, Volume 105, Issue 3, pp 1931–1952 | Cite as

Are there gender differences among researchers from industrial/organizational psychology?

  • Cornelius J. König
  • Clemens B. Fell
  • Linus Kellnhofer
  • Gabriel Schui


Questions about gender differences in the workplace usually attract much attention—but often generate more heat than light. To examine gender differences in several facets of scientific productivity and impact, a quantitative, scientometric approach is employed. Analyzing a sample of industrial and organizational psychologists (N authors = 4234; N publications = 46,656), this study raises both questions and concerns about gender differences in research, by showing that female and male I–O psychologists differ with regard to publication output (fewer publications authored by female researchers), impact (heterogeneous, indicator-dependent gender differences), their publication career courses (male researchers’ periods of active publishing last longer and show longer interruptions), and research interests (only marginal gender differences). In order to get a glimpse of future developments, we repeated all analyses with the student subsample and found nearly no gender differences, suggesting a more gender-balanced future. Thus, this study gives an overview over the status quo of gender differences in an entire psychological sub-discipline. Future research will have to examine whether these gender differences are volitional in nature or the manifestation of external constraints.


Gender differences Research productivity Scientific productivity Impact Psychology 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification




We thank Tracy L. Vanneman from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, who provided us with their member list under the condition that our results will remain anonymous (i.e., no information about individual authors), and Ulrich Herb and Matthias Müller from the Saarland University and State Library for their support in the planning phase of this project. Finally, we thank the R community for providing the answers to all of our questions on data analyses.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelius J. König
    • 1
  • Clemens B. Fell
    • 1
  • Linus Kellnhofer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gabriel Schui
    • 2
  1. 1.Fachrichtung PsychologieUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrückenGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID)TrierGermany
  3. 3.ONE AgencyZurichSwitzerland

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