Rebuttal - Special Collection: Open Science Practices - a vision for the future of SAJIP

Debating the scientific credibility of industrial and organisational psychology: A rebuttal

Llewellyn E. Van Zyl, Nina M. Junker
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1766 | DOI: | © 2019 Llewellyn E. Van Zyl, Nina M. Junker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 November 2019 | Published: 12 December 2019

About the author(s)

Llewellyn E. Van Zyl, Department of Human Performance Management, Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences, University of Eindhoven, Eindhoven; Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark; Department of Human Resource Management, University of Twente, Twente; Institut für Psychologie, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Netherlands
Nina M. Junker, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany


Problematisation: The credibility and transparency of industrial and organisational psychological (IOP) research within South Africa was recently challenged by Efendic and Van Zyl (2019). The authors briefly showed inconsistencies in statistical results reported by authors of the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology (SAJIP), that various studies were insufficiently powered, that best-practice guidelines for the reporting of results were mostly only partially followed and that no transparency exists with regard to the research process. They demonstrated that authors of the SAJIP may knowingly or unknowingly be engaging in questionable research practices, which directly affects the credibility of both the discipline and the journal. Furthermore, they suggested practical guidelines for both authors and the SAJIP on how this could be managed.

Implications: Based on these suggestions, the authors invited prominent members of the IOP scientific community to provide scholarly commentary on their paper in order to aid in the development of ‘a clear strategy on how [the confidence crisis in IOP] could be managed, what the role of SAJIP is in this process and how SAJIP and its contributors could proactively engage to address these issues’. Seven members of the editorial board and two international scholars provided commentaries in an attempt to further the debate about the nature, causes, consequences and management of the credibility crisis within the South African context.

Purpose: The purpose of this final rebuttal article was to summarise and critically reflect on the commentaries of the nine articles to advance the debate on the confidence crisis within the South African IOP discipline.

Recommendations: All SAJIP’s stakeholders (authors, editors, reviewers, the publication house, universities and the journal) can play an active role in enhancing the credibility of the discipline. It is suggested that SAJIP should develop a clear and structured strategy to promote credible, transparent and ethical research practices within South Africa.


Open science; Replication; Reproducibility; Industrial psychology; Organisational psychology; Academic publishing


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Crossref Citations

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doi: 10.1080/17439760.2023.2178956