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Psy 428 - Organizational Psychology

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Organizational Psychology


September 24, 2012

Stephanie Johnson

Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology is relevant in organizations because it helps employers understand employee behavior as well as develop resolutions to problems in the workplace. This paper will cover a definition of organizational psychology along with an explanation of how research and statistics their part in the psychology field. In addition, a discussion will take place describing how organizations can use organizational psychology. Organizations benefit from understanding why employees make certain decisions, and the behavior behind them. This specific field of psychology uses research and statistical methods to provide organizations with the information they need to know.

Organizational Psychology

According to Jex and Britt (2008), organizational psychology consists of using scientific methods to understand people working in formal organizations and helps organization to become more effective (p. 1). A formal organization is one that states in writing the purpose it wants to accomplish and survives longer than its founders do. Because organizational psychology can help an organization become more effective, this effectiveness results in cost savings and higher productivity in an organization leading to the longer survival rate. Organizational psychologists help employers better understand the behavior of employees and what the organization can do to make them happier, more productive, and motivate them.

Role of Research and Statistics

Research is the steps one needs to take to solve a problem that consists of finding the information that will help to do so. The purpose of research is to allow one to operate in an effective manner. The Internet has changed everything providing an abundance of information when performing research. Concerning research, statistics play an important role. Statistics focuses on group members within an organization as well as its analysis and interpretation of its memebers. Statistics involves observing a situation, wondering what causes it, making an intuitive guess, making changes to test the intuition, and figuring out confirmation of the initial thought. Statistics can let one know the possibility of whether or not that intuition is true.

Organizational psychologists use statistical methods to assist them in understanding the numbers they collect when conducting research, and to provide organizations with information regarding employees' attitudes (Jex & Britt, 2008). Statistics includes collecting data, analyzing the data, and performing statistical tests on this data. Data collection methods consist of experiments, surveys, and observation. Analyzing the data requires calculating the measures of central tendency, which include the mean, median, and mode (Sellers, Yingping, & Campbell, (2008). Other statistical tests include correlation, regression analysis, and meta-analysis (Jex & Britt, 2008).

Organizational Use

According to Hall (2007), systematic flaws can exist that challenge the foundations of good decision-making processes (para. 4). When managers are over-confident or under pressure, this may escalate the frequency of bad decision making. Organizational psychologists can clarify the reasons organizational problems exist or why organizational processes may not be working. The purpose of organizational psychology is to assist organizations in increasing their knowledge and understanding of the human aspect of decision making. Organizational psychologists can assess employees' practical thinking, social intelligence, and tacit knowledge (Salter & Highhouse, 2009). Organizations can use this information to determine whether



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