The Role of Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Sustainable Development: Implication for 21stcentury Employee Management Strategies


  • Elizabeth I. Olowookere
  • Sunday S. Babalola
  • Dare O. Omonijo
  • Jonathan A. Odukoya
  • Olujide A. Adekeye
  • Benedict C. Agoha
  • Ayotunde. O. Elegbeleye
  • Edith Awogu-Maduagwu


The emerging technologies in the 21st century have created development issues for many African nations; resulting in a dire need to keep up with the pace of advancement across the globe without jeopardizing the wellbeing of the citizenry. The needed intervention lies in the attainment of sustainable development, the term that describes a people’s right to continuous survival and wellbeing. The key drivers of this developmentare the government, business organisations and the employees. The employees are deemed as the most important of these three because they determine the success of the others. The lack of synergy among these development drivers may be at the core of Africa’s economic setbacks. It becomes imperative to seek professional input in the management of these key driversof sustainable development in a rapidly changing world. To this end, this study explored the concept of sustainable development in the 21st century; the key drivers of sustainable development; the employees as the principal driver; the nature and role of Industrial and OrganisationalPsychology (the behavioural science concerned with building and retaining highly competitive employees, effective organisations and robust economies) in the pursuit of sustainable development. This study concluded that effective employee management is central to the attainment of sustainable development in the 21st century and that Industrial and Organisational Psychology provides very useful tools to achieve this feat. Therefore the principles of Industrial and Organisational Psychology was recommended as major requirements in 21st century employee management programs towards sustainable development.