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Gaining Organizational Entry and Developing Partnerships for Applied Research and Experience: A Perspective From Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master's Programs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018

Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
Nancy J. Stone
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Sciences, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Janet L. Kottke
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, California State University–San Bernardino
*
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42103. E-mail: betsy.shoenfelt@wku.edu

Extract

As faculty in master's industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology graduate programs, we read with great interest the focal article on initiating and maintaining partnerships with organizations (Lapierre et al., 2018). We applaud the efforts of the authors to present guidelines and recommendations for successful applied research in organizations. Although Lapierre et al. directed their recommendations primarily to doctoral faculty and their students, there currently are 159 I-O psychology master's programs listed on the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) webpage (http://my.siop.org/GTP). Because of the applied nature of most master's programs, by necessity we work continuously to gain entry into and partner with organizations for internship placements, applied course projects, and applied service opportunities. We, along with other master's faculty colleagues, have published and presented on the topic of partnering with organizations (e.g., Shoenfelt, 2003; Shoenfelt, Kottke, & Stone, 2012; Shoenfelt et al., 2015; Shoenfelt, Stone, & Kottke, 2013; Shoenfelt, Walker, Long, Smith, & Whelan, 2012; Stone, Shoenfelt, Huffcut, Morganson, & Frame, 2018; Stone, Shoenfelt, Morganson, Moffett, & Van Hein, 2017). In this response, we offer an analogous perspective from the master's level based on tacit knowledge garnered from more than a century of combined experience. We note that many of the recommendations in this focal article likewise surfaced in our work. Here we highlight the challenges unique to master's-level and teaching-intensive faculty in implementing these recommendations. In our response, we embrace Lewin's (1946) definition of action research that there is no action without research and no research without action. Thus, we broadly define applied research as asking an important applied question and systematically collecting data to answer that question in a manner in which the results inform organizational action (whether or not it results in a peer-reviewed publication).

Type
Commentaries
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2018 

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