A person considering a degree or career in psychology may wonder, “Why is industrial-organizational psychology important?” While other specialties of psychology delve into a particular person’s personality and mental health issues that they are facing, industrial-organizational psychology takes a somewhat different approach in that it individual, group and organizational dynamics in the workplace. Knowing why this branch of psychology is important could facilitate the choice of specialty when earning a psychology degree or choosing a job.

Related resource: Top 25 Campus-Based Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master’s Degree Programs

What Industrial-organizational Psychology Is

Industrial-organizational psychology is the study of individual, group and organizational dynamics in a place of work. Those dynamics can be different in different workplaces. By using the scientific method in order to study human behavior in a place of work, a psychologist is able to determine how well teams communicate, whether or not workers are invested in the company and how happy people are in their jobs and how that correlates to their productivity, efficiency and absenteeism rate.

What an Industrial-organizational Psychologist Does

Every workplace has problems. Some of those could be unique to the people who work there, and others could be common based on the type of work that is done. Every problem will be somewhat different based on the people and place involved. An industrial-organizational psychologist assesses the individuals and groups in a place of work as well as the policies, procedures, and environment of the workplace. The psychologist identifies problems and uses research in order to choose and implement solutions. The solutions are designed to improve the well-being and success of the workers and the workplace.

How an Industrial-organizational Psychologist Solves Workplace Problems

An industrial-organizational psychologist looks at particular questions in order to solve workplace problems. For example, they might ask how decisions are made. The industrial-organizational psychologist might also ask how effective the communications are between colleagues or between workers and the management team. An industrial-organizational psychologist also designs, conducts and analyzes research studies related to interactions in the workplace. They use the data collected in order to analyze findings and find out which problem-solving methods work and which ones do not. The work of an industrial-organizational psychologist could improve worker morale, boost efficiency, decrease absenteeism or lower the turnover rate. All of these activities can result in a business that is better for workers and more profitable.

Applications of Industrial-organizational Psychology Research

There are many applications to the work of an industrial-organizational psychologist, explains the American Psychological Association. The work of industrial-organizational psychologists identifies areas in need of more training or development in a particular workplace. It also optimizes the quality of the work-life. An industrial-organizational psychologist can evaluate the effectiveness of a training program and make suggestions for changes. The industrial-organizational psychologists also coach workers as well as managers on how to improve workplace dynamics.

Industrial-organizational psychology jobs will grow at a faster than average pace, especially in the private sector of the economy. A person who is interested in understanding how people interact in the workplace and interact with each other in a place of work could have a personally and professionally satisfying career as this type of psychologist. Knowing, “Why is industrial-organizational psychology important?” could also help a person promote the profession and explain to others exactly what it is that they do in their job.