What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?


The 28th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology takes place April 11-13, 2013 in Houston. As the society’s website states,

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance.

JOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWWhile we gear up to gain new insights from this year’s conference, which will focus on innovation, we’re pleased to bring you new research from top scholars in the field. Jason R. Pierce of Indiana University, and Herman Aguinis of Indiana University, who will be presenting at the conference, published “The Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Effect in Management” in the Journal of Management’s February 2013 issue. The abstract:

A growing body of empirical evidence in the management literature suggests that antecedent variables widely accepted as leading to desirable consequences actually lead to negative outcomes. These increasingly pervasive and often countertheoretical findings permeate levels of analysis (i.e., from micro to macro) and management subfields (e.g., organizational behavior, strategic management). Although seemingly unrelated, the authors contend that this body of empirical research can be accounted for by a meta-theoretical principle they call the too-much-of-a-good-thing effect (TMGT effect). The authors posit that, due to the TMGT effect, all seemingly monotonic positive relations reach context-specific inflection points after which the relations turn asymptotic and often negative, resulting in an overall pattern of curvilinearity. They illustrate how the TMGT effect provides a meta-theoretical explanation for a host of seemingly puzzling results in key areas of organizational behavior (e.g., leadership, personality), human resource management (e.g., job design, personnel selection), entrepreneurship (e.g., new venture planning, firm growth rate), and strategic management (e.g., diversification, organizational slack). Finally, the authors discuss implications of the TMGT effect for theory development, theory testing, and management practice.

Click here to continue reading, and stay tuned for more related research as we head towards SIOP 2013.

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