Father Francis Aning Amoah Discusses the Difference Between Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Industrial & Organizational (I/O) Psychology is a branch of psychology that is applied to the workplace. According to Father Francis Aning Amoah of Falls Church, VA, Industrial Psychology is the study of how people are affected by their work environment. The Industrial part comes from Henry Ford’s assembly lines of the early 20th century which led to I-O psychologists being asked to help decrease accidents and increase worker output.
Organizational psychology is concerned more with management issues than with individual behavior at work. Organizational psychologists apply psychological theories and principles to personnel issues to improve productivity, motivation, satisfaction, job performance, etc.
While these two disciplines are intertwined in improving workplace psychology, they differ greatly in accomplishing this goal.
What is Industrial Psychology?
Industrial Psychology is the study of how people are affected by their work environment. Industrial Psychology focuses on how worker environments affect workers’ behavior, performance, and job satisfaction. Industrial psychologists are more concerned with the workplace environment than they are the individual.
According to Father Francis Aning Amoah, Industrial Psychology uses scientific principles to improve worker productivity, reduce accidents or injuries of workers, increase output, etc. The industrial psychologist’s goal is to create an ideal work situation that will achieve these goals.
Aims of Industrial Psychology
Industrial psychology seeks to find the best possible arrangement of factors in the work environment concerning productivity, health, safety, etc. Factors that industrial psychologists
study to improve worker output or worker satisfaction with their work situation is:
- physical workspace design (ergonomics)
Industrial psychologists can’t create an optimum workplace without considering workers’ various types of jobs at any given workplace. This means industrial psychologists must study several different kinds of workplaces to determine what makes them successful /how they can be improved. For example, industrial psychologists might consider how product design can affect workers’ performance if they design items for a fast-food restaurant.
What is Organizational Psychology?
Organizational psychology, according to Father Francis Aning Amoah, is concerned more with management issues than with individual behavior at work. Organizational psychologists apply psychological theories and principles to personnel issues to improve productivity, motivation, satisfaction, job performance, etc. These individuals are employed by business firms or consulting companies that offer hiring practices for new employees or different interview strategies. Unlike Industrial/Organizational Psychologists who focus mainly on the workplace environment, Organizational Psychologists will study a wider range of factors such as company policies and procedures to increase satisfaction among employees and customers while also increasing productivity levels.
Aims of Organizational Psychology
Organizational psychologists seek to improve the functioning of an organization in terms of its production and productivity, worker morale and job satisfaction, etc. Possible interventions generally include:
- staff training and development
- greater delegation of tasks to lower-level employees.
Organizational Psychologists can be employed by business firms or consulting companies to review management practices and company policies. They may also work as job consultants or career counselors with individuals who may want to change careers or apply for a promotion at their workplace. Organizational Psychologists study people’s behavior in groups rather than just focusing on individual behavior at work which is why they tend to consult mostly for larger organizations rather than smaller businesses. The main focus here is determining how the company’s policies and management culture affect worker behavior and morale. There is a popular saying that employees don’t quit jobs. They quit managers. Organizational Psychologists strive to make sure that management isn’t driving employees out the door.
What is the difference between Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology?
Father Francis Aning Amoah feels that the two fields have similarities but also some significant differences:
Who Calls on Who
Industrial/Organizational Psychologists may be called on by Human Resource departments, whereas Organizational Psychologists may be employed by a business to improve productivity and worker relations.
Short Term Vs. Long Term
Industrial psychologists have been employed in workplace environments to solve immediate problems such as accidents or increase output from workers. Organizational psychology is a field that provides a more long-term approach to solving problems at the workplace.
Environment Vs. Management
Industrial Psychology focuses on how worker environments affect workers’ behavior, performance, and job satisfaction. At the same time, Organizational Psychology is concerned more with management issues than individual behavior at work.
Individual Vs. Group Focus
Generally speaking, an industrial psychologist will tend to focus more on individuals rather than larger groups. However, you should note that research shows that both disciplines agree much more now than they did when the industry was first established (the late 1800s).
Organizational Psychology tends to focus more on management issues and their effect on worker morale and satisfaction.
As mentioned, there are some similarities between the two fields. Most of all, both tend to agree on many issues.
Industrial psychologists focus more on how individuals behave in groups, while organizational psychologists focus on workplace management procedures and policies.
The biggest difference between Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology is that industrial psychology deals mostly with worker productivity, accidents, or injuries in the workplace. At the same time, Organizational Psychologists apply psychological theories to personnel issues such as hiring practices for new employees or different interview strategies.