Fall 2019 - BPK 381 D100

Psychology of Work (3)

Class Number: 5240

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Thu, 8:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2019
    Sat, 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.



Week 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
V I Work Design
  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
  Teams and Teamwork
XI Work Design
  Union-management relations
  Work in the Future



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%



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.

Missed Exam:

Students who miss examinations due to exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness or compassionate reasons) are required to obtain a physician's certificate, whereby the physician states that you were unable to write your midterm or final on the set date due to a medical condition beyond your control, or other supporting documents in order to obtain consideration in the course. Such documents must be filed with the Department Chair (via the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology office) or Registrar within four calendar days of the date on which the examination was to have been written. Exceptional circumstances must be approved by the Undergraduate Program Committee in order for a student to receive consideration. Students must check the examination schedule when making course selections. Students are reminded that final examinations may be scheduled at any time during the examination period and that students should avoid making travel or employment arrangements for this period. In the event of a missed midterm or final examination the instructors reserve the right to give an oral examination of the material. Approximate midterm dates are provided, but may be subject to change.

BPK Grading Policy

For more information on the department's grading policy & guidelines go to:  

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