Today is my last blog for the OPRA blog. As many of you know I’m no longer actively involved in OPRA, other than as a strategic advisor. Since 2009 I have been working overseas. Over 2009-2010 I worked in the UK for Psytech International in an International business development role. More recently I have returned to the Southern Hemisphere and taken on a CEO role for a News Ltd company Recruit Advantage (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/it-business/technical-consultant-boosts-calvert-technologies-support-team/story-e6frganx-1225930131979).
I note this to demonstrate the opportunities that are presented to I/O psychologists opportunities for which I’m deeply grateful. Had I chosen a different career different opportunities would have been presented. However it is hard for me to imagine a life more rich than the one that I/O psychology has offered me both financially and intellectually. OPRA has been a big part of allowing me to realise these opportunities. I worked for OPRA for many years and I still feel a very strong connection to the company and what it has and is trying to achieve.
The discipline of I/O psychology is a truly a fantastic space to work. My passion for this area is two-fold. Firstly, it is intellectually demanding requiring one to be a multi-faceted problem solver with an open mind. The building blocks are logic and statistics applied to solve problems. It is neither art nor science but a craft that one develops as they read and apply more knowledge. This knowledge is used to solve real world problems. The problems I/O psychologists solve are not some abstraction of reality but are real problems that affect people every day in an area of their life that many consider one of their most important life areas; work. People often define themselves in part by their work and trade; eight to ten hours a week day is often spent at work; and work is how one earns money to enjoy their leisure. Work is central to our lives as humans and to have a career that attempts to better understand the psychological aspects of work is truly rewarding.
My belief in the benefits that can be derived from quality I/O psychology has also resulted in my direct critiques of the discipline. Our discipline promises so much but too often delivers too little. There are criticisms that need to be answered, criticisms of over-commercialisation (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/the-big-business-of-psychology/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/why-do-people-recommend-ipsative-tools-for-selection-if-they-are-not-designed-for-that-purpose/,https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/how-much-has-really-changed-in-two-years/) , of a lack of deeper science (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/a-big-theory/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/the-biology-of-traits/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/organizational-research-methods/), of the potential for politics to distort psychological research (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/cognitive-science-can-be-career-damaging/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/the-social-implications-if-traits-exist/), of the failure of academics (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/the-problem-with-academia-as-a-medium-of-change-or-critique/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/what-is-stopping-the-changes-coming-about-the-trouble-with-io/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/how-scientific-is-peer-review/) , and the over-reliance of quantitative methods without any support (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/what-are-the-areas-where-qualitative-methodologies-may-be-appropriate/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/is-this-discipline-a-science-quantification/, https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/is-meta-analysis-all-it-is-cracked-up-to-be/, . These critiques need to be aired if our discipline is going to realise its potential (https://oprablog.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/the-relevance-of-io-psychology/). I hope my blogs are at least one step in that direction.
I would like to thank OPRA for providing me this opportunity to kick off their blog with what was a long-series of guest blogs. I look forward to reading more interesting, informative and challenging blogs from Team OPRA.