Psychology is the scientific study of human experience as it is lived in different political, socioeconomic and cultural settings. It is a science that offers a description of the range of human emotions, abilities and thought processes. It examines people’s attitudes and motives, both conscious and unconscious.

The discipline of Psychology contains broad and important areas of study such as clinical and counselling psychology, educational psychology and organisational psychology. Regarding the latter, this refers to the application of psychological research and theory to enhancing productivity and job satisfaction as well as solving problems related to work and with organisations.

Organisational Psychologists are concerned with performance of people at work and in training, and with developing a full understanding of how organisations function and how individuals and small groups behave at work. Given the rapidity of change in all aspects of modern society, particularly in South Africa, the services of organisational psychologists are in increasing demand. The aims of Organisational Psychologists are to increase the effectiveness of the organisation or group and improve the job satisfaction of the individual. To achieve these aims, activities are many and varied so that Organisational Psychologists may undertake work in fields such as
Organisational Consultancy, Assessment and Training, Economics, Health and Safety.

Organisational Psychologists may also work in advisory, teaching and research roles and, perhaps to a lesser extent, in technical and administrative roles.

Some of the areas in which Organisational Psychologists might be called upon to work would be concerned with organisational change and development, interpersonal relationships, group and intergroup processes, unemployment (how this is managed by organisations and how individuals cope with unemployment, redundancy, retirement or job seeking for instance) and industrial relations.

Organisational Psychologists are also concerned with the broad area of assessment and training. This would include such elements as recruitment, training, appraisal, attitude surveys and experimental research as well as the occasional guidance and counselling.

To major in Organisational Psychology, one has first to take Psychology 1 before being eligible to enrol for Organisational Psychology 2, and thereafter Organisational Psychology 3. Organisational Psychology, as a major subject in the degree, provides many opportunities, and the holder of such a degree might, for instance, be referred to as a Personnel Consultant or a Human Relations Manager and so on. However, it is only legally permissible to refer to oneself as an Organisational Psychologist once one has registration as such with the Professional Board for Psychology. This requires a directed Master’s degree together with appropriate experience during an industrially based 12 month internship programme.

For more information: Psychology

Last Modified: Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:51:11 SAST