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See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace Chapter · January 2004 CITATIONS 56 READS 12,225 5 authors , including: Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects: A critical social psychology of leadership View project Jo Silvester City, University of London 34 PUBLICATIONS 656 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE Fiona Patterson University of Cambridge 96 PUBLICATIONS 1,145 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE Ivan T. Robertson The University of Manchester 106 PUBLICATIONS 2,333 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE Cary L. Cooper The University of Manchester 957 PUBLICATIONS 20,610 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Cary L. Cooper on 21 December 2016. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file. All in-text references underlined in blue are added to the original document and are linked to publications on ResearchGate, letting you access and read them immediately.
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Work Psychology Understanding human behaviour in the workplace SECOND EDITION John Arnold Cary L. Cooper Ivan T. Robertson
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CHAPTER 3 Work psychology: its origins, subject- matter and research techniques OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter, you should be able to: ~ Describe important features of the history of work psychology. ~ Specify the topics covered by work psychologists. ~ Describe the main elements of a psychological theory, and explain the links between those elements. Discuss the relationship between work psychology and common sense. ~ Describe five methods of data collection used in research by work psychologists. ~ Describe the key features, advantages and disadvantages of four research designs used by work psychologists. 3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter begins with a brief look at the roots and history of work psychology, including the Hawthorne studies and other key milestones. Attention then turns to modern work psychology: the topics it covers, the relationship between theory and practice, and professional affairs. The issue of whether work psychology is more useful than so-called common sense is examined. If it is to be useful, work psychology must be based on sound information and appropriate techniques. This chapter therefore concludes with an analysis of how work psychologists obtain information using research methods. The strengths and weaknesses of each method are illustrated with examples. By the end of the chapter the reader should know the topics that work psychology covers, and be able to describe and evaluate the research methods used by work psychologists. 3.2 THE ORIGINS OF WORK PSYCHOLOGY Work psychology has at least two distinct roots. One resides in a pair of traditions that have often been termed 'fitting the man [sic] to the job' (FMJ) and 'fitting the job to the man [sic]' (FJM). The FMJ tradition manifests itself in employee selection, training and vocational guidance. These endeavours have in common an attempt to achieve an effective match between job and person by concentrating on the latter. The FJM tradition focuses instead on
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