The aim of this course is to give students insights in how individual differences impact important causes, processes and consequences in the applied area of work, and in addition how individual differences are assessed in this context. The role of individual differences at work is evident both in the short term and in the long term. In the short term, workers are recruited and selected based on personality factors, and people select the jobs and organizations they want to work in based on individual differences. In the long term, people's work careers are shaped by personality-based factors that relate to ability, motivation and resilience. As to the assessment of individual differences at work, it is safe to say that this is a business in itself with several subdisciplines that have a clear role to play in practice. Students will be introduced into several of these subareas of application (selection, career, resilience for example).|
- Students acquire fundamental knowledge about the interface between individual differences (personality, intelligence and motivation) and achievement settings (with an emphasis on vocational settings);
- Students learn to apply this knowledge to improve this interface;
- Students learn to critically evaluate existing assessment practices in the light of theoretical and empirical evidence.
After a brief introduction on the history and a brief overview of the field of Human Resource Studies, we will zoom in on two main perspectives of individual differences at work: individual assessment on the one hand, and motivation at work on the other. From the perspective of individual assessment, the course focuses on personnel selection and talent development. In this part we will discuss the criteria of importance in organizations, the predictors that relate to these criteria, and the instruments used to assess these predictors, such as (multisource) ratings, work samples, interviews, and assessment centers. In addition, we will reflect on the acceptance and fairness of these instruments. From the perspective related to work motivation, we emphasize a person-environment fit perspective on individual differences in the work context. These individual differences involve personal resources (e.g., psychological capital), perceptions (e.g., on ICT), evaluations (e.g., core self-evaluations), and responses to the work context, including responses to unfavorable work contexts (e.g., job crafting, employee resilience). Further, individual differences in work motivation will be discussed, as well as age-related changes in these variables. Finally, we will discuss how to manage individual differences at work.|
The course will consist of 10 interactive lectures (two hours each) and 2 practicals (three hours each). In the interactive lectures, students discuss state-of-the-art literature with each other and the lecturer.
In the practicals, students work on one assignment. Besides, students will make one field trip (of three hours) to a large company to confront theory with practice.
- Written exam, focusing on knowledge transfer (60% of grade)
- Assignment related to the practicals, focusing on knowledge application, critical judgment, and creativity (20% of grade)
- Preparation of and participation in the lectures (20%)