Work & Organizational Psychology is dealing with psychological questions regarding the world of work. In the masters’ programme it’s one of the applied subjects and can be chosen either as major or as minor subject.
- Work Psychology -
In a narrower sense, work psychology regards the question how working conditions affect the working human being and how the human by his- or herself has an impact on the working conditions.
The fact that many adults spend a lot of time at their workplace highlights the relevance of this area. Specifically, it’s being investigated how working conditions can be analyzed, which positive (challenging and interesting job, qualification options) and negative effects work (stressors, stress) can have and which recommendations for job design can be derived from it. Further important topics are work-psychological training research, work motivation and satisfaction, psychological accident research and consequences of computer technologies.
- Organizational Psychology -
Organizational Psychology is dealing with interdependencies between an individual and the organization.
First of all, it has to be considered which fundamental characteristics underlie an organization from a psychological point of view and how these characteristics affect the people in the organization. Further important questions regard personnel selection and human resource development, leadership, work teams, power in organizations, cooperation and conflicts in organizations as well as organizational culture, climate and development.
- Work & Organizational Psychology in practice -
The descriptions given above lead to application in praxis: work and organizational psychologists are responsible for questions regarding job analysis, job design and safety at work, they conduct communication and leadership trainings or are involved in organizational development. Work psychologists often collaborate with occupational physicians, computer scientists and engineers. Organizational psychology has its main overlap with business administration.
Questions which may arise within Work & Organizational psychology are for example:
- What accounts for a good organizational climate?
- How to design a word processing program to make it easily operated?
- Which advantages and disadvantages are associated with team work?
- How are catastrophes like Tschernobyl caused?
- What is the most efficient way to deal with conflicts?
- How to prove if an on-the-job training attains the desired effects?
- How to design working conditions so that employees have fun doing their work?
- What is the best way to find a suitable manager for a certain position?
- Which working conditions lead to reduced psychological well-being?