What is Industrial and Organizational Psychology?

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Industrial and organizational psychology is a subfield of psychology that focuses on business and organizations. The history of the growth of this sector is quite extensive, even starting before the big war.

To motivate ourselves harder, sometimes we have to give encouragement or a little encouragement. However, don't kid yourself into saying, "I can still do this" when you start to feel tired. There are more important things than getting started, like admitting you need help.

It has been stated that “when we are tired and weak, what we really need is support, not money or entertainment.” That includes employers and workers. Therefore, a company needs psychologists, especially industrial and organizational psychologists.

Understanding Psychology

According to John Locke, psychology is all the knowledge, responses, and feelings of the human soul obtained through experience through the senses.

According to Rene Descartes, psychology is the science of the symptoms of human thought or consciousness, apart from the body.

Definition of Industrial Psychology

Definition of Industry

According to George T. Renner, industry is all human activity in a productive economy or producing goods and services.

According to the Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 5 of 1984 concerning industry. Industry is an economic activity that processes raw materials, raw materials, semi-finished goods and or finished goods into goods with high value for use, including industrial design and engineering activities.

According to Max Weber, an organization is a structured framework of social relations in which authority, division of labor and responsibility for carrying out a particular function are listed.

According to James D. Mooney, organization is a form of association created by a group of people in order to realize one or several common goals.

Definition of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology, according to Blum and Naylor, is the application of psychological ideas and facts to problems in corporate or industrial settings. According to AS Munandar, industrial and organizational psychology looks at how people and groups act at work and as customers.

History of the Development of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

The exact origins of industrial and organizational psychology remain a mystery. According to academics, the origins of industrial and organizational psychology can be traced back to two important events.

Walter Dill Scott's 1903 book, The Theory of Advertising, was the first step in that process. Many people think that this book is the first to talk about the psychology of work.

History of the Development of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Then the second milestone was the publication of the book Psychology and Industrial Efficiency by Hugo Munsterberg in 1910. What is Industrial and organizational psychology initially became the center of attention during the First World War.

Many of the new recruits had to be weeded out and assigned to different units based on their current skills and interests. Therefore, administering this exam requires psychologists to assess the mental aptitude of troop recruits, known as Army Alpha and Army Beta.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology Theory

In general, there are three phases of theory development used in industry and organizations, namely classical theory, neoclassical theory, and contemporary theory. Let me give you an example to help you understand:

Classical Theory

The classical school of theory has been around since the late 1800's or early 1900's. Classical theory is sometimes known as machine theory or traditional theory. This theory describes the organization as a centralized institution.

The orders issued are structural-mechanical without any creativity. According to this theory, humans are seen as machines that can be added and removed at any time at the behest of the leader.

According to classical thinkers, discipline, ideology, power, and service are the four main components of organization. Based on classical theory, the organization is described as a framework of connections, goals, strengths, activities, communications, roles, and other elements when people work together.

The three main branches of classical theory are as follows:

  1. Bureaucratic Theory: The theory of bureaucracy in the flow of classical theory was produced by an expert named Max Weber.
  2. Scientific management: Scientific management was created by Frederick Taylor in 1900.
  3. Administrative theory: Administrative theory was founded by Lyndall Urwick and Henry Fayol. Mooney and Reiley also contributed to this theory.

Neoclassical Theory

The flow that emerged after the classical theory was the neoclassical theory. This Neoclassical theory is named "Theory of Human Relations". Neoclassical theory arose to improve classical theory and arose out of dissatisfaction with classical theory.

An important focus of this theory is the social and psychological well-being of workers as individuals and as members of work groups. One of the fathers of neoclassicism is Hugo Munsterberg, author of Psychology and Industrial Efficiency. The Hawthorne experiment is where classical theory begins.

Neoclassical theory, states there are three things that need attention, including:

  1. Job enlargement as opposed to job specialization.
  2. Participation or involvement of everyone in decision making
  3. Subordinates will have a greater say in decision-making under a top-down management approach.

Psychological Neoclassical Theory

Modern Theory

The modern theory has emerged since 1950. This theory is the result of disagreement with the two previous hypotheses. Other words used to characterize current theory are systems analysis or open theory.

This theory is a blend of classical and neoclassical theory. All the constituent parts of the organization are incorporated into the organization in modern theory. According to current theory, all aspects of the organization are interrelated and form a single unit.

Open systems interact with their environment, and this is also true for organizations. specializes in organizational and industrial psychology. The growth of industrial and organizational psychology gave birth to various specializations within this psychological discipline, namely:

  1. Personnel psychology looks at all aspects of workforce management, from planning to recruiting, placing, training, and retaining people in their jobs until they leave the company.
  2. Consumer Psychology in consumer psychology focuses on how consumers make purchasing decisions and the factors that influence the decision-making process.

In addition, the field of consumer psychology conducts research that focuses on actual customer needs and devise tactics for doing so. Consumer psychology also addresses the issue of defending consumer rights.

Organizational Behavior within the Company

Organizational behavior includes human behavior in organizations, both as individuals and as members of groups. This is done to improve the performance of each employee in the organization.

Occupational Health and Safety Industrial and organizational psychology analyzes occupational health and safety to improve organizational performance.

Job Analysis

Job analysis looks at how job descriptions and job criteria are put together for each job and position in an organization.


Ergonomics is the study of how machines and humans interact in the workplace and how best to ensure the well-being and safety of employees.

Psychology of Human Resources

Psychology of Human Resources

Organizational development can be examined at the individual, group, or organizational level in human resource psychology.

Scope of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

There are various studies under the scope of industrial and organizational psychology. The following are included in the scope of industrial psychology:

Industrial and Organizational Psychology as a Science

After World War II, industrial and organizational psychology came into its own as a field of study. Scientific advances in industrial and organizational psychology are applied in industry and organizations.

Various techniques and scientific concepts in psychology are used by industrial and organizational psychologists to solve various problems in the workplace.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology Studying Human Behavior

Observable and non-observable aspects of human behavior in the workplace are examined in industrial and organizational psychology.

Behaviors that can be observed, for example, writing, speaking, walking, sitting and so on, while those that cannot be seen physically include thoughts, motivation, satisfaction and so on.

Human Behavior in Its Role as Consumers and Labor

The field of industrial and organizational psychology works on the dual roles of consumer and employee that people play in the workplace.

Industrial and organizational psychology investigates individuals in the world of work and their relationship to work, the organization, the physical environment, and the psychosocial environment at work. More and more individuals are buying and using company goods and services.

Human Behavior is studied individually and in groups

Human Behavior is studied individually and in groups

The smaller subsections form the work units found in most organizations. The portion will be reduced to the role of each person.

Group relationships and influences on individual behavior and the impact of people on groups are explored in industrial and organizational psychology.

Industrial and organizational psychology also explores the trends, structures, and types of organizations that may impact the workforce.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology Approach

There are two techniques for achieving the goals of industrial and organizational psychology. The approach is industry and organization.

The industrial method focuses on identifying the skills and abilities needed to do the job and how they connect to the organization responsible for filling the position.

The industry is also directed at the competencies possessed by workers and how employee competencies can be improved through training.

The organizational approach aims to build a framework and culture within the company that encourages people to carry out their duties.

Additionally, organizations ensure that their workers have access to the data they need to perform their jobs. The organization also offers a safe work environment.

Benefits of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology have a positive and vital impact on organizations, namely:

Benefits of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

  1. Assist organizations and companies in achieving their goals.
  2. Bridging individual needs and organizational needs
  3. Improving individual talent in the work environment so as not only to increase individual competency but also to grow
  4. Ensuring the health of workers by paying attention to job satisfaction.


Industrial and organizational psychology is the application of psychological ideas and facts to problems in a corporate or industrial setting. Method industry focuses on identifying the skills and abilities needed to do the job.

The organizational approach aims to build a framework and culture within the company that encourage people to carry out their duties.

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