Knowledge, power and practice in work psychology are inseparable and reciprocally affect each other. Understanding this linkage is vital to managerial practices, themselves affected by work psychology. Illuminating and incisive, this volume traces the development of work psychology and organizational behavior from the early twentieth century to the present day. More than simply a conventional history of ideas, it is a demonstration of how each emerging school of thought has reflected the search for solutions to particular management problems, within specific social, political and economic contexts. Work Psychology and Organizational Behaviour documents the key developments in the field, from scientific management and industrial psychology, through the human relations movement, to such current concerns as organizational culture, leadership, and human resources management. Wendy Hollway skillfully examines the production of key developments within particular conditions and power structures and then charts the impact of each trend upon the emergence of new management tools, work practices and ways in which employee regulation is attempted. She concludes with a projection of the likely future development of work psychology and organizational behavior in light of current changes in work and employer-employee relations. This provocative volume will be of interest to scholars, researchers, and practitioners in psychology, organizational behavior, sociology, human resource management, and public administration. “A well researched and generally well-explicated personal construal of the historical development of occupational psychology, particularly the interdependencies between scientific knowledge, power relations in the production process, and our everyday practices as occupational psychologists. I would recommend this book to others as a laudable intervention, but more importantly, as one which offers an alternative perspective of both the discipline of occupational psychology and of the actions of practicing psychologists working either in industry or in academia.”–The Occupational Psychologist “Hollway's basic point is right and it is a powerful one. Occupational psychology has evolved as an intellectual ‘servant of power’, focused on the employers' problems of selecting, training, and motivating a workforce, transforming reluctant compliance into whole-hearted commitment. The 1980's literature on employee involvement is ample testimony to the continuing search for this chimera.”–Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology “The book is an important contribution to the field of study and I would recommend it as a key text in the teaching of work psychology and organizational behavior.”–Systems Practice “Defining Organizational Behaviour as a subject these days is no easy task; there is a vast explosion of information, data and theories; and there is not shortage of texts or monographs. One important strand is certainly Work and Psychology. Wendy Hollway attempts to cover ‘those areas of knowledge that focus on people in the workplace and that affect practice in work organizations’ and her definition is not at all an unhelpful one. … Hollway's book will not disappoint MBA students and others interested in the warp and woof of the subject as seen by an occupational psychologist, especially her discourse on the future of OB.”–Journal of General Management “A must for all those researchers, practitioners and teachers who take the area of organizational behavior seriously.”–Psychology and Developing Societies
Chapter 1: Introduction
Economic psychotechnics may serve certain ends of commerce and industry but whether these are the best ones is not a care with which the psychologist has to be burdened. (Munsterberg 1913: 19)
1. My Background and Reasons for Writing this Book
For nearly ten years I taught aspects of work psychology 1 in a graduate department of occupational psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London (1978–87). During the last three years there, I taught a course called ‘History of Industrial Psychology’ and it was through researching that history that I realized how limited and partial my understanding of work psychology had been when it lacked a historical perspective. Students, practitioners and even teachers are often ignorant of the history, reflecting the assumption of so much psychology ...