Doing Research on Pay Equity in
Support of the Political Process:
The Wyoming Experience
Martin M. Greller
John H. Jackson
University of Wyoming
This paper is a reflection on an experience. It is not intended to prove a point or test an hypothesis. Indeed, its purpose is to help raise questions. As this volume has already illustrated, industrial and organizational psychologists (and their cousins in human resource management and applied social psychology) have played an active role in understanding and addressing discrimination. For the most part, that role has taken the form of one of two models. First, researchers contribute knowledge of the phenomenon, the forces that drive it, and the approaches for remediation. This is a classic role for the social scientist, providing a factual basis for decision making. In the second model, practitioners hone techniques associated with personnel processes and decisions to detect and reduce bias, usually working within a single organization. Organizations operate within a socio/political environment and the results of such research hopefully inform and shape both the organization and the environment.
The situation we will describe is different. The Wyoming legislature asked for assistance in assessing pay equity for women and the alternative actions it could take to deal with the issue in the state. This was not
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Publication information: Book title: Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases. Contributors: Robert L. Dipboye - Editor, Adrienne Colella - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2005. Page number: 409.
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