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Who Are These Workers, Anyway?

  • Tracy L. Griggs (a1), Lillian T. Eby (a2), Cynthia K. Maupin (a2), Kate M. Conley (a2), Rachel L. Williamson (a2), Olivia H. Vande Griek (a2) and Muriel G. Clauson (a2)...

The focal article by Bergman and Jean (2016) raises an important issue by documenting the underrepresentation of nonprofessional and nonmanagerial workers in industrial and organizational (I-O) research. They defined workers as, “people who were not executive, professional or managerial employees; who were low- to medium-skill; and/or who were wage earners rather than salaried” (p. 89). This definition encompasses a wide range of employee samples: from individuals working in blue-collar skilled trades like electricians and plumbers to police officers, soldiers, and call center representatives to low-skill jobs such as fast food, tollbooth operators, and migrant day workers. Because there is considerable variability in the pay, benefits, skill level, autonomy, job security, schedule flexibility, and working conditions that define these workers’ experiences, a more fine-grained examination of who these workers are is necessary to understand the scope of the problem and the specific subpopulations of workers represented (or not) in existing I-O research.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Tracy L. Griggs, Department of Management, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733. E-mail:
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References for the studies included in the review are available at http://10.1017/iop.2015.123
Bergman, M. E., & Jean, V. A. (2016). Where have all the “workers” gone? A critical analysis of the unrepresentativeness of our samples relative to the labor market in the industrial–organizational psychology literature. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 9, 84113.
Bernstein, J. (2004). The low-wage labor market: Trends and policy implications. In Crouter, A. C. & Booth, A. (Eds.), Work-family challenges for low-income parents and their children (pp. 334). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
HHS Poverty Guidelines, 77 Fed. Reg. 4034 (2012).
HHS Poverty Guidelines, 78 Fed. Reg. 5182 (2013).
HHS Poverty Guidelines, 79 Fed. Reg. 3593 (2014).
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Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • ISSN: 1754-9426
  • EISSN: 1754-9434
  • URL: /core/journals/industrial-and-organizational-psychology
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Supplementary materials

Griggs Supplementary Material
Griggs Supplementary Material

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