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Humanitarian work psychology: The contributions of organizational psychology to poverty reduction


  • Berry, Mary O'Neill
  • Reichman, Walter
  • Klobas, Jane
  • MacLachlan, Malcolm
  • Hui, Harry C.
  • Carr, Stuart C.


Achieving the MDG goal of reducing world poverty by 50% by 2015 requires the cooperative effort of many disciplines. To date the discipline of organizational psychology has not played as significant a role as it might in this endeavor. With the recent establishment of the Global Task Force for Humanitarian Work Psychology, this discipline signaled its commitment to the global effort. Organizational psychology offers to bring its expertise to poverty reduction: its ability to assess needs and capacity, develop partnerships with stakeholders, bring about and manage change, and systematically review, evaluate, monitor and revise high level mandates, policy development, program implementation and consultation on personnel issues. Its successes as practitioners-scientists in private enterprise will enhance its credibility for success in the public sphere. The article reviews the research and practice of some of the organizational psychologists presently engaged in poverty reduction and how humanitarian work psychology might enhance the efforts of anti-poverty organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Berry, Mary O'Neill & Reichman, Walter & Klobas, Jane & MacLachlan, Malcolm & Hui, Harry C. & Carr, Stuart C., 2011. "Humanitarian work psychology: The contributions of organizational psychology to poverty reduction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 240-247, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:2:p:240-247

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Malcom MacLachlan & Stuart C. Carr, 2005. "The Human Dynamics of Aid," OECD Development Centre Policy Insights 10, OECD Publishing.
    2. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2008. "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Survey design and the analysis of satisfaction," Working Papers 016, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    3. Hans-Ulrich Derlien & B. Guy Peters, 2008. "Introduction," Chapters,in: The State at Work, Volume 2, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Schulz-Hardt, Stefan & Jochims, Marc & Frey, Dieter, 2002. "Productive conflict in group decision making: genuine and contrived dissent as strategies to counteract biased information seeking," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 563-586, July.
    5. Chinander, Karen R. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 2003. "The input bias: The misuse of input information in judgments of outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 243-253, July.
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