We are currently working on a range of activities, which are discussed below. If you want to support these activities, or actively contribute to them, get in touch with us.
Conference Attendance and Sessions
BPS Division of Occupational Psychology Conference, January 2020, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.
FoWOP organized a session on FoWOP at the DOP Conference. As there were many practitioners from the UK present at the conference and the session, it was a great opportunity to introduce FoWOP to the UK and practitioners in the UK. A reflection of the interactive session can be found here. The slide show can be found here. We are currently working on a Task Force FoWOP in Practice, which is an initiative of FoWOP academics to connect better with the practice of work psychology outside of universities. All those interested can contact Tim Gore.
Many of us share a vision for more critical ways of teaching in WOP. We want to teach in ways that allow for complexity, pay attention to different stakeholders and perspectives, and consider problems that are truly important to people. At the same time, we want to create a psychologically safe and inclusive teaching environment in which students can grow, develop a sense of solidarity with others, understand the role of power asymmetries and hierarchies on people's experiences and behavior in organizations, and develop critical and reflexive thinking. To this end, we hope to create a critical WOP teaching manual, for which we be grateful to receive any relevant teaching resources (please contact Laura or Mahi).
Critical Research and Special Issue around Critical WOP
To do more critical research, we need a community. This might involve mentoring, collaborations, and trans/inter-disciplinary partnerships inside academia, but also the co-production of knowledge with those who are normally treated as research “subjects”. These partnerships will be key to developing research projects that respond to real-world problems and understanding the nuanced contexts in which these problems occur. We share a desire for methodological creativity, and for excavating the ideological bases of our existing ways of thinking and working in the field. We are forming a critical WOP research cluster that will plan future events and a journal special issue to promote community (please contact Severin to get involved). We are also developing a Checklist for doing Critical Research in WOP, which will be out soon!
Critical Practice and Policy
In considering how critical perspectives might be useful in WOP practice and policy development, we recognise the importance of power. We have a responsibility to prevent malpractice and harm in how we apply psychological knowledge in organisations, implying the need for rigorous quality standards in our practice. However, while lack of these standards can cause harm, their existence can also be problematic. If only certain types of knowledge - or people – are considered legitimate, this creates a hierarchy of power that is open to misuse. This points to two potential critiques of WOP practice: a reformist view in which we argue that standards are being misapplied or not met, so practice ought to be improved to meet them, and a radical critique in which we argue that certain standards are the problem and ought to be reformed or removed to improve practice. Regardless of our views on this point, we agree that more partnerships between practitioners, organisational stakeholders, and academics would result in better outcomes for those who work in organisations. Please contact Zoe if you would like to connect to our work on WOP practice or policy which we will be developing in various ways over the next year.
Substantive - Methodological Synergies
Create platform for collaboration
The idea is to create a platform where researchers can ask for help with a certain analysis or method, or can ask for advice on how they should study a specific research question. This could be done through some kind of matching procedure (think tinder for researchers) or via existing tools (e.g., researchgate). Ideally, researchers would be in contact with methodological experts early on in the research process. (Alternatively, this could be achieved by striving to hire methodologists in departments to ensure that there is both substantive and methodological expertise available.) The idea to organize a small group meeting to match substantive and methodological experts and to support co-promotorships between substantive and methodological experts was also launched. Finally, we should challenge the norm that every researcher should be able to perform every part of the research process, which may not be tenable in today’s complex academic environment.
Help collaborations in setting up registered reports
The idea is to help researchers with setting up registered reports for their next study. First, we need to direct people towards journals that accept registered reports (see the link for a list of journals). Next, it would be great if the registered reports system would allow researchers to get additional collaborators on board prior to or simultaneous with the first-phase acceptance. Researchers could post their ideas on a platform and get feedback before they submit their registered report.
A long term goal: Creating a mixed-methods journal The idea is to create an open access journal that focuses on mixed methods research (e.g., qualitative-quantitative methods; experimental-experience sampling methods; etcetera). To attract submissions, the journal would not ask for a publication fee during the first couple of years. In addition, the journal would be advertised at conferences to develop a community of interested scholars. A specific submission format could be considered, which could be described as collaborative registered reports. In this format, researchers would first submit a research question and collaborators would be then invited to participate and submit their own specific idea for a research design to tackle the proposed research question. This would lead to a multitude of different research methods. The submitted methods would evaluated by reviewers, after which an in-principle acceptance can be offered. Finally, the authors would collect data and submit a full paper. It would be ideal if there could be quick turnaround, but the proposed collaborative registered reports format might not allow for quick turnarounds.
Task Force on Healthy Academia
A taskforce on healthy academic workplaces was installed in 2019. The task force has 2 main aims: to develop evidence-based recommendations and policy advise on how to create, develop and encourage healthy academic workplaces, and to develop and design interventions and practical tools for universities, departments, managers and employees to contribute to healthier workplaces. For more information or to become part of the the task force, contact Matthijs Bal (firstname.lastname@example.org). The first outcomes will be presented asap, and in any case at the SGM in Brussels in September 2020.
An online spreadsheet is developed to indicate the main actions that need to be taken to create a healthier academic system. As such, the spreadsheet provides an overview of suggested/best practices that individual researchers as well as collectives (such as FoWOP) can use to improve mental health in academia.
Yiannis Gabriel, our eminent scholar and FoWOP supporter, has published a very interesting essay on contemporary PhDs in M@n@gement. See the essay here.
Equality in Academia
Research on Inequalities in Academia
We want to undertake more research to assess/evaluate the true extent of inequalities in HE and WOP. Particularly qualitative research will enable us to hear and understand hidden narratives that could prove significant to devise vigorous corrective action.
We want to foster a necessary culture change in organizations and in our field of WOP. To do so, we will create a workshop template on ethnic and gender inequalities in academia that would be freely available for any academic institution.
Teaching about Inequalities
We want to include ethnic, gender and other forms of inequalities in the curriculum of various courses, to raise awareness of these issues and prepare students to become responsible and critically thinking citizens and practitioners.
We are organizing the 2nd Small Group Meeting on the Future of Work and Organizational Psychology in Brussels, Belgium, 2020. Keep in touch with us to be informed about details of the meeting. If you want to become involved in organizing or contributing to the meeting, get in touch with us!