An Introduction to Managerial Psychology


Managerial psychology is a discipline which is often categorized as being an integral part of the organizational and industrial psychology. In this discipline, the focus is on the efficiency of groups, individuals, and organizations in a workplace, an organization, or a company. The purpose of this discipline is to ensure that managers of an organization are able to gain better insights into the psychological patterns which are common among groups and individuals which might be present in any given organization or a company. With the help of managerial psychology, any manager can prevent and predict any harmful pattern which can have a deteriorating effect on the quality or the quantity of the work that is being done in an organization. Managerial psychology can also help an individual to control or implement different techniques and methods which can benefit an organization or a company in the long run. There are also many other points and theories which are an important part of this field. And in this academic writing piece, students will be able to learn about the objectives of this field, the theories related to personality, motivation, and job satisfaction, and the different tools which can be used by managerial psychologists. All of these topics are mentioned below.

The Objectives of Managerial Psychology

In the early stages of this field, the major focus of the managerial psychologists was on the topics of boredom, fatigue, and all sorts of working conditions which can have a positive or a negative effect on the overall work performance of an individual. However, recently the focus of this field has been expanded to include a wide range of other topics like perception, learning, emotions, personality, leadership, training, motivational forces, job satisfaction, needs, performance appraisal, decision making procedures, techniques of employee selection, attitude measurement, job stress, work stress, and many other topics. There are many experts who believe that in this field all principles of psychology can be applied to increase the morale and productivity of both the employees and the organization. There are also many objectives which managerial psychologists aim to accomplish in this field. And some of those objectives are mentioned below.

  • Gain understanding as to how to manage stress and change the personal problems
  • Understand the process of effectively working in a rather diverse group
  • Identify the procedure through which an individual can successfully resolve any conflict within an organization
  • Learn about the effectiveness of good confrontation skills
  • Understand the importance of ethics in any work environment
  • Identify the most effective leadership styles and the importance of leadership skills
  • Understand the features or characteristics of a successful leader
  • Learn the process of identifying different skills of motivating and persuading other individuals.

Apart from these objectives, there can be many other objectives which are quite important in the field of managerial psychology.

The Tools Used by Managerial Psychologists

There have been many psychologists who gave different theories, tests, and research methods which can enable an individual to gain better insight into this field. All of these theories attempt to understand what motivates an individual or how to motivate an individual. These theories will be discussed in more detail in the section which is mentioned below. However, the focus of this section will be on the different theories, testing methods, or research methods which have helped psychologists to gain better understandings of the topics of motivation, personality, and job satisfaction. And some of those major milestone theories, research methods, and testing methods are mentioned below.

  • The Ten Item Personality Inventory

This inventory was first introduced by Gosling et al. in 2003 and he attempted to measure ten items by using a seven points scale. Each of these ten items has two opposing statements which were used to measure the personality variable of the individual who was taking the questionnaire. This inventory has been reported to have a rather high reliability and validity scores.

  • The Work Value Questionnaire (WVQ)

This inventory consists of 37 items and it was first introduced by Furnham et al. in 2005. With the help of this inventory, individuals can report the overall extent to which different extrinsic and intrinsic components are important for individuals. All these 37 items are measured on a six-point scale. This questionnaire is also the revised version of the Mantech’s questionnaire which was released in 1983. There have been many studies which indicate that this questionnaire corresponds to the hygiene and motivator factors of Herzerg et al in 1959.

  • The Job Satisfaction Scale

The job satisfaction scale consists of a total of 15 items and it was originally given by Warr et al. in 1979. Out of all the items on this scale, seven items measure intrinsic motivation while the remaining measure extrinsic job satisfaction. A seven-point scale is used by individuals to record their responses. Once all the scores of the items are collected, then an overall satisfaction score is calculated.

There have also been many experiments which were conducted in this field to gain a better understanding of the human psyche. And readers can learn more about those experiments by referring to other academic writing pieces.

Motivation, Personality, and Job Satisfaction Theories

In this last section, the focus of the academic writing piece will be on the different tools and theories which are used by managerial psychologists. And some of those important theories which are used by managerial psychologists are mentioned below.

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This theory is extremely famous and it was given by Abraham Maslow. According to this model, there are different aspects of motivation and their different needs which motivate an individual. The list of those needs is mentioned below.

  • Physiological and Biological Needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Love and Belongingness Needs
  • Esteem Needs
  • Self-Actualization Needs

This hierarchy of needs motivates an individual for fulfilling the basic needs of an individual to eventually reaching a stage where one realizes his or her complete potential and reaches the peak of personal growth and experiences.

Douglas McGregory’s XY Theory
This famous theory was given by Douglas McGregory in 1960. According to him, there are two fundamental approaches which are taken to manage people. Many managers use the approach in theory X, which ends up with them getting poor results while the other uses the approach in theory Y in which case they get better results. The theory X takes up a pessimistic view of the employees while the theory Y takes a more positive outlook.

These are the major theories which play an important part in this field.

The Conclusion
Managerial psychology can be defined as the field in which an individual or a manager gain a better understanding of the kind of work which is done by an employee. There are many concepts which are an important part of this field. And some of those important concepts include personality, motivation, stress, job satisfaction, and many other concepts. There have been many tools which are used by psychologists to understand the employees of an organization in a better manner and some of those tools are the ten item personality inventory, the job satisfaction scale, and the work value questionnaire. There are also many theories which are important in this field including the Douglas McGregory’s XY Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The References