APS College of Organisational Psychologists

2007 Archive


IOP Conference a Success - Proceedings still available

The 7th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference/ 1st Asia Pacific Congress on Work and Organisational Psychology held in Adelaide from 28 June to 1 July 2006 was a great success. There were over 400 delegates in attendance. Papers and sessions covered a great range of topics, including leadership, change, engagement, job demands, ability testing, talent, bullying, risk-taking, workaholism, work-life balance, selection, organisational justice, personality, role stress, span of control, hardiness and mentoring. Thanks to Conference Chair, Associate Professor Maureen Dollard, and her organising and scientific committees for putting on such a high calibre conference.

Copies of the Conference Proceedings are still available. For $30 plus postage and handling, you can have you own hard copy of 60 papers from the Conference. The Proceedings include the Salary Survey of Organisational Psychologists completed earlier this year. To purchase a copy of the Conference Proceedings email [email protected].

IOP Conference, 28 June to 1 July 2007

Preparations continue for our upcoming conference in Adelaide (28 June to 1 July). Our conference organising committee has been inundated with submissions, many more than can be accommodated in the program, and have been working hard to select the best combination of sessions to offer attendees. It’s going to be a high quality conference. See www.iopconference.com.au for more details.

Launch of Membership Survey

The Australian Psychological Society’s College of Organisational Psychologists (COP) has commissioned a research project as the first step in program to improve services to members and support of our profession. The drive for this initiative is to attract new professionals working in I/O psychology, and retain existing membership. A vital and growing membership is not only needed to ensure the ongoing value and viability of our organisation, but for the development of the I/O psychology profession in Australia.

The survey has now closed. Thank you to all who participated.

Later this year we will release both the results of the research and recommendations to address some of the concerns and suggestions raised as a through the survey.

Questions about the research project should be directed to the project coordinators at [email protected].

Launch of Online Experience Survey

The College of Organisational Psychologists (COP) have also undertaken to improve the information and services offered on this website.  To that end, we have created an online experience questionnaire where visitors to this site can offer feedback about the site, and make suggestions about future additions to the site. The survey is open to all visitors of this site.

The online survey has now closed. Thank you to all who participated.

2007 Elton Mayo Award Winners

The winners of the Elton Mayo Awards for 2007 were announced at the IOP Conference in Adelaide. COP would like to congratulate the following winners for their outstanding contributions to the profession of organisational psychology.

Elton Mayo Award for Outstanding Contributions to IO Research and Teaching
Professor Barry Fallon

Elton Mayo Award for Outstanding Contributions to IO Practice
Dr Mike Knowles

Elton Mayo Award for Outstanding Contributions to IO by an early career psychologist
Dr Peter Langford

New South Wales

2007 COP Careers Fair a great success!

On Wednesday the 29th of August, NSW COP held its annual Careers Fair at the Angel Place Conference Centre. The variety of organisations attending the 2007 Fair highlighted the many opportunities within the profession of organisational psychology. The 2007 Fair featured a record number of employers, including the Australian Defence Force, Chandler Macleod, CompAssess, Davidson Trahaire, The Hay Group, Hudson, Jarrah, Macquarie Bank, Manpower, Mercer, PDI, PTG Global, SHL, TalentEdge and Voice Project.

These organisations provided enthused students with an opportunity to identity areas of interest and network with potential employers. Equally, this was a fantastic opportunity for organisations employing organisational psychologists to showcase their organisation to the upcoming organisational psychologists and communicate their point of difference to those attending.

Western Australia 

2006 – 2007 Strategy

Towards the end of 2006 a Strategic Planning meeting was held to focus on priorities for the next 12 months. The idea was that COPWA needed to address some immediate issues in the near future. Our plan is to reconvene to evaluate our efforts and plan for the longer term in 2007. The priorities and goals identified from the meeting were:

Professional Development

Goal 1 – Effective communication of College professional development requirements to members and potential members

Goal 2 – To hold five Professional Development events for the following calendar year:

  • “Psychopath in a Suit” – held in November 2006
  • Performance – Presentation by Sports Psychologist Sandy Gordon, March 2007
  • Coaching – Event in conjunction with the Interest Group in Coaching Psychology, May 2007
  • Healthy Workforce (eg Stress, Work/ Life Balance, Culture, Bullying), June 2007
  • Online Testing, August 2007


Goal – To increase and retain active membership at all levels of COPWA including a mix of academics and practitioners

Student Engagement

Goal – Promote the field of organisational psychology as a career and assist students and graduates in the field to become connected with their more experienced peers and potential mentors.

Luckily we have had enthusiastic COPWA committee members who have taken responsibility for managing the activities of each portfolio. This means that senior level people within our profession have ensured that each activity is undertaken with substantial levels of drive and to high standards. Our primary goal is to engage a broad cross section of the community in all our activities and I look forward to meeting you at our events throughout 2007.

Paul Syme

February 2007

It has been a quiet couple of months of the Xmas break with a committee meeting in December and another to be held on 7 February 2007.  We have allocated several portfolios to committee members with responsibilities encompassing Professional Development (5 events this year focussing on Performance, Coaching, Healthy Workforce & Online Testing), Membership and Student Engagement.

WA continues to boom on an economic level and maintains a very healthy interest in organisational psychology principles and practices. We recently met with the WA AHRI Chair with a view to working together on specific projects and elevating our profile.

Our AGM was held in November 2006 with the election of the current committee.  We have five COP members on the committee. The AGM was followed by a Professional Development seminar entitled “The Psychopath in a Suit” presented by Bob Evans who is a Clinical Psychologist with the State Forensic Mental Health Service. This excellent presentation left us with an academic overview blended with practical insights into this type of behaviour and resulted in healthy discussion.  Thanks to Bob and all participants for making it a successful event. We were particularly pleased to see quite a few students attending.

Our next event is on Performance to be presented by Sports Psychologist Sandy Gordon at 5.30pm on Wednesday 21 March 2007 at the UWA Club.

Also of note is the 7th Industrial and Organisational Conference (IOP)/ 1st Asian Pacific and Organisational Psychology (APCWOP) to be held in Adelaide from 28 June to 1 July 2007.  The speaker list is impressive and substantial work has already been done to make this a very interesting event.

March 2007

At the COPWA professional development event held at the University Club on 21 March 2007, Sandy Gordon PhD FAPS presented a thought provoking, accessible and enjoyable presentation on areas of common ground and potential future collaborative research possibilities between Sports Psychology and Organisational Psychology.  Sandy covered five main areas: the sport-business link, performance enhancement, collaborative research possibilities, lessons from sport for business and a case study of transformational leadership in sport.

Sandy drew attention to some key commonalities, such as that both sports teams and businesses are focused on winning by small margins, depending on teamwork, with success often associated with a money target. They have in common the harsh reality of “Grow, get better, or die”. Sandy went on to present a range of models covering stress, leadership, the create/unite/perform (or CUP) model of high performing teams, plus the relevance of one-on-one coaching. He drew our attention to the fact that while there were many studies in sport psychology on the effectiveness of performance enhancement interventions, there was less such evidence in organisational settings and this was therefore an area ripe for co-investigation. Mental toughness was a highly relevant construct for both settings and a definite “ear pricker”.  The session was also brought further to life by some personal reflections from golfer Hamish McLeod, who had worked with Sandy. A final quote, which again brought home the commonalities between a cricket club and a business was: “The aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable.”

May 2007

Stay tuned for a summary of our May 2007 event about Coaching Psychology in the Workplace jointly run between COPWA and the Interest Group for Coaching Psychology.

Coaching Psychology – PD Presentation – May 2007

A COPWA Professional Development presentation on Coaching Psychology proved to be one of our most successful events for some time. The presentation was run in conjunction with the Interest Group on Coaching Psychology and was titled “Psychological and Non – Psychological Approaches to Coaching – Are We Slipping into Therapy?”

The presentation was facilitated by COPWA Committee member Ralph Monley with a panel of three experts – Naomi Bickley (a clinical psychologist with a coaching practice), Steve Bowler (a non-psychologist coach) and Kevin Hollingsworth (a corporate HR executive who is also a psychologist). The fruitful discussion focussed on offerings supplied by Psychologists and non-psychologists in coaching services, expectations of corporate organisations of coaching service providers, coaching versus therapy and the important aspects of setting up a coaching business.

The event was well attended by the org psych community, with strong representation by students. The University Club was an excellent venue where nibbles and refreshments were offered at the end of the event with plenty of opportunity for conversation and networking.

COPWA - November 2007 Report

The most recent PD event was held in October with the title “Online Testing:  A Triple Perspective – Publisher, Professional and Participant”. The panel was facilitated by COPWA committee member Ralph Monley and comprised four psychologists with comments from academic, test distributor and consulting business perspectives.  The topic covered areas such as advantages/ disadvantages of online approaches, test/ retest issues, expectations of users, cultural impacts and so on.  It was well received with about 35 people attending.

Our next PD event will be held on 22nd November with a focus on Burnout and delivered by Dr Elliott Woods from the UWA Psychology department. The invitation for this event has been distributed to all APS members in WA and we expect a strong attendance given the nature of the topic. The AGM is also scheduled for this session.

Paul Syme

COPWA Online Testing Panel Discussion

This took place on 10 October 2007 at the UWA club.  The panel was constituted to be able to discuss online testing from three perspectives: that of the test publisher, the professional user and the participant. The distinguished panel was made up of David Morrison, head of the School of Psychology at UWA and founder of PersonAbility, Catherine Hawkins, General Manager Consulting Services at ChandlerMacleod, Mark Greenwood, Managing Partner at People Solutions and Jan Sipsma, Director of the Assessment Hub.  The panel discussion was facilitated by Ralph Monley, COPWA committee member with the professional development portfolio (Ralph has an extensive background in this area with SHL).

A range of questions was addressed, including: the benefits of internet testing, the impact of the setting (e.g. selection versus development), applicant perceptions and reactions, price variations, reliability and validity, protection of test security, minimization of cheating, computerized adaptive testing, practical issues and new options.

An attentive audience of around 25 listened with interest and asked a number of probing questions.  Most then took advantage of generous refreshments and networking opportunities to round out the night.

COPWA – Burnout PD Event November 2007

Despite the relatively grim topic, COPWA’s 2007 November PD event on burnout maintained an atmosphere of ease and enthusiasm. The rather successful event generated a turnout of over 60 attendees ranging from registered psychologists, students, to professional HR practitioners. Throughout the event, laughter and excited murmurs were heard more than once as Dr Elliot Wood shared his understanding of burnout with the audience.

The event kicked off with a speedy report of COPWA’s activities and financial status from COPWA Chair, Paul Syme, and a quick introduction from Ralph Monley (COPWA PD Coordinator). Dr Wood then eased into the topic by presenting common definitions of burnout, recent research and popular tools within the area. This was followed by an opportunity to fill out and interpret the Boudreau Burnout Questionnaire. As audience members interpreted their own results, reactions ranged from elation, surprise, to worry across the room when they discovered that their burnout levels were far higher or lower than expected.  However, worried individuals were quickly reassured as the session wrapped up with the various individual and organisational strategies that could be used to combat burnout. More than a few individuals left with ideas of changing their workplace to identify and reduce stress and burnout.    

Following the PD Event many attendees stayed on for drinks, nibbles and a chat with colleagues.  As this was the final PD event for COPWA for 2007 an early Xmas drink was shared by all.  COPWA is pleased to have facilitated a full year of well-attended PD events in 2007 and looks forward to providing the same in 2008. 

Li-Sing Chung
COPWA Committee Member

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