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Industrial and organisational psychology

Discover what organisational psychologists study, their role in maximising workplace harmony and productivity and how much they earn.

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WHAT IS ORGANISATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY?

Organisational psychology (also known as industrial or occupational psychology) is the scientific study of how people behave in the workplace. It’s a broad role that works alongside human resources (HR) to observe employee behaviour and critically evaluate workplace practices and performance - with a view to resolving issues, maximising productivity and ultimately creating a happy environment.

 
 

With the average full-time working week coming in at just over 37 hours, when you add that up over a lifetime, it's a whole lot of time spent in the workplace. So, naturally, throughout our working lives, we'll face ups, downs, changes and challenges alongside many colleagues in our many different roles.

Industrial organisational psychologists are often employed by businesses as they undergo a period of transition - such as a change in ownership. They use a range of scientific methods, including quantitative and qualitative research to help leaders:Industrial organisational psychologists are often employed by businesses as they undergo a period of transition - such as a change in ownership. They use a range of scientific methods, including quantitative and qualitative research to help leaders:

  • communicate more effectively with teams
  • motivate employees so they're more invested in the company
  • improve job satisfaction and boost employee retention
  • boost performance and productivity 

Organisational psychologist personality traits

Our fictional famous industrial psychologist

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Toby Flenderson (The Office US)


Toby Flenderson is the HR representative for the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc. in TV sitcom, The Office. In the episode ‘Counseling’, Michael Scott is required to attend counselling sessions with Toby after a physical altercation with his nephew and intern, Luke. Although the session’s portrayal is exaggerated for comedic effect, it highlights workplace conflict resolution, which is something an occupational psychologist can be involved in.

The possible industrial psychology careers

What is an occupational psychologist’s salary?

When you qualify as an occupational psychologist, you can expect to earn between £20,000 and £29,000 per annum. As you gain greater experience in the field, salaries increase to between £35,000 and £50,000. At a senior level, you could earn up to £80,000 per year or more.

It's worth noting that salaries can depend significantly depend on whether you work for a public body or private company.

Sources: UK - Prospects

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