Dr. Margaret Watson
Holroyd Hall, Room 116

OFFICE HOURS: T 10:00 - 2:30

Or by appointment

TEXT: Dipboye, R. L., Smith, C. S., and Howell, W. C. (1994). Understanding industrial and organizational psychology: An integrated approach. Fort Worth : Harcourt Brace.

Purposes of the Course:

This course is designed to:

  1. provide an overview of the basic concepts, principles and methods of industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology;
  2. provide an integrated view of I/O psychology;
  3. show students the scientific side of I/O psychology; and
  4. give students the opportunity to experience different aspects of I/O psychology through participation in a class project

To accomplish these goals we will:

  1. discuss some of the important topics in I/O psychology;
  2. evaluate some of the tools used by I/O psychologists (i.e., questionnaires, interview formats, etc.)
  3. discuss I/O issues with guest speakers (other I/O psychologists), when appropriate; and
  4. practise critical thinking skills through group discussions, class projects, and written assignments.


Date Topic Reading

9/7                     Introduction to Course            ---
9/9-9/12                Psychology, Orgs, and Society     Chap 1

9/14                    Class Project

9/16-9/21               I/O Psych as a Science            Chap 2

9/23                    Class Project

9/26-9/28               Motivation                        Chap 3
9/30-10/5               Attitudes                         Chap 4
10/7                    HPHC Organizations

10/10                   EXAM 1                            Chap 1-4

10/12                   NO CLASS MEETING

10/14-10/17             Social Behavior in Orgs           Chap 5

10/19                   Class Project

10/21-10/26             Leadership                        Chap 6
10/28                   Begin Organizational Stress       Chap 7

10/31                   MID-SEMESTER HOLIDAY

11/2-11/4               Organizational Stress, Cont.            
11/7-11/11              Analyzing Work                    Chap 8

11/14                   EXAM 2                            Chap 5-8

11/16-11/21             Performance Appraisal             Chap 9

11/23-11/25             THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

11/28-12/2              Staffing                          Chap 10
12/5                    Begin Training and Development    Chap 11

12/7                    Class Project

12/9                    Training and Development, Cont.

12/12                   EXAM 3                            Chap 9-11


Grades in this class will be determined by four different components: your grades on unit exams, participation in the class project, participation in in-class discussions, and the number of reaction papers completed. There will be three unit exams. Each unit exam will consist of 50 multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and will only include the material covered in that unit.

A comprehensive final will also be given. The final will be worth 100 points. The final is optional: It may be used as a substitute for 1 or 2 unit exams The points you receive for examination performance will be the best total score from the following possible combinations, each of which is worth a possible 150 points:

  1. 3 unit exams
  2. 2 best unit exams plus 1/2 final examination score
  3. 1 best unit exam plus total final examination score

Because the final examination may be used to substitute for up to two unit exams, NO MAKEUP EXAMS WILL BE GIVEN.

The second component of your grade will consist of your involvement in our class project. This project will require that you work with your classmates in groups of 3 students. We will work with the Inn Dwelling Transitional Housing Program to assess the effectiveness of the organization in attracting community members to monthly meetings (details of the project can be found in the next section of this syllabus). You can earn a possible 50 points for your work on this project.

Thus, you will have an opportunity to earn a possible 200 points (150 on exams /final, and 50 points for participation in the class project). Grades will be determined based on the following scale:

A = 90 - 100% (180-200 points)
B = 80 - 89% (160-179 points)
C = 70 - 79% (140-149 points)
D = 60 - 69% (120-139 points)
F = Below 60% (less than 120 points)

Much of this class will include informal group discussions that involve issues and problems from work settings, and possible methods for resolving those problems. You will be expected to participate in these discussions. You will not be given a specific letter grade for your participation in class discussions. Instead, I will make an acceptable/not acceptable judgment at the time each exam is given. That judgement will be based on attendance (you can't participate if you aren't here), the frequency with which you speak in class, and the CONTENT of what you say. You can earn a grade of "acceptable" by attending class, and:
a) speaking rather infrequently, but saying things (or asking questions) that make an important contribution to the class, or b) speaking more frequently, but saying things that make a less significant contribution to the class, or
c) bringing to class articles from newspapers, magazines, or TV shows that contribute to our discussion, or
d) bringing to class jokes, cartoons, etc. that contribute to our discussion.

You will be notified when each exam is returned to you what your class participation grade is. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THE COURSE WITH AT LEAST 2 OF THOSE 3 GRADES AT AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL, YOUR FINAL COURSE GRADE WILL BE REDUCED BY ONE LETTER GRADE.

In addition to these four exams and class participation scores, you will have the opportunity to write reaction papers. These papers will be limited to one or two typewritten pages. For each paper, choose a concept covered in the text or lecture for that exam and write a description of how that concept applies to your life, the lives of the people around you, or the world in general. Although these papers are optional, they will be required for a grade of A or B. THOSE DESIRING AN A MUST TURN IN 5 REACTION PAPERS DURING THE SEMESTER (A MAXIMUM OF 2 PER QUIZ); THOSE DESIRING A B MUST TURN IN 3 PAPERS (A MAXIMUM OF 2 PER QUIZ).

Your final grade in the course will be determined by your exam (or exam/final) scores, your performance on the class project, the number of acceptable class participation grades you have, and the number of reaction papers you have turned in.


During this semester, we will work with Rosemary Barbera, and the director of the Inn Dwelling Transitional Housing Program to evaluate the effectiveness of that organization in attracting program participants to monthly meetings. The Inn Dwelling Transitional Housing Program is located in LSU's immediate neighborhood, and offers transitional housing for up to three years for homeless or near-homeless families in the northwest Philadelphia area (mostly single mothers) while they acquire job skills or education. The director is concerned because not many of these program participants regularly attend the monthly meetings. He wants to understand why this is true.

Although the specific details are still being worked out, you will:

  1. help to design an interview to be used with all program participants to understand why they are reluctant to attend the monthly meetings;
  2. participate in a group (composed of three students) to interview each head-of-household at least twice during the semester (each group will be responsible for interviewing 6 families);
  3. complete a journal of your experiences, including your personal reactions to the project, what you have learned professionally and technically about I/O, and how you value (or don't value) the experience; and,
  4. assist in the preparation of an interim (i.e., midpoint) and final report on our project.

Rosemary and the director of the organization will meet with our class early in the semester (hopefully on September 14) to finalize the details for the project. At that time, I will answer any additional questions you may have about the project, your responsibilities, etc..