PSY FPX 8740 Assessment 5 Ethical and Legal Aspects of I-O Psychology

PSY FPX 8740 Assessment 5 Ethical and Legal Aspects of I-O Psychology

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PSY FPX 8740 Assessment 5 Ethical and Legal Aspects of I-O Psychology

Student Name

Capella University

PSY FPX 8740 Industrial/Organizational Psychology Practices in Human Resource Management

Prof. Name


Exploring Ethical and Legal Considerations in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

In the realm of psychology, the significance of legal and ethical dimensions is often underestimated. However, for professionals in specialized fields such as Industrial and Organizational (I-O) psychology, understanding and adhering to these principles are crucial. Psychologists need to not only maintain their expertise in their respective domains but also remain informed about legal frameworks and ethical standards that may influence their practice (Black, 2016). This discussion centers on the ethical and legal challenges inherent in a case study scenario, providing insights into potential approaches for resolution.

Ethical Considerations in the Case Study

In the scenario involving a consultant psychologist contracted by PurpleSky Inc., several ethical concerns surface. A notable issue revolves around the CEO’s autocratic leadership style, which fosters a toxic organizational culture characterized by inadequate communication and demoralization (Capella University, n.d.). Autocratic leadership, marked by centralized decision-making with minimal input from team members, has been linked to detrimental effects on team dynamics and performance (De Hoogh, Greer, & Den Hartog, 2015). Moreover, such environments can heighten stress levels among employees, leading to reduced productivity and well-being (Colligan & Higgins, 2006).

Additionally, an ethical dilemma arises concerning the psychologist’s colleague’s suggestion to comply with the CEO’s request for team-building activities without addressing underlying issues. This recommendation contradicts principles outlined in the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code, particularly regarding fidelity, integrity, and the basis for professional judgments (APA, 2010). Fulfilling the request under false pretenses undermines trust, compromises professional integrity, and neglects the duty to prioritize scientific and ethical standards (Principles B and C; Standard 2.01).

Navigating Ethical and Legal Challenges

Addressing ethical and legal dilemmas necessitates a systematic approach, such as Rest’s Four-Component Model of Moral Behavior (1994). Firstly, moral sensitivity involves recognizing the ethical implications of one’s actions, emphasizing the potential harm of misrepresenting services to the CEO (Lincoln & Holmes, 2011). Subsequently, moral judgment entails weighing potential solutions, including transparently discussing organizational issues with the CEO or abstaining from the assignment due to ethical conflicts. Moral motivation underscores the importance of prioritizing ethical considerations over personal interests, while moral character emphasizes the courage to uphold ethical standards in action (Rest, 1994).

Confidentiality Challenges

Confidentiality presents another ethical dilemma, particularly regarding the psychologist’s obligation to safeguard employee privacy (APA, 2010). Disclosing the identities of employees interviewed to the CEO could jeopardize their trust and livelihoods, violating ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence (APA, 2010). Fisher (2008) advocates for establishing confidentiality protocols at the onset of client engagements to mitigate such risks.

Future Directions in Ethical Research

Exploring the ethical dimensions highlighted in this case study offers avenues for future research. Investigating the relationship between toxic workplace environments and employee well-being can provide insights into mitigating stress and enhancing organizational health (Anjum & Ming, 2018). Similarly, examining the impact of autocratic leadership on employee health and productivity can inform strategies for fostering more positive work environments. Additionally, research focusing on confidentiality issues within autocratic leadership contexts can furnish practitioners with practical frameworks for navigating complex ethical dilemmas.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from

Anjum, A., & Ming, X. (2018). Combating toxic workplace environment. Journal of Modelling in Management, 13(3), 675-697. doi:10.1108/JM2-02-2017-0023

Capella University. (n.d.). [Title of the document, Description of the document]. Retrieved from [URL]

PSY FPX 8740 Assessment 5 Ethical and Legal Aspects of I-O Psychology

Colligan, T. W., & Higgins, E. M. (2006). Workplace stress: Etiology and consequences. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 21(2), 89-97. Retrieved from

De Hoogh, A. H. B., Greer, L. L., & Den Hartog, D. N. (2015). Diabolical dictators or capable commanders? An investigation of the differential effects of autocratic leadership on team performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(5), 687-701. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2015.01.001

Fisher, M. A. (2008). Protecting confidentiality rights: The need for an ethical practice model. American Psychologist, 63(1), 1-13. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.1.1

Lincoln, A. M., & Holmes, E. K. (2011). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

PSY FPX 8740 Assessment 5 Ethical and Legal Aspects of I-O Psychology

Rest, J. R. (1994). Background: Theory and research. In M. J. Lerner & D. T. F. Rest (Eds.), Moral development in the professions: Psychology and applied ethics (pp. 1-26). Retrieved from

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