I/O PSYCHOLOGY 5
I/OPsychology is the science of studying human behavior in theorganization setting and its subsequent application in theunderstanding of work behavior (Huffman & Klein, 2013). Unlikegeneral psychology, which deals with the overall conduct of anindividual, I/O psychology aims at understanding employees’behavior at the workplace. Hence, this field requires theprofessional to play the roles of a practitioner and a scientist.This dynamic element shapes the entire discussion.
Thescience part of an I/O psychologist attempts to understand the reasonbehind any incidences or occurrences at work (Baum, Frese &Baron, 2014). On the other hand, the practitioner side involvesitself with data-driven approaches in the understanding of theproblems in the organization. It aims to apply the findings inproviding solutions to the workplace challenges. Some practitionersget to learn about recent findings in research through journals thathave been published by other people. However, I/O Psychologists playthe role of the practitioner by working in companies and then doubleas scientists by conducting research in these organizations. Thispossibility of a scientist-practitioner role is possible due to theavailability of raw data at the workplace setting and subjects orpatients for these psychologists. An example is the compilation andanalysis of company data to address issues related to talentacquisition and retention.
Additionally,the dual role of I/O psychologists is visible in their generation ofknowledge through the scientific study of workplace behavior (Huffman& Klein, 2013). They then apply the resulting knowledge aspractitioners by providing solutions to the challenges that arearising at the workplace. An example of such solutions is the designof workplace recruitment. This process aims to hire a candidate whois best suited to adapt to the organization culture and add maximumvalue to the enterprise. Without the I/O psychologist playing therole of the practitioner, the previously role of scientist would beless efficient in adequately addressing the problem of placement inthe subject organization. The specialist role also includes theapplication of knowledge generated through scientific analysis ininfluencing policies relating to the management of the workforce.
Researchis crucial for the advancement of any field or organization (Guzzo,Fink, King, Tonindadel & Landis, 2015). This logic also appliesto industrial and organization psychology since it involves studyinghuman behavior, which is subject to change across time. A vital roleof I/O psychology is to optimize the quality of life at theworkplace. Due to changing dynamics at the individual andorganizational level, this duty requires continuous research sincethere is no single way of satisfying an individual`s entire wants.Besides, work related challenges keep evolving hence the need forongoing research. An example is workplace stress and its management.Occupation stressors vary with individuals and time, and for an I/Opsychologist to address them, research is necessary.
Thereare various ethical considerations when conducting Industrial andOrganization Psychology research (Guzzo et al., 2015). For instance,the scientist ought to respect the right of the employees to privacy.Maintaining confidentiality ensures trust and harmony in theworkplace. It is the ethical responsibility of the researcher to bejust and fair. For instance, a crucial role of an I/O Psychologistinvolves the development of systems for selecting employees. Thesesystems should be free from bias concerning all employees. As such,it is the ethical duty of the researcher to ensure the same objectiveis achieved. Another ethical research consideration for the I/Opsychologist involves striking a balance between the demands of theemployer and those of the employees. Such a balance is criticalconsidering that the scientist is responsible for designingcompensation and performance appraisal systems. Naturally,organizations want to minimize costs and the employee desires tomaximize their earnings hence a conflict of interest is imminent. Anobjective research guarantees an acceptable balance between employeeoutput and compensation.
Accordingto Huffman and Klein (2013), I/O psychologists apply inferential anddescriptive statistical methods in their analysis. These scientistsuse the descriptive statistical method to describe the features ofthe information collected in the course of their research. Thismethod is very applicable in I/O psychology since it can summarizemany types of data. It assists the researcher to showcase thefundamental basis of the data before it is subjected to extensiveanalysis. After applying this method, the researcher then turns toinferential statistics such as correlation, variance analysis, andmultiple regression. This approach provides for deeper analysis ofthe data to facilitate real conclusions from the research findings.
TheIndustrial and Organization psychologist deduces the properties ofthe underlying distribution by conducting an inferential analysis ofthe data. During this process, the researcher assumes that the dataset in use represents a sample of the larger population. However, forthese assumptions to be effective, the scientist has to ensure thatthe mechanism of data collection is specified correctly.
Tosum up, it is clear that I/O psychologists play a crucial role in thesuccess of the modern organization. Their duties as scientists andpractitioners complement each other hence their effectiveness in thestudy of work behavior and the subsequent application of psychology.
Baum,J. R., Frese, M., & Baron, R. A. (2014). Thepsychology of entrepreneurship.London:
Guzzo,R. A., Fink, A. A., King, E., Tonidandel, S., & Landis, R. S.(2015). Big data recommendations for industrial–organizationalpsychology. Industrialand Organizational Psychology, 8(04),491-508.
Huffman,A. H., & Klein, S. R. (2013). Greenorganizations: Driving change with IO