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The Alliance for Organizational Psychology (AOP): A Collaboration Among Organizational Psychology Organizations Worldwide

Donald Truxillo, Rosalind Searle, and Franco Fraccaroli

The Alliance for Organizational Psychology (AOP) was established in 2009 by an agreement among SIOP, the European Association for Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP), and the Organizational Psychology Division of the International Association for Applied Psychology (IAAP-Division 1). The agreement to create AOP was signed at the 2009 SIOP conference in New Orleans, by the presidents of SIOP (Gary Latham), EAWOP (Franco Fraccaroli), and IAAP-Div. 1 (José Maria Peiró). The mission of AOP is to support and advance the science and practice of I-O psychology worldwide and to expand I-O’s application and contribution to society to improve the quality of working life.


AOP is therefore designed to offer a distinct value proposition to the founder organizations, but is itself a “light” organization. Thus, AOP does not seek to duplicate its member societies’ activities, but instead to increase the visibility of I-O around the world and to enhance, extend, and facilitate exchanges between these associations and their members.


The specific goals of the AOP are to:

  • Enhance the contributions of organizational, industrial, and work psychology to society through improvements in the quality of work life and the effectiveness of individuals and organizations;
  • Develop more effective communication and collaboration among its member organizations;
  • Advance the science and practice of organizational, industrial, and work psychology internationally.


In this article, we describe the structure of AOP and its current key AOP initiatives.


AOP Structure

AOP held its inaugural meeting of 12 delegates at the University of Bologna in November 2011, with Milt Hakel as president. AOP held elections for its officers in 2014, and Franco Fraccaroli, Rosalind Searle, and Donald Truxillo were elected to the Executive Committee as President, Secretary-General, and Treasurer, respectively. They will serve until the 2018 International Congress of Applied Psychology, to be held in Montreal, Canada.


There is also a Board of Delegates with representatives from each of the member organizations. In addition, there are four committees focused key AOP initiatives: Conference Programming, White Papers, Small Group Meetings, and Local Groups.


Conference Programming

The current AOP Conference Programming Committee includes Julie McCarthy (Chair), Frederik Anseel, Ioannis Nikolaou, and Alicia Grandey.


The AOP presence has been visible at the SIOP conference as well as at the EAWOP and IAAP congresses for several years. These AOP conference sessions, which include panels, symposia, and incubators, are focused on topics that are important to I-O psychologists globally. Topics of recent AOP sessions have included work and health, big data in the workplace, and decent work.


Alliance sessions presented at the SIOP Conference in Orlando focused on The Impact of Technology on Recruitment and Selection; 100 Years of I-O Research; and Ethical, Rigorous and Relevant Research.


In addition, the following sessions were presented at the EAWOP Congress in Dublin in May: Policy Matters and Work Psychology; Fostering Emotional Work Climates Aaround the Globe; Local Communities of Work and Organizational Psychologists; Meet the Editors; and Conducting Ethical, Rigorous, and Relevant Research. 


White Papers

The AOP white papers series was developed to promote I-O science and practice that can inform organizational practices and policy. The current White Papers Committee consists of Angela Carter (Chair), Autumn Krauss, and Helena Cooper Thomas. The White Papers Committee has worked to develop a process for commissioning and publishing white papers. The goal is for AOP to publish two white papers per year. The white papers will be published on the web sites of the member organizations. We also appreciate the support that we have received from Organizational Dynamics editor Gary Latham to publish the AOP white papers in that journal. The first white paper is focused Active Aging at Work (Hannes Zacher, Dorien Kooij, and Margaret Beier), with a second white paper on Women and Power forthcoming. Other topics for the coming years include Well-Being Interventions and Mindfulness Interventions in Organizations.


Small Group Meetings

The Small Group Meeting (SGM) Committee is tasked with supporting meetings of researchers from around the world on topics of keen interest to organizational psychology. AOP’s first small group meeting on “Relevant and Ethical Research” was hosted in February 2016 at the University of Zurich, and hosted by Gudela Grote and Jose Cortina. The SGM Committee, consisting of Steven Rogelberg (Chair), Alex Alonso, Sharon Parker, and Ioannis Nikolaou, is soliciting proposals for the next SGM. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2017.


Local Groups Committee

The purposes of the Local Groups Committee is to help create local I-O groups around the world, in other words, to develop I-O groups from the bottom up. This may be particularly important in cases where no national I-O group exists. Current members include Anna Erickson (Chair), Bill Farmer, Helen Baron, and Barbara Kożusznik. The Local Groups Committee is currently conducting a survey to determine member needs on this topic. They had stands at the SIOP and EAWOP conferences to promote their work.


Adding New Members to the Network

One key initiative of AOP is to add new member organizations to AOP, and talks are underway with these I-O-related organizations. The first new member organizations, the Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (CSIOP), was added in 2016.


Visit our website to find our more: http://www.allianceorgpsych.org/


To learn more about AOP, particularly in relation to practice issues, please see the article by Lynda Zugec in this issue of TIP.

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