Research in industrial and organizational psychology from 1963 to 2007: Changes, choices, and trends

Cascio, W. F., & Aguinis, H.
Journal of Applied Psychology Vol. 93 Issue 5, p. 1062-1081

We conducted a content analysis of all articles published in the Journal of Applied Psychology and Personnel Psychology from January 1963 to May 2007 (N = 5,780) to identify the relative attention devoted to each of 15 broad topical areas and 50 more specific sub-areas in the field of industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology. Results revealed that some areas have become more (or less) popular over time, whereas others have not changed much, and that there are some lagged relationships between important societal issues that involve people and work settings (i.e., human-capital trends) and I/O psychology research that addresses them. Also, much I/O psychology research does not address human-capital trends. Extrapolating results from the past 45 years to the next decade suggests that the field of I/O psychology is not likely to become more visible, more relevant to society at large, or even to achieve the lofty goals it has set for itself unless researchers, practitioners, universities, and professional organizations implement several types of changes. For example, researchers can make more conscious decisions about which topics to tackle and collaborate more often with practitioners. Universities can re-think the incentive structure of academic research and consider offering sabbaticals for academics in business practice. Academics can re-think graduate training, as well as the socialization and mentoring of new faculty members. Finally, professional associations can offer joint academic practitioner sessions at conferences, in which both groups can work together on important problems; and certification bodies can incorporate more research-based content into