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Beyond Informed Consent

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read the Fisher (2009) article, “Replacing ‘Who is the Client?’ With a Different Ethical Question” and the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct: Including 2010 Amendments (Links to an external site.) paying special attention to standard 3.11.

Informed consent is an important ethical component of research and practice. It is not, however, always sufficient or appropriate for consulting, program evaluation, job effectiveness assessment, or other psychological services delivered to or through organizations because it does not always address all the necessary elements of a given situation. These facts do not negate our responsibility as psychology professionals to inform clients and those who may be impacted by our services. In the discussion you will address these issues through the following case study.

You are an industrial organizational (I/O) psychologist and have been hired to evaluate a company’s “Work From Home” policy to see if it has increased company production. In addition to a review of the employee records, the evaluation needs to include interviews with supervisors and employees on the value and limits of the policy. Since informed consent as typically considered in clinical, counseling, and research settings will not be sufficient in this instance, you will need to inform all supervisors and employees about your services.

In your initial post, briefly analyze and define who the client is in this case study. Assess your professional role as the I/O psychologist and your responsibility to the client as defined. Apply the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Links to an external site.) to this scenario, specifically addressing what information should be provided to all supervisors and employees. Explain how you would disseminate this information and ensure understanding amongst all stakeholders. Elaborate on how you would establish trust with the employees, protect employee identities, and ensure the results are used in an ethical manner.

Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct: Including 2010 Amendments (Links to an external site.) paying special attention to standard 3.11.

3.11 Psychological Services Delivered to or Through Organizations

(a) Psychologists delivering services to or through organizations provide information beforehand to clients and when appropriate those directly affected by the services about (1) the nature and objectives of the services, (2) the intended recipients, (3) which of the individuals are clients, (4) the relationship the psychologist will have with each person and the organization, (5) the probable uses of services provided and information obtained, (6) who will have access to the information, and (7) limits of confidentiality. As soon as feasible, they provide information about the results and conclusions of such services to appropriate persons.

(b) If psychologists will be precluded by law or by organizational roles from providing such information to particular individuals or groups, they so inform those individuals or groups at the outset of the service.

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