Chair ofOrganisation and Human Resource Management
At the Chair of Organisation and Human Resource Management, we start our research and teaching with an organisation’s most important (and often overlooked) asset: its employees. We believe that it is people’s personality, knowledge, and skills that give a competitive edge to organisations. And, we believe that organisations and their leaders can develop and implement programs to bring out employees’ best potential. At our Chair we explore the extent to which individuals’ engagement and willingness to contribute influences their daily performance and well-being. We also analyse the extent to which their engagement is impacted by organisational, leadership and human resource management (HRM) decisions. Finally we are interested in understanding how differences in employees’ individual characteristics are related to the choices they make in organisations.
- Prof. Dr. Kerstin Alfes
Current research areas
- Strategic HRM
We offer the following courses:
- Corporate Social Responsibility & Business Ethics
- Introduction to Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour
MSc in International Sales Management
- Leadership in International Sales
- Leading Teams and Organisations
- Company Consultancy Projects
We follow two principles in our research. First, we enhance knowledge and advance theories in the fields of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. We contribute to current academic debates by publishing our research in top-tier academic journals and by regularly presenting our findings at international conferences. We interact with the scientific community and often collaborate with international colleagues in our research projects. Second, our research has high impact, in that we answer research questions that are relevant to the practitioner community. We regularly give talks at practitioner conferences and we organise seminars that foster interaction and information exchange between academics and practitioners.
When carrying out our research, we mainly rely on quantitative research methods and develop and test theoretically derived models using different data sources, such as socio-economic data sets or self-distributed questionnaires and experiments. We enjoy working with organisations from different sectors by interviewing or surveying their employees and developing recommendations on how to improve their practices.
Christin Mey (MA, MSc) is a certified performance coach with a keen interest in applied positive psychology. Her research is focused on the factors that contribute to a more resilient workforce and the role positive organisational habits can play in facilitating employee wellbeing.
Current research areas
Strategic Human Resource Management
In this area we analyse the impact of strategic human resource management (HRM) decisions on employees’ attitudes and behaviours at work. For example, we analyse how HRM practices affect the satisfaction, motivation, performance and well-being of employees, as well as the role that line managers play in the implementation of HRM practices. We pay specific attention to the extent to which individual motives and characteristics influence the effectiveness of these practices. Finally, we are interested in understanding how HRM practices influence team work and collaboration amongst employees. This is particularly important as the majority of employees today work in groups or larger teams. Current research projects include:
- The effectiveness of HRM during change processes
- New perspectives on careers
- Work intensification and employee health and wellbeing
- Team-level HRM practices and their impact on team performance and team effectiveness
Employee engagement is a state in which employees bring their whole selves to work and are simultaneously physically, cognitively, and emotionally present at work. Engagement is seen as an indicator of well-being at work and has been demonstrated to have positive outcomes for individuals and organisations. Statistics suggest that in many organisations the majority of employees are not fully engaged at work. In our research we are interested in understanding the factors that influence the engagement of different parts of the workforce. We also analyse the positive implications of engagement such as lower turnover intentions, higher levels of performance and citizenship behaviour. Finally, we are interested in understanding how teams experience engagement. Current research projects include:
- Intrapreneurship and engagement
- Engagement and personality
- Leadership and engagement
Individuals across the world engage in volunteer activities. For example, it is estimated that in the European Union, between 92 and 94 million adults volunteer every year, which is about 22 per cent of Europeans. The data further show that volunteering activities are a considerable part of a country’s economy; and statistical estimates provided by United Nations Volunteers suggest that in developed countries volunteer work contributes 2.7 percent to gross domestic product (GDP). Volunteering also plays an important role in strengthening the wellbeing of citizens and it fosters social cohesion and trust between members of a society. Understanding factors that encourage individuals to dedicate time to volunteering is therefore of interest to non-profit organisations, international bodies and policy makers. While previous studies have enhanced our knowledge about the factors that drive individuals to initiate volunteering, to date, few studies have focused on exploring organisational practices that non-profit organisations can implement to encourage volunteers to sustain their volunteering efforts. Our research focuses on what human resource departments can do to keep volunteers motivated and committed to their volunteering role. This is particular relevant as volunteers work over increasingly shorter periods of time and can terminate their volunteering at any time point. Current research projects include:
- Organisational and HRM interventions which foster the engagement and retention of volunteers
- Volunteering pattern across different age groups
- Leadership in non-profit organisations
A number of conditions, including rising education levels, the global mobility of jobs, and the recent economic crisis have led to a situation where an increasing number of employees possess more skills and education than what is required for their job. Research suggests that as many as one in three workers are overqualified in countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany and the number of overqualified employees is likely to increase in the future. Overqualification is therefore a pressing concern for governments, organisations, and individuals.
For individuals, overqualification negatively affects job attitudes and wages; for organisations, it reduces productivity and increases employee turnover; and for governments, it increases equilibrium unemployment and reduces GDP growth via a loss in human capital. At the same time, latest research suggests that overqualified employees perform better than their adequately qualified team members. Although research has advanced our understanding of the drivers and outcomes of overqualification, the literature remains fragmented. For example, there is inconclusive evidence on how overqualification is related to employee performance. Moreover, it is not clear whether overqualification is a persistent phenomenon, such that employees - once overqualified - remain overqualified, or whether employees are able to move out of their overqualification status. Finally, there is a lack of clarity with regards to how overqualification is measured and a lack of understanding of the impact of sampling and data collection approaches on research findings. Our research aims at closing these gaps. Current research projects include:
- Analysis on the antecedents and outcomes of overqualification
- Overqualification and status