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Compare and Contrast Organizational Psychology with at least One Related Discipline

Organizational psychology is the study of how organizations are structured formally and informally into groups, sections, and teams and how leaders emerge and behave. Furnham (2005) says that organizational psychology examines how individuals are recruited, selected, and socialized into organizations. It also examines how the actual, implied, or imagined behavior of some employees in the organization influences the feelings, thoughts, and behavior of all others employees (Furnham, 2005). Organizational psychology is related to organizational behavior, which studies human behavior in organizational settings and determines the relationship between the organization and human behavior (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). Since organization impacts and is impacted by the individual, behavior of an individual cannot be understood without full understanding of the organization.

The purpose of organizational psychology is to enhance the dignity and performance of human beings and the organizations they work in by advancing the science and knowledge of human behavior. On the other hand, organizational behavior attempts to describe the complex human context of organizations and define the opportunities, problems, challenges, and issues associated with that realm (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). The significance of organizational behavior is that it isolates important aspects of manager’s job and offers specific perspectives on the human side of management. On the other hand, Furnham (2005) says that “organizational psychology examines the important role of individual differences in selecting and placing employees, in appraising the level of employees work performance, and in training recently hired as well as veteran employees to improve various aspects of their job related behavior” (p. 4). 

Hodgkinson and Ford (2010) indicated that while organizational behavior helps us to understand, predict, and control group and individual human behavior in organizational setting, organizational psychology helps us to understand positive emotions, characteristics, processes, and institutions that assist both individuals and organizations to thrive. Aamodt (2012) noted that “principles of psychology are used to develop training programs and incentive plans; while the principles of organizational behavior are used to form work groups and understand employee conflict” (p. 4). Another difference is that organizational psychology examines factors that affect the people in an organization, as opposed to organizational behavior, which explores the influence of attitudes and values that are primarily mediated by ones internal motivation (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011).

Organizational behavior investigates the key factors that are essential for managers to execute their roles successfully at the workplace as well as reflects the recent developments and research in the field (Aamodt, 2012). Similarly, organizational psychology’s purpose is to determine the competencies that are needed to efficiently perform a certain job, then to staff the given organization with the appropriate employees with the necessary competencies, and to increase these competencies (Aamodt, 2012). In addition, Aamodt (2012) noted that “unlike organizational behavior, organizational psychology creates a structure and culture that motivates employees to perform well, gives them the necessary information to do their jobs, and provides working conditions that are safe, which results in an enjoyable and satisfying work and life environment” (p. 4).

There are various methods that can be used to train and develop employees (Aamodt, 2012). Also, people within this field usually work in training departments of organizations and are involved in such activities as identifying the organization’s training needs, developing training programs, and evaluating training success. The study of organizational behavior has assumed significant role, as people from diverse backgrounds and with different cultural values have to work together in the global economy (Furnham, 2005). Organizational behavior, thus, provides the basis on which the competencies required to create a successful organization can be built and developed (Aamodt, 2012).  

Analyze the Role of Research and Statistics in the Field of Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology relies extensively on research and statistics. This is because organizational psychologists are trained to use empirical data and statistics rather than intuition to make decisions (Aamodt, 2012). The field of organizational psychology relies on research and statistics because it uses its research findings so as to ensure that the work performed in the organization is of high quality.

The nature of organizational psychology field poses significant challenges to the process of conducting research. Anderson (2001) says that as a field concerned with the study of human behavior, it shares with other areas of psychology the ethical and practical issues that provide barriers to the sorts of research that can be conducted on human beings. Anderson (2001), thus, indicates that “as an applied field concerned with the workplace, accessibility problems further require the statistics and research methods to be used” (p. 11). 

The basis of organizational psychology research is data derived from systematic data collection procedures. Anderson (2001) says that “such procedures include the instrumentation and operation of variables as well as the design or structure of data collection” (p. 11). Therefore, research and statistics plays a major role in organizational psychology, because each study is very much a compromise between what should be done from a scientific point of view to address the question of interest and what can be done from an ethical and practical standpoint (Anderson, 2001).

Thus, research and statistics plays a significant role in organizational psychology because research studies are designed to test specific hypotheses that are derived from prior research and theory (Anderson, 2001). In some cases, rather than simple relations among variables, entire causal models are proposed. According to Anderson, such models in an organization display a chain of relations unfolding over time and are intended to illustrate a causal process of certain variables (2001). In this context, organizational psychologists normally use research and statistics for data collection and analysis and then apply procedures to quantify qualitative observations within organizations. 

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