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From The CriticsReviewer: John R. Crossen, PhD, MBA (Oregon Health and Science University)
Description: This is the latest annual volume in a series on Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology. Like previous editions, this volume reviews continuing or emerging areas of content and methodology. Several chapters are directed to aspects of work performance.
Purpose: The goal in this series is to provide the most timely and comprehensive reviews in the area of I/O Psychology. Each of the chapters selected for this volume achieve the objectives of clarifying areas of similar approach to I/0 issues around the world and clarifying areas that are unique, arising from differences in terminology, culture, and tradition.
Audience: The level of discourse and detail of the chapters implicitly target I/O practitioner and academic research professionals, including graduate students. The clarity of the reviews also make them amenable to use by human resources staff and others in administrative, managerial, or legal roles who need to become familiar with the conceptual framework of a relevant topic. The scope of the reviews and the quality of the authorship in these volumes allows them to be considered definitive resources.
Features: Each chapter carefully addresses the issue of international convergence and uniqueness. The clarification of terminology and workplace cultural practices is especially well done in Salgado's chapter on personnel selection and Hoel, Rayner, and Cooper's review of workplace bullying. The latter chapter seems particularly timely and is only indirectly addressed in previous volumes. The commitment of the authors to deal with the complexities of a diverse body of knowledge and investigation involving different approaches to research and practice is most evident in Roe's review of work performance, which offers a comprehensive new model integrating theories and findings across the entire domain of recent literature. The chapters by Organ and Paine on organizational citizenship behavior and Fahlbrunch and Wilpert on system safety are outstanding examples of reviews in which the authors lucidly introduce an emerging area of I/O interest by concisely tracing the roots and placing issues in a broader context that helps the reader interpret current work and possibilities for fruitful inquiry. Two other chapters of interest to those in practice are Fletcher and Baldry's on multi-source feedback, and Drew, Harinck, and VanVianen's on conflict and performance. While each one carefully considers methodology and theory, they all also offer the equivalent of executive summaries to guide contemporary application. Perhaps the volume's most theoretically complex chapters on work control and employee well-being by Terry and Jimmieson survey the research so incisively that practical implications are evident to the reader.
Assessment: I was impressed by the ambitious goals of the reviews to survey world literature, identify convergent themes, clarify the conflicts and differences, and offer coherent, integrative formulations of large areas of investigation. In each chapter this effort was assisted by the scholarly approach to clarifying historical origins and tracking the trajectories of inquiry to contemporary research. One could not find a better starting point for useful information about any of these areas, nor could one find a better summary to check one's own thinking against the state of the art and science.