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« The Apple Paradox | Main | SIOP Name Change FAQS 2-What Is Involved In A Name Change? »

April 30, 2009


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» SIOPs Identity Crisis: Whats In aName? from Thoughts of a Neo-Academic
My fields principle organization, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, has been recently debating a name change.  Its a topic about which many feel passionately.  Ive been resisting joining the fray because I haven... [Read More]

» SIOPs Identity Crisis: Whats In a Name? from Thoughts of a Neo-Academic
My fields principle organization, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, has been recently debating a name change.  Its a topic about which many feel passionately.  Ive been resisting joining the fray because I ha... [Read More]


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I like the idea of Internatioinal society for organizational psychology, but why not just chance the "industrial" part to "international" and keep SIOP's name (Society for International-Organizational Paychology.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology is fine. Don´t loose your time.
Today is not clear what will happen in the organizations of the future, related to economic strategies to be adopted in this globalized and globalizing world.
We must prepare, as I-O psychology specialists, to take on increasingly challenging roles. We must consider the financial criteria and/in the future business decisions. For example, it is necessary to analyze the role of china and the costs of labor, the migration of production facilities, and many other things.

Since it seems that the "I" side has more to do with individuals versus the "organizational" side of our field, why not replace "Industrial" with "Individual". SIOP could remain the acronym for the professional society (Society for Individual and Organizational Psychology) and I believe the I/O (Individual-Organizational) brand would be more relationally relevant to what the field actually encompasses versus the Industrial-Organizational brand. That is, if there needs to be any name change at all.

I disagree with the idea of changing the name of the SIOP organization. Many of us still spend most of our day conducting task analysis, requirements analysis, human factors and ergonomics, highly technical training, work flow modeling, workstation design, safety and such. This kind of work is best described as industrial psychology. Frankly, organization development has constituted the least of my work over the past decades of my career. But there are psychologists working that area and mainly concerned with organization behavior. Both of these kinds of effort need to be recognized. Let's stick with the "I/O" in SIOP--it encompasses both our trade and brands.

I tend to introduce myself as an "industrial psychologist," or as an "I/O psychologist." I find that most people I meet in business or academics tend to think "industrial" psych. is scientific (time/motion studies?), versus unscientific touchy/feely "organizational" psych. Org. Psych. reminds them of that American Airlines commercial in which businesspeople were trying desperately to get earlier flights to escape a group exercise that required them to react to the labels they were wearing on their heads (With apologies to ASTD!)

At the risk of stating the obvious, whatever the outcome of a vote, some members will be unhappy. Some may simply ignore any change (or the keeping of the status quo) in terms of how they self-identify. I think that any outcome should be followed by the biting of the bullet and acceptance that the subject of another name change will NOT be revisited again, at least not for a long time. The uncertainty that a possible name change creates is detrimental to the profession, so it must be laid to rest.

To those that suggest dropping "industrial" will somehow solve all of our visibility problems - if we change to SOP, what happens when "organizational" becomes an outdated term? It will happen; it's only a question of when.

Will we simply change our name again and again every few decades to stay "current", as was done with even greater regularity before the change to "I/O" in 1973? Doesn't sticking with and promoting a single name make more sense for achieving a coherent brand identity in the long term?

I've been in this field since 1986, and this issue seems to arise every few years. "SIOP works"...we never come up with a significantly better alternative, and it remains timeless. KEEP SIOP. Now, go back to work!

I like the concept of "ISOP" but agree that it doesn't describe us as we are. I think "OPA" does.

I strongly urge us to change our name to Organzational Psychology and drop the "Industrial." This term is an artifact of the past and a bygone era. The term "organizational" is more encompassing and inclusive. It provides an umbrella construct for all types and forms of social systems whether they are private sector, publicly traded, not for profit,public sector, and community based groups. The "I" and the "O" have become artifical divisions within our field--with the "I" professionals focused on measurement and individual level work, and the "Os" coming from more social pscyhology roots and working in the areas of teams/groups, and enterprise wide interventions. It is time for us to sythesize and integrate the various aspects of our field and move toward the future where organizational forms and types will continue to evolve.

It is also time for us to move beyond the old debate about whether our association is one of research and academics or practitioners. This is another false divide. Both constituencies are critical to our future health & our ability to contribute constructively to the human based ills of society.

Since the preference is for SOP or for IOP, this writer prefers Industrial-Organizational Psychology (IOP). However, since this has been an ongoing concern for several years, it should come as no surprise that none of the suggestions is truly better than SIOP. SOP is easy to remember and easy to use, makes a good connection to other divisions within the APA where they are "Society" and is still consistent with the intent of the mission, vision, and goals of SIOP through the essence of the name.

What about "Psychology of Employment and Organizations" (PEO) or Psychology of Organizations and Employment (POE). I do not have a problem with the word "society" or "association".

Here are some practical questions that I want everyone to seriously consider: What happens to everyone that has a degree in I/O Psychology? Do our degrees suddenly become irrelevant once the name changes? If we have a degree in I/O psychology are we suddenly now outdated and less marketable?

In a letter to the Editor of TIP (http://www.siop.org/tip/Oct08/15letters.aspx), I laid out why I/O Psychologists have to stop pretending to be HR professionals. With the wide array of tools in our collective toolkit, we should be doing more than just selection assessments and some OD lite.

At the end of my letter to the Editor, I said that I-O psychology has to figure out how do two things: 1) Differentiate itself from HR and 2) Be relevant.

To this end, we need to be more globally inclusive, more business focused, more socially-culturally aware, and make it clear that our sphere of influnce is NOT limited to the world of HR.

I think that both the "Industrial" (or a good synonym thereof) and the "Organizational" should remain in some fashion and anything that evokes HR (e.g., work or personnel) is a very bad idea and will hamper the growth of the field.

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