Psychology in the workplace studies
The first step to creating a positive work environment is to secure a position that positively suits you. Before you accept a position, you should know what your key skills are; what type of work you want to do, what kind of role you would like, where you see yourself in five years, and what kind of environment you thrive in. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to recognize those opportunities that meet those criteria, giving you a running start.
Psychology’s ceremonial “birthdate” as a science wasn’t until 1879 (when Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory). Of course, industrial and organizational psychology wasn’t established until sometime after that. Yet, many of the issues critical to I/O psychology had been discussed long before then. Below are just a few examples.
Aristotle, in Politics, developed foundations for many modern management concepts, including specialization of labor, delegation of authority, departmentalization, decentralization, and leadership selection
Medieval European guilds functioned like modern-day quality circles to ensure fine craftsmanship
Machiavelli (in The Prince, 1527) offered practical advice for developing authoritarian structures within organizations
Thomas Hobbes (1651) advocated a strong centralized leadership as a means for bringing “order to the chaos created by man”. He provided a justification for autocratic rule that helped establish the pattern for organizations through the nineteenth century
John Locke (1690) outlined the philosophical justification later manifested in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which in effect, advocates participatory management in his argument that leadership is granted by the governed
Jean Jacques Rousseau, in The Social Contract (1762), in effect supported Locke’s position
Adam Smith (1776), in The Wealth of Nations revolutionized economic and organizational thought by suggesting the use of centralization of labor and equipment in factories, division of specialized labor, and management of specialization in factories