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Research Update Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) 2016

Welcome to IWP 2016 The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) comprises a group of enthusiastic work psychologists and organisational behaviour researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK. This update gives a very brief summary of our research activities over the previous year. Many of our investigations benefit greatly from collaboration with colleagues in other institutions and countries, and this update might suggest topics on which to work with us. You can learn more about particular themes which interest you by visiting the links in each story. The Institute of Work Psychology was founded in 1968 as the Social and Applied Psychology Unit and became the Institute of Work Psychology in 1994. As part of the very successful Sheffield University Management School, it is concerned to apply academic rigour to practical issues. The School’s Triple Crown accreditation places it in the top one per cent of business and management schools worldwide. IWP holds a biennial International Conference in Sheffield, with the fifth being held in June 2016, including four renowned keynote speakers, around 200 delegates from across the world, and a range of high-level research presentations in the areas of wellbeing, leadership and performance. We are also joint host for an ESRC seminar series examining the role of big data in employee wellbeing.

Wellbeing and identity In keeping with its strong history in research on wellbeing, this continues to be an important focus for IWP. PETER WARR has developed his vitamin framework to emphasize the importance to happiness and unhappiness of mental processes such as social comparisons, value preferences, adaptation and so on. An outline is available here. He has also expanded measures of happiness to include forms of personal flourishing such as feelings of self-worth. A specific application of the framework is investigating the values and wellbeing of people who are self-employed. Several data-sets have been examined to identify similarities and differences between self-employed individuals and others in paid jobs. Self-employed workers report significantly greater job satisfaction and feelings of self-worth,

but this contrast does not appear to extend to other forms of happiness. Using the Schwartz model, differences in personal values have been found in terms of stronger preferences for selfdirection and stimulating experiences among those who are self-employed. continued overleaf

IWP Research Update 2016  

News from the Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) at Sheffield University Management School, UK.

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