Organisational Psychology II
This is a full year course, in which the following courses are generally taught:
Research Methods - gaining an understanding about the manner in which knowledge is produced and evaluated in the Social Sciences and becoming familiar with the logic and processes of conducting psychological research;
Workplace Relations which describes the sources and processes of interpersonal conflict and what can be done to reduce interpersonal conflict, describes the origins and nature of industrial conflict and the processes implemented by government, business and labour to govern the current employment relationship in South Africa, and also outlines the basic processes of bargaining, negotiation and conflict resolution;
Individual Differences and Diversity, which seeks to examine the origin and nature of individual differences, how they impact on behaviour in the workplace and what can be done to manage these differences;
Social Psychology which seeks to define, describe, and identify various social psychology concepts and then to identify and apply these terms and concepts in our understanding of other people’s behaviour;
Consumer Psychology, the psychology of advertising and consumer behaviour;
Human Resources Psychology which identifies and describe the factors influencing workplace performance and shows what management can do to enhance performance via such processes as motivation recruitment and selection, training and development, rewards and incentives and performance management.
Consumer psychology/behaviour looks at how individuals and/or people (in this case referred to as consumers) behave in the market – the products and services they choose over others, reasons for their choices, and all the other relevant psychological processes involved before the final buying decision is made. While the course shares extensively with aspects of marketing, and while it is also taught much in marketing and marketing-related disciplines, the focus within I/O psychology is to highlight to you how psychology contributes toward the understanding of a consumer. As you would be aware, the discipline of psychology from its inception focused mainly on the individual, but then expanded to include the study of groups and social processes (e.g. group and social psychology). Consumer behaviour also follows this trend. It first introduces you to nature of a person as an individual within the market. However, since humans are by their very nature, social beings, the course also introduces you to how consumer perceptions, choices, attitudes and the subsequent behaviour are in turn influenced by the social context – family, friends, culture, and the broader social system. The importance of context and demands placed on a ‘post-modern’ consumer resulting from the nature of post-modern markets (highly diversified, unstable and competitive) will be covered to introduce the student to the concept of post-modern consumer and how he/she is different from the modern one.
The purpose of the practical exercises is to give students an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they have acquired in the course (through lectures, prescribed reading) into practice. They also afford them an opportunity to critically evaluate – through real world exercises – the applicability of job evaluation procedures into practice. Students need to keep in mind that departments within an organisation as well as their respective functions do not exist in isolation but are meant to work in unison with the overall objective being to help the broader organisation to achieve its goals. Thus, while the purpose of job evaluation is by definition, to measure and/or determine the relative importance of a job against others within an organisation, of even greater importance is the importance of such jobs (not only against each or one another) to the organisation.