I/O Psychology and the Union

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Introduction
Industrial organizational psychology is very important in the workplace for encouraging productive worker attitudes and behaviors and for the selection of applicants in the most effective manner (Pond III, 1999). In today’s world, there is a great demand for equal employment, equal pay and a satisfying yet productive workplace. These demands present many challenges for the organization and for I/O psychologists. Even more challenging are these same demands in a unionized workforce.
A union is a group of workers who formed to make decisions about the conditions of their work (Trade union, 2007). Members of a union often earn better wages, health care and pension benefits, have more flexibility for work and family needs, and have a voice in enhancing the quality of their products and services. Employers and union officials negotiate a contract that spells out the worker’s rights on the job.
Without a union, the employer has the power to make all of the policies. The workers have very few rights and no voice or appeal against unfair rules (Smith, 2007). With unions, workers have rights to seniority, safety, and union representation. Other benefits of union membership include overtime pay, paid leaves, negotiated wages, health insurance, and pension plans.
Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the challenges organizations and unions face in the unionized workforce within the areas of I/O psychology. Areas of I/O psychology such as job analysis, performance appraisal, assessment methods for selection and placement, training, motivation, job satisfaction, productivity, and the work team concept will be addressed. Much of the content of this paper regarding unions will be focused on the United Auto Workers because I am a member of and most familiar with this union. By examining these challenges, I hope to offer suggestions that will bring the union and the organization together to continuously improve and



References: Amble, B. (2007). Is corporate America cutting its own throat? Management-Issues Ltd. Retrieved on October 7, 2007 from http://www.management-issues.com/2007/9/27/research/is-corporate-america-cutting-its-own-throat.asp. Bacal, R. (1998). Performance management. New York: McGraw-Hill. Behling, O. & Starke, F.A. (1973). The postulates of expectancy theory. Academy of Management Journal, vol. 16, pp. 373-388. Doucouliagos, C. & Laroche, P. (2003). What do unions do to productivity? A meta-analysis. Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 42, no. 4, October 2003, pp. 650-691. Dunnette, M.D. & Hough, L.M. (1994). Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., vol. 4). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. Glueck, W.F. (1979). Personnel: A book of readings. Dallas, TX: Business Publications. Gomberg, W. (1947). A labor union manual on job evaluation, the relationship of industrial engineering techniques to collective bargaining. Chicago, IL: Labor Education Division, Roosevelt College. Heathfield, S.M. (2007) Profit sharing. Retrieved November 14, 2007, from http://humanresources.about.com/od/glossaryp/g/profit_sharing.htm. Hoque, K. & Bacon, N. (2006) Trade union recognition, union learning representatives and training incidence in Britain. British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) Conference, Galway, June-July. Hume, D.A. (1995). Reward management employee performance, motivation and pay. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Hunter, L.W., MacDuffie, J.P., & Doucet, L. (2002). What makes teams take? Employee reactions to work reforms. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol.55, no. 3 (April 2002), pp.448-472. Livingstone, D.W. & Raykov, M. (2005). Union influence on worker education and training in Canada in tough times. Just Labour, vol. 5, Winter 2005, 50-64. Pond III, S.B. (1999). Industrial-organizational psychology: The psychology of people working together. Eye on Psi Chi, vol. 3, no.3, Spring 1999, pp.34-37. Profit sharing Smith, S.E. (2007). What is a union? Retrieved October 17, 2007, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-union.htm Spector, P.E

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