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. The role of individual differences at work is evident both in the short term and in the long term. In the short term, workers need to be able to perform their job while coping with any demands and circumstances the work entails, thus enabled by their personal resources and personality. In the long term, people's work careers are shaped by personality-based factors that relate to ability (e.g., strengths), motivation and resilience. Students will be introduced into several of these subareas of application.|
This is an advanced level course. This means that an entry level of knowledge on work and organizational psychology/HR studies is expected. Although the course aims to organize and cluster the topics systematically, it is best thought of as a capita selecta course that offers opportunities for depth of knowledge in the specific area of individual differences and work.
Learning goals objectives
The numbers in brackets refer to the end terms of the program
- Students acquire fundamental knowledge about individual differences (personality, intelligence and motivation) and its antecedents and consequences in achievement settings (with an emphasis on vocational settings) (KNOWLEDGE; 1.2 + 1.3).
- Students can explain individual differences in the work context based on relevant concepts and theories (COMPREHENSION; 2.1).
- Students can apply concepts and theories on individual differences in the work context to understand and examine practical and actual issues (APPLY; 2.2)
- Students can critically evaluate and discuss concepts, theories and research on individual differences in the work context (EVALUATE; 3.1);
- Students learn to critically assess theories and research on individual differences in the work context (EVALUATE; 3.2 + 3.4)
- Students clearly and unambiguously communicate conclusions, and the knowledge, motives, and considerations underpinning these, to other students and teachers (COMMUNICATE; 4)
- Students learn from each other by providing feedback to each other and work together in teams (LEARNING SKILLS; 5).
After a brief introduction on the field of Human Resource Studies, we will zoom in on individual differences at work. Here, we emphasize a person-environment fit perspective on individual differences in the work context. We take a look at the different timescales at which individual differences influence work. Individual differences at work involve personal resources (e.g., psychological capital, strengths, brain differences), perceptions (e.g., on ICT-use at work), evaluations (e.g., of the work context), 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.|
The course will consist of 10 interactive lectures (two hours each) and 2 practicals (two 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 two assignments. Besides, if possible, students will make one field trip (of three hours) to a large company to confront theory with practice.
- Two assignment related to the practicals, focusing on knowledge application, critical judgment, and creativity (each counts for 40% of grade)
- Preparation of and participation in the lectures (20%)