• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Want to organize your cloud files? Sign up for a free webinar to see how Dokkio (a new product from PBworks) can help you find, organize, and collaborate on your Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, and Slack files: Weds, May 27 at 2PM Eastern / 11AM Pacific
View
 

Industrial Psychology in the News

Page history last edited by Jessica Hartnett 3 years, 4 months ago Saved with comment

Main -> In the News: Industrial Psychology



US Air Force's  "AF evolves policies to access more talent, maintain high standards" (11/10/17)

 

This story might be useful in discussing how selection policies have to evolve and change as social norms change, especially norms that apply to younger workers. Here, the Air Force is changing its recruitment/retention policies as to allow members to have more tattoos. 

 

NPR's "To retain more parents, the military offers a better work-life balance."(10/12/16)

 

This story highlights personnel changes being made in the military in order to better retain women. Changes include flexible work hours and expanded maternity leave.

 

NYT's "Wells Fargo scandal may be a sign of a poisonous culture."

 

When 5,300 of your employees commit fraud in pursuit of bonuses, something is wrong with a company. 

 

NPR's "Will A Computer Decide Whether You Get Your Next Job?" (12/20/13)

This news story details how Xerox is making data driven hiring decisions. Talk about job turn over and patterns in the data that make for good Xerox call center employees. 

 

NPR's "Batman v. Superman female producer working to get more women behind the camera"

This interview with Deborah Snyder (big wig Hollywood producer) describes steps she is taking in order to hire more women to work in film production. This example could be used in class to discuss mentoring, working in a male-dominated field, and creating an initiative with D.C. Comics in order to hire more women to work on films.  

 

The Washington Post's "In big move, Accenture will get rid of annual performance reviews and rankings"

(7/22/15)

This article describes how Accenture, a  consulting firm that employs 330K people, is doing away with annual performance reviews and replacing them with ongoing employee feedback over the course of the year. The decision is data driven and indicates changes in industry: Organizations find that people who do well on performance reviews are also good at self-promotion (but not necessarily their job) and that management ends up spending, on average, 200 hours a year on annual reviews. This example describes cutting edge employee assessment tools and also makes mention of data-driven choices and decisions being used within organizations. 

 

Air Force Time's "Kelly: Volunteering won't help you get promoted anymore" (6/22/15)

This article describes a big change in Air Force promotion policy: Previously, USAF will no longer be weighing an individual volunteer work outside of the office. This has been a point of contention because a person with subpar performance at the job they were actually hired to perform could still be promoted because they scored volunteer points completed unrelated to their job. I think this could be used to discuss job performance and assessment of job performance. Also, this story alludes to unfavorable perceptions of procedural justice (as the promotion process was perceived as unfair).

 

NPR's "Recruiting Better Talent With Brain Games And Big Data" (2/25/15)

This interview with a neuropsychologist turned I/O assessor details how app based games can be used to assess applicant risk aversion, attention to detail, and other qualities.

Good for discussing selection, individual assessment.

 

NPR's "Ex-Agent: Secret Service Management Should Be More Proactive" (2/1/15)

This interview with a former Secret Service agent describes recent problems within the agency and suggestions for organizational change. Problems within the agency are attributed to structural changes in the federal government (integration into Homeland Security), budgetary problems, public scrutiny due to the 24-hour news cycle). Suggestions for change include new hires/oversight in order to modernize the organization. 

 

NPR's "Mae Keane, The Last 'Radium Girl,' Dies At 107" (12/28/14)

 

While this story is a remembrance of Mae Keane, it serves to personalize the "Radium Girls". These were women employed by the U.S. Radium Corporation who ingested radium in order to keep their jobs (painting watch dials so they would glow in the dark). They later sued their employer and influenced government regulations on the handling of radium. A good example of work place safety and health as well as government regulations.

 

Slate's "Dumbing It Down in the Cockpit" (12/12/14)

 

This story touches upon training and human factors. It discusses how increasing use of autopilot features in aircraft may be decreasing pilot skills. Explanations for why this might happen include discussions of mindfulness/mindlessness and cognitive psychology.

 

NYPost's "FDNY drops physical test requirement amid low female hiring rate" (12/11/14)

 

This story describes a recent decision made to change job selection measures in order to encourage gender equality in the FDNY. 

 

NPR's "Ex-Missile Crew Members Say Cheating Is Part Of The Culture" (3/12/14)

 

This story details conditions that lead to the recent Missile Crew cheating scandal (widespread cheating on proficiency exams given to individuals charge with launching nuclear attacks). This story could be used to explain organizational culture and counterproductive work behaviors that result from corrupt culture.

 

Washington Posts's "GAO says there is no evidence that a TSA program to spot terrorists is effective" (via NotAwfulandBoring.blogspot.com) (11/13/13)

 

Recently, the federal Government Accountability Office investigated a  training given to TSA agents that was supposed to help them spot problem passengers via behavioral analysis. The program, by most accounts, as been a failure. This example can be used to describe both a) outcome assessment of job training as well as b) reliability and validity within the context of outcome assessment. The blog post contains links to information on the story as well as some pictures from the federal government's reports about the TSA program that demonstrate a lack of a) inter-rater reliability as well as b) validity (as the TSA agents were supposedly trained to spot people who were behaving oddly but very few of their referrals led to arrests). 

 

Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard (12/27/13)

 

From NPR, this story discusses changes being made to selection procedures as more and more combat roles are opened to women. Specifically, this story is about a delay in a strength requirement for female recruits. This story touches on selection, individual differences, and fairness.

 

The Case of Richie Incognito, various stories.

 

During the Fall of 2013, the news story broke about Miami Dolphin's Richie Incognito and his harassment of fellow player Jonathon Martin. Although there is clear evidence of harassment, much of the back lash surrounding this story has been aimed at Jonathon Martin, the victim, and claims that he needed to accept the culture that exists in the NFL. This news story touches on workplace harassment and culture.

 

A few sources:

 

Jon Stewart's take on the case on The Daily Show

ESPN coverage of the story.

 

Aaron Hernandez: An Early Warning in 2010 NFL Draft Profile from The Wall Street Journal (7/3/13)

This story discusses Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriot who has, as of 7/10/13, been charged with murder. This story from WSJ sheds some light on the assessment measures used by the NFL when they are vetting new football players. They mention the Wonderlic, normal scores on various measures for football players, and the fact that Hernandez was evaluated as "... he enjoys living on the edge of acceptable behavior and that he may be prone to partying too much and doing questionable things that could be seen as a problem for him and his team." 

 

 

1 million workers. 90 million iPhones. 17 suicides. Who’s to Blame? (Wired Magazine, March 2011) (Courtesy of Michael Britt)

 

Wired magazine's cover story in the March 2011 edition is called, "1 million workers. 90 million iPhones. 17 suicides. Who’s to Blame?". It's an interesting story about the conditions under which factory worker work in China as they create all the gadgets we've become used to using.

There are a few connections to psychology in the article:

1) Factories like these use assembly lines, which of course were pioneered by Henry Ford. Assembly lines are very efficient, but the toll on the human psyche in terms of boredom and helplessness is very high.

2) Factory owners try to decrease these psychological factors by giving workers nice food courts to eat in, high definition TVs in their rooms and video games to play while they're not working. Psychologist Frederik Herzberg, a job motivational theorist, would explain efforts like these as attempts to improve the "Hygiene" factors surrounding the worker. Improving hygiene factors typically doesn’t increase job satisfaction, but it does decrease job dissatisfaction (making workers feel okay about their jobs instead of hating them).

3) The article would serve as a good introduction and discussion around the more popular theory of job motivation/satisfaction called the Job Characteristics theory (typically covered in a chapter on I/O psychology) in which jobs are made more motivating by giving workers more variety, Identity, Significance, Feedback, and Autonomy.


Discussion questions: Students might be asked how they would use these factors to make assembly line work less boring (leading some workers, apparently, to commit suicide).

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Michael Britt said

at 6:47 am on Mar 1, 2011

Wired magazine's cover story in the March 2011 edition is called, "1 million workers. 90 million iPhones. 17 suicides. Who’s to Blame?". It's an interesting story about the conditions under which factory worker work in China as they create all the gadgets we've become used to using.

There are a few connections to psychology in the article:

1) Factories like these use assembly lines, which of course were pioneered by Henry Ford. Assembly lines are very efficient, but the toll on the human psyche in terms of boredom and helplessness is very high.

2) Factory owners try to decrease these psychological factors by giving workers nice food courts to eat in, high definition TVs in their rooms and video games to play while they're not working. Psychologist Frederik Herzberg, a job motivational theorist, would explain efforts like these as attempts to improve the "Hygiene" factors surrounding the worker. Improving hygiene factors typically doesn’t increase job satisfaction, but it does decrease job dissatisfaction (making workers feel okay about their jobs instead of hating them).

3) The article would serve as a good introduction and discussion around the more popular theory of job motivation/satisfaction called the Job Characteristics theory (typically covered in a chapter on I/O psychology) in which jobs are made more motivating by giving workers more variety, Identity, Significance, Feedback, and Autonomy.

Students might be asked how they would use these factors to make assembly line work less boring (leading some workers, apparently, to commit suicide).

Here's the link to the article:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_joelinchina/

You don't have permission to comment on this page.