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Evidence-Based I–O Psychology: Not There Yet


  • We are very grateful to three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

Rob B. Briner. E-mail:
Address: Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, United Kingdom.


Evidence-based practice is now well established in several fields including medicine, nursing, and social policy. This article seeks to promote discussion of whether the practice of industrial–organizational (I–O) psychologists is evidence based and what is needed to make I–O psychology an evidence-based discipline. It first reviews the emergence of the concept of evidence-based practice. Second, it considers the definitions and features of evidence-based practice, including evidence-based management. It then assesses whether I–O psychology is itself an evidence-based discipline by identifying key characteristics of evidence-based practice and judging the extent these characterize I–O psychology. Fourth, some key strategies for promoting the use of evidence in I–O psychology are considered: practice-oriented research and systematic reviews. Fifth, barriers to practicing evidence-based I–O psychology are identified along with suggestions for overcoming them. Last is a look to the future of an evidence-based I–O psychology that plays an important role in helping consultants, in-house I–O psychologists, managers, and organizations become more evidence based.