Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Understanding industrial and organizational psychology can help increase the efficiency of workers and assist any business in succeeding. The study encompasses a wide range of topics that contribute to understanding the mechanics behind the worker-organization relationships. This allows specialized psychologists to manipulate these relationships to meet various business’ needs.

Industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology is a branch of psychology that studies human behavior in the workplace. I-O psychologists use various tools in order to improve the employees’ performances, health, and safety. In order to achieve these goals, they conduct research that relies on the data acquired through surveys, tests, experiments, and observation. Analysis of this information allows a qualified I-O psychologist to measure employees’ performances.

There are two sides to I-O psychology. The first one is known as personnel psychology. It focuses on finding a match between an employee and a specific position. This I-O psychology segment also covers professional training, development of professional tests and performance standards, performance measurement, and leadership training. The other side of the I-O study focuses on understanding the effect that organizational structures, role expectations, and management styles all have on employee behavior.

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The study of I-O psychology consists of six key areas:

Training and development

This area includes assessing the skills necessary for performing various jobs, as well as developing tests that can evaluate these skills and training programs that can improve them.

Employee selection

Focuses on developing employee selection assessments and screening.


This segment of I-O psychology aims to maximize employee performance, and minimize the number of injuries through development of specialized procedures.

Performance management

This area includes performance measurement, and developing tools that will help people improve in their work.

Work life

This area of I-O psychology is focused on increasing the level of employee satisfaction by creating personalized rewards and motivation plans.

Organizational development

I-O psychologists that work in this area aim to improve the organization that employs them through structural changes, product redesign, etc.

Industrial and organizational psychology is acknowledged by the American Psychological Association. Many companies that employ specialists in this field prove the efficiency of this choice through their business success. However, many business owners remain skeptical, and consider adding an I-O psychologist to their staff as a waste of resources. There is not enough statistical data to support these claims, but it can be said that the efficiency of this move depends on the size of the company.

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