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Lecture 6

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Psychology 2990A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Lecture 6 Psychology on the job Ch.6: Psychology and the Workplace Prologue: The Historical Roots of Industrial-Organizational Psychology A. Industrial Psychology: Personnel selection and placement - 1913: Munsterberg publishes The Psychology of Industrial Efficiency to increase productivity, select people with skills that match the job requirements - personnel selection (selecting the right person for the job) - 1917: (WWI): Industrial psychology emerges in response to US army’s practical problem: How to select the best soldiers?  Psychologists develop two intelligence tests: Army Alpha and Army Beta - New tests to select best officers, best pilots, eliminates most ‘neurotic’ recruits  Psychological tests could be used to screen and classify large num- bers of people - Then businesses and schools want their own tests to select and classify people B. Organizational Psychology (1924): - The Hawthorne studies Western Electric plant - the effect of environmental factors on productivity (e.g. altering lights, temp., rest periods, etc.)  any change increased productivity! --physical environment is not as important as the social & psychological environment -e.g. employees knew they were being observed (so they worked harder)  became known as ‘The Hawthorne Effect’ Leadership in Organizations A. Survey Q: What is worst thing about your job (greatest source of stress)? Survey A: 75% said ‘my boss’ >Most common complaints: - unwilling to delegate authority to workers - abusive towards workers- treat workers as stupid & incompetent B. How do bad bosses become leaders? - best workers are promoted to leader positions Potential Problem: being a good worker or best worker may have nothing to do with being a good leader. What Makes a Good Leader? A. The Great Person Theory 1. Basic idea: Great leaders are born with special ‘traits’ that allow them to take charge 2. What are these traits? (a) Longitudinal research: Measure traits at time 1, see if any are related to leadership effectiveness at time 2. E.g. >Officer candidates in Canadian Armed Forces - only one trait emerged that related to leadership effectivenessdomin- ance (b) Retrospective research: Find great leaders, look back to see what traits they possessed  Canadian prime ministers: - only one trait emerged: integrative complexity = ability to adopt mul- tiple views and integrate them (e.g. Trudeau)  American Presidents: - no traits were related to effectiveness - or maybe three (smart, messy, achievement oriented) 3. Conclusions: - Although 100’s of traits have been measured, very few traits have been identified - Different studies have identified different traits (so not much consist- ency in findings ) - So, not much support for Great Person Theory of leadership…except for leader’s height 4. Except for leader’s height? (not a ‘trait’) - Tall presidents rated a more effective (e.g. Abe Lincoln) - Taller candidates more likely to be elected as presidentInteresting: Between years 1928 and 1996, there were 18 presidential elections in the US. In 16 of the 18, 89% of the time the tallest candidate won the election. 2000: G.W. Bush beat Al Gore (but Gore won more of popular vote) Who was taller? - Gore (by 2 inches) 2004: Bush beat Kerry, but Kerry was 5 inches taller 2008: Obama beat McCain, taller by 5 inches --Managers in American corporations (both male and female) are, on avg., 1’ taller than non-managers B. Good leadership depends on the situation 1. Leader traits might be effective in one situation but not in another. E.g. - Integrative complexity of Can. Prime-ministers went down in crisis situ- ations (less effective) - only a few became even more integrative complex in a crisis  E.g
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