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Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Essay by review  •  February 9, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,105 Words (5 Pages)  •  766 Views

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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.L In 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



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