The latest edition of this classic text provides a comprehensive and internationally relevant introduction to work and organizational psychology, exploring the depth and diversity of the field in an accessible way without obscuring the complexities of the subject. Third edition of a classic textbook offering a complete introduction to work and organizational psychology for undergraduate and graduate students with no prior knowledge of the field. An innovative new six part structure with two-colour presentation focuses the core material around issues that are either Job-Focused, Organization-Focused, or People-Focused. Each chapter title is a question designed to engage readers in understanding work and organizational psychology whilst simultaneously inviting discussion of key topics in the field. The third edition introduces two new co-editors in Franco Fraccaroli from Italy and Magnus Sverke, who join Nik Chmiel and will increase relevance and appeal for European students.
Nik Chmiel, Professor of Psychology and Head of Department, Department of Psychology and Counselling, University of Chichester, UK. Past president of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP). Franco Fraccaroli, Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology, Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Italy. President of the Alliance of Organizational Psychology and past president of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP). Magnus Sverke, Professor and Chair of the Division of Work and Organizational Psychology, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden. Extraordinary Professor, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
We wanted to produce a book relevant to modern-day work and organizations where psychology rather than management held centre stage, but where the psychology concerned is related to the way managers manage, coworkers behave, and organizations function. We wanted the book to be engaging to readers interested in why people behave the way they do at work. So each chapter title is in the form of a question that people at work could ask about their work or workplace because it is important to contemporary organizational life and where the answers matter to how people think, feel and behave when doing their jobs, working with others, grappling with technology, and contributing to the organization they belong to.The answers emerge, as they must do from a science-based field of inquiry, from systematic research into the issues involved and the careful accumulation of evidence that relates working conditions and organizational functioning to people’s reactions and behaviour.
Peter Medawar, Nobel Prize-winner and leading light in understanding how the immune system of the body reacts to organ transplants, characterized scientific enquiry
as a logically articulated structure of justifiable beliefs about nature. It begins as a story about a Possible World – a story which we invent and criticize and modify as we go along, so that it ends by being, as nearly as we can make it, a story about real lif.’ (1969: 59)
In this book our beliefs are formed around questions we might ask about working life and each chapter tries to articulate answers that are justifiable, having been subject to modification and critique through the research process. So what we have are narratives, as close to real life as we can make them with current knowledge, about important issues to people’s working lives.
In his Foreword Wilmar Schaufeli highlights how much work has changed in the last few years and how much it is continuing to change. He characterizes the change as making mental work and soft skills much more prominent than hitherto, placing people at the heart of organizations and their success, and this observation chimes with that made by Schneider (1987) – that ‘the people make the place’. In short, it matters who we are and what we contribute to our organization, both for our own well-being and that of the organization. It is us that are being organized and doing the organization. So it matters what sort of questions we ask of ourselves and our workplaces, and it matters that we understand what type of contribution is made, why and by whom, to our collective endeavour and well-being. The emphasis on people though necessarily entails asking what happens to us when we leave work: what is our work-life balance like, what if we work part time, what if we are unemployed, and what if we are moving towards retirement.
Work and organizational psychology represents the combination of two subdisciplines: work psychology and organizational psychology. We strongly believe that this combination is a fruitful one. Work psychology traditionally embraces areas such as recruitment and selection, career choices, working conditions and safety, as well as stress and health, which involve a focus on individual workers and their well-being. Organizational psychology, on the other hand, typically includes areas such as organizational governance and leadership, employee motivation and performance, and organizational productivity, thus representing a focus on organizations and their prosperity. The combination of these two sub-fields into work and organizational psychology thus highlights the importance of studying, and understanding, factors at work that are beneficial to both individual employees and the organizations in which they work.
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