Social and I-O psychology

Social Psychology and
I-O Psychology
Module from SIOP
Social and I-O Psychology
• Many theories and findings from social psychology
research have been applied in I-O psychology
• The list is long, but here are a few links:
– Attraction  Bias in employee selection & evaluation
– Social exchange  Organizational citizenship behaviors
and Counterproductive workplace behaviors
– Group processes  Motivation and Decision making
– Power/interpersonal influence  Leadership
Attraction  Bias in Evaluation
• Social psychologists know there are
predictable reasons why we are attracted to
others (e.g., proximity, similarity).
• I-O psychologists know that these reasons can
unduly influence evaluation of people who are
looking to get hired or get a good raise.
• Excessive attraction bias can lead to
employment discrimination
Social exchange  OCBs/CWBs
• Social psychologists know that people expect to receive
something in exchange for what they have given, and
vice versa.
• I-O psychologists know that when workers feel their
organization has been good to them, they are more
motivated to return the favor in terms of voluntary,
helpful behaviors (called organizational citizenship
• If a worker feels s/he has been treated unfairly, s/he is
more likely to “return the favor” in terms of harmful
behaviors (called counterproductive workplace
behaviors) such as absenteeism or theft.
Group processes  Influence and
Decision making
Social influence:
• Social facilitation – when a worker is being watched,
s/he is more likely to work harder
• Social loafing – when a worker is part of a team
responsible for some work, a lack of individual
accountability can lead to lower effort for that worker
Decision making:
• Group think – decisions made in a work team can be
poor quality if dissent is not explicitly encouraged and
cohesiveness is high
• Group polarization – decisions made in a work team
can be more extreme if emotions run high
There are different approaches to leadership research:
• “Great man” approach – you must be born a great leader
• “Power” approach – leadership is about acquiring and
wielding the right kind of power
• Behavioral approach – you just need to exhibit leader-like
behaviors to be a good leader
• Dyadic/situational approach – leadership depends on the
relationship between the leader and the follower
• Transformational approach – you need to inspire your
followers to buy into your vision
• Abusive/destructive leadership approach – some leaders
are not trying to be supportive, good leaders
Class Discussion
• How can factors influencing attraction possibly lead to
employment discrimination?
• Have you ever gone the extra mile for your organization? If
so, what factors contributed to your decision to help?
• Have you seen social facilitation or social loafing at your
workplace? How can organizations encourage teamwork
and avoid social loafing?
• How can an organization help support workers who want to
become great leaders?
Further Reading
Elkins, T. J., & Philips, J. S. (1999). Evaluating sex discrimination claims: The
mediating role of attributions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(2), 186-199. dated
article, more current articles about attractiveness bias
Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organizational
commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors.
Journal of Management, 17(3), 601. very dated, much more current research
Kelloway, E. K., Francis, L., Prosser, M., & Cameron, J. E. (2010). Counterproductive
work behavior as protest. Human Resource Management Review, 20(1), 18-25.
Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., Jaworski, R. A., & Bennett, N. (2004). Social loafing: A
field investigation. Journal of Management, 30(2), 285.
Piccolo, R. F., & Colquitt, J. A. (2006). Transformational leadership and job
behaviors: The mediating role of core job characteristics. Academy of Management
Journal, 49(2), 327-340.
Collins, D. B., & Holton, E. F., III. (2004). The effectiveness of managerial leadership
development programs: A meta-analysis of studies from 1982 to 2001. Human
Resource Development Quarterly, 15(2), 217-248.

similar documents