University of Baltimore Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Practical Applications in I/O Psychology
APPL 655.185  Spring 2011

  Instructor:   Tom Mitchell, Ph.D. (410) 837-5348
Home Page:
   Office hrs:    By Appointment
          Class:    Mondays 5:30 -  8:00 PM in AC 233



Team Assignments

Team Ldr Consultant* JA PA SEL OB
PA2 Nick   Harclerode 1 2 1 2
OB2 Anna-Lise Hosein 1 1 2 2
SEL1 Ibe Layi-Ojo 1 2 1 1
PA1 Matt Milosvich 2 1 2 1
OB1 Katie St. Ville 2 2 1 1
SEL2 Alex Tremble 2 1 2 2

Case 1 FCPS School Teacher

Case 2 FCPS Principal

Spring 2011  Schedule of due dates: before midnight  
Class: Mondays at 5:30 to 8:00PM AC 233      
session Month Day MEET JA PA SEL OB
1 Jan 24          
2   31          
3 Feb 7 in class        
4   14 in class Organize Oganize Organize Organize
5   21          
6   28   Reports* SPSS struct    
7 Mar 7          
8   14          
    21 Spring Break   Reports* SPSS struct  
9   28 in class   Oral Exam**    
10 Apr 4         SPSS struct
11   11       Reports*  
12   18 in class     Oral Exam**  
13   25         Reports*
14 May  2 in class       Oral exam**
15   9 in class wrap        
* team member task assignments due with report      
Draft report is optional: must be submitted one week prior to report due date (for feedback)
** Ldr plan for 30 minutes exam        

Course Materials and resources:

SPSS data analysis package available on UB network (hopefully remotely before the end of the semester)
Information from Toronto on Group Dynamics/ teamwork

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:

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:

    Competencies to be Demonstrated by each student: 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  UB Online WebTyco BOARD 

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:
Northouse, P. G. (2006) Leadership: Theory and Practice. 5th ed. Pub: Sage ISBN 978-1-4129-7488-2 paperbak

Landy, F. & Conte,  (2007). Work in the 21st Century. 2nd Edition, Blackwell Pub: CA.  ISBN: 13: 978-1-4051-4434-6

Cascio, W.F., Aguinis, H. (2005) Applied psychology in human resources  management. 7th edition, Prentice Hall

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 Report Data Analyses:

  •  PA:  ** 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: Discuss projects:  ** All issues below Must be discussed / addressed in Report **

    1. Criterion reliability (over time/ interrater)
    2. Attenuation in predictor/criterion
    3.  Why you chose criteria: behavioral/performance results / archival data /
     4.  Why you chose predictors: (Predictor types:  Biodata, Work samples CAT, personality inventories, interviews.
          SJT, Assessment Centers (explain your reasoning for selecting/not selecting each one)
    5. Modes of testing (explain possible alternatives)
    6. Explain how you handled case issues of buy-in with mgt and incumbents.
    7.  Explain Interrater reliability, agreement results (include literature/theory)
    8. Criterion reliability, corrections for unreliability
    9. Placement of predictors (for temporal order for effectiveness, i.e. incremental validity; and cost factors
    10. Why Demographics were chose: (purpose of grouping variables in analysis (theoretical import):
            gender/race/job class /region etc.
    11. Explain potential adverse impact issues and how you address them in intro/method/results.
    12. Explain decision to aggregate across raters at item or dimension level
    13. Submit report and prepare for oral exam.

    Herman Aguinis site for adverse impact with graphical representation for 2 groups with different regression lines. 


  • OB:  ** All issues below Must be discussed / addressed in Report **
  1. Report structure: Exec summary / intro / method & procedure / results / discussion (recommendations) Appendices
  2. Data analysis for OB projects: 
  3. Why and how you computed variables
  4. Describe variable types: Categorical and linear variables
  5. Explain dimensions for JSS / how / why items are summated
  6. Explain why you are adding items specific to an issue
  7. Analysis: Anova: group v repeated measures.
  8. Explain issue: Common method variance 
  9. Compute JSS facets and total, compare to norms (using appropriate statistic)
  10. Explain Drilling down procedure / deciding on number needed in categories
  11. Anonymity v. confidentiality (explain why you chose one or the other)
  12. Data analysis: Anova: group v repeated measures 
  13. Data analysis procedures for Survey studies 
  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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