A New Evidence-Based Initiative: ScienceForWork

 

 

SFW3

 

 

 

 

ScienceForWork is a nonprofit association that aims at promoting an evidence-based approach to HR management. It was set up in October 2014 by a group of passionate I/O Psychology students and alumni.

 

So why did this group start this initiative? What are they trying to achieve? To find out, we spoke with Giulia Varagona and Lorenzo Gallì, two of the driving forces between ScienceForWork.

 


 

Giulia and Lorenzo, what brought you to evidence-based practice and deciding to start ScienceForWork?

During our Master we learned about the Scientist-Practitioner Gap, the phenomenon for which the results of I/O psychology academic research are not used in everyday HR practices. We decided that we wanted to contribute in bridging this gap! We discovered Evidence-Based Management thanks to Robert Briner’s articles and we learned all about it from the incredible amount of resources that we found on your website. We tried to individuate the problems that created and were maintaining this divide, and then decided to address one of those.

 

Lorenzo-GiuliaWhat problem is ScienceForWork trying to tackle?

We were not surprised that HR professionals were not using research findings as a source of evidence when making decision in their everyday practice: articles from peer reviewed journals are usually hidden behind paywalls, are hard to interpret because of their technical jargon and not all of them provides actionable tips for HR practices.

We decided that we would have collected the most useful research findings for everyday HR problems and summarize them in less than 1000 words, in order to provide to our audience all the quality of academic research in a straight to the point, five minutes reading.

 

Who seems to benefit most from your evidence-summaries?

We have been receiving quite a lot of attention from different types of readers: most of them are HR practitioners and consultants who work in companies that want to keep up with new research findings and that are looking for a quick but effective answer to their problems. But also I/O psychology scholars who read our articles because they are interested in keeping up with the latest research trends and see how the HR industry discusses these topics.

 

In addition to the short articles which are your distinctive mark you also interview HR professionals and academics. Who are they?

We usually interview people that in their professional life are contributing in a way or another to make HR more evidence-based. We want to show that there are people who are already making decisions based on evidences, and that many already use science as a high quality source of information. Finally, we also want to promote the role of I/O psychologists in the HR industry: in fact, we believe that we can provide a unique approach to People Management thanks to our critical mindset and understanding of human behavior, to deliver results that can change the World of Work.

 

Who contributes to the website?

We are more than 25 people, mainly I/O students or alumni, and we all contribute to the project in many different ways, putting our passions into action: we have our writers, which are our driving force and we have editors supervising the scientific reliability of the articles we present to our public. Also, some of us are mixing professional interest with the pro-bono activity. Our marketing team works to find a reasoned and effective approach to the market, and is always open to new ideas and inspirations. And our training department, which is arranging webinars for our people on topics that are strategic for both a personal and professional evolution. A great example? The workshop organized together with CEBMa on Critical Appraisal, which is a huge opportunity for us to improve the quality of our work, but also our critical thinking in everyday professional life.

 

In conclusion, what’s next for ScienceForWork?

After the first year of activity and the good returns of professionals all over the world who believe, as we do, that an evidence-based management is possible, we know that we are heading towards the right direction. At the same time, a lot has still to be done.

We will continue working to show that reliable scientific research is fundamental for a better management, and we would like to invite everyone who is sharing our aim to collaborate with us by becoming a writer or by joining our team!