Psychology and Work Today
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Psychology and Work Today

Carrie A. Bulger, Duane P. Schultz, Sydney Ellen Schultz

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eBook - ePub

Psychology and Work Today

Carrie A. Bulger, Duane P. Schultz, Sydney Ellen Schultz

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About This Book

Psychology and Work Today, 11 th Edition is an exciting update of a well-loved textbook that introduces industrial and organizational psychology, explaining how industrial-organizational psychologists make work and working better.

This accessible and informative text explains how industrial-organizational psychologists help organizations hire the best people by designing tests and interviews that uncover the skills and abilities of applicants, make work better by removing or reducing safety issues and sources of stress so that personnel are motivated and able to perform to their abilities, and work with managers and leaders to be more effective at leading others. This book also describes how industrial-organizational psychologists work with organizations to embrace diversity in the workforce and celebrate the strengths that employees from many backgrounds bring to organizations. In addition, this text includes how psychologists help organizations to design the physical work environment to best suit employees, while other psychologists help organizations to market their products and services to consumers.

This text covers both the essential and traditional industrial-organizational psychology topic areas such as job analysis, employee selection, and work motivation as well as topic areas that are important in workplaces today such as stress and well-being, human factors, and preparing for jobs of the future. The chapter on consumer psychology remains unique to this textbook. This new edition includes coverage of employable skills desired by hiring managers and executives; the ways the highly publicized replicability crisis has affected the science and practice ofindustrial-organizational psychology; online and mobile employment testing; diversity and inclusion throughout the workplace, including microaggressions; preparing people and organizations for jobs of the future; incivility and harassment at work, including abusive supervision; safety climate and employee health; and advertising on social media and video games.

Including many illustrative examples of industrial-organizational psychology in real-world workplaces, the 11th Edition is thoroughly updated to include the latest theory, research, and practice on each key topic. Each chapter features defined key terms, a chapter outline, a chapter summary, review questions, annotated additional reading, and engaging Newsbreak sections. The book will be of interest to undergraduate students in introductionindustrial-organizational psychology or psychology of work behaviour courses.

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The Practice of Industrial–Organizational Psychology

The work of industrial–organizational (I–O) psychologists will affect your behavior and your physical and emotional well-being, both on and off the job, whether you are applying for your first job, advancing in your career, or planning for your retirement. In Chapter 1 we describe the scope of I–O psychology. In Chapter 2 we review the research methods I–O psychologists use to collect data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations to management, thus applying their findings to all facets of organizational life.

1 Principles, Practices, and Problems

Would You Work If You Didn’t Have To?

Suppose you won $10 million in a lottery. Would you still keep your job? It may surprise you to know that many people do keep working, even when they don’t need the money. We’re not talking about movie stars or athletes or superstar musicians. No, we’re talking about people in traditional jobs who continue to work hard even though they have more than enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their days. Why do they keep working? Because they love what they do.
Think about the CEOs of large corporations, many of whom receive multimillion-dollar salaries. Yet they keep working. Or consider wealthy Wall Street traders who rarely take vacations and who regularly put in long hours, driven by the same intensity they had before they became so successful. Many surveys have been taken of the rest of us, the people working at less glamorous jobs such as teacher, computer programmer, lab technician, or auto mechanic. Results consistently show that approximately three fourths of the people questioned would continue to work even if they suddenly became financially secure and no longer needed the salary from their job.
Some people get so much more from their jobs than just a paycheck. Those who are fortunate enough to have found the type of work that suits their abilities experience a high degree of personal satisfaction, fulfillment, and the pride of accomplishment. These feelings provide their own reward, distinct from income. Thus, work is related not only to economic well-being but also to emotional security, self-esteem, and contentment. Your job can give you a sense of identity and status, defining for you and for others who and what you are. Your work can give you the chance to learn new skills and master new challenges. It can bring positive social experiences, satisfying your need to belong to a group and providing the security that comes from being an accepted and valued member of a team. A job can furnish the opportunity to form friendships and to meet people of diverse backgrounds.
On the other hand, some jobs can be tedious, monotonous, and even hazardous to your health. Some work environments pose physical dangers; others produce stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. If you are bored with your job, thwarted in your plans for advancement, or angry with your boss, you may bring your discontent home at the end of the workday and take out these negative feelings on your family and friends.
Figure 1.1
FIGURE 1.1 Work contributes to our identity and, usually, to our overall well-being.
Long-term research has linked work-related stressors with physical and emotional health. Studies conducted in workplaces show that positive events and interactions at work are associated with reduced stress and enhanced health (Bono, Glomb, Shen, Kim, & Koch, 2013). Other research indicates that work is central to psychological health, feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment, and emotional well-being (Brustein, 2008). The single most reliable predictor of a long life is satisfaction with one’s job. People who are satisfied with their work tend to live longer than people who are dissatisfied with their work.
Finding the kind of work that is compatible with your skills, personality, and interests is among the most significant endeavors you will ever undertake. For that reason, this course in industrial–organizational (I–O) psychology may be the most personally relevant course of your college career. You will find that I–O psychology will have an impact on your future from the day you apply for your first job until the day you announce your retirement. The findings and practices of I–O psychologists, in conjunction with your own skills and motivation, will determine the positions for which you are hired, the way you are expected to perform your job duties, your rank and compensation, your ultimate level of responsibility, and the personal happiness you derive from your work.

I–O Psychology on the Job

I–O psychologists working in the area of human resources, or talent acquisition, help initially with the difficult task of choosing a job. Your first formal contacts with I–O psychology outside the classroom are likely to be with recruitment websites, application forms, interviews, psychological tests, and other employee selection measures. I–O psychologists have devised these selection measures to help employers determine whether you are the right person for their job and whether that job is the most suitable one for you.
After you have satisfied yourself and the organization that the position is appropriate, your advancement will depend on your performance in training programs and on the job. Your employer will use assessment criteria developed by I–O psychologists.
Because of your college training, you will eventually qualify for management positions. These jobs require you to be aware of and sensitive to the diverse motivational factors and personal concerns that affect the people who work for you. To learn how to lead and to motivate your subordinates to put forth their best efforts, you will need to understand the findings of I–O psychologists on these factors.
Even if you have no direct subordinates—if, for example, you are an engineer, information technology specialist, accountant, or if you are self-employed—you will benefit from knowledge of human relations skills. Knowing how to get along with others can mean the difference between failure and success.
Ideally, you will feel some commitment to your employer and will want to see the organization prosper so that it continues to provide opportunities for your own development and advancement. The company’s output must be produced efficiently and at a high level of quality. The physical plant, equipment, and working conditions should foster a productive working climate. I–O psychologists help design manufacturing and office environments to maximize productivity. In addition, a company’s output must be effectively packaged, advertised, and marketed. Psychologists play a role in all these activities.
Thus, at all levels of modern organizational life, psychologists provide essential services to both employees and employers. I–O psychology serves these two masters—you and your organization. As it benefits one, it automatically benefits the other.
We offer a note of caution, however. As vital as I–O psychology is, as influential as it will be throughout your working career, it is primarily a tool. And any tool is only as valuable as the skill of the person using it. If the methods and findings of I–O psychology are used improperly by management or are misunderstood by employees, they can do more harm than good. Therefore, it is important for you to know something about I–O psychology, if only for self-...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Psychology and Work Today
APA 6 Citation
Bulger, C., Schultz, D., & Schultz, S. E. (2020). Psychology and Work Today (11th ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2020)
Chicago Citation
Bulger, Carrie, Duane Schultz, and Sydney Ellen Schultz. (2020) 2020. Psychology and Work Today. 11th ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
Bulger, C., Schultz, D. and Schultz, S. E. (2020) Psychology and Work Today. 11th edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Bulger, Carrie, Duane Schultz, and Sydney Ellen Schultz. Psychology and Work Today. 11th ed. Taylor and Francis, 2020. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.