In a time when globalization is the most often mentioned feature of our world the links between professionals across the world are in general rather weak. In this context work, labour markets, organizations and their Human Resources are experiencing strong changes. Globalization is not only influencing global organizations and multinational firms. It is also influencing local organizations nearly everywhere. The influences are requiring new approaches to the relevant issues where society asks for competent and effective services to Work, Industrial and Organizational (WIO) Psychologists. In addition, cross-cultural issues are becoming more and more relevant in our field and transformation of work and organisations represents a big challenge for our discipline and our profession. Some issues to what WIO Psychologists can make important contributions are better integration of diversified work force, the challenge of work-family conciliation, the compatibility between flexibility and security, identifying new forms of humanisation at work according to the new values, the enhancing of well-being, prevention of accidents and risks, and health promotion, the contribution to create everywhere the best place to work denouncing precarious work and exploitation or alienation at work.
Professionals are confronted more with these challenges and the diversifications of the companies, and societies demands are more diversifies and complex. Moreover, they require a real global approach which should pay attention to local and global realities. Thus, more and more, professionals need to have a broader perspective about work, organization and human resources management changes and transformations.
A better understanding of some of these phenomena can be promoted enhancing international exchange of experiences, connections and cooperation. Social capital is also very valuable among professionals, and developing ties and networks is going to produce benefits for those involved in and for the scientific discipline, the profession and thus society.
Moreover the education of new WIO Psychologists requires an international perspective and new competences to deal with new phenomena derived from globalization and internationalization. In many countries and regions we can observe an increasing interest of Higher Education institutions to provide international education and training and they create networks and consortia of universities to provide this new opportunities to pre-graduate, master and doctoral students.
Also national associations are showing more and more attention to the international relations. In fact, when you visit the web pages of Scientific and Professional Associations of WIO Psychology and when we read their mission and strategies very often there is a clear statement about internationalization, and international relations. These are very good initiatives that show how scientific discipline, education and professional practice spill over the national boundaries, and even for those who will not work abroad the international perspective, exchange and cooperation are important assets.
In this context the Division 1 (Organisational Psychology) of IAAP is an excellent international platform to exchange and create bridging and bonding relations within scientists, academics and practitioners all around the world. The recent developments of IAAP have promoted exchange of information in several ways. Communication between scientists and professionals through the Journals (Applied Psychology, etc.), and Conferences (International and regional Congresses) and also the presence in International Organizations has been enhanced. All these activities have contributed to the creation of social capital for WIO Psychology in the international scene that can be very helpful and useful in the near future.
In the new century, the international cooperation across regions in the world will be more needed as well as more demands and opportunities for it will emerge. This will be especially true in the world of organizations, of work and of labour markets. Technologies are creating the conditions to make it easier and may facilitate all these relations, but ICT are not enough. Social relations and social networks are essential for value creation in a global and diverse world. Joint projects, common goals and shared visions and meanings are important and could be the ground where international communities of practice could be stimulated and promoted.
In this context our Division can play a major role. We have to facilitate interactions and exchanges among scholars and professionals all around the world and it is important to increase membership to play a relevant role in the world of work and organizations and to better achieve new goals. We need to stimulate communication among practitioners and scientists. We need to promote exchange among scholars and students from different countries, we need to support and facilitate the cooperation for joint research and exchanges of professional experiences. It is important to provide the platforms and services that will facilitate all these opportunities and it is also important to stimulate and promote joint activities between national associations.
In the next decade we need to stimulate the incorporation of young members to our Association and to stimulate regional activities (summer schools, conferences, etc.). In this way, we will make our Association closer and present in the different countries and regions. To achieve all this it is necessary to get the support and cooperation from the membership, from everyone of you. I would like to stimulate and articulate the large asset that the membership of the Division represents and make it more productive to achieve larger and better exchanges and cooperation. It will serve to the development of WIO Psychology across the world. I would appreciate and I hope to get your support and cooperation to achieve these aims.