National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University organized International Conference on Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Trends, Challenges, and Applications with the fundamental aim of providing the platform to exchange logical and critical analysis of the human-organization interface. The conference also intends to provide forum to the industrial and organizational psychologists and researchers to work out the requisites necessary to pursue wide range of work place issues based on the combinations of their interests and experiences.
Inaugural session of the conference proceeded with the recitation of Holy Quran. Prof. Dr. Anila Kamal Director, National Institute of Psychology presented welcome note. Dr. Anila pointed out in her address that National Institute of Psychology as Centre of Excellence has always strived for the ultimate goal of providing valued culture based on the application oriented approach and scientist-practitioner model both in research and teaching. She also added that in the context of rapidly changing social, economic, and political scenarios the theme of the present conference is the focus on Industrial and Organizational Psychology with special emphasis to augment understanding of prevailing trends, competitive challenges, and applications in the factual occupational settings. She hoped that deliberations of the conference would assist in accomplishing its vital aspirations.
Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University also addresses the participants. He accentuated that undeniably this conference is rightly held in the milieu of vigorously changing economic, fiscal, and business circumstances. He further stressed that industrial and organizational psychology has become an integral part of the organizations in assisting the management and administration to focus on key productivity issues including the physical and mental well-being of workers. He also shared that being a focal and significant university of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam University has fulfilled its foremost obligation in implementing those educational values and practices which are in direct alliance with the national needs and requirements. The chief guest of the inaugural session was Prof. Dr. Nasser Ali Khan, Member Operations and Planning, Higher Education Commission. While addressing the participants, it was emphasized by him that in the backdrop of rapidly altering socio-political scenarios; it’s a high time to figure out the ways which would eventually cultivate and promote the economy and monetary steadiness of our country and in the longer run play a vital role in the overall stability of Pakistan. He appreciated the current event and said that National Institute of Psychology has taken a step forward in organizing international conference on the much needed theme. He also suggested that national and international social scientists and professionals should propose ways to unravel the workplace concerns and predicaments and recommend potential and promising solutions in maximizing the human potential in the administrative and organizational setups.
Inaugural ceremony was followed by the keynote session. Speaker for the keynote address was Prof. Dr. Sherri Nevada McCarthy, Human Relations Program, Educational Psychology, Northern Arizona University, Yuma, USA. Title of the plenary speech was Integrating Education and Practice in the Training of I/O: Examples from University Programmes in Several Countries. Dr. McCarthy highlighted significant features of Industrial and Occupational Psychology programs in several countries responding to the challenge of integrating education and practice into modern organizations. In her keynote address, she draw attention to specific examples from programs in different regions of the world and illustrate how partnerships with businesses and industry are becoming essential for the effective training of I/O Psychologists. In addition to summarizing similarities and differences in the university training models used in several countries, she also emphasize key considerations for developing culturally appropriate educational models within Pakistan that would help to train future I/O psychologists who can work effectively in both the local and global business environment.
Further proceeding of the event comprised four parallel rigorous and meticulous scientific sessions offering a wide array of 35 empirical and pragmatic research papers covering major dimensions of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. There were two sets of scientific sessions with four sessions in each set comprising total eight sessions. Major themes of the scientific sessions were Organizational Commitment, Management, Leadership Styles, Organizational Behavior, Personality Attributes, Work Place Stress, Work-Family Interaction, and Promotion and Marketing. These sessions were chaired by Prof. Dr. Najma Najam (Vice Chancellor, Karakorum International University, Gilgit), Dr. Muhammad Tahir Khalily (Head of Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad),
Dr. Tahir Saeed (Chairperson, Department of Leadership and Management Studies, National Defense University, Islamabad), Dr. Nadia Ayub (Chairperson, Department of Business Psychology, Institute of Business Management, Karachi),
Dr. Seema Pervez (Ex-Director, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University), Dr. Zahid Mahmood (Director, Department of Clinical Psychology, GC University, Lahore),
Prof. Dr. Ruhi Khalid (Director, Institute of Psychology, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore), and Prof. Dr. Mah Nazir Riaz (Dean Social Sciences, Frontier Women University, Peshawar); respectively. Posters further add to the essence of graphical presentation of research findings offering visual delight to the audiences. There were 50 poster presentations displayed in the hallway of the main auditorium which were immensely appreciated and accredited by the participants.
Panel Discussion as post lunch activity presented vibrant and enriched platform to the experts of related disciplines to share their connoisseur opinion regarding the need to epitomize our academic output with the industrial requisites. Title of the panel discussion was Bridging the Academe and Industry: The Zeitgeist of Organizational Sciences. Major panelists were Prof. Dr. Sherri N. McCarthy (Human Relations Program, Educational Psychology, Northern Arizona University, USA), Prof. Dr. I. N. Hasan (Chief Psychologist, FPSC, Islamabad), Prof. Dr. Rauf-i-Azam (Chairperson, University Institute of Management Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi), Prof. Dr. Mah Nazir Riaz (Dean Social Sciences, Frontier Women University, Peshawar), Ms Inez Wijngaarde (Senior Industrial & Development Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Seema Pervez (Ex-Director, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad), Dr. Shahina Waheed (National Programme Coordinator, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Islamabad), Ms. Samina Fazil (Founder President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Prof. Dr. M. Anis-ul-Haque (National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad).
Panelists highlighted the need for optimizing need based research projects and plans. According to the experts, there is a dire need to strive with maximum potential to match our competencies and capabilities in accordance to the international trends and inclinations so as to bridge the global advances and national developmental pace. Social sciences are becoming indispensable, by and large, in research and exploration of social, communal, and societal issues; at both individual and collective levels. It was also stressed that both researchers and practitioners must share their ideas and experiences which would help in generating effective and efficient organizations. Moreover, people from the fields of entrepreneurship and management should have collaborative experiences with the psychologists from all across the globe, and extend that knowledge through its applications in their respective fields in order to maximize the organizational performance and productivity.
Panel Discussion was pursued by concluding session. Contributions and participation of everyone in the conference was duly acknowledged and appreciated in a ceremonial closing session and to formally conclude the event. Closing session commenced with the recitation of Holy Quran. Vote of thanks was presented by Prof. Dr. Anila Kamal (Director, National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad). Dr. Anila liberally acknowledged the effort of each and every contributor of the conference. She especially appreciated the participation of students of different departments and institutes of universities from other cities of Pakistan in the conference. She also announced the upcoming 5th International Conference on Educational Psychology to be held in spring 2014. Chief guest Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik (Founder Member & Former President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry) addressed the audience. He put emphasis on the need to develop awareness in relation to the knowledge and research skills needed to improve human performance in the workplace. He further expressed that organizational structures, social norms, management styles, and role expectations are all factors that can influence behavior of people within an organization. By understanding such factors, efforts can be made to improve individual performance and health while at the same time benefiting the organization as a whole.
In the end, shields and certificates were awarded to panelists, resource persons of preconference workshops, members of scientific committee, organizing committees, paper presenters, poster presenters, and sponsors. The energetic day came to an end with gala dinner and musical show to bid memorable farewell to the participants.
There was an extensive contribution of around 550 participants, students, faculty members, and professionals from Punjab University, GC University, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Institute of Business Management (Karachi), International Islamic University Islamabad, Bahauddin Zakaria University Multan, Karachi University, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Hazara University Mansehra Campus, Isfahan University Iran, Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences, Bahria University, National University of Sciences and Technology, School of Administrative Sciences Quaid-i-Azam University, University Institute of Management Sciences of PMAS Arid Agriculture University, University of Gujrat, University of Sargodha, Peshawar University and postgraduate colleges of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
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Prof. Dr. Anila Kamal