Social psychology

A commentary on organizational research

Authored by: Parisa Dashtipour

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182

10.4324/9781315726526.ch8

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Abstract

What is social psychology? The kind of answer you will get to this question will depend on who you ask, the epistemological and theoretical perspective they hold, and it will, to a large extent, also depend on the region of the world they live in and the university or faculty they work in. Social psychology is not a unified discipline; there is not one social psychology, but many social psychologies. However, despite the diversity of the field today, the positivistic approach is more pervasive and dominant than other approaches. This is the perspective which is usually taught in standard psychology courses and textbooks in most parts of the world and it is this version of social psychology that informs various applied fields, of which organizational behaviour is one of the most popular. Organizational social psychology involves the application of social psychological theories and methods to understand, inform, and ultimately improve organizational practices. Organizations are ubiquitous to everyday life and are the main instruments of capitalism. As long as social psychology is deployed to solve management problems, a critique of social psychology must include a solid critique of organizational social psychology.

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