Research Paper: Examine the Field of Organizational Psychology

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Organizational Psychology

Definition of Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology is the study of human group and individual behavior in the vocational environment (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2008). It consists of numerous subtopics such as the manner in which business and other organizations develop defining cultures, the nature of vocational motivation, the relationship between reward, performance, and performance, the elements of leadership, as well as various aspects of employee recruitment, selection, training, and retention (Gerrig & Zimbardo, 2008).

Evolution of the Discipline

The first major use of organizational psychology was the application of its principles to the recruitment, task-assignment, and training of soldiers in the United States in connection with its entry into World War I in 1918 (George & Jones, 2008; Robbins & Judge, 2009). In between the First and Second World Wars, the same principles, first introduced by the industrial psychologists and so-called "efficiency experts" such as American Frederick Taylor and Frenchman Henry Fayol were more widely applied to industrial work in peacetime (George & Jones, 2008).

More specifically, the scientific management principles devised by Taylor dictated operational changes designed to increase productivity (George & Jones, 2008). His approach involved making the necessary changes to the way that workers performed their essential functions (including changes to the tools they used) to increase organizational productivity by improving individual output. Meanwhile, the concepts developed by Fayol (and others) concerned the manner in which personnel management styles and variables relating to reward, compensation, and vocational motivation affected the same general dependent variables (George & Jones, 2008).

By the time the U.S. became directly involved in World War II in 1941, American industry had adopted principles of organizational psychology on a much more comprehensive scale and those principles were also applied to the recruitment, selection, assignment, training, and supervision of personnel throughout the American Armed Forces being assembled, trained, and deployed in connection with the country's involvement in World War II. In very large part, the tremendous industrial efficiency and production capacity of the U.S. that ultimately won the war was attributable to the contributions of organizational psychology in conjunction with other operational innovations such as the assembly-line production methods first introduced by Henry Ford shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

To a great degree, it was the manner in which American civilian industrial capacity was rapidly converted to the wartime… [END OF PREVIEW]

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