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Advancing the Practice of
Industrial-Organizational Psychology:
Introducing the IOP Practice Forum

FEATURE ARTICLE

Mark L. Poteet
Organizational Research & Solutions, Inc.
Editor, IOP Practice Forum

John C. Scott
APTMetrics, Inc.
IOP Editor

Deborah E. Rupp
Purdue University
SIOP Publications Officer

  • Do you have an interesting case study that provides some best practices and lessons-learned for practicing industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology?
  • Have you encountered and addressed challenges, obstacles, or setbacks when practicing I-O psychology that could facilitate new ideas, practical guidance, or research questions for the I-O community?
  • Do you and your colleagues have differing perspectives on a cutting edge I-O practice issue, service, or topic that could help practitioners learn and advance their practice?
  • Do you have thoughts, commentaries, and recommendations about trends and issues impacting the practice of I-O psychology in the future?
  • Are you a researcher in real need of insight regarding a practice-related question related to issues you’ve been exploring?

If so, then consider submitting to Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (IOP’s) new Practice Forum (“Forum”).

Why a Practice Forum?

SIOP members have, over the years, expressed interest in more practice-oriented publications. For example, in the 2008 Practitioner Needs Survey, “Provide a practitioner journal or newsletter” was one of the top rated services SIOP could provide, with 87% of respondents indicating it would be valuable or highly valuable for I-O practitioner development (Silzer, Erickson, Robinson, & Cober, 2008). Similar results were obtained in the most recent 2015 Practitioner Needs Survey, where providing a practitioner journal or newsletter was ranked among the top three most valuable services SIOP could provide for I-O practitioner development among full-time, part-time, and occasional practitioners (Ferro, Porr, Axton, & Dumani, 2016). Similarly, in the 2011 Member Survey, when asked “What additional services would you like to see SIOP provide?” multiple comments centered on the same notion (e.g., “Practitioner-focused newsletter;” “Practitioner oriented publication; ” “A forum for best practice sharing of practitioners”; SIOP, 2011).

What Got Us Here?

The idea of a SIOP-sponsored practice-based publication has been in discussions for several years. For example, one of former SIOP President Tammy D. Allen’s initiatives included pursuing a practice-oriented journal concept. Allan Church, SIOP’s Publications Officer at the time, led a task force and conducted multiple Executive Board discussions to explore various issues surrounding such an idea. Broad issues such as determining the desired target audience(s) and objectives for the outlet, whether such a concept would be sufficient versus other publication mediums, how to market such an enterprise, how the outlet would integrate with other SIOP publications, and benefits and potential obstacles were addressed. Specific issues explored were the potential content, article formats, presentation platforms, and the editorial and review process. The conclusion of the process led to the decision to create a space within the existing IOP journal, where a variety of formats could be experimented with, within a preexisting platform accessible to all members with considerable (preexisting) marketing and public relations resources.

What Is the Practice Forum?

The purpose of the Forum is to advance discussion around practice-oriented issues and enhance the understanding of the effective practice of I-O psychology through the publication of original manuscripts using a variety of different content formats. It is intended as a vehicle for providing SIOP members with an outlet for communicating and/or learning about current trends, lessons-learned, best practices, effective practice principles, relevant issues, different points of view, and implementation challenges, associated with practice in I-O psychology.

Submissions could include case studies involving the implementation of I-O services, systems, or tools; descriptions of new techniques, concepts, or approaches for I-O practice; debates/discussions between practitioners on I-O topics; commentaries on challenging or emerging practice issues with calls for research support; summaries of key takeaways from the Leading Edge Consortium; or discussion of implications for practitioners of current research or theoretical issues within I-O. It is also a space where researchers might pose questions to practitioners in order to better refine questions around relevant, practical topics.

Similarly, multiple presentation formats are being considered in order to provide flexibility for SIOP members to present their work. Traditional articles are of course accepted, but slide presentations are also possible, as is including video content that can be hosted on the IOP website to accompany articles or presentations.

Submissions will undergo a peer review process to ensure they meet the Forum’s purpose and goals. Each submission will be evaluated against multiple criteria, including clarity of writing; relevancy for the Forum; quality of the work; contribution to I-O practice; and innovation/creativity of the work, ideas, perspectives, and so on. Ultimately, it is important that submissions demonstrate strong integration of science with practice (e.g., use of evidence-based approaches or theoretical models and concepts); provide detailed information from which other practitioners can learn and advance their practice and/or researchers can explore new ideas that may benefit the practice community; and contribute to a greater understanding of best practices, lessons-learned, and principles for the effective practice of I-O.

What Is the Status of the Practice Forum? 

Submissions for future issues are currently being accepted and should be sent to Forum Editor Mark Poteet at mlpoteet@verizon.net. Additional information on submission guidelines, review guidelines, types of articles accepted, etc., can be found on SIOP’s website: http://www.siop.org/journal/PFGuidelines.aspx.

A strong and growing pool of reviewers with practice experience has been secured for the Forum, including several SIOP Fellows and members cutting across multiple employment sectors (e.g., independent practitioner; consulting; industry).

The first Forum article will be published in the December 2016 issue of IOP.

Looking Ahead

As with any new initiative, the Practice Forum will continue to evolve and adapt in terms of content, presentation, and structure as submissions are received and published and new ideas and formats are explored. Our goal is to have one submission published in approximately every issue of IOP, although that will depend on both the quality and quantity of submissions received from practitioners. The Forum features an open call, such that submissions are being accepted on a continual basis, although submissions received after the deadline for a specific issue of IOP will be considered for future issues. Current plans call for the Forum to be piloted for 2 years, after which success and contributions will be evaluated.

So, it’s up to you, the SIOP community, to help answer the call for more practice-based publication outlets by writing and publishing your practice-based work. You’ve asked for it, now you’ve got it! Make it happen!

If you have any questions or thoughts about this exciting new opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Poteet at mlpoteet@verizon.net.  

References   

Ferro, M., Porr, B., Axton, T., & Dumani, S. (2016). Practitioner professional development: Results from the 2015 Practitioner Needs Survey. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 53(3), 114-124.

Silzer, R. F., Erickson, A., Robinson, G., & Cober, R. T. (2008). Practitioner professional development. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 46(2), 39-56.

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (2011, December).  Membership survey overall comment report. Available at http://www.siop.org/userfiles/image/2011MemberSurvey/SIOP_Membership_Overall_Comments.pdf