Psychology in Business and Industry

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSY 221

       Course Name: Psychology in Business and Industry

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PSY 101

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers systematic study of industrial psychology. Content includes application of psychological methods/principles, integration of theory and empirical research in business and industry related to managing and working in diverse organizational environments. Focus is on practices in personnel selection, placement, training, performance appraisal; job analysis, design, satisfaction, and motivation; labor relations, leadership, decision making, and organization development; research methodology.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to demonstrate their familiarity with and understanding of the following areas:

  1. Behavioral research as it is conducted in business organizations.
  2. Equal employment opportunity legislation and its effect on applications, interviews, placement of employees, the use of psychological tests, and affirmative action plans.
  3. Sexual harassment in the workplace.
  4. Methods of job analysis and performance evaluation.
  5. Education, training, and development in the organization.
  6. Selected theories of leadership.
  7. Selected theories of motivation.
  8. Organizational decision-making.
  9. Organizational development:  effecting change in the organization.
  10. Other relevant topics of current interest.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction: Definitions and History
  2. Research Methods in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  3. Job Analysis
  4. Personnel Recruitment, Screening, and Selection
  5. Personnel Training and Development
  6. Job Performance and Performance Appraisals
  7. Motivation
  8. Job Satisfaction, Work Attendance, and Quality of Work Life
  9. Worker Stress 
  10. Communication in the Work Place
  11. Group Processes in Work Organizations
  12. Leadership
  13. Influence, Power, and Politics
  14. Organizational Structure, Culture, and Development 
  15. Human Factors in Work Design
  16. Work Conditions and Work Safety

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, collaborative assignments, and case studies that foster critical thinking about the subject.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course relies on the student's ability to read and understand college-level text material.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take for form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Representative texts include:

Aamondt, Michael G. (1999).  Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3rd ed.).  Belmont, CA:  Brooks/Cole.

Muchinsky, Paul M. (2000).  Psychology Applied to Work:  An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (6th ed.).  Pacific Grove, CA:  Brooks/Cole.

Riggio, David (2000).  Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3rd ed.).  New York, NY:  Harper Collins.

Schultz, Duane and Schultz, Sydney Ellen (1998).  Psychology and Work Today:  An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (7th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The student's performance on in-class and out-of-class exercises/case analyses will be the main focus for valuation.  The student's grade will also be affected by the quizzes and final exam over the readings and lectures.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance
  2. Class policy on make-up exams, late assignments, etc.
  3. Important dates

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.