Best practices: How to evaluate psychological science for use by organizations

Susan T. Fiske, Eugene Borgida

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We discuss how organizations can evaluate psychological science for its potential usefulness to their own purposes. Common sense is often the default but inadequate alternative, and bench-marking supplies only collective hunches instead of validated principles. External validity is an empirical process of identifying moderator variables, not a simple yes-no judgment about whether lab results replicate in the field. Hence, convincing criteria must specify what constitutes high-quality empirical evidence for organizational use. First, we illustrate some theories and science that have potential use. Then we describe generally accepted criteria for scientific quality and consensus, starting with peer review for quality, and scientific agreement in forms ranging from surveys of experts to meta-analyses to National Research Council consensus reports. Linkages of basic science to organizations entail communicating expert scientific consensus, motivating managerial interest, and translating broad principles to specific contexts. We close with parting advice to both sides of the researcher-practitioner divide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-275
Number of pages23
JournalResearch in Organizational Behavior
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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