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Building Better Organizations

Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the Workplace

Industrial-organizational psychology helps develop strategies that build better organizations. An I-O psychologist can help you with staffing, workforce development, and workplace climate issues.

  • Recruit people that best fit your organization.
  • Hire better people.
  • Retain the best people.
  • Develop fair, legal, and efficient hiring practices.
  • Improve the skills of the people you already have.
  • Create a diverse, qualified workforce.
  • Develop performance management systems.
  • Minimize absenteeism.
  • Eliminate harassment and discrimination.
  • Foster a team environment.
  • Increase motivation and dedication.

The bottom line in any organization is performance 

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists contribute to an organizations success by improving the performance and well-being of its people. An I-O psychologist researches and identifies how behaviors and attitudes can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, and feedback systems.

I-O Psychologists Work With Organizations in Many Areas


  • Testing: test development, including tests of job knowledge, skills, reasoning, personality, and physical abilities; assessment centers; certification testing; multimedia testing (Web-based, video, etc.); interpretation of test results; test fairness; test-taker perceptions
  • Selection and Promotion: recruiting; hiring; structured interviews; succession planning; performance appraisal and management
  • Training and Development: computer-based learning; executive coaching, management development, mentoring, and leadership; competency modeling; team design and training; measuring training effectiveness
  • Employee Attitudes and Satisfaction: involvement and empowerment; retention; job satisfaction; burnout, conflict, and stress management; aging and retirement; gender issues; resignation and voluntary turnover
  • Employee Motivation: factors that motivate employees to perform effectively

Organizational Development

  • Change Management: mergers and acquisitions; group processes; process reengineering; productivity and quality improvement; strategic planning
  • Surveys: climate and culture 
  • Job design and evaluation
  • Organizational structure
  • Team building
  • Workforce planning (downsizing and rightsizing)
  • Cross-cultural and diversity issues 
  • Impact of technology in the workplace
  • Customer service issues

Human Resource Management

I-O psychologists can provide scientific research that HR managers can use in developing strategies and decisions.

  • Legal: analysis of issues and expert testimony on EEO/AA, ADA, OSHA, and other issues; discrimination; jury decision processes
  • Workplace Health: ergonomics, human factors, and safety; overcoming stress; workplace violence
  • Compensation and Benefits: pay, perks, rewards, and recognition
  • Employee Behavior: harassment; absenteeism; discipline
  • Employee Issues: union and labor relations
  • WorkLife Programs: flexible work arrangements, quality of work life, worklife balance, working parents, and telecommuting
  • Performance Evaluations and Assessments: design of job performance measurement systems for feedback and performance improvement

Research Expertise

  • Research design and methods
  • Data analysis and statistics
  • Statistical models 
  • Data privacy, confidentiality, and ethics 
  • In-depth knowledge of the research on employee attitudes and behaviors as they relate to organizational performance 

Job Titles of I-O Psychologists

Corporate Vice President, Director, Manager, Staff Member of

Organizational Development, Management Development, Human Resources Research, Employee Relations, Training and Development, and Leadership Development

President, Vice President, Director of

Private research, consulting companies, and organizations

Full, Associate, Assistant Professor of

Psychology, Management, Organizational Behavior, and Industrial Relations

About SIOP

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is an association of the world's top workplace behavioral scientists.

  • With more than 6,000 members from all 50 states and 42 countries, SIOP is a diverse group with its primary focus on building better organizations by improving the performance of individuals, teams, and groups.
  • SIOP members, most of whom have doctoral degrees, are affiliated with the American Psychological Association or the American Psychological Society.
  • SIOP members have testified before Congress, written federal legislation, and have served as consultants and experts for numerous companiesfrom small private firms to large multinational corporations.

Consultant Locator Service

I-O psychologists are frequently requested to provide their expertise to organizations and assist in resolving a variety of workplace issues.  SIOP has created a Consultant Locator Service that can put organizations, particularly human resource divisions, in touch with an I-O psychologist whose knowledge and experience can help develop strategies and policies.

Click here to access The Consultant Locator Service

I-O psychology in the workplace: a partnership that builds better organizations.