Industrial and organizational psychology
Learn more about Industrial and organizational psychology
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Industrial and organizational psychology (also known as I/O psychology, work psychology, occupational psychology, or personnel psychology) concerns the application of psychological theories, research methods, and intervention strategies to workplace issues. I/O psychologists are interested in making organizations more productive while ensuring workers are able to lead physically and psychologically healthy lives. Relevant topics include personnel psychology, motivation and leadership, employee selection, training, and development, organization development and guided change, organizational behavior, and work and family issues. I/O psychologists who work for an organization are most likely to work in the HR (human resources) department. However, many I/O psychologists pursue careers as independent consultants or applied academic researchers.
One of the tools I/O psychologists commonly utilize in the field is called a job analysis. Job analyses identify essential characteristics associated with any particular position through interviews of job incumbents, subject matter experts, supervisors and/or past job descriptions. Job analysis measures both worker facets necessary to perform the job adequately (aka KSAOs - knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (such as personality, beliefs, and attitudes) as well as unique facets of the job itself. Once a job analysis is complete, I/O psychologists will typically utilize this information to design and validate systems to select new applicants, restructure employee performance appraisals, uncover training needs, and analyze fairness in employee compensation. Though a thorough job analysis takes time, resources and money, its benefits tend to outweigh the costs.
I/O psychologists also may employ psychometric tests to measure employee attitudes such as morale, job satisfaction, or feelings towards management or customers.
Increasingly, people factors are recognized as a major determinant of organizational performance and a key competitive differential. Psychologists therefore may also advise senior managers on the management of organizational climate or culture, on dealing with organizational change, or on group dynamics within an organization. It is probably partly for this reason that management coaching is an increasingly popular part of the psychologist's work.
Industrial and organizational psychology is a diverse field incorporating aspects of disciplines such as social psychology, personality psychology and 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 organizational psychology was not distinguished from vocational (counseling) psychology or the study of human factors. Although the foregoing disciplines still overlap with industrial and organizational psychology, today they are formally taught in separate classes and housed in separate graduate-level psychology programs within a psychology department.
Many industrial and organizational psychologists specialize in one of the following aspects: psychometrics; quality; employment law; personnel selection; training; leadership selection, coaching and development; organizational design and change. Many of these activities are referred to as talent management. Some I/O psychologists are academic (working in both business and psychology departments) or non-academic researchers, while many others are engaged in practice, holding positions such as the following:
- executive coach
- diversity consultant
- legislative compliance officer
- labor relations specialist
- human resources specialist
- process improvement consultant
- manager of selection and training
There are also a number of methodologies specifically dedicated to Organizational Psychology such as Peter Senge’s 5th Discipline and Arthur F. Carmazzi’s Directive Communication. These are a variety of psychological approaches that have been developed into a system for specific outcomes such as the 5th Discipline’s “learning organization” or Directive Communication’s “corporate culture enhancement”.
Financial compensation of industrial and organizational psychologists generally is among the highest in the whole field of psychology. While salary and benefits tend to be significantly greater in the private sector, academics who specialize in industrial and organizational psychology may command greater compensation than their faculty peers. Teaching (and sometimes research) opportunities exist in business schools as well as in psychology programs. Business schools typically offer more generous salaries and benefits than do psychology programs. Some academics choose to gain practical experience and access to data, as well as to supplement their incomes, by engaging in consulting work on the side.
 Related disciplines
- Consulting Psychology
- Vocational (Counseling) Psychology
- Human Resources Development
- Human Factors
- Industrial engineering
- Total quality management
- Social psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Labor and industrial relations
- Organizational development
- Personality psychology
- Organizational behavior
- Employment Law
- Labor Law
The history of the field differs country by country.
In the United States, its origins are those of applied psychology in the early 20th Century, when the nation was experiencing tremendous industrialization, corporatization, unionization, immigration, urbanization and physical expansion. Arguably, the field's greatest early pioneers were Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916), Walter Dill Scott (1869-1955) and Walter Van Dyke Bingham (1880-1952). 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.
For a detailed history of industrial and organizational psychology, particularly in the United States (but with some discussion of developments in other countries), one can consult Koppes, L. L. (Ed.). (2007). Historical perspectives in industrial and organizational psychology. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
For a concise history of Industrial/Organizational Psychology please visit History
 Milestones in industrial and organizational psychology
 See also
- American Institute of Business Psychology
- Industrial sociology
- List of human resource management topics
- List of psychological topics
- How Occupation and Employment can affect Identity
- Important publications in Industrial and organizational psychology
- Organizational empowerment
 Key works in industrial and organizational psychology
- Anderson, N., Ones, D. S., Sinangil, H. K., & Viswesvaran, C. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology, Volume 1: Personnel psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Anderson, N., Ones, D. S., Sinangil, H. K., & Viswesvaran, C. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology, Volume 2: Organizational psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Borman, W. C., Ilgen, D., R., & Klimoski, R., J. (Eds.). (2003). Handbook of Psychology: Vol 12 Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Borman, W. C., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1993). Expanding the criterion domain to include elements of contextual performance. Chapter in N. Schmitt and W. C. Borman (Eds.), Personnel Selection. San Francisco: Josey-Bass (pp. 71-98).
- Campbell, J. P., Gasser, M. B., & Oswald, F. L. (1996). The substantive nature of job performance variability. In K. R. Murphy (Ed.), Individual differences and behavior in organizations (pp. 258–299). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (1990). Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (2004). Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Dunnette, M. D., & Hough, L. M. (Eds.). (1991). Handbook of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (4 Volumes). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
- Lowman, R. L. (Ed.). (2002). The California School of Organizational Studies handbook of organizational consulting psychology: A comprehensive guide to theory, skills and techniques. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Rogelberg, S., G. (Ed.). (2002). Handbook of research methods in industrial and organizational psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 262-274.
- Greenberg, Jerald . Managing Behavior in Organizations, Prentice Hall, 2005. 
 Key journals in industrial and organizational psychology
- The Journal of Applied Psychology
- Personnel Psychology
- Academy of Management Journal
- Academy of Management Review
- Journal of Management
- Human Performance
- The Journal of Organizational Behavior
- Organizational Research Methods
- The Journal of Vocational Behavior
- Administrative Science Quarterly
- Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
- European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
- Applied Psychology: An International Review
- International Journal of Selection and Assessment
- International Journal of Training and Development
- Work and Stress
- Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), United States
- Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (CSIOP), Canada
- NIOSH - Occupational Health Psychology, United States
- The Industrial Psychology Research Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
- Association of Business Psychologists, UK
- Division of Occupational Psychology, The British Psychological Association, UK
- College of Organisational Psychologists (COP), Australian Psychological Society, Australia
- Industrial Division, Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), South Africa
- Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA), South Africa
- European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP), Europe
- Division 1: Work & Organizational Psychology, The International Association of Applied Psychology, International
- Academy of Management (AOM), United States
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), United States
- Organizational Behavior Management Network (OBM Network)
 Graduate Programs
In the United States, it is possible to obtain a bachelor's degree, master's degree, Psy.D., and/or a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational 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 taking or sitting in on an industrial and organizational psychology course or class; speaking to industrial and organizational 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 organizational psychology programs can be highly competitive, especially given that many programs accept only a small number of students each year. Specific resources that can help to clarify the fit of particular programs to an individual's needs, goals, and abilities are Graduate Training Programs (Including Program Rankings) - SIOP and Top U.S. Graduate School Programs - U.S. News & World Report.
 External links
- Industrial & organizational psychology at The Psychology Wiki
- Research on Organizations: Bibliography Database and Maps
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