Call for Abstracts

We are living in the future of work.

Digitization, digitalisation, and digital transformation have connected individuals, organisations, and objects through the intensified adoption of technologies (Urbach & Röglinger, 2019). This shift has triggered a need to align organisational culture, employer value proposition, operations, and value delivery to the dynamics of digitisation. From a macro perspective, the digital workplace has been accompanied by shifting dynamics in the labour market, affecting how companies manage the employee value chain. Organisations must embrace digital technologies and transform in order to remain competitive and survive. Further, it is imperative to understand and facilitate employee perceptions and attitudes toward technological change in order to equip the workforce for digital transformation (Brigid et al. 2021).

This year’s conference theme examines digital transformation from several lenses, including employee-related factors and work-related outcomes at the individual, group, and organizational levels. In addition, macro dynamics should not be ignored. Labour market skills shortages caused by reskilling challenges to meet the changing digital landscape will be of particular focus. 

How can organisations, work psychologists, people practitioners, behavioural scientists, researchers, academics, business leaders and line managers drive digital transformation in their environments to enable organisation peak performance and employee alignment? The Annual SIOPSA Conference Team call upon interested stakeholders to share their views and experiences regarding digital transformation in today’s world of work.

 This topic will be explored through the following sub-themes:

  • Establishing ways of work in a digital workplace (hybrid vs office-based vs remote)
  • Managing wellness in a digital world
  • The role of Industrial and Organisational Psychologists and human capital practitioners in accelerating digitisation
  • Shaping an employer value proposition that supports digital transformation
  • No one left behind. Diversity, equity & inclusion in a digital world.



Abstract submissions for the 2023 SIOPSA conference are now open under the following categories:

  1. Master tutorial 
  2. Research presentation
  3. Case study 
  4. Panel discussion


  • Complete all relevant fields using the online google form.
  • Write your abstract in a word document and load it in .doc format as part of your submission on the online form referred to above.
  • See example of a good abstract in the appendix.


  • On the first page of your abstract, complete the following: 
  • Title of abstract
  • Authors’ name, title, contact details and affiliation (to be completed for all authors)
  • Word count (maximum 350 words) 

Start the abstract/ paper on the second page following the guidelines provided below

  • Font: Arial new, 12pt justified
  • 1,5 line spacing
  • APA reference style (where applicable) 

Authors are encouraged to articulate what (if any) ethics will be covered in their session. Additional words are allowed for this. Demonstrating a link to ethics is not compulsory but will add value to your contribution. 

Keep the following considerations when submitting your abstract: 

  • Think about ways to enhance the practical application of the information presented 
  • It is encouraged to incorporate learning from other disciplines such as neuroscience, design, data science, arts, entrepreneurship, marketing, clinical, psychology, project management, behavioural sciences etc. where applicable.
  • Where applicable, incorporating the South African context into your research 
  • Refrain from repeating knowledge that the audience would have been exposed to before by focusing on new knowledge and research 


Introduction/ rationale: Introduction or rationale must provide a clear background to the rest of the abstract and why the topic is being put forward 

Objective: Must at least contain an overarching general objective. Objectives must outline the content or expectations for the project. 

Methods/approach: Methods or approach must provide a clear description of the methodology used, and it must be appropriate for the objectives and rationale of the project or presentation. 

Results: Results must clearly indicate the findings of the project/presentation, and they must be consistent with the methodology and objectives. 

Conclusions: Conclusions must be consistent with the introduction or rationale and objectives, so that the information is complete. Clear implications of the findings must be apparent. 


Interest and appeal to the audience: Is the content relevant to the profession? Does it bring a perspective that is relevant to current theory and/or practice? 

Important contribution to research/ practice/ theory or knowledge: Does it add to the current body of work in this area or the understanding of the profession? 


Editing: It is important to consider grammar and writing style in this section only, and not let poor grammar influence all ratings; some readers rate this section first and rate on first impressions. 

Coherent and readable: Abstract should be clear on first reading; repeated readings for clarity indicates lower readability. The content should be in a logical sequence. Remember that English may not be the first language of many authors


Presentation/session types

The SIOPSA program has different session/category types. To submit a proposal, you will need to adhere to the format requirements stipulated for that session type/category. 

  • Option 1: Master Tutorials 
  • Option 2: Research Presentations 
  • Option 3: Case Studies 
  • Option 4: Panel Discussions 

Master Tutorial (45 mins)

The primary purpose of the Master Tutorial is to develop and educate the audience about a focal Work Psychology, behavioural science or any topic related to the theme of the conference. As examples, tutorials might be developed to provide an update on a specific content area, discuss a new statistical technique, or describe how knowledge from another discipline can be applied to a work psychology problem or topic. Topics that are not appropriate include descriptions of products that the presenter is marketing.

Research Presentations (45 mins)

Papers submitted for research presentations must represent completed, original (i.e., has not been published or presented elsewhere) work. Submissions will be peer reviewed. 

Case Study (45 mins)

A Case Study should offer practical, specific insights related to projects where theory is applied. Case Studies are ideal for practitioners who wish to share an aspect of their expertise or experience. However, they are not intended to be marketing opportunities. Submissions will undergo peer review. A 250–450-word abstract should be submitted but will not be included in the published conference proceedings.

Panel Discussion (1 hour or 45 mins)

In a Panel Discussion, the chairperson plays a very active role, serving as the moderator who asks questions of the panel members and ensures that all panel members (three to five people) have the opportunity to speak. Panel Discussions should generate spontaneous interaction among panel members and between panel members and the audience. Diversity among panel members is important to the success of the session. Further, all panel members must recognise the need for preparation. A Panel Discussion proposal should describe the questions that will be addressed by the panel, the underlying issues or themes to be discussed, and the structure or format of the session.

Panel member information must be submitted with the online submission.

Please remember to ensure that you submit your abstract in the correct format. Submissions that do not comply with the abstract guidelines will not be accepted.





Abstract Title:

Putting the “smart” in smartphone: Comparing candidate experience of ability assessments across smartphone and non-smartphone devices.

Author/s Name & Affiliation:

Mr Marcel Harper, TTS – Top Talent Solutions

Ms Kim Dowdeswell, TTS – Top Talent Solutions

Word Count:

378 words


Creating a positive recruitment experience is increasingly on the agenda for employers and talent professionals. Our research focussed on candidates’ experience of smartphone-delivered ability assessments and contributes to our understanding of how mobile technologies can be used in selection assessment projects.

We present findings that compare South African candidates’ experience of ability assessments across different delivery platforms (mobile and non-mobile).


Our aims in the study were:

To develop a credible experiences framework that can be used to compare candidate experience across different testing platforms.

To use this framework to investigate if and how candidates’ experience of completing ability assessments differed as a function of the device they used to complete the assessment (i.e. smartphone vs. non-smartphone).

To explicate how using smartphone technologies may impact the application and marketing of assessments within South African IOP practice.


Participants were 148 graduates undergoing recruitment and selection assessments within the manufacturing sector. Our participants were randomly assigned to an opt-out choice of assessment platform (either smartphone or non-smartphone) during the project.

Post-assessment surveys were completed by 104 candidates that measured our experiences framework along the following dimensions: Effort, engagement, fairness, ease, clarity of instructions, communication, testing situation, validity, organizational perception, opportunity to perform, and completion time. Participants were also explicitly asked about their opinions regarding using smartphones in assessment projects.

Results were analysed for main effects due to assessment platform using Cohen’s d test for significant differences in participant experience.

Results & Conclusions

Our results indicated that candidates’ experiences of completing ability assessments using smartphones were largely comparable and equivalent to those who used non-smartphone devices. Some main effects were found for clarity of communication, with smartphones being perceived as enhancing understanding of assessment procedures.

Further analyses indicated that smartphones may offer advantages over non-smartphone devices in terms of mitigating possible testing distractions.

Practical Significance & Contribution

Our research contributes to the IOP discipline because:

  • It is the first comprehensive study within South Africa that examines differences in candidate experience across smartphone and non-smartphone assessments.
  • It provides a comprehensive experience framework for future studies of test-taker experiences.
  • It contributes to our understanding of best practice in using smartphones for selection assessments.
  • It explores implications of smartphone technology for the marketing of assessment services to clients and the IOP profession.