Applications due January 31, 2021
OSSI held May 16 – May 20, 2021
Most people spend one third of their adult lives working!
But if work is a universal experience… Why are most Organizational Scientists from the same few demographic groups?
Described as “money-ball, but for work,” it’s not hard to see why the need for Organizational Science is growing. Organizational Science is a field of study that applies research and theory from communication, management, psychology, sociology, and other behavioral sciences to the workplace. Notably, it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in academia and industry. Research in this field is critical because it helps us to better understand employee outcomes, diversity benefits, team and organizational effectiveness, employee productivity and engagement, and organizational health and well-being, among many other things. Practitioners, policy-makers, and academics can then use this research to improve people’s jobs, experiences at work and organizational effectiveness.
But can we really understand and improve work and organizations if the field is not representative of the general working population? We argue no – it is absolutely critical to have diversity in the representation of scholars and practitioners in this area. The inclusion of diverse voices is key to moving the field forward.
What is a Pipeline Problem?
Like many fields, Organizational Science graduate programs suffer from a pipeline problem – a phenomenon wherein inequality of opportunity at an early stage of a process (e.g., preparation for graduate school) increases inequality of outcomes at a later stage (e.g., earning a job as a professor).
This means that it is not enough for universities and corporations to account for diversity during hiring. Instead, we must find ways to increase the representation of all demographic groups in earlier stages of the process, particularly in education.
Why does Diversity Matter in Org Science?
Diversity is important for moral and ethical reasons across all fields and industries; however, there are also pragmatic reasons why it is particularly critical for Organizational Science.
- Artificially narrow applicant pools during the selection process mean that Organizational Science is missing out on people with enormous talent and potential.
- Reliance on researchers who are primarily from racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic majorities curtails our ability to accurately model different types of work experiences, as well as adequately account for key issues facing workers outside of the workplace.
Our mission is to help address the pipeline problem in the study and practice of Organizational Science by preparing future organizational scientists from minority populations for graduate school. The Organizational Science Summer Institute (OSSI) is an annual, week-long retreat that does just that.