Projects

Project Management Journal Special Issue on Careers and Project Managers

Together with Max Chipulu (University of Southampton, UK), Udechukwu Ojiako (University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates), and Terry Williams (University of Hull, UK), I am editing a special issue in Project Management Journal (the scientific journal of PMI, Project Management Institute) entitled: "Career Paths and Career Systems for Project Managers". The special issue is scheduled to be published in 2019.

All details can be found HERE.

Career Development International Special Issue on Career Shocks

THE ROLE OF CAREER SHOCKS IN CAREER
DEVELOPMENT: INTEGRATING STRUCTURE AND AGENCY

Call for Papers for Special Issue of
Career Development International

Guest Editorial Team

Jos Akkermans, School of Business and
Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

Ricardo Rodrigues, School of
Management and Business, King’s College London, UK

Scott Seibert, Lundquist College of
Business, University of Oregon, USA

Svetlana N. Khapova, School of
Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

Stefan T. Mol, Amsterdam Business
School, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The aim of this special issue is to
spur research on the role that career shocks have in contemporary career
development processes. Such shocks – or chance events – were a prominent part
of the scholarly discussion from the 1960s through 1980s (e.g., Hart et al.,
1971; Miller, 1983; Roe and Baruch, 1967). However, despite the increased
uncertainty and unpredictability associated with contemporary careers, interest
in the topic of career shocks appears to have waned. This may in part be
attributed to the introduction of the boundaryless and protean career
perspectives (e.g., Briscoe and Hall, 2006) that have come to dominate the
careers literature since the 1990s. Specifically these perspectives have led to
a focus on the role of individual agency, including topics such as career
self-management (King, 2004) and proactive career behaviors (De Vos et al.,
2009). Indeed, in a recent review of published papers in four core career journals,
Akkermans and Kubasch (2017) found that the most popular topics were all
related to individual agency, featuring topics such as career success, career
mobility, and employability. This dominance of agency-related constructs makes
sense, given the widespread consensus that careers have become more complex and
unpredictable (e.g., Vuori et al., 2012), and thus that individuals have to
take charge and proactively self-manage their careers. Yet the boundaryless
perspective, which highlights the more unpredictable and interrupted nature of
careers, also suggests careers with more open and permeable boundaries will
likely be impacted by many unexpected major events. This is evidenced by recent
studies that have shown that chance events not only occur in most peoples’
lives but also have a major impact on their careers (e.g., Bright et al., 2005;
Williams et al., 1998). Therefore, to supplement existing theoretical thinking
about career development, research needs to incorporate these important events
that are part of most, if not all, people’s careers. In addition, the interplay
between agency and career shocks would be of great interest, for example in
studying whether career self-management behaviors and proactivity may better
equip individuals to deal with major unexpected events in their career.

Major events that occur in peoples’
lives, and which are often unexpected, have an important role in career
development (Hirschi, 2010). Such events have been referred to as chance events
(Bright et al., 2005), serendipity (Betsworth and Hansen, 1996), happenstance
(Miller, 1983) and career shocks (Seibert et al., 2013). In a recent paper,
Akkermans, Seibert & Mol (submitted for publication) characterized career
shocks as disruptive and extraordinary events that are, at least partially,
outside an individual’s control, and which trigger an active choice process
with regard to one’s career. Examples of such events include a promotion or job
offer (“positive shocks”), or a major reorganization or job loss (“negative shocks”).
Research has shown that such events may impact career outcomes in various ways,
for example by affecting subjective career success (Hirschi, 2010) and career
decision making (Hirschi and Valero, 2017; Seibert et al., 2013) among various
groups, such as academics (Greco et al., 2015), young workers (Hirschi, 2010),
and individuals with disabilities (Rojewski, 1999). Taken together, there is
clear evidence that career shocks are an important factor in career
development.

We believe research on career shocks
can serve as a valuable counterbalance to the recent emphasis on individual
agency in the careers literature. We would argue that now, more than ever, we
need to enhance and reintegrate the study of career shocks into the
contemporary careers literature. One reason for this is the growing complexity
and flexibility of careers (Vuori et al., 2012) because of major changes on the
labor market characterized by more flexible, dynamic, and “gig” employment
types (Kalleberg and Marsden, 2015). These changes can reduce employment
security and predictability, and are likely accompanied by an increase in
seemingly unpredictable events. The second reason is that prominent career
scholars (e.g., Inkson et al., 2012; Rodrigues and Guest, 2010) have
increasingly called for research to take into account the context in which
careers evolve, as a means to more fully understand the interplay between
individual agency and context. The recently introduced perspective of the
sustainable career (De Vos and Van der Heijden, 2015) also emphasizes the
importance of context, noting that social space (cf. Van Maanen, 1977) is one
of the core dimensions of building a sustainable career. Career shocks may be
considered such a contextual element, as they are events that are unexpected
and outside of an individual’s control. Hence, it is crucial to examine these
chance events and, specifically, their impact on contemporary career
development processes. Many questions still remain regarding the role of career
shocks in career development. First, scholars need to better conceptualize the
nature of career shocks; which dimensions they consist of, and how these
interact with each other. For example, recent developments in event system
theory (Morgeson, Mitchell & Liu, 2015) suggest novel, disruptive and
critical shocks are the most salient. These and other dimensions are likely to
influence the impact of such career shocks on an individual’s career path. For
example, certain shocks – such as losing a highly valued coworker – might occur
frequently, yet have a relatively limited impact on one’s career decision
making, whereas other shocks – such as losing a loved one – might occur only
once or twice in one’s career, yet have a major impact on well-being and
success. Hence, the dimensions of career shocks and their interaction need to
be more clearly conceptualized and empirically tested. Second, the nomological
network of career shocks is still in a very nascent stage. Past research has
clearly shown that shocks occur in most peoples’ lives and that they have a
clear impact on career success and decision making, yet much more knowledge
needs to be generated about the antecedents, outcomes, moderators, and
mediators of career shocks. Third, new insights are needed into how career
shocks can be effectively researched. Thus far, they have mostly been
researched with survey items and retrospective interview questions. These
methods might be fine, yet more validity and reliability evidence is needed.
Indeed, a strongly validated questionnaire of career shocks is lacking at this
point. In addition to survey items and interview questions, innovative study
designs and analytical techniques might be valuable opportunities to bring the
field forward. We provide some concrete examples of research opportunities
below.

The main aim of this special issue is
to generate a number of high quality studies that examine the role that career
shocks have in contemporary career development. Submitted manuscripts can have
a conceptual, methodological, or empirical focus, or a combination of those. In
case of empirical research, both qualitative and quantitative designs are
actively encouraged. Examples of research questions that would fit with this
special issue include, but are certainly not limited to:

Conceptual

- What are the key dimensions of career shocks and how do
they interact with each other?

- How, why and when are career shocks likely to impact
career development?

- Are “negative” shocks likely to always have negative
effects, or might they also make individuals more resilient? What
theoretical mechanisms would explain such effects?

- Is it possible to prepare for and become resilient against
career shocks?

- How do individual agency and context (i.e., career shocks)
interact with each other?

Methodological

- What kind of research designs would be appropriate to
research the role that career shocks play in contemporary career development?

- How can the antecedents and consequences of career shocks
be effectively examined through qualitative and quantitative research designs?

- Which types of innovative research designs – such as qualitative comparative analysis, text mining, or latent
growth analysis – might be appropriate to study career shocks?

Empirical

- What are key antecedents of experiencing career shocks?
For example, would certain personality traits, individual attitudes or
psychological states have an impact on how individuals deal with career shocks?

- What are key outcomes of career shocks? For example, in
which ways do career shocks relate to objective and subjective career success,
job performance, employee well-being and engagement, and meaningfulness of
work?

- What are the mediators and moderators of the relationship
between career shocks and outcomes? And, more specifically, could certain
individual agency-related constructs help to effectively deal with career
shocks? For example, would career competencies and career adaptability help one
be more resilient to shocks? Could high levels of employability and having a
career calling help to better deal with such shocks?

- What are possible differences between internally (e.g.,
quitting one’s job) vs. externally (e.g., losing one’s job after a
reorganization) attributed career shocks, and between career shocks with
unexpected occurrences (e.g., unexpectedly being offered a promotion) vs.
unexpected impact (e.g., knowing that a baby is coming yet not understanding
its impact), and how might these differentially relate to work and career
outcomes?

The above list is only meant as an
illustration of possible research directions and is by no means meant to be
exhaustive. Additional ideas and research questions are certainly welcome and
encouraged if they advance research on career shocks.

Review Process

Submitted papers will be subject to a
double-blind review process and will be evaluated by the guest editors and
expert reviewers. Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review.

Authors are encouraged to submit a
structured abstract (objective, method, results, and conclusion) by 
 to receive feedback from the guest editors. The deadline for
submissions of full papers is 
. If you would have
any questions about possible fit of your ideas with the special issue, you are
very welcome to contact Jos Akkermans (

Submissions should be made through
ScholarOne Manuscripts: 

Specific details on the format for
submitted manuscripts can be found at the journal’s website: 

Please direct any general questions
about the journal or any administrative matters to the Editor, Professor Jim
Jawahar (

References

Akkermans, J. and Kubasch, S. (2017)
'#Trending topics in careers: A review and future research agenda', Career
Development International, 22(6), pp. 586-627.

Akkermans, J., Seibert, S. E. and
Mol, S. T. (in press) ‘Tales of the unexpected. Integrating career shocks in
the contemporary career literature', SA Journal of Industrial Psychology.

Bright, J. E. H., Pryor, R. G. L. and
Harpham, L. (2005) 'The role of chance events in career decision making',
Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66(3), pp. 561-576.

Briscoe, J. P. and Hall, D. T. (2006)
'The interplay of boundaryless and protean careers: Combinations and
implications', Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(1), pp. 4-18.

De Vos, A., De Clippeleer, I. and
Dewilde, T. (2009) 'Proactive career behaviours and career success during the
early career', Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(4),
pp. 761-777.

De Vos, A. and Van der Heijden, B. I.
J. M. (2015) Handbook of research on sustainable careers. Cheltenham: Edward
Elgar Publishing.

Greco, L. M., Kraimer, M., Seibert,
S. and Sargent, L. D. (2015) 'Career shocks, obstacles, and professional
identification among academics', Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015(1).

Hirschi, A. (2010) 'The role of
chance events in the school-to-work transition: The influence of demographic,
personality and career development variables', Journal of Vocational Behavior,
77(1), pp. 39-49.

Hirschi, A. and Valero, D. (2017)
'Chance events and career decidedness: Latent profiles in relation to work
motivation', The Career Development Quarterly, 65(1), pp. 2-15.

Inkson, K., Gunz, H., Ganesh, S. and
Roper, J. (2012) 'Boundaryless careers: Bringing back boundaries', Organization
Studies, 33(3), pp. 323-340.

Kalleberg, A. L. and Marsden, P. V.
(2015) 'Transformation of the employment relationship', Emerging Trends in the
Social and Behavioral Sciences: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

King, Z. (2004) 'Career
self-management: Its nature, causes and consequences', Journal of Vocational
Behavior, 65(1), pp. 112-133.

Morgeson, F. P., Mitchell, T. R.,
& Liu, D. (2015). Event system theory: An event-oriented approach to the
organizational sciences. Academy of Management Review, 40(4), 515-537.

Rodrigues, R. A. and Guest, D. (2010)
'Have careers become boundaryless?', Human Relations, 63(8), pp. 1157-1175.

Roe, A. and Baruch, R. (1967)
'Occupational changes in the adult years', Personnel Administration, 30(4), pp.
26-32.

Rojewski, J. W. (1999) 'The role of
chance in the career development of individuals with learning disabilities',
Learning Disability Quarterly, 22(4), pp. 267-278.

Seibert, S. E., Kraimer, M. L.,
Holtom, B. C. and Pierotti, A. J. (2013) 'Even the best laid plans sometimes go
askew: Career self-management processes, career shocks, and the decision to
pursue graduate education', Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(1), pp. 169-182.

Van Maanen, J. (1977).
‘Organizational careers: Some new perspectives’. New York, NY: John Wiley &
Sons.

Vuori, J., Toppinen-Tanner, S. and
Mutanen, P. (2012) 'Effects of resource-building group intervention on career
management and mental health in work organizations: Randomized controlled field
trial', Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(2), pp. 273-286.

Williams, E. N., Soeprapto, E., Like, K., Touradji, P., Hess, S.
and Hill, C. E. (1998) 'Perceptions of serendipity: Career paths of prominent
academic women in counseling psychology', Journal of Counseling Psychology,
45(4), pp. 379-389.

 

Journal of Vocational Behavior Special Issue on Sustainable Careers

Together with Beatrice van der Heijden, Ans de Vos, Judith Semeijn, Mel Fugate, Daniel Spurk, and Mandy van de Velde, I am guest editing a special issue on sustainable careers for the Journal of Vocational Behavior. The title of the special issue is: "Sustainable Careers Across the Lifespan: A Contemporary Perspective". The special issue is planned to be published early to mid 2019.

Full details can be found HERE.

Using Anonymous Resumes in Recruitment & Selection

The topic of discrimination during recruitment and selection processes has been a prominent issue among scholars and practitioners for a few year now. Several studies have shown that discrimination is indeed a widespread problem, for example resulting in people with non-native names not being hired for internships, or older individuals being disadvantaged for certain positions. Some companies and municipalities have started to experiment with the use of anonymous resumes in an attempt to make their procedures more fair. However, there is no clear scientific evidence yet for the effectiveness of this approach, and we do not yet know whether the use of anonymous resumes actually improves recruitment and selection procedures. For this reason, I am working on a project with Janneke Oostrom (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) to explore the effects of anonymous resumes, in which we research what the effects are of using, for example, resumes without details about names, gender, age, and ethnicity. In addition, we are interviewing recruiters to examine their perceptions and experiences with using anonymous vs. non-anonymous resumes.

Career LEAP Work-Readiness Project

In close cooperation with Trinity College Dubgin and University College Dublin, Ireland, I have co-developed the CareerLEAP intervention program, which aims to support unemployed youth in finding a job. The program comprises a 2-week training program followed by a 3-week work placement. The contents of the program are firmly based on scientific research, covering topics such as developing career competencies and gaining social, emotional, and cognitive skills. The pilot study of the intervention program was done during summer 2016 and was a great success. Currently, the program is being adapted based on experiences and feedback, and we are working on papers to share our methodology and results. For this project, I have worked intensively together with Jennifer Symonds and Carmel O’Sullivan.

On November 9th 2017 we had the official launch of the second part of the program. More details can be found HERE.

Career Shocks

Research and practice in the field of career development has recently heavily emphasized the importance of individual agency, career-related competencies, and self-management in order to gain career success. It is clear that we are starting to obtain an ever stronger understanding of the actions that individuals and organizations can perform to better prepare for their career development and employability. At the same time, careers have become more unpredictable and virtually every individual will experience career “shocks” – which can be both positive and negative – at certain parts in their careers. For example, people are laid off as part of a major reorganization, or a well-respected colleague leaves their organization which impacts those (s)he often worked with. Surprisingly, scientific research on this topic is scarce, and we have a very limited understanding of these career shocks. However, to gain a true understanding of contemporary career development, this side of the career story needs to be researched in more detail. For this reason, I have started several projects that aim to: (1) explore exactly what denotes a career shock, (2) examine which career shocks have high impact and high frequency and to develop a framework of such shocks, and ultimately (3) research the impact of career shocks on individuals and organizations, and explore whether there are ways to prepare for such shocks. Although this project is applicable to all kinds of groups on the labor market – for example, shocks will be different for younger vs. older workers and for blue collar vs. white collar workers – I am at first especially interested in career shocks among young workers who are starting their careers. For this project, I mainly work together with Scott Seibert (University of Iowa, USA) and Stefan Mol (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands).

Also see the project of the special issue in Career Development International on this topic.

Our conceptual paper about career shocks is available open access:

Akkermans, J.,Seibert, S. E., & Mol, S. T. (2018). Tales of the unexpected: Integrating career shocks in the contemporary careers literature. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 44, e1503. doi:10.4102/sajip.v44i0.1503

Changing Employer-Employee Relationships

The labor market has been changing into a dynamic, ever changing environment in which proactivity and self-management have become key. At the same time, jobs are changing in the sense of becoming more fluid and flexible, and certain jobs are disappearing whereas others come into existence for the first time. These changes have major implications for how employers and employees relate to each other, and, subsequently, how HRM performs in organizations. This raises important questions for organizations, such as: “To which degree and how are we responsible for investing in our staff when they are only with us for a short period of time?” and “How can we innovate our recruitment and selection processes in such a way that we get the best talents into our organization?”. Important topics in this area also include job crafting, psychological contracts, and i-deals. For example, I have done a study about the role of social context in buffering the detrimental effects of psychological contract breach (in progress), and I have examined the role of job crafting in employees’ subjective career success (Akkermans & Tims, 2017). In addition, I have several ongoing research activities in which I examine, among other things, the role of anonymous resumes in selecting employees and the dynamic nature of job design. Within this overarching research topic, I work with several colleagues within the VU (e.g., Maria Tims, Janneke Oostrom), and also with the University of Lincoln, UK (Matthijs Bal) and Maastricht University (Simon de Jong), and others.

Young Adults’ and Young Professional's Early Career Development

Young adults are an often overlooked group on the labor market, yet they typically face higher unemployment rates than the overall workforce, and they face many major challenges in a relatively brief period of time. Therefore, a better understanding of young workers during their early careers is crucial in order to support them in laying the foundation for their sustainable careers. I am involved in several projects that focus on early careers of young adults, both before and after the transition to the labor market. Some of the key questions we are trying to answer include: “What are key factors predicting an adaptive transition from school to work in today’s labor market?”, “When exactly can we call this transition successful, what are the criteria for attaining this?”, and “How can we prevent unemployment and underemployment of young adults?”. For example, I work on several projects related to study academic performance and study success of students. In addition, I am supervisor of the “VU-to-Work” PhD project that aims to elucidate key success factors during the school-to-work transition in the contemporary labor market. Furthermore, I am involved in research projects focusing on young workers’ well-being and employability, for example studying factors that can contribute to their health, career development, and well-being, both from an individual, organizational, and societal perspective. I have written several publications about these topics, including my PhD thesis (Akkermans, 2013), several book chapters (e.g., Akkermans et al., 2015), and several papers (e.g., Akkermans et al., 2013; 2015).

Key publications in this area include (see "Publications" section for more details):

Akkermans, J.,Brenninkmeijer, V., Schaufeli, W. B., & Blonk, R. W. B. (2015). It's all about CareerSKILLS: Effectiveness of a career development intervention for young employees. Human Resource Management, 54(4), 533-551.doi:10.1002/hrm.21633

Akkermans, J.,Brenninkmeijer, V., Van den Bossche, S. N. J., Blonk, R. W. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2013). Young and going strong? A longitudinal study on occupational health among young employees of different educational levels. Career Development International, 18(4), 416-435. doi:10.1108/CDI-02-2013-0024

Akkermans, J., Nykänen,M., & Vuori, J. (2015). Practice makes Perfect? Antecedents and Consequences of an Adaptive School-to-Work Transition. In J. Vuori, R. W. B.Blonk, & R. Price (Eds.), Sustainable Working Lives - Managing Work Transitions and Health throughout the Life Course. (pp. 65-86). London:Springer Publishers.

Akkermans, J.,Paradniké, K., Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M., & De Vos, A. (2018). The best of both worlds: The role of career adaptability and career competencies in students' well-being and performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1678.doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01678

Sustainable Careers and Employability

Because of major changes in today’s work and careers, it has become crucial that people strive to become and remain employable throughout their career. At the same time, career development should - despite growing flexibility and entrepreneurship - be a dual responsibility between organizations and individuals, together working to create sustainable careers. Although our understanding of these important phenomena is increasing, there is still a lot we do not know yet. I work on several projects related to the topic of employability and sustainable careers. Some of the key questions were are currently trying to answer include: “What are the benefits and potential downsides of investing in employability for employers and employees?”, “Who is, and to what degree, responsible for managing sustainable careers?”, and “What career-related competencies and career crafting behaviors can individuals gain to thrive in their careers?”. These projects have thus far resulted in several scientific publications (e.g., Akkermans et al., 2013; 2015; Akkermans & Tims, 2017), conference symposia (e.g., Academy of Management 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018; EAWOP 2015, 2017), and papers in progress. For these projects, I work closely together with Professor Beatrice van der Heijden (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands), Professor Ans de Vos (Antwerp Management School, Belgium), Professor Nele de Cuyper, Professor Anneleen Forrier, with and others.

Key publications in this area include (see "Publications" section for full details):

Akkermans, J., &Tims, M. (2017). Crafting your career: How career competencies relate to career success via job crafting. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 66(1),168-195. doi:10.1111/apps.12082

De Vos, A., Van der Heijden, B. I. J. M., & Akkermans, J. (2018). Sustainable careers: Towards a conceptual model. Journal of Vocational Behavior.doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2018.06.011

Forrier, A., De Cuyper, N., & Akkermans, J. (2018). The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall: Provoking the agency perspective in employability research. Human Resource Mangement Journal. doi:10.1111/1748-8583.12206

Psychology of Flexible Work (Jana Retkowsky)

Labor markets are becoming increasingly flexible, and there is a clear increase in various types of flexible work, ranging from project work to gig work and everything in between. There is a need to better understand how the sustainability of their careers develops and can be enhanced, as most research in this area has focused on traditional workers in organizations. Therefore, this project aims to contribute to knowledge of sustainable careers among different types of flexible workers, as well as the role of psychological contracts in these processes. The project is funded by Instituut Gak. The project team consists of project leaders and supervisors Sanne Nijs and myself, and Paul Jansen and Svetlana Khapova as promotors on the project. Bert Breij is closely associated with the project as an advisor as well. Jana Retkowsky started her project in September 2018.

A Dynamic Perpective on Role Identity (Leon Hupkens)

I am the supervisor (copromotor) of Leon Hupken's PhD project about dynamic perspectives on the development of role identity, working in a team with Svetlana Khapova as promotor. Leon's project focuses on better understanding how role identities develop and potentially change over time, as well as the salience of different parts of one's role identity. Furthermore, Leon examines the relationship between role identity and career outcomes, such as career transitions and career success. Leon's project started in December 2017 and will finish in December 2021.

Governance and Destructive Leadership (Tom van de Laar)

I am co-promoter of this PhD project which aims to develop a governance framework to prevent destructive leadership in organizations. The PhD candidate who is performing this research, Tom van de Laar, studies different kinds of destructive leadership, and their effects on organizational outcomes, as well as the role of governance frameworks in this regard. This project consists of a literature review on destructive leadership, followed by several empirical studies. Professor Sylvie Bleker is the promotor of this project. Tom started heis PhD project on January 1st 2017.

Innovative Work Design and Teams (Saskia Nijs)

I am co-promotor of this PhD project on innovative work design. The PhD candidate on this project, Saskia Nijs, examines different ways of designing work in organizations, whereby she specifically performs her research in innovative organizations that implement “new” ways of organizing. In particular, she studies this within the context of teams. Through a systematic literature review and several empirical studies, she aims to shed light on the role of self-steering teams in innovative work environments. Professor Svetlana Khapova is the promotor of this project. Saskia started her PhD project in January 2015.

Team Work Engagement (Marieke Gersdorf)

I am co-promotor of this PhD project on team work engagement. The PhD candidate on this project, Marieke Gersdorf, examines what exactly the phenomenon of team work engagement comprises, and how it is related to several antecedents and consequences. She first aims to elucidate the construct of team (work) engagement via a structured literature review, followed by several empirical studies in which she studies antecedents and consequences with both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Professor Svetlana Khapova is the promotor of this project. Marieke started her PhD project in January 2016.

Student Career Development (Kristina Paradniké)

I am an external consultant (co-promotor) on the PhD project of Kristina Paradniké, a PhD candidate from Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania. Among other things, we have worked together on a paper about the role of career-related personal resources in students’ well-being and performance, and I provide her with advice on her PhD thesis in general. Kristina started her PhD project in 2014.

The Transition from VU to Work (Rowena Blokker)

I am supervisor (co-promotor) on this PhD project about contemporary theorizing on the school-to-work transition, a project that I developed and received a grant for from both VU Amsterdam and the postgraduate Accountancy program. The project aims to enhance our understanding of the university-to-work transition in the contemporary labor market. Although we have a strong understanding of this transition in general, much of the literature and theories we use are quite dated. Therefore, we believe it is crucial to come up with fresh perspectives in analyzing and understanding this major transition in young adults’ lives. As part of this project, Rowena Blokker will perform a systematic literature review that will elucidate what exactly comprises an adaptive transition to the labor market, to examine crucial predicting factors of such an adaptive transition, and to present several avenues of research that might be crucial in this process. In addition, she will conduct multiple wave longitudinal research projects among VU students to study their transition to the labor market in more detail, thereby following them from the start of their Master’s program until after they have entered the labor market. Professor Paul Jansen and Professor Svetlana Khapova are the promotors of this project. Rowena started with her PhD project in February 2016.

Academy of Management Careers Division Leadership Track (2018 - 2022)

I was elected in the Leadership track of the Academy of Management Careers Division in 2018. This means I will have various leadership roles within the division between 2018 and 2022, specifically:

2018-2019: PDW Chair

2019-2020: Program Chair

2020-2021: Incoming Division Chair

2021-2022: Division Chair

2022-2023: Outgoing Division Chair

Academy of Management Careers Division Best International Paper Award Committee (Chair) 2018

I was the chair of the 2018 Best International Paper Award committee, consisting of Yehuda Baruch, Akram al Ariss, Fida Afiouni, Kaye Thorn, and myself. Together, we decided which paper would ultimately win the division prize for the Best International Paper.

Academy of Management Careers Division Executive Team Nomination Committee 2018

Together with four other members of the Careers division executive team, we gathered nominations for the 2018-2019 executive team members (i.e., newsletter editor and representative-at-large roles) and decided upon the final list of nominees for these positions.

Journal of Vocational Behavior - Associate Editor

I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of Vocational Behavior (JVB). For more information, see the JVB website.

Academy of Management Careers Division Executive Team Nomination Committee 2017

Together with six other members of the Careers division executive team, we gathered nominations for the 2017-2018 executive team members (i.e., PDW chair, secretary, and representative-at-large roles) and decided upon the final list of nominees for these positions.

Academy of Management Careers Division Best Symposium Committee 2017

I was part of the committee for deciding the winner of the Academy of Management Careers Division Best Symposium award. With a team of five persons, we decided the winner of this award from a group of highly evaluated submission for the Academy of Management 2017 conference.

Former Newsletter Editor of Academy of Management Careers Division

I was the newsletter editor of the Careers Division of the Academy of Management. In this role, I compiled and sent out a newsletter to division members twice per year. Newsletters include messages from the program chair and division chair, new publications in the field, and other noteworthy information such as conferences and special issues.

Careers Division Newsletter editor between 2015-2018.

Career Development International - Editorial Board Member (Former Associate Editor)

I am part of the editorial board of Career Development International. Between 2016 - 2018 I was Associate Editor for the journal, and since that time I have remained active as an editorial board member. For more information, see the CDI website.

Knowvium

I am a core member of the applied science board of Knowvium, an organization that specializes in offering science-based practical advice in the field of sustainable employability. As an applied science board member, I provide critical advise about new practices and programs that Knowvium develops based on scientific knowledge, and I regularly discuss these with the board members, which is composed of both practitioners and scientists.

Knowledge Network Study Success

I am a board member of the Knowledge Network Study Success (“Kennisnetwerk Studiesucces”), which is a group of scientists and practitioners focusing on study success in universities and universities of applied sciences. The board members are from several educational institutions in the Netherlands, and we organize regular meetings that aim to present the newest insights into study success.

Royal FrieslandCampina

I am a consultant at FrieslandCampina, a major corporate organization that employs around 20,000 employees worldwide. In my role as consultant, I advise the Employability Center in their programs and practices regarding employee productivity and sustainable employability. For example, I assisted in formulating a vision and strategy on sustainable employability, I helped to develop a new performance appraisal procedure, and I am involved in developing interventions for sustainable employability.

Netherlands Foundation for Management Development (NFMD)

I am a board member of the Netherlands Foundation for Management Development (NFMD). In this role, I organize meetings for management development, talent development, HRD, and HRM professionals in the Netherlands. We have a broad membership base, comprising both large corporate organizations and smaller businesses. The NFMD has a rich history in providing cutting-edge knowledge and insights in these fields, thereby building a bridge between practice and science. As NFMD, we organize 5-6 meetings each year, recently focusing on themes such as sustainable career management, traineeships, diversity, job crafting, and contemporary leadership.

Recruitment & Selection Course

Together with Janneke Oostrom, I designed and coordinate a Master's course on Recruitment and Selection, which is part of the VU Master program in Human Resource Management. The course features a discussion of the state-of-the-art in recruitment and selection, integrating scientific findings with business practices. Also, an explicit goal of the course is to familiarize students with the typical dilemmas in the field, for example balancing the need for an optimal candidate experience with the need of having valid and reliable measurement instruments. The course works closely together with business life, starting and ending in the main Amsterdam office of Deloitte, and featuring professional recruiters from Robert Walters who coach students in interview skills.

Committee VU Teaching Vision Renewal 2018

I am part of the committee that leads the update on the VU vision on teaching, which takes place in 2018. With this committee, we updated the formal teaching vision of the VU after carefully examining the previous vision document and organizing brainstorm sessions with various stakeholders in the university, such as students, teachers, and program managers.

Exam Committee Teacher Professionalization VU Amsterdam

I am a member of the exam committee for teach professionalization at VU Amsterdam. Specifically, the committee supervises the quality of the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), Senior University Teaching Qualification (SUTQ), and the Program for Educational Leadership.

Program Coordinator HRM Master Program

I am the program coordinator of the HRM Master program of VU Amsterdam. In this role, I am the primary connection between the program and the students, and I am responsible the quality of the program. In close cooperation with the course coordinators and teachers, I try to make sure that students enjoy an effective and valuable year in which they learn the essential knowledge and skills to prepare them for a future in HRM. Among other things, I oversee the learning line of the program, we talk about course evaluations and ways to improve our program, I am responsible for information talks for potential new students, and we organize several meetings for students (e.g., an alumni meeting at the start of their Master's year).

Committee Master Renewal FEWEB VU

In 2015 and 2016, I was part of the Committee Elfring, a committee chaired by Professor Elfring and with the aim of developing the foundations of the new Business Administration Master programs in the faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Throughout this year, we worked on developing a vision and mission for the new Master programs, based on a large number of interviews we had organized with students, alumni, and organizations. In addition, we started working on the central faculty learning goals and we built the foundations of the new programs.

Reintegration Academy

The Reintegration Academy (“Reïntegratie Academie”) organizes programs for reintegration consultants who want to gain additional knowledge and skills in their profession. Within this program, which is connected to VU Amsterdam as a postgraduate program, I teach a 1-day session on negotiation. Among other things, I share information about distributive and integrative negotiation, and common pitfalls of negotiation. During the session, participants actively work with cases and practice their negotiation skills.

Servant Leadership Research Program

I am part of the Servant Leadership Research Program (SLRP), teaching two sessions on research questions and methods and acting as a coach for participating teams. The SLRP program is hosted by VU Amsterdam for business professionals who are interested in gaining new knowledge and skills, looking at their own leadership from a servant leadership perspective. Among other things, participants perform community work and an in-company research project in which they systematically analyze an important dilemma in their own organization. Participating organizations include KPMG, KLM, and Lidl.

Organizational Behavior Postgraduate Course

I am involved in developing and executing an Organizational Behavior course for the Accountancy program at VU Amsterdam. This course will be central to future students of the postgraduate Accounting program who have not yet experienced any Organizational Behavior contents during their (Bachelor or Master) programs. The course features an introduction to key OB themes, such as motivation, leadership, teams, and personality, and integrates this with the daily practice and context of accountants.

Human Resource Management & Organizational Behavior Course

I have developed the HRM & OB introduction course for the Business Administration and International Business Administration programs of VU Amsterdam. This course features an introduction to the core themes of organizational behavior (e.g., motivation, leadership, change) and HRM (e.g., SHRM, recruitment & selection, training & development). In addition, we focus specifically on reflective skills by organizing a bootcamp session during which students are engaged in active learning practices and theoretical reflections on those experiences. The course has consistently received excellent evaluations, scoring well above FEWEB VU criteria wit typical scores of 4.2 - 4.6 out of a possible 5.

Development of Learning Pathway HRM

As part of my training to become a senior educator – the senior university teaching qualification – at VU Amsterdam, I developed a comprehensive learning pathway of the HRM courses in the International Business Administration Bachelor program. Together with the course coordinators of the four courses in this program, I developed a learning line in which all courses are outlined, as well as their integration in terms of intended learning outcomes, teaching/learning activities, and assessment. The courses now have a cumulative effect on learning of students as each course constructively builds on the previous course, and thereby guides students through the HRM program.

Committee VU Academic Value

I am part of a committee that is working with Jaap Winter, chair of the executive board of the VU, and Vinod Subramaniam, rector of the VU, on finding concrete educational implications of what we call "VU Academic Value". To explain, we are exploring ways in which students at our university can broaden their horizon to become open, personal, and responsible as an academic, professional, and citizen. This includes topics such as working with diversity and making societal impact beyond the objective criteria (e.g., grades). Current ideas include creating a VU course about societal developments and responsibility, and creating multidisciplinar exchanges between students from different faculties.

Program Director Business Administration Master Program at SBE VU

I am the program director of our Business Administration Master program, consisting of the following programs: Human Resource Management, International Management, Leadership & Change Management, Management Consulting, and Strategy & Organization. In this role, I am responsible for the overall quality and execution of these five Master programs. In close cooperation with the program coordinators of those programs, we manage the integration between our programs, the learning lines, and we consistently monitor possibilities for improvement. Between 2015 and 2017, we have been completely renewing and redesigning our BA Master programs, which has resulted in a new (and improved) program that has started in September 2017.