New Directions in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

By Budworth, Marie-Hélène; Latham, Gary P. | Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, October 2009 | Go to article overview

New Directions in Industrial-Organizational Psychology


Budworth, Marie-Hélène, Latham, Gary P., Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science


This article introduces our motivation for producing a special section on new areas of research for I-O psychology. We briefly review presentations that sparked conversations around how 1-0 psychology could be applied to new contexts or related disciplines. We then introduce the articles that appear in this special section.

Keywords: I-O psychology, boundaryless

Our motivation for this special section began with a symposium presented at the Canadian Psychological Association's (CPA) annual conference in 2001, Bringing down the walls: Creating a boundaryless psychology. That symposium led to a series of papers published in Canadian Psychology, Toward a Boundaryless Psychology (Latham, 2003). Latham and Heslin (2003) argued that an Industrial-Organisational (I-O) psychologist should build upon research findings from clinical psychology to better understand behaviour in organisational contexts. Seijts and Latham (2003) argued that research in social psychology, particularly on moral develop, hypocrisy, and group serving bias should be studied in an I-O context. Finally, Lord, Hanges, and Godfrey (2003) explained the relevance of examining valence instrumentality expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) in terms of the latest findings in neuroscience.

In 2005, a second symposium focused on the topic of boundarylessness. Fassina (2001) applied concepts from marketing to I-O psychology. Specifically, Fassina used diffusion theory to propose methods for making innovations in organisations. Klehe (2001) applied insights from the health sciences to I-O psychology.

The following year, the coeditors of this special section organised a third symposium, New Directions for I/O Psychology. Budworth (2006) bridged the literature on training with research on emergency management. Specifically, she argued that the field of emergency management education could benefit from an understanding of what I-O researchers have found regarding needs analysis, training effectiveness, and the transfer of training.

Duffy (2006) explained the strengths and limitations of current research on selection to selecting individuals for work in isolated environments such as the Antarctica. Gauthier (2006) examined the applicability of Bandura's (1986) social- cognitive theory of moral agency as a framework for research on business ethics, especially corporate scandals, and accounting inconsistencies. Latham (2006) discussed how developments in neuroscience, which have already been applied to marketing, have ramifications for future research on motivation in the workplace particularly in regard to inculcating subconscious goals. Conversations with colleagues following this symposium revealed additional interesting and innovative ideas for I-O psychology research. The current special section is an outgrowth of these discussions.

In this special section, Shoa and Skarlicki systematically explored the technique of mindfulness, a concept studied in counselling psychology, within the I-O context. They examined mindfulness as an individual difference variable as it relates to performance and found that the relationship is moderated by gender.

A second study that crossed boundaries in psychology is that of Johnson and Steinman with regard to the phenomenon of justice. In response to the call put out by Latham and Pinder (2005), they explain the role of implicit processes on work motivation. Their study opens up new ways of understanding human behaviour in terms of subconscious processes.

Measuring motivation is a challenge. Tremblay, Blanchard, Taylor, Pelletier, and Villeneuve have developed and validated a tool for measuring implicit motivation. The theoretical framework underlying their measurement is Deci and Ryan's (1985) theory of intrinsic motivation.

MacDonald and Sulsky revisited rating format from a new perspective. They propose that rating format and rater training need to be studied in terms of the cultural factors that moderate rating behaviour. …

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