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11/04/2011 - Submitted by: Hohenstein Rena

Conference Theme “Decent Work and Beyond” - W&O Psychologists’ Contribution to Society

Our society has come at a cross road. The financial and economic crisis calls for radical decisions that will affect our lives, also in the workplace. The challenge will be to steer out of this crisis and to establish a sustainable society, in which everybody can participate. To achieve this many changes are required. However, the question is what kind of choices are we going to make? It is clear that labor participation needs to be increased to sustain prosperity. Making organizations and the labor market more flexible has become a key issue.

But how can we renew our organizations, making them more innovative and competitive, while improving the health and well-being of the working population and protecting the environment?

This translates into important questions that call for an answer:

  • What does increased flexibility mean for the people in organizations?
  • How does it affect job security?
  • What does it mean for the opportunities for development of employees?
  • How will it affect health and well-being?

Where politicians and economists strive to create decent work for all, it is clear that the expertise of Work & Organizational Psychology is indispensable to make employees and organizations flourish and grow. With the theme of this conference we urge to look beyond economic rationality, because radical decisions often imply paradoxes. Such decisions have to be made constantly, day by day, and Work & Organizational Psychologists should contribute to make the right choices and to ensure that not only economic motives count, but that employees matter as well. Because, by the end of the day, the people in the organizations make the difference.

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Maastricht, Netherlands
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