Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 March 2022
Drawing on examples from published research, the authors offer a perspective on the side effects that are associated with organizational interventions. This perspective is framed in the context of the many hard-won positive influences that industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists have had on individuals, groups, organizations, and social institutions over the last century. With a few exceptions, we argue that side effects tend to receive less attention from I-O psychology researchers and practitioners than they deserve. A systematic approach to studying, monitoring, and advertising side effects is needed to better understand their causes, consequences, and the contexts in which they are most likely to emerge. The purpose of this piece is to stimulate conversations within the field about the phenomenon of side effects as well as what might be done to improve our science and practice in this domain.
We would like to thank Charles Scherbaum, Logan Steele, and the anonymous reviewers who provided helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this work. Some of the ideas described here were presented at a roundtable discussion at the 34th annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in National Harbor, MD. Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Logan Watts, Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, firstname.lastname@example.org.