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President Georgia Chao sent all candidates for APA President three questions that are directly related to SIOP interests. All five candidates responded, and their full answers appear below.


Steven D. Hollon, PhD

  • How will you ensure that you are receptive and responsive to the priorities of I-O psychology (and applied psychology more generally), given the strongly clinical presence and focus of APA?

My first job was at the University of Minnesota where I had a number of strong I-O colleagues and developed a real respect for the discipline. I am a research clinician with a strong interest in high quality science and its application to solving applied issues.

  • APA adopted an exciting new strategic plan in 2019. How do you believe I-O psychology fits into this strategic plan? How would you like to see I-O psychology participate in helping achieve the strategic plan? 

Strategic plans come and go. What I do what to see is APA commit to the development of multidisciplinary clinical practice guidelines (we will need to drop the pursuit of prescription authority in order to get psychiatry to work with us) and a renewed commitment to the reintroduction of science to applied practice and issues.   

  • Our recent SIOP member survey indicates concern, particularly among our academic members, regarding the status of I-O psychology in the field of psychology and in psychology departments. Introductory textbooks provide little more than passing reference to our field; major psychology departments treat I-O psychology and applied fields as second-class despite their psychological strengths and impact on society; and so forth. If elected, what will you do to assist SIOP in promoting I-O psychology to psychologists and psychology writ large?

I am a huge fan of I-O psychology and would like to see my own area of clinical psychology become more like I-O psychology in terms of its commitment to science.

 


Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP

  • How will you ensure that you are receptive and responsive to the priorities of I-O psychology (and applied psychology more generally), given the strongly clinical presence and focus of APA?

Great question! I have a lot of admiration, respect, and deep affection for I-O psychology and management consulting as I started my psychology career within this area of focus and it has been very influential in my professional life. I worked at a management consulting company with I-O psychologists (Walter V. Clarke Associates in Providence, RI) throughout my college and graduate school years. Mostly I did data analysis and research on personnel selection for client companies that including banking, insurance, pharmacy, and even professional football clients. Four of the first five of my publications in peer reviewed professional psychological journals were about personnel section associated with my work with this company. Although I earned my PhD in clinical psychology, I was interested in pursuing management consulting and I-O psychology applying for positions at the well-known consulting company, RHR International who hired clinical and counseling psychologists at the time. Following my postdoctoral fellowship focused on health psychology at Yale, I interviewed at RHR in both their New York and Boston offices.  Although I took a different career direction, I have been doing management consulting with the Roman Catholic Church for over 30 years in terms of employee (including clerical) selection as well as consulting on child protection policies and procedures. These efforts have resulted in working closely with management consultants including psychologists associated with other organizations that are interested in child protection such as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, Boy Scouts, the US Olympic Committee and other youth sports organizations, and so forth. 

I certainly understand that the majority of APA members are in the clinical and counseling fields. However, I also know that if you really want to significantly impact organizations and institutions helping APA, for example, run as efficiently, smoothly, and productively as possible your go-to people to work with are I-O psychologists who actually do this for a living and often do so for top tier Fortune 500 companies to boot. APA is rich with talented I-O psychologists who are sought after by business and industry leaders to help them improve their companies and organizations, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In addition, these companies and organizations are often willing to pay handsomely for this expertise as well. If we are serious about transforming APA to be a much better organization for all, we must have I-O psychologists not only at the table but also at the head of the table leading the charge. We do not have to look far from our APA home to get the kind of talent that I-O psychologists can provide for us all. It reminds me of the notion that prophets are often not recognized in their own home communities. This has certainly been true at APA in my humble view. 

  • APA adopted an exciting new strategic plan in 2019. How do you believe I-O psychology fits into this strategic plan? How would you like to see I-O psychology participate in helping achieve the strategic plan? 

Another great question! I love our new strategic plan!  It is practical and inspiring and seeks to really transform the organization to move it in a much more meaningful and impactful way. It specifically calls for “building a stronger association” and “increase organizational effectiveness” for example. This all seems to be right in the sweet spot of many I-O psychologists who have helped other organizations do exactly what APA hopes to do. Therefore, I see APA working closely with Division 14 (and 13) to ask them how they can help us move the plan forward productively. When it comes to implementation of strategic plans in companies and organizations everywhere, I-O psychologists should be helping us to lead the charge since they often do this for a living outside of APA. 

  • Our recent SIOP member survey indicates concern, particularly among our academic members, regarding the status of I-O psychology in the field of psychology and in psychology departments. Introductory textbooks provide little more than passing reference to our field; major psychology departments treat I-O psychology and applied fields as second-class despite their psychological strengths and impact on society; and so forth. If elected, what will you do to assist SIOP in promoting I-O psychology to psychologists writ large?

You are singing my song on this question! I totally see and have experienced this problem myself and have tried to correct it. In fact, during my several tours of duty as psychology department chair at Santa Clara University, one of my primary goals was to hire an I-O psychologist for tenure track faculty positions as we never had one and I thought that it was critical that we do. I fought my department and university to do this and I was successful but we ended up losing several of these hires (one before and one after achieving tenure) since academic I-O psychologists can make more money hired within business schools than in arts and sciences where psychology typically resides at most universities. Additionally, living here in Silicon Valley with such a high cost of living, we lost colleagues to lower cost of living states. We really need I-O psychologists in academic psychology departments and especially since so many of our majors want to work in the business world. We need their influence and mentorship with our students. It has been frustrating to lose some of our talented hires to business schools that often pay twice the salary of arts and science faculty. 

Additionally, I have a clinical psychology textbook with John Wiley and Sons (Contemporary Clinical Psychology) currently in the third edition with the fourth edition scheduled for publication in 2021. I am proud to say that my textbook is the only one available on the topic that has extensive sections on management consulting and training as well as on I-O psychology. 

Therefore, if elected, I would want to connect with I-O academic psychologists and work with them in order to figure out what we can do better. Perhaps a task force, working group, or some kind of advisory board might be needed to find strategies that can work consulting with the relevant parties both within and outside of APA. 

In summary, I have been greatly influenced by I-O psychology since I started college back in the late 1970s and have always had the utmost respect, admiration, and affection for this particular area of specialization. I have also worked in the field myself although my career has taken me in other directions too. As department chair, I have fought to hire I-O psychologists in tenure track positions at my university and I have the only textbook in clinical psychology that highlights management consulting and I-O psychology. In a nutshell, I am big fan. I also know well enough that the most important people who can help lead organizational change at APA are people who actually do this for a living with some of the most important and influential companies and organizations on the planet. If elected, I would hope to turn to our I-O psychology experts, perhaps more than anyone else, to help APA be the best organization that it can be. 

For more about my background and such please see here: https://www.tplanteforapa.org/ and www.scu.edu/tplante.

 


Kirk J. Schneider, PhD

  • How will you ensure that you are receptive and responsive to the priorities of I-O psychology (and applied psychology more generally), given the strongly clinical presence and focus of APA?

I have some background in EAP work as well as work in the mortgage banking business and so have observed and appreciated organizational challenges first hand.  One of my ideas is to support Personnel and Human Resources departments through a conflict mediation approach I call the "experiential democracy dialogue".  This is a five phase one-on-one format that potentially could help employees work out differences (in values for example) in a supportive and structured environment. (See my Platform Summary attached, as well as info on my new book The Depolarizing of America:  A Guidebook for Social Healing [ https://amzn.to/2YdzWGR ] on the experiential democracy dialogue for "everyday people" as well as with professional facilitation). I can send you a review copy of the book on request.

  • APA adopted an exciting new strategic plan in 2019. How do you believe I-O psychology fits into this strategic plan? How would you like to see I-O psychology participate in helping achieve the strategic plan? 

I agree that the new strategic plan is exciting because it puts an increased emphasis on the application of psychological principles to everyday personal and social contexts, the work setting being a primary example of such a context.  As suggested above I would advocate for conflict mediation approaches that help people learn about and understand each other so that this optimizes the chances for negotiating common objectives and goals.  I would encourage I-O psychologists to learn more about such conflict mediation formats, along with a possible summit to discuss these applications.  I have also written about and would be open to discussing some innovations in job motivation--such as professionally facilitated forums on the meaning and purpose of employees' work for themselves, their families and the communities they serve.  I have described such forums in my book The Rediscovery of Awe  [ https://amzn.to/2YdA1dD ] in the chapter Toward an Awe-based Work Policy, as well as in an article on Awe-based Work in Tikkun magazine online. 

  • Our recent SIOP member survey indicates concern, particularly among our academic members, regarding the status of I-O psychology in the field of psychology and in psychology departments. Introductory textbooks provide little more than passing reference to our field; major psychology departments treat I-O psychology and applied fields as second-class despite their psychological strengths and impact on society; and so forth. If elected, what will you do to assist SIOP in promoting I-O psychology to psychologists writ large?

As I intimate above,  I have ideas for possible pilot projects and studies that could bring fresh vitality to I-O  activities.   I am also open to cutting edge ideas regarding the enhancement of purpose and meaning at the worksite.  As president, I would also be open to hosting a discussion about such ideas with leading members of your Division. It seems to me that this is a time for social transformation at many levels and the infusion of novel approaches to both conflict and motivation at the worksite will be critical to attracting new members to the I-O field as well as spotlighting I-O contributions. 

 


Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, ABPP

  • How will you ensure that you are receptive and responsive to the priorities of I-O psychology (and applied psychology more generally), given the strongly clinical presence and focus of APA?

In my own teaching and writing, as well as my research on psychosocial development in adulthood, I have given strong emphasis to I-O psychology, as well as applied psychology more generally. Each of the editions of my adult development and aging textbooks, the encyclopedias and handbooks I have edited, and the studies of vocational development I have conducted within my longitudinal data set, have included extensive treatment of vocational development and retirement. Several of my own advisees have gone into I-O psychology, most recently a 2016 B.S. graduate from UMass Amherst who is now in a Ph.D. program at Colorado State, and through working with these students, I have also gained an appreciation of the coursework and requirements in I-O graduate programs.  My plans for my APA Presidential year, furthermore, include virtual visits with each Division and SPTA, and in the process, I look forward to hearing and addressing the concerns of those in SIOP.

  • APA adopted an exciting new strategic plan in 2019. How do you believe I-O psychology fits into this strategic plan? How would you like to see I-O psychology participate in helping achieve the strategic plan? 

Given I-O psychology’s expertise in organizational structures and effective leadership, as APA President, I would very much welcome the contributions of I-O psychologists. There has been a tendency to seek outside consultants to advise on APA’s structural reorganization and changes in governance. However, we have the experts right here as SIOP members, who I believe should assume a major role as the strategic plan becomes implemented. Furthermore, with the response to COVID19 requiring that APA goes virtual, it is important to have the advice and input of SIOP members given this major challenge to APA’s entire enterprise.

  • Our recent SIOP member survey indicates concern, particularly among our academic members, regarding the status of I-O psychology in the field of psychology and in psychology departments. Introductory textbooks provide little more than passing reference to our field; major psychology departments treat I-O psychology and applied fields as second-class despite their psychological strengths and impact on society; and so forth. If elected, what will you do to assist SIOP in promoting I-O psychology to psychologists writ large?

I completely agree with this concern and indeed, given that I personally value I-O psychology, it is one that I find mystifying given I-O’s major impact outside of academic psychology in applied settings. I mentioned above my own writing within the field in the context of adult development and aging and my emphasis on I-O psychology. It always courses, curricula, and texts. Having taught introductory psychology for 30 years, I had to invent my own material to add to my course to cover this area which not only do I believe to be important, but which I think can benefit our students whether they go on to an advanced degree or into work within industry or the public sector.  In my psychology of adult development and aging course, I direct students to O*NET and include their reactions in classroom discussions and paper assignments. It is amazing to me that none of the students in this upper-level course had ever been exposed to this very important material. It also bothered me that my own department at UMass Amherst only offered I-O psychology on an occasional basis rather than making it a regular course offering and component of the undergraduate major. Additionally, I write a popular blog for Psychology Today, and I often cover issues relevant to I-O psychology, basing my articles on recent publications in I-O journals. These have been some of my favorite blogs to write, because I become reacquainted with some of the latest research in the area and although the blogs are written for a popular audience, I think they carry some weight by virtue of having such a broad readership.  As APA President, I will turn to SIOP for advice on how to bring I-O psychology more squarely into the awareness of undergraduate departments, and to bring the methods of I-O psychology research both into courses and training of both undergraduate and graduate students.

 


Frank C. Worrell, PhD

  • How will you ensure that you are receptive and responsive to the priorities of I-O psychology (and applied psychology more generally), given the strongly clinical presence and focus of APA?

Some of my fondest memories from my undergraduate degree in psychology is my I-O class with Professor John Meyer at the University of Western Ontario. I am a school and educational psychologist by doctoral training, and am acutely aware that the success of any school or district is dependent on the functioning of the adults who are in those spaces and the climate and culture of the systems and units. And I am also aware of the critical importance of I-O psychologists to systems and organizations in every sphere of human endeavor. I have served with and learned from I-O psychologists on CPTA, BSA, and the Standards Joint Committee. I have also supported I-O psychology when I was in Council representing Division 16 and on the BOD and have worked with the Council Reps from Division 14 to get polices passed in Council. Although licensed for health service practice, the bulk of the limited practice that I have engaged in involves consultation and evaluation. In short, I have a deep appreciation of and respect for the work of I-O psychologists and this is not going to change, whether I am elected to the APA Presidency or not.

  • APA adopted an exciting new strategic plan in 2019. How do you believe I-O psychology fits into this strategic plan? How would you like to see I-O psychology participate in helping achieve the strategic plan? 

By necessity, the strategic plan was broad-based as it was intended to serve the breadth of psychology, and the plan was developed with the input of hundreds of individuals and units, including I-O psychologists and Division 14. I-O psychology fits into the strategic plan both generally and specifically. I-O psychology is represented broadly in the vision (using psychology to enhance knowledge and improve the human condition) and mission statement (advancing, communicating, and applying psychological science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives), and in the core value of “building on a foundation of science.” 


However, the expertise of I-O psychologists is also called out specifically in the strategic plan, both internal to APA and externally. One of the operating principles in the strategic plan with specific reference to APA is to “increase organizational effectiveness.” I am not sure how this principle is being operationalized, but it speaks directly to the expertise of I-O psychologists. The external facing strategic objective that speaks directly to I-O expertise involves using “psychology to improve the functioning of public and private institutions, organizations, systems, and communities.” There are several other strategic objectives in which I-O psychology has a role to play (e.g., making psychological knowledge accessible to key decision makers, greater alignment of science and practice, serving as a resource for standards and evidence-based guidelines). 

As I stated in my statement to Council in February, the person elected in 2020 will be President in 2022, the fourth year of APA’s strategic plan. I am committed to reviewing the implementation of the strategic plan to see if it is working as intended and setting the stage for making changes as required. 

  • Our recent SIOP member survey indicates concern, particularly among our academic members, regarding the status of I-O psychology in the field of psychology and in psychology departments. Introductory textbooks provide little more than passing reference to our field; major psychology departments treat I-O psychology and applied fields as second-class despite their psychological strengths and impact on society; and so forth. If elected, what will you do to assist SIOP in promoting I-O psychology to psychologists writ large?

This issue does not have an easy answer. I also like the framing of the question as the issue is one that cannot be addressed without the involvement of SIOP. Those of us who teach know that there is a much greater concern on the part of students about relevance. It seems to me that SIOP needs (a) to increase the perceived relevance of I-O psychology and (b) to have a greater focus on diversity writ large – gender, ethnicity-race, disability. These issues need to be addressed in textbooks and courses. The current concerns raised by COVID-19 and the acknowledgement of systemic racism as an ongoing concern provide a context for I-O psychology to take advantage. As President, I will eagerly partner with SIOP to facilitate moving forward these and any other ideas that SIOP comes up with. I have scheduled a sabbatical year for 2022 so that I can have greater freedom for engaging in APA activities writ large but activities such as assisting SIOP. I do not know if I-O psychology is experiencing the same decline in many other countries, but I do know that it is growing in the Caribbean region, and my undergraduate institution has a strong I-O program. There may be lessons to be learned. 

Thanks for considering my request for endorsement. My campaign website can be found at the following url: https://frankforapa.com.  
 

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