Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology > Research & Publications > IOP Journal > IOP Focal Articles

Antiwork Offers Many Opportunities for I-O Psychologists

George M. Alliger & Peter J. McEachern


Antiwork philosophy holds that work, in and of itself, tends to be harmful for most people. Some antiwork theorists even advocate for the abolition of paid employment altogether. We argue that, alt-hough endorsement of the radical ideology of antiwork is in no way necessary for I-O psychologists, con-sidering the thinking behind these ideas can be beneficial. In fact, reviewing the tenets of antiwork may prompt some to a broad reconsideration of the nature and purpose of the I-O field and its role, nested as it is in potentially problematic power dynamics both within organizations and in broader society. In this arti-cle, after describing antiwork’s core tenets, we outline a number of research directions and practical appli-cations inspired by the perspective. Although in some cases these may involve the creation of new theory, constructs, and interventions, they often simply entail the repurposing or refocusing of existing ones that are more attuned to the problematic nature of work. Possibilities for research include, but are not limited to, the examination of the prevalence and nature of “managerialism,” how we might better understand the psychological character of organized labor and its outcomes, and how to encourage healthier manifes-tations of employee engagement. In terms of practice, we bring to the reader’s attention how antiwork might inspire extensions or adjustments in how we recruit and onboard, train managers, improve job char-acteristics, measure performance, and work with unions and other political advocates. Ultimately, consid-eration of antiwork’s assertion of the inevitable authoritarian character of employment, combined with I-O psychology’s emphases on objectivity and the translation of science into practice, can spark inquiry and innovation.

View as a Word Document           View as a PDF


Best Practices for Weight at Work Research 

Grace Lemmon, Jaclyn M. Jensen, & Goran Kuljanin


Popular and influential social commentators have called organizations complicit in perpetuating weight-based bias and mistreatment. Although our field has advanced our understanding of the economic consequences of being fat at work (e.g., salary; job performance; promotions), we urgently need more research on the interpersonal experiences of this swath of workers so that we can appropriately advise organizations. In this article, we describe how organizational psychology researchers can answer this call to do more research on weight at work (a) even while feeling uncomfortable with a topic that can feel personal, medicalized, and/or overly intertwined with other DEI-based topics; (b) by incorporating insightful research from outside disciplines that centers weight controllability and weight-based mistreatment deservedness; and, critically, (c) while approaching weight at work research with a respectfulness that conveys an understanding of the complexities intertwining weight, health, and personal agency. In culmination, this article offers to our field a flexible, living document entitled Best Practices for Weight-Based Research in Organizational Studies.