Our core research activities are centered around the theme Performance Enhancement. Specifically, the program focuses on the optimal fit between human performance (including decision-making processes) and operational process performance in high-tech work environments. We are explicitly interested in the optimization of the contributions by humans to the performance of well-designed operational processes in a high-tech work environment (e.g., in the field of organizational behavior and human decision processes, stress, control, motivation, recovery, error and safety management, conflicts, personality and performance measurement).
The theme Performance Enhancement is characterized by a positive focus (optimization of performance rather than management of risks), process orientation (focusing on human decision processes rather than measurement of performance and control) and a humane perspective (compared to organizational renewal, which focuses on the (re)design of sociotechnical systems only). Related to this, we are developing further research initiatives in the healthcare domain that align well with the research themes outlined in the TU/e 2020 Strategic Plan.
In order to contribute to the recently-defined research spearheads of the department, the HPM group has actively oriented herself to specified focus areas. For instance, the expertise on how to manage work, change and people has been applied to the adaptation of decision-support systems in logistics. This has recently resulted in a PhD-project with the OPAC group and the intention is to expand collaboration. Similarly, the interplay between humans and technology in the work context as well as high-tech organizations represent the work domain that research of HPM staff will focus on in the future. Finally, the HPM group has actively plied to include the human factor in the topic of sustainability, which is the research focus of several HPM staff. We explicitly focus on sustainable performance and the working conditions that enhance sustainable employability.
Moreover, the positive and unique focus on performance enhancement rather than performance management makes the research of the group attractive to various stakeholders including PhD-students, national and international researchers, and organizations.
The highlights of the HPM group can be summarized in three aspects.
First, the group is conducting high impact research. We are productive not only in terms of number of high quality publications, but also several of our publications are frequently cited by our colleagues or in the media. Additionally, part of our research concerns the development of theoretical models and measurement instruments. For instance, the two full professors of HPM have developed theoretical models that are highly cited (Demerouti: Job Demands-Resources model; 1300 citations, De Jonge: Demands-Induced Strain Compensation model, 200 citations) and often used measurement instruments such as the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory and the DISQ questionnaire.
Second, several members of HPM are recognized as high impact scholars. This is reflected by the fact that they are frequently asked to give presentations to conferences (as keynote speakers) or to organizations and other instances (unions, ministries etc.). Not surprisingly, the two full professors are visiting or applied professors at universities abroad (Demerouti: University of Johannesburg; De Jonge: University of South Australia, Loughborough University UK), and one of the associate professors (Le Blanc) is appointed as visiting researcher/scholar at Stockholm University. Several members of HPM are (or have been) editors-in-chief, associate or consulting editors of high-impact journals of our field (e.g. Demerouti: JOHP & EJWOP, JOB, JPP, HR, JBP, De Jonge: JOOP, JOHP & G&O, Le Blanc: EJWOP, Rispens: NCMR, IJCM, GD, Gevers: JOOP & G&O). The recognition is also reflected by the fact that (1) we frequently welcome international visitors to collaborate with us, (2) we are supervising PhD-students at foreign universities, and (3) we are asked to evaluate other universities abroad.
Third, we have been successful in acquiring 1st, 2nd and 3rd money-stream projects enabling us to conduct high quality research with impact to society and prizes. For instance, we acquired funds by NWO and ZonMW, as well as from third parties for several projects concerning the development and testing of interventions. Recently, Demerouti received fellowships/prizes by the European Association of Occupational Health Psychology and by the Theo and Field Schoeller Stiftung (University of Nuremberg). Moreover, several of our publications/presentations, Master students’ theses and PhD students’ theses have been awarded prizes for their quality (such as Cum Laude for PhD thesis).