Father Francis Aning Amoah Discusses the Difference Between Industrial and Organizational Psychology

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.

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

  • illumination
  • temperature
  • noise
  • physical workspace design (ergonomics)

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.

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).

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, there are some similarities between the two fields. Most of all, both tend to agree on many issues.



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Father Francis Aning Amoah

Father Francis Aning Amoah

Industrial / Organizational Psychologist & Church leader. Located in Falls Church, Virginia