Industrial and Organizational Psychology

As an accounting major, Industrial and Organizational psychology is particularly interesting and necessary to me. Accounting majors same as all the other majors in the business field are required to take plenty of management classes. They uncovered many interesting approaches and theories of I/O psychology which will help you to better understand the organization you are working in and people that you would have to deal with.

As I have already taken most of my management classes required, I am already familiar with this subject and now it is easier for me open it in a more professional manner. Early psychologists, noted the practicality of psychological research, sought to apply the findings to business problems. Industrial and organizational psychology itself was established sometime after establishment of psychology as a science which was approximately in 1879.

Yet, many of the issues important to I/O psychology had been discussed long before then. These are just a few examples. McCarthy, P. M. (2002) •Aristotle, in politics, developed foundations for many modern management concepts, including specialization of labor, delegation of authority, departmentalization, decentralization, and leadership selection.

•Machiavelli (1527) offered practical advice for developing authoritarian structures within organizations •Adam Smith (1776), in The Wealth of Nations revolutionized economic and organizational thought by suggesting the use of centralization of labor and equipment in factories, division of specialized labor, and management of specialization in factories.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, applied psychology truly came into its own. Committees of psychologists investigated soldier morale and motivation. After the war, in 1919, the first university-based center for studying the applications of psychology to business was established at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Called the U.S. Bureau of Salesmanship Research. Sacket, P.LIn 1924, a change in direction took place. Originally conceived as a test of some aspects of Taylor’s principles (which was “one-best-way” theory of making products), the researchers studied the optimal level of illumination necessary for workers to produce telephone equipment. Instead of finding assumed “one-best-way,” the researchers found that productivity increased after each change in lighting no matter how bright or dim they made it.

Eventually, they concluded that the workers were responding to the attention they were getting as part of the special research study and this phenomenon came to be known as the Hawthorne effect. Lichtman, C. M Up to this point, thinking about work organizations had been dominated by classical theory. Workers were viewed as extensions of the job and the aim was to arrange human activity to achieve maximum efficiency.Following World War II, I/O psychology emerged as a specifically recognized specialty area within the broader discipline of psychology.

However the most detailed and accurate studies were conducted in 80’s and 90’s. In Late 1980’s participatory management techniques known by such terms as total Quality Management (TQM), Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) were developed. In 90’s – the rise of meta-analysis as statistical technique occurs which enables combining data from many different previously-published studies.

This technique analyzes overall pattern across all studies included. Contemporary I/0 psychologists no longer feel they have to choose between classical bureaucratic theory and scientific management human relations. The common view today is that taken together, they provide a comprehensive picture of organizational functioning. Koppes, L. L. (p. 51) I/0 psychologists recognize that there is an inherent conflict between the needs of organizations and the needs of individuals.

Organizations seek regularity and so attempt to reduce human behavior to predictable patterns. Humans, on the other hand, do not take well to having their behavior reduced to the acts required by a job, preferring to add spontaneity to the equation. Koppes, L. L. (p. 52)The most potent approach that I/O psychologists have today is Personnel psychology.

Simply put, personnel psychology attempts to identify the best candidate for an available position using rigorous methods that have been shown to be accurate in the past. The idea of personnel psychology is to study a job and the traits of individuals who hold the job, and then use this information to predict what kinds of individuals would do well in the future.

Personnel psychology is based on the psychology of individual differences. Since various jobs require different combinations of these human qualities, matching the person to the job involves assessing human characteristics and job characteristics alike in an objective manner in order to achieve a satisfactory person-job fit. Lichtman, C. M. The last of the major specializations within I/O psychology is engineering psychology, also known as ergonomics which is considered to be the most probable future opponent of personnel psychology. Koppes, L. L.

In a number of important ways ergonomics is the opposite of personnel psychology. While personnel psychologists concentrate on the measurement of individual differences to improve the fit between people and jobs, engineering psychologists largely assume that people are the same.Bearing much in common with industrial engineering, ergonomics focuses traditionally on person-machine systems but has branched into other aspects of the workplace as well. It has two prominent directions.

One focuses on the design of machinery and workspaces to be compatible with human limitations and capabilities. It includes the design of controls, displays, furniture, and related aspects of work environment. The other direction is the allocation of decision-making between the machine and the operator. The idea is to design machines, tools, and equipment that will reduce the number of decisions the operator needs to make. Koppes, L. L.

Engineering psychologists assume that when people are confronted with choices, they will make the wrong decision. When a human makes an error operating a machine, the engineering psychologist is likely to blame the machine or the work layout, not the operator.

To design such easy to use, safe, and error proof machinery requires good knowledge of human perceptual and sensory processes, human physical limitations, and human physical proportions and capabilities. Additional elements of study are noise, light, human attention span, fatigue, the effects of shift work, the placement and height of machinery and furniture, and the efficiency of feedback systems that tell the operator when an error has been made.

ReferencesLichtman, C. M. Reference for business. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from McCarthy, P. M. (2002, January 8).

Center for Psychology Resources. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from Sackett, P. L. Society for I/O Psychology Inc. Retrieved March 8, 2008, from Koppes, L. L. (2000). Making the workplace better: A history of industrial and organizational