Industrial Psychology in the Work Place
Industrial Organization is the application or extension of psychological facts and principles to problems concerning human beings operating within the context of business and industry. One of the most important tasks Industrial Organization psychologists perform is developing assessment methods for selection, placement, and promotion of employees. In order to do this, these psychologists study jobs and determine to what degree tests can predict performance in these specific jobs. My group decided to look more into the topic of selection and placement and narrow that down to unfairness in selection and placement.
Muchinsky asks, “What does it mean to be ‘fair’? ” and continues by saying, “Most certainly there are many ways to consider fairness” (Muchinsky 324). Yet in this specific situation we demonstrate in our screenplay, it was obvious that the exact opposite of fairness was depicted. The first scene is called “The Interviews. ” In this scene, I interview both Lauryn and Mike to see who I want to work at my company. Lauryn, who is highly qualified and would clearly be the best person to hire for this job, has an excellent interview with me.
Mike, who is an old friend of mine, comes to the interview dressed unprofessionally and unprepared;
This scene is significant in relation to the rest of the screenplay because this is basically the opening introduction, and this is where the initial problem is formed. “Procedures are perceived to be more fair when affected individuals have an opportunity to either influence the decision process or offer input” (Muchinsky 324). If it wasn’t solitarily up to me to do the hiring, and if other employees of the company had a say in it, this decision between hiring Lauryn or Mike would most likely end up being fairer; Lauryn would ultimately get hired for the best interest of the company.
The second scene is called “Unfair Hiring. ” In this scene, I kindly tell Lauryn that we will not be hiring her. Instead, I decide to hire Mike. The audience can tell that Mike and I are excited and are planning on having fun while working together. Lauryn is right outside the door and hears that Mike gets hired. Right away she flips out, kicks the door open, and starts going crazy by swearing, yelling, and throwing paper all over the place. The purpose of this scene to show that Lauryn’s anger is a way we could expect anyone to act in this situation.
Most would feel the way that Lauryn feels in this scene, but only some may actually act upon their feelings like Lauryn did. This scene specifically connects to the others in this screenplay by showing the pure unfairness of Mike getting hired instead of Lauryn. There are Acts that exist, such as The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which make it illegal to not hire someone for your company because of unfair reasons. “If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, the ADA protects you from job discrimination on the bases of your disability” (The ADA 1).
Although Lauryn wasn’t discriminated against because of a disability, she could have argued that she was discriminated because she was a female. But she knew the reason she wasn’t hired was because Mike was a good friend of Lynette’s. The third scene is called “Special Treatment. ” In this scene, Mike starts working at my company, and I am so easy on him. He comes in fifteen minutes late to work, but I let it go saying it is no problem. After one week, I am so glad Mike is working with me that I give him a raise.
The purpose of this scene is to show how my special connection with Mike encourages me to help him out at work, which is really unfair for the rest of the workers that might actually deserve this attention and special treatment. This is significant to the screenplay because Mike is getting rewarded for things he’s not really getting accomplished. He’s really not doing any work, he’s coming to work late, and overall it would be safe to say he is a bad employee. Still, he gets all this special treatment and a raise.
This encourages him to keep acting the way he does and not improve since there is no need – he is already getting raises and everything. The forth scene is called “Downsizing. ” This scene connects to the other scenes by portraying the affects downsizing has on the terminated personnel. Chris shows his boss, Lynette, that he finished this week’s reports, next week’s reports, and the following week’s reports as well. This excellent employee is demonstrating organizational citizenship behavior and prosocial behavior – “behavior by an individual that goes beyond the formal requirements of the job” (Muchinsky 326).
Unfortunately, the company has to downsize, and because Lynette doesn’t want to fire her friend Mike, she ends up firing Chris, the outstanding employee, instead. In the movie, Erin Brockovich, the lawyer company did not want to hire Erin because of the way she looked and presented herself. She looked very unprofessional and did not have much experience with that career. Eventually, she was offered a chance, but was gone doing work one week and was fired because it was assumed that she was out having fun instead of working. Just like it was unfair for Erin to be fired, it was unfair for Chris to be fired.
Chris was obviously a good worker and did more than what was expected of him. Consequently, Chris becomes angry and violent because the contract he thought he had with the company was broken. The psychological contract – “the implied exchange relationship that exits between an employee and the organization” (Muchinsky 328), is the exchange relationship between Chris and my organization. Since it was not a formal written contract, the implied relationship based on mutual contributions was not necessarily promised. Still, Chris had a right to be angry. He lost his job due to the downsizing. Individuals with skills that do not readily transfer outside of the organization and those with less education suffer greater financial losses” says Muchinsky (334). He continues, “Individuals who lose their job suffer physical symptoms caused by the strain of unemployment. Some indicators of the stress of unemployment are headaches, stomach problems, and high blood pressure. Unemployed individuals have been found to exhibit patterns of learned helplessness, lower feelings of self-worth, and increased depression” (Muchinsky 334). The fifth scene is called “Downsizing Survivor. This scene connects to the other scenes by showing how downsizing affects the surviving personnel. In this scene Mike is the considered as being the surviving personnel. I start piling all sorts of assignments and paper work onto his desk and give him multiple deadlines. He is completely overloaded and swamped with work to do. The purpose of this scene is to show that because of the downsizing, Mike had to do more work to cover up for the fewer amount of workers my company now had. This causes Mike to be tired, sleeping on the job, being anti-social, and not accepting an invitation to a party.
According to Muchinsky, “Although contingent workers may increase organizational flexibility and decrease labor costs, there is a price to pay. The price is that workers exhibit fewer prosocial behaviors or, worse, engage in antisocial behaviors” (335). The sixth and final scene is the conclusion. I point out that there are no customers coming through my company’s door, I accuse Mike of ruining my company, and I fight with Mike and say we’re not friends anymore. The final part of this scene is when Mike talks straight to the camera and explains the unfairness in him getting hired over Lauryn.
He admits he feels bad about ruining my company and destroying our friendship. This is relevant to the rest of the screenplay because it sums and clears up the main points of the entire story. Industrial Organization psychologists specialize in job analysis, classification, and development of selection programs and placement. Every scene in our screenplay clearly demonstrates various aspects of Industrial Organization psychology and selection and placement in the workplace. We started off with the initial hiring of the less qualified worker which was very unjust, and that turned into so many problems.
These problems consisted of special treatment toward someone who did not deserve it, good workers being fired because of downsizing while bad ones stayed, and the destruction of a company and a friendship. Works Cited Erin Brockovich. (2000). Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Perf. Julia Roberts. DVD. Muchinsky, Paul M. (2003). Psychology Applied to Work: an Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Wadsworth Pub Co. The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability. (2005). The U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Web site: http://www. eeoc. gov/facts/ada18. html.