Chapter 1 Introduction to industrial/organizational psychology
- according to CSIPO (CANADIAN SOCIETY OF INDUSTRIAL AND
ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY) Industrial organizational (I/O)
psychology- A field of both research and professional practice that
aims to further the welfare of people by understanding the
behaviour of individuals and organizations in the workplace,
helping individuals pursue meaningful and enriching work, and
assisting organizations in the effective management of their human
- I/O psychologists often share interests with health, social, and
counselling psychologists. Also are strong in psychometrics, statistics,
and research methods.
- The broad definition of I/O psychology may cover tasks such as;
- Task analysis
- Determining knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics
needed for certain jobs
- Providing recommendations or/actually conducting assessments of
- Assessing work performance and the motivation of employees
- Above is only a partial list of activities—the role of I/O psych is
- (Ex; newly emerging subfield of I/O psych) Occupational health
psychology- a field of research, partially based in i/o psych and is
concerned with the health and safety of individuals at work.
- An important part of CISPO def. of i/o psych-- The scientist-
practitioner perspective-the view that i/o psych focuses on both
scientific research and applied professional practice.
- Scientific research- drawing on theories and methods of psych to
understand what’s going on in organizations and improve work
practices in organizations. Utilizing surveys, experiments, quasi-
experiments, to explain individual and organizational behaviour. - at the same time, i/o psychologists are applied scientists- that
scientific work is informed by practice, many of the research questions
addressed by i/o psychologists come from day-to-day experiences
in organizations that are intended to solve common problems
(e.g., how do we design non-discriminatory selection procedures, what
is the best way to train computer programmers, how can we protect
first line responders from the adverse effects of repeated traumatic
- Considerable variation exists in how individual i/o
psychologists enact their dual role as scientists and
- E.x i/o psychologists- teaching proffessors, or in research will focus on
the “science” side, geared more towards research and publication,
than those employed by companies who will take the more practical
HISTORY OF I/O PSYCHOLOGY
- I/O psychology is a creature of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.
- Major developments in i//o psych all have occurred after the 1900s
- In Canada i/o psych was slower to develop than the U.S, really
emerged after WW2
THE EARLY YEARS
- historians look at three major influences to the emergence of I/O
psych : economic, social, and psychological
- economically- there was a boom in industrial activity, around the turn
of the 20 century, which resulted in a great interest in the notion of
efficiency. The first 2 books on i/o psych dealt with increasing human
efficiency in business.
- Socially- growing acceptance of Darwinian evolution- changing the
way individuals thought about society and community, protestant work
ethic supported capitalism- making any theory promoting capitalism (like i/o psych) more widely accepted.
- Psychology- was going through a revolutionary change, where more
focus to the growth of the experimental method and focus on
individual differences paved the way for i/o psych. Science was
increasingly seen as the answer for all problems.
- German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt; was interested in workplace
topics, and his lab was the starting point for much of i/o psych.
- Walter Dill Scott- trained under Wundt, moved to the U.S., most
noted for I/o related problems from the application of psychological
principles, to advertising and personnel selection.
- Munsterberg- (most influential of the early i/o psychologists) was
both a psychologist and physician; student of Wundt, taught at Harvard
University, became the foremost promoter of applied psychology.
Wrote 20 books- pioneered i/o psych, educational, and forensic
WORLD WAR I
- PROBLEM- The American military was faced with the problem of
selecting and assigning jobs to an unprecedented number of
applicants in the most efficient way possible.
- SOLUTION- developed by Robert Yates (the then president of
APA),the military used standardized intelligence testing such as :
Army Alpha, Army Beta
- Army Alpha- a measure of cognitive ability developed for placement
of U.S. soldiers during WW1
- Army beta-for soldiers of poor literary skills, a nonverbal intelligence
test developed for placement of U.S soldiers during WW1
- The success of the programs convinced many of the value of
- the new field of i/o psych was founded on the successful
selection and placement of individuals in organizations
- job analysis- a way of understanding job tasks and requirements through systematic analysis.
BETWEEN THE WARS: BIRTH OF THE HUMAN RELATIONS
- Although i/o psychology was well established and focused on issues
related to selection, training, and job analysis,
- there was not much interest in issues related to employee
moral, and group processes, or job attitudes.
- Until the HAWTHORE STUDIES-The sentimental event that helped
incorporate and expand I/o psychology to include employee moral,
and group processes, or job attitudes.
- Hawthore studies conducted by western electric company, were a
series of studies- with the purpose of demonstrating that their light
bulbs were better than the competitors.
- Using their workplace as a lab they studied the effects of
varying illumination on worker production
- FINDING- productivity improved regardless of the change in
- Ex. Increase in illumination= higher productivity, and
decrease in illumination= higher productivity
- one explination for this is called the Hawthorne effect- the
suggestion that any intervention will have desired effect .
- by paying more attention to the workers, the researchers
inadvertently produced an increase in productivity
OUTCOME- researchers were lead to think of other aspects of
the workplace including; dynamics of small groups , job
attitudes, studies of work related stress and wellbeing.
WORLD WAR 2
- psychologists became involved in selection for specialized roles, such
as aviation psychology program that focused in part on the selection of fighter pilots.
- John Flanagan created the critical incident technique- a widely
used technique of job analysis. He also became head of aviation
- Assessment center- a widely used selection technique, originally
developed to select potential spies
- Psychologists went beyond selection techniques in ww2, they
were involved in training, and optimal design of workplaces
and equipment (ergonomics).
POST WORLD WAR 2
- the booming economy, with demands for labour, meant that personnel
selection, motivation, leadership became firmly entrenched in the
normal operation of organizations.
- Most influential event post ww2 was passage of civil rights movement
in the U.S. 1964
- Act prohibits discrimination in employment on many grounds.
- Also because of the baby boom, Job satisfaction, employee moral, job
stress and motivation became very important.
- development of i/o psych in Canada lagged behind the U.S.
- until WW2 there had been no significant presence of Canadian i/o
- The CPA Canadian psychology association began in 1938 just prior and
in anticipation of ww2 , psychologists from UofT, Queen’s and McGill
met with government representatives to discuss contributions of
psychologists to war effort
- As a result of these meetings, the Canadian Psychological Association
was formed in 1938 (psychologists belonged to APA prior to 1938). - Related to war effort, Canadian Psychologists were involved in:
- Pilot selection
- creating the M test- a Canadian cognitive ability test developed during
- the M-test was used for- Selection and placement of soldiers in army
- Establishment of day care centre’s so that women could enter the
- Ed Webster-was the biggest contributor to the Canadian war effort,
he’s most known for his influential work on the employment interview
and shaped the entire field of personnel selection
THE DEVELOPMENT OF CSIOP
- The development of a completely separate section for i/o psych didn’t
happen until 1972, the CPA separated into two sections applied and
- In 1975, Gary Latham (University of Toronto) organized a special
interest group in I/O Psychology within the applied division.
- Quebec has their own version of CISPO called SQPTO they are basically
the same, in terms of their goal to promote I/O psych but they, act
separately from each other with little overlap.
CURENT AND PROJECTED TRENDS INFLUENCING PSYCHOLOGY
- throughout history i/o psychology, the field had been defined by its
responses to the needs of the times Ex both world wars and post world
war baby boomers changed and shaped psychology based on the
needs the times demanded.
TECHNOLOGY AND THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK
- technology has emerged as a major challenge to our understanding of
what constitutes a workplace. – employees work from home in their cars, from remote locations
- technology poses new challenges and re frames old ones for i/o
psychologists. Leadership has been studied in i/o psych but virtual
leadership poses new issues. How does one lead employees whom one
- Cyber aggression- the expression of aggression through computer-
media communication (ex e-mail.)
- Our understanding of what is, or is not, expected in the workplace is
also changing, before we had an issue with absenteeism, now the
study of presenteism is being explored.
- Presenteeism- The notion that individuals show up to work even
though they might be sick and not capable of working up to their
- Ex how to deal with people who come into work with sars or
CHAPTER 2 FOUNDATIONS OF RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION I:
RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY
THE RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION PROCESS
- there are many applicants for each available job. The employers goal is
to hire an applicant who possesses knowledge, skills, abilities, or other
attributes (KSAOs) required to successfully perform the job being filed.
- The employer has to guess which applicant will perform the job most
effectively. Correct guesses results in positive benefits for the
organization and the employee
- Wrong guesses could negatively affect productivity and profitability for
the company, coupled with negative emotional response by the
- Therefore the employer must identify KSAOs that are required for job
success and measure or asses the KSAOs of all applicants. THE HIRING PROCESS
- personnel recruitment and selection strategies based on information
obtained through scientific methods are more likely to benefit an
organization than decisions based on impressions or intuition. (review
table 2.1 Pg. 26 for comparison)
- job or work analysis information identifies the tasks and behaviours
that make up a job and, though inference, the KSAOs that contribute
to performance of these tasks and behaviours.
- Theses inferences are based on empirical evidence demonstrating
validity between the job dimensions and KSAO constructs In other
- Constructs- an idea or concept constructed or invoked to explain
relationships between observations (Ex; the construct “extroversion”
used to explain the relationship between “social forthrightness” and
- The HR specialist must translate the KSAO constructs into measurable
- The fact that a security dispatcher sends, recives, processes, and
analyzes info suggests that the applicant for this position should
demonstrate a fair degree of cognitive ability.
- The HR specialist must determine how each of these KSAOs will be
assessed. Using Cognitive ability for example: A general cognitive
ability test may be most appropriate in assessing ones Cog. Abilities.
- Selection is about prediction
- Forecasting who is likely to succeed in jobs based on available
- If we knew who was going to be a good performer, we wouldn’t need
- In effect, predictors forecast criteria since we don’t have criterion data.
- The predictors that are chosen must be valid measures of KSAO
constructs that have been identified as related to job performance.
- The goal of selection is to identify job candidates who have the
attributes required for success on the job. On the basis of predictor data obtained through an assessment of job applicants, th HR team
predicts which applicants will be successful in the position.
THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT AND SELECTION
- selection programs and practices must operate within the current legal
- Selection programs that intentionally or unintentionally exclude job
applicants using characteristics or factors that are protected under
human rights legislation, unless bona fide occupational requirements
(BFORs), run the risk of being declared discriminatory and are
subjected to fines.
- Employment equity (affirmative action in U.S)- A term coined in
1986, referring to policies and initiatives to promote employment
opportunities for members of designated minority groups.
- In most organizations, relationship between the predictor and
criterion measures are correlated to find the best applicant for
- Answers the question: what degree of relation is present?
- The statistic is denoted as rXY , and is calculated over n
- pairs of observations
- With a perfect correlation, all points in the scatter gram fall on a straight
- +1 indicates a perfect direct relation between X and Y -1 indicates a
perfect indirect relation between the variables correlation of 0.0
indicates no linear relation between the two
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
- with s