Arbeids- en Organisatiepsychologie

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Principal investigators: Prof. dr. A.B. Bakker

The research of the I/O faculty is in the domain of work, organizational and personnel psychology. Using a mix of laboratory experiments and survey studies, faculty members focus on the following themes:

  1. Positive organizational behaviour, which examines the additional value of positive emotions over and above negative emotions in determining organizational performance. In this research line, field and lab studies are carried out to examine, e.g., the crossover of positive and negative work-related states from one person to another;
  2. Organizational entrance, where attention is paid to issues of prediction and decision-making in personnel recruitment and selection. In addition, applicants’ viewpoints are taken into account, such as their job search and choice behavior, and their test motivation and anxiety. Research methods include telephone interviews with job searchers, and experiments among students during test taking, where anxiety and motivation are measured using paper-and-pencil and physiological measures;
  3. Emotional labour, which addresses the question how difficult and demanding social interactions can best be managed. Research focuses on emotion management strategies and possible consequences, including emotional dissonance/consonance and performance. In addition to diary studies, lab experiments are conducted, in which participants are exposed to virtual reality simulations of demanding work situations, and where they have to respond on line (and interactively) to stimuli;
  4. Small and medium-sized business. This research line examines relationships between entrepreneurs’ and small business owners’ personality and attitudes on the one hand, and well-being and job performance on the other hand. The analyses focus on the individual and group level. Behavioral experiments among students working in teams and survey research are among the research methods used;
  5. Cross-cultural and diversity issues. This domain focuses on issues of (non) discrimination during personnel selection and in the workplace – using lab experiments and field surveys. In addition, this research investigates minority-majority issues, diversity in the workplace, and job performance among expatriates;
  6. Test- and scale development. This final theme centers around the development and validation of tests and scales for the measurement of a diversity of work-related individual differences characteristics (e.g., integrity, cultural intelligence). There is a particular interest in less conventional testing methods, such as the development of multimedia (video-scenario) and situational tests. Reaction time measures are employed in relationship to cognitive test scores but also in relationship to social desirability answers in non-cognitive tests.