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20 Great Books About Industrial-Organizational Psychology

industrial organizational psychology books

Twenty Best Industrial-Organizational Psychology Books

  • Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Understanding the Workplace
  • Work in the 21st Century
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Research and Practice
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
  • Organizational Culture and Leadership
  • Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time
  • The Rocket Model: Practical Advice for Building High Performing Teams
  • An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization
  • The Social Psychology of Organizations
  • The Handbook of Work Analysis: Methods, Systems, Applications and Science of Work Measurement in Organizations
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success
  • Becoming the Evidence-Based Manager: Making the Science of Management Work for You
  • Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour In The Workplace

    Industrial-organizational psychology is a field of business management that draws on concepts from human resources, psychology, philosophy and business analytics. With a degree in I/O psychology, you can help working professionals develop their career potential or pursue your own career in human resources management at the company of your choice. The following books can help you master the fascinating subject of industrial-organizational psychology.

books about industrial organizational psychology

1. Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology is one of the top books in this fascinating field of research. It presents a thorough introduction to students of the subject of I/O psychology by explaining the theory, data and application of important concepts. Anyone studying I/O psychology should start with this book or add it to their list of important works to read on the subject. It’s detailed enough for experienced students to learn from while also providing easily accessible expert insight that beginners can understand.

2. Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial-organizational psychologists earn a median annual salary of around $87,000, with the highest-earning 10 percent receiving around $184,000 or more per year. Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology aims to help professional I/O psychologists speed up the process of advancing their careers and becoming experts in their field. It includes many real-world examples of using I/O psychology techniques to improve the workplace and help a company’s employees reach their full potential.

3. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Understanding the Workplace

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Understanding the Workplace is one of the most widely read textbooks in the field of I/O psychology. It covers the theory and application of concepts that have guided the professional progress of I/O psychologists for most of a century, and students of all backgrounds can easily grasp its concepts in detail without additional resources. It’s written by Paul Levy, an I/O psychologist who has authored several important texts in this field.

4. Work in the 21st Century

Work in the 21st Century is a comprehensive text that students of I/O psychology can use to develop a mastery of their subject. The field of I/O psychology has been practiced since the 1930s, and social scientists have developed theories and practices for the workplace over the decades. Work in the 21st Century presents these ideas in clear, easy-to-understand language for students of all backgrounds.

5. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Research and Practice

industrial organizational psychology

Jobs in I/O psychology are expected to increase more quickly than average over the coming years, according to the BLS. I/O psychologists have many attractive options to choose from when it comes to practicing and researching this highly specialized subject. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Research and Practice can quickly bring anyone up-to-speed on the terminology, concept, and techniques used in I/O psychology.

6. Constructing Organizational Life

Published in August 2019 by the Oxford University Press, Constructing Organizational Life is a 400-page, enlightening book that examines how people shape institutions. It was written by two of London’s leading business professors, Drs. Thomas B. Lawrence and Nelson Phillips, with nearly 750 well-sourced citations. Constructing Organizational Life breaks down complex I/O psychology research to discover how societal norms impact workplaces. The reference book poses a unique social-symbolic perspective to understand work environments. Its pages trace historical shifts in modern workplaces since the early 20th century to show how humans have constructed their organizational life.

7. The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement

Authored by Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter, The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement is one of the shortest, yet most practical industrial-organizational psychology books. The 125-page book printed in January 2019 recommends ways for I/O psychologists to positively change disengaged workforces. Proven, actionable tips for organizations to connect with employees are outlined. It’s the third installment of The Non-Obvious Guide series. Unlike older I/O psychology books, it focuses an entire chapter on reaching out to and retaining millennials. Grant and Notter also suggest cutting-edge ways to measure employee engagement better than surveys.

8. The Best Place to Work

Given the Inc. Best Business Book of the Year Award, The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace is a highly recommended read for I/O psychologists. Published in 2014, this 352-page book by ignite80 founder Dr. Ron Friedman explores how companies build successful work environments. Friedman utilizes industrial-organizational psychology research to reveal how managers can promote better work performance. Each chapter doles out research-backed advice on how to improve work culture, creativity, employee motivation, team collaboration, and more. I/O psychologists will benefit from the real-world stories of leaders boosting productivity.

9. Organizational Behavior: A Skill-Building Approach

Released in 2nd Edition format in January 2019, Organizational Behavior: A Skill-Building Approach is one of the leading industrial-organizational psychology books focused on unleashing full employee potential. One author, Dr. Christopher Neck, is an Arizona State University scholar and Business Week Favorite Professor Award recipient. The other authors are Virginia Tech’s Dr. Jeffrey Houghton and University College Dublin’s Emma L. Murray. The writing trio produced a 568-page textbook with I/O psychology strategies to enhance work dynamics. Readers learn the organizational factors that affect workers’ ambition, job satisfaction, productivity, and office engagement. The updated volume features a user-friendly term glossary and visual charts to depict good work practices.

10. Corporate Psychopathy

corporate psychology

Available on Amazon Kindle, Corporate Psychopathy: Investigating Destructive Personalities in the Workplace is an interesting I/O psychology book that centers on bad actors who ruin office environments. The 385-page digital guide was published by Palgrave Macmillan in December 2019 by Drs. Katarina Fritzon, Nathan Brooks, and Simon Croom. Corporate psychopaths are defined as leaders who hide behind charisma to manipulate and attack other colleagues. Corporate psychopaths take whatever means necessary to promote themselves with no guilt or empathy. I/O psychologists learn how to address their antisocial and predatory workplace behaviors. Corporate Psychopathy utilizes emerging personality research and real-life examples to paint the picture of psychopathic executives.

11. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization

The next spot on our list of today’s best industrial organizational psychology books goes to The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization. This book’s author, Peter Senge, is a highly esteemed systems psychologist, professor, and the founder of the Society for Organizational Learning. In his groundbreaking book, Senge emphasizes, based on trials and experience, that an organization’s only sure ticket to continued success is the ability to learn and adapt. Doing this better than the competition, according to the experts, is key to staying on top.

12. Organizational Culture and Leadership

An organization’s overall culture and its approaches in leadership are some of the most important factors to its success and continuity. Organizational Culture and Leadership, by expert author Edgar H. Schein, is a great read into just these kinds of insights. Delve into the depths of what makes a company’s culture, intended and unintended, and learn exactly what it takes to maintain the best leadership systems possible with this highly recommended industrial organizational psychology book.

13. Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time is a great read that focuses on commonly erroneous leadership methods versus those that truly work. How do flawed methods affect businesses? Why do many businesses inadvertently use these flawed approaches to management and leadership? This much-acclaimed IO psychology and better business guide by expert Jeffrey Pfeffer spells it all out in terms that anyone can understand.

14. The Rocket Model: Practical Advice for Building High Performing Teams

“The Rocket Model” is an expertly developed model for building unbeatable teams in business and elsewhere. Teamwork, is the focus of this great IO read by expert authors and industry iconoclasts Drs. Gordon Curphy and Robert Hogan, and according to their work, the use of highly-refined teams is one of the primary keys to organizational excellence. Human behavior, team dynamics, leadership data, and more awaits the reader in this great read.

15. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

While many efforts toward organizational greatness focus on individuals and the individual components of an organization, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization takes a different approach. This great industrial organizational book teaches business leaders how to harness employees’ unique characteristics in order to create a much more well-oiled collective. This selection was created and written by a collaboration of five renowned experts in the field.

16. The Social Psychology of Organizations

The Social Psychology of Organizations is the work of industry experts and authors Daniel Katz, Robert L. Kahn. In this great IO piece, the reader will be taken through the many social errors that many organizations tend to make and why these approaches are flawed. Alternative approaches are then provided with expertly-explained reasoning. Expect to learn the ins and outs of the motivations to work, effective conflict resolution, organizational change, the development of organizational strategy, and more.

17. The Handbook of Work Analysis: Methods, Systems, Applications and Science of Work Measurement in Organizations

How can an organization understand the effects of its actions if it doesn’t have effective ways to quantify and measure those actions and their results? This quandary is the focus of this book, written by a collective of experts in organizational theory. Learn to measure and properly organize organizational actions with this great read, and never be left in the uncertain shadows of organizational decision-making again.

18. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

Often, experts discuss all manner of approaches to business success, but in Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, industry expert and author Adam M. Grant insists that more often than not, actual organizational success simply hinges on the basis of quality interactions. According to Grant, the more success that is realized in individual interactions in an organization, the more success the greater collective of the organization will then experience.

19. Becoming the Evidence-Based Manager: Making the Science of Management Work for You

In Becoming the Evidence-Based Manager: Making the Science of Management Work for You, author Gary P. Latham cuts to chase and gets to the bottom of exactly what does and what does not work in organizational management. By compiling a list of proven, evidence-based management approaches, Latham eliminates all of the extra advice out there and focuses solely on what works. Readers of this great piece can look forward to a strong bevy of tools and approaches that have passed the strict litmus test of real-life trial.

20. Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour In The Workplace

Lastly but certainly not least in our list of the top industrial organizational psychology books today, Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour In The Workplace gives an excellent, all-around look at workplace psychology and how to master it from all sides. What factors motivate and which ones demotivate? How does sociology affect performance and attitude? Why do managers do what they do, often without realizing their own actions? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this enlightening IO read.

These books provide an excellent foundation of knowledge in the subject of I/O psychology while helping students develop useful skills for the workplace. Studying industrial-organizational psychology can improve your employment prospects and increase your earning potential.

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