start: 2017-08-31

PSY 455: Advanced Topics in Industrial and Organizational Psychology – Fall 2017

Tuesday & Thursday, 12:40 to 2:00

Class: 305 Ernst Bessey Hall




Simon J. Golden, M.A.

Office: 346 Psychology         

Phone Number: 616-204-6718

Email: (This is the best way to contact me).

Office Hours: I welcome you to come to office hours—directly following class on Tuesday—or contact me via email or phone to set an alternative time for us to meet. Please let me know ahead of time (e.g., you can tell me during Tues class) if you plan to attend office hours on Tuesday so that I can prepare for you.



I am a fourth year PhD student in the organizational psychology program. I enjoy teaching and mentoring students. Please let me know if you are interested in graduate school in psychology, organizational behavior, human resources, or other disciplines. I would enjoy talking with you and doing anything I can to help you reach your career goals, whether they involve graduate school or not. I have been at MSU for the past 10 years, completing my undergraduate here in 2011 and entering into the graduate program in 2012.



COURSE WEBSITE: (Please note that there is no “www” for d2l). This page will provide you with PowerPoint slides, grades, and other important class information.



Various book chapters posted on D2l. No required textbook.



You will gain mastery over basic concepts in I/O psychology in regards to training and a variety of other important I/O topics, and be able to apply these concepts to the real world. I will include examples from the workplace and business so that you can understand how practitioners use scientific concepts to inform business decisions. You will be exposed to principles in regards to interventions used to enhance learning in organizations, training, and organizational change. In addition, you will learn briefly about possible careers in I/O psychology. Finally, you will develop your writing skills by producing three written papers and receiving feedback on them. Knowing about training and organizational change interventions and learning about IO careers can help you decide if a career in IO is for you and become knowledgeable about how we apply scientific principles to aiding organizations. On a personal note, I took PSY 455 as an undergraduate student at MSU. It helped me to solidify my interest in doing I/O as a career. I hope to offer a challenging yet rewarding and useful class like the one I experienced.


Prerequisite:  Prerequisites include PSY 395, PSY 255, and completing a tier 1 writing course. The class is open to juniors and seniors majoring in psychology or in interdisciplinary studies in social science.



If you want to earn a good grade it is absolutely necessary that you attend and actively participate in class. Here are a few reasons why:


(1)  In-class assignments (worth 10% of your total grade) will be given during Tuesday and Thursday class. You will only receive points for these assignments if you come to class and complete them.

(2)  You will receive participation points (7.5% of your grade) only if you come to class and regularly participate in the discussions.

(3)  Exams (worth 38% of your grade) will draw directly from the lectures, discussions, and in-class activities during class. Some of the material in the exams will cover material that was NOT covered from other sources such as the reading materials.

(4)  I will release PowerPoint slides, however, these slides will be purposefully incomplete. If you come to class, you will be able to fill in the missing information. I use this approach because research has shown that filling in information during class is helpful for learning and recalling the material.


Given the very small size of class, it is critical that students show up in order for us to have meaningful discussions. You should attend every class but extenuating circumstances can arise that can make this difficult. If you cannot attend a class, please let me know. If circumstances make you miss more than 3 classes during the semester, you may be overextended and should drop this class. Feel free to come talk with me or email if you have any problems with coming to class.


Exams: The 2 exams in this course will consist of short essays. These essays will provide an opportunity for additional practice in writing, which is aligned with the tier 2 writing component of this course. The exams are designed to test the knowledge and skills you have developed over the course of the semester, especially your written communication skills. The exams emphasize material covered since the previous exam. Make-up exams require a certified medical excuse or a documented personal emergency.


In-Class Assignments. You will work on in-class assignments during class. These assignments serve as an extra reward for coming to class and fully engaging in the activities. Coming to class is a prerequisite for receiving the points for these in-class assignments. An example of an in-class assignment could be that you are separated into groups and each group has to write and present an argument in defense of a certain position. Your lowest two grades on in-class assignments will be dropped.


Writing assignments. You will receive three writing assignments throughout the course of the semester. They are designed to improve your analytical thinking and enhance your writing and communication skills, and ability to apply concepts to real world issues.


Grading: Your final grade will be based on the following course percentage points:



% of final grade

In-class activities




Writing Assignment 1


Writing Assignment 2


Writing Assignment 3


Exam 1


Exam 2



The grading scale is as follows:


Policy on grade changes:  If you are concerned about your grades, the time to talk to me is early – please do not wait until the end. Extra credit is the only way to increase your point total if you are concerned about falling on the wrong side on one of these cut-offs. At the end of the semester, if you believe that I made an error in calculating your grade, please let me know. I will check your grade, and I will change it if I have made an error. This is the only circumstance under which I will change a grade. Unfortunately, I cannot “bump up” your grade, or give you a special extra credit opportunity.


Late assignment/paper policy: On-time assignments must be turned into the Dropbox folder provided on D2L at the time indicated on each assignment sheet.  To turn in an assignment late you must submit the paper to me (which must be able to be opened using Microsoft Word) via email. Any assignment turned in late will lose 10 percentage points for each day that it is late, including the due date and weekends. 


MISSED EXAMS: Unfortunately, illnesses, death in the family or other traumatic events are part of life. Such events are unwelcomed and because I understand how difficult these times are, if you contact me within 24 hours of the event and provide documentation, I will be happy to give you a make-up exam.


I see PSY 395 as a learning community where civility and respect are crucial for success.  I expect that you will come to lecture and lab sessions on-time, prepared to learn, and ready to contribute to the course in a thoughtful manner. Please do not engage in distracting behaviors during scheduled course meeting times.  For example, do not read the newspaper, use a cell phone, talk with others, or leave in the middle of lecture in a disruptive fashion. 



I will post an incomplete version of the lecture slides the day before class. When you look at the slides, you will notice that some of the information is left out. One reason I do this is to enhance recall by having you fill in critical information. Another reason is to make sure you do not have to write down all of the material in each PowerPoint.


Extra Credit: You may accumulate extra credit points by completing an essay, which will be described in more detail later in the semester.


Academic Honesty: Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." In addition, the Psychology Department adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations.


You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, unless authorized, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including papers, in-class assignments, and exams, without assistance from any source (except as specified in the assignment). This also means that you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the Website or similar websites to complete any course work in this course.  In addition, plagiarism of written work is forbidden. It includes taking the work of another individual or source and presenting it as your own. This is considered plagiarism even if the source has given you permission to use their work, or the work is in the public domain (e.g., on the web).  Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. See also: Contact me if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work.


Policy on Religious Observations: If you anticipate being absent from class due to a major religious observance, please provide notice of the date(s) to me, in writing, by the second class meeting.


Note taking and recording: You are encouraged to take notes on the lecture and are permitted to tape-record class sessions for your own purposes. However, you are not permitted to take notes or tape-record for purposes of sale and distribution.


Students with Special Needs: Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For more information, call 884-7273 (voice), 355-1293 (TTY), or visit  If you require accommodations for exams, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. It is also your responsibility to reserve a spot for each exam at the RCPD office.


Academic Assistance: This is a university and you are expected to produce college level work. If you have any trouble with assignments or the material covered in class, please make an appointment to speak with me. Additionally, the university has resources to assist students, such as the Campus Tutorial Center, the Campus Writing Center, Adult Student Services, and more. A lot is expected of you, but the university wants to help you to produce your best work.


Disclaimer: As the instructor, I reserve the right to make any changes that I deem necessary to the details and/or policies listed in this syllabus. This includes adjusting the schedule according to the pace of the course and the needs of the students. Check D2L regularly to keep up with the topics.  You will be given notice of any changes.





Class Expectations, an Introduction to Training and Development


Training and Development (continued)


Training Needs Assessment

Reading: Goldstein & Ford chapter 3 (pp. 34-68)

Writing Assignment 1 Assigned, due September 21


Experts, learning, and training objectives

Reading: Goldstein & Ford, (pp. 98-102); Gagne, et al, (pp. 43-49)


Transfer of Training part 1

Goldstein and Ford, Ch. 4, p. 126-135


Transfer of Training part 2


Training Manuals and Research: Guest lecture


Evaluating Training



Wrap Up Training and Review for Exam 1


Exam 1


Teams: An introduction and ways of knowing

Writing assignment 2 assigned, due October 24


Teams – Tasks and Interpersonal Processes: Part 1

Reading: Rothstein, The Empowerment Effort


Teams -- Task and Interpersonal Processes: Part 2


Guest Lecture


Guest Lecture


Ethical Issues in Research


Ethical Issues in I/O Consulting, process consultation

Book: Schein, Chapter 1


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 1: The Helping Relationship

Book: Schein, Chapter 2

Writing assignment 3 assigned, due November 16


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 2: Active Inquiry and Listening

Book: Schein, Chapter 3


Basics of I/O Consulting Part 3: Deliberate Feedback


Guest Lecture




Organizational Change: Resistance and How to Facilitate Change

Reading: Foster-Fishman and Ford chapter


Metaphors for Thinking about Organizations


Careers in IO


Review for Exam 2




Exam 2