The symbiotic relation between organizations and society

Dianna L. Stone (Department of Management, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Julio C. Canedo (Department of Management, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Shay Tzafrir (Haifa University, Haifa, Israel)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to: consider the extent to which recent research in industrial and organizational (I&O) psychology has examined the symbiotic relations between organizations and society; review the societal changes affecting organizations and individuals; and offer directions for future research.


Two researchers reviewed and categorized topics published in the key journals in the field during the period 2008‐2010 including: Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP), Personnel Psychology (PPsy), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP), and the Journal of Managerial Psychology (JMP). There was considerable agreement on the categorization of topics in the journals.


The results of the review revealed that the majority of topics published in these journals focused on enhancing organizational effectiveness, and relatively few studies concentrated on social issues. In particular, 21 percent of articles in JAP and PPsy, 12 percent of articles in OBHDP, and 56 percent of articles in JMP emphasized social issues.

Research limitations/implications

Only four journals in the field were reviewed, and a more thorough review of research in all journals is needed.

Practical implications

The review has implications for understanding the impact of societal changes on organizations and individuals, and for developing new human resource policies and practices.

Social implications

The review indicated that more research is needed on social issues.


The paper adds unique value to the literature because it stresses the symbiotic relation between organizations, and society, highlights the importance of social issues, and offers directions for future research.



Stone, D., Canedo, J. and Tzafrir, S. (2013), "The symbiotic relation between organizations and society", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 432-451.

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