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Psychology Essay on Organizational Psychology

Organizational Psychology

Psychology refers to people’s behavior and performance study. This includes the study of different abilities of individuals, their personality and preferences. Just like humans, it is also vital to study different organizations in order to promote their performance while ensuring that they reach their goals. Organizational psychology entails studying how people relate within organizations. This involves the examination of productivity levels, efficiency as well as how relations that employees have influence their satisfaction and commitment at the workplaces as well as how this influences individual workers.

The tendency of most organizations is to concentrate on workers’ productivity. They neglect workers’ experiences. This is not a good way of running an organization. In addition to increasing productivity, employees’ commitment, leadership style, management methods and job satisfaction are also vital factors that should be emphasized by organizations (Kanfer, 2005).

Explain the Evolution of the Field of Organizational Psychology

Kanfer (2005) noted that engineers pioneered the scientific methods that are used to study workplaces. Their focus was on management philosophy. According to management philosophy, a worker is a machine that is oiled properly and the major determinant of appropriate methods of performing different work-related tasks. The scientific management’s founder, Frederick Winslow Taylor was one of the engineers who founded the organizational psychology that is studied today.

Among the principles that people follow today were generated in 1911 by Taylor. His emphasis was on the essence of analyzing a job in order to ensure that it is done properly. His suggestion was that the basis of employment should be the required characteristics for any specific task. He further encouraged new employees’ training on the job that lies ahead. Finally, he noted that employees’ motivation through rewards enhances performance and productivity levels.

Wilhelm Wundit established the first psychology laboratory in 1876 in Germany. Later in the 1880s, he trained other psychologists, Hugo Munsterberg and James Mckeen Cattell. These made significant contributions in organizational psychology’s development. Cattell noted that individual differences ought not to be seen as errors. Instead, they should be seen as ways through which human behavior can be understood. Walter Dill Scott chaired the American Psychology Association in 1949. Scott and Walter Van Dyke initiated the methods of selecting and training managers in the Carnegie technological institute (Kanfer, 2005).

According to Kanfer (2005), organizational psychology’s development was triggered by the increasing demand for more troops during the First World War. About one million soldiers were selected and recruited by Scott to join the army. The development of army alpha or the Stanford-Binet test occurred in 1917. Psychologists such as Scott used it to test individual intelligence. Workers’ mental ability tests became very common after this war. This was done at workplaces and private institutions.

The popularity of organizational psychology increased in 1924 after Elton Mayo arrived in USA. His interest was on the study of how thoughts and emotions affect the behavior of workers. His study focused on the thoughts and emotions of the workers and whether they could oppose attempts made by managers to increase their productivity as well as their sympathies towards unions. The Human Relations Movement was as a result of Hawthorne studies. The focus of this movement was on workers’ emotions, job satisfaction and motivation theories.

Organizational psychology’s development continued after the Second World War. It was called Occupational Psychology in the United Kingdome in the 1970s. The study and practice of enhancing working conditions was called business psychology in the 1990s. Its emphasis was on the essence of understanding work experience and human behavior in order to promote organizational and employees’ performance.

Compare and Contrast Organizational Psychology with at Least two related Disciplines

Industrial Psychology

Industrial psychology mainly focuses on the maximization of how personnel, employees and other resources are used by the organization to enhance efficiency and productivity.

Clinical psychology

According to Liu, Spector and Jex (2005), clinical psychology is psychology that entails the study of unusual human behavior, mental health and psychiatric problems. The aim of clinical psychologists is to enhance the patient’s life quality by administering appropriate treatment measures. An American psychologist, Lightner Witner founded clinical psychology in 1907. According to Witmer, clinical psychology is the science that initiates changes in the life of a person through observation and experimentation approaches.

Clinical, industrial and organizational psychologies are the same in different ways. In addition to dealing with people directly, research is an integral aspect of them. Some organizational and industrial psychologists engage in research at their workplaces in order to determine problems that are faced by employees and problems that hinder organizations from realizing their goals. Additionally, psychologists and organizations work together to accomplish different tasks that include employees’ selection, provision of training programs to workers and designing programs for improving working conditions and productivity. The main objective is to ensure satisfaction of organizational and employees’ needs.

Similarly, clinical psychologists engage in research to determine what causes the problems that affect patients. When the causes of problems are understood, solving them completely becomes easy. Practically, clinical psychologists assist patients in determining the best ways of coping with their mental problems. Organizational, industrial and clinical psychologists can venture into other professions such as setting up consultancy companies that assist organizations or offer education to higher learning institutions such as universities and colleges. Psychologists also offer their services in various private institutions (Liu, Spector & Jex, 2005).

The difference between industrial and organizational psychology is that the emphasis of the latter is on increasing organizational productivity while the emphasis of the former is on the employees’ welfare. Industrial and clinical psychology aims at promoting humans’ wellbeing. Organizational and industrial psychology differ with clinical psychology in terms of their goals. The goal of organizational and industrial psychology is to increase productivity. Clinical psychology on the other hand aims at improving human health’s quality.

Analyze the Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Organizational Psychology

Statistics and research make it possible for psychologists to comprehend behavior, attitude and emotions of employees. Analysts use different methods in determining workers’ performance that include behavior anchored rating scales (BARS), observation, interviews, surveys and focus groups. Various measurement methods such as reliability, variance, correlation and validity are used to analyze the data that is collected. The outcomes of the analysis enable researchers to make decisions that include the essence of employees’ training. This analysis also helps in solving problems, answering important questions and generating important ideas for the organization.

Statistics and research makes it possible for psychologists to correct assumptions that have been made regarding working groups. They also help in determining the appropriate measures to take in various situations. The working conditions in organizations are enhanced using statistics and scientific research. Statistics and research are vital in carrying out accurate performance reviews. Statistics and research also make it possible for organizations to comprehend and rectify past mistakes that might be lowering productivity.


Organizational psychology is very important when it comes to influencing an organization’s success. This is due to the fact that it addresses employees and organization’s needs. Efficiency is enhanced in organizations that employ organizational psychology by maximizing employees’ interests. This leads to increased productivity.




Kanfer, R. (2005). Self-Regulation Research in Work and I/O Psychology. Applied Psychology, 54(2), 186-191.

Liu, C., Spector, P. & Jex, S. (2005). The relation of job control with job strains: A comparison of multiple data sources. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78, 325-336.


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