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The Heart of the Matter


by SIOP Administrative Office

#SIOP19 Theme Track Advances Science Practice Translation

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology embraces the integration of science and practice, a concept memorialized in SIOP’s strategic goals as, “Model and reinforce the effective integration of science and practice.”

SIOP membership draws heavily from both the academic and practice arenas, and the Society is richer for the different perspectives they bring. As any baker will tell you, how the ingredients are combined can make all the difference in the texture and flavor of the end product.

President Talya Bauer has made integration of the two perspectives a central part of her leadership, with the Science–Practice Opportunities for Translation (SPOT) Task Force. (Read an update on the SPOT Task Force in her most recent TIP column.

This year’s Conference Theme Track, “Advancing Science Practice Translations,” chaired by Elizabeth McCune, continues the work of creating a powerful whole from the discrete areas of I-O psychology.

The five Theme Track sessions are scheduled throughout the day on Thursday, April 4, beginning immediately after the opening plenary.

“We’re going to kick off the conference with a theme track day focused on science practice translations,” McCune said, “and really encourage people to make it a conference-wide theme for themselves.” Theme Track Committee members include Joe Allen, Madhura Chakrabarti, Molly Delaney, Chloe Lemelle, Ketaki Sodhi, and Jessie Zhan

McCune said the coordinating committee is slightly larger than normal, because “One of our key objectives was to make sure that we had, as much as possible, the breadth of SIOP membership represented on the committee.” There is international representation, academics and practitioners, different types of practitioners—external and internal-- and a student member. “Each member is chairing a session, and then we made sure to coordinate on the overall plan for the theme track and collaborated on what kind of content we wanted to cover, with the individual chairs coordinating their sessions.”

The five Theme Track sessions are listed under the umbrella title of SIOP Select and are all scheduled for Potomac D.  Unless otherwise noted, the sessions are 80 minutes long. They include:

Communicating Results in a Complex World (10:30 am). The idea behind this session is to “start with the end in mind,” and it’s a high energy session filled with applied examples of what effective science-practice translations can look like.

The Science-Practice Partnership: Action and Education (12 pm). This uniquely formatted session examines “Why we struggle.” Dueling panels debate the issues and the role education plays in science-practice translations. 

Translating Complexity: From Science to Practice (1:30 pm). This session addresses some technical topics in ways that midcareer professionals particularly will find useful, including Organizational Network Analysis, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Computational Modeling  

Using Design Thinking to Improve Research Relevance (3:30 pm). The intent of session four is to enable audience members to apply design thinking principles to scientific research. Panelists include design thinking experts and practitioners who have applied design thinking to their work.

Disruptions Big and Small: The Future of Science-Practice in I-O (5:00-5:50 pm). This session is a call to action to all SIOP members to help close the science practice divide. A candid discussion of issues the field needs to address to close the gap and encourage better translations, will include several specific action recommendations to facilitate closing the gap. 

McCune said the committee chose their theme in the belief “we are at a place where understanding facts and leveraging science to guide decision making is really important.”  Read more about the SIOP Theme Track sessions here.