Fall 2018 - BPK 381 D100

Psychology of Work (3)

Class Number: 9561

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2018: Thu, 8:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2018
    Tue, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • 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.


Schedule by Weeks and Topics:

Topics I Principles/Practices   Healthy work
II Principles/Practices   History of I/O Psychology and Ergonomics Elements of an Organization Research Methods
III Principles/Practices   Seminar /paper Topics Individuals at work Occupational Health Stress, Health and Injury

IV Occupational Health   Occupational Health Stress, Health and Injury Job satisfaction/fairness
V  Occupational Health   Motivation
V I     Job analysis techniques Review for Midterm
V II Work Design    Midterm Exam 
VIII Work Design   Designing healthy work The Psychological Standard Participative Design
IX Work Design   Personnel Assessment Selection Legal Issues   Training and Development
X Work Design   Schedules: Shift work and fatigue
XI Work Design   Physical design, satisfaction and performance Accidents, Culture, Human Error
XII     Teams and Teamwork Seminars
XI Work Design   Union-management relations Seminars
XIV     Work in the Future Review


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%
  • Quizzes 12%
  • On-line discussion/ participation in seminars 10%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 33%



Landy, F.J. and Conte, J.M, (2013) Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology 4th edition, John Wiley and Sons, New York.

This edition is available at the SFU bookstore.
Previous editions are acceptable.
Electronic version can be purchased at: http://www.coursesmart.com/  

Additional 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://students.sfu.ca/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