What is IO Psychology ?

"Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Rigorous methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including but not limited to talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance."(SIOP website)

Industrial Organizational (IO) psychology is the science of people in the workplace. As its name suggests, it can be divided into two parts: Industrial and Organizational. The older branch, Industrial psychology, focuses on the improvement of the workplace effectiveness by better use of the human resources such as employee selection and job designs. The newer of the two branches, Organizational psychology, concerns itself with the individual employees' well-being in areas of employee engagement and motivation. In the language of the profession, IO psychology is about the application of psychological principles and theories in organizations in order to increase organizational effectiveness and to build and maintain a healthy workforce. IO psychology analyzes how organizations can best maximize employees' potential and at the same time sustain employees' physical and mental well-being. The focus falls upon how to select employees, how to retain them, and how to develop their potentials for the sake of the organization's future development and growth.

IO psychologists are often called upon to help organizations with their employee related problems. For example, what objective measures can help organizations choose whom to hire for a certain position? Which employees should be considered for succession planning? Who should be the next CEO? What kind of training is needed? How the training should be delivered? Who should attend the training? Here, we will focus on five of the most common topics in IO psychology: how to choose and use psychological tests, what is a competency model and how to build one, what is an assessment center and how to run an assessment center, how to plan and evaluate training, and what is a structured interview and how to conduct it.