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Applied Social Psychology: A Critical Theoretical Perspective



The purpose of this analysis is to review, through a critical theoretical lens, social psychology applied to work and organisations. In our reading of the applied social psychological literature four key issues emerged. These include the valorisation of a positivist epistemology, an owner/management perspective on workplace issues, a focus on intra-psychic variables or internal mental states when accounting for organisational problems, and the ignoring of moral and ethical commitments in determining workplace research and practice. Each of these issues is then further analysed in light of insights from the field of Critical Management Studies. This alternative approach to organisational behaviour points to the ways in which applied social psychological theory and practice have the potential to disadvantage workers.