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Member Spotlight: Ben Butina

Ben Butina, PhD

Director, Talent at Arconic Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA); adjunct instructor of Human Resource Management at Saint Vincent College (Latrobe, PA); host of Department 12: An IO Psych Podcast; author, Department 12: An IO Psych Newsletter

How long have you been a SIOP member?
I've been a member of SIOP since 2012.

What roles have you had within SIOP?
Member of SIOP Getting I-O Into Intro Psychology Textbooks (GIT) Task Force (2 years); member/reviewer, AWD Graduate Student Scholarships (3 years)

Interest Area(s)
Evidence-based management, instructional design, and helping new managers

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology?
I wanted to make some contribution, however modest, to making life better. Because a lot of people will spend most of their lives at work, I-O psychology seemed like a good way to make that contribution.

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work?
The next great frontier for humanity is also the next great frontier for I-O psychology: space. As humans prepare for long-term space travel, habitation, and work, we must be prepared for the possibility that much of our existing research will not generalize to an environment in which the lines between work, social, family, and political life are likely to be radically different than what we're accustomed to on earth. We won't be of any use to anyone if we retreat behind our usual disciplinary boundaries. Cross-disciplinary research won't be a "nice to have"; it will be indispensable.

Which of the Top 10 Work Trends for 2022 do you most strongly relate to and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend?
I think there's always been some tension in the field between improving organizational effectiveness on one hand and improving employee well-being on the other. It's interesting to see that this year's Top 10 Work Trends reflect a renewed emphasis on the latter. We can make a positive impact across all of these areas if we share high-quality evidence with decision makers.

What advice would you give to students or early practitioners?
Look into qualitative methods!

What is one of your favorite SIOP Annual Conference memories/highlights?
The poster presentations are always a highlight for me. They make me optimistic for the future of our field.

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself.
I play guitar, bass, drums, piano, and harmonica. I won't be playing any arenas near you, but music has definitely enriched my life.

Is there anything you would like to add?
We are an applied science. We seek to solve real-world problems. The name of our field should be intelligible to the people we seek to help. "Industrial and organizational psychology" is a 15-syllable monstrosity that simultaneously bores and confuses ordinary people. (The three different ways we abbreviate it make matters worse, not better.) It's well past time to rename the field to "work psychology" or perhaps "work and organizational psychology."

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