University of Baltimore Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Practical Applications in I/O Psychology
APPL 655.185  Spring 2016

  Instructor:   Tom Mitchell, Ph.D. (410) 837-5348
Home Page:
Office / hrs:    Mon / Wed 12:30 - 2:00 PM
         Class:    Tuesdays 8:15 PM - 10:45 PM in Room LC  205

  Sakai (webboard for class)

         VII Requirements for Data Analyses Reports 

         VIII Bibliography

 Schedule of Activities, Project due dates: (before midnight)  
Class: Wednesdays 8:15 PM      
Session # Month Day  Activity JA PA SEL OB
1 Jan 27 Discuss syllabus        
2 Feb 3 JA Project Disc /vendor eval Organize      
3 Feb 10 PA Project Discussion   Organize    
4 Feb 17 SEL Project Discussion     Organize  
5 Feb 24 OB Project Discussion Reports*     Organize
6 Mar 3 JA Present Projects Present SPSS structure     
 7 Mar 10 PA Project Progress        
  Mar  17 Spring Break      SPSS structure  
8 Mar 24 SEL Project Progress        
9 Mar 31 PA Present Proj & Orals   Reports*     SPSS structure 
10 Apr 7 OB Project Progress        
11 Apr 14 Review SEL and OB     *  
12 Apr 21  Present PA Projects      Present    
13 Apr 28       Reports Reports*
14 May  5 Present SEL & OB       Present  Present
15 May 14  No class        

Course Materials and resources:

Links to relevant sources: Professional Journals:
I. Descriptive Information
           Catalog description:
The purpose of this course is to enable students to practice real-world applications of competencies acquired in the program. Students will respond to simulated, real-world human resources problems to demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply their knowledge of personnel and organizational psychology. 
II. Objectives of course and Student learning Outcomes (SLOs):

General Objective:  Provide the student with opportunities to apply the theory and practices of I/O psychology in a workplace setting. 

    Specific Objectives are to:

    Student Learning Outcomes: at the completion of this course the student will be able to: III. Class format:
Students will act as I/O consultants to solve simulated real-world contemporary problems typically encountered in an organization. The instructor will act in a management role to pose problems that require students to utilize the competences they have learned in previous coursework. A simulated, virtual organization will provide the environment for this dynamic interaction. Students will work in teams to diagnosis problems, generate solutions, and implement them. The Instructor will respond and react to proposed solutions and implementations, providing simulated feedback with criticism, recommendations, and outcome of implementations.  Both face-to-face (synchronous) and computer assisted (asynchronous) modes of communication will be used. Class discussions will be used to discuss ongoing projects and to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the organizational interventions.

Each student will work as a team member on four assigned projects. To accomplish the objectives for a project, each team member will utilize a set of  previously developed I/O specialist competencies. In-class meetings will be held to discuss the progress of the on-going projects. Project teams will also meet in both face-to-face discussions outside of class and also in asynchronous meetings using the  

Students will serve as junior I/O consultants to management at Applied Psychology Consultants, Inc. (APC), a virtual national company specializing in providing I/O consulting services to private and public sector organizations. Because of the recent success of its I/O consulting services, APC Inc. management has hired a full staff of junior consultants from the University of Baltimore's Applied Psychology MS program and begun to market its services to a wide range of new clients. Projects  involve a broad range of I/O applications including job analysis, performance management (performance appraisal, motivating employees), job design, selection and placement, organizational development and many others.

Each project will be initially defined by management and assigned to a project team consisting of from two to five I/O consultants. An appointed Project Team Leader (PTL) will be responsible for managing the project to insure that the goals and objectives are accomplish and that the project is completed on schedule. Since consultants will serve on projects for different clients, it will be necessary for teams to communicate and share relevant client information as projects progress. Each project team (PT) will:

The Project Team Leader (PTL) will submit a written Project Report (by its PTL) to management documenting the project  and indicating each team member's contributions to the project. Projects will proceed simultaneously throughout the semester and progress in a dynamic manner, simulating real world applications. With the exception of the Job Analysis project the Project Team will collect data (simulated data from instructor) and obtain other information relevant to the project. In some instances, the instructor will provide information from management relevant to the projects.

IV. Texts recommended:
  1.  Northouse, P. G. (2006) Leadership: Theory and Practice. 5th ed. Pub: Sage ISBN 978-1-4129-7488-2 paperback
  2.  Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2013). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 4th  ed. Blackwell Publishing ISBN- 978-1-118-2920-7
  3. Guion., R. M., & Highhouse, S. (2006). Essentials of Personnel Assessment and Selection: Personnel Assessment and Selection.Taylor & Francis ISBN: 9780805852837
  4. Cascio, W. F., & Aguinis, H. (2011). Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management (7th Ed.). Prentice Hall.     ISBN: 13: 978-0-13-609095-3
  5. Latham, G. P. (2007). Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. Sage: CA. ISBN: 0-7619-2017-X 

V. Assessment:
The student will be evaluated on how well he or she was able to demonstrate the application of theory and practice in  accomplishing the project objectives. 

Scoring % weights:     Activity:

Rating scale for all assessments: 
  • 0-6   = Little or no contribution
  • 7       = below expectations
  • 8       =   met expectations;  exceeded expectations; 
  • 9-10 = exceeded expectations 
  • 10     = absolute top 

Grade description:
  •  F    no significant work; 
  • C    below expectations; 
  • B    met expectations
  • B+  exceeded expectations; 
  • A    superior 

 Requirements for Data Analyses Reports:

  • JA:  Projects 
    Assignment: decide online (Sakai) how you will conduct the team effort.
    1. Leadership strategy (choose a leader/facilitator to ensure deadlines are met, member assignments are met)
    2. Assign tasks to each team member
    3. Assign report writing tasks
    4. Decide roles for Ppoint development and presentation
    5. Decide how team members will serve as SMEs 
  • JA requirements:
  1. Conduct the job analysis for the purposes of developing a performance appraisal and selection procedure:
  2. Determine the best method to use for the client's job (i.e, worker, work oriented, or hybrid)
  3. Include a task (dimension) and KSAO matrix
  4. Ensure that it complies with legal requirements
  •  PA: Projects  ** All issues  and tasks below Must be discussed / addressed in Report **
    1. Role of PA in Performance management 
    2. Alignment of competencies -> behaviors -> results -> org objectives ->mission 
    3. Conflicting Dual purposes of PA (administration and development)
    4. Focus on behavior and/or results
    5. Measurement issues: objective v. subjective, rating freq or evaluations, 
    6. Perceived fairness (procedural & distributive justice)
    7. Role of feedback in performance management  
    8. Aggregating (items, dimensions, overall), weighting
    9. Multi-rater issues
    10.  Explain reasons for choice of demographic (employee attributes)
    11. Explain reasons for choice of Organizational groups (jobs, depts, geo, etc.)
    12. Explain use of Criteria: subjective and objective (reliability/validity)
    13. Construct SPSS data structure (var names, var labels, value labels)
    14.  Conduct Data analysis for PA projects
    15. Submit report / prepare for oral exam
  •  SEL: Projects:  ** All issues below Must be discussed / addressed in Report **

    1.      Purposes of the study (project specific) (Intro)

    2.      Benefits to organization (Intro)

    3.      Strategy used: (concurrent criterion-related), compared to alternatives (Intro)

    4.      Why & how you will handle issues of buy-in with (1) management (2) (union if applicable) and (3) incumbents. (intro and Method)

    5.      Sample selection strategy / choice of sample size, demographics chosen: (purpose of grouping variables in analysis and their theoretical import):  e.g. gender/race/job class /region etc. (Intro/method)

    6.      Choice of criteria: Subjective and objective: behavioral/performance/ results / archival data / (intro/method)

    7.      Criterion reliability (over time/ inter-rater) (method)

    8.      Explain Inter-rater reliability, agreement results (include literature/theory) in lay terms (Method)

    9.      Explain issues of attenuation for reliability in predictor/criterion and  range restriction  (method)

    10.  Explain decision to aggregate criterion across raters at item or dimension level (method/results)

    11.  Choice of predictors: (Predictor types: Biodata, Work samples CAT, personality inventories, interviews, SJT, Assessment Centers (explain your reasoning for selecting/not selecting each one) (method)

    12.  Choice of modes of testing (explain possible alternatives), (method). Consider practical issues such as costs, scheduling, and administration

    13.  Placement of predictors for temporal order for effectiveness when implemented, i.e. incremental validity; and cost factors (discussion)

    14.  Explain potential adverse impact issues and how you will address them Intro/method/results/discussion)

    15.  Submit report and prepare for oral exam


  • OB: Projects ** All issues below Must be discussed / addressed in Report **
  1. Report structure: Exec summary / intro / method & procedure / results / discussion (recommendations) Appendices
  2.  Why and how you computed variables
  3. Describe variable types: Categorical and linear variables
  4. Explain issue: Common method variance 
  5. Explain dimensions for JSS / how / why items are summated
  6. Data analysis procedures for Survey studies 
  7. Explain why you are adding items specific to an issue
  8. Compute JSS facets and total, compare to norms (using appropriate statistic)
  9. Confirm inter-correlations among facets and calculate alphas
  10. Anonymity v. confidentiality (explain why you chose one or the other)
  11. Explain how buy-in was obtained (don't forget union buy in if relevant)
  12. Explain Drilling down procedure / deciding on number needed in categories
  13. Data analysis: Anova: group v repeated measures 
  14. Reporting results: Presenting to management (oral exam question)
  15. Reporting results: Presenting to employees (oral exam question)



    Readings in Organizational Psychology  (J. LeBreton, E. Tenn State)

Bass, B. M. (1997) Does the transactional-transformational Leadership paradigm transcend organizational and national boundaries? American Psychologist, 52, 130-139.

House, R. J. & Aditya, R. N. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo Vadis? Journal of Management, v. 23, 409-473

Markham, S. E. (1988). Pay for performance, a dilemma revisited: Empirical example of the importance of group effects. J. of Applied Psychology, 73, 172-180.

Ostroff, C. (1992). The relationship between satisfaction, attitudes, and performance; An organizational Level of Analysis. J. of Applied Psychology. 77, 963-974

Ryan, R.M., Deci, E. L.  (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

Shore, L. B. & Wayne, S. J. (1993). Commitment and employee behavior: Comparison of affective commitment and continuance commitment with perceived organizational support. J. of Applied Psychology, 78, 774-780

Welsh, D. H. B., Luthans, F., & Sommer, S. M. (1993). Managing Russian factory workers: The impact of U.S. -based behavioral and participative Techniques. Academy of Management Journal, 36, no. 1, 58-79.

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