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Anuario de Psicologia 2017;47:32-44 - DOI: 10.1016/j.anpsic.2017.04.002
Thematic reviews
Twenty-five years of research on work and organizational psychology: A bibliometric perspective
Veinticinco años de investigación en psicología del trabajo y de las organizaciones: una perspectiva bibliométrica
Marina Romeoa,, , Montserrat Yepes-Baldóa, Sefa Boria-Reverterb, José M. Merigóc
a Research Group in Social, Environmental and Organizational Psychology (2014SGR992), Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
b Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
c Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile
Recibido 11 noviembre 2016, Aceptado 27 abril 2017
Abstract

The research aims to analyze the scientific productivity in the field of work/organizational psychology (WOP) in the last 25 years. We focus our analysis on the most influential journals and articles, generally and for 5-year periods, as well as structures of co-citation among the highest quality journals based on their h-index. We found that a high percentage of papers published each year receive between 5 and 10 cites. Secondly, we observe an exponential increase in the number of papers published, citations, and h-index. Additionally, the number of self-citations significantly increases in the last 5 years. In this sense, we consider that the most recent papers need more time to increase their level of citation and, subsequently, to correct the bias on self-citation. This research shows the status of research in the field of work/organizational psychology, analyzing the scientific journals and papers published in the Web of Science.

Resumen

La presente investigación tiene como objetivo analizar la producción científica en el ámbito de la psicología del trabajo y las organizaciones en los últimos 25 años. Centramos nuestro análisis en las revistas y artículos con el nivel más alto de índice h, en general y por períodos de 5 años, así como en las estructuras de cocitación entre ellas. Los resultados muestran que un alto porcentaje de artículos reciben entre 5 y 10 citas. En segundo lugar, se observa un aumento exponencial en el número de trabajos publicados, las citas, así como el índice h. Además, el número de autocitas aumenta significativamente en los trabajos publicados en los últimos 5 años. En este sentido, consideramos que los documentos más recientes necesitan más tiempo para aumentar su nivel de citación y, posteriormente, para corregir el sesgo de autocita. La presente investigación muestra el estado de la investigación en el ámbito de la psicología del trabajo y de las organizaciones a partir del análisis de las revistas y artículos científicos publicados en la Web of Science.

Keywords
Work and organizational psychology, h-index, Citation, Bibliometrics
Palabras clave
Psicología del trabajo y de las organizaciones, Índice h, Citación, Bibliometría
Introduction

Different disciplines, as psychology and management, have contributed to the development of work and organizational psychology (WOP) (König, Fell, Kellnhofer, & Schui, 2015). In this regard, Aguinis, Bradley, and Brodersen (2014) consider that the relationship between industrial and organizational psychology and management is increasing, and there is evidence of an increased presence of I–O psychologists in business schools.

The WOP interdisciplinary’ has shown is present in diverse scientific journals. This is a great strength, as it contributes to sharing knowledge in various fields, but also implies a difficulty because researchers have widened the focus of analysis on conceptually and methodologically terms.

In this sense, a bibliometric study focused on the contributions of work and organizational psychology (WOP) is important in order to show the status of research in this field.

Bibliometric studies related to work and organizational psychology (WOP)

There have been various bibliometric studies in relation to the different areas of intervention of psychology: Psychology of Personality (Allik, 2013a; Aluja et al., 2011; Haslam et al., 2008), Social Psychology (Allik, 2013b; Cikara, Rudman, & Fiske, 2012; Haslam & Kashima, 2010), Educational and Developmental Psychology (Albayrak, Föcker, Wibker, & Hebebrand, 2012; Campanario, González, & Rodríguez, 2006; Vinluan, 2012), Clinical and Health Psychology (Ariza & Reina Granados, 2012; Haslam & Lusher, 2011; Lillo & Martini, 2013; Quevedo-Blasco, Zych, & Buela-Casal, 2014), or Neuropsychology (Lepach, Lehmkuhl, & Petermann, 2010).

However, few bibliometric studies focus on the field of WOP have been published in journals included on WoS (König et al., 2015; Viseu, de Jesus, Quevedo-Blasco, Rus, & Canavarro, 2015).

The recent decease of Dr. Robert A. Roe, founding-president (1991–1995) of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP), has inspired this research, which main objective is to analyze the research productivity in the field of WOP, focusing on the most influential journals and articles in the last 25 years (1991–2015).

Method

The utility of bibliometric studies lies in their ability to evidence the general state of research in a particular field of study (Bonilla, Merigó, & Torres-Abad, 2015). There are different indicators to indicate the degree of influence of a magazine or paper in a particular field of study. Commonly used are the inclusion of the journal in prestigious indexing databases such as the Web of Science (Merigó, Gil-Lafuente, & Yager, 2015), their annual impact factor (Garfield, 1972; Glanzer & Moed, 2002) and 5-year impact factor (Amin & Mabe, 2003; Campanario, 2011), the number of papers published in a period of time (Goldberg, Anthony, & Evans, 2015), the number of citations received (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Bachrach, 2008), the h-index (Hirsch, 2005; Hirsch & Buela-Casal, 2014), the ratio cites/paper (Merigó, Mas-Tur, Roig-Tierno, & Ribeiro-Soriano, 2015), or the ratio papers/year (Goldberg et al., 2015).

In the present study, we use a combination of indicators, in order to provide the maximum information and a global perspective. Specifically, we analyze the citation structure in the past 25 years. This analysis allows the establishing of the annual diffusion pattern based on the number of citations received by papers published in a given year, as well as the evolution of that pattern.

Secondly, we analyze the ranking of the most influential journals in the field of WOP from their h-index, the number of papers published, citations received, the average number of citations per article, the impact factor (IF) and 5-year impact factor. Additionally, we indicate how many of the 50 most influential articles, in relation to the number of citations they receive, have been published in these journals.

Thirdly, we analyze the temporal evolution of the most important journals in the area, in periods of 5 years, in the number of published papers, the h-index and the number of citations (total and average per year). In addition, in order to analyze the influence of self-citation in the results, we show the longitudinal trend of the relationship between citations and self-citations in a 5-year period.

Fourthly, we analyze the knowledge flows established between the top-5 journals by h-index in order to establish relations of co-citation among the most influential journals in WOP. Some authors suggest that this structure of co-citations affects the prestige of a journal on account of being cited by others with high rates of reputation (Simsek, Heavey, & Jansen, 2013).

Finally, we analyze the 50 papers that have received more citations in the last 25 years, the journals that have published them, the authors and the relationships between them.

To reach our objectives we used the database Web of Science as a source of information, since it is currently considered the most important and influential database in international scientific research (Merigó, Mas-Tur, et al., 2015; Viseu et al., 2015). The search strategy was developed in January 2016. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, indicated in the introduction, we decided not to focus exclusively on the journals indexed in the management or psychology categories of WoS but search by topic, regardless of the category in which the sources are placed.

Results

In January 2016 (timespan: 1991–2015), there were 37,505 papers in WoS Core Collection. If only articles and reviews are considered, the number is reduced to 28,500 (26,849 articles and 1651 reviews). The global h-index according to the selected papers was 285 (that is, 285 papers have received at least 285 citations).

Citation structure

An important issue when analyzing the publication and citation structure is to consider the number of papers that have surpassed a citation threshold. This indicates the level of citation that most of the papers receive and permit us to identify the number of citations that the top papers usually receive.

Results show that a high percentage of papers published each year receive between 5 and 10 cites (Table 1). This trend is maintained until 2011–2012, when the number of citations per paper decreases (reaching between 1 and 4 cites). 6.1% of articles published in the period 1991–2015 receive 100 or more citations.

Table 1.

General citation structure.

  ≥100  ≥50  ≥10  ≥5  ≥1  No. of cited papers  Total 
199167  62  189  52  78  59  507 
13.21%  12.23%  37.28%  10.26%  15.38%  11.64%  100% 
199270  76  222  59  82  30  539 
12.99%  14.10%  41.19%  10.95%  15.21%  5.57%  100% 
199377  86  231  64  61  32  551 
13.97%  15.61%  41.92%  11.62%  11.07%  5.81%  100% 
199479  96  270  73  67  50  635 
12.44%  15.12%  42.52%  11.50%  10.55%  7.87%  100% 
199575  106  290  78  99  42  690 
10.87%  15.36%  42.03%  11.30%  14.35%  6.09%  100% 
199684  86  290  100  114  34  708 
11.86%  12.15%  40.96%  14.12%  16.10%  4.80%  100% 
199798  101  294  98  137  116  844 
11.61%  11.97%  34.83%  11.61%  16.23%  13.74%  100% 
199891  101  296  86  141  136  851 
10.69%  11.87%  34.78%  10.11%  16.57%  15.98%  100% 
1999107  121  344  107  149  126  954 
11.22%  12.68%  36.06%  11.22%  15.62%  13.21%  100% 
2000111  134  332  92  117  134  920 
12.07%  14.57%  36.09%  10.00%  12.72%  14.57%  100% 
2001123  145  362  95  111  128  964 
12.76%  15.04%  37.55%  9.85%  11.51%  13.28%  100% 
2002130  141  380  108  99  24  882 
14.74%  15.99%  43.08%  12.24%  11.22%  2.72%  100% 
2003111  164  381  89  96  21  862 
12.88%  19.03%  44.20%  10.32%  11.14%  2.44%  100% 
2004103  136  450  85  74  41  889 
11.59%  15.30%  50.62%  9.56%  8.32%  4.61%  100% 
200587  167  501  140  104  19  1018 
8.55%  16.40%  49.21%  13.75%  10.22%  1.87%  100% 
2006103  142  482  153  112  39  1031 
9.99%  13.77%  46.75%  14.84%  10.86%  3.78%  100% 
200787  131  567  189  141  38  1153 
7.55%  11.36%  49.18%  16.39%  12.23%  3.30%  100% 
200844  128  671  251  207  50  1351 
3.26%  9.47%  49.67%  18.58%  15.32%  3.70%  100% 
200932  117  794  319  279  69  1610 
1.99%  7.27%  49.32%  19.81%  17.33%  4.29%  100% 
201029  71  739  358  389  98  1684 
1.72%  4.22%  43.88%  21.26%  23.10%  5.82%  100% 
201113  47  626  448  565  146  1845 
0.70%  2.55%  33.93%  24.28%  30.62%  7.91%  100% 
201213  445  443  769  246  1918 
0.10%  0.68%  23.20%  23.10%  40.09%  12.83%  100% 
2013201  394  966  389  1955 
0.00%  0.26%  10.28%  20.15%  49.41%  19.90%  100% 
201456  175  977  794  2003 
0.00%  0.05%  2.80%  8.74%  48.78%  39.64%  100% 
201518  445  1639  2102 
0.00%  0.00%  0.00%  0.86%  21.17%  77.97%  100% 
Total  1723  2377  9413  4074  6379  4500  28,466 
6.1%  8.4%  33.1%  14.3%  22.4%  15.8%  100.0% 

Highest percentatge by row is indicated by italics.

Additionally, we considered it appropriate to differentiate between self-citations and citations received (Fig. 1). In this sense, we observed that in the last 5 years a significant increase in self-citations, which reaches 25% of all citations received, occurs.

Figure 1.
(0.1MB).

Citations and self-citation by 5-year periods.

Journals ranking

This section presents the ranking of the most influential WOP journals, according to the data available in WoS (Table 2). In this regard, the most influential journal in this field is the Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP). Although the JAP is in the first position of the ranking in terms of number of papers, h-index and citations (self-cites excluded), is the second in citations per paper (C/P), where the Journal of Consumer Behaviour (JCB) is the first. JAP is also in second position on impact factor (IF-2014) and on 5-year impact factor, being surpassed by the Journal of Management (JOM).

Table 2.

Most influencial WOP journals.

Source titles  Papers  h-index  Citations (self-cites excluded)  C/P  IF (2014)  IF5  T50 
Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP)  2311  194  171,760  80.09  4.799  7.753  12 
Journal of Management (JOM)  1123  136  78,802  72.66  6.071  9.238 
Journal of Organizational Behavior (JOB)  1291  112  53,670  43.29  3.038  5.017 
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP)  1435  110  66,577  48.66  2.201  3.938 
Personnel Psychology (PP)  680  105  41,846  64.39  4.49  6.227 
Leadership Quarterly (LQ)  910  85  26,440  36.64  3.138  4.326 
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (JOOP)  792  70  22,227  29.19  1.667  3.461  – 
Organizational Research Methods (ORM)  435  62  18,656  45.1  4.148  5.465 
Research in Organizational Behavior (ROB)  178  60  12,626  72.12  1.562  3.4 
10  Journal of Consumer Research (JoCR)  134  59  12,948  97.91  3.125  5.003 
11  Journal of Consumer Psychology (JCP)  720  54  11,860  18.57  2.243  2.561  – 
12  Human Resource Management (HRM)  812  53  12,778  17.06  1.293  2.705  – 
13  Organizational Dynamics (OD)  671  52  10,645  16.15  0.789  0.841  – 
14  Group Organization Management (GOM)  553  52  10,545  20.53  1.40  2.869  – 
15  Small Group Research (SGR)  704  51  10,937  17.27  0.794  1.612  – 
16  Journal of Business and Psychology (JBP)  784  39  8266  11.06  2.075  3.015  – 
17  International Journal of Selection And Assessment (IJSA)  691  38  7373  12.55  0.814  1.199  – 
18  Journal of Business Research (JBR)  243  37  4695  19.67  1.48  2.324  – 
19  Personnel Review (PR)  876  34  6985  8.63  0.921  1.438  – 
20  European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (EJWOP)  380  31  3876  10.86  2.09  2.615  – 
21  Psychology Marketing (PM)  158  30  2599  16.95  1.080  1.547  – 
22  Journal of Business Ethics (JBE)  169  28  2411  15.2  1.326  1.915  – 
23  Journal of Managerial Psychology (JMP)  366  24  2495  7.44  1.20  1.919  – 
24  Journal of Organizational Behavior Management (JOBM)  300  21  1139  7.29  0.486  0.967  – 
25  European Journal of Marketing (EJM)  175  20  1453  8.6  1.006  1.659  – 

Another indicator of the relevance of the JAP and the JOM in the area under study is that 12 and 7 of the 50 most cited articles of the last 25 years have been published in JAP and JOM respectively, representing 24% and 14% of the total (see Table 6 for more information).

Temporary evolution of the journals

We consider it interesting to analyze the differences in the top-5 journals segmenting by 5-year periods (Table 3).

Table 3.

Ranking of the 5 most influential WOP journals by 5-year periods.

Source titles  1991–1995  1996–2000  2001–2005  2006–2010  2011–2015  Mean rank 
Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP) 
Journal of Management (JOM)  2.4 
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP)  –  3.5 
Leadership Quarterly (LQ)  –  –  3.67 
Journal of Organizational Behavior (JOB)  3.8 
Personnel Psychology (PP)  –  –  4.67 

The JAP appears again as the journal with the highest h-index in all periods, followed by JOM, which varies between the second and third place alternately with the Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP) journal in the first two 5-year periods, with JOB in the period 2001–2005, and Leadership Quarterly (LQ) in the last two periods.

Going into detail on other quality indicators of the journals above mentioned, as we had already seen in the previous section, there exist an alternation between the JAP and the JOM based on the average of citations per published paper. In this regard, in the first 5 years analyzed, the JOM has a higher average of citations per paper, although both have a similar average in the next period and the trend analyzed in 2001–2005 (Table 4).

Table 4.

Quality indicators of top-5 journals (5-year periods).

Period  Indicators  JAP  JOM  OBHDP  LQ  JOB  PP 
1991–1995Rank  – 
Papers  410  205  361  –  190  145 
h  107  66  72  –  55  56 
Citations (self-cites excluded)  38,810  24,696  28,657  –  10,937  14,450 
C/P  95.37  120.98  80.04  –  57.77  100.37 
1996–2000Rank  – 
Papers  398  184  317  –  258  148 
h  114  78  77  –  70  61 
Citations (self-cites excluded)  42,194  20,092  19,390  –  14,679  11,010 
C/P  106.88  109.45  61.87  –  57.11  74.86 
2001–2005Rank  – 
Papers  504  199  225  160  250  – 
h  126  75  62  66  78  – 
Citations (self-cites excluded)  63,522  18,055  11,305  11,578  18,425  – 
C/P  127.04  91.12  50.59  73.94  74.12  – 
2006–2010Rank  – 
Papers  552  226  231  253  262  – 
h  98  67  48  53  50  – 
Citations (self-cites excluded)  33,683  14,007  7808  8877  9008  – 
C/P  62.27  62.56  34.19  37.11  34.82  – 
2011–2015Rank  – 
Papers  447  309  –  357  331  124 
h  34  33  –  22  21  22 
Citations (self-cites excluded)  4584  4204  –  1924  2336  1587 
C/P  11.32  14.21  –  7.19  7.63  13.27 
Mean rank1.00  2.40  3.50  3.67  3.80  4.67 
Knowledge flow

In this section, we present the citations structure from among the 5 most influential journals based on their h-index (Table 5). Results show that, even though the JAP is the most cited journal (62,845 cites), only 4.27% of its citations comes from the other top-5 journals. On the other hand, Personnel Psychology (PP) has the lowest number of cites (22,162), but 10.46% of them come from top-5 journals. The rank of self-citations is between 1.6% (JAP) and 4.38% (JOB).

Table 5.

Citations structure among the 5 most influential journals.

    Cited journals
    JAP  JOM  OBHDP  JOB  PP  Total row 
Citing journalsJAP  43 (1.6%981 (61.5%)  906 (46.92%)  930 (52.84%)  1170 (50.5%)  3987 
JOM  642 (23.92%)  66 (4.14%368 (19.06%)  404 (22.96%)  452 (19.42%)  1866 
OBHDP  525 (19.56%)  248 (15.55%)  43 (2.23%180 (10.24%)  190 (8.2%)  1143 
JOB  922 (34.35%)  63 (3.95%)  428 (22.17%)  77 (4.38%505 (21.8%)  1918 
PP  595 (22.17%)  303 (19.0%)  229 (11.86%)  246 (13.98%)  42 (1.81%1373 
Total column  2684 (4.27%)  1595 (3.55%)  1931 (4.56%)  1760 (6.25%)  2317 (10.46%)  10,287 
  Total cites  62,845  44,893  42,391  28,179  22,162   

Self-citations are indicated by italics.

Next, let us look into the general co-citation structure of the most representative journals in this field (Fig. 2). For doing so, we use the VOS viewer software (Van Eck & Waltman, 2010). Recall that co-citation occurs when two documents receive a citation by the same third document (Small, 1973).

Figure 2.
(0.3MB).

Co-citation structure of journals on work and organizational psychology.

The Journal of Applied Psychology has the deepest co-citation structure. Most of the leading journals are close to the field (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) although some management journals also have a significant position including the Academy of Management Journal and the Academy of Management Review. Some other journals in marketing and economics also appear in the map although their influence is lower.

The most influential papers

In this section, we considered of interest to researchers in the field of WOP to analyze the 50 most cited articles in the period under study (Table 6). The most influential paper in this area was published by Icek Ajzen in 1991. In this paper the author developed the well-known theory of planned behavior, defined by him as, “a useful conceptual framework for dealing with the complexities of human social behavior” (Ajzen, 1991, p. 206).

Table 6.

The 50 most cited papers.

Authors  Title  Year  Journal  Cites  C/Y 
Ajzen  The theory of planned behavior  1991  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes  11,466  477.8 
Barney  Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage  1991  Journal of Management  9164  381.8 
Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Lee, and Podsakoff  Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies  2003  Journal of Applied Psychology  8777  731.4 
Barrick and Mount  The big 5 personality dimensions and job-performance – A metaanalysis  1991  Personnel Psychology  2207  92.0 
Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter  Job burnout  2001  Annual Review of Psychology  2066  147.6 
Vandenberg and Lance  A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research  2000  Organizational Research Methods  1702  113.5 
Hevner, March, Park, and Ram  Design science in Information Systems research  2004  MIS Quarterly  1528  138.9 
Colquitt, Conlon, Wesson, Porter, and Ng  Justice at the millennium: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research  2001  Journal of Applied Psychology  1352  96.6 
Cortina  What is coefficient alpha – An examination of theory and applications  1993  Journal of Applied Psychology  1348  61.3 
10  Steenkamp and Baumgartner  Assessing measurement invariance in cross-national consumer research  1998  Journal of Consumer Research  1304  76.7 
11  Graen and Uhlbien  Relationship-based approach to leadership – Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years – Applying a multilevel multidomain perspective  1995  Leadership Quarterly  1265  63.3 
12  Locke and Latham  Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation – A 35-year odyssey  2002  American Psychologist  1256  96.6 
13  Schmidt and Hunter  The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings  1998  Psychological Bulletin  1246  73.3 
14  Meyer, Allen, and Smith  Commitment to organizations and occupations – Extension and test of a 3-component conceptualization  1993  Journal of Applied Psychology  1176  53.5 
15  Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch, and Topolnytsky  Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences  2002  Journal of Vocational Behavior  1150  88.5 
16  Hoffman and Novak  Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: Conceptual foundations  1996  Journal of Marketing  1139  59.9 
17  Williams and Anderson  Job-satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors  1991  Journal of Management  1135  47.3 
18  Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, and Schaufeli  The job demands-resources model of burnout  2001  Journal of Applied Psychology  1133  80.9 
19  Lindell and Whitney  Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs  2001  Journal of Applied Psychology  1100  78.6 
20  Podsakoff, Mackenzie, Paine, and Bachrach  Organizational citizenship behaviors: A critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research  2000  Journal of Management  1060  70.7 
21  Rhoades and Eisenberger  Perceived organizational support: A review of the literature  2002  Journal of Applied Psychology  1050  80.8 
22  Colquitt  On the dimensionality of organizational justice: A construct validation of a measure  2001  Journal of Applied Psychology  1039  74.2 
23  Wagner, Austin, Davis, Hindmarsh, Schaefer, and Bonomi  Improving chronic illness care: Translating evidence into action  2001  Health Affairs  1030  73.6 
24  Williams and O’Reilly  Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research  1998  Research in Organizational Behavior  1017  59.8 
25  Moorman  Relationship between organizational justice and organizational citizenship behaviors – Do fairness perceptions influence employee citizenship  1991  Journal of Applied Psychology  1016  42.3 
26  Bitner  Servicescapes – The impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees  1992  Journal of Marketing  999  43.4 
27  Cronin, Brady, and Hult  Assessing the effects of quality, value, and customer satisfaction on consumer behavioral intentions in service environments  2000  Journal of Retailing  994  66.3 
28  Schaufeli and Bakker  Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study  2004  Journal of Organizational Behavior  981  89.2 
29  Grimshaw et al.  Effectiveness and efficiency of guideline dissemination and implementation strategies  2004  Health Technology Assessment  981  89.2 
30  Spector  Method variance in organizational research – Truth or urban legend?  2006  Organizational Research Methods  978  108.7 
31  Mael and Ashforth  Alumni and their alma-mater – A partial test of the reformulated model of organizational identification  1992  Journal of Organizational Behavior  945  41.1 
32  Kristof  Person-organization fit: An integrative review of its conceptualizations, measurement, and implications  1996  Personnel Psychology  940  49.5 
33  Griffeth, Hom, and Gaertner  A meta-analysis of antecedents and correlates of employee turnover: Update, moderator tests, and research implications for the next millennium  2000  Journal of Management  937  62.5 
34  Bhattacherjee  Understanding information systems continuance: An expectation-confirmation model  2001  MIS Quarterly  916  65.4 
35  Cohen and Bailey  What makes teams work: Group effectiveness research from the shop floor to the executive suite  1997  Journal of Management  899  49.9 
36  Wanous, Reichers, and Hudy  Overall job satisfaction: How good are single-item measures?  1997  Journal of Applied Psychology  898  49.9 
37  Muniz and O’Guinn  Brand community  2001  Journal of Consumer Research  874  62.4 
38  Chan  Functional relations among constructs in the same content domain at different levels of analysis: A typology of composition models  1998  Journal of Applied Psychology  862  50.7 
39  Lee and Ashforth  A meta-analytic examination of the correlates of the three dimensions of job burnout  1996  Journal of Applied Psychology  859  45.2 
40  Cohen-Charash, and Spector  The role of justice in organizations: A meta-analysis  2001  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes  856  61.1 
41  Hogg and Terry  Social identity and self-categorization processes in organizational contexts  2000  Academy of Management Review  853  56.9 
42  Gist and Mitchell  Self-efficacy – A theoretical-analysis of its determinants and malleability  1992  Academy of Management Review  851  37.0 
43  Organ and Ryan  A meta-analytic review of attitudinal and dispositional predictors of organizational citizenship behavior  1995  Personnel Psychology  807  40.4 
44  Aaker  Dimensions of brand personality  1997  Journal of Marketing Research  793  44.1 
45  Conner  A historical comparison of resource-based theory and 5 schools of thought within industrial-organization economics – do we have a new theory of the firm  1991  Journal of Management  791  33.0 
46  Bandura  Social cognitive theory of self-regulation  1991  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes  782  32.6 
47  Cropanzano and Mitchell  Social exchange theory: An interdisciplinary review  2005  Journal of Management  781  78.1 
48  Loewenstein  Out of control: Visceral influences on behavior  1996  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes  780  41.1 
49  Venkatesh and Morris  Why don’t men ever stop to ask for directions? Gender, social influence, and their role in technology acceptance and usage behavior  2000  MIS Quarterly  774  51.6 
50  Weiss and Cropanzano  Affective events theory: A theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of affective experiences at work  1996  Research in Organizational Behavior  761  40.1 

Ajzen's paper is the most cited in absolute terms, but Podsakoff's and collaborators paper (2003) receives more citations on average (correcting the number of citations by taking into account the year of the article). This paper reviews one of the most common methodological problems of the discipline and, in general, in the social sciences, the common method variance. In this sense, this analysis is entirely relevant to researchers when designing their own research, as it provides recommendations for controlling method biases in research settings.

Although we observed that the articles published in the period 1991–1995 were the most cited, 2001 was the year when most of the top-50 papers were published (18% of total). Consistently with the previous results, in 1991seven top-50 papers were published (14%)

Additionally, we analyzed the 19 journals in which the top-50 papers have been published. Five of these exceed the median of items included in the top-50 (Md=2). They are the Journal of Applied Psychology (with 24% of papers on the list of the most influential), the Journal of Management (14%), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (8%), the MIS Quarterly, and Personnel Psychology (6%). Finally, 15 of the most cited papers have been published in journals not included in the list of top-25 most influential (Fig. 3).

Figure 3.
(0.25MB).

Top-50 papers by journal.

The most influential authors by number of papers published are Wilmar B. Schaufeli, with 3 papers in the Journal of Applied Psychology (2001), the Annual Review of Psychology (2001) and the Journal of Organizational Behavior (2004). Secondly, publishing two papers, we found Blake E. Ashforth (JOB, 1992; JAP, 1996), Arnold B. Bakker (JAP, 2001; JOB, 2004, with Schaufeli as a co-author in both), Jason A. Colquitt (2 papers on the JAP in 2001), Russell Cropanzano (Research in Organizational Behavior, 1996; JOM, 2005), Scott B. MacKenzie (JOM, 2000 and JAP, 2003, with Philip M. Podsakoff as a co-author in both), John P. Meyer (JAP, 1993 and the Journal Vocational Behavior, 2002), Philip M. Podsakoff (JOM, 2000 and JAP, 2003, with Scott B. MacKenzie as a co-author in both), and Paul E. Spector (OBHDP, 2001 and Organizational Research Methods, 2006).

Conclusion

The main objective of our research was to analyze the scientific productivity in one of the specific areas of psychology, the WOP, in the last 25 years (1991–2015). To do so, our bibliometric study focuses on the most influential journals and articles, generally and for 5-year periods, as well as structures of co-citation among the highest quality journals based on their h-index on the Thompson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (JCR).

Similarly to the results of other authors focusing on other disciplines, we found that a high percentage of papers published each year receive between 5 and 10 cites. On the other hand, the number of papers that receive 100 or more citations is above the usual number of citations in other areas (Merigó, Mas-Tur, et al., 2015).

Secondly, we observe an exponential increase in the number of papers published, citations, and h-index. Several authors have noted this increasing in various fields of knowledge (e.g., Bonilla et al., 2015; Goldberg et al., 2015; Simsek et al., 2013), pointing out it may be causing bias on indexes commonly used to determine the impact of a journal (Goldberg et al., 2015).

Additionally, the number of self-citations significantly increases in the last 5 years. It is likely that the observed trends will be corrected in the future, due to the consolidation process of the papers. In this sense, we consider that the most recent papers need more time to increase their level of citation and, subsequently, to correct the bias on self-citation. Other studies pointed out that the percentage of self-citation is usually around 10% (Krampen, 2010; Krampen, Becker, Wahner, & Montada, 2007) and consider that “self-references should not only be viewed as self-marketing strategies of scientists, but as indicators of the continuity of the research they have undertaken (representing central themes of their work) as well” (Krampen, 2010, p. 513). Additionally, social science papers need more than 5 years to increase their number of cites, while this time is around three years for natural sciences papers (Salgado & Páez, 2007).

Related to the journals, the Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP) is the most influential journal in WOP field, based on its h-index. It is on the second position (of 76) in the WoS “Psychology – Applied” category and on the sixth position (of 185) in “Management”. When we analyze citations per paper (C/P), the Journal of Consumer Behaviour (JCB) is the first one. If we compare the JAP with the JCB we can see that, although both journals have the same number of annual volumes in recent years, the number of papers they include is substantially different (around 20 in JAP and less than 10 in JCB).

The JAP is also in second position on impact factor (IF-2014) and on 5-year impact factor, being surpassed by the Journal of Management (JOM). In this sense, the JOM can also be considered as one of the most influential journal in the field of WOP.

If we only consider the number of papers published, the result is affected by the number of volumes and papers published in them (around 20 papers in each of the six annual volumes in the JAP compared to 11 papers in the 7 annual volumes in the JOM). Finally, another indicator of the relevance of the JAP and the JOM in the area under study is that 12 and 7 of the 50 most cited articles of the last 25 years have been published in JAP and JOM respectively (a total of 38% of the top-50 most influential papers). The knowledge flow shows that, being the JAP the most cited journal, only 4.27% of its citations comes from the other top-5 journals. Related to co-citation, the Journal of Applied Psychology is again the leading journal, although some other psychology and management journals also have a significant position, as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Academy of Management Journal, or the Academy of Management Review.

The most influential papers of the top-50 list is “The theory of planned behavior” (Ajzen, 1991). This is the most cited in absolute terms, but “Common method biases in behavioral research. A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies” (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003) receives more citations on average (citations/year). The first paper has an epistemological sense, developing one of the most important conceptual frameworks to explain individuals thinking and behaviors. On the other hand, Podsakoff's paper analyzes critically one of the most common methodological problems, the common method variance. In this sense, his analysis is entirely relevant to researchers when designing their own research, as it provides recommendations for controlling method biases in research settings.

Schaufeli is the author with more papers in the top-50 (Demerouti, Bakker, Nachreiner, & Schaufeli, 2001; Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). His papers analyze the causes and consequences of one of the most important and controversial syndrom for researchers and practitioners, the burnout (Maslach, 1978).

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of work and organizational psychology, researchers publish their results in diverse scientific journals of different knowledge areas, mainly psychology and management (König et al., 2015). This is a great strength, as it contributes sharing knowledge in various fields, but also implies a difficulty because researchers have to open the focus of analysis in conceptually and methodologically terms. An important object of interest for research is the analysis of the scientific journals and articles included on the Web of Science (Viseu et al., 2015). In this, the present study contributes to analyze a specific area of Psychology that has been scarcely studied.

Acknowledgement

In Memoriam Dr. Robert R. Roe, Founding-President of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) and President of the Advisory Board, Master Erasmus Mundus on Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology (WOP-P).

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Corresponding author. (Marina Romeo mromeo@ub.edu)
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