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i-o_chapter_121 - Chapter 1 Principles Practices and...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1 Principles, Practices, and Problems , i Resistance to New Ideas This problem might be called, “I’ve always done it this way, and i’m not going to change now!" Psychoiogists who work in business and industry often meet this r attitude—a resistance to change, an unwiliingness to try something new or con- ; sider novel ideas. When an i—O psychologist recommends aitering the usual way of e performing a job, workers sometimes view the suggestion as a threat. Employees who are told to modify their work habits to conform to the potentially more effi- cient system proposed by the psychologist may actively resist because they believe i that the company is trying to get them to work harder for the same pay. insecure d workers may also feel that management is criticizing their past job performance. d This resistance to change is a serious problem at all levels, from the worker on i- the assembly line or the phone bank to the CEO at corporate headquarters. , If the findings of 1-0 psychologists are to have any impact, they must have the 'C; support of the managers and employees who will be affected by them. Psycholo- 1_ gists need the cooperation of those empioyees whose jobs will be changed, They i— must show considerable human reiations skills, patience, and persuasiveness in Ed addition to their technicai expertise. Research versus Application? _ The quesrion of research versus application continues to concern I-O psycholo— e- 1 gists in their relations with management. Some managers compiain that too littie se of the research published in 1—0 psychoiogy journals is oriented toward the prac- g- : tical realuworld problems with which they deal every day. This may explain why 1g ? many human resources managers do not read the published literature in {—0 1’Y , psychology; they may find it too technical, difficult to understand, or impracticai j and irrelevant to their needs. A survey of 959 members of the Society for Human lI'- :_ Resource Management found that fewer than 1 percent reported keeping up 1g _; with the academic iiterature. A disturbingly high 75 percent said they never read gts it (Rynes, Brown, 8 Cogbert, 2002). Psychologists who work for organizations gh can heip alleviate this problem by writing clearly and directly, thus interpreting :e. their research findings in a way that human resources managers would find use- 15 fui and applicable to their everyday probierns on the job. he In addition, there are serious differences between academic i-O psychoiogists 1511 § and psychologists who woric in applied settings. Although they may receive the : same training, once they leave graduate school, their employment experiences and values diverge. Researchers are popularly seen as interested only in theories and methods, not in anything relevant, Whereas practitioners are viewed as problem» solvers who ignore theoretical evidence (see Brooks, Grauer, Thornbury, 8 High m- : house, 2003}. Although it is true that much academic research may appear to by have no immediate application, psychologists who work directly for organizations igh ? know that the two functions, research and application, are interdependent. iey Without research, there would be no reiiable iniormation to apply to criticai :ch 5 problems on the job. This point is often overiooiced by managers who demand tin, or- mediate soiutions to specific problems and who cannot understand the hesitation ar— of the psychologist who telis them that the answer can come oniy from research. 3 a The conflict between research and application arises because organizations often need prompt answers. Production schedules and contract deadiines do not ...
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