Laura Koppes History of SIOP


A Brief History of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. – A Division of the APA

Laura L. Koppes
SIOP Historian, 1996--2001

A brief account of the history of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. was prepared to inform individuals interested in the society's evolution.  This account is intended to be a synopsis of events and not a complete and thorough description or analysis.  This synopsis is based primarily on the work completed by Ludy T. Benjamin (1997a). 

The account is presented in three parts.  The first part is a brief narrative summary of the history.  The second part is a list of major events.  The third part is a bibliography that contains sources for additional reading on the history of the society and of the discipline.  

Part 1 Narrative Summary

Part 2 List of Major Events

Part 3 Bibliography


SeeTable 1 for Officers of AAAP Section D Industrial and Business  

See Table 2 for Presidents

See Table 3 for Membership Totals

Click here for Award Winners 

The current Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. can trace its roots to the founding of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892.  APAs initial objective was the advancement of Psychology as a science (Cattell, 1895, cited in Sokal, 1992, p. 115) and several proponents of  industrial psychology were prominent members (e.g., Hugo Munsterberg, James McKeen Cattell, Walter VanDyke Bingham, Walter Dill Scott).   It was APAs lack of recognition for applied psychology during those early years, however, that served as the impetus for organizing industrial and organizational psychology.

For 50 years following the establishment of APA, psychologists with applied interests requested that APA respond to their needs (e.g., program time, recognition as a section, legitimization) and they attempted on several occasions to organize under the auspices of APA.  Reluctantly, APA created a Section of Clinical Psychology in 1919 to accommodate the applied psychologists in clinically-related jobs, however, nothing was created for industrial or educational psychologists. Shortly thereafter, it became obvious to the clinical psychologists and other APA members with applied interests that APA was not going to revise its original objective of advancing psychology as a science and consequently, would not recognize applied areas of psychology.  Applied psychologists sought other professional organizations to pursue their interests. 

In 1921, the New York Association of Consulting Psychologists (ACP) was founded.  It consisted mostly of clinical and educational psychologists and a small core of industrial psychologists.  In 1930, as a result of a growing body of applied psychologists and increased dissatisfaction with APA, the New York ACP expanded and formed the Association of Consulting Psychologists (ACP).  Industrial psychologists were involved in the formation of ACP and they participated every year in the ACP meetings.  In 1936, ACPs president, Gertrude Hildreth, suggested that a committee of industrial psychologists be created to work for the improvement of status among industrial psychologists, and possibly develop a set of standards and code of ethics (Report of the Committee on Psychology in Industry, as cited in Benjamin, 1997b, p. 460).  ACP also established a national journal for professional psychologists called the Journal of Consulting Psychology. 

Tension continued to grow within APA as a result of its inadequate attention to the interests of applied and professional psychologists.  At the APA Annual Meeting in 1936, a group of applied contemporaries asked New York University Douglas Fryer to lead an effort for organizing applied psychologists.  In 1937, under Fryers leadership, members of several applied groups including APAs clinical section, ACP, and other local and state groups, formed the American Association of Applied Psychology (AAAP) as a national association to represent the interests of applied psychology.

The AAAP rapidly grew as the dominant organization in the U.S. for individuals with applied psychological interests.  Section D, Industrial and Business, was one of four sessions created within the organization.  The other three sections were clinical, consulting, and educational.  Later, a section for military psychology was added.   


From 1937 to 1945, the AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, was the professional organization for industrial psychologists.  Membership to the section was limited to AAAP fellows or associates who at the time of application for membership, are actively engaged in the application of psychology in business, industry, public service or allied fields  (Constitution of Section D, 1939, as cited by Benjamin, 1997b, p. 462).  Although the membership was small, it included the most visible industrial psychologists of the time.  Four of the total of eight AAAP presidents had industrial interests:  Fryer, Paterson, Bingham, and Poffenberger.  Membership was dominated by university-based psychologists although many psychologists employed full-time in industry were members.  The purposes of AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, were:   

(a)   to promote high standards of practice in the application of psychology

to business, industry, public service, and allied vocational fields;

(b)  to promote research and publications in these fields;

(c)   to facilitate the exchange of information and experience among its members;

(d)  to promote the development of new professional opportunities; and

(e)   to contribute in general to the advancement of applied psychology.

(AAAP, 1940, cited in Benjamin, 1997b, p. 462). 

Table 1 contains the officers of AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, from 1938-1945.

Upon request of the National Research Council, AAAP, APA, and SPSSI (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues) were asked to collaborate for the benefit of the national welfare.  In 1945, these groups agreed to merge and reorganize as the national psychological association in the U.S. (see Capshew & Hilgard, 1992).  The original five AAAP sections continued as sections of the new APA.  Carroll Shartle, the last chairman of AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, chaired the organizing committee that would create a new division.  AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, became APA Division 14, Industrial and Business Psychology (one of 19 original divisions of APA).

The charter members of Division 14 were the former members of the AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, who chose to pay APA dues following the merger of AAAP and APA.  All members had to be actively engaged in the application or study of psychology in business, industry, public service or allied vocational fields and whose activities are in conformity with the standards adopted by the Division. (Burtt, 1947, as cited in Benjamin, 1997a, p. 108).  The membership was split between fellows and associates as defined in the original bylaws.  These two categories prevailed until 1958 when the APA changed its membership designation to add the category of memberand to redefine fellow as an individual who made outstanding contributions to psychology.  Previous fellows attained the new fellow status if they desired.  In 1957, Division 14 voted to eliminate the associate category, which was then restored by the division in 1963.  The five goals of Division 14, Industrial and Business Psychology, were to:   

(a)    Ensure high standards of practice.

(b)   Promote research and publication in the field.

(c)    Provide a forum for exchange of information and experience.

(d)   Develop new professional opportunities for industrial/organizational psychologists.

(e)    Advance applied psychology. (Benjamin, 1997a, p. 119) 

In 1962, Business was dropped from the divisions name and in 1973, Organizational was added to the name and Division 14 became the Division of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 

Member dissatisfaction with APA surfaced again during the 1970s.  Over the course of the twentieth century, APAs emphasis changed from scientific issues to practice issues, primarily in the health care area.  Subsequently, scientific members left APA and organized the American Psychological Society (APS) in 1988.  The shift in emphasis and other issues (see Benjamin, 1997a; Hakel, 1997; Campbell, 1997) led members of Division 14 to explore ways for addressing concerns with APA.  One option was to establish some independence from APA by incorporating as a society.  According to Hakel (1997),   

Incorporation as The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology was proposed to provide Division 14 with an independent and secure base, to sharpen our public identity, to increase member identification with our organization, to gain flexibility and responsiveness in dealing with legal (EEO) issues, to gain more control over our financial affairs, and to enable us better to pursue opportunities. (pp. 78-79)   

In 1982, Division 14 incorporated as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc.-A Division of the American Psychological Association (SIOP).  SIOP is affiliated with both APS and APA, and its members can join either. According to the current bylaws, the purpose of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology is:   

to promote human welfare through the various applications of psychology to all types of organizations providing goods or services, such as manufacturing concerns, commercial enterprises, labor unions or trade associations, and public agencies.

Criteria for membership and additional objectives of the society as stated in the bylaws are located in the SIOP Annual Membership Directory.

The overall purpose of the society has not changed significantly from the purpose established by the AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, in 1937.  Clear linkages between SIOPs and AAAPs objectives are obvious.  The organization has experienced changes with regard to structure, membership, and activities, primarily due to the expansion of the discipline and the growth of membership (see Benjamin, 1997a).

Table 2 contains the names of presidents for Division 14 and SIOP.  Table 3 contains membership totals in 5-year intervals for the organization from 1945 to 2000.  Table 4 includes the names of award winners.

Following the tables is a list of major events in the evolution of our professional organization.

Table 1  
Presidents and Officers of the Industrial and Business
Section of the American Association for
Applied Psychology (AAAP):  1938-1945

Year             President                                        Secretary



Harold E. Burtt
Walter V. Bingham
Morris S. Viteles
Arthur Kornhauser
Arthur Kornhauser
Arthur Kornhauser
Paul S. Achilles
Carroll L. Shartle 

Marion A. Bills
Marion A. Bills
Marion A. Bills
Millicent Pond
Kinsley R. Smith
George K. Bennett
George K. Bennett
Rensis Likert*
Beatrice Dvorak*
Floyd L. Ruch

*Left because of a new wartime assignment.

                                         Table 2

1945-46   Bruce V. Moore
1946-47   John G. Jenkins
1947-48   George K. Bennett
1948-49   Floyd L. Ruch
1949-50   Carroll L. Shartle
1950-51   Jack W. Dunlap
1951-52   Marion A. Bills
1952-53   J. L. Otis
1953-54   Harold A. Edgerton
1954-55   Edwin E. Ghiselli
1955-56   Leonard W. Ferguson
1956-57   Edwin R. Henry
1957-58   Charles H. Lawshe, Jr.
1958-59   Joseph Tiffin
1959-60   Erwin K. Taylor
1960-61   Raymond A. Katzell
1961-62   Orlo L. Crissey
1962-63   William McGehee
1963-64   S. Rains Wallace
1964-65   Brent N. Baxter
1965-66   Ross Stagner
1966-67   Marvin D. Dunnette
1967-68   Philip Ash
1968-69   Stanley E. Seashore
1969-70   William A. Owens
1970-71   Herbert H. Meyer
1971-72   Douglas W. Bray
1972-73   Robert M.Guion           
1973-74   Edwin A. Fleishman
1974-75   Donald L. Grant
1975-76   Lyman W. Porter
1976-77   Paul W. Thayer
1977-78   John P. Campbell

1978-79   C. Paul Sparks
1979-80   Mary L. Tenopyr
1980-81   Victor H. Vroom
1981-82   Arthur C. MacKinney
1982-83   Richard J. Campbell
1983-84   Milton D. Hakel
1984-85   Benjamin Schneider
1985-86   Irwin L. Goldstein|
1986-87   Sheldon Zedeck
1987-88   Daniel R. Ilgen
1988-89   Ann Howard
1989-90   Neal W. Schmitt
1990-91   Frank J. Landy
1991-92   Richard J. Klimoski
1992-93   Wayne F. Cascio
1993-94   Paul R. Sackett
1994-95   Walter C. Borman
1995-96   Michael A. Campion
1996-97   James L. Farr
1997-98   Kevin R. Murphy
1998-99   Elaine D. Pulakos
1999-00   Angelo S. DeNisi
2000-01   Nancy Tippins
2001-02   William H. Macey
2002-2003  Ann Marie Ryan
2003-2004 Mike Burke
2004-2005  Fritz Drasgow
2005-2006  Leaetta Hough
2006-2007  Jeffrey McHenry
2007-2008  Lois Tetrick
2008-2009  Gary Latham
2009-2010 Kurt Kraiger
2010-2011  Eduardo Salas

Table 3  
Division 14/SIOP Membership Totals:  1945-2000  













Note.  For 1960 there was no listing that separated associates and members.  The associate category was eliminated during this time.    

Major Events in the History of the Society for Industrial
and Organizational Psychology, Inc. 
A Division of APA 

1892      American Psychological Association (APA) was organized. 


1921      The New York Association of Consulting Psychologists (ACP) was founded.  It consisted mostly of clinical and educational psychologists, however, a small core of industrial psychologists did exist.  


1922      APAs Committee on the Certification of Consulting Psychologists was asked to create two new sections on educational psychology and industrial psychology.  No further action was taken as the APA Committee perceived there was no support by either educational or industrial psychologists.  


1930      New York ACP reorganized to become ACP.  The organization was expanded to include the northeastern.   


1933      ACP adopted a Code of Ethics for psychologists in applied work. 


1936      At the APA Annual meeting, New York University Douglas Fryer was selected by applied colleagues to chair a committee to create a new national organization for applied psychologists.   


1937       The American Association for Applied Psychology (AAAP) was established. 


Both the APA Clinical section and ACP disbanded to make way for the new association.   


ACPs national journal for professional psychologists called, Journal of Consulting Psychology, became AAAPs official journal.  


AAAP held its first meeting in conjunction with APA in Minneapolis.


1938     AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, identified eight areas for which members could provide services.  These areas are: 


1)     Study of the requirements of occupations  

2)     Development and use of tests and other scientific techniques in the scientific placement of workers  

3)     Formulation of the best methods of applying human energy at work  

4)     Organization and systematization of training programs to insure the most complete development and most efficient use of individual ability  

5)     Determination of the optimal conditions of work  

6)     Analysis of characteristics of industrial organization for the determination of types best adapted to serve both the economic and social, and broadly, human objectives of industrial organization  

7)     Examination and control of motivating forces in the case of both workers and management, which influence production and harmonious relationships in the industrial situation  

8)     Analysis of human factors influencing the demand for and sale of commodities through the application of scientific techniques of market research  

(Reports of the AAAP, 1938, as cited by Benjamin, 1997b, p. 463)


1939      AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, adopted a constitution.  The initial by-laws had 3 standing committees:  membership, elections, program  


1938-1945  AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, was the professional
organization for industrial psychologists. 


1945      AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, had its largest membership:  85 members.    

AAAP merged with a reorganized APA.


AAAP Section D, Industrial and Business, became APA Division 14, Industrial and Business Psychology.  


Bruce V. Moore of Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University ) was elected as first president of Division 14.   


1946      The first program for APA Division 14, Industrial and Business Psychology, was held at an APA meeting.  The program included a: 

Business meeting
Presidential Address (Evening Banquet)
Two paper sessions
Roundtable Discussion (Internship Opportunities in Industry) 


1947      The organization structure for APA Division 14, Industrial and Business Psychology, was created, which included:


Executive Committee
            2 Division Representatives to the APA Council
            3 Members-at-large 

Membership Committee  

Program Committee  

Election Committee  

Committee on Standards and Code of Ethics 


        At the APA meeting in Detroit , 80 fellows and 50 associates were counted as charter members.     

Fellows had to  

(a)   have a doctoral degree based on a psychological dissertation  

(b)  have prior membership in the APA or the AAAP  

(c)   have 4 years of postdoctoral professional experience, two of which must be in the application of psychology to business, industry, and so on, or a record of significant published research of direct value to the application of psychology in business. (Burtt, 1947, as cited in Benjamin, 1997a, p. 108)   


Associates could have a doctoral degree with a psychology-based dissertation, or 2 years of graduate work in psychology, or 1 year of graduate work in psychology and 1 year of experience in the application of psychology business, industry, and so on (Burtt, 1947, as cited in Benjamin, 1997a, p. 108).   


1948     The Committee on Training was added to address issues such as recruitment of students, graduate course work, training opportunities, and future job opportunities.  This specific committee was abolished by 1953 but resurfaced in other forms over the next several years until the establishment of the standing Education and Training Committee.   


1949     The first newsletter was published.   


The Committee on Professional Relations was established.  Its first order of business was to review a proposal to form a board for control and certification of psychological consulting firms.  The committees response was that no such boards existed to govern the practices of groups of lawyers or physicians and felt that certification of individuals (via ABEPP) offered sufficient control of psychological practice.  The recommendation was forwarded to the APA board of directors, which agreed with the committee. (Benjamin, 1997a, p. 112).  


1951     Marion A. Bills was elected as the first woman president of Division 14.   

The first directory of members was published.  The directory was for both members and for businesses as an advertisement of consultant services.  


1953     The first workshop was held in conjunction with the APA meeting in Boston . 
Although enrollment was limited to 30, 31 people attended (25 were from industry).  The first workshop was led by Edwin R. Henry and Stephen Habbe. 


            A Workshop Committee was established.  Workshops were offered at both APA meetings and the Midwestern Psychological Association meetings.  


            A brochure was published to encourage businesses to use the services of psychologists. (Benjamin, 1997a, p. 118).    


1955     The bylaws were revised;  two committees were added to the standing committees (Public Relations, Professional Practices).   


Several special committees were formed over the years to address numerous issues.  Most of the committees grew out of 3 committees (Public Relations, Professional Practice, Education and Training). 


1957     Membership included 236 fellows and 357 associates.  Members voted to remove the associate category for the following year. 


1962     The name of the division was changed to APA Division 14, Industrial Psychology.


1963     The Associate category of membership was re-established to include graduate students, practitioners with masters degrees, psychologists in other fields who had interested in industrial/organizational psychology, and nonpsychologists in industry who were involved in psychological work. (Benjamin, 1997a, p. 114)   


Industrial Psychologist (TIP) was published.  The first editor was Robert Perloff.   


1964       The James McKeen Cattell Award for Research Design was established.   


1965       A model curriculum for doctoral training in industrial psychology was published.   


1970    The S. Rains Wallace Dissertation Research Award was established.


1973    The name was changed to the APA Division 14 Industrial and Organizational Psychology.   


TIP changed its name to The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist.   


1977    The Distinguished Professional Contributions Award was established.  


1980    The National Conference of Graduate Students in Industrial-Organizational Psychology held its first annual meeting at The Ohio State University.  (Later to be named the Industrial-Organizational Psychology/Organizational Behavior Graduate Student Conference)   


The Principles for Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures was published.   


1981    The Specialty Guidelines for the Delivery of Services by Industrial Organizational Psychologists was published.   


1982    The signed Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Recorder of Deeds in Washington, D.C.   The name changed to The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc.-A Division of the APA.   


The Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award was established.  


1983     A half-time assistant was hired for the administrative office, which was located at the University of Maryland.


            The Robert J. Wherry Award for the Best Paper at the I-O/OB Conference was given.   


1984    The Cattell Award was renamed the Edwin E. Ghiselli Award for Research Design. 


1985    The Casebook on Ethics and Standards for the Practice of Psychology in Organizations was published. 


1986    The brochure, The Science and Practice of Industrial and Organizational Psychology was published. 


                        The first volume of the series, Frontiers of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, was published.   The initial series editor was Raymond Katzell.  The volume is Career Development in Organizations, edited by Douglas T. Hall.   Four thousand copies were sold.  Now there are 11 titles.   


            In April, SIOP held its first conference independent of the APA annual convention in Chicago, IL.  


            The First Annual I/O-OB Doctoral Student Consortium was held in Washington, D.C. (Later to be named the SIOP Doctoral Consortium.)   


1988    SIOP joined the American Psychological Society (APS) as an affiliate.    


It was proposed to change the By-Laws to allow members of both APA and APS to join SIOP.  


An Administrative Manual was adopted to guide committees and officers.   


1989    The Distinguished Service Contributions Award was established.   


A new category called Society Fellow was added (earlier, the name was Division 14 fellow.)   


The Graduate Training Programs in Industrial-Organizational Psychology was published.  


1990    The SIOP Administrative Office was moved to Arlington Heights, Illinois .  A full-time administrative assistant was hired.   


            The annual conference was expanded to 3 days.   


SIOP developed its own mailing list and began collecting own dues. (prior to1990, APA did these activities.)   


The first membership and salary survey was completed.  The Multiple Facets of Industrial-Organizational Psychology was published.   


1991    The first volume of the series, Professional Practice, was published.  The initial series editor was Douglas Bray, who also edited the first volume entitled Working with Organizations and Their People:  A Guide to Human Resource Practice Now there are 9 titles.   


            TIP issues were copyrighted and formally registered.   


1992    The Ernest J. McCormick Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions was established.   


1993    The Professional Job Placement Service at the annual conference was established. 


1994    The Guidelines for Education and Training at the Masters Level was published. 


1995    The administrative office moved to Bowling Green, Ohio.  An office manager and a full-time administrative assistant were hired. 


The SIOP Web Site was established and coordinated from the University of Nebraska , Omaha.


1996    The SIOP Foundation was created.   


The Multiple Facets of I-O Psychology II was completed and published.      

The Executive Committee approved the establishment of the SIOP Historian.   

The M. Scott Myers Award for Applied Research in the Workplace was established.   


1997    The monograph, Affirmative Action:  A Review of Psychology and Behavioral Research, was published.   


The William A. Owens Scholarly Contribution Award was established. 


1998    The Ethical Practice of Psychology in Organizations was published.   


The Best Student Poster at SIOP was renamed as the John C. Flanagan Award for Outstanding Student Contribution to the SIOP Conference.  


2000    There are 5 positions in the administrative office: Assistant Manager for Membership, Assistant Manager for Publications, IT Manager, Administrative Assistant, and Director.    

SIOP Membership is at a record high.  As of April 19, 2002, there were 6,117 paid members.  They include:    

183           Fellows

51             Retired Fellows

2696         Members

120           Retired Members

13             Retired

383           Associate Members

8               Retired Associate Members

191           International Affiliates

2               Retired International Affiliates

2291         Student Affiliates

166           Student International Affiliates  



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The Committee on Training recommended adding a workshop to the annual program.  The workshop should be focused on providing postdoctoral education and training for all industrial psychologists, especially for working full-time in industry.  (Benjamin, 1997a, p. 112)     


These numbers also include retired individuals for each category.  The member category also includes foreign affiliates.  Not included in the total is the number of student affiliates, which is 2535, including foreign student affiliates.  Details for each current category of membership is presented at the end of the list of major events.