I / O Psychology And Human Resource

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Many people, including Industrial/Organisation (I/O) psychology students, do not necessarily know what the career field of I/O psychology entails. In an attempt to answer the question of “why should we employ I/O psychologist?” a definition of I/O psychology will be given and an explanation of the roles which it plays in organisations. To assert the argument for the employment of I/O psychologist in organisations and create an understanding of the role of I/O psychology within an organisation, the following will be done. Namely comparing and contrasting I/O psychology and Human Resource (HR) management, and highlighting aspects of the two career paths that, in collaboration, can greatly improve workplaces. The purpose of this
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as cited in Schreuder & Coetzee, 2010). I/O psychologists essentially aim to maximize efficiency whilst maintaining a operational and satisfying environment within an organisation. Schreuder and Coetzee (2010) state that that the job of an I/O psychologist concerns the effective functioning of people in relation to their working environments. The areas of expertise in which I/O psychologist work in to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of people (employees) in an organisation include: recruitment and selection, training, appraisal and review, vocational guidance and career development, industrial relation, occupational health and safety, planning technological and organisational change, organisational behaviour, ergonomics, consumer behaviour, job redesign and marketing (HPCSA, n.d. as cited in Schreuder & Coetzee, 2010).

Patterson, West, Lawthom & Nickell (1997) define Human Resource Management (HRM) as the management of human capital, which is the main factor of company performance. HRM is often confused as an area of expertise in the job of an I/O psychologist. However HRM deals with the employee in relation to their job/workplace where as I/O psychologist with the job/workplace in relation to the employee. Patterson et al. (1997) states that HRM practices can improve organisational performance by: increasing the skills and abilities of employees, promoting positive attitudes and increasing motivation and providing
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