Human Performance Management

Research area
The research within Human Performance Management (HPM) generally focuses on the role of the human factor in operational and innovation processes. Its research mission is to develop scientific knowledge and to test theories that explain psychological processes at the organizational, group and individual level within the context of operations and innovation management. An optimal fit between humans and work will be achieved if both human and work aspects are integrally (re)designed and (re)developed to improve performance. The HPM group’s research is based on performance enhancement, has a positive focus (optimization of performance rather than management of risks), is process-oriented (focusing on human decision processes rather than measurement of performance and control), and is humane (compared to organizational renewal that only focuses on the design of sociotechnical systems).

Prominent in the group is the research carried out by the two Full Professors: prof.dr. Evangelia Demerouti (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes) and prof.dr. Jan de Jonge (Work, Organizational & Sports Psychology). The former focuses on the interplay between work environment, individual work strategies, and well-being in predicting performance, while the latter concentrates on how work (and sports) (re)design and its interaction with on-job and off-job recovery is related to stress, creativity, performance and/or counterproductive behavior. The HPM staff’s research is related to the two professors’ research, the theme performance enhancement, and can be described through the following perspectives:

Managing work, focusing on how to manage work processes within organizations and how to design performance management systems, task strategies, problem-solving, planning and control processes (e.g., performance management systems, job or sociotechnical (re)design).

Managing change concerning how ill-designed operational processes (including structure and culture) can be redesigned or how (technological) innovations can be implemented to give people better opportunities to contribute (e.g., job crafting, employability, adaptation of innovations).

Managing people, concerning how to optimize the workforce in general in order to realize organizational goals, how to attract the right person for the job, keep employees motivated, healthy and contributing to organizational performance. HPM employees are experts on topics like training, job stress, leadership and team processes, and conflict at work.

In order to contribute to the department’s recently defined research growth areas, the HPM group has actively oriented itself to specific 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 also in high-tech organizations represents the work domain that will serve as research focus for HPM staff in the future. Finally, the HPM group has worked on including the human factor in the topic of sustainability, which is several HPM staff’s research focus. We concentrate on sustainable performance and the working conditions that enhance sustainable employability.

Contribution to the School
The HPM group contributes to the School IE in several ways. First and foremost, HPM research uncovers the explicit role of the human factor in organizations’ operational and innovation processes. As effective operations and innovation processes can be enhanced or sabotaged by employees, the human factor is a key aspect in the optimization of business processes (which are complex and multidisciplinary in nature). This is increasingly recognized by peers in our School and consequently, HPM members have become partners in several research projects. Secondly, thanks to our knowledge of quantitative research methods, we contribute to IE research from a high-quality methodological and statistical point of view.

More information about the Human Performance Management Group group can be found at their website.