Current Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
The psychological influence that employment can produce upon work performance and safety, and employee health and relationships was increasingly acknowledged throughout the twentieth century. Industrial and organizational psychology began in earnest investigating the work hours and work organization among factory workers, incorporating ability and personality tests into the selection process for military personnel, and treating the ‘shell-shocked’ survivors of the World Wars. The period of approximately 1920 to 1950 was marked by the creation of various kinds of Psychology Boards (for example, Defence and Public Service) and Applied Psychology Units established within some universities in Europe and the US. Thus formal recognition was finally applied to the profession of Organizational Psychologist. Since this period of course, the field has further diversified to include ‘hard’ industrial topics such as ergonomics, job analysis and recruitment testing, as well as the ‘softer’ organizational topics such as occupational stress, job control and work–family balance. Most recently the sub-discipline of occupational health psychology has emerged within the organizational psychology domain, and the interest in this field has generated dedicated journals, academic texts and university courses. The growth of interest in occupational health psychology has occurred in response to employment changes within the last few decades. Thus Western countries have experienced a substantial shift of employment from manufacturing industries to service and knowledge industries, labour markets have changed to include more female and educated workers, while work design has incorporated technology allowing work to be conducted not only in the workplace, but also at home...