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Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Work at Eli Lilly, Cargill, and GE


by SIOP Administrative Office

More Than 100 Attend Business Student Pre-LEC Event in Boston

In conjunction with SIOP’s recent Leading Edge Consortium in Boston, the D'Amore-McKim School of Business Center for Workforce Analytics at Northeastern University hosted three SIOP members October 1 for a student event that showcased the performance management systems and practices at three large global organizations.

“Science for a Smarter Workplace: Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Work at Eli Lilly, Cargill and GE” attracted around 120 registrants, consisting of MBA students as well as some undergraduates. The event had such a tremendous response that the school was forced to set up a satellite broadcast in an overflow room to accommodate all of those who were interested.

SIOP Fellow Paula Caligiuri, D'Amore-McKim School of Business Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University, arranged the event location and organized all of the presentation needs onsite.

“For me, the most telling moment of the evening was when I asked the 120+ students if they had heard of industrial and organizational psychology,” she said. “Only a few raised their hands. By the end of the evening, after hearing presentations from three leading I-O psychologists, they walked out of the seminar with a better appreciation for our field and for the role of I-O psychology in strategy execution.”

The hour-and-a-half-long event consisted of short presentations by the speakers followed by a question-and-answer session. SIOP member Mark Huselid, Distinguished Professor of Workforce Analytics, emceed and provided an overview of the I-O psychology field. The three speakers included:

  • Alan Colquitt, Director of Global Assessment, Organization Effectiveness and Workforce Research, Eli Lilly
  • Sharon Arad, Assessment Practice Leader, Cargill
  • Allen Kamin, Manager of Organization and Analysis, General Electric

“I was surprised at how many of the students had an experience of having participated in a performance appraisal discussion,” Kamin noted, commenting on the fact that many of the students already had first-hand experiences of some of the topics being discussed.

“I was blown away both by the warmth and hospitality of our hosts and by the interest from the students and faculty at Northeastern,” Colquitt noted. “I have never seen students and faculty turn out in such numbers to hear about a topic like this. They had three to four times the interest they anticipated. It was amazing. I was also very impressed with the diversity and openness of their students. I think all three of us gave them a taste of some of the problems facing business today and for how I-O professionals can uniquely contribute to solutions. I told them this was a problem they were going to have to solve—the problem of fixing performance management—that it wouldn’t be fixed during what is left of my career, and they seemed up for the challenge.”

A reception with snacks and drinks, arranged by Northeastern, immediately followed the event.

   For more photos of this event, visit SIOP’s Facebook page!   

About the D'Amore-McKim School of Business Center for Workforce Analytics

The Center for Workforce Analytics at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business was founded in 2015 to help advance the science and practice of applied workforce measurement and analytics. Through the creation of close partnerships between the academic and practitioner communities, our mission is to promote the use of evidenced-based workforce management. In support of these goals, the CFWA is focused on helping organizations identify, prioritize, implement, and assess workforce investment opportunities, rooted in the execution of firm strategy. Focusing on the talent issues unique to each business strategy will enable firms to develop the predictive analytics and workforce insight needed to create value for shareholders and better, more meaningful jobs for employees.