Starting from Organizational Psychology I, we have been learning a variety of important organizational theories and principles, including motivation, job attitudes and affect/emotion, stress, organizational justice, diversity. This assignment is designed to give you an opportunity to apply these organizational theories and principles into a real work situation.


Imagine that you are a well-known I/O Consultant and you receive a letter from a client for help (see below). Three questions are asked in the letter:

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1. What can I/O Psychologists contribute to the dialog I have begun with my group of experts on how to create enhanced, more robust organizations so that as future economic cycles ensue we are better able to cope?

  1. What specific recommendations would you and your networks have that can be implemented in the short, medium and long-term to that end?
  2. And, as companies struggle to renew and revitalize themselves and their surviving employees after huge upheavals, such as layoffs, reorganizations, loss of customer base, and shrunken operations, what specific steps would you recommend we take? How do we heal?


To answer these questions, I would like you to consider at least two topics from what we have learned: motivation, job attitudes and affect/emotion, stress management, organizational justice, and diversity. While writing this paper, you should keep in mind that this is a layoff situation, and the CEO is not only concerned with short-term results, but also long-term outcomes. So you need to think of the problem from three parties (or perspectives)––the employees being laid off, the surviving/remaining employees, and the organization. Describe how each topic you choose helps understand how the employees feel and give specific recommendations for how the organization should move forward.

For integrating two topics of organizational psychology into the submission, as long as the submission touches upon at least two topics to answer all three questions listed above, the essay will be given the full credit (i.e., the two topics that you choose do not have to be mentioned in all three questions). For example, you can use theories of “Topic A” for the question three and theories of “Topic B” to answer the question two. How you would answer to those three questions can be organized in the writing as you see appropriate.

As you proceed in the writing, be specific in your descriptions of suggestions. Think in the perspective of the person who are going through difficulties and picture what kind of advice you would actually find helpful in that situation. General ideas usually don’t really help much. Think of a situation that you would really use good tips to study effectively for a big test tomorrow and your friend just says “study hard, don’t sleep, and you will get an A.”

If you have to assume certain things in the scenario described in the letter, provide assumptions in writing that are not too extreme (e.g., resources are limited and you cannot just provide millions of dollars of severance package for those who got laid off).

When using a new term, provide definition from the textbook, and cite the source in proper APA style.


In applying each topic to the layoff situation, you should include two components in your paper: 1) a thorough description/introduction of the topic; 2) justification of why the topic considered is beneficial to this organizational problem; and 3) detailed recommendations of specifically how to address the scenario based on theories and research findings about the topic. Cite your sources appropriately and represent the research literature correctly. Within these limits, try to be as creative as you can in analyzing the topics you choose. Please use at least 3 sources per topic (that is, at least 6 sources in total). These can include the course text and lecture notes, journal articles, book chapters, supplemental readings, websites, or other outside materials. Document your research with APA style citations, including a separate references (bibliography or works cited) page; discuss with the instructor/GTA if your major specifically only deal with other types of format (MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Your paper should be at least 2 pages long (or 500 words without references page; 750 words max; typed, double-spaced, 12 pt, times new roman, 1 inch margins for all sides, no title page/name/course numbers; Microsoft Word or other readable file format on Webcourses). Please pay close attention to the format requirements and be informed that these are minimum requirements for the submission. Once the submission meets the minimum requirements, it will be graded based on the contents and clarity.

Note that this is not a formal research paper, but a semi-formal essay. Feel free to write in a creative manner, but maintain a professional tone. Use scientific terminology correctly, as defined in class (e.g., correlation is the index of linear association two measurable variables, not just any relationship between two things). However, don’t forget to cite in APA style!

Rubric Table for this Assignment

Areas Points

First topic

Description 4

Justification 4

Recommendations 4

Second topic

Description 4

Justification 4

Recommendations 4

Other issues

Creativity, grammar, and style 3

Citations and references 3


30 points

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