The older industrial psychology before the contributions of Gunnar Westerlund and like-minded colleagues in other countries was a branch of applied individual psychology concerned with personnel selection, training and efficient methods of work. With the famous studies of Mayo (1933) and Roethlisberger and Dickson (1939) at Western Electric, and the so-called Hawthorne effect, came the recognition of social psychological factors. But even with this breakthrough industrial psychologists restricted what social psychology they did use to small groups or to the personalities of key actors. Group dynamics and personality dynamics were studied in and applied to organizations without taking into account the nature of the organizational setting. Whether the organization was public or private, voluntary or coerced, totally or partially inclusive of its members, authoritarian or democratic in structure, profit making or service orientated, highly or poorly differentiated in structure; these and similar dimensions were ignored. Sociologists were concerned with these structural properties but they too were single-minded in looking only at global characteristics and not tying them to the ongoing psychological processes to which they were related and which, in some cases, gave meaning to the abstractions about organizations. The advance from this earlier simplistic stage has come
Applied Psychology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1986
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