With this approach, consultation psychology focuses on the issues of the group as a whole and therefore typically uses group discussions, interviews and observations as opposed to singling out specific individuals. The result is that, by using consultation psychology in the field of industrial and organizational psychology, the focus is on the group and the roles the individuals who make up the group play. With this focus, industrial and organizational psychology is better able to meet its goals of increasing organizational productivity, well-being and success.
In the case sample cited in the introduction of this paper, the issue was how consultation psychology could be utilized as a method for providing industrial and organizational psychological services to a mental health related organization. From the overview provided in the previous section, it can be seen that utilizing consultation psychology, as opposed to clinical psychology, will be the best method of obtaining the goals of making the organization more productive.
To accomplish this, it will be proposed that the organization in question implement a system of organizational psychology that allows for the regular meeting of the group for group sessions. Initially, the purpose of these groups will be to allow the organizational and industrial psychologist to observe and listen to the dynamics of the individuals of the organization. This will allow the psychologist to come to a conclusion on the diagnosis, or needs of the group. From here, the psychologist will treat the group as an individual, focusing on working out the areas that are preventing the organization as a whole from reaching its goals of production.
Specifically, in the case at hand, these obstacles are issues pertaining to race and gender. Once this problem is identified, the providing psychologist will be able to organize a treatment plan for improving these areas. To accomplish this, he or she will consult with the group, as if it were an individual, in order to work out the issues as they apply to the group (as opposed to the individual members' personal feelings). The result will be that the organization will take on a group attitude and thus allow them to leave behind any personal issues so as to better the success of the organization as a whole.
In conclusion, it can be said that the utilization of consultation psychology as a tool for providing industrial and organizational psychology in a work environment will lead to better success rates at increasing the organization's levels of productivity and well-being. Further, it can be concluded that consultation psychology is a better tool to accomplish these goals than clinical psychology is because consultation psychology focuses on the group as an individual in and of itself, as opposed to clinical psychology's focus on the group as being composed of individuals.
Organizational culture has emerged as one of the critical issues of emergent business, non-profit, government and other entrepreneurial efforts at achieving strategic targets in the world of work. Numerous theorists, especially psychologists, as being the central role of employment, further perceive organizational culture. As the central role of employment, organizational culture can advance the agenda of both the leaders and the followers, or the employers and employees, found in the workplace environment.
Organizational culture is able to play this central role in the working world because it provides an operational lens, built on the theoretical tenets of the field of organizational psychology, that can enhance one's understanding of the issues of culture and their effect on the organization.
This paper will focus on how organizational culture applies to the field of organizational psychology and the effect they can have on the success of the organization. It is this paper's position that when efforts of organizational psychology take into considerations the tenants of organizational culture, organizational psychology will have a higher rate of success in increasing both the well-being and the productivity of the organization.
To demonstrate this positive relationship between organizational culture and the practice of organizational psychology, this paper will begin by defining and providing examples of organizational culture, particularly as it applies to the work place. Next, the paper will define, with examples, the field of organizational psychology and the role of the organizational psychologist. The paper will then explore both the positives and negatives of applying the characteristics and concepts of organizational culture to the goals of organizational psychology. The paper will then conclude by addressing how organizational culture is central to the role of the organizational psychologist.
The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate to the reader the important role that organizational culture plays in providing successful organizational psychology services to an organization or place of employment. Further, the paper serves the purpose of outlining how an organizational psychologist can understand organizational culture and thus incorporate it into his or her organizational psychology methods and procedures.
Defining Organizational Culture
Organizational culture, sometimes referred to as corporate culture, can be summarized as being the net result of the combination of attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values found within a particular organization. More specifically, organizational culture can be defined as:
The specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization. Organizational values are beliefs and ideas about what kind of goals members of an organization should pursue and ideas about the appropriate kinds or standards of behavior organizational members would use to achieve these goals. From organizational values develop organizational norms, guidelines or expectations that prescribe appropriate kinds of behavior by employees in particular situations and control the behavior of organizational members towards one another." (Hill: 2001).
As can be surmised from the above stated definition, organizational culture is dynamic and therefore effected by and unique to various national and regional cultural influences. However, despite the ambiguous nature of organizational culture, it can be narrowed down to five general characteristics apparent in all forms of organizational culture. First, there is the power distance, or the expectation that society has for there to be a difference of levels of power within any organization. Second, all organizational cultures accepts the risk of uncertainty and thus works to avoid uncertainty. Third, there is a difference between individualism and collectivism and each organization takes upon a culture of either one or the other, but never both. Fourth, there is the difference between masculinity and femininity, which refers to the value society places on traditionally male and traditionally female values. Fifth and finally, all societies have an organizational culture that establishes a time system of long and short-term orientation. In a culture that is long-term orientated, such values as thrift and perseverance dominate. On the other hand, in short-term cultures, such values as tradition and favors are given more emphasis.
Such theorists as Deal and Kennedy have developed procedures for measuring organizations and determining organizational culture. For example, according to Deal and Kennedy, Feedback and Risk are two of the most effective means of measuring an organization. Feedback refers to the instant response, either monetary or an action, that an organization provides. Risk, on the other hand, represents the amount of uncertainty found within the organization's activities. The less uncertainty, typically the faster the feedback of the organization.
Using these two means of measurement, Deal and Kennedy established several classifications for organizational culture. For example, the Tough-Guy Macho culture is an organization where feedback is fast and the rewards are high. Such culture is typical of financial and brokerage firms, law enforcement agencies, and athletic teams. A Tough-Guy Macho organizational culture is characterized as being a high-stress workplace environment.
The Work Hard/Play Hard organizational culture is one where few risks are taken and rapid feedback occurs. Such a culture is typically found in large organizations with a focus on customer service. The third type of organizational culture is the Bet Your Company culture. In this type of organizational culture, high stake decisions are common and the results of these decisions are often not known for years to come. Organizations in development or exploration projects, such as military arms development or prospecting for natural resources, often exemplify this type of organizational culture. Finally, the Process culture is one when little to no feedback occurs and thus individuals involved get bogged down in the process of how things get done instead of what is being achieved by the process. Bureaucracies are the most common example of a process-based organizational culture.
A second way of examining organizational culture is to focus not on the way things occur within the organization, as Deal and Kennedy do, but instead on the actual structure of the organization itself. According to the work of Charles Handy, much can be learned about an organization's culture simply by looking at its organizational structure. Organizational structure is the way the company is organized, in terms of roles and positions.