Industrial and organizational psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology studies people in relation to their work and work organization.


In fact, it is a combination of three types of psychology:

Work psychology

In work psychology the relationship between work characteristics (e.g. workload, extent to which those responsible for tasks can make independent decisions in their work, diversity) and the well-being and functioning of employees is examined. One part of work psychology that is currently developing rapidly is work and health psychology, which specifically examines how occupational characteristics affect the health (e.g. stress and burnout) of task leaders.

Organizational psychology

Organizational psychology is about the relationship between the employee and their social work environment. This environment can be the organization as a whole, but also the department you work in or the colleague on the other side of the office. Social psychological theory building is extremely important in this area; Work organizations are an important field of application of findings from social psychology, for example in the areas of team, culture and leadership.

Personnel Psychology

Personnel psychology studies how to get the right person in the right place. This can include the recruiting, selection and recruitment (ie the search for new staff), but also the training and development of existing employees. Much attention is also paid to the development of psychological tests in this area of industrial and organizational psychology.

In order to find out which place is the right one for a certain person, one has to have insight into his possibilities and abilities. People also deal with working conditions and the like. Personnel psychology is the most practical part of industrial and organizational psychology.

Work and organizational science

The work and organization expert is referred to as the core expert. This can be trained from various disciplines (e.g. psychology, but also, for example, medicine, human resources, work and organizational sociology, etc.), but usually has a great deal of knowledge in the field of work and organizational psychology.

The work and organization expert is an expert on the interfaces between people, work and organization. The core expert can, for example, advise on the potential chances of sustainable employability, prevent stress-related absences (e.g. burn-out) or promote enthusiasm. The various aspects focus on the work content, the team composition, the fit between systems and people or organizational structure, behavior and culture.

As core experts, the work and organizational experts are qualified to advise on the prevention of absenteeism, to promote employability and to advise on suitable preventive health-related research in the psychological field.

Study industrial and organizational psychology

Organizational learning and human resource management are currently included in almost all business programs at both the university and the technical college.

Work and organizational psychology can be studied at various universities. Since industrial and organizational psychology has a lot in common with social psychology, both directions within a Master of Psychology are often part of the same main direction. Various universities of applied sciences also offer professional bachelor's degrees in work and organizational psychology. These are often personnel psychology, psychological assistance or personnel work (specialization in social work).

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