Geopolitical diversity in Occupational and Organisational Psychology: shaking off historical comforts and confronting real-world challenges

by Bill Buenar Puplampu and Chris Lewis

01 Apr 2021
Journal of the British Academy
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Number of pages
28 (pp. 257-284)

Pages in this section

Abstract: This article explores the limited and myopic theoretical and research resource base of Occupational and Organisational Psychology (OOP), a field which is a major contributor to global management thinking and practice. As a field, OOP has tackled many work-related human challenges. Considerable progress in both theory and practice in nearly 120 years of active engagement with society has led to theories of work, motivation, selection, performance, organisational behaviour, and development. Much of OOP work now informs and interfaces various Human Resource and general management initiatives. These advances notwithstanding, we note a major gap: the lack of diversity in the geopolitical and international sources of OOP theory. This article argues that to migrate theory and research into impactful practice—globally—OOP must engage a deliberate process of fostering alternative, autochthonous, and indigenous knowledge from geopolitical areas which are under-represented. The article proposes corrective actions and agendas which would assist OOP become more diverse and support the growth of Africa’s contribution to global knowledge production in the work and organisational sciences.

Keywords: Geopolitical, diversity, Occupational and Organisational Psychology, Africa.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 1 (Repositioning of Africa in Knowledge Production: Shaking off Historical Stigmas).

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