Psychology 1636-Organizational Psychology

Professor Steven Stern-Spring 2010 (2104)


Class times and location: M W F 11:00-11:50, Krebs 209


My Office: 116 E&S

Office Hours: Please call for an appointment.

Phone Numbers: Office-269-2900

Home-255-2147 (please do not call after 10 p.m.)



For over a century psychologists have been applying their skills and methods to the workplace. In this application oriented course, we have the following goals:


        Understand the goal of psychologists in the workplace

        Examine what psychologists have found out about people at work

        Examine the methods that psychologists use in organizations

        Place an emphasis on current perspectives and findings as to understand how organizational psychology is practiced in organizations on a daily basis.


Required Text: Spector, P. E. (2008). Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Research and Practice, 5th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

The above text can be found in the campus bookstore. I use this text for a couple of reasons. First, I find it to be more readable and interesting than other texts that I have taught with. Second, I had the honor of reviewing the second edition of this text. This gave me the opportunity to become intimate with the text, and familiar with both its strengths and limitations.



Attendance I expect that you will attend all of the lectures. I expect attendance and active participation from all students in this class. Any absence on a test day needs to be brought to my attention prior to the test. Leave a message for me if you cannot get in touch with me. I will not give make up exams for unexcused absences.


Tests Test questions come from lecture and discussion as well as the text and other materials presented to you and discussed in class. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all of the material.


Weekly Assignments Organizational psychology is a highly applied area of psychology. In order to familiarize you with how it is used in an everyday business context, you will need to subscribe to an online magazine, Workforce, available at From this weekly magazine, you will summarize one article per week and discuss your opinion of it.



Grade Breakdown:

The final grade breakdown is as follows:


Test 1 100 pts.

Test 2 100 pts.

Test 3 (Final Exam) 100 pts.

Short Papers/Participation 20 pts.


Total 320 pts.



Psychology Department Policy on Cheating: Cheating, including plagiarism, is completely unacceptable. It will not be tolerated in any psychology class.


Any student suspected of cheating will be subjected to the established University procedures for judgment of the accusation; if the student is found to have cheated, the professor will recommend either a course grade of F or dismissal from the University, depending on the student's prior record of cheating.


Students are responsible for reading and understanding the University guidelines for academic integrity and procedures. These are included in the following document available from the dean's office: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Guidelines on Academic Integrity. Policies related to cheating and plagiarism are vigorously supported and enforced by each member of the Psychology Department.


ADA Statement:


If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Services (ODS), G04 Student Union Building, (814) 269-7062 as early as possible in the term. ODS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.




Withdrawing from Class:


There are several dates to keep in mind regarding dropping a class from your schedule. The first date is 19 January 2010, which marks the end of the Add / Drop period for classes. The next important date for dropping classes is 5 March 2010. This is the last date when you yourself can drop classes. If you are not performing as well as you would like to be performing, you may consider dropping the class no later than this date.



Scheduled Topics and Readings (test dates are estimates. Exact test dates will be given at least a week prior to exam)







1/ 6,8



Ch. 1



Research Methods in I/O Psychology

Ch. 2


1/20, 22

Job Analysis

Ch 3


1/25, 27, 29

Performance Appraisal

Ch. 4



Assessment for Personnel Decisions




Exam 1



2/8, 10, 12

Selecting Employees

Ch. 6



Training Employees

Ch. 7


2/22, 24, 26

Employee Motivation Theories

Ch. 8






3/1, 3, 5

Job Satisfaction/ Feelings about Work



Ch. 9




3/15, 17, 19

Job performance: Productive and Counterproductive

Ch. 10



3/22, 24, 26

Union Labor/ Technology and Workplace Environment




3/29, 31, 4/2

Health and Safety

Ch. 11


4/5, 7, 9

Leadership and Power


Ch. 13


4/12, 14, 16

Organizational Development

Ch. 14


4/19, 21, 23

Loose ends














The final exam will be held in Krebs 209 on Monday, April 26, from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M.