What are the challenges of industrial/organizational psychology?
The following are some of the significant issues that industrial psychology has to deal with:
1. The Consultant and the Psychologist on Staff
3. Change Resistance.
Before getting into the techniques and substance of industrial psychology, it’s a good idea to go through some of the important issues that the field will have to deal with in the future.
1. The Consultant and the Staff Psychologist:
One of three major sources of work are likely to provide a living for the industrial psychologist. He is either a consultant, a company or government employee, or a university professor. He frequently blends two of the three roles, but his willingness to do so is determined on his interests, opportunity, level of identification, and tempo.
A “staff” psychologist is a psychologist who is directly hired full-time by a firm or government body. In general, the consultant’s and staff psychologist’s responsibilities and tasks overlap. In terms of the type of assignment, there is no evident distinction. The main difference is that a consultant may work for multiple clients or employers at the same time, but a staff psychologist has a more defined job in an organisation chart for a single employer.
One of the challenges of any profession is that its vocabulary and approach can become so complicated that the outsider feels completely excluded. If industrial psychology is to acquire traction in the workplace, psychologists must learn to speak and write in a way that is easily understood by those who are just as concerned about the same issues as they are, and who may have a greater stake in a solution. Not only must the industrial psychologist learn to communicate effectively with non-psychologists, but there is also an issue with communication within the field.
The growing complexity of industrial psychology, as well as the specialisation of interest among psychologists working on various problems in various settings, has generated numerous hurdles to the flow and distribution of knowledge among researchers and practitioners. While such issues may be an unavoidable byproduct of a dynamic science, the authors believe that communication is one of the most pressing issues in industrial psychology today.
3. Resistance to Change:
Employees and, in many cases, employers are likely to be resistant to research findings as well as research itself. This problem must be quickly and permanently recognised by a successful industrial psychologist. It would be merely academic if one assumed that industry would welcome the use of industrial psychology expertise with open arms.
Change efforts, no matter how well-intentioned, produce threats and will be met with resistance. This opposition might take the shape of animosity and aggression directed at the change itself or the change’s administrator. Often, the employee envisions the nature of the change well before it becomes a possibility.
The resistance is strengthened by the unreality of the imagination. When changes are linked to speedups or layoffs, the opposition to any proposed adjustments becomes considerably stronger. It is insufficient to claim that no action that might be damaging to the employee’s well-being is being considered.
Employees, as well as all levels of management and the company, exhibit resistance. The gullible boss frequently demands research to back up his claim or position. It is impossible to provide such a promise. Research results are based on data and cannot be generated by manipulating data to conform to a pre-determined outcome.
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