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Industrial-Organizational (I/O) Psychology is the application of behavior science to the workplace. While it is arbitrarily similar to Organization Behavior, important distinctions do it exist under the demands of the client or organization. As a rule of thumb, IO psychologists are interested in how individuals do their job whereas Org Behaviorists can and will extend analysis into two other domains: how does an individual's behavior modify in response to organizational roles and how does the organization itself behave.

IO Psychology can be decomposed into:

  • Social psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Ergonomics
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Climate
  • Talent Management
  • Performance Management
  • Human Resource Development

Knowledge Management is a part of Strategic Communication, but exclusively deals with the flow of and access information resources that help employees and managers do their jobs.

Knowledge Management can be decomposed into:

  • Communication
  • Information Technology
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Climate
  • Management Development
  • Organizational Behavior

Organizational Behavior is the study of human behavior in organizational settings. It is chiefly interested in three interconnected domains:

  1. The behavior of the individual in their organizational role

  2. The relationship between behavior of individual and behavior of organization

  3. The behavior of an organization 

Organizational Behavior can be decomposed into: 

  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Climate
  • Social Psychology
  • Systems Psychology
  • Anthropology 
  • Systems Sociology

Organizational Climate is the short-term social dynamics of an organization. Primarily informed by Knowledge Management, Leadership, Communication, Organization Design, and Policy, Climate represents the most malleable structures in socioorganization. Patterns are easier to spot, solutions easier to generate, and times-to-delivery are generally shorter than Culture work.

Climate can be decomposed into:

  • Knowledge Management
  • IT Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Organization Design
  • Policy Analysis 

Organization Culture describes the complex social-superstructure containing deep held beliefs, habits, causalities, actions, artifacts, and VIPs that emerge as an organization functions.

Organization Culture can be decomposed into:

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Organization Design
  • Team Development
  • Human Resource Development
    • Employee Professional Development
    • Manager Decision Development
  • Organization Performance
  • Organization Climate
  • Change + Transformation

Organization Design describes the physical configuration of abstract roles, rules, tasks, teams, and systems.

Organization Design can be decomposed into:

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Human factors and ergonomics
  • Social psychology

Organization Architecture is closely related, but sometimes is presented as the physical design of the workspace or the mapping of chain of command, information flow, or work flow.

Organization Development is the scientific process of change and improvement insuring an organization continues to meet its strategic and operational demands.

Organization Development can be decomposed into:

  • Strategic Management
  • Human Resource Development
  • Process improvement
  • IO Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior

Organization Efficacy is the complex of Organizational Effectiveness + Organizational Efficiency

Organizational Effectiveness is the ability for an organization to set and meet its goals.

Organizational Efficiency is setting and meeting those goals using the least amount of resources.

As a rule of thumb, the objective of Organization Development is effectiveness + efficiency.

Organization Functioning isolates the third tier of Organization Behavior and works to improve how large human systems (organizations in this specific context) behave as market dynamics evolve.

Organization Functioning can be decomposed into:

  • Org behavior Tier 3
  • Strategic Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Economics

Organizational Health is a metric that reflects how your organization functions.

Organizational Health values reflect underlying relationships investigated in:

  • Functioning
  • Effectiveness
  • Team Development
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Strategy

Organization Improvement is the incremental metric used for Organization Development. Recall that OD work is done to create more efficacious organizations, so improvements are recorded as abilities to be more effective and more efficient

Organizational Strategy is the formal plan championed by leadership on how they will use the organization (People + Systems + Policies) to reach strategic goals.

People Development is the process of increasing the capacity and capability of human agents in organizational settings. It is synonymous with "Human Resource Development".

People Development can be decomposed:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Decision Science
  • Social Psychology
  • Strategic Management
  • Learning and Development

Leadership is the natural and developed ability to influence, shape, and guide a human organization (team, company, family etc.)

  • Title Leadership: influencing, shaping, and guiding via formal role, job, or function.
  • Social Leadership: influencing, shaping, and guiding human systems by informal, natural socialization dynamics.


Shared Learning is learning where new knowledge is consumed by multiple students, sometimes called a community. Demonstration of proficiency is evaluated across the community, not just individual students.

Psychosocial domains and skills are the broad set of psychological phenomena concerned with self-appraisal and internal orientation to social dynamics. Conover+Brown specifies three domains and nine skill areas:


  • Self-Awareness: recognition of mental or behavioral patterns towards or concerning some stimulus or set of stimuli
  • Self-Knowledge: accurate internal representation of mental and behavioral patterns guiding conscious responses
  • Social/Emotional IQ: broad set of skills for acting on the behavioral patterns of others


  • Confidence
  • Clarity
  • Commitment
  • Organization
  • Peace of Mind
  • Focus
  • Decision-Making
  • Satisfaction
  • Social/Emotional IQ

Socioorganizational skills refers to the broad set of skills an individual uses to navigate large social structures like organizations or communities. Conover+Brown focuses on three skill domains:


  • Critical Thinking: analyzing/synthesizing information of importance to the functioning of the social sysem
  • Communication: verbally or nonverbally explaining critically considered information to others within the system with purposeful intent
  • Social/Emotional IQ: integrating feedback from others back into critical thinking processes