TAXI DRIVERS, SECURITY OFFICERS AND WAITERS. WE ALSO WORK. WHO STUDIES US?
Puplampu, B.B., University of Ghana, Ghana
This paper presents the thesis that Occupational and Organisational Psychologists, in their conceptualization of the human experience of work, have not been as inclusive as the Theme of this conference suggests 'Making Life better for all'. Work Psychologists appear to focus on the professions, management, definable employment groups and perhaps the unemployed. But a significant majority of workers all over the world can be found in jobs and employment which may not fit the above categories. One is referring here to workers such as Taxi Drivers, Life Guards, Waiters, Bus Drivers, Street Sweepers, Theater Performers.these are all workers who hardly get a mention in our research. Can Occupational Psychologists say, confidently, that our theories and solutions understand and take cognizance of the experience of work of people in such spheres of life endeavour? To test this, the research reported in the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology (JOOP, published by the British Psychological Society) in all its volumes over the last decade 1990-2000 were analysed and categorized according to type of employment, level in corporate hierarchy of the chosen sample and the issue of concern. Preliminary findings suggest that the overwhelming majority of samples come from the professions, management or supervisory levels. The paper discusses the possible reasons and implications of this apparent bias in the context of using our expertise to 'Make life better for all'.