Frequently Asked Questions
What is Organizational Psychology?
The Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) program is designed to provide the education and training necessary to individuals who seek a career assisting organizations to improve the performance and well-being of their people. You will learn about the building blocks necessary to build a strong working team from the start by understanding the requirements of the work through to identifying the knowledge, skills, behaviour and personality of people who will fit that profile.
Organizational psychology is about learning how to research, identify and implement best practices that can be put in place to improve productivity and employee engagement through effective use of hiring practices, training programs, feedback systems and leadership development.
What kind of work will I be doing as a graduate of the MAOP program?
MAOP graduates may be employed in companies as part of a Human Resources (HR) and/or Organizational Development (OD) department. Some examples of the activities they will be engaged in will be to design and/or deliver programs for:
- Attraction, selection and retention of ‘best fit’ employees
- Team development
- Performance Appraisal
- Career Development and Planning
- Leadership Development
- Executive/ manager assessment and coaching
- Employee satisfaction / engagement surveys
- Corporate culture analysis
- Change management
Graduates may provide similar services through external consulting firms.
Who would benefit from enrolling in the MAOP program?
Managers & staff in:
- Human Resources
- Organizational Planning, Training and Development
- Operations and General Management
- Employment Equity, Diversity Management
- Management Consultation
- Relocation and Search Consultants
What is the difference between a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) and a Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology (M.A. in I/O)?
Both programs provide learning in the fundamental theories and research of understanding people and productivity in the workplace. Program similarities include students learning how to conduct and evaluate this research in order to be able to select and implement appropriate programs, activities and methodologies for addressing issues or barriers to people as they cope with changes and development in their organizations.
The Industrial Organizational (I/O) programs put a higher emphasis on data collection and analysis as the basis of understanding and correcting workplace challenges. The MAOP is unique in providing specific training in individual counselling, group dynamics and facilitation. We believe that the most effective internal or external OD consultants are those who truly understand the psychology of individuals and groups, and have the skills to facilitate understanding and growth in both these situations. Good counselling skills are necessary in order to be both a good consultant to organizations and coach to individuals.
What is the difference between the MAOP and the MBA?
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a master’s degree in business administration in which the primary focus is learning about the research and best practices and, where possible, the science behind the typical departments or specialties found in business (e.g., accounting, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.).
The MAOP focuses on the role that people play in organizations whether they are small or large, public, private or non-profit. Organizations are run by people. They use the systems and tools studied in MBA courses and choose careers according to their particular interests in these different areas – finance, economics, marketing, operations, production - but they are all people, who bring their own personality and behaviours to the workplace.
All people have many similarities in terms of motivation, learning, interpersonal challenges and individual understanding. The MAOP addresses the reality and potential for change and learning in people as individuals and in groups. In the same way that all organizations have Human Resource or Finance departments incorporating departmental specialties, the learning in the MAOP is applicable across the workforce.
As this is a new program, how do you know graduates will be able to get jobs in these areas?
We know that there is currently a “war for talent” because:
- Demographics tells us there are fewer young people coming into the workforce than needed to replace the baby boomers who are retiring – organizations need to be able to attract, develop and retain the best of who is available
- Over the last few decades organizations have done many things to improve their competitiveness and productivity (downsizing, re-organizing, mergers and acquisitions) and now one of the only ways to get and stay ahead of the competition is in the selection and development of the best and most creative workforce. Organizational psychology addresses these needs on an individual, team and organizational level
- The trend has been to push many of the basic HR duties (performance management, hiring, etc.) back to managers and to focus central HR and OD efforts on the development of good systems and policies that can be applied across the organization. This requires a higher level of knowledge and skill and it is difficult for people to find the training in these areas.