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About Inclusion, and “Liberty and Justice for All”

Milton D. Hakel, SIOP Foundation President

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, recited dutifully at public gatherings and on national holidays, affirms that the nation for which the flag stands deserves allegiance because it offers “liberty and justice for all.” Think about that.

It is an amazingly liberal and startlingly conservative claim—in all, quite a mashup. What was meant by the “for all” phrase has clearly evolved over the decades.

I-O psychology has just as certainly evolved during its decades. What started over a century ago with a strong focus on selection and rejection has broadened into a field of applied science about the entire world of work. A major focus of late has been on “inclusion,” or more particularly, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

So let’s consider three domains in which the I-O profession is evolving and has become more inclusive during the turmoil of the past 2 years.

1.  Visionary Projects

Two years ago, SIOP’s first $100,000 Visionary Grant concerned gig workers and was awarded to Susan Ashford, Briana Caza, and Brittany Lambert. You can learn about the project at https://www.thegigworklife.com/.

In the previous issue of TIP, the four finalists for this year’s $100,000 grant were announced. Interestingly, DEI was the primary theme for two of the finalists and a coincidental theme for the winner. This year’s wining project, announced April 19 at the kick-off event of the Seattle conference, is

We Are in This Together: When an AI Agent Becomes Your Teammate

Submitted by:

Eleni Georganta, Technical University of Munich

Anna-Sophie Ulfert, Eindhoven University of Technology

Myrthe Tielman, Delft University of Technology

Shanee Honig, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Tal Oron Gilad, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev








Can human and artificial intelligence (AI) teammates ever trust each other? More importantly, what is the meaning of trust in teams consisting of human and AI teammates? Although human–AI teams reflect the future of organizations, and trust is essential for effective teamwork and human–AI collaboration, these questions remain unanswered. To provide first insights into trust in human–AI teams, we adopt a multidisciplinary and multilevel approach, and propose an initial theoretical framework and two experimental studies. Our goal is to investigate how interpersonal trust and team trust develop in human–AI teams. In two experiments, we will explore the impact of (a) AI teammates’ trustworthiness, (b) AI trustworthiness reactions, and (c) interpersonal relationships between human and AI teammates on interpersonal trust and team trust. Synthesizing the insights from our project with existing work from industrial and organizational psychology and computer science, we will then present a refined theoretical model of team trust in human–AI teams. Further, we will build a formalized computational framework and present practical guidelines for the design and implementation of trustworthy AI teammates. We hope that providing a theoretical foundation and a practical roadmap can act as a catalyst for further interdisciplinary work on human–AI teamwork.

It is not too much of a stretch to imagine an AI teammate as one of “them.”

2.  Anti-Racism Grants

The Anti-Racism Grants program stimulates and supports projects intended to promote our understanding of racism and eliminate it from the workplace. I-O psychologists conduct and apply “research that improves the well-being and performance of people and the organizations that employ them.” Beginning in June of 2020, the Foundation asked SIOP members to contribute immediately to fund one or more grants, with proposals to be sought in July and the winner(s) to be selected in August. Donors responded quickly, raising $50,000; 35 proposals were submitted by the July 27 deadline; and the pool was split into five grants, awarded on August 24. Awards Committee Chair Jeff Cucina and Subcommittee Chair Sarah Walker managed this special, out-of-cycle grant offering and then repeated it out of cycle again in January–April of 2021. Substantial contributions from the National Academy of Human Resources and the Society for Human Resource Management, plus many additional SIOP members, yielded another $50,000. Twenty two new proposals were submitted, and four more small grants were awarded on April 14. The nine grant winners are identified in the Foundation’s Annual Report.

3.  Artificial Intelligence

One year ago, the SIOP Foundation convened some conversations about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the workplace. It became evident that SIOP’s Executive Board was the appropriate body to issue any public statement, and in January that statement was approved.

In April the U.S. Department of Commerce appointed Fred Oswald as a member of its National Advisory AI Committee. In part, the announcement reads: “AI is already transforming the world as we know it, including science, medicine, transportation, communications and access to goods and services,” said Alondra Nelson, the head of the Office of Science and Technology and deputy assistant to the president. “The expertise of the NAIAC will be critical in helping to ensure the United States leads the world in the ethical development and adoption of AI, provides inclusive employment and education opportunities for the American public, and protects civil rights and civil liberties in our digital age.” Notice the words “ethical” and “inclusive” in Nelson’s statement. I-O (in the person of Fred Oswald) has a seat at the table.

That brings me to an announcement: At its meeting in Seattle, the Foundation Board unanimously invited Alex Alonso and David Rodriguez to join the Board as Trustees. Both are SIOP Fellows, and both now serve on the Board.

Alexander Alonso

A prolific writer with hundreds of credits to his name in professional and academic journals, technical reports, and popular and social media, Dr. Alexander Alonso is known for using I-O principles as the foundation for advances in human resource management and practice. As chief knowledge officer at the Society for Human Resource Management, he is a leader in the development, validation, and implementation of competency-based credentialing for the HR workforce. Dr. Alonso has been called upon by policymakers in two presidential administrations as well as both houses of Congress to provide evidence-based advice on issues including military retirement benefits, childcare tax incentives for employers, and employment initiatives for the formerly incarcerated.

David Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez was CHRO and “Lead I-O” for Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company until his recent retirement. He guided research and practice across areas such as culture, leadership, and well-being.  He installed the industry’s first global selection program featuring nonverbal but high-fidelity assessment for hotel staff and an executive assessment program, featured at SIOP’s Leading Edge Consortium. He served on the SIOP Foundation’s HORIZON initiative and is coauthoring a chapter on DEI in SIOP’s Handbook of Practice in I-O Psychology.  He currently serves as a public company board director and was the longest tenured director on the executive committee of the HR Policy Association. He was awarded the APA’s Organizational Excellence Award, elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, and named HR Executive of the Year by Human Resource Executive magazine.

The Trustees welcome your comments and suggestions.  Become a member of the next Visionary Circle cohort. Or talk with any Trustee about making a gift to the Praxis Fund.

The SIOP Foundation’s mission is to connect donors with I-O professionals to create smarter workplaces. Let’s make sure that SIOP is inclusive.

Milt Hakel, President, mhakel@bgsu.edu, 419-819-0936

Rich Klimoski, Vice-President, rklimosk@gmu.edu

Nancy Tippins, Secretary, nancy@tippinsgroup.com

Leaetta Hough, Treasurer, leaetta@msn.com

Adrienne Colella, Communications Officer, acolella@tulane.edu

Alex Alonso, Trustee, alexander.alonso@shrm.org

Mirian Graddick-Weir, Trustee, mgraddickweir76@gmail.com

Bill Macey, Trustee, wmacey9@gmail.com

David Rodriguez, Trustee, davidrodriguezphd@outlook.com

John C. Scott, Trustee, JScott@APTMetrics.com


The SIOP Foundation
440 E Poe Rd Ste 101
Bowling Green, OH 43402-1355
419-353-0032 Fax: 419-352-2645
Email: SIOPFoundation@siop.org

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