to seek feedback from peers about your abilities, or seek out role models and mentors who will give you an honest assessment of your blind spots.

Media Resources, which can be found on the SIOP Web site, remains a valuable source for the media, as does the SIOP Administration Offices monitoring of news requests on ProfNet, a media referral service. In addition, many SIOP members have developed their own contacts with the media. No matter how the media contacts SIOP members, the result is greater visibility for I-O psychology and its practitioners.

Let us know when you or a SIOP colleague are mentioned in a news story. We will include that in future SIOP Members in the News. You can send copies of articles that feature, mention, or quote SIOP members, to the SIOP Administrative Office at 520 Ordway Avenue, PO Box 87, Bowling Green, OH 43402, e-mail Lhakel@siop.bgsu.edu, or fax to (419) 352-2645.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the advice and contribution of Clif Boutelle, SIOP media consultant. He makes it look so easy!

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