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Areas of psychology

Organisational psychology

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Psychology Put to Work

Organisational psychologists work with organisations, teams and individual employees to improve their workplace performance, effectiveness and productivity. They strive to enhance people’s wellbeing by improving their experience at work.  

Organisational psychologists base their practice on science, drawing on psychological research and tested strategies to positively influence how people act, think and feel at work. This scientific approach provides confidence that methods produce measurable, repeatable and often more cost-­effective results.  

In the workplace, organisational psychologists can play a number of critical roles generally associated with employee performance, including organisational development manager, human resource manager, personnel director, learning and development manager and trainer.  
Organisational psychology covers a broad range of disciplines including:

  • Industrial and organisational psychology
  • Work psychology
  • Occupational psychology
  • Personnel psychology
  • Human resource management and development
  • Ergonomics
  • Human factors
  • Vocational psychology
  • Managerial psychology
  • Coaching
  • Consumer psychology

Areas of expertise

Workforce planning and role definition

  • Identification and planning of workforce requirements
  • Structuring divisions, departments and teams to suit the organisation’s goals
  • Systematic identification of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for specific jobs

Recruitment and selection

  • Development of selection criteria for jobs and identification of the best assessment tools
  • Assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities, and potential and personal fit for specific jobs, using techniques such as assessment centres, psychological testing and behavioural interviewing

Learning and development

  • Analysis of training and development needs for individuals, teams and organisations
  • Design and evaluation of skills and behavioural training programs

Leadership and talent management

  • Provision of advice and support to organisational leaders in relation to how they lead,
  • engage and motivate their people
  • Establishment of a talent management framework, including succession planning, to identify and better manage critical roles, critical people, strengths and gaps
  • Introduction of programs to develop and retain top performers and next generation leaders

Coaching, mentoring and career development

  • Provision of individual assistance, coaching and mentoring to improve work performance
  • Design and implementation of career development processes for an organisation, along with individual career planning and vocational assessment

Workplace advice and advocacy

  • Provision of advice to government, employers, employees and unions on social psychological aspects of issues such as industrial relations, HR and occupational health and safety

Change management

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of people­‐related change management
  • Development of programs to help leaders better manage change and drive performance improvement in their part of the organisation e.g., handling change fatigue, building resilience

Organisational development

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of programs to improve organisational performance and employee experiences
  • Design of organisational structures, processes and incentives to fuel organisational prosperity

Measuring employee opinions and other workplace research

  • Development and analysis of surveys of employees or clients/customers
  • Research such as identifying which work behaviour predicts future success

Performance management

  • Design, implementation and evaluation of performance management systems that link in with business strategies
  • Development of employee incentive programs to drive desired behaviours and results

Wellbeing, stress and work‐life balance

  • Development of programs to improve employee wellbeing, commitment and engagement
  • Development of policies and practices to enable better management of work-life balance 

Occupational health and safety

  • Development of policy and programs in employee assistance, rehabilitation, stress management and health promotion

Human resources program evaluation

  • Evaluation of an organisation’s people-related programs and practices to assess operational and strategic impact

Consumer behaviour and marketing

  • Application of customer behaviour insights to improve business processes and system
  • Development of branding and communications to align an organisation’s processes, culture and values with the external brand message


Members of the Australian Psychological Society College of Organisational Psychologists will also have the following post-nominal after their name:

  • MCOP (Member of the College of Organisational Psychologists)