University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Are we Bridging the Divide in IWO Psychology?

Bartlett, D., Francis-Smythe, Jan, Steele, Catherine, Arthur, Jane and Carter, A. (2011) Are we Bridging the Divide in IWO Psychology? In: European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology, May 25-28 2011, Maastricht, Netherlands. (Unpublished)


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This paper examines the knowledge transfer process within the profession of work and
organisational psychology. In consonance with the theme of the 2011 congress, it considers
the extent to which proposed ‘bridging mechanisms’ can provide useful vehicles for
operationalising the pursuit of the dual goal of improving both the well-being of individuals
and the effectiveness of work organizations. It considers the way in which the profession
attempts to ground its concepts in a sound evidence base and then successfully mobilise
this knowledge at the interface of research and practice. It does so by critically examining
the scientist-practitioner model and the ways in which this model can be operationalised by
practitioners and researchers. The criticism which is aimed at academics is that their
research is irrelevant; it explores narrow concepts too often with student samples.
Practitioners, on the other hand, are accused of too infrequently bringing scientific findings
from the research literature to their practice. The problem has been cast in terms of both
one of knowledge production and also knowledge transfer and is typified, at least in one
direction – the impact of research upon practice, by what has in other professions, most
notably medicine and more recently management, been called evidence-based practice.
Denise Rousseau, in her 2005 presidential address to the American Academy of
Management defined evidence-based management (EBM) as “translating principles based
on best evidence into organizational practices” and there have been a number of attempts
to invoke a similar model of evidence-based practice in the field of work and organisational
psychology. In 2007 Anderson described the academic-practitioner divide as ‘natural’,
suggesting the way forward was to focus on ‘bridging mechanisms’ describing six which had
been proposed at the 1995 SIOP conference. What is the situation over decade later? To
what extent have these bridges been built? This paper explores the nature and extent of
these bridges by presenting case studies and findings from a UK survey of IWO psychologists.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: knowledge transfer, work psychology, organisational psychology, research
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jan Francis-Smythe
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2011 12:28
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:24

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