Keynote Speakers APIO 2023

Keynote speaker: Prof. Karina Nielsen, PhD. MBA

Professor of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Topic:  Protecting and promoting worker well-being through organisational interventions

Abstract In this presentation, I will focus on how we can improve employee wellbeing through making changes to work policies, practices and procedures.
The European Framework Directive 89/391/EEC on occupational safety and health (OSH) introduced employers’ general obligations to ensure employees’ health by addressing all types of risk, including work characteristics, in a preventive manner. This Directive led to the development of follow-up policies, such as the European Framework Agreement on Work-related Stress in 2004, which emphasizes assessment and management of work characteristics, and which has been implemented by the European countries in different ways. Despite the EU framework, findings from the third wave of the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks showed that 21% of companies in the EU28 perceived psychosocial risks to be more challenging to manage than other Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) risks. There is therefore a need to focus on the “how to” organisational interventions. In my presentation, I will synthesise the latest research on how to design and implement organisational interventions and I will provide examples of practical tools, which consultants and organisations may find help in the development of organisational interventions.
Guest description Prof. Karina Nielsen was awarded her PhD in Applied Psychology at the University of Nottingham, UK in 2003, in 2011, she became Professor in Work and Organizational Psychology ant the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark. She is currently Professor of Work Psychology at the Institute of Work Psychology at the Sheffield University Management School, a Professor II at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim Norway, an adjunct professor at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia and a research affiliate at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.Prof. Nielsen’s research interests focus on wellbeing and how we can create work environments that enable workers to thrive at work. Her main research area concerns participatory, organizational interventions. This type of interventions aims at improving employee wellbeing through making changes to the way work is organized, designed and managed, i.e., through making changes to polices, practices and procedures. Prof. Nielsen has developed and tested models for the design, implementation and evaluation of
organizational interventions in order to promote employee wellbeing.Prof. Nielsen has published over 100 per-reviewed journal articles. She has won multiple awards for her research including the APA/NIOSH Early Career Achievement Award and the Eusebio Rial-Gonzalez award for innovation and practice. She has published in leading journals such as Work & Stress, Human Relations, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, International Journal of Business and Psychology, Safety Science and the Leadership Quarterly. Her research has been funding by national and European funding bodies and professional bodies. She is an associate editor of Work & Stress and serves on the editorial bodies of Human Relations, The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology and Occupational Health Science.


Keynote speaker: Jessica de Bloom, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Topic: Always on, never done? Recovery in challenging times


How do you relax when work piles up whenever you take time off? Where are you supposed to recover when work has invaded your home and is in your pocket 24/7? How do you mentally disengage from your job when there is always more work to be done?
Occupational health psychologist Dr. Jessica de Bloom will address these questions and provide an overview of her research on the importance and the effects of recovery episodes – from micro breaks to vacations. The DRAMMA model, which explains how leisure is connected to well-being, constitutes the theoretical basis of her work. She will apply this model to zoom in on the basic conditions and key mechanisms that assist recovery from demanding working life and explain how work environments can support recovery processes to enable sustainable working lives.
Whilst researchers have started to investigate recovery as a naturally occurring phenomenon, de Bloom has gradually moved to viewing it as a process that workers can proactively shape. Her identity-based integrative needs model of crafting suggests that workers engage in so called crafting efforts to satisfy psychological needs, both at work and during leisure time. Finally, de Bloom uses her latest RCT on “unlimited leave” as an example to focus on the wider organizational and societal challenges that limit possibilities for recovery. In modern work, external prohibition, command, and regulation at work are increasingly replaced by self-management (i.e., personal initiative, self-motivation, self-discipline). Accelerated by telework and accompanying reduced possibilities and requirements to manage people´s work, modern HR management leads to high levels of intrinsic work motivation, highly engaged and productive employees, but also employees that take (too) little time to recover and who may eventually exploit themselves.

Guest description Work- and organizational psychologist Dr. Jessica de Bloom (1983) completed her PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) in 2012. She then worked as a researcher at the Tampere University (Finland), collaborating with top researchers in the field of occupational health and environmental psychology. She is currently working as an Associate Professor (tenure track) at the University of Groningen (Netherlands).

De Bloom has led and is currently (co-)leading several research projects financed by major national funding agencies and companies (e.g., Academy of Finland, the Finnish Work Environment Fund, Swiss National Science Foundation) and has gained work experience inside and outside academia in five different countries. In her research, she aims to integrate perspectives from several academic disciplines such as psychology, tourism, leisure sciences and human resource management. Her research focuses on vanishing boundaries between work- and non-work life as one aspect of today’s rapidly changing working conditions and the impact of these changes on employee well-being and performance. Her area of expertise thus concerns the interface between life domains, job stress and recovery, as well as e-mental health and interventions at work. Her aim is to generate and integrate knowledge from different fields to understand topical societal phenomena.


Keynote speaker: Petru Lucian Curșeu, Ph.D.

Professor, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca & the Open Universiteit, Holland

Topic: Relational and task dynamics in multiparty systems

Abstract Modern society faces important challenges (poverty, global warming, etc) that are often too difficult to tackle by established organizations and groups. One of the organizational forms deployed to deal with such important challenges are multiparty systems. In such complex systems, stakeholders representing different organizations, interest groups interact in order to formulate a common problem, define and allocate tasks, make decisions and in the end address the wicked problems faced by society. Multiparty collaboration requires the stakeholders to engage in complex analyses of the situation at hand (social and regional development projects, sustainability decisions, the use of natural resources). Their focus on the task is therefore essential for dealing with the situation at hand. Multiparty systems are however complex relational systems in which conflicts, political frictions and power plays are likely to emerge. In this presentation I will focus on how the expression of different viewpoints as an important prerequisite for collaborative effectiveness is endangered by the relational dynamics that emerge in multiparty systems. To this end, I will rely on observations and systematic studies of collaboration dynamics in behavioral simulations that are used effectively as collaborative learning settings to allow participants to experience and work with the complexity of collaboration. I will conclude with recommendations for practitioners and professionals that are engaged with complex collaborative systems.
Guest description Petru Lucian CURȘEU is a professor at Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and at the Open Universiteit, Holland. He published and coordinated several volumes at publishing houses in Romania and abroad. He has also published more than 100 scientific articles in the field of small social groups dynamics, collective decision, collaboration in organizations and social cognition in prestigious international journals such as: Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Relations, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Leadership Quarterly , Organization Studies, Journal of Information Technology, British Journal of Psychology, Applied Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Small Group Research, European Journal of Social Psychology, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Group Dynamics, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Learning and Individual Differences, Business Ethics


Keynote speaker: Paul Sârbescu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Universitatea de Vest din Timișoara

Topic: Examining gender differences in driving behavior: A systematic review and meta-analysis of research in the past 40 years

Abstract The main goal of this presentation is to unfold the comprehensive review of gender differences in the driving behavior literature. As various types of behaviors are covered in the analyses, the first step will be to present and differentiate them. Those behaviors include (but are not limited to) Aggressive Driving, Driving under the Influence, Speeding, Fatigue Driving, Traffic Errors and Violations. The next step consists of presenting the literature search strategy and the eligibility criteria. The main part of this talk will focus on the identified gender differences concerning the targeted driving behaviors. Moderator analyses will include (among others) driver kind (i.e., general population, professional drivers and young drivers) and used measure type (i.e., self-report, observation, simulator and real-world (GPS) data). The presentation will end with a discussion concerning possible explanations and implications of the aforementioned results.
Guest description  Paul Sârbescu (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the West University of  Timisoara (Romania), Psychology Department. He completed his PhD in Traffic and Transportation Psychology at the University of Bucharest in 2013. His main research activity focuses on dangerous driving behavior. So far, he won three research grants funded by the Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation
(UEFISCDI). Some of his past and current research interests include the automatic underpinnings of driving behavior, the intra-individual variation of dangerous driving and assessing the effectiveness of interventions on dangerous driving. He published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in established journals such as Accident Analysis and Prevention, Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Research in Personality, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour and European Journal of Psychological Assessment.