Researching Workplace Psychology

Subject: Organizational Management
Pages: 7
Words: 1966
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: PhD

Today’s workplace has a diverse environment (as compared to earlier times). Global technological developments have influenced various changes in the business world. Globalization is one such change that has necessitated organizations to adopt different strategies depending on their specific requirements. In order to keep pace with the incessant changes, it has become crucial for organizations to adopt innovative measures and take maximum possible advantage of their employees’ capabilities and strengths.

This, in turn, requires a more flexible office environment where employees have the freedom to interact with each other (including their superiors). The tasks are designed in such a manner that complete participation of employees is sought to achieve overall progress and development. Another crucial and decisive factor for the success of any organization is the availability of competent people within the organization. These people, instead of simply doing their jobs, should go the extra mile to excel in the jobs that they do. Yet another factor is the diversity issue faced by organizations that have global collaborations. The mindset of people from different cultures is not the same.

Under such circumstances, psychology plays a crucial role. There are various branches of psychology but the one that deals with human traits relates to the workplace. The main idea behind employing psychological means should be the welfare of employees (MacKay, 2008). But dealing with human psychology is not as easy as it seems. The difficulty arises due to various issues that are prevalent at workplaces. The following are some of the issues that need to be dealt psychologically by organizations around the globe. Some of these issues are of positive nature while the others have a negative approach:

  • Counterproductive work behavior vs. Organizational citizenship behavior
  • Appropriate training of managers
  • Workplace bullying
  • Bullying of female employees
  • Fun within the workplace
  • Application of political skills
  • Prevalence of employee psychological well-being
  • Emotion regulation

There are two main employee behaviors that should be studied by psychologists: ‘counterproductive work behavior’ and ‘organizational citizenship behavior’. ‘Counterproductive work behavior’ (CWB) is harmful to organizations, whereas ‘organizational citizenship behavior’ (OCB) is beneficial for organizations (Fox, Spector, Goh, Bruursema, & Kessler, 2011). Organizations need to develop a psychology that might avert the occurrence of CWB.

Workplace bullying is a common feature witnessed in most of the organizations. While bullying is detrimental to the performance of organizations, there are certain cases where bullying can be beneficial. Such bullying is not physical but indirect. Employees are coaxed to work more and give more output. This is possible if the leaders have political skills.

Earlier, emotions of employees had no place in the decision-making process of organizations. During the years, the situation seems to have changed. Now, emotion is viewed as an important factor while dealing with customers (Grandey, 2000). Emotions are considered to be of more significance in the service industry where the customer service executives have to display emotions according to the situation.

Annotated bibliography

Broeck, A. V. D., Baillien, E., & Witte, H. D (2011). Workplace bullying: a perspective from the job demands – resources model. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 37(2), 1-10.

The journal article discusses the prevalence of bullying within the workplace. The authors believe that bullying within the workplace can have great negative impacts for the employees and organizations as well. The main idea behind this journal article is to ascertain the impact of work requirements and work wherewithal on workplace bullying. The study conducted by the authors was targeted at 749 respondents and the results showed that workplace bullying could be minimized by reducing job demands. On the contrary, job resources need to be increased if workplace bullying is to be minimized.

It was also noticed that workplace bullying left the victimized employees emotionally exhausted. Such employees cannot perform well. The findings and recommendations of the journal article can be of assistance to employees who have been at the receiving end of workplace bullying.

It is possible that the victimized employees might have great potentials but due to the bullying issues, they might be afraid of bringing out their capabilities. This is a direct loss to organizations and they need to take immediate reformatory steps. The authors inform that during recent years, organizations have adopted a novel method of getting rid of workplace bullying; most of the jobs have been made interdependent. This means that employees will have to seek each other’s cooperation in performing various tasks. This will promote mutual cooperation and friendliness among the employees and as a result workplace bullying could be minimized.

The authors are part of a research group of the Faculty of Economy and Management, HUBrussels. The journal article has been published in the SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, which is a renowned journal of South Africa. This proves the authenticity of the journal article. It is intended to use this article in future research work.

Quine, L. (2001). Workplace bullying in nurses. Journal of Health Psychology, 6(1), 73-84.

This journal article lays stress on workplace bullying of nurses in healthcare sector. The main aim of the article is to determine the impact of workplace bullying of nurses on the services being provided. The journal article also tries to ascertain whether providing support could reduce the instances of workplace bullying of nurses. During the course of the study, the authors noticed that at least 44% of the nurses were at sometime or the other subjected to workplace bullying during the preceding one year. The study also revealed that 55% of the nurses were spectators to workplace bullying of nurses.

The authors, on the basis of feedback from the bullied nurses, came to an understanding that the nurses, who were subjected to workplace bullying, were depressed to a great degree and had very less job-satisfaction. Such nurses had little faith in the organization. Nonetheless, timely support from the management and other staff could avert several instances of bullying.

The author is ‘Reader in Health Psychology’ based at the ‘Centre for Research in Health Behavior’, Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury. The article was published in the Journal of Health Psychology by SAGE Publications. These credentials make the article an authentic one and as such, the information provided can be relied upon. The author of this report intends to use this informative article in future research work.

Following is the discussion of three of the aforementioned bullet points:

Appropriate training of managers

During the past couple of years, there has been a significant growth in the number of instances of managers’ training. Today, this is considered to be one of the key deciding factors of an organization’s success (Grant, Curtayne, & Burton, 2009). With the increase in instances of managers’ training, the number of studies being conducted on the topic has also increased significantly. Available research literature depicts that appropriate training of managers can result in constructive changes at the individual level. The trained managers, in turn, could prove to be valuable assets (manpower) for their organizations.

Despite the fact that modern workplaces have work related anxieties while organizations lay stress on employees’ performance, not many studies have concentrated on the benefits of managerial training on the overall performance of organizations (Grant et al., 2009). Organizations adopt occupational psychology to get the most out of their employees. The main intention of adopting such psychology is to improve the performance of organizations. Employee welfare is considered only due to the fact that employee satisfaction improves the organizations’ performance (Anderson et al., 2010). So, there seems to be a bias as far as the relation between occupational psychology, organizational performance and employees’ welfare is concerned. It is due to this particular bias that not many researches have been conducted in this field.

Fun within the workplace

We are aware of the famous quote, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This applies to the workplace as well. It is very crucial for organizations to make available recreational things within the office so that employees can stress out a bit and restart work with freshness and greater zeal. Fun at workplace influences the minds of employees in such a manner that their worries and tensions go away (Georganta, 2012).

There have been various studies on this topic but most of them are based on individual experiences rather than any evidence. Considering the importance of fun in workplace, the number of studies conducted on this topic is very less. It is difficult to incorporate fun within workplace. Moreover, measurement of fun is very complicated. Fun has often been related to humor that is considered to be a stress-management method. Humor is used to control pain and promote wellness (Georganta, 2012). Similarly fun can be used to lighten the stressed up workplace environment. Employees can work better in a light environment rather than a stressed one.

Working under stress can lead to grave mistakes that can have negative impacts on organizations and employees. So, it is always advisable to have some stress-relieving activities within workplace. Organizations should understand human psychology that informs us that employees perform better if their minds are fresh.

Bullying of female employees

Bullying can be described as hostile behavior that consists of three decisive factors: the action is intentional; it signifies disproportion of strength; if successful the first time, it is practiced repeatedly. Being physical is one of the kinds of bullying but this has rare instances at workplace. Nonetheless, there are other kinds of bullying found in workplaces. Such kinds are: risk to professional dignity (this involves formation of bad opinion, humiliation and false accusations), risk to personal status (spreading rumors, verbal abuse, rudeness, and bantering), loneliness (like leaves not being granted, being solitary), and excess workload (more work, impractical targets and deadlines, needless hurdles) (Quine, 2001).

Nations around the world experienced several changes in their political and social standards as a result of globalization. Globalization can be considered to be a global assimilation of knowledge, goods, thoughts, technologies, cultures, and manpower. During this time, the Western nations were already under the impact of feminism. During this period, the idea of feminism started brewing and as such some change was eminent.

Globalization brought ideas on the kind of feminism that was supposed to be developed. It brought great relief to women in terms of social life such as marriage, right to inheritance, and place of work. Obviously, such a move changed women’s eminence of life and created ample prospects of growth.

In spite of such endeavors to improve the position of women, human psychology could not be changed completely. Even today, there are women employees who are subjected to verbal or indirect bullying in workplaces. Society tends to consider men to be superior to women. As per the society, men can still be entrusted with a responsible position in any organization. Even today a family needs to be patriarchal as father should be given the position of being the head of the family.

The logic that they provide behind such thought is that men have more strength in mind and they are the major bread earning members of the family. So it goes without saying that they can handle all the financial responsibilities in a much efficient manner as compared to any woman. Side by side, people even depend on men when it comes to a job which may require or demand physical strength as well. According to them, men can be entrusted with such jobs which may require you to put your energy and strength to get the required objective.

Considering the pain that women take during pregnancy and doing all the household chores, some privilege should be given to them at workplace. The job-demands resources model should be applicable to them. According to this model, employees are given less work load and more resources to do jobs (Broeck, Baillien, & Witte, 2011).


Anderson, N., Briner, R., Burke, E., Cassell, C., Diettmann, A., Kandola, B., Patterson, F., & Robertson, I. (2010). Occupational psychology in a changing world. The Psychologist, 23(11), 892-899.

Broeck, A. V. D., Baillien, E., & Witte, H. D. (2011). Workplace bullying: a perspective from the job demands – resources model. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 37(2), 1-10.

Fox, S., Spector, P. E., Goh, A., Bruursema, K., & Kessler, S. R. (2011). The deviant citizen: measuring potential positive relations between counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85(1), 199-220.

Georganta, K. (2012). Fun in the workplace: a matter for health psychologists? The European Health Psychologist, 14(2), 41-45.

Grandey, A. A. (2000). Emotion regulation in the workplace: a new way to conceptualize emotional labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5(1), 95-110.

Grant, A. M., Curtayne, L., & Burton, G. (2009). Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace well-being: a randomized controlled study. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(5), 396-407.

MacKay, T. (2008). Can psychology change the world? The Psychologist, 21(11), 928-931.

Quine, L. (2001). Workplace bullying in nurses. Journal of Health Psychology, 6(1), 73-84.