What is Industrial and Organizational Psychology?
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology allows learners to study human behavior across a number of settings. This GCU program focuses most on people in the workplace. Graduates will understand how relationships are formed and what makes people engaged and motivated. Studying these topics allows learners to consult and coach business professionals who wish to make improvements in relationship-building, culture and organizational performance.
Specifically, the PhD industrial organizational degree program was designed by the College of Doctoral Study to emphasize the following aspects of the field:
- The role of industrial organizational psychologists in an organization
- Theories and styles of leadership for appropriateness to organizational contexts
- Principles of interpersonal and group consulting and coaching to improve organizational performance
- Theories and methods for selecting, training, appraising, organizing, and supervising both employees and managers
- Methods for the selection, administration and interpretation of workplace tests and assessments
Earn Your PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology
The PhD in industrial organizational psychology program includes coursework in the history and theory of general psychology. Learners discuss key theories and synthesize how they apply to behavior in the workplace. Common psychological theories are examined as they formulate new ideas and practices.
Scholarly research is as the heart of the GCU PhD industrial organizational degree program. Learners evaluate existing research and consider the application and design used to formulate those principles. They also conduct independent research to better understand approaches to thought processes in the workplace, such as memory, reasoning, intelligence, motivation and learning.
This work leads PhD industrial organizational learners to research and complete their own dissertation. Throughout the program, learners have numerous avenues of support with their dissertations, including two hands-on doctoral residencies.
Graduates who intend to pursue licensure will need to complete additional requirements, as this degree on its own does not lead directly to licensure.
Study Organizational Behaviors and Management Strategies
Learners who plan to work with all levels of employees will be supported by the coursework in the PhD in industrial organizational psychology degree program. In order to support businesses that wish to help their workers excel, an expert in industrial organization must understand and be able to evaluate leadership, supervision and culture-building. At GCU, the study of these topics helps build that background:
- Psychology of leadership
- Social and organizational principles to business and industry
- Probability, descriptive and inferential analyses of data and statistical testing
- Principles related to personnel and human resources management
Industrial and Organizational Psychology Careers
Graduates of the PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program may become behavioral experts in the workplace and bring the methods of psychology to business. They may also find work as:
- Staff psychologist
- Teacher at the university level
If you are eager to learn more about how psychology within work environments, a degree in industrial organizational psychology may be for you.
Program Core Courses
This course introduces students to the principal elements of research and scholarly writing. Learners explore approaches to synthesizing literature and the application of the major components of APA form and style, and learn to coordinate literature searches. Furthermore, they learn how to discern principal arguments, analyze research questions, and clearly identify the key scholarly attributes to journal articles and other sources of scholarly data. This course also introduces learners to the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility scholars have in continuing a tradition of contributing to an ever-growing body of knowledge.
This course is an introduction to the nature, origins, and history of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Although not a clinically based course, the course does address the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic strategies used to assist individuals with managing personal and inter-personal issues leading to improved mental health.
This course examines the historical and theoretical background of the behavioristic movement and its major works. The course also examines methods and techniques to help teach and learn new behaviors as well as the concepts and strategies to diminish or eliminate unwanted behaviors.
The course provides an overview of the approaches to inquiry and the methods applied to gain knowledge of the human condition including epistemology and hermeneutic interpretation. These approaches and methods are contrasted with those applied to inquiry in the natural sciences. Consideration is given to the broader social and cultural components that contribute to the refinement of existing knowledge and the creation of new knowledge in the social and human sciences.
This course applies social and organizational methods and principles to business and industry. Topics include human behavior at work; personnel selection, evaluation, and training; motivation and job satisfaction; management philosophies; employee-management relationships; work and equipment design; working conditions, accidents and human errors; and consumer psychology.
This course explores the historical roots, theoretical foundations, major works, and guiding philosophy of Humanistic, Transpersonal and Existential (HTE) psychology. This course also examines the different approaches to studying HTE as it relates to human motivation, needs, will, love, and existence in a contemporary world.
This residency allows students to begin developing their skills as academic researchers. Residency sessions address topics such as research question development, design, item generation, subscale development and analysis, and basic hypothesis testing. Students have hands-on experience with quantitative and qualitative analysis software.
This course provides a study of theories of probability, descriptive and inferential analyses of data, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods.
This course provides an extensive consideration of leadership theories, models, styles, and best practices.
This course explores methods for accelerating individual, group, and organizational performance through consulting, coaching, and change management.
This course provides students with an overview of qualitative methods and offers students the opportunity to apply and interpret qualitative research. Topics include data collection, data analysis, appropriate qualitative inquiry, and theories of qualitative methods.
This course examines psychological principles related to personnel and human resource management in both physical and virtual work environments. Topics include personnel selection, affirmative action and equal opportunity decision making in selection, design and evaluation of training programs, training methods and management development, performance appraisal, and the work environment.
This residency prepares students to present their scholarly work and to thoughtfully critique the work of others. Students orally present papers developed in their own classes and respond to questions from colleagues. Students are further prepared to become active members in academic communities by learning how to review papers and provide comments.
This course serves as the foundation for ethical study in the field of psychology. Ethical issues in research, writing, psychotherapy, forensic psychology, and animal research are covered. The origins of ethical practices—including the philosophical theories of ethics, the Christian worldview, and the APA code of ethics—are also addressed.
Learners complete a cogent research prospectus as the foundation for their dissertation research proposal. Emphasis is placed on fully articulating a study design and methodology that is aligned with the research questions and developing the first iteration (draft) of Chapter 3 of the dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-855 or RES-866.
This course provides students with an overview of the different types of tests used in organizational settings and experience in their application. Included is a comprehensive examination of psychometric properties used to develop and evaluate these instruments. Students are presented with theoretical basis, skill sets, and examples, and learn to establish and maintain rapport in a testing situation; administer, record, and score specific measures of cognitive ability and achievement; interpret test results; and summarize results in a written report.
In this course, learners formalize their research proposal specific to their topic. Emphasis is placed on fully developing Chapter 1 and incorporating Chapters 2 and 3 (drafts) from previous research courses. This proposal becomes the first three chapters of the dissertation upon approval of the final draft by the College of Doctoral Studies. Prerequisite: RES-880.
This course introduces students to the final phase of the doctoral study in psychology: the doctoral dissertation. Students plan, conduct, analyze, and interpret original research, and submit their final product for approval during an oral defense. This course offers students the opportunity to select an appropriate topic, and draft the first three sections of their dissertation (introduction, literature review, and methods).
Following successful completion of PSY-955, students continue their work toward the completion of their dissertation by gaining both committee and IRB approval for their proposal, conducting their data collection in accordance with the methods selected in their proposal, and analyzing the results. By the end of this course, students should have the fourth chapter of their dissertation completed. Prerequisite: PSY-955.
Following successful completion of the two preceding dissertation courses, students finish their work on their doctoral dissertation and submit it for final approval during the oral defense. This course affords students the opportunity to draft a discussion section that interprets their findings, as well as an abstract that summarizes their findings. Students also draft their front and back matter, including appendices, tables, and a reference section. The final step in this course is to defend the doctoral dissertation, obtain final committee approval, and submit the document for publication. Prerequisite: PSY-960.