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History of organizational psychology


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History of organizational psychology

  1. 1. History of Organizational Psychology
  2. 2. History of Organizational Psychology: 1900s• Based on most historical accounts of the development of the field of I/O psychology, the industrial side of the field was much quicker to develop than the organizational side.• Chronologically, the beginnings of the field of I/O psychology can be traced to work,• during the early part of the twentieth century,• by pioneers such as Hugo Munsterberg, Walter Dill Scott, and Walter Bingham.• Most of the work at that time dealt with topics such as skill acquisition and personnel selection.• Very little work dealing with the organizational side of the field was conducted.
  3. 3. History of Organizational Psychology; 1900s• Ironically, the beginnings of the organizational side of the field can largely be traced to the work of several non psychologists.• Perhaps the best known of these was Frederick Winslow Taylor, who developed the principles of scientific management, and Max Weber• Although the term scientific management typically conjures up images of time-and-motion study, as well as piece-rate compensation, it was actually much more than that.• Scientific management was, to a large extent, a philosophy of management, and efficiency and piece- rate compensation were the most visible manifestations of that philosophy.
  4. 4. Frederick Winslow Taylor:Father of Scientific Management • Born in 1856 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. • was the son of affluent parents and spent a great deal of his childhood travelling in Europe. • At the age of 18, he turned down the opportunity to study at Harvard, and instead accepted a position as an apprentice at the Enterprise Hydraulic Works in Philadelphia. • worked there for two years before moving to Midvale Steel. • prospered at Midvale, working his way up to the supervisory ranks by the age of 24.
  5. 5. Frederick Winslow Taylor:Father of Scientific Management • It was during his time at Midvale that Tay-or developed an interest in work methods and procedures—an interest that would lead to the famous pig iron experiments and ultimately to the development of Scientific Management. • eventually left Midvale, worked for several other organizations, and ultimately went out on his own and became one of the first management consultants. • His scientific management faced serious controversy. • died in 1915 at the age of 59.
  6. 6. Principles of Scientific Management• those who perform work tasks should be separate from those who design work tasks• workers are rational beings and they will work harder if provided with favorable economic incentives• and problems in the workplace can and should be subjected to empirical study
  7. 7. Max Weber: Pioneer in thestudy of Organizational design • Born in 1864 in the Hanseatic town of Erfurt (which is now part of Germany) but spent the majority of his childhood in Berlin. • entered Heidelberg University to study law, although he never became a practicing lawyer. • Instead, he completed his doctoral dissertation on medieval trading companies in 1889, • and eventually secured a university appointment in Berlin. • Moved back to Heidelberg in 1896, and, shortly after, suffered a nervous breakdown that plagued his academic career for several years.
  8. 8. Max Weber: Pioneer in thestudy of Organizational design • Following his travels, Weber completed influential essays on methods and procedures for studying social behavior, as well as the Protestant ethic. • These essays were followed by a series of studies on legal institutions, religious systems, political economy, and authority relations. • For organizational psychology, the studies of authority relations were especially significant because out of these came the well-known “principles of bureaucracy.”
  9. 9. History of Organizational Psychology: 1920s “The Beginning”• Despite the early work of Taylor and Weber, and others, the vast majority of effort in “Industrial” psychology in the early twentieth century was focused on what were described earlier as industrial topics.• The event that changed that—an event many see as the beginning of organizational psychology—was the Hawthorne studies.
  10. 10. Hawthorne Studies• The Hawthorne studies is collaborative effort between the Western Electric Company and a group of researchers from Harvard University,• took place between 1927 and 1932• The original purpose of the Hawthorne studies was to investigate the impact of environmental factors—such as illumination, wage incentives, and rest pauses—on employee productivity.• Given the time period in which the Hawthorne studies were initiated (early 1920s), these topics were central to the dominant mode of managerial thought at the time: scientific management.
  11. 11. Hawthorne Studies• What made the Hawthorne studies so important to the field of organizational psychology were the unexpected, serendipitous findings that came out of the series of investigations.• Perhaps the best known were the findings that came from the illumination experiments.• Specifically, the Hawthorne researchers found that productivity increased regardless of the changes in level of illumination.• This became the basis for what is termed the Hawthorne effect, or the idea that people will respond positively to any novel change in the work environment.
  12. 12. Hawthorne Effect• A positive change in behavior that occurs at the onset of an intervention followed by a gradual decline, often to the original level of the behavior prior to the intervention. • explains that a subject will improve or modify an aspect of their behavior in response to the fact they are being studied or watched and not in response to any part of the actual study.
  13. 13. Hawthorne EffectA Hawthorne effect might occur when a relatively trivialchange is made in a person’s job, and that person initiallyresponds to this change very positively but the effect doesnot last long. Hawthorne researchers discovered that work groups established and enforced production norms. In fact, it was found that those who did not adhere to production norms often met with very negative consequences from the other members of the work group, and that employees responded very differently to various methods of supervision.
  14. 14. Hawthorne Effect• The overall implication of the Hawthorne studies, which later formed the impetus for organizational psychology, was that social factors impact behavior in organizational settings.
  15. 15. History of Organizational Psychology: 1930s• During the period of union growth in the 1930s, another event occurred that would prove to be very significant for the development of the field of organizational psychology:• Kurt Lewin fled Nazi Germany and ultimately took a post at the University of Iowa Child Welfare Research Station.• By the time he immigrated to the United States, Lewin was already a prominent social psychologist who had a variety of research interests, many of which were relevant to the emerging field of organizational psychology.
  16. 16. Kurt Lewin:The Practical theorist• born in 1890 in the village of Mogilno, which was then part of the Prussianprovince of Posen (now part of Poland).• Lewin’s father owned a general store, as well as a small farm.• In 1905, Lewin’s family moved to Berlin.• Lewin entered the University of Frieberg in 1909, initially with the goal of studying medicine.• He switchedhis interest to biology.• This led to a transfer first to the University of Munich and ultimately to the University of Berlin, where he earned his doctorate in 1916.
  17. 17. Kurt Lewin:The Practical theorist• After returning from military service during World War I, he began his academic career.• Began to develop an interest in the application of psychology to applied problems such as agricultural labor, production efficiency, and the design of jobs.• became quite interested in scientific management, particularly the impact of this system on workers.• His ideas continue to influence the study of a number of areas such as employee motivation, leadership, group dynamics, and organizational
  18. 18. History of Organizational Psychology: 1930s-1950s• World War II (1941-1945) had a tremendous impact on the growth of organizational psychology.• For example, one of the results of World War II was that women were needed to fill many of the positions in factories that were vacated by the men called into military service.• Also, shortly after World War II in 1948, President Harry S. Truman made the decision to pursue racial integration of the military.• Both events were extremely important because they represented initial attempts to understand the impact of diversity on the workplace.• World War II also served as the impetus for major studies of morale and leadership styles.
  19. 19. History of Organizational Psychology: 1950s-1960s• Another very important event in the development of organizational psychology was the publication of Morris Viteles’ book Motivation and Morale in Industry (1953).• It signified that the organizational side of the field had finally “arrived” and had a significant role to play in the broader field of industrial psychology.• It was also during the post-WWII period that the human relations perspective emerged within the field.• During this time, for example, Herzberg conducted his studies of job design and job enrichment, and major research programs investigating both leadership and job satisfaction were conducted.
  20. 20. History of Organizational Psychology: 1960s-1970s• By the early 1960s, organizational psychology was clearly an equal partner with the industrial side of the field in terms of the research topics studied and the activities of those in nonacademic settings• Another broader social factor impacted the development of organizational psychology was during the 1960s and early 1970s:• the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, which led to many cultural changes in America and in other countries.• During this period, for example, many young people began to question the wisdom of societal institutions such as education, government, and the legal system.
  21. 21. History of Organizational Psychology: 1970s-1980s• Organizational psychology began to mature as a field of study.• During the early 1970s, the name of Division 14 of the American Psychological Association (APA) was formally changed from “Industrial Psychology” to “Industrial/Organizational Psychology.”• Organizational psychologists began to break significant new ground in both theory and research.• As just a few examples, Salancik and Pfeffer (1978) proposed Social Information Processing Theory (SIP) as an alternative to more traditional need-based theories of job satisfaction and job design.• Also, organizational psychology began to “rediscover” the impact of personality and dispositions on things such as job attitudes (Staw & Ross, 1985) and perceptions of job-related stress (Watson & Clark, 1984).
  22. 22. History of Organizational Psychology: 1970s-1980s• the recognition that behavior in organizations is impacted by forces at the group and organizational levels (e.g., James & Jones,• 1974; Rousseau, 1985).• This “multilevel”perspective has had major implications for the field in guiding theory development as well as statistical methodology (e.g., Dansereau, Alutto, & Yammarino, 1984; James, Demaree, & Wolf, 1984).• Organizational psychologists began to devote increasing attention to what could be called “nontraditional” topics.• For example; literature began to appear on work/family issues (e.g., Greenhaus & Buetell, 1985), job-related stress and health (Beehr & Newman, 1978), and retirement (Beehr, 1986).
  23. 23. History of Organizational Psychology: 1980s-present• A number of trends have impacted and will continue to impact the field of organizational psychology.• If one takes a global perspective, perhaps the most significant event of this period was the breakup of the Soviet Union and the eventual fall of many Communist regimes.• These extraordinary events have implications for organizational psychology because a number of the nations that embraced democracy during this period have also attempted to establish free market economies.• Another important trend, both in the United States and worldwide, is the change in the demographic composition of the work-force.
  24. 24. References:• Jex, S.M. (2002). Organizational psychology: A scientifist- practitioner approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons.• Muchinsky, P.M (2007). Psychology applied to work: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology. Singapore: Thomson Learning Asia.
  25. 25. Prepared by: Jeel Christine C. de Egurrola THANK YOU!