Research Groups

The researchers in the Division of Work and Organizational psychology collaborate in various research groups. The different groups are involved in one or several research projects and many researchers belong to more than one group. The current groups within the division are:

The new working life: Employment relations and flexibility demands

The researchers in this group are interested in questions concerning the demands for flexibility that, in various ways, are a part of many employment relations between employers and employees today. We are carrying out several research projects on employability and job security, temporary employment, and changes in the psychological contract. Several of the researchers in the group study how people in today’s working life deal with periods of transition and unemployment as well as factors that impede or facilitate mobility between different jobs. The group also conducts research on the strategies employees use to face increasing demands for temporal and spatial flexibility, to be available regardless of time and where one is. Most of the researchers in the group share an interest in how these phenomena affect the individual, especially with respect to subjective health, well-being, and the balance between work and life outside of work. We also study organizational outcomes, such as attitudes, behavior, and performance.

Group members

Claudia Bernhard-Oettel (contact person)
Gunnar Aronsson
Erik Berntson
Helena Falkenberg
Johnny Hellgren
Petra Lindfors
Lena Låstad
Christin Mellner
Eva Charlotta (Eva-Lotta) Nylén
Katharina Näswall
Marta Souza Ribeiro Larsson
Anne Richter
Johanna Stengård
Magnus Sverke

Threat and violence in working life and in school

The researchers in this group are interested in threat and violence from a psychological perspective in regard to working life and, especially, school. The project originates in an initiative by the Swedish Work Environment Authority to gather knowledge reports on a number of neglected areas. Our task was to work with two knowledge reports as well as a large data collection encompassing students and teachers at the lower secondary level and containing information on threat and violence, risk factors, consequences regarding ill-health, attitudes towards school, and current measures at the school. The present focus is on how the subjected individuals’ thoughts about the causes of the violence relate to the consequences. Previous attribution research has shown that individuals who attribute the cause to their own stable characteristics receive more negative consequences than those who, for example, do not attribute the cause to themselves.

Group members

Magnus Sverke (contact person)
Sara Göransson
Katharina Näswall

Life-long learning and educational psychology

The concept of life-long learning has an obvious place in an information society. Life-long learning refers to the learning that continually takes place over an entire life time, from childhood, through adolescence and adult life, and into later life. Life-long learning also includes the learning that takes place in different areas of life. Besides the learning that occurs in school and other educational contexts, learning at the workplace, during leisure time, and in everyday life is also included in this concept. The researchers in the group for life-long learning and pedagogical psychology are interested in questions concerning learning and education with respect to different aspects of life-long learning, including various life occurrences and within both formal and informal contexts.

Group members

Petra Lindfors (contact person)
Maria Öhrstedt

Affiliated individuals:
Ann-Sofie Jägerskog
Fredrik Jönsson

Organization and work within the welfare sector

This group focuses on the particular circumstances and work conditions that exist within education and health areas of the welfare sector. Several of us study the work environments of professional groups from different theoretical perspectives. We analyze, for example, differences in work climate and health between private and public health care systems, changes in operational type, health care quality and patient safety, coping strategies in social work and managing of doctors’ and students’ work. There is an overarching interest in studying how organizational conditions and managerial practices relate to the preconditions affecting the carrying out of work by the personnel in combination with the client’s perception of the operations.

Group members

Eva Bejerot (contact person)
Gunnar Aronsson
Wanja Astvik
Stephan Baraldi
Helena Falkenberg
Niklas Hansen
Johnny Hellgren
Marika Melin
Magnus Sverke

Psychobiological correlates of work and organizational settings

Stress, health, and well-being among different professional and student groups is related to how physical and psychological factors at the workplace, in educational settings, and in organizational contexts act together with bodily processes. The researchers in this group are interested in the interplay between the individual and the environment with a particular focus on how work-related and organizational factors get under the skin and leave an impression on the body, for example, in the form of increased stress hormone levels. In many cases the investigations will center around perspectives that take gender and social position into consideration. This approach calls for, in addition to biomarkers, a combination of different types of data, including, for example, self-evaluations and organizational information.

Group members

Petra Lindfors (contact person)
Gunnar Aronsson
Lisa Folkesson
Christin Mellner
Gunn Johansson
Katharina Näswall
Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz
Magnus Sverke

Affiliated individuals:
Ulf Lundberg
Roberto Riva

Recruitment and selection

Awareness of the fact that employees’ work performance has an important role in an organization’s success and competitive advantage has led to more attention being paid to the seeking out and selecting of well-motivated, high-performing, and dedicated employees in today’s working life. Some of the main research areas for this group include a focus on the importance of individual characteristics, such as personality and aptitude for work performance; decision-making in selection situations; the benefits of various recruitment methods and processes; the use of social media in recruitment; discrimination in selection decisions; as well as the assessed individual’s perceptions concerning fair treatment. The research group approaches these issues from three perspectives: from that of the assessed in the selection process, the client for the recruitment/selection, and the administrator of the recruitment/selection.

Group members

Anders Sjöberg (contact person)
Stefan Annell
Johnny Hellgren
Kristina Langhammer
Sofia Sjöberg

Stockholm Stress Center

Researchers from the division are also involved in the Stockholm Stress Center (SSC), whose main objective is to increase our knowledge of the psychobiological mechanisms of stress and health. The researchers chiefly collaborate in research concerning new working conditions, such as boundaryless work, occupational and workplace lock-in, and job insecurity, and are interested in how these conditions relate not only to stress but also to health outcomes, regarding, for example, sleep, tiredness, recovery, sickness absence and sickness presence, and to the balance between work and life outside of work.

Group members

Individuals in the SSC steering group:
Magnus Sverke (kontaktperson)
Gunnar Aronsson
Petra Lindfors

PhD students financed by SSC:
Constanze Eib
Lena Låstad

Researchers associated with SSC:
Eva Bejerot
Claudia Bernhard Oettel
Erik Bernston
Helena Falkenberg
Eva Charlotta (Eva-Lotta) Nylén
Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz
For further information, see Stockholm Stress Center.

Safety, risk taking, and accidents

This research group focuses on the interplay between people, technology, and the organization, as well as on specific organization-related psychological aspects of decision-making, operational management, risk and incident analysis, and quality assurance. The preventative behavioral science perspective is often utilized to examine leadership, management, and the carrying out of safety-related operations.

Group members

Johnny Hellgren (contact person)
Helena Falkenberg
Malin Mattson
Ingemar Torbiörn
Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz

Operations development and work contentment

When done correctly, operations development stimulates productivity, efficiency, quality, and innovation and promotes employees’ health and long-term opportunities for work development. Central to this group’s research are job design, recruitment, leadership, work organization, teams, goals, and managerial systems. The task is twofold – to contribute to the organization’s competitiveness and to devise work conditions according to humane work principles.

Group members

Annika Lantz (contact person)
Niklas Hansen
Lars Häsänen
Petra Lindfors
Anders Sjöberg
Sofia Sjöberg
Magnus Sverke
Ulrika von Thiele Schwarz