Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology studies human behaviour as it occurs in a business or industrial/organizational setting. It is a branch of psychology that applies the principles of psychology to the workplace. It is the scientific study of the relation between man and the world of work. Specifically, the social and psychological climate of the work place is studied. This can include looking at leadership, motivation or group dynamics.
There are certain areas of I/O psychology that are concentrated upon within the field. Research is done on areas such as:
* Personnel (Employee) functioning – employee selection and testing, training, performance appraisal, job analysis and evaluation * Individual worker issues – such as motivation, satisfaction and stress * Organizational issues – such as communication, conflict management. Job satisfaction, motivation, group processes and leadership
* Environmental issues – such as the people and setting within one works and the conditions and safety of the work place; and finally other issues such as consumer psychology.
This field of psychology has a lot of relevance to our everyday lives. It affects our jobs obviously, but it also affects us as we are consumers, we experience stress, we need to learn proper communication etc. From an employers perspective, they can save money because they have a better understanding of their workplace and its employees. They can reduce turnover and decrease absenteeism. They can increase productive and use more effective marketing tools. As well, accident prevention can increase.
In a way, industrial psychologists attempt to diagnose and develop “remedies” for organizations. They may address restructuring issues, downsizing and cultural changes.
A facet of I/O psychology is that of Engineering psychology – which focuses on people in a man-machine environment. It is concerned with the creation of work environments that are compatible with human skills, talents and limitations.
Other related areas include: * Vocational counseling – where individuals are assisted in identifying suitable careers based on abilities and interests * Industrial relations – which focus on employee-management relations, such as collective bargaining, negotiations, dispute resolution and employee law.