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Organizational Psychology and the Tipping Point of Professional Identity1

  • Ann Marie Ryan (a1) and J. Kevin Ford (a1)

Abstract

Using concepts from the literature on individual and collective identity, we argue that organizational psychologists are at a tipping point with regard to identity. Assertions regarding a lack of distinctiveness from other fields, ambiguity in individual identification with the field among new entrants, hyperadaptation to external forces, and a failure to manage within-identity dynamics associated with science and practice are presented. These assertions are supported with descriptions of the nature of growth in the field, challenges in academic psychology departments, and calls for changing research agendas. With the aim of engaging others in collective sensemaking, alternative future scenarios for organizational psychology are presented.

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Corresponding author

E-mail: ryanan@msu.edu, Address: Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 333 Psychology, Bldg., East Lansing, MI 48824-1116

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1

In keeping with recent trends in the field, we use “organizational psychology” rather than industrial organizational psychology throughout, except when directly quoting a source or providing a historical referent.

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References

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