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About Industrial and Organisational Psychology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Industrial and Organisational Psychology (also known as I/O psychology, work psychology, work and organisational psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment) is a branch of psychology devoted to organizations and the workplace. "Industrial-organisational psychologists contribute to an organizations success by improving the performance and well-being of its people. An I-O psychologist researches and identifies how behaviors and attitudes can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, and feedback systems."

I/O psychology can be divided into two broad areas of study, as evident in its name. Organisational psychology is comprised of topics related to individuals within a context. Contexts studied within organisational psychology include organizations and jobs, leadership (e.g., how leaders influence workers), and interactions among group or team members. Topics such as worker motivation, emotion and affect, and job attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction) are also considered aspects of organisational psychology. Industrial psychology focuses more on individual differences; indeed, the term originated in 1903 when William Lowe Bryan, delivering his presidential address to the American Psychological Association, referred to an 1899 study of his on "individual psychology" but mistakenly referred to it as "industrial psychology." The core of industrial psychology is job analysis - a systematic process for understanding individual knowledge, abilities, skills, and other personal characteristics necessary to perform jobs. Industrial psychology also includes topics such as personnel selection (how to best select applicants for jobs), performance appraisal (how to evaluate individual effectiveness in jobs),and training and development (how to train workers to competently perform jobs).

I/O psychologists are interested in making organizations more productive while ensuring physically and psychologically productive and healthy lives for workers. The majority of I/O psychologists have a Ph.D. in I/O psychology, but there are many job opportunities for individuals with degress from terminal master's programs. I/O psychologists often work in an HR (human resources) department, though many other I/O psychologists work for large consultant firms, pursue careers as independent consultants or work in psychology departments and business schools. I/O psychologists in academic and applied settings may do both consulting and research. Sample research topics include: Determinants of leadership effectiveness, contributions of teamwork and taskwork skills to team performance, work and family conflict, determinants of training effectiveness, characteristics of effective performance feedback, predictors of job performance, antecedents and consequences of perceived justice in the workplace, relationships between job satisfaction and work performance.





Contents - Industrial and Organisational Psychology

1 Overview
2 History
3 Methodologies in organisational psychology
4 Topics in industrial/organisational psychology
4.1 Job performance
4.2 Personnel selection
4.3 Job analysis
4.4 Training
4.5 Job enrichment
4.6 Occupational health psychology
5 Practicioners
5.1 Graduate programs
5.2 Job outlook
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
9 Key journals in industrial and organisational psychology
10 External links
 



Overview
Industrial and Organisational (I/O) Psychology (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association) as a specialty area, has a more restricted definition than Psychology as a whole. Guion (1965) defines I/O Psychology as "the scientific study of the relationship between man and the world of work:... in the process of making a living" (p. 817). Blum and Naylor (1968) define it as "simply the application or extension of psychological facts and principles to the problems concerning human beings operating within the context of business and industry" (p 4). As noted above, I/O psychologists often work in or with human resource departments. Generally speaking, I/O psychologists do the research that leads to the development of HR tools (e.g., performance management systems or leadership development programs) that are utilized internally by the HR department. Thus, according to Muchinsky, the applied side of I/O Psychology is concerned with utilizing knowledge gathered from scientific inquiry "to solve real problems in the world of work". Example problems include hiring better employees, reducing absenteeism, improving communication, and increasing job satisfaction. I/O psychologists may serve in a variety of roles - often, a single I/O psychologist may be self-identify as a scientist, practitioner, or instructor.

As scientists, they derive principles of individual, group, and organisational behavior through research.
As practitioners (consultants and staff psychologists), they develop scientific knowledge and apply it to the solution of problems at work.
As teachers, they train students in the research and application of I/O Psychology
There is a strong measurement focus to I/O psychology. For example, I/O psychologists may design assessment tests and psychological tests to measure the abilities and personality traits of prospective employees, respectively. These tests are commonly used for personnel selection and other employment decisions. For example, a personality test measuring conscientiousness and a propensity to serve others may be used to select call center workers. Employee attitudes such as morale, job satisfaction, or employee engagement may be assessed by attitude surveys and used to design future work interventions.

Increasingly, human capital is recognized as a major determinant of organisational performance and a key competitive differential. In a "flat world," organizations are increasingly unable to rely on unique markets or products to differentiate themselves from competitors. A highly-skilled workforce with a culture for achieving and sustaining excellence can provide a competitive edge. I/O psychologists provide tools for organizations to attract, select, train, and retain key contributors, and help organizations create high performance work environments. Collectively, these interventions have been shown to be related to employee retention and corporate performance.

Industrial and organisational psychology is a diverse field incorporating aspects of disciplines such as social psychology, personality psychology and quantitative psychology (which includes psychometrics) as well as less closely linked social studies such as law. As a diverse, applied field, influences from any branch of psychology, even clinical psychology, are not uncommon. At one point in time, industrial and organisational psychology was not distinguished from vocational (counseling) psychology or the study of human factors. Although the foregoing disciplines still overlap with industrial and organisational psychology, today they are formally taught in separate classes and housed in separate graduate-level psychology programs within a psychology department.


History
In the United States, the orgins of industrial and organisational psychology origins are those of applied psychology in the early 19th century, when the nation was experiencing tremendous industrialization, corporatization, unionization, immigration, urbanization and physical expansion. The field's founding fathers were Frederick W. Taylor, Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916), Walter Dill Scott (1869-1955), and Walter Van Dyke Bingham (1880-1952). Frederick W. Taylor was one of the first researchers to apply the scientific method to the workplace topics, being active around the turn of the 20th century. He is generally regarded as the father of scientific management. As in other countries, wartime necessity (e.g., World War I and World War II) led to the discipline's substantial growth. Business demand for scientific management, selection and training also has promoted and sustained the field's development.



Methodologies in organisational psychology
In an attempt to correct for statistical artifacts (i.e., sampling error, unreliability and range restriction) that compromise the ability of I/O psychologists to draw general conclusions from a single study, I/O researchers have increasingly employed a technique known as meta-analysis. Meta-analysis is a methodology for averaging results across studies. It has been used to address research questions involving various levels of analysis (i.e., individual, group, organizational, and/or vocational). Although the use of meta-analytic methods is not without controversy, its more frequent appearance in the I/O research literature has profoundly impacted the field. The most well-known meta-analytic approaches are those of Hunter & Schmidt (1990, 2004), Rosenthal (1991), and Hedges & Olkin (1985).



Topics in industrial/organisational psychology

Job performance
Job performance refers to the study of an employee's performance on the job. Historically, when the U.S. economy was more focused on manufacturing, this was operationalized as widgets per hour, or supervisor ratings in the absence of a convenient concrete operationalization. More recently, researchers have delved into detailed aspects of job performance. For example, Motowidlo dichotomizes it into contextual performance and task performance, where the latter refers to more concrete aspects like widgets per hour, while the former refers to aspects that indirectly affect the organisational environment, such as being easy to work with. Campbell, on the other hand, further delineates job performance into eight factors.


Personnel selection
Most organizations prefer to hire candidates that are more qualified and more likely to perform well on the job. Research on personnel selection explores which types of information are most efficient in predicting job performance or other desirable variables such as tenure. Information types include biographical data, personality traits, intelligence, and work samples.


Job analysis
It is often important to identify specific aspects of a job. Such information might be needed for performance appraisal, determining requirements for new hires, and the development of training materials. Job analysis is an empirical approach to evaluating components of a job, including the required knowledge, skills, abilities, and other considerations. These are often referred to together as KSAOs.


Training
Most people hired for a job are not already versed in the tasks required to perform the job effectively. Usually, some form of training is necessary to instruct the new hire. I/O psychology is interested in both determining the content to be delivered (often via job analysis), and in the methodologies used to deliver the content.


Job enrichment
Job enrichment, in organisational development, human resources management, and organisational behavior, is the process of giving an employee more responsibility and increased decision-making authority. This is the opposite of job enlargement, which does not give greater authority, just more duties.

The current practice of job enrichment stemmed from the work of Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s and 1960s. Hackman and Oldham later refined the work of Herzberg into the Job Characteristics Model, which forms the basis of job enrichment today. (UTC)


Occupational health psychology
Occupational health psychology (OHP) is a relatively new discipline allied with both industrial/organisational psychology and health psychology. The ancestry of OHP includes industrial/organisational psychology, health psychology, and occupational health. OHP has doctoral programs, journals, and professional organizations. OHP researchers and practitioners identify psychosocial characteristics of workplaces that give rise to health-related problems in workers. The problems OHP addresses are not limited to physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease) but also include mental health problems such as depression. Two examples of workplace psychosocial characteristics that OHP has investigated are (a) the extent to which a worker possesses decision latitude and (b) the supportiveness of supervisors. OHP is also concerned with the development and implementation of interventions that can prevent or ameliorate work-related health problems. Another aim of OHP is to ensure that steps taken to promote healthy workplaces also have a beneficial impact on the economic success of organizations. OHP is also concerned with workplace incivility and violence, work-home carryover, unemployment and downsizing, and workplace safety and accident prevention. Two important OHP journals are the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and Work & Stress. Organizations closely associated with OHP include the Society for Occupational Health Psychology and the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology.


Practicioners


Graduate programs
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (December 2008)

In many countries it is possible to obtain a bachelor's degree, master's degree, Psy.D., and/or a Ph.D. in industrial and organisational psychology. The types of degrees offered vary by educational institution. There are both advantages and disadvantages to obtaining a specific type of degree (e.g., master's degree) in lieu of another type of degree (e.g., Ph.D.). Some helpful ways to learn more about graduate programs and their fit to one's needs and goals include talking or sitting in on an industrial and organisational psychology course or class; speaking to industrial and organisational psychology faculty, students, and practitioners; consulting with a career counselor; taking a reputable vocational interest survey; and visiting program websites. Regardless of one's needs or goals, admission into industrial and organisational psychology programs can be highly competitive, especially given that many programs accept only a small number of students each year.





See also
Job Outlook
Behavioral Risk Management
Educational Psychology
Employment Law
Human Resources Development
Human resource management
Industrial sociology
Occupational health psychology
Systems psychology







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Stephen Joseph Burke, Irish
Organizational psychologist
graduated from University of Dublin and University of Aarhus

 Asbjorn Lonvig
Asbjorn Lonvig, Danish

Artist, designer, sculptor, fairy tale writer and software engineer by IBM



About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig
About Industrial and Organisational Psychology - in general - The Burke/Lonvig Model - by Irish psychologist, Sthephen Burke, and Danish artsist Asbjorn Lonvig