Ethics and Values in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

By Joel Lefkowitz | Go to book overview

12
The Values and Ethics
of Industrial-Organizational
Psychology

The commitment of professionals to the values central to their professions is what leads society to grant them—individually and collectively—the authority and resources to pursue those values in the service of others. … it is the profession's core values that both anchor and trigger the virtues and duties expected of its members. … The very essence, then, of being a professional, and not just acting as one, is understanding and committing to the spirit as well as to the letter of the profession's values and ethical prescriptions.

—Gellerman, Frankel, and Ladenson

This chapter offers for consideration a critique and an expanded vision of I/O psychology that attempts to go beyond the limited letter of our espoused values to include a better representation of its spirit as well. Not all of the ideas put forth are new ones; some reflect criticisms of the field and of applied social science that have been made earlier by professional colleagues and predecessors, as well as by external critics. And instances of some of the advocated changes can already be seen in the research and practice of some among us. But the appeal here is to elevate those trends to the level of institutional attributes that will more nearly typify the field of I/O psychology rather than represent the contributions of a relative few.

This expanded view is comprised of four interrelated facets. Writing about them separately inevitably entails some redundancy; I tried to keep that to a minimum. The four aspects of this proposed vision are (a) adoption

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