Organizations have taken an interest in understanding the human behavior of their employees as a way of improving performance. Organizational psychology is a field that deals with the study of human behavior using research methods and psychological principles (Jex, 2008). The psychological principles applied in organizational psychology are scientific and very critical in studying various aspects of human behavior. Organizational psychology is essential to all work settings because it affects the performance of individual employees within the organization as well as the overall organizational performance (Jex, 2008). Although organizational psychology is a critical field, many people do not seem to realize that fact. This is attributed to the fact that many people do not understand the role of organizational psychology (Keppes, 2007). Organizational psychologists have a very critical task of ensuring that employees are given jobs that fit their personality and cognitive profiles. This paper will describe organizational psychology and look at how it affects organizational performance.
The origin of organizational psychology is traced back to the 20th century when many factories wanted to get maximum output from their employees at the time of the industrial revolution (Keppes, 2007). The early industrial psychologists were only interested in developing efficient working systems and never paid any attention to the personal welfare of employees, such as job satisfaction. Organizational psychologists always looked for various ways of increasing production and getting the best form of employees (Kozlowski, 2012). Organizational psychologists played a critical role in streamlining production systems by helping in the design of trolley operators and coal shovels. The purpose of an organizational psychologist has been redefined with time. That happened because many organizations also needed to consider employee satisfaction and happiness (Stone, 1997). The idea of assessing the qualities of employees before assigning some jobs to them began after the Second World War. The rise of testing in employee selection has completely given a new dimension to organizational psychology because employees are now categorized as human resources that should be well managed.
The organizational psychology field is interrelated with many other areas that are meant to facilitate efficiency and job satisfaction (Stone, 1997). Ergonomics and human resources management are two major fields that are complemented in a significant way by organizational psychology. Ergonomics handles the design of equipment and processes, whereas organizational psychology studies the profile of employees that can use the designed equipment and processes in the best way possible. Both ergonomics and organizational psychology have similar goals of enhancing job satisfaction and employee performance (Schein, 1988). It is also important to note that ergonomics is meant to improve the safety of employees within the working environment. Organizational psychology uses scientific research to determine the best working conditions for employees. Ergonomics focuses on developing the most efficient and comfortable equipment and procedures (Jex, 2008).
The other field that is related to organizational psychology is human resources management. Human resources managers work hand in hand with organizational psychologists in the process of hiring and managing human resources (Jex, 2008). Organizational psychologists provide the human resources department with the necessary personality and cognitive profiles that are suitable for a particular job. The human resources department uses the information and data from organizational psychology in its selection, hiring, and training process (Stone, 1997). The human resources managers are supposed to manage the workforce while, on the other hand, organizational psychologists offer valuable advice when it comes to job placement.
Research and statistics are crucial elements of organizational psychology that enable organizational psychologists to offer their services from an informed point of view (Keppes, 2007). The survey method of research is usually used on many occasions by organizational psychologists to determine information about employees. The statistics element of organizational psychology is beneficial when it comes to analyzing the information gathered from research to come up with accurate conclusions (Keppes, 2007). It is essential to understand that it is not easy to gather accurate information about employees in a working environment without the use of credible research tools. Valid results and information can only be obtained if they are used in the correct manner (Stone, 1997). Research and statistics are essential tools that help organizational psychologists to determine and analyze the data that can help an organization become more productive. It is important to note that job satisfaction can only be achieved when employees are assigned roles that match their personalities and qualifications (Stone, 1997). Organizational commitment only comes when employees are happy and satisfied in their respective jobs.
In conclusion, the field of organizational psychology has become very critical in improving the effectiveness of organizations. Organizational psychologists use scientific research techniques to come up with the information necessary to improve the performance of employees (Schein, 1988). Modern organizational psychology takes into consideration the interests of employees apart from just focusing on getting the maximum output from them. Organizational psychologists should determine the best working conditions for employees that can enable them to improve their performance (Schein, 1988). The use of research and statistics gives the findings of organizational psychologists the needed accuracy and credibility. Despite the critical role that organizational psychologists play, many people are still skeptical about their importance.
Jex, S. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist-Practitioner approach. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Keppes, L. (2007). Historical perspectives in industrial and organizational psychology. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kozlowski, S. (2012). The Oxford handbook of organizational psychology. London: Oxford University Press.
Schein, E. (1988). Organizational psychology. London: Prentice Hall.
Stone, P. (1997). Organizational psychology. London: Ashgate/Dartmouth.