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July 22, 2009


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I'm crossing my fingers, not to rename the SIOP. It really is a nonsense for me to seek name changes are really unnecessary.
Moreover, I have a humble degree in industrial and organizational psychology, and once they change the name, How I will find work?, If it is hard to find work in the field with the name I-O in my cartoon, imagine what will happen without an appropriate name.
The signifier, not only the meaning is important. Let's stop clowning in ultra simplistic insustantive bitter arguments.
I cross my fingers ...

In my experience, the term organizational psychology is not always easily understood by the public. For non-psychologists, the link between psychology and mental disorder is frequently so strong that people believe that organizational psychology deals with organizing the life of people with mental disorders. I think the term Work and Organizational Psychology has some advantages but in general I would stick to Hugo Muensterberg's old and original term "Business Psychology". Why not simply the Association of Business Psychologists? (ABP).

I think if you break it down by age and geography you will find the following: a) people who have devoted their careers to I/O for some time identify with it and recognize that it is a powerful brand b)newcomers balk at the term "Industrial" and want to get rid of it c) Europeans for some reason have adopted "Work" in their title so they would like to change what we call ourselves to something similar to what they call themselves d)North Americans will prefer the established SIOP term.

That's my best guess. The survey designers have cleverly set it up to favor a name change by narrowing down the field of 'contenders' first and then puttting change versus no change on the block. Otherwise you would find that a substantial minority would prefer to stay the same and substantial division among those other alternatives and the name will stay the same.

Two ideas:

1. Why are we wedded to having "Society" in the name at all? All three choices in the ballot use the word Society. Can we be "Association of Organizational Psychologists"? AOP sounds better than SOP.

2. Most of our clients, when they approach rebranding, hire a marketing firm to help with the rebranding. Why do we think we can come up with a good name ourselves? Let the professionals do what they professionals do.

I'm a little disappointed that Society for Applied Organizational Psychology didn't make it to the voting block.

The comments posted on the site to this point seem to be split down the middle in terms of public/professional opinion about whether the word industrial should remain as part of the society's name or not.

The issue was set to vote after a cut-off date for comments on July 31, 2009. Has there been any outcome announced?

I believe placing the name focus on organizational psychology focuses more on the work I/O Psychologists do for organizations when in fact we are mainly working to affect the psychology of humans inside of organizations. I do like the suggestion to add an international moniker to the name.

If the name changes and drops the word industrial, will universities follow suit in renaming their programs? What will we call ourselves as professionals if not I/O psychologists?

Have these questions and others been considered in this discussion for a name change? Isn't it the professional society (SIOP) that sets the standard for universities and professional in terms of how we unite and align ourselves in this work?

Do _not_ drop the I from SIOP. Unless you did something extraordinary -- leading to even more controversy -- not only would we be stuck with an inferior acronym (SOP), but you would have to chuck the logo entirely.

And just to give you some idea how many individuals -- never mind organizations -- have made the O their logo, let me give you two examples: Obama, Oprah.

But if you do drop the I from SIOP, give me a call: I do branding work and if you did rebrand, you would have your work cut out for you. And I would have mine.

This entire debate seems like it is much ado about nothing. If anything, it seems almost like an excuse to get people talking rather than actually be useful. It's just a waste of time.

I really think we need to stick to the name.

We have worked this hard to try to get brand recognition why throw away all that effort?

I must agree that work and organizational psychology would be the best name. The Europeans already use it officially, and it would satisfy those who like organizational and those who like work.

I support the name change and think SIOP has done a great job engaging members on this change. Now we can call ourselves the "Society for Interesting Organizational Psychologists"

Whose idea is it that there are only two choices? And why these two choices only? If I do not like I/O then my only alternative is organizational? Why?

I think we should move towards a term that is easier for the average layperson to grasp. Either Work and Organizational Psychology, or either of these terms alone.

The problem with a name change is the clear distinction (that I see anyway) between the words "Industrial" and "Organziational". It is true that working with one often involves working with the other, but that does not eliminate the need for either side.
Not that a name change is necessarily a bad thing, or that I am opposed to it, but it doesn't seem so necessary.
Maybe someone could enlighten me on the benefit of starting over and changing the name? Would there suddenly be an immediate, widespread understanding of what we do? Would the light bulbs all of sudden go off in people's minds if they were offered the terms Work and Organizational Psychology (a pretty good name, by the way) as opposed to Industrial Organizational Psychology?

I strongly support the name change - it's simpler and more direct.

Of course, we will have to figure out a new acronym. SIOP always had that military intelligence association. Of course, SOP has it's own problems (as do most of the alternatives: FOP, MOP, BOP, and WOP). TOP would be good - now if we can only find a word for "group" that starts with a T...

Here are problems I see with our current name: a) It is too long. b) The term 'industrial' is somewhat archaic. c) In terms of research (and maybe practice), there has been a blurring of I and O, making each a less distinctive moniker.

I support a switch to organizational psychology. It solves the problems with our current name, yet retains enough of it to reduce potential confusion among those who've grown accustomed to I-O.

Definitely would like to change from I-O to Organizational Psychology. I-0 is an archaic 1950's term that is often confused with Industrial Engineering. Also, are "industrial" organizations somehow different from other organizations such that they require isolation in the title? I tired of explaining the "I" years ago and have been referring to my discipline as "Organizational Psychology" for 20 years.

Would like to see the data of the extent of current name recognition of I/O
(not even spelled out) among corporate executives before any decisions are made. I would argue there is broader awareness of what I/O is among both business and HR professionals than is currently assumed.

I forgot to add to my recent posting the thought of ranked voting, so that each member gets to respond to all choices (e.g., "work and organizational" = 1st choice, "IO" = 2nd choice, "organizational" = 3rd choice). 1st choice gets 3 votes, 2nd choice gets 2 votes, and 3rd choice gets 1 vote. That might be the fairest procedure.

I agree that any vote must include a choice for "work and organizational psychology". Yes, it does not make SIOP's name as short as simply "organizational psychology", but it does eliminate the word "industrial" while retaining (or introducing) an aspect of the profession that is not necessarily connoted by "organizational". I suspect that a significant percentage of SIOP members would at least like the opportunity to consider this in their votes. To altogether exclude the word "work" as a choice (or part of a choice) would alienate too many SIOP members. Furthermore, if there are more than 2 name choices (e.g. IO versus organizational versus work and organizational), then a decision would have to be made as to whether voting would be multiple hurdle (change vs no change; then, if change, which alternative to IO) and whether a majority or plurality vote is required to decide any issue. Obviously, if member sentiment is reasonably estimable (and I think that it is), then choice of voting procedures essentially can decide the outcome. It is critical that voting procedures be explicitly justified.

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