Human resource practitioners and academics have conflicting ideas with regards to academic research in Occupational and Organizational Psychology. A majority of HR practitioners argue that the above research does not tackle practical issues that enhance workers’ performance and maintain their well-being; thus it is inconsequential and abstract (Garry, 2006). On the other hand, academics maintain that sound theory accompanied by thorough research is the foundation of exemplary practice. Consequently, there has been a growing drift between these two factions, which threatens to damage this field seriously. To bridge this gap, the author of this article provides some personal reflection with regards to the relevance of Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (JOOP) to HR practitioners.
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Because of the few subscriptions of JOOP articles by practitioners, it is assumed that unless the abstract or title of JOOP is fascinating and relevant, a majority of practitioners would not read them fully. The research question is, therefore, to review the practical relevance of JOOP to HR practitioners. The author together with three UK-based HR practitioners constituted the research sample (Garry, 2006). The research design was a survey in which the participants were involved in reading through the abstracts of every JOOP article printed in 2004, followed by rating them based on their relevance. Each of the articles was rated on a scale of 1 to 4 with 1 symbolising irrelevant, 2-slightly relevant, 3-moderately relevant and 4- highly relevant. Fifteen percent of the articles were found to be highly relevant to a considerable number of the practitioners (Garry, 2006). The article by Gardner and Pierce (2004) which examined the impact that pay levels have on organizational performance and self esteem was rated highly relevant by all participants. Twenty three percent of the articles were found to be moderately relevant, while methodological articles were perceived to be irrelevant, and, therefore, scored extremely low rating.
The author has made several suggestions on the way JOOP articles may be made relevant, as well as how to make their relevance more explicit. The suggestions include framing the research hypothesis and questions in a manner that attract both academics and practitioners, carrying out additional analysis on the practical implications within the discussion section, and utilizing extra target articles that contain commentaries, as opposed to special sections/ issues. Others are redirecting articles which focus mainly on the development of instruments or methods to other journals, as well as fully taking advantage of the World Wide Web (Garry, 2006).
Bridging the gap between HR practitioners and academics, devoid of compromising the educational brilliance of JOOP will necessitate imaginative solutions, which if attained, will be of benefit to numerous educated practitioners. According to this article, fundamental research remains a valuable commodity, which is difficult to perform well, with rare expertise available to do it. Other than being seen as a source of damage, the gap between practitioners and academics regarding organizational and occupational psychology also provide distinctive opportunities, which JOOP ought to embrace (Garry, 2006).
Currently, all JOOP articles are in printed format. The author suggests that adopting the use of the World Wide Web would provide thrilling new leeways for discussion between practitioners and contributors of JOOP, which if enthusiastically supported and intelligently managed by the academic society, would lead to a revitalized association between the two disciplines. This will enable JOOP to go on publishing superior quality academic papers, as well as meet the practitioners’ needs (Garry, 2006). In addition, the academics would gain from a more vivid understanding of the practitioners’ concerns in the real world, which may stimulate them to take into consideration new intervention research lines, as well as other possibilities for mutual investigation.
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