When Sheldon Zedeck, PhD, assumes the editorship of the Journal of Applied Psychology next year, he will focus on fine-tuning the journal's mission of publishing articles that contribute to the field of applied psychology. To adjust that focus, he will encourage submissions not only from industrial/organizational psychology, but from other areas as well--such as cognitive, social, educational or developmental psychology.
"It's not the journal only for industrial/organizational psychology," Zedeck explains. "The focus of the journal's articles ought to be on the applied aspects and implications for groups and organizations, regardless of the area of psychology."
That means that the journal will welcome basic research from many fields that shows applied implications for group settings, such as in the workplace or classroom, says Zedeck.
And to ensure that such basic research fits the scope of the journal, Zedeck will ask authors to make certain their articles discuss the applied implications of the presented research.
As part of his revised focus, Zedeck will also be on the lookout for solid qualitative research, including case studies and content analyses. "There's value to someone doing an in-depth analysis on perhaps a small number of participants or in a particular case," he says, "and in that case study, to generate hypotheses that stimulate research in the experimental model."
Zedeck's own research investigates personnel psychology, particularly selection models in which employment discrimination occurs, as well as how work and family interrelate. During his tenure as a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, he founded and still serves as associate editor of the journal Human Performance, and has also worked on The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist newsletter, Contemporary Psychology and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's Frontiers book series.
Currently, Zedeck is collaborating on research projects in China on changing work values and in Israel on the effects of sabbaticals and other terms of leave on workers. He plans to employ his extensive experience in research and teaching overseas--as well as serving as an associate editor of Applied Psychology: An International Review--to encourage international contributions to the bimonthly journal.
"The world is getting smaller; it's easy to communicate and interact with colleagues from all over the world," explains Zedeck. "It's fascinating to see what differences--if any--there are between cultures in terms of how they approach the world of work and organizational life."
Drawing from that international and editing experience, Zedeck has recruited a diverse editorial board, which includes a practicing industrial psychologist, a business professor and an international psychologist. The board has been very active in identifying consulting editors and setting the journal's policy, he says. One possible policy change would be including a section where readers could comment on published articles.
"I've been careful in picking consulting editors, asking everyone to make sure that they give constructive feedback so that, in part, the journal has a teaching function for younger authors," he says. "The journal's an excellent journal. We'll try and tweak it a little bit with consideration of qualitative research, trying to generate a more international submission and [fine-tuning] the applied aspect."