Fall 2021 - BPK 381 D100

Psychology of Work (3)

Class Number: 5819

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    BLU 10021, Burnaby

    Fr 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM
    BLU 10021, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 19, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    AQ 3154, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 210 or both of BPK 207 and STAT 201. Corequisite: STAT 201 may be taken concurrently. Recommended: BPK 180.



The application of psychological principles and methods to the study of human performance at work. A systems approach will be taken to study the interactions among the individual worker, his/her task, groups of workers, and the management structure of the organization.


This course will be run in a blended style.  Lectures on Tuesdays from 8:30-10:20 will be synchronous, in person.  In addition, one hour of asynchronous online lecture is required per week.


I Principles/Practices
  Healthy work
II Principles/Practices
  History of I/O Psychology and Ergonomics Elements of an Organization 
III Principles/Practices
  Seminar /paper TopicsIndividuals at workResearch Methods

Occupational Health
  Occupational HealthStress, Health and Injury  
V  Occupational Health
  Job satisfaction/fairness
V I   Work Design
  MotivationReview for Midterm
V II Work Design
   Midterm Exam  in person
VIII Work Design
  Job analysis techniques 
IX Work Design
  Personnel Assessment SelectionLegal Issues  Training and Development
X Work Design
  Schedules: Shift work and fatigue
XI Work Design
  Physical design, satisfaction and performanceAccidents, Culture, Human Error
  Teams and Teamwork
XI Work Design
  Union-management relations
  Work in the FutureReview


At the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Explain the role of work in supporting healthy individuals, organizations and societies.
  2. Identify how different organizational structures (classical, hierarchical, participatory, unionized, adhocracies) influence culture, climate, roles and norms and impact the health of workplaces.
  3. Describe the requirement, limitations and methods of psychological research as they apply to understanding psychology in the workplace.
  4. Summarize major trends in personnel demographics in today’s workplaces and outline the challenges and benefits for individuals, organizations and society.
  5. Integrate course material to describe the mechanisms which relate psychosocial stress to physical and mental illness, injury and antisocial behavior in the workplace.
  6. Describe metrics for measuring job satisfaction and motivation in the workplace, identify personal and organizations factors which influence satisfaction and motivation and apply theories to case studies to predict the impact of satisfaction and motivation on performance, absenteeism and turnover.
  7. Integrate material to select job analysis techniques for identifying job design concerns and apply these to case studies.
  8. Describe how personnel selection methods, training, teamwork, physical design influence psychological health in the workplace.
  9. Describe the effect of shiftwork and schedule design on fatigue, circadian rhythm and health outcomes.
  10. Describe “Duty to accommodate” and “Human rights” legislation as it relates to discrimination and drug and alcohol use in the workplace.
  11. Identify the impact of psychological factors in accidents in the workplace. Describe “human error” and identify ways it can be reduced.
  12. Apply the Canadian Psychologically Healthy Workplace Standard in identifying evidence based solutions to hazardous workplace design.
  13. Communicate evidence-based knowledge about a topic of interest relevant to course material in either an oral or written format.


  • Research paper/Seminar 25%
  • Assignment 1 3%
  • Quizzes (5, best of 4) 12%
  • On-line discussion 4%
  • Midterm exam in person 20%
  • Final exam 35%
  • Course evaluation (1% if more than 85% of class completes) 1%



Readings will be provided through on-line sources

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.