Professional Ethics

Committee for the Advancement of Professional Ethics (CAPE)

Gabrielle Blackman, Chair

Hello SIOP Members!

Welcome to the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Ethics (CAPE) website. CAPE serves the SIOP community by assessing and supporting the ethics-related professional development needs of I-O psychology professionals.

On this website, you will find useful resources that will assist you in recognizing and navigating ethical dilemmas in your practice, research, and teaching roles. Students will also find foundational information regarding the ethical dimensions of I-O psychology. 

Practitioners may find the APA ethics code useful in guiding client interactions. Consider using our engaging tools, such as the Dilemma Stimulus Training Cards, to facilitate ethics-related discussions with your team. 

Researchers may find the suggested articles useful when conducting ethics-related research. You may also find it useful to explore our recommended resources for conducting ethically sound research. 

Educators may find the CAPE Bingo Game, full of ethical scenarios, to be a fun classroom activity. The ethics course syllabi and the suggested articles will also be helpful to those developing new ethics courses. 

CAPE encourages all SIOP Members to explore SIOP’s official code of ethics: the American Psychological Association’s (2016) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Explore the information on our website regarding the code’s ongoing revision and SIOP’s responses to the revision. CAPE will keep the SIOP community updated on the code’s revision and invite community member input when draft versions of the revised code become available.

If you have any comments or suggestions for us, please use the “contact us” button below to share your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to explore CAPE’s website and for your interest in ethics within the I-O psychology field. 


Gabrielle Blackman, Ph.D.

CAPE Committee Chair

Educator Resources


Dilemma Deck

Dilemma Deck
The CAPE ethical dilemma stimulus cards were developed as an ethics training tool for I-O Psychologists. Each scenario is based on common ethical issues that are faced by this group in both academe and practice.
CAPE Bingo

CAPE Bingo
The CAPE BINGO game was developed as an ethics training tool for I-O psychologists. Each scenario is based on common ethical issues that are faced by this group in both academe and practice. You may download the materials below.

Instructions for Participants
Instructions for Facilitators
Bingo Cards
APA Ethics Cheat Sheet

Ethics in Daily Life

Ethics in Daily Life
Helpful tips and information for ethics in daily life.
Common Misconceptions About Ethics
Academy of Management Ethics Resources
Take our self-assessment: CAPE Ethical Reflection Tool (CERT)
ChatGPT, Artificial Intelligence, and the End of the World as We Know It 


Researcher Resources


COPE (Committee on Publishing Ethics)

This website has many useful resources, including guidelines, flowcharts for dealing with suspected cases of unethical behavior, case studies, etc.   Many of these cases and tools can be leveraged by SIOP members for education and professional development.
Journal Editor Ethics

This is an initiative that was started by Steve Rogelberg and Deb Rupp to create some ethical principles for journal editors.  The principles have been updated over time and have been endorsed by many journal editors. It also contains a nice section with links to related articles and sites.
Center for Open Science

Center for Open Science contains guidelines designed to promote the transparency and openness of research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does SIOP have an ethics code?

Yes, SIOP members, whether they belong to APA or don't, agree to adhere to APA's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.

What makes a problem ethical in nature?

Three elements contribute to the nature of ethical issues:

1. A choice, often difficult and emotional, must be made.
2. The situation invokes one or more ethical implications (e.g., as identified by the APA Ethics Code)
3. The decision will have a significant impact on others.

Why is the study of ethics important?

We depend on the trust of others in order to do our work and we don't earn that trust without treating them honestly and respectfully (i.e., ethically). While the ethical path is sometimes obvious, studying ethical decision-making strategies helps I-O psychologists identify and navigate ethical considerations that may not be evident at first glance. SIOP members agree to adhere to the APA Principles of Conduct and Ethics Code, a resource that sensitizes us to potential areas of concern. The excerpts sheet on the CAPE web page lists standards that are particularly relevant to I-O psychologists. Note that most other parts of the ethics code are applicable to I-O psychologists as well (e.g., Boundaries of competence, Conflict of interest, Exploitive relationships, Maintaining confidentiality, Sexual harassment).

Does CAPE offer advice for handling specific ethical dilemmas?

No. CAPE serves an educative function and does not have the resources or expertise to consult with members about specific ethical matters. While individual CAPE members may be willing to serve as a sounding board to you, we are not necessarily ethics experts and should not be viewed as such.

What do I do if I have an ethical dilemma?

There are steps you can take to work through the dilemma, and you can approach the issue using the following:

1.  Identify stakeholders that may be impacted by the course of action you pursue.
2.  Research relevant guidance (e.g., APA Ethics Code, organizational policies and procedures, pertinent laws or contract language).
3.  Consult one or more trusted colleagues to ask for help in thinking through the situation and potential courses of action.

When should I formally report unethical behavior?

Some unethical behavior is of a particularly serious nature, warranting a formal response. Consistent with APA Ethics Code Standard 1.05, consider reporting unethical behavior if someone is experiencing substantial harm as a result of the unethical behavior.

While CAPE does not provide guidance on individual cases, you may want to consider the following when determining whether to report unethical behavior:

  •   Have you attempted to address the unethical behavior through informal means (e.g., talking directly to the person who you believe to be acting unethically)?
  •   Is the unethical behavior directly violating a person's human rights?
  •   Does your company/organization require you to report unethical behavior of this nature?
  •   Are you required by law to report unethical behavior of this nature?
  •   Are there confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements that are relevant to disclosing information?

To whom should I report unethical behavior?

There are many options for reporting unethical behavior. It is important to consider your company/organization's existing protocol, as well as relevant policies and laws.

Some options that may be appropriate for reporting unethical behavior may include the following:

  •   Your supervisor (Fisher, 2016)
  •   Your HR Department
  •   SIOP (see SIOP's Whistleblower Policy)
  •   The American Psychological Association - if the offender is a member
  •   A state licensing board - if offender is licensed
  •   Other authorities

I have been accused of unethical behavior, but I disagree with the allegations. What should I do?

Being accused of unethical behavior, when you disagree with the allegations, may seem unfair and stressful, however, there are steps you can take if this happens.

  •   Begin with honest self-reflection. Is it possible that you unknowingly engaged in a behavior that may appear to or actually be unethical?
  •   Consult one or more trusted colleagues to get help thinking through the situation and potential courses of action you might consider taking.
  •   Cooperate with any investigation into the matter.

What are the differences between research, academic, organizational, and personal ethics?

Although the nature of the problems will manifest differently, the same principles apply across each one.

How do I build my own ethics group within my organization or research if there is not one?

If you are in an environment where there are not many or any peers that you can reach out to, you may consider developing external resources. Utilize professional networks (e.g., LinkedIn, other SIOP members) to begin building a trusted network of competent people you can reach out to for guidance or advice on ethical matters.

Reference Lists

Code of Ethics and Guiding Documents

  •   APA Ethics Code adopted by SIOP (Free Access
  •   Updates from the Ethics Code Revision Task Force (Free Access)
  •   Canadian Psychological Association. (2000). Canadian code of ethics for psychologists, (3rd Ed.). Ottawa, Canada.
  •   Academy of Management. (2002). Academy of Management code of ethical conduct. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 291–294. (Free Access)
  •   Society for Human Resource Management Code of ethics (Free Access
  •   The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (Free Access)

Developing and Using Codes of Ethics

  •   Hill, R.P. & Rapp, J.M. (2014). Codes of ethical conduct: A bottom-up approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 123, 621-630.

  •   Stevens, B. (2008). Corporate ethical codes: effective instruments for influencing behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 78, 601-609.

Theories and Models of Ethics

  •   Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological review, 108(4), 814–834.

  •   Jones, T. M. (1991). Ethical decision making by individuals in organizations: An issue-contingent model. Academy of management review, 16(2), 366-395.

  •   Kohlberg, L., & Hersh, R. H. (1977). Moral development: A review of the theory. Theory into practice, 16(2), 53-59.

  •   MacDougall, A. E., Martin, A. A., Bagdasarov, Z., & Mumford, M. D. (2014). A review of theory progression in ethical decision making literature. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 14(2), 9-19.

  •   Murphy, J. M., & Gilligan, C. (1980). Moral development in late adolescence and adulthood: A critique and reconstruction of Kohlberg’s theory. Human development, 23(2), 77-104.

General Guides for I-O Psychologists

  •   Banks, G. C., Knapp, D. J., Lin, L., Sanders, C. S., & Grand, J. A. (2021). Ethical decision making in the 21st century: A useful framework for industrial-organizational psychologists. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (Free to SIOP members

  •   Lefkowitz, J. (2011).  Ethics in industrial-organizational psychology (Vol. 2, Chap. I.8), In S. Knapp, L. VandeCreek, M. Gottlieb & M. Handelsman (Eds.), APA Handbook of ethics in psychology. Wash., DC: American Psychological Association. 

  •   Lefkowitz, J. (2017).  Ethics and values in industrial organizational psychology (2nd Ed).  New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis. (Espec. Chap. 15, “Taking Moral Action.”)

  •   Lefkowitz, J. (2021). Forms of ethical dilemmas in industrial-organizational psychology. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 14(3), 297 - 319. (Free Access)

  •   Lefkowitz, J., & Watts, L. L. (2021). Ethical incidents reported by industrial-organizational psychologists: A ten-year follow-up. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. (Free Access)

Guides for I-O Practitioners

General Guides:

  •   Cooper, T. L. (Ed.). (2001). Handbook of administrative ethics, 2nd Ed.. New York: Dekker.

  •   Hunkenschroer, A. & Kriebitz, A. (2022). Is AI recruiting (un)ethical? A human rights perspective on the use of AI for hiring. AI and Ethics, July, 1-15. doi: 10.1007/s43681-022-00166-4

  • Knapp, D. J. (2008). Handling ethical matters. In W. C. Borman & J. H. Hedge (Eds.), The I/O consultant’s handbook. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  •   Lowman, R.L., & Cooper, S.E. (2017). The ethical practice of consulting psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  •   Lowman, R. L. (Ed.), Lefkowitz, J., McIntyre, R, Tippins, N. (Assoc. Eds.). (2006). The ethical practice of psychology in organizations (2nd ed.) Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Personnel Selection:

  •   Lefkowitz, J. & Lowman, R.L. (2017).  “Ethics of Employee Selection.”  Chap. 26 in J.L. Farr & N.T. Tippins, (Eds.).  Handbook of Employee Selection, 2nd ed.  New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.  (1st ed. Published 2010.) (Free Access)


Organizational Change and Development:

  •   Church, A. H., Burke, W. W., & Van Eynde, D. F. (1994). Values, motives, and interventions of organization development practitioners. Group and Organization Management, 19, 5–50.

  •   Nielsen, R. P. (1989). Changing unethical organizational behavior. The Academy of Management Executive, 3, 123–130.

Research Ethics

General Guides:

  •   Israel, M. & Hay, I. (2006). Research ethics for social scientists: Between ethical conduct and regulatory compliance. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

  •   Kalichman, M., Magnus, P.D. & Plemmons, D. (2016). Conflicts of interest. In Resources for Research Ethics Education. (Free Access)

  •   Office of Research Integrity.  (2014, Dec. 2).  Handling misconduct. (Free Access)  


Reproducibility and Replicability:

  •   National Science Foundation Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. (2015, May). Social, behavioral, and economic sciences perspectives on robust and reliable science. Washington, DC: Author. (Free Access)

  •   Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251), 943-951. (Free Access)

  •   Simons, D.J. (2014). The value of direct replication. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(1), 76-80.

  •   Simons, D.J., Holcombe, A.O. & Spellman, B.A. (2014). An introduction to registered replication reports at Perspectives on Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(5), 552-555. (Free Access)


Data Collection:

  •   Broder, A. (1998). Deception can be acceptable. American Psychologist, 53, 805–806.

  •   Brody, J. L., Gluck, J. P., & Aragon, A. S. (2000). Participants’ understanding of the process of psychological research: Debriefing. Ethics & Behavior, 10, 13–25.

  •   Chastain, G., & Landrum, R. E. (Eds.). (1999). Protecting human subjects: Departmental subject pools and institutional review boards. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  •   Groves, B. W., Price, J. H., Olsson, R. H., & King, K. A. (1997). Response rates to anonymous versus confidential surveys. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 665–666.

  •   National Research Council. (2003). Protecting participants and facilitating social and behavioral sciences research. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

  •   Sashkin, M., & Prien, E. P. (1996). Ethical concerns and organizational surveys. In A. I. Kraut (Ed.). Organizational surveys: Tools for assessment and change (pp. 381–403). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Data Sharing: 

  •   American Psychological Association. (2015). Data sharing: Principles and considerations for policy development. (Free Access)


Data Analyses:

  •   Bosco, F.A., Aguinis, H., Field, J.G., Pierce, C.A. & Dalton, D.R. (2016). HARKing’s threat to organizational research: Evidence from primary and meta-analytic sources. Personnel Psychology, 69(3), 709- 750. (Free Access)

  •   Wasserman, R. (2013). Ethical issues and guidelines for conducting data analysis in psychological research. Ethics & Behavior, 23(1), 3-15.


International Research 

  •   Blackman, G. M. (2021). Ethical considerations in international leadership research. In Y. Tolsitkov-Mast, J. Walker, & F. Bieri (Eds.), International Leadership Research Handbook. Routledge. 

  •   United States Office of Human Research Protections. (2019). International compilation of human research standards. (Free Access)

Teaching and Training Ethics

  •   Hartner, D.F. (2015). Should ethics courses be more practical? Teaching Ethics, 15(20), 349-368.

  •   Korenman, S.G. (2006). Teaching the responsible conduct of research in humans (RCRH). Chap. 4. Conflicts of interest (COI). (Free Access)

  •   Medeiros, K. E., Watts, L. L., Mulhearn, T. J., Steele, L. M., Connelly, S., & Mumford, M. D. (2017). What is working, what is not, and what we need to know: A meta-analytic review of business ethics instruction. Journal of Academic Ethics, 15, 245-275. (Free Access)

  •   Steele, L. M., Mulhearn, T., Medeiros, K. E., Watts, L. L., Connelly, S., & Mumford, M. D. (2016). How do we know what works? A review and critique of current practices in ethics training evaluation. Accountability in Research, 23, 319-350. (Free Access)

  •   Watts, L. L., Medeiros, K. E., McIntosh, T. J., & Mulhearn, T. J. (2020). Ethics training for managers: Best practices and techniques. New York: Routledge.

  •   Watts, L., Medeiros, K., Mulhearn, T., Steele, L., Connelly, S., & Mumford, M. (2017). Are ethics training programs improving? A meta-analytic review of past and present ethics instruction in the sciences. Ethics & Behavior, 27(5), 351-384. (Free Access)