Businesses and organizations represent complex social systems that are susceptible success and failure. The field of Organizational Psychology uses psychological principles to explore the social and organizational behaviors of employees, workplaces, businesses, and companies. Organizational psychologists are concerned with all phases of the work environment, including stigmas in organizations, sexual harassment, the role of personality traits in the hiring process, and workplace culture (SIOP, 2012). Studying the behaviors of employees and members within the work environment allows organizational psychologists to address problem areas, predict the consequences of organizational actions, and promote a healthy work environment. The field of organizational psychology has been evolving since the inception of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892, and is currently a dominant field in applied psychology (SIOP History, 2012). Organizational psychology is closely related to two disciplines: social psychology and organizational behavior (Landy, & Conte, 2009). Research and statistics play a significant role in organizational psychology, and psychologists are trained to use a scientist-practitioner model to conduct research based on psychological assessment, psychological intervention, and hypothesis to address a specific problem or issue (Landy, & Conte, 2009). The utilization of organizational psychology promotes the success of a workplace by focusing on the extent to which characteristics of the people match the characteristics or demands of the work.
Workplaces, businesses, and organizations embody intricate social establishments; some perform well, others do not. Organizational psychology is a subfield within the larger discipline of industrial-organizational psychology that aims to facilitate greater understanding of social and organizational processes within a workplace (Jex, 2002). The field of organizational psychology tends to be a lesser known psychological discipline which aids individuals and organizations within work-type places. Organizational psychology applies psychological principles, theories, intervention and communication strategies to the work setting to enhance workplace interactions (Landy, & Conte, 2009). Although the term "workplace" implies work-related issues, the domain of organizational psychology extends beyond the boundaries of the work-setting to include the variety of personal factors that also affect work behavior. Personal factors that have the potential to impact work behavior include: family responsibilities, cultural influences, employment-related legislation, and even contributions made by an individual's personality (Landy, & Conte, 2009).
The practice of organizational psychology addresses the emotional and motivational side of work by focusing on such topics as attitudes, motivation, stress, fairness, leadership, teams, and the broader aspects of organizational and work design (Landy, & Conte, 2009). The organizational psychologist considers both work and the people variables of interest, and the core of the dilemma is evaluating the extent to which characteristics of the people match the characteristics or demands of the work (Landy, & Conte, 2009). Organizational psychologists contribute to success in the workplace by improving the well-being, productivity, and performance of its workers. Avenues to promoting happiness and high performance in workers includes encouraging worker participation, supportive leadership, job enrichment, goal setting, organizational commitment, and strong culture (Staw, 1986). As an organization thrives and endures economic successes and failures, ensuring the well-being and happiness of its individuals is vital to promoting a positive workplace and to support the success of the organization.
The field of industrial and organizational psychology has been evolving since the founding of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1892 (SIOP History, 2012). At this time, the APA was advocating for the field of psychology to be considered a science. Hugo Munsterberg, James McKeen Cattell, and other prominent members of the APA were also supporters of industrial psychology (SIOP History, 2012). Although industrial psychologists were significant members during the early years of the APA, the field did not gain significant momentum until 1937 when the American Association of Applied Psychology (AAAP) was formed (SIOP History, 2012). The AAAP continued to grow and became the dominant organization in the U.S. For those seeking to nourish applied psychology interests.
The AAAP created four sections within the association: clinical, counseling, education, and industrial and business. Section D. Of AAAP was industrial and business, and was the professional organization for industrial psychologists (SIOP History, 2012). The AAAP, Section D, industrial and business, had several purposes they strived to address, some of which include: the encouragement of high standards of practice in the application of psychology to business, industry, and public service; the promotion of research and publications; and to assist in the general advancement of the field (SIOP History, 2012). The AAAP and the APA eventually merged, and in 1962, "Business"…