You will have noticed that this book is "An Introduction with Attitude"-a subtitle that has been chosen with care. This book is pervaded with the expression of attitudes-my attitudes. "With Attitude" also has connotations of assertiveness and of a forcefully held position, and this book most definitely "comes from a certain direction". Since both characteristics are rather unusual in academic textbooks this calls for some explanation. Certainly, if you do not bother to read this chapter you may find it difficult to understand what I am about and what this book is about.
Serious academic textbooks are usually cool, balanced, and impartial, giving the arguments and evidence for and against, drawing cautious conclusions and with some trenchant criticism of virtually every theoretical position and piece of research evidence. Serious introductory academic textbooks also tend to be comprehensive in their coverage, starting with the early work in the field and laying out the history of the development of ideas in any topic area in meticulous detail. There is nothing wrong with this sort of approach and there are many excellent "Introduction to Occupational/ Work and Organizational Psychology" texts already on the market-indeed, I recommend a good many of them in my suggestions for further reading.
This book is different. It is chatty, opinionated, personal, biased, and selective in its coverage, and is specifically designed to provoke the reader. Academic purists may be mystified, even outraged by my approach. So why have I done it this way? There are several reasons. First, I see no merit in producing yet another conventional academic textbook when so many others have already done it so well. Yes, my book might be more up to date because it has been written more recently, but most of the solid body of knowledge built up over the years in work and organizational psychology remains the same, so what is the point of trotting it all out again? My aim is to present a fresh "take" on traditional issues and to emphasize what I see as the challenges and growth points of the discipline and profession of work and organizational psychology. Second, I am a person with a mission-or rather, with several missions!