(Spring, 2012)


Instructor: Frank T. McAndrew

Psychology Department Web Page


Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

O*NET Online

Instructor Contact Information:
Frank McAndrew: SMC E131, Ext. 7525, e-mail: fmcandre@knox.edu.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach (7th Ed., 2013) by M.G. Aamodt; ISBN-13: 978-1-111-83997-0
In addition to the text, there are a number of readings on reserve in the SMC library. These readings are listed at the end of the syllabus.

The format for the classes in this course will be primarily lecture and discussion, with a number of in-class activities. Your final grade will be the percentage of possible points that you accumulate out of the total possible points on three examinations and four class projects. No make up tests will be given without prior permission and a very good excuse. The tests will be based on the textbook, the outside readings, and class lectures. The third test will be given during final examination week, but it is not a comprehensive final exam. As a rough guide for grading, use the following percentages:

(A = 93-100%)
(A- = 90-92%)
(B+ = 88-89%)
(B = 83-87%)
(C = 73-77%)
(D = 63-67%)
(F = anything < 60%)

Learning Goals:

Your learning will be assessed by the quality of the written work that you hand in and your performance on a series of three examinations.   Every course that you take is designed to help you acquire knowledge and skills.  The departmental learning goals & competencies assessed in this course include the following:

1) Effectively and ethically apply the scientific method to studying the mind, the brain,
    and behavior.

2) Understand the basic theoretical approaches and classic empirical findings of
3) Effectively communicate with clear, grammatically-correct writing.

4) Make effective oral presentations that are clear, well-organized, and interesting (Some,
     but not all, will do this).

Goal # 2 listed above will be assessed via the tests & the job analysis project.
Goals #1 & 3 will be assessed via the job analysis project
Goals# 3 & 4 will be assessed via all of the projects in the class



Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology (Chapter 1)

Team Building Exercise(Project #1) (Outside Readings #1, 2, & 3)

Employee Recruiting & Selection (Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6) (Outside Reading #4)

Career Choice and Career Development 


Job Analysis & Performance Evaluation (Chapters 2 & 7; Outside Reading #5)

Performance Evaluation Criteria (Project #32

Conducting a Job Analysis (Project #3) 

Designing and Evaluating Training Programs (Chapter 8)

Organizational Structure, Culture, & Communication (Chapters 11 & 14) (Outside Readings#6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

The Work Environment: Health, Safety, & Job Stress (Chapter 15) (Outside Readings#11, 12, 13, 14, 15)


Leadership and Management Style (Chapter 12) (Outside Reading#16)

Downsizing the Company (Project #4)

Group Dynamics and Organizational Behavior (Chapter 13)

Employee Motivation and Job Satisfaction (Chapters 9 & 10) (Outside Readings #17, 18, 19)



This term, you will engage in a wide variety of in-class activities designed to make you more familiar with the concepts you are studying in the text. Among other things, you will be filling out personality scales and engaging in group problem-solving and decision-making tasks. These tasks will not be graded, and you will find that they are a lot more fun than listening to me lecture. There will be four projects this term which will count toward your final grade. Three of these assignments will result in a brief written assignment(a few pages), and one is a project that involves "field work" and a somewhat longer paper.  The details of these assignments will be presented to you in class, but a general description of each is listed below.

Project #1 - Team Building Exercise (10 Points)
In our first class project, we will engage in a series of team-building exercises not unlike those that are frequently conducted by corporations that are attempting to increase morale, cohesiveness, and productivity among their employees.  Often, these exercises take the form of wilderness hikes where coworkers have to work together to navigate their way through obstacle courses or engage in physically challenging activities.  It is believed that getting employees out of their comfort zones and interacting with their colleagues under completely different conditions can have long-term beneficial effects. We cannot do something quite as exotic as a wilderness field trip, but we will do our best to capture the spirit of corporate team building.  Hopefully, these events will be fun.  Some people will win money; some will not.  Some people will get wet; some will not.  In addition to giving you a first hand experience with team building, these exercises will also serve as an icebreaker at the beginning of this new class and get you to interact with other members of the class in an interesting situation.  Hopefully, we will all get to know each other a bit better.  These exercises will take place partially in class and also at the college swimming pool.  

Project #2 - The Problem of Criteria in Performance Evaluation (15 Points)
It is more difficult than it might first appear to develop valid criteria for evaluating the performance of employees. Your assignment in this project is to develop criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of sales representatives for a major toy company. The sales reps are responsible for establishing and servicing accounts with retailers who will carry the company's toys on its shelves. The job entails getting the retailers to purchase toys from the company for sale to the public. The sales reps are responsible for finding new clients as well as for keeping the old ones satisfied. The sales reps are assigned to territories by the company, with the more senior employees getting the choice of the most desirable territories. Territories can differ greatly in terms of such things as geographic area covered, population base, and average number and size of retail stores in the territory. Your assignment will be evaluated according to how well you get around the criteria problems we have discussed, such as contamination and the problem of using "hard" vs. "soft" criteria. In your proposal, be very specific about exactly what measurements would be used, when they will be taken, how often they will be taken, and so on. Be sure to defend your decision. The length of your memo should be no more than 2 or 3 pages.

Project #3 - Job Analysis(25 points)
A job analysis identifies the important aspects of a job that distinguish it from other jobs. The job analyst must describe in specific terms the nature of the tasks performed by workers on the job and the degree to which an employee is involved with data, people, and things. Job analysis is a necessary first step in creating effective selection, training, and performance appraisal programs. After reading the chapter on job analysis in the textbook, you will plan and conduct a job analysis of a job found on or near the Knox campus.(Possible examples: Librarian, Coach, Professor, Food Service Worker, Pizza Delivery Person, Head Resident, Security Guard) You must choose an approach to job analysis from among the many that you have learned about in this course. You will describe the procedures you used to collect data and explain why these were the most appropriate ones to use for your analysis. Be sure to select a job that you can obtain information about through observation and interviews with job holders or others familiar with the job. Once you have determined what the job involves, make suggestions for fairly evaluating a person performing that job. 
Also, be sure to write a complete and accurate job description for the job that you have analyzed.  The results of your job analysis will begin with a brief explanation of what job analysis is and why it is necessary for our company. Go to the Occupational Information Network at http://www.occupationalinfo.org/onet/. Be sure to include the numerical O*NET code for the job that you have chosen.

Project #5 - Downsizing the Company(5 points)
One of the most difficult decisions faced by managers is deciding which employees must be let go when lay-offs due to "downsizing" become necessary. To help you examine the values that you would bring to bear in this situation, you will be provided with brief biographical sketches of 9 employees; three of these people must be fired. You will write a report to the CEO of the company with your recommendations for termination and a careful explanation of the criteria you used in reaching this decision. You will make an oral presentation of your recommendations to the executive council(i.e., the rest of the class) and defend your recommendations against sharp questioning.


1. Clinging to a Cliff, Riding the Rapids . . .
2. The School of Hard Rocks
3. Company Retreats: Know the Rules
4. Dressing: Pass or Fail?
5. Is it really fair to grade workers on a curve?
6. Abuse of Power
7. Can Gossip be Good? (You can download a pdf of this article by clicking on the title.)
8. Why I left Goldman Sachs (plus two responses)
9. Stuck at Side of Road
10. Allegations against Mitsubishi
11. The Company Man
12. High Status Stress
13. Stress, Type A Behavior, and Coronary Disease
14. Running Faster Just to Fall Further Behind
15. Land of the Free?
16. When the Boss Feels Inadequate
17. The Myth of Job Enrichment
18. Woodworker
19. Banana Time: Job Satisfaction and Informal Interaction

I have put copies of the Powerpoint slides that I used in class on the web. To see copies of the PPT slides that were used in the lectures for this course, click on the picture of the overhead projector.