Observational Techniques in Work and Organizational Settings


The assessment of observable human behaviour is one of the core problems of Work and Organizational Psychology. Beginning in its early history the discipline applied measurement and observational techniques of experimental psychology by simulating concrete work settings and tasks and assessing reaction times, for example, of tram drivers or aircraft pilots. Even before the growth of radical Behaviourism, it was influenced by the time and motion studies of Frederic W. Taylor's Scientific Management. Blum and Naylor (1968: 174) in their classical textbook emphasized the importance of the development of observable criteria: ‘The criterion is basic to all measurement in industrial psychology. To overstate its importance would be literally impossible. Without adequate criteria, industrial psychology is ineffective and ceases to be a science. In other words, ...

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