Psychology and Systems at Work

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9780205735785: Psychology and Systems at Work

Organizations matter. Most people spend a third to a half of their lives working in organizations. Given the high rates of unemployment people also spend more time looking for work. In addition, globalization and technological innovation continues to profoundly shape organizational culture, leadership, demography, and structure. For these and many other reasons, it is important for individuals to understand the nature of contemporary organizations. "Psychology and Systems at Work" provides know-how for retaining commitment to collective goals while taping the knowledge of a diverse workforce for riding the waves of change, utilizing mistakes to perfect systems, and insuring quality production. 21st Century theory, empirical findings, systemic intervention processes, and tool sets are thoroughly treated.

Organizational life goes through times of relative harmony disrupted by periods of stress and uncertainty. However, in our own many decades of experience, we’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well people face challenges, defy the odds, and triumph. Success is the result of many factors―including good luck. But we have noticed, as Louis Pasteur observed long ago, that chance favors the prepared mind and resilient work habits.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers should be able to:

  • Design systems that are flexible in a fast-changing environment
  • Understand the basic foundations that shape organizational behavior
  • Apply material they learn to real-life scenarios

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About the Author:

Robert B. Lawson earned his PhD in general-experimental psychology from the University of Delaware in 1965, and then joined the faculty at the University of Vermont (UVM). He was the first Director of the Human Visual Perception Laboratory, and rose to full professor in 1974. He served twice as Chair of the Psychology Department, Dean of the Graduate College and Associate Vice President for Research for eight years, Director of the Master’s program in Public Administration for five years, and served on a number of university-wide commissions. He was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University in 1986-1987 focusing on business administration and organizational sciences. He is the author of thirty journal articles and four textbooks, a consultant to a number of Vermont organizations, and has been an invited lecturer on organizational psychology in China, Europe, and Russia. He is a recipient of the UVM outstanding teacher award, and one of his students from the class of 1977 endowed a professorship in his name in 2008. Now Professor Emeritus, he continues to study organizations as he has been doing for over the past 45 years.

 

E. Doris Anderson’s multidisciplinary education and work experience afford her an acute awareness of the interdependence shared by biological, psychological, and social systems. Through the years of applied management she has developed a finely-tuned appreciation for the vital role that system’s thinking plays in understanding people and organizations.

Her emphasis on systems phenomena in organizational psychology is born of up-close support for and management of challenges inherent to a wide variety of organizations. Her organizational experiences include psychiatric, community and maternity nursing, crises counseling, youth program administration, public education program development, organizational mediation/consultation, and public administration. Doris earned a Registered Nurse (RN) degree from Good Samaritan School of Nursing, Dayton Ohio in 1972, Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont in 1978, and Master of Public Administration in 2004 from the University of Vermont. In 2001 Doris graduated from the Mediation and Conflict Management Program at Woodbury College, Montpelier, Vermont.

Currently Doris devotes her time to writing and lecturing at the University of Vermont, furthering a lifetime commitment to implementing healthful community infrastructure, cooperative work settings, and effective conflict resolution practices.

 

Larry Rudiger has been a student of organizations from the age of 15, when he entered the workforce. He earned his PhD from the University of Vermont in social psychology, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow in behavior genetics. For nearly ten years, he worked in the private sector, developing clinical decision-support tools for primary-care medicine, learning first-hand about founder-run companies and defense contracting. He returned to academia full-time in 2005 and began teaching organizational behavior in 2009. He is a volunteer consultant to local nonprofits, specializing in outcome evaluation. His first degree is in vocal music, and he’s happy to remain an amateur performer, conductor, and director.

 

Review:

“Very comprehensive-covers all the key topics.  I like the applications throughout.”

    -  Elise Grant-Vallone, CSU San Marcos

 

“The book is well written. The book includes current trends in I/O Psychology. The chapters seem to flow together.”

    -  Leona Johnson, Hampton University

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