In keeping with recent trends in the field, we use “organizational psychology” rather than industrial organizational psychology throughout, except when directly quoting a source or providing a historical referent.
Organizational Psychology and the Tipping Point of Professional Identity1
Version of Record online: 18 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Volume 3, Issue 3, pages 241–258, September 2010
How to Cite
RYAN, A. M. and FORD, J. K. (2010), Organizational Psychology and the Tipping Point of Professional Identity. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3: 241–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9434.2010.01233.x
We wish to thank Dan Ilgen, Bill Macey, Fred Morgeson, John Schraubroeck, Nancy Tippins, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful and provocative comments on an earlier draft of this article.
Ann Marie Ryan and J. Kevin Ford, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University.
- Issue online: 18 AUG 2010
- Version of Record online: 18 AUG 2010
Using concepts from the literature on individual and collective identity, we argue that organizational psychologists are at a tipping point with regard to identity. Assertions regarding a lack of distinctiveness from other fields, ambiguity in individual identification with the field among new entrants, hyperadaptation to external forces, and a failure to manage within-identity dynamics associated with science and practice are presented. These assertions are supported with descriptions of the nature of growth in the field, challenges in academic psychology departments, and calls for changing research agendas. With the aim of engaging others in collective sensemaking, alternative future scenarios for organizational psychology are presented.