International Practice Forum Special Series—I-O Psychology Helps Heal the World (Pt 4): Bringing Advantages to Disadvantaged Women

Lynda Zugec, The Workforce Consultants, and Walter Reichman, Org Vitality

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In this issue, we continue on our exciting development for the International Practice Forum! With Walter Reichman (Org Vitality) and a number of I-O psychology practitioners and academics, we explore how “Industrial-Organizational Psychology Helps Heal the World.” Through a series of articles, we present real and actionable ways in which I-O academics and practitioners have an innovative and creative impact in helping to heal the world. Here, we connect with Peter Scontrino on the I-O work he and his colleagues have been doing in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar!

Why Is Living Wage Not the Minimum Wage?

Kelly L. Reburn, Fiona E. Moyer, Randy J. Knebel, and Mark C. Bowler, East Carolina University

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Whereas organizations are legally obligated to provide their employees with a minimum wage, recent literature has introduced the concept of a living wage (e.g., see Werner & Lim, 2016).  Rather than being a threshold that employees are entitled to by law, living wage refers to the minimum income necessary for an employee to be able to meet the minimum standards of subsisting in their specific community or region (Glasmeier & MIT, 2018).  Thus, it is a relative, market-based value that combines the wages of workers with costs of basic needs in a specific geographical region (Glasmeier & MIT, 2018; Werner & Lim, 2016).  Although much of the research on living wage falls outside of the realm of I-O psychology, it is time that the concept be considered.  It is well understood that the design of compensation systems and distribution of pay contribute to employees' motivation to work (Jurgensen, 1978; Pinder, 2008).  These, however, are often influenced by legal requirements that fail to consider the region or community-specific cost of living and typical expenses.  Thus, the lowest paid employees may struggle or fail to obtain the income necessary to fulfill their basic needs.  The inability to meet basic needs can contribute to a lower quality of life and poorer well-being that, in turn, can influence the performance of low-wage workers.  Research in this area, however, is limited.  This article seeks to expand on living wage research and inspire professionals and academics in the fields of I-O psychology and occupational health psychology (OHP) to explore the question of, “Why is living wage not the minimum wage?”  More importantly, we hope to inspire research into the motivational impact associated with living wage.

The High Society

Nathan T. Carter, University of Georgia1

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I cannot believe I am saying this, but I will be taking over Paul Muchinsky’s much-loved (and probably much-hated) role as the I-O RoastMaster General. Those who remember Paul’s column will remember that it offered a humorous—and often biting—take on issues in the field. Oddly enough, in 2006 I wrote to him while I was a graduate student in the master’s program at Western Kentucky University2 to tell him that I really enjoyed his articles and told him why I enjoyed a particular one. In his gracious response, he said to me3: “I caution you to be discrete in sharing such opinions openly as a graduate student. In the course of writing my articles I have ‘offended’ many leading figures of the establishment, who would welcome my departure from TIP. At this stage of my career I can afford such professional rebuke. You cannot. After you graduate I would be most willing to pass the torch to you if you care to take up the cause. I guarantee you will not be voted ‘most popular’ in SIOP if you choose to do so” (P. Muchinsky, personal communication, February 8, 2006).

7 Questions and Answers About AI and I-O

Calista Tavallali, Sarah Reswow, and Jerod White The George Washington University

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, from factories to self-driving cars to robotic vacuums. But what is artificial intelligence, really, and how does it influence work? Few I-O psychologists have formal training in computer science, yet most of them are aware of AI’s growing presence in the workplace. Today’s organizations are continuously adopting advanced technologies, raising questions about the intersection of AI and I-O. If you’ve ever struggled to understand the difference between a GitHub and a hubcap, or if deep learning puts you in a deep confusion, read on for a jargon-free introduction to AI and its influence on the nature of work.

I-O Visibility Committee: Year in Review and Coming Attractions

Stephanie Klein, PhD, and Nikki Blacksmith, PhD

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The time has come to transition the Visibility Committee Chair role. As part of this transition, the chairs (Stephanie Klein, departing, and Nikki Blacksmith, incoming) would like to share some of Visibility’s accomplishments with you. This past year has been amazing, and the coming year should be even better.

In this article we showcase just a subset of our committee members’ incredible efforts, preview coming attractions, and provide insight into the 6 (soon to be 7) Visibility subcommittees, where the real work takes place. As you read, please consider whether how Visibility’s efforts may align with your own passions, and consider volunteering. Once you complete the SIOP volunteer signup form, you may also wish to contact Nikki to share specific interests or relevant skills.

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