Volume 54     Number 1    July 2016      Editor: Tara Behrend

Lost in Translation: Communicating the Practical Value of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Michael L. Litano and Andrew B. Collmus

Meredith Turner 0 2470 Article rating: No rating

From the commencement of graduate studies, I-O Psychologists are trained to develop an expert-level understanding of psychological methods and principles, experimental design, and advanced statistics. This rigorous training equips I-Os with the ability to apply our knowledge of human behavior to unique workplace situations and evaluate potential outcomes. It would be hard to argue that applied psychological research is not valuable to organizations considering the abundance of empirical evidence demonstrating the field’s influence on organizational success and employee well-being. However, many clients and stakeholders are still largely unfamiliar with what I-O Psychology is or what practical value I-O psychologists can bring to organizations. As a result, translating years of graduate training and work experience into a brief, impactful statement that communicates the value of I-O Psychology has become a form of art, a skill that needs to be developed through experiences. Unfortunately, many graduate students, early-, and mid-career professionals are put into the unenviable position of communicating their expertise to unfamiliar audiences, and are ill-equipped to do so.