Important Terms in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

  • Organizational Constraint
  • Action Process
  • Human Engineering
  • Political Skill
  • Affective Commitment

There are many important terms for all industrial-psychologists to know. Understanding these terms and knowing how to apply them to the work environment enables IO psychologists to help businesses meet their organizational goals. Although the list of terms that IO psychologists should be aware of, five of the most important are listed below along with brief explanations of each.

Related resource: Top 10 Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

1. Organizational Constraint

One important term that all industrial-organizational psychologists should know is organizational constraint. Organizational constraints are conditions in businesses that prevent employees from performing the duties of their jobs efficiently. These conditions can include many different things such as unreasonable or overpowering supervisors, lack of time or resources, insufficient knowledge or instructions, and poor interdepartmental relationships.

2. Action Process

Another crucial term that all IO psychologists need to know is action process. Derived from action theory, action process consists of the steps that people go through in translating a desire to take action. Knowledge of this process is valuable to IO psychologists because it helps them determine the factors that can motivate employees to act or not act. People view situations differently, but the basic steps in action process move from examining the problem and considering possible actions to weighing the problem’s value and choosing an action.

3. Human Engineering

Yet another term that all industrial-organizational psychologists need to know is human engineering. The American Psychological Association describes human engineering psychology as the study of how people interact with such things as technology and machinery. It involves ensuring that systems and devices are safe for use and making sure that they operate in the most efficient manner possible.

4. Political Skill

All industrial-organizational psychologists should also be aware of the term political skill. Political skills in the business setting refer to the ability of staff members to influence other employees in accomplishing organizational goals. By examining persons who possess these valuable skills, IO psychologists can help design effective training programs that can improve the performance of employees and help the business succeed.

5. Affective Commitment

Affective commitment is another term that industrial-organizational psychologists will need to know. There are many different reasons why employees choose the jobs they choose. Some choose their jobs because they pay well or because it is the only job available at the moment. Other people, however, choose their jobs because they truly enjoy the work. These types of people are usually extremely committed to their positions. This form of commitment is known as affective commitment, and it is this type of commitment that managers and IO psychologists strive for in human resources.

Industrial-organizational psychology is a subset of psychology that examines the behavior and interactions of employees in work settings. There are many crucial terms that industrial-organizational psychologists should know, and five of the most important of these terms are defined in the sections above.