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The Employment of Industrial, Organizational Psychologist


According to (Muchinsky, 2008), An I/O psychologist is someone who has studied operations that take place in workplaces. This particular specialization is very essential in the promotion of workers’ behavior and their way of thinking. It is also applied in the selection of people to employ so as to ensure there is effective selection. There has been a very high demand for this category of psychologists as an increasing number of companies seek to upgrade their operations. This has been as a result of the tough competition existing in the corporate world.

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Work Done By I/O Psychologists

I/O psychologists have a variety of jobs in which they can involve themselves in accordance with their specialization. Therefore, work performed by a particular I/O psychologist is basically described by areas studied in I/O psychology. These areas include: job analysis where psychologists are involved in describing jobs in terms of duties and areas of competition associated with a particular job. This is done to help companies evaluate themselves on the tasks they have been able to cover in comparison to what is required of them. I/O psychologists also impact job analysis through examining abilities and skills that are needed in the performance of a particular job. They use various methods to come up with an analysis of information concerning a particular job which can either be qualitative or even quantitative. The resultant information is used in the formulation of procedures for job selection as well as training. (Hough, 1995)

Psychologists are also engaged in evaluation of performance, where production of employees is measured against average requirements of the same. This practice is essential in the investigation as well as measurement of each employee’s performance level, which is then used to evaluate whether one is qualified for a particular promotion or not. Still on performance, I/O psychologists give feedback on how employees react in response to training in terms of performance. They also give information on how an organization’s performance can be wholesomely evaluated. I/O psychologists use data from job analysis to formulate means in which to measure performance of either the workers or company as a whole. A scale is then constructed, allocating performance levels to each and every duty in an organization or company. Since, companies’ personnel may not be conversant with those scales, I/O psychologists’ offer training to companies’ personnel to enhance evaluation of employees without biasness. (Bobko, 2001)

(Cooper, 2000), argues that, this category of psychologists also engages themselves in measuring differences among individual employees in terms of performance. This is very useful especially in the selection of personnel in any given organization. Since companies and organizations are currently looking for the most competitive employees, an evaluation to come up with the best team possible is of great importance. Hence, I/O psychologists prepare some tests to be used during the process of evaluation which may be in written form, where various candidates are tested using a written exercise as an aptitude test. A physical test can also be used where candidates are interviewed orally to test their competency in communication and whether they are confident enough in their area of specialization. I/O psychologists also measure various variables of employees or potential employees’ psychology. These variables include; their abilities, knowledge and skills so as to get those who are most knowledgeable on a particular job as well as the highly skilled.

According to (Muchinsky, 2008), another area in which I/O psychologists apply their skills is in the determination of compensation. Here, they determine the amount of salary, retirement contributions, wages and bonuses to be given to workers. I/O psychologists apply a certain criteria to evaluate the most appropriate amount fit for a certain job. Since its not possible to approximate an exact amount for all the duties in a company, ranges are given from which work of individual employees is measured to get the amount that he/she should be paid. I/O psychologists can also become witnesses in cases where employees complain of being discriminated against in the amount they are paid compared to the level of performance. Such complaints are usually presented in associations and cooperatives formed by workers to protect the rights of their members in their various organizations or companies.

Companies also hire I/O psychologists to provide training to their new employees. Training is mostly provided to people who get employed but are not conversant with certain jobs especially fresh graduates from college. Other training are provided as they continue working with their specific companies so as to improve their services to clients and for increased production. I/O psychologists use the analysis of a particular job to come up with an appropriate design to use during training sessions. One of them could be provision of training on various topics that relate to services provided by companies. This may involve brainstorming of employees so as to first get their perception of the topic. I/O psychologists then pick from there, providing training in accordance to a chosen mode of delivery. At the end of the training, an I/O psychologist may see the need to test the effectiveness of training on trainees, where he/she tests whether they are in a position to apply what have been learnt to improve their performance. (Crosby, 2004)

In some instances, I/O psychologists collaborate with specialists in human resource in recruitment of personnel. Here, I/O psychologists formulate recruitment strategies which may be in form of advertisement for jobs in the dailies, definition of requirements for the job and formulation of systems through which to select the preferred personnel. This particular selection is not only essential when getting new employees but also in determination of employees who qualify for promotions. I/O psychologists use a number of tools during the selection which include structured interviews, knowledge as well as ability tests. They also get involved in validation of the procedures applied in selections which shows that the procedure used is appropriate for a particular job in respect to various validation standards. There is also a recent area of specialization where I/O psychologists determine the characteristics of a particular job that may affect employees’ psychology in one way or another leading to health problems. I/O psychologists employ a certain criteria in this determination, which is essential in maintaining good working environment for employees. (Cooper, 2000)

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The various types of work performed by I/O psychologists in companies show how useful they are especially in the corporate world. Companies have been noticed to work very hard so as to keep up with advancement in technology and this can be achieved through hiring of I/O psychologists to help in development of company employees. Companies’ directors should therefore seek for the most qualified I/O psychologist in accordance with the needs of the companies so as to get the best services from I/O psychologists’. (Crosby, 2004)


Bobko P. (2001): Applications for Industrial organizational psychology and management: Sage pp 33-36

Cooper C. (2000): Industrial and organizational psychology, linking theory with practice: Blackwell Publishers pp36-38

Crosby F. (2004): The psychology and management of workplace diversity: Blackwell Publishers pp45-47

Hough L. (1995): Personality and industrial organizational psychology: John Wiley & Sons pp 12-16

Muchinsky P. (2008): An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational psychology: Hypergraphic Press Inc pp25-28

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