What is I-O Psychology?
The field of Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology applies the science of psychology to all aspects of the workplace. "Industrial" refers to a wide variety of concepts related to personnel (e.g., selection, training, performance management), and "organizational" refers to concepts that apply more broadly to the organization as a whole (e.g., culture, change management, diversity). Another field of study related to I-O Psychology is Occupational Health Psychology (OHP). OHP is a separate, interdisciplinary field that focuses on employee health and wellbeing. Though OHP is not a sub-field of I-O Psychology, it is a natural extension for many I-O scientists and practitioners given the overlap between areas of interest. I-O psychologists who specialize in OHP issues often approach them from both a personnel and organizational perspective.
As an I-O psychologist, you can contribute to the success of organizations by improving employee performance and wellbeing. According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), I-O psychologists assist organizations by:
- Recruiting people that best fit the organization
- Hiring better people
- Retaining the best people
- Developing fair, legal and efficient hiring practices
- Improving the skills of the people within the organization
- Creating a diverse, qualified workforce
- Developing performance management systems
- Minimizing absenteeism
- Eliminating harassment and discrimination
- Fostering a team environment
- Increasing motivation and dedication
For more information about the study and practice of I-O Psychology, check out these links:
- Our field's professional society, Division 14 of the American Psychological Association: www.SIOP.org
- Other SIOP links of interest:
- The Society for Occupational Health Psychology (SOHP): http://sohp-online.org/.
Growing Need for I-O Psychologists
The need for I-O Psychology is growing as organizations look towards evidence-based procedures in hiring, training, and retention of employees. Jobs in I-O Psychology can be found in every sector of the labor market- including fortune 500 companies, factories, sports teams, universities, and volunteer efforts, just to name a few.
According to US News 2022 Best Jobs Rankings, I-O Psychologists ranked
What do I-O Psychologists do?
Employment Training & Development
- Training Program Development
- Training Evaluations
- Training Areas: Leadership, Safety, Diversity, and More
- Design Selection Instruments
- Structured Interviews
- Selection System Development
- Legal Compliance
Organizational Change & Development
- Organizational Climate/Culture Surveys
- Organizational Structure and Size
- Cross Cultural and Diversity Issues
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Job Analysis
- Performance Appraisal
- Performance Feedback
- Assessment Centers
Employment Motivation and Attitude
- Comprehensive System Design
- Motivation Exercises
- Attitude Surveys Fairness Perceptions Surveys
Occupational Health and Wellbeing
- Work-Life Interaction
- Stress Management
- Workplace Safety
- Quality of Work-life
Where do I-O Psychologists work?