PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology
Chapter 1: Nature and Scope of Industrial Psychology
Applications of Industrial Psychology
The importance of industrial psychology would be reflected in what it does for the industrial concerns. Industrial psychology introduced “matching of employees to jobs, for different jobs requiring different skills and abilities.” It emphasized the use of psychology in the field of personnel testing, interviewing, attitude measurement, learning theory, training and monotony study, safety, job analysis and human engineering. A number of psychologists such as Poffenberger, Burtt, Hepner and Munstreberg made significant contributions to the field of industrial psychology. Munstreberg developed an extremely active interest in seeking out ways in which psychology could be applied to the problems in industry.
The knowledge of industrial psychology can be applied in the following areas:
1. Employment Testing
Modern industrial concerns use many psychological tests like intelligence test, aptitude test, interest test, dexterity test, personality test, etc. These tests help in choosing right type of people for the organization. If these tests are properly applied, there will be lower rate of labour turnover, higher productivity of employees and higher job satisfaction among the employees.
2. Designing Training and Development Program
The psychologist help in determining the training needs of employees and designing the training programmes which can deliver good results, and for the development of executives. The important techniques include teaching machine, programmed learning, sensitivity training, role playing etc.
3. Job Evaluation
Job evaluation helps in designing a rotational wage structure within an organization. Important job factors like education, training, experience, degree of supervision, degree of risk, etc. are considered to evaluate different jobs and determine their relative worth.
4. Performance Appraisal
The results of performance appraisal are more reliable and they can be used for certain important personnel decisions like promotion, training, counselling, etc.
Counselling can be done when the individual register himself with an employment exchange. It is also necessary where the man on the job does not fell rightly placed. Sometime workers have personal problems for which they require counselling by the experts.
6. Motivation of Personnel
Industrial psychology probes into behaviour of people at work to determine the conditions in which an individual feels motivated and is willing to work wholeheartedly to maximize his productivity.
7. Improvement of Morale
It can go into the causes of low morale of employees and can determine the factors influencing the relationship between attitudes of employees and their performance.
8. Human Engineering
Human engineering is concerned with the designing and laying out the equipment in order to get the greater efficiency of man machine system. It helps to improve the design, improve the product for the comfort of the users and increases the sale of product and satisfaction of customers, reduce machine breakdowns, wastages of raw materials, and training time to workers to minimize accidents and to introduce better performance and job satisfaction.
Specific Areas of Concern
• Recruiting and selecting employees for jobs
• Training employees
• Assessing performance
• Defining and analyzing jobs
• Determining people feel about work
• Determining why people act as they do at work
• Effects work has on people
• Effects people have on one another
• How organizations are structured and function
• Designing work
• Designing tools and equipment
• Employee Health and Safety
Importance for Engineering
- The knowledge and techniques of motivation provided by industrial psychology helps the engineer to get the work done through the efforts of the worker without much hardship.
- Since the physical aspect of the work environment have great influence on the output and safety of worker’s, the engineers by properly manipulating this aspect can greatly improve the output of the employees as plant engineers and also avoid accidents as safety engineers
- Since industrial psychology is concerned with the research and procurement of vital information out of that research for causes and effects of human behaviour, solving human related problems that occurs in plant situation is easy for the plant engineers.
- The data provided by industrial psychology is essential for the design engineers to design the proper machine and equipment, tools, etc. to get the greater efficiency of man-machine system.
- The principles of ergonomics or human engineering which is the part of industrial psychology concerned with the study of relationship of the worker and his job can help the design engineer or an architectural engineer to design equipment, furniture and work places with the object of fitting their design and characteristics to workers needs.
- The study of lighting system, ventilation, noise control etc. by the plant engineers will also be planned to prevent employee fatigue and to heighten his productive efficiency.
- The finer aspects of counselling principles in industrial psychology can often greatly help to plant and safety engineers to prevent accidents and ensure the plant as “safety zone”.