Industrial Psychology also Called Organizational Psychology is an emerging branch of psychology and has also attracted keen interest to psychologist due to the role it plays in the current day communities especially in the management of organizations.
Organizational psychology also abbreviated as IO is the branch of psychology that is scientifically studies the behaviors of employees, workplaces, how the employees interact with their workplaces, the workplace environment and its effect on the employee’s behaviors as well as organizational behavior.
From this definition it can be concluded that organizational behavior is divided into two sub branches: human (industrial) as well as organizational psychology. Many psychologists argue that the two sub genres overlap and cannot be easily separated.
Industrial psychology is interested in the way in which employees behaviors and attitudes can be enhanced. The birth of this branch of psychology can be traced back to the early 1990. Initially it was referred to as business psychology with the term industrial psychology coming into use during the First World War.
The terms business and industrial were co-opted in the post war period to give birth to business and industry’s psychology. However, the term business was dropped from the definition and as such it only remained as industrial psychology. This means that this branch of psychology was only interested in the industrial (human) aspect of workplace psychology.
The organizational bit of psychology was later co-opted and thus the discipline became industrial and organizational psychology in the 1970s, but the two terms have increasingly become intertwined such that the discipline is currently known as industrial/organizational psychology. Today it is both an academic and a professional discipline (Freedheim, 2003).
Industrial Psychology differs from other branches of psychology in that it is more application based than theoretical. This discipline unlike many other branches of psychology is diverse as it borrows heavily from other non psychology disciplines such as organizational management and leadership.
Furthermore industrial psychology studies scientifically, very specific issues that are associated with the workplaces. Such issues include on the job training, staff development tests among others (Freedheim, 2003).
Business leaders, managers, administrators, business owner as well as human resource practitioners have found the place of industrial psychology indispensable in modern organizational management. This discipline has helped these professional top expand their knowledge as well as skills and as such are able to comprehend the thought processes attitudes as well the minds of workers especially in the workplace environment.
Such knowledge other than improving organizational management efficiency also helps in bridging the understanding gap that exists between workers and their employers. Furthermore, industrial psychology has also helped bosses to understand the different types of personalities who work under them and as such are able to match job roles and responsibilities and the specific personalities that exist in these organizations. Understanding of the personality’s types and what job each type of personality is suited to is crucial during recruitment.
Recruiters are able to determine what job applicant’s posses the necessary personalities to fit in the specific vacancies that exist in those organizations. Industrial psychology also borrows from Maslow theory of human needs and uses this thru to develop motivational mechanism for employees.
As such using the Maslow’s theory, human resource practitioners are able to motivate employees to self actualize using such motivations factors as money (salaries, allowances and bonuses), job security, promotions and socislistaiosn aspects such as social outing as well as team working.
In borrowing from Sigmund Freud human personality theory on id, ego and super ego, Industrial Psychology has been useful in helping managers to understand the parent-child type of relationship. When an employer reacts like a boss an employee is likely to react like a child and as such be lees productive. To avoid such occurrences, industrial psychology helps manger to avoid parent- child interactions and employee a more professional approach to management (Landy & Conte, 2010).
To be fully effective in the organization management, organizational psychology must utilize research and statistics well. Actually since Research and Stats is at the centre of organizational psychology, organizational psychologists must employ since based evidence in this practice.
Science based evidence is useful is there is a considerable level of reliability in correctly utilization of systematic data collection, and analysis. Furthermore research in the field of industrial psychology is useful in generating valid data that is useful in a number if way’s such data can be utilized in developing industrials psychology theories and also improve or disapprove existing theories.
Research data also helps develop testable theories and hypothesis in organizational psychology. Out of such research therefore it is therefore possible to measure such workplace related variables as team work, management techniques among others. Organizational research psychologist use statistics to measure, analyze and present such data (Spector, 2008).
The emergence of industrial psychology is in the early 1900s has proved to be quite useful not only as academic genre but also professionally. Professionals, especially human resource managers has benefitted mostly from this unique genre of psychology.
They have not only been able to improve their management efficiency but have also benefited in more effective recruitment of new employees. To become effective and useful in organizational management, organizational psychology employs statistics that are generated from scientific research. As such industrial psychology is not only more evidence based but also application based than any other genre of psychology
Freedheim, D. K. (2003). Handbook of psychology, Volume 1. New York: John Wiley and Sons
Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2010). Work in the 21st century: an introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill
Spector, P. (2008). Industrial and organizational psychology: Research and practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.