Introduction to Work and Organisational Psychology


PSYB17 - 141

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 6

Typically offered in

Spring semester

Course description

The aim of this course it to give an overview of the fields and methods of work and organisational psychology. The aim of this course is to present the main tasks of work and organisation psychologists performed inside and outside of the organisations. The specific goal of this course is to present the main topics of this domain and to integrate this knowledge into everyday

Learning outcome, competences

  •  Students will be familiar with models and theories behind the main domains of work- and organisational psychology
  •  Students will be able to connect their psychological knowledge with the more specific goals of this domain


  •  Students will show openness, sensibility to specific problems of different type of organisations
  •  Students will be more opened to economic, financial aspects of developing human resources


  •  Students will be able to use some basic workforce management techniques
  •  Students will be able to plan the human resource needs strategically
  •  Students will be able to think critically about different human resource management models, conceptions and methods

Content of the course
Topics of the course

  •  Introduction: domains and areas of work and organisational psychology, the role of work and organisational psychologists in the present and in the future of organisational life. The history of work and organisational psychology.
  • Job analysis, criteria of job evaluation. Methods of gathering data related to job requirements.
  • Recruitment and selection: definition of the selection criteria and validation process of the predictors. Relation between predictor and criteria. Classification of the predictors. Recruitment and selection methods: ex. Assessment Centre
  •  Job satisfaction. Relationship between motivation and job satisfaction. Motivational background of exit, fluctuation and absence. Influencing factors of organisational engagement. Person-job, Person-Organisation, Person-Environment fit models.
  •  Training in the workplace and skill development.
  •  Introduction to ergonomics. Usability studies. Human error.
  •  Stress on the workplace and burnout. Health promotion on the workplace.

Learning activities, learning methods
presentation and case analysis

Evaluation of outcomes
Learning requirements, mode of evaluation, criteria of evaluation:
exam: 5 essay questions (max. 30 points)
paperwork about a given topic

Topics recommended for paperwork – it should be theoretical work/or presentation of a case:

  •  Job analysis, job evaluation methods/presentation of experiences related to a performed work in this topic
  •  Methods of selection and recruitment. Online recruitment/experiences as co-worker in a process of selection and recruitment
  •  Training programme in the organisations. Planning a training programme for specific needs. Possible ways of measuring the effectiveness of such a programmes.
  •  Presentation of an existing performance appraisal and compensation system, advantages and disadvantages of it from point of view of employees and managers.
  •  Methods of socialization of new employees/ theoretical summary in this topic or presentation of own experiences
  •  Presentation of a career planning system / a summary about such a system

Exam + paperwork = 60 points

mode of evaluation:
Scoring of the paperwork (max. 30 points): Content: 15 Summary 5, The structure of the paperwork 5, Professionality 3, Aesthetics: 2
The weight of exam and paperwork in the calculation of the final grade is: 50-50%

criteria of evaluation:

  •  participation
  •  correct answers to the test items
  •  quality of the paperwork

Reading list
Compulsory reading list

Arnold, R., Randall, R. (2010) Work Psychology. Understanding Human Behaviour int he
Workplace. Financial Times Prenctice Hall

Recommended reading list:

  •  Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Orhanizational Psychology, vol. 1. Oxford University Press
  •  Anderson, N., Lievens, F., van Dam, K., Ryan, A. M. (2004) Future Perspective on employee selection, key direction for future research and practice. Applied Psychology: An international Review, 53 (4), 487-501.
  •  Arnold, J., Cooper, C.L., Robertson, I.T. (1998) Work psychology. Understanding the human behaviour on workplace. Chapter 3. London: Pitman Publishig
  •  Patterson, F. (2001) Developments in work psychology: emerging issues and future trends. Journal of work and occupational psychology. 74. 381-390.
  •  Sanchez és Levine (2009): What is (or should be) the difference between competency modelling and traditional job analysis. Human Resource Management Review 19. 53-63
  •  Singh (2008): Job analysis for changing workplace. Resource Management Review 18. 87-99
  •  Wolff, Ch. J. (1998) The role of work and organizational psychologists. In: Drenth, P., Thierry, H.,
  •  Wolff, Ch. J. (eds.) (1998) Handbook of Work and Organizational Psychology. Vol. 1., Psychology Press Ltd.