Organizational psychology is a branch of psychology. Organizational psychologists work on a variety of projects, including analysing employee attitudes and behaviour, appraising businesses, and providing leadership training. The overall purpose of this area is to research and comprehend workplace human behaviour.

Six Key Subject Areas

Most industrial-organizational psychologists work in one of six key subject areas, according to Muchinsky’s book, Psychology Applied to Work: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology.


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Organizational psychology
  • Employee selection: This area entails creating employee selection evaluations, such as screening tests, to determine whether job candidates are qualified for a specific role.
  • Ergonomics: Ergonomics is the science of creating methods and equipment that improve performance while minimising injury.
  • Organizational development: Organizational psychologists who work in this field assist firms in enhancing their performance by boosting profitability, revamping goods, and strengthening organisational structure.
  • Performance management: Assessments and procedures to identify if employees are executing their tasks properly are developed by organizational psychologists who work in this field.
  • Training and development: Professionals in this field are frequently tasked with determining what skills are required to do specific occupations, as well as developing and evaluating staff training programmes.
  • Work life: This topic focuses on increasing employee satisfaction and increasing labour productivity. In this field, organizational psychologists might look for ways to make occupations more enjoyable or create initiatives to improve workplace quality of life.

Organizational Psychology Topics

Here are a few of the specific issues that industrial-organizational psychologists address:

  • Employee motivation: Psychological principles may also be used by professionals in this industry to keep employees engaged.
  • Employee testing: Organizational psychologists frequently utilise psychological principles and tests to assist businesses in selecting people who are best suited to specific job roles.
  • Leadership: Organizational psychologists may collaborate with leaders to build better strategies or train managers to use various leadership skills to better manage their teams.
  • Product design: Some industrial-organizational psychologists work on consumer or workplace product development.
  • Workplace diversity: Professionals in the field of organisational psychology can assist firms in developing recruiting policies that promote greater diversity as well as training staff on diversity and inclusion.
  • Workplace performance: Organizational psychologists frequently research workplace behaviour in order to create conditions and practises that enhance employee productivity.

Important People in IO Psychology History

In the discipline of IO Psychology, there have been a number of notable people, including:

  • Frederick W. Taylor: Taylor was a mechanical engineer who wrote a book on enhancing industrial efficiency that was widely read.
  • Hugo Münsterberg: Munsterberg was an industrial, occupational, and organisational psychologist who produced an early work on how psychology may be utilised for these goals. His work had a significant impact on the field’s early development.
  • James McKeen Cattell: Cattell was a pioneer in the study of how individual characteristics affect human behaviour.
  • Kurt Lewin: Lewin was a well-known applied psychologist who described a variety of different leadership styles. In addition, rather than focusing solely on individual behaviour, his research looked at all of the elements that influence a scenario.
  • Robert Yerkes: Yerkes was a psychologist who was well-known for his work in IQ testing. For the US Army, he created the Alpha and Beta Intelligence Tests, which were used to evaluate military recruits during WWI. The exam results were used to measure the respondent’s capabilities, including their ability to serve and their potential for leadership.

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