Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THIS BOOK is designed for use as either a basic or supplementary text in personnel and industrial psychology courses. The book developed, in part, out of my own experiences in teaching such courses at Yale University. First of all, I felt the need, as have many of my colleagues, for an up-to-date readings book for students in these courses. Many developments in the last ten years are not adequately reflected in the older readings books or even in more recent primary texts. Secondly, I noted that my students were often stimulated by assigned readings and this was reflected in the level of the class discussion. Such readings provide a special appreciation of the scientific aspects of industrial psychology as well as a critical regard for the methods and concepts used to investigate human behavior in industrial settings.

In undertaking this task, it seemed to me that a book in industrial psychology could be developed to include many of the advantages of both a primary text and a readings book. I have attempted to do this by integrating review and discussion articles, within particular areas, with articles emphasizing, in depth, key empirical studies. For each of the nine major sections, I have written introductory material showing the relevance of each article to the important issues in the field and to the theme of that Section, providing (hopefully) additional coherence to that area.

I have also tried to provide a balanced coverage of the field of personnel and industrial psychology. Many of our excellent texts have devoted proportionately more space to the "traditional" aspects of this field (such as selection, training, or work methods) than to the social, motivational, attitudinal aspects. Other texts have emphasized the latter. While it is difficult to say what is a "balanced view," a conscious attempt has been made here to give expanded treatment to the social-motivational aspects without minimizing developments in the more "hardheaded" areas. This is reflected, for example, in the extended treatment of the motivation, leadership, communication, and organizational areas. Also, I have included research from related disciplines as well as from military and educational settings which I felt particularly appropriate for industrial psychology.

The up-to-date character of this work is reflected in the fact that 55 of the 66 articles were published in 1950 or later (42 of these are 1955 or later). Of the other 11 articles, only one goes back as far as 1939. (This doesn't mean that the "classic" studies are ignored since they are reviewed in the light of more recent work.) There was considerable turnover in selected articles from the beginning to the end of this venture as more useful articles appeared or other unknown, but relevant, articles were un-

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