Jenny Baker
/ Categories: 603

SIOP Award Winners: Meet José M. Peiró, the Distinguished Teaching Contributions Award Winner

Liberty J. Munson

As part of our ongoing series to provide visibility into what it takes to earn a SIOP award or grant, we highlight a diverse class of award winners in each edition of TIP. We hope that this insight encourages you to consider applying for a SIOP award or grant because you are probably doing something amazing that can and should be recognized by your peers in I-O psychology!

This quarter, we are highlighting SIOP’s 2022 Distinguished Teaching Contributions award winner, José M. Peiró. He provides a step-by-step guide for how to approach applying for this award and how he got to know himself along the way.

Editor's Note: For more information about Dr. Peiró, see the Autumn 2022 installment of Max. Classroom Capacity,

Why did you apply for this award?

I must say that since recently, it was not my intention to apply as a candidate for this or any other SIOP award. However, in 2020 when I turned 70 and was appointed as emeritus professor at my university, I started to consider how I could provide additional visibility to the two master programs I have been working with over the last 10+ years: the Erasmus Mundus Master program in Work and Organizational Psychology and the International Joint Master of Research in Work and Organizational Psychology.


Share a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Since 2020, I have been emeritus professor at the University of Valencia (Spain). Prior to that I was a professor at the same university (with a 1-year interruption when I was a professor at the University Complutense of Madrid and then at the University of the Balearic Islands). Since 1985, I have been a member of the European Network of Organizational Psychology Professors, and I also participated, under the leadership of Prof. Robert Roe, in the founding committee of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (founded in Rouen, France, in 1991). Then, I served as the second president of EAWOP (1995–1997). Later (2006–2010), I was president of Division 1 (Organizational Psychology) of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). In that capacity, I was involved in the foundation of the Alliance for Organizational Psychology (founded by EAWOP, IAAP, Div. 1, and SIOP). In 2010, I was elected president-elect of IAAP, and during 2011–2014, I served as its president. This experience deeply enriched my view of psychology, especially applied psychology, and the global challenges and need to strengthen international associations in the current times. 


Describe the research/work that you did that resulted in this award. What led to your idea?

Once I decided to apply for the teaching award, I consulted with Prof. Michael Frese, who was enthusiastic about the idea. Then, I started to analyze the criteria and guidelines for applicants that were posted on the web page. That was an excellent guide for me to “rediscover” several contributions I made to work and organizational psychology in the area of teaching and education. The three criteria mentioned provided me with the framework to tell “my story.” Here I will briefly mention what I referred to under each of those criteria.

Under criterion 1, I described my contributions to the master’s programs mentioned above and also to other international master’s programs. I also highlighted that, in total, I have participated or led international consortia that have obtained ~25 million Euros granted by the EU for the development of several international programs and to provide grants for the best students coming from regions all over the world. I also promoted an interuniversity PhD program in Spain in 2001, and it has received accreditation with an acknowledgement of excellence that has been renewed over the last 2 decades.

Under criterion 2, I mentioned that I have supervised 63 PhD theses. Ten of my PhD students are full professors and ~37 are associate professors in universities in Spain, North America, and Latin America.

Under criterion 3, I described my Handbook of Organizational Psychology (2 volumes) published by Spanish Open Universities (nine editions and eight reprints) that has been widely studied in Spain and in Latin America. I included details about the Handbook of Work Psychology (2 volumes) edited by Peiro and Prieto (1996), and several publications about the challenges and opportunities for the education and training of I-O psychologists in the international and global scene. I also described my role in developing the European Psychologist Certificate (Europsy) that was adopted by the European Federation of Psychology Associations (EFPA) in 2009 (see Lunt et al., 2014).


What do you think was key to you winning this award?

The letters of support written by my former students played an important role. At least to me, these two letters were most impressive. In them, the signatories collected several testimonials from other former students of mine, from the master’s and the PhD programs, and they composed an impressive story that moved me deeply. The letter signed jointly by the directors of my department and my research institute as well as the letters of Dr. R. Griffith and the one jointly written by S. Glasser and D. Truxillo were important, too. All the endorsers were able to highlight my work much better than I could do.


What did you learn that surprised you? Did you have an “aha” moment? What was it?

As far as I remember, I had two “aha” moments. One happened when I read the two letters of my master’s and PhD students. I never imagined that they would write what they did, and I am very grateful to them for sharing their feedback and their lived experiences. I knew that professors may influence the lives of some of the students. Myself, I was deeply influenced by some professors. However, when I read the testimonials from the students who contributed to the letters I was, as I said, deeply moved. The second “aha” moment occurred when I was organizing the documentation for the application—I got a clearer overview of my mission and purpose, which progressively clarified over the 46 years of teaching and research (since October 1, 1975).


What do you see as the lasting/unique contribution of this work to our discipline? How can it be used to drive changes in organizations, the employee experience, and so on?

The lasting contribution, in my view, is not in terms of content but in what concerns the actors and the process. All through my career, I have worked on quite a few teams and have cooperated with many colleagues—most of them also friends. These experiences of national and international cooperation in projects, associations, study or research visits, and many other activities have produced an excellent capital of shared knowledge, joint learning, and passion that drove us during our endeavor. Several of them ended, and others are still ongoing. In any case, the human, psychological, and social capital (bridging and bonding) built up with those colleagues, students, and mentors have constructed a dynamic shared meaning, purpose, and aspirations that may contribute hopefully to our discipline.


To what extent would you say this work/research was interdisciplinary? 

I have been aware of the importance of interdisciplinary work since the beginning of my career. In fact, during my first 6–8 years, I worked mainly on the history of psychology and on general psychology. Then, I became even more aware of its importance when I participated in several projects with ergonomists, engineers, and physicians, especially at the Valencian Economic Research Institute. I learned to value this even more when I was president of the IAAP. This association is composed of 18 divisions, and in my leading role, I realized the importance and value of cooperation among them; for instance, to provide relevant inputs for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


What piece of advice would you give to someone new to I-O psychology? (If you knew then what you know now…)

I strongly believe that every person develops and builds up their own biography with others and in the circumstances around them. As the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset emphasized, “I am myself and my circumstances,” and the poet Machado stated clearly, “Walker, there is no path, the path is made by walking.” Then, my advice goes in that direction: Become aware of your circumstances, reflect and try to find your mission and purpose, and put passion in walking toward the goals and aims that you believe in. I can share with people new to I-O psychology my experience: I found our discipline, and the human needs and aspirations it serves, really inspiring and engaging during more than 4 decades. I am still driven to study and explore many unanswered questions. I continue to be passionate to contribute to the I-O psychology challenges, and I am eager to contribute, in what I can, to make work and the organizations more human, effective, inclusive, and just in the broader context of ecological and societal demands and human needs.



Lunt, I., Peiro, J., Poortinga, Y., & Roe, R. (2014). EuroPsystandards and quality in education for professional psychologists. Hogrefe. DOI:10.1027/00438-000

Machado, A. (2003). Border of a dream: Selected. Copper Canyon Press.

Ortega y Gasset, J. (1914). Meditations on Quixote. W. W. Norton & Co.

Peiró, J.M. (1983). Psicología de la organización [Organizational psychology] (2 vols) Madrid: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

Peiró,. J. M. & Prieto, F. (1996). Handbook of work psychology (2 volumes). Madrid: Sinthesis Publishing.


About the author:

Liberty Munson is currently the director of Psychometrics of the Microsoft Worldwide Learning programs in the Worldwide Learning organization. She is responsible for ensuring the validity and reliability of Microsoft’s certification programs. Her passion is for finding innovative solutions to business challenges that balance the science of assessment design and development with the realities of budget, time, and schedule constraints. Most recently, she has been presenting on the future of testing and how technology can change the way we assess skills.

Liberty loves to bake, hike, backpack, and camp with her husband, Scott, and miniature schnauzer, Apex. If she’s not at work, you’ll find her enjoying the great outdoors or in her kitchen tweaking some recipe just to see what happens.

Her advice to someone new to I-O psychology? Statistics, statistics, statistics—knowing data analytic techniques will open A LOT of doors in this field and beyond!

137 Rate this article:
No rating
Comments are only visible to subscribers.


Information on this website, including articles, white papers, and other resources, is provided by SIOP staff and members. We do not include third-party content on our website or in our publications, except in rare exceptions such as paid partnerships.