The Society for Psychologists in Management (SPIM) has a dual mission: facilitating the emergence of managers and leaders who have psychology training and supporting those already in such positions.
When the society was created in 1984, "careers in management and leadership were not recognized or promoted within psychology," says founding president Dick R. Kilburg, PhD, chief executive officer of RRK Coaching and Executive Development in Towson, Md.
Today, SPIM has 140 members who are psychologists working in management, consulting, academic or corporate positions. Together they work to promote management as a career path for psychologists, improve psychologists' practice of management and support career advancement through professional development events, information exchange about employment opportunities and more.
SPIM's signature event is its annual mid-winter conference, to be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb. 21–24. The conference typically features speakers who are psychologists, business leaders and political leaders. SPIM also hosts a regional meeting in the Washington, D.C., area in November, plus a day-and-a-half-long training to prepare psychologists to transition from psychologist to psychologist leader or manager. Another member benefit is SPIM's journal, The Psychologist-Manager Journal. To be published by APA starting in 2013, the publication serves as a scholarly journal and professional guide to good managerial practice. There's also a quarterly newsletter called SPIMail.
Undergirding SPIM is the Foundation for the Advancement of Psychology in Management, which supports the society's educational, scientific and "public benefit" objectives. George Watts, PhD, managing partner of Dr. George Watts and Associates in Chicago, heads the foundation.
SPIM's smaller size and its culture allow an unusual intimacy that is another member benefit, says SPIM President I. Marlene Thorn, PhD.
"We really support each other," says Thorn. "It's a very close, welcoming, collegial group."
For more information visit SPIM.
—Rebecca A. Clay