Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology > Research & Publications > TIP > TIP Back Issues > 2017 > January


Volume 54     Number 3    January 2017      Editor: Tara Behrend

Jim Rebar
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Letters to the Editor

George Graen, Alexis Fink, and Rob Silzer

Dear Editor, 

The feature article by Sheila List and Michael McDaniel, concerning the practice of when to state empirical hypothesis before analyses or not, was disturbing.  At the recent SOB conference at the University of Nebraska the consensus was that the observed lack of proper training was evident in our best journals.  The interpretation of the HARKing practice as a QRP is false.  My deeper question is how can we reverse this decline in quality of I-O and OB research?  Several editors of leading journals expressed concern about the poor training of their reviewers and that so many well-trained people do not make time to review papers.  We had no quick fix.  Returning to this strange new word called HARKing, I agreed that submitting false information and selective reporting with intention to misinform are not questionable, but unethical and may be illegal.  When discovered, these practices need to be punished by the research community.

When I was a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. Twin Cities, I was taught by Paul Meehl, Marv Dunnette, Rene Dawis and others that hypothesis testing is for amateurs.  Today, this has been driven home with the development of meta-analysis and deductive–inductive examination of big data (Gottfredson & Aguinis, 2016).  These methods pay no attention to hypotheses.  They only require your correlations and sample size, and do not analyze until they have accumulated big data.

Before meta-analysis, big data were reviewed for quality and analyzed using a form of the deductive–inductive examination. Today, more complex methods are used but at the expense of quality.  A related concern is the practice of stating recommendations based on a small study.  Results of a single study, no matter how trustworthy and exciting, until it is confirmed by meta-analyses of big data are only speculations and tell us little or nothing depending on quality of methods used.

When I review research papers for publications, I have three questions that are deal killers.  They are: (1) Do the authors demonstrate adequate training? (2) Have they collected quality and meaningful data? (3) Do their results and conclusions reflect the strength of their correlations?  To summarize, we have a problem in reviewing the trend of declining trustworthiness in I-O and OB research.  Please help us.


George Graen

Gottfredson, R. K., & Aguinis, H. (2016).  Leadership behaviors and follower performance: Deductive and inductive examination of theoretical rationales and underlying mechanisms.  Journal of Organizational Behavior.  doi: 10.11002/job.2152.

Dr. Tara Behrend

Editor, TIP

Dear Tara,

One of the great benefits of being part of the SIOP community is the investment in learning and professional development.  Eleven years ago, that learning portfolio was expanded to include the Leading Edge Consortium, a new conference format with a different topic each year.  Over time, these events have grown in sophistication and impact, with this past October’s event being the most successful LEC ever.  A great deal of that success is driven by Dave Nershi.

As the chair of the most recent LEC (2016) and the co-chair of the first LEC (2005), we have first-hand experience working closely with Dave and the Administrative Office team, particularly Linda Lentz, Tracy Vanneman, Jen Baker, Barbara Ruland, Stephanie Below, and Larry Nader.  From the very first LEC to the most recent event, Dave and the Administrative Office staff have worked tirelessly to produce very professional and first rate conferences.  They have expertly managed all the logistics, marketing, and details, and have been real joy to work with, creating enriching environments that support professional connections and learning.

Given Dave’s pending retirement from SIOP in 2017, we wanted to ensure that he gets the SIOP recognition that he deserves for his professional and expert management skills as the SIOP executive director.  His expertise, skills and commitment will be missed.  We are certain that our view is widely shared among SIOP members.

Thank you, Dave, for helping SIOP to become a professional and well managed organization.  All the best for the next chapters in your life.


Alexis Fink, Chair, 2017 LEC on Big Data
Rob Silzer, Co-Chair, 2005 LEC on Executives

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