Th-DEB-14 - The Future of Work and Organizational Psychology: An Interactive Debating Session Addressing the Need to Reconceptualize our Own Academic Future

Thursday May 18   04:15 PM to 05:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Accenture Theatre
Emerging themes in I/O psychology
The Future of Work and Organizational Psychology: An Interactive Debating Session Addressing the Need to Reconceptualize our Own Academic Future
M. Bal 1,*, C. Bernard Oettell 2, R. Briner 3, K. Chudzikowski 4, J. de Jong 5, E. Doci 6, N. Dries 7, C. Freese 8, K. Kalshoven 9, X. Lub 10, Y. van Rossenberg 11, T. Vantilborgh 6
1University of Lincoln, Lincoln, United Kingdom, 2Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 3Queen Mary University of London, London, 4University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom, 5Open University The Netherlands, Heerlen, Netherlands, 6Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Brussels, 7KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 8University of Tilburg, Tilburg, 9Amsterdam Center for Integrity and Leadership, 10VU University Amsterdam/NHTV University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 11Univesity of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom
Content: Purpose The field of Work and Organizational Psychology (WOP) has important objectives for the 21st century. While the EAWOP conference in Dublin will be taking place 10 years after the onset of the global economic crisis, the effects are still widely visible across Europe. It is therefore crucial for researchers to contribute to contemporary debates about how work can be organized in the 21st century. However, it is not self-evident that research in the field of WOP achieves these aims. Moreover, ethics in research is becoming increasingly important—both in the choice of research topics and in how we do research—and thus the field finds itself at a crossroad, where choices should be made about what the future of WOP will look like. The purpose of this session therefore is to discuss the role of work psychology within its broader context and to consider potential alternatives for how the field identifies itself. We want to discuss some of 1) the interrelations and interdependencies between the field and the larger context(s) it is embedded in, 2) the imprints these relations leave on how we do research in WOP and what we do with the research we have done, and 3) the alternatives for the status quo of WOP to postulate a future-oriented idea for how the field can contribute to knowledge.The session aims to identify some ways the field gets affected by its cultural, political, organizational and academic context, and the way the field shapes (or intends to shape) its context. We hope to unravel some of the shortcomings that result from the field’s alignment with certain academic, political, economic and organizational narratives. Finally, together with the participants, we want to reflect on what other available perspectives are out there that could allow for more critical, humanistic and profound ways of doing research in work psychology, and for leaving a positive impact on the world of work. A recent editorial of EJWOP (Daniels, 2016) addressed the importance of the journal in addressing societal concerns, and the aim of this symposium is to contribute to this by debating how researchers can conduct research that is relevant for both research and the world outside academia.We want to study the field’s relations with its context from three (interrelated) perspectives:(a) Relations with world of work:- Do we pay attention to what is important for organizations or what is important for people within organizations? Should we take a human resources or a humanistic perspective on people? And what perspective should we take in the future?-What is the ‘real’ impact of our research? How is the field’s relationship with practice?(b) Relations with the political, economic and cultural context:- What political discourses and ideologies does the field (implicitly) align itself with and what are the effects of such alignments on the field?- Do we take the political-economic context of our research enough into account?- How is the field’s relationship with the public sphere?(c) Relations with the academic culture:-Why is so much research conservative in its approach, designs and not innovative and addressing contemporary issues of the 21st century workplace?-Why do so many studies rely on mediator-moderator designs and what are the underlying assumptions and implications of such designs, and what are the alternatives?-Why are all academics suffering from the pressure to publish (or otherwise perish) & what impact does it have on the research we do?-How are all of the above questions related to each other?These questions could be addressed in separate debates, but the main purpose of the current session is to understand and ascertain that these issues are inherently interrelated, and that the field of WOP is at a crucial state, and important questions for future generations of WOP scholars and leaders need to be asked and debated. The current session therefore aims to give scholars the opportunity to address these issues, to discuss them in smaller groups and to develop new ideas and initiatives to advance the field. The session aims to do the following: First, the main purpose of the meeting will be introduced and the state of WOP as a discipline will be discussed. Subsequently, Yvonne van Rossenberg will talk about the role and limits of methods used in WOP. Edina Doci and Tim Vantilborgh will discuss whether the human resources perspective on employees dominates in the (leadership) field, at the expense of the humanistic perspective. Charissa Freese and Claudia Bernard-Oettel will discuss the role of practice and the public in relation to our research, and finally Nicky Dries will discuss how we should not lose sight of what scientific publications are for and how publication cultures can become more future-oriented. Subsequently, the audience breaks up in smaller groups, each of these discussing one of the debated themes in more detail, thereby understanding what the causes are, and how it can be addressed and resolved in the future. Finally, the session has a plenary closing part, in which analyses and solutions are presented by the subgroups, and discussed and integrated by a panel consisting of Rob Briner, Katharina Chudzikowski, Jeroen de Jong, Karianne Kalshoven, and Xander Lub in close conjunction with the audience.We are aware that within the time span of one session, it is difficult to establish real changes, and thus the session aims to take the first steps towards changing the future of WOP and setting the agenda for a viable WOP discipline. Potential follow-ups may include a Small Group Meeting on the Future of WOP and networks for supporting changes, as well as writing proposals for special issues on the future of WOP. The intention of the session is to give participants some useful ideas to take home which may be used for the design of future research, but also to build a network of people interested in the development of the future of WOP to jointly develop plans to establish positive change for the future.Time line00:00-00:10: Matthijs Bal (University of Lincoln): Welcome and Introduction to the session00:10-00:15 Yvonne van Rossenberg (University of Bath): The role and limits of methods 00:15-00:20 Edina Doci (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) & Tim Vantilborgh: Studying human resources or human beings?'00:20-00:25 Charissa Freese (University of Tilburg): The Importance of Practice and the Public00:25-00:30 Claudia Bernard Oettel (Stockholm University): How about Practice and SJWOP?00:30-00:35 Nicky Dries (KU Leuven): What are scientific publications for?00:35-00:40 Wrap-up and explanation of the discussion session in smaller groups.00:40-01:25 Discussion in smaller groups, moderated by the people above.01:25-01:30 Short break01:30-02:00 Plenary discussion and panel debate, summarizing solutions, and setting an agenda for the futureControversial Perspectives Each of the presenters will introduce a controversial view of the state of WOP as a scientific discipline, aiming to inspire a real debate rather than reiterating existing views. Implications for Research/Practice The session aims to have both research and practical implications. The session will discuss implications for future research for all participants (i.e., how to design and think of future research projects), and more practically how researchers in the field of WOP can join forces and elicit changes in the field and their own universities.Expected Audience:  60 personsWe aim for an audience of between 30-60 people. References:Daniels, K. (2016). An editorial in four parts. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(3), 329-334.

My Schedule

Add to Your Schedule