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Foundation Spotlight: Progress on Two Initiatives

Milton D. Hakel, SIOP Foundation President

This past April, Sue Ashford, Brianna Caza, and Brittany Lambert won the inaugural SIOP Visionary Grant. Then on August 24, five projects won small grants from SIOP’s Anti-Racism Grant Fund. Here is news about the progress of both initiatives.

Visionary Circle

The Visionary Circle is a crowd-sourced and donor-directed fund to improve the world of work dramatically by supporting significant I-O psychology research and practice through projects that will have a lasting impact in the workplace. Ashford, Caza, and Lambert won the grant for a proposal to identify the particular challenges faced by gig workers and test evidence-based interventions to bolster resilience among those workers. See the May 19 SIOP Newsbriefs story. The project got underway on July 1. Here is Sue Ashford’s initial report:

We have spent the first 6 weeks of the grant getting things organized. This task has included figuring out the rather complex dynamics of budgeting across several universities so that the place with the correct resources (for example research assistance) also has the budget to cover them. We brought a fourth member on to our team, Elizabeth Trinh, an entering doctoral student at Michigan. We also have developed our protocol for the qualitative interviews we are planning and have come up with a sampling plan for conducting these interviews. 

We have set a timeline: interviews to be conducted in September and October, experience sampling methodology (ESM) study to be implemented in late January and February of next year. We have set this timeline both to give us time to conduct and evaluate our interviews and also to avoid the holidays while doing any part of our ESM study. Frankly, our biggest concern for conducting this research this year is the Covid 19 crisis and its effects. We are comparing people working independently and people working in organizations during a year in which people, while still working for an organization, are likely not working in the organization. Allowing more time to pass increases our chances for change in this reality. 

Finally, as part of our preparation for designing the intervention for the ESM study, we have decided to write a review paper on this methodology. There is a burgeoning set of research using it but not much advice about it. To this end, we collected over 600 papers referencing interventions, narrowed our sample to 120, coded them for their various characteristics, and are now beginning to examine these more closely to extract potential lessons and advice for the field.

An additional observation from Sue:

Why is our proposal visionary? We portrayed the project in terms of needing to expand SIOP’s vision to consider multiple types of workers. Sometimes we get caught up in understanding how organizations can best use their human resources and forget that we also have a responsibility to help people have fulfilling, productive and sustainable work lives, whether they are working inside a company or outside on their own.  There’s value in studying that, whether it makes a company better at using its human resources or not. There’s value in studying what contributes to people’s well-being—enough income to sustain themselves and some psychological well-being to keep going in their work lives. This project puts that question at the fore. There is no organization, we are just studying what these people need to have a good work life.

It is fascinating to watch this project as it evolves, especially due to the wild card dealt by the COVID pandemic. Stay tuned.

Anti-Racism Grants

The Anti-Racism Grant Fund is a very recent addition to the SIOP Foundation’s initiatives. In the July issue of TIP, I sketched the need for it. We then raised a grant pool of $50,000, issued a Call for Project Proposals that went online on July 1, received 35 proposals by July 27, and the ARG Subcommittee of SIOP’s Awards Committee made two rounds of ratings followed by a consensus discussion to identify the top proposals.

The five small grant winning projects are

Performative Gesture or Genuinely Supportive: The Impact of Workplace Responses to the Racial Injustice Movement on Employees
Lauren Collier-Spruel & Dr. Ann Marie Ryan

Organizational Anti-Racism Initiatives: Advancing Scholarship and Guiding Practice on Effectiveness
Dr. Enrica Ruggs, Dr. Alison Vania Hall (Birch), Dr. Derek R. Avery, Dr. Benjamin E. Baran, & Christopher W. Everett

Algorithmic Racial Bias in Automated Video Interviews
Louis Hickman, Dr. Louis Tay, Dr. Sang Eun Woo, & Sidney D'Mello

Underestimating and Underreacting? Identifying and Addressing Empathy Gaps in Perceptions of Racial Microaggressions
Lindsay Y. Dhanani & Matthew L. LaPalme

Interpersonal Mistreatment, Perceived Discrimination, and Minority Identity Management: An Attribution Theory Perspective
Dr. Maria Kraimer, Dr. Lawrence Houston III, Jerry Liu, & Dr. Scott Seibert

Abstracts for each of these projects appear in the August 26 issue of SIOP Newsbriefs.

Workplace racism is multifaceted and has persisted far too long. Each of these projects takes solid and needed steps toward understanding and improving the prospects of equal employment opportunity for all.

Moving I-O Ahead

The SIOP Foundation’s mission is to connect donors with I-O professionals to create smarter workplaces.  Let us get on with it. In particular, the Visionary Circle is seeking contributions of $1,000 and larger to fund the second  $100,000 Visionary Grant in 2022—contribute at https://0-www-siop-org.library.alliant.edu/Foundation/Visionary-Circle/Make-a-Pledge. A second round of Anti-Racism Grants will be held after we raise another pool of $50,000 for small grants—contribute at https://0-www-siop-org.library.alliant.edu/Foundation/Donate-Now by selecting FDN Anti-Racism Grant from the drop-down list of funds after logging into your SIOP web account.

The world of work needs I-O style evidence-based praxis as never before. Contact any of us.

Milt Hakel, President, mhakel@bgsu.edu, 419-352-0983 or 419-819-0936

Rich Klimoski, Vice-President, rklimosk@gmu.edu

Nancy Tippins, Secretary, nancy@tippinsgroup.com

Leaetta Hough, Treasurer, leaetta@msn.com

Adrienne Colella, Communications Officer, acolella@tulane.edu

Mirian Graddick-Weir, Trustee, mgraddickweir76@gmail.com

Bill Macey, Trustee, wmacey9@gmail.com

John C. Scott, Trustee, JScott@APTMetrics.com

The SIOP Foundation
440 E Poe Rd Ste 101
Bowling Green, OH 43402-1355
419-353-0032   Fax: 419-352-2645
Email: SIOPFoundation@siop.org

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