Organizational psychology

The workplace can be a frustrating place for many employees and CEOs alike. In order to keep a place of employment running like a fine tuned machine, it often takes the efforts of many individuals.

In many ways, this is where industrial and organizational psychology comes in. This branch of psychology is the study of the workplace environment, organizations, and their employees. Technically, industrial and organizational psychology – sometimes referred to as I/O psychology or work psychology – actually focuses on two separate areas that are closely related. Some professionals might liken it to yin and yang – one can’t exist without the other.

The industrial side of industrial and organizational psychology generally focuses on the individuals and his relationship to the workplace. This might cover such things as job analysis, employee safety, employee training, job performance measurement, and employee hiring systems.

The organizational side of industrial and organizational psychology, on the other hand, focuses on the organization and workplace as a whole. Increasing productivity and maximizing the performance of n organization as a whole is often covered under this area of industrial and organizational psychology. For example, professionals concerned with this aspect of I/O psychology will often look at how an organization might affect a worker’s individual behavior. This might include studies on interpersonal relationships in the workplace, as well as workplace environments and organizational policies.

Both sides of industrial and organizational psychology became prominent during two different points in history. Industrial psychology, for example, came about during the first World War. Theories and techniques of this type of psychology were applied in order to assign soldiers to jobs and duty stations that suited them best.

By looking closely at the results of research done on workplaces and organizations, an industrial and organizational psychologist might be able to solve any number of problems. For instance, he might be able to:

    1. Increase productivity in the workplace.
    2. Develop screening procedures for new applicants.
    3. Increase the quality of a workplace.
    4. Counsel unhappy employees on personal and work related matters.
    5. Help rewrite company policies so that they benefit everyone involved.

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