In the last years the changes in industrial and employment structure, the developments in the service sector, the deindustrialisation processes, recession and redundancy in the labour market have had a considerable impact on the work force and employment relations. In addition, the spread of new technologies have transformed many jobs, reduced their number and changed the competence requirements for employability. The work context is still changing: labour force composition is modifying by the presence of well educated young workers, and new forms of working, new styles of management and working group are growing up. These structural changes are challenging the traditional assumptions not only about performances and work behaviour but also about attitudes, social representations, psychological functions of work, and the meaningful outcomes people expect from work during their career. The main purpose of this volume is to present a conceptual framework for a better understanding of human behaviour at work based on the idea that people actively create their context but also are constrained in what they want to create; they select their workplace and in some degree adapt to it trough their relationships with other people. Then relational processes may be considered as the basis of the real understanding of working behaviour in organizations. The framework may be useful to reconsider traditional and new topics of industrial and organizational psychology which have relevance to the problems faced by workers and managers within work organizations: selection, training, job design, decision making, socialization for work and into work, careers, competencies and performances, organizational well being, unemployment, etc.
Contents: Preface. - 1. Work and job: where we are and where we are going. - Part One: Development, concepts, methods. - 2. Social division of labour and scientific organization. - 3. Rationalization of work organization. - 4. Criticism to scientific organization. - 5. Human relations. - 6. The working life in complex organizations. - 7. Industrial and organizational psychology in action. - Part Two: How to study the working life: a proposal. - 8. Work and cognitive society. - 9. Organizational design. - 10. Social context: socialization, groups, and leadership. - 11. Pain and risks in the workplace: stress, incidents, organizational pathology and well-being. - 12. The working life and psychological interventions: selection, counselling, training, ergonomics, assessment, unemployment. - 13. Working today: cognitive organizations, lean production, management abroad. - Epilogue: the future of work. - References. - Subject Index.
Francesco Novara former responsible for the Centre for Psychology of Olivetti, teaches psychology at the school for management in Turin and at the University of Milan.
Guido Sarchielli is professor of Psychology of labour at the University of Bologna.