Organizational Behavior (Psychology) Applied Comprehension Organizational Psychologists Term Paper

Pages: 16 (4268 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Psychology

Organizational Behavior (Psychology)

Applied Comprehension

Organizational Psychologists continually seek the creation of relevant approaches for the application of organizational psychological principles. Central to the application of Industrial Organizational psychological principles, as an emergent approach, has been the elevation of consultation psychology as a primary approach for the application of organizational psychology. Theoretically, the tension between business, clinical psychology and Industrial or Organizational Psychology has occasionally thwarted the effective application of psychological principles that could otherwise guide the successful resolution of issues between people and systems.

This paper will review the role that consultation psychological services can play in organizations, particularly as it may apply to facilitating organizational movement towards increased strategic success. As a case example, this paper will use a mental health organization to demonstrate the role, or roles, that consultation psychology can play within the organization. Specifically, the case example holds that a director of mental health services for an organization makes a request for consultation psychology services to her organization. Specifically, she request consultation psychology services that focus on the issue of gender and ethnic factors that may influence or impede organizational movement towards strategic success. This paper will explore the aspects of consultation as it applies to issues of ethnicity and gender that may be critical for a mental health organization consultation.

It is believed that the implementation of consultation psychology into a business operations strategic plan will lead to more effective and efficient movement to the organization achieving its stated goals for success.

This paper will begin with providing thorough definitions of the relevant subject matter. First, the paper will take a general look at the field of clinical psychology. Next, the sub-fields of Industrial and Organizational psychology will be reviewed, followed by a defining and examination of consultation psychology. Next, there will be a brief discussion of how clinical psychology and industrial/organizational psychology creates an impeding tension and how consultation psychology can be used to overcome this success-stopping conflict. Finally, these principles will be applied to the case sample as a means of demonstrating the use of consultation psychology as a means of creating business success.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology is the scientific study and application of psychology for the specific purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychologically-based distress and dysfunction.

Further, clinical psychology also works at promoting the general subject of mental and personal well-being and development.

Central procedures and tools in providing clinical psychological services include psychological assessments and psychotherapy. Other typical methods utilized by clinical psychologists include research, teaching, consulting, forensic examinations and program development. Clinical psychology is a professional practice developed around the time of World War One. A licensed clinical psychologist is able to provide such psychological services as psychotherapy and assessments, conduct psychological research, provide psychology-based consultations to schools and business and provide expert testimony on the area of forensic psychology.

The field of clinical psychology is made up of four general perspectives, or approaches to psychology: psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive behavioral and systems or family therapy. The approach of psychodynamic psychotherapy, developed largely by Sigmund Freud, focuses on making the unconscious conscious by assisting the client in becoming aware of their own primal drives. Humanistic psychology, on the other hand, was developed by Carl Rogers and went about providing therapeutic improvement by focusing on congruence, unconditional positive regard and empathetic understanding. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on discovering the biased or irrational thinking that causes emotional problems and thus helps the client gain control over their own thinking process so as to crate increased levels of well-being. Finally, systems of family therapy focuses on group therapy and the interaction and relationships that occur within a group and the positive and negative effects these relationships may have on one's psychological health. The focus of such an approach is generally on interpersonal dynamics and how these dynamics can affect communication, roles, narratives and behaviors. Systems therapy is the general premise of organizational and industrial psychology.

Organizational and Industrial Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology, also referred to as I/O or work psychology, focuses on the application of basic psychological theories, methods of research and strategies for intervention to various workplace and employment issues. The purpose of industrial and organizational psychology is to make an organization both more productive and ensure that organization members are able to live healthy lives both physically and mentally. Basic areas of interest to an individual practicing in industrial and organizational psychology include motivation and leadership, personal psychology, employee selection and training, organizational development and behavior, and the resolution of work and family issues.

According to the official definition of industrial and organizational psychology as provided by Guion (1965), it has a more restricted definition that psychology as a whole. According to Guion, "industrial and organizational psychology is the scientific study of the relationship between man and the world of work...in the process of making a living." (Guion: 1965, p. 817). Blum and Naylor, on the other hand, define the field as, "simply the application or extension of psychological facts and principles to the problems concerning human beings operating within the context of business and industry." (Blum and Naylor: 1068, p. 4).

To accomplish their job, industrial and organizational psychologist often utilize the tool known as job analysis. The purpose of job analysis is to identify essential characteristics associated with a particular position. In order to make this characteristic identification, the psychologist uses interviews, subject matter experts and reviews job descriptions. Another common tool used in the field is psychometric tests. Psychometric testing measures the abilities and personality traits of employees or potential employees. Recently, the technique of meta-analysis has been introduced into industrial and organizational psychology as a method of correcting the statistical errors typical of using a single study. Meta-analysis is a method that averages results across numerous studies in order to identify, and draw conclusions from, trends.

IV. Consultation Psychology

Consultation psychology is an emerging sub-field of industrial and organizational psychology. In general, consultation psychology, as applied to industrial and organizational psychology, takes the basic elements of psychotherapy and brings them into the workplace setting. Thus, the goal of consultation psychology is to increase the workplace's sense of well-being while reducing subjective discomforting experiences. To do this, consultation psychology focuses on such things as experiential relationship building, dialog, communication and behavior change among the members of the organization.

The general purpose of consultation psychology is to work with a group of individuals, either as a group, as individuals, or a combination of the two, in order to improve the dynamics of the group as an organization and thus make the organization more productive. To do this, consultation psychology focuses on finding personal issues that may impede the organization's overall success by improving each individual's mental well-being as it applies to the organizational setting. In consultation psychology, the consulting psychologist will utilize a wide-range of techniques to influence the clients to adapt and change their personal ways so as to better relate to the ways of the organization.

Relationship Between the Fields and the Methods

As can be seen from the above cited definitions, clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology and consultation psychology are all interrelated. These three fields are interrelated in that they each are influenced by the philosophies and procedures of each other. More so, the three fields are interrelated in that they all have the similar goal of creating increased well-being to those they serve.

However, although all three of these fields are related to each other, they also create conflict when used together. For example, when clinical psychology is used as a primary tool in industrial and organizational psychology, often times the goal of the program, namely to improve the productivity of the organization, is impeded. In other words, when clinical psychology is utilized as the primary tool in providing industrial and organizational psychology, all too often the results are the opposite of what is intended in that the organization actually becomes less productive.

There are many possible reasons for explaining this impediment. Chief among these explanations is the belief that clinical psychology has a certain connotation that attaches to it and that this connotation does not match the needs of industrial and organizational psychology. For instance, clinical psychology has the connotation for being for those individual's who have mental or emotional issues. In the workplace, an organizational member will resent having this connotation forced on him or her. More so, this focus on the individual is not the purpose of industrial and organizational psychology. Thus, the result is that the use of clinical psychology as a tool for industrial and organizational psychology actually works against the group by focusing on the individual when all too often the individual does not want the attention.

To solve this impediment to progress in the organizational setting, a possible solution is to replace clinical psychology with consultation psychology as the primary tool used in providing industrial and organizational psychological services. Whereas clinical psychology focuses on the individual, consultation psychology concentrates on the individual as a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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