ReflecT

Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Flexicurity, Labour Market Dynamics and Social Cohesion.

Reflect

Events ReflecT

Lunch seminars

Every month, researchers both from ReflecT and from elsewhere, will engage in discussions based upon their work. Topics will vary across the broad research scope of ReflecT.

Lunch will be provided for seminar participants. We cordially invite you to participate.

Please register in advance by sending an email to reflect@tilburguniversity.edu.

ReflecT Seminars

Every month, researchers both from ReflecT and from elsewhere, will engage in discussions based upon their work. Topics will vary across the broad research scope of ReflecT.  We cordially invite you to participate. Please register in advance by sending an email to reflect@tilburguniversity.edu.

Next ReflecT Seminars

Subjects of the next 2017 ReflecT Seminars will follow soon.
  • Thursday September 28th, 2017 – 12.00 – 13.00 hrs – Room M 1001
  • Thursday October 26th, 2017 – 12.00 – 13.00 hrs – Room M 1001
  • Thursday November 30th, 2017 – 12.00 – 13.00 hrs – Room M 1001
  • Thursday December 21st, 2017 – 12.00 – 13.00 hrs – Room M 1003

Archive

2017

Managing employees vulnerable for unemployment: Towards a contextual framework for an inclusive HRM role during organizational restructuring

Managing employees vulnerable for unemployment: Towards a contextual framework for an inclusive HRM role during organizational restructuring

  • July 5th, 2017 – 11.00 – 12.00 hrs – Room M 1003

Speaker

  • Jana Verschoor – PhD of ReflecT – Tilburg University

Summary

The aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008 has shown that many employees became unemployed. However, even after economic turnaround, many organizations still need to change continuously to stay competitive over time due to globalization and technological advancement. Hence, restructuring processes will continue to take place in the future and part of the workforce is forced to find other employment. It seems therefore unlikely that employees’ vulnerability for unemployment will change in the near future. At the same time, the process of eliminating jobs is seen as one of the most demanding areas of HR management and employment downsizing is even labelled the ‘dark side of HRM’ by some authors. Perhaps this is the reason why, until now, few has been written within HR literature about the management of employees vulnerable for unemployment. However, research into inclusive HRM, a broad perspective of HRM that extends beyond the boundaries of the organization and considers (potential) vulnerable employees’ interests and well-being, is upcoming. This paper aims to provide insight into the inclusive HRM role in managing employees whose jobs are at risk. What inclusive HR measures can the organization take for employees vulnerable for unemployment and, why would the organization invest in their employment security? This paper introduces a new framework which presents the inclusive measures HR can take for vulnerable employees in five stages. These five stages represent the extent to which employees are vulnerable for unemployment based on changes that can occur within the structure of the organization. From a strategic HRM perspective, inclusive HR measures can be taken for economic, employee well-being and social legitimacy reasons and it seems likely that the organizational context influences (the underlying motives for) the decision to take these measures. Propositions are developed on how contextual factors and the underlying motives seem likely to relate to the extent of inclusive HR measures taken. These propositions form the basis of a future research agenda to emphasize the need for more research into the inclusive HRM role for vulnerable employees.

Keywords: Workforce restructuring, employment downsizing, vulnerable employees, inclusive HRM, strategic HRM, contextual approach

  • Jana Verschoor
  • Irmgard Borghouts-van de Pas

Field experiments in the Participation Law in the Netherlands

Field experiments in the Participation Law in the Netherlands: testing the effectiveness of alternative approaches for re-integration in social assistance

  • June 15th, 2017 – 12.00 – 13.00 hrs – Room M 1003

Speaker

  • Ruud Muffels – Director of ReflecT – Tilburg University

Summary

The paper reports on the features and expected outcomes of the launching of some innovative field experiments by a number of large local communities in the Dutch Participation Law which has replaced the old social assistance law in January 2015. The field experiments are aimed at experimenting on a new way of activating unemployed people in the Participation Law in which activation is not based on ‘a stick and carrot’ approach but on a combination of rewarding own initiative or appealing on self-responsibility and intensive tailor-made mediation to work and other forms of social integration. In the paper we treat these experiments in the communities as an innovative component of a social investment strategy at local level. The novelty of the approach is threefold:

  1. Instead of sanctioning and penalizing efforts of clients the focus will be on safeguarding an unconditional right on a minimum income and rewarding people’s own efforts and initiatives;
  2.  Reintegration is not limited to being oriented at paid fulltime work only, but allows for a broader range of social integration measures and outcomes (bridge and part-time employment; education; wellbeing; social participation);
  3. The experiments aim to shift the responsibility for the reintegration of unemployed and disabled people to the network of stakeholders including the beneficiaries themselves. This implies a shift from a supply-side top-down policy approach to a demand-side bottom-up approach.

In the presentation we first briefly sketch the background of and the motivation for the experiments, the public debate following the launching of the plans and the ideas developed so far in the various local communities to set up the experiments. In the second part we explain very briefly the theoretical framework that will guide us in defining the expectations and hypotheses to be formulated. In the last part we explain the common research plan as developed by the researchers in the various cities for evaluating the experiments. The final part draws some conclusions and discuss the consequences for social policies when the experiments would prove to be a success or a failure. 

Social Europe Lecture Series – ReflecT

Social Europe Lecture Series – ReflecT: Russian Labour Law and Social Policy and the European Social Charter

  • May 10th, 2017

Speaker

  • Elena Gerasimova - PhD, is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Department of Labour Law and Social Security Law of the Faculty of Law at the National Research University "Higher School of Economics" (Moscow, Russia).

Summary

Russian Labour Law, rooted in the soviet law, has gone through numerous reforms, aimed at its liberalization. It's still considered by many, especially employers' associations, to be not flexible enough for an effective economy, and requiring reforms. Social policy is determined by the constitutional norm that Russia is a social state with a long tradition of strong state support of various groups of indigent people from one side, and reducing funds for social support from state budget and decreasing incomes of people from the other side. Being a part of the Council of Europe, Russia has ratified the European Social Charter and has numerous obligations to provide a certain level of labour and social rights under this act. The lecture will focus on what social rights are granted in Russia, and how the obligations, imposed by the European Social Charter, are implemented by Russia.

Robots op de werkvloer

Robots op de werkvloer

  • April 13th, 2017

Speakers

  • Ronald Dekker – Senior Onderzoeker bij ReflecT
  • Charissa Freese – Senior Onderzoeker bij ReflecT

Summary

In dit seminar presenteren we onderzoek naar de processen van automatisering en robotisering in Nederlandse bedrijven in opdracht van Stichting Management Studies (VNO/NCW) en in samenwerking met EUR (Fabian Dekker) en het Rathenau instituut (Linda Kool). De belangrijkste focus daarbij ligt op de beslissingen die binnen bedrijven worden genomen met betrekking tot (nieuwe) technologie. Daarnaast wordt geschetst wat de relevante technologische ontwikkelingen en trends (Big Data, Internet of Things, Blockchain, platformisering etc.) buiten bedrijven zijn. 

In het onderzoek hebben we gesproken met technologieleveranciers over de vraag welke argumenten zij hanteren om hun klanten te overtuigen tot adoptie over te gaan. Daarnaast is gesproken met gebruikers van technologie, met name over de vraag of zij bij hun beslissingen ook rekening houden met de gevolgen van die beslissing voor hun personeel en de arbeidsmarkt. Daarnaast is ook een grootschalige survey uitgevoerd naar de introductie van automatisering en robotisering in Nederlandse bedrijven, waaruit blijkt dat deze maar mondjesmaat plaatsvindt en niet noodzakelijk alleen gestoeld is op economische (kosten/baten) rationaliteit.

Flexicurity in the European Semester

Flexicurity in the European Semester: Still a Relevant Policy Concept?

  • March 23rd, 2017 - 12.30 – 13.30 hrs – Room M 1003

Speaker

Summary

Before the crisis, flexicurity was a leading EU policy concept, which aimed to balance labour-market flexibility and security. The recent focus on austerity measures to reduce public deficits might be thought to have reduced attention to the 'security' component of flexicurity. Accordingly, a ‘farewell to flexicurity’ has been claimed to have occurred. This paper challenges that claim and explores the role of flexicurity within the European Semester. It analyses the European Semester's policy goals between 2007 and 2016, as well as the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) to member states between 2009 and 2015. The analysis shows that the EU flexicurity concept has been revitalised, while its definition changed to encompass more social concerns. Even at the peak of the crisis, CSRs continued to devote attention to elements of both flexibility and security, although the precise details differed across countries and have changed over time.

2016

Littekeneffecten van langdurige en herhaalwerkloosheid

Littekeneffecten van langdurige en herhaalwerkloosheid

  • December 21st, 2016

Speakers

  • Ronald Dekker – Senior Onderzoeker bij ReflecT
  • Roy Peijen – AIO bij ReflecT

Summary

Werkloosheid vermoeilijkt niet slechts de kansen op een daaropvolgende baan, maar kan ook problematisch doorwerken op de lange termijn. Mensen die tijdelijk niet werken bouwen geen menselijk kapitaal (i.e. werkervaring en up-to-date skills) op, wat kan leiden tot verminderde kansen op de arbeidsmarkt. Daarenboven zijn er additionele negatieve stigma-effecten die worden veroorzaakt doordat werkgevers kandidaten voor een baan (nog) negatiever evalueren wanneer ze werkloos zijn (geweest) die resulteren in littekeneffecten. In een flexibeler arbeidsmarkt stijgt de werkloosheidsincidentie, voornamelijk voor mensen met een relatief laag niveau van menselijk kapitaal. Waar vooral zij te maken krijgen met een hogere kans op werkloosheid, hebben hoger opgeleiden daarentegen vaker kans op een betere baan. Dit kan een verklaring zijn waarom in een flexibeler arbeidsmarkt de inkomensongelijkheid groter is.

In dit paper onderzoeken we het mechanisme van zichzelf versterkende ongelijkheid door te kijken naar de effecten op werkzekerheid van verschillende typen werkloosheidservaringen. We vergelijken in het bijzonder langdurige aaneengesloten werkloosheid (1-5 maanden, 6-11 maanden, 12-23 maanden en >24 maanden) met herhaalwerkloosheid (#spells per jaar), waarbij mensen in eenzelfde periode meer dan eens werkloos zijn voor korte tijd. Bij het laatste kan worden verondersteld dat in de perioden dat ze wel aan het werk zijn enige opbouw van menselijk kapitaal plaatsvindt. We nemen aan dat menselijk kapitaal bijdraagt aan een hoger niveau van werkzekerheid. Indien het stigma-effect van herhaalwerkloosheid hetzelfde is als dat van langdurige werkloosheid, dan zou herhaalwerkloosheid een minder negatief effect moeten hebben op werkzekerheid dan langdurige werkloosheid.

In dit onderzoek maken we gebruik van de administratieve data van het UWV waarmee we alle mensen met ‘werkloosheidservaring’ door de tijd kunnen volgen. We bekijken de werkloosheidservaring in één kalenderjaar en gebruiken dat als verklaring voor de werkzekerheid die mensen in de (1, 3 of 5) jaren daarna ervaren.

The Revised European Social Charter

The Revised European Social Charter – a “soft law” instrument with power to promote the slowly developing European gender equality?

  • December 12th, 2016

Speaker

  • Prof. Csilla Kollonay-Lehoczky -  Central European University, Budapest

Summary

The European Social Charter is an important standard setting instrument of the EU social and economic system, and indispensable part of what is called Social Europe. A brief introduction to the Charter sheds light on the reasons and error behind its low visibility and reputation. This can be summarized in the so called “dynamic” (programmatic) as well as “collective” nature of the Charter that features this instrument for many as “soft law” without teeth, rather a political document than a legal instrument. The talk will demonstrate that the Charter is a legally binding document, establishing legal obligations of the State Parties.

As a concrete example, equality, in particular gender equality with a special emphasis on maternity and parental roles will be presented, in order to demonstrate the progress achieved in this area of human rights. Achievements of the last two decades in the area of gender equality have clearly evidenced that proper methods of checking progress under “dynamic obligations” as well as the collective nature of the Charter rights can lead to results that are hard to achieve through individual litigation. Attention will be called to the approximation between not only the ECHR and the Charter the two human rights instruments of Europe, but, increasingly in this century, between the Social Charter and the EU legal system that has progressively become from a pure economic framework to a framework of economic as well as social standards.

Het effect van schokkende gebeurtenissen en baanverlies op mentale gezondheid

Het effect van schokkende gebeurtenissen en baanverlies op mentale gezondheid: een longitudinale latente klasse-analyse

  • December 7th, 2016

Speakers

  • Mark Bosmans – Universitair docent ReflecT
  • Roy Peijen – AIO bij ReflecT

Summary

Hoewel door veel wetenschappers wordt gedacht dat mentale gezondheid de norm is en dat de meeste mensen een stabiel niveau van mentale gezondheid hebben, wordt dit beeld, onder andere door nieuwere analysetechnieken, steeds meer in twijfel getrokken. Het blijkt namelijk dat binnen de stabiliteit op groepsniveau er grote verschillen kunnen bestaan in individuele ontwikkelingen. Als men bedenkt dat veel studies naar mentale klachten vaak een aanzienlijke minderheid vinden die in het afgelopen jaar van substantiële psychische problemen zoals angst- en depressieklachten heeft gehad, dan is dit eigenlijk ook niet meer dan verwacht.

In dit artikel onderzoeken wij deze longitudinale ontwikkeling van mentale gezondheid in een longitudinaal internetpanel, gebaseerd op een aselecte steekproef van de Nederlandse bevolking (LISS-panel). Door middel van latente klasse-analyse onderscheidden we verschillende soorten ontwikkelingen in mentale gezondheid over de tijd. Hierna onderzochten wij in hoeverre blootstelling aan schokkende gebeurtenissen en blootstelling aan baanverlies gedurende deze periode van invloed zijn op de koers van mentale gezondheid door middel van multinomiale logistische regressie met de meest stabiele klasse als vergelijkingsgroep. Zowel ontwikkeling van mentale gezondheid als blootstelling aan baanverlies en schokkende gebeurtenissen zijn gemeten gedurende een periode van twee jaar. De gebruikte steekproef (N=2909) nam deel in alle metingen met betrekking tot schokkende gebeurtenissen, en alle metingen met betrekking tot mentale gezondheid. Daarnaast zijn degenen die in de periode voor meting 1 zijn blootgesteld aan een schokkende gebeurtenis of werkloosheid geëxcludeerd.

Resultaten

Uit de latente klasse-analyse blijkt dat binnen de onderzoeksgroep zes verschillende ontwikkelingen met betrekking tot mentale gezondheid zijn te identificeren. Zowel de scores op mentale gezondheid op alle drie de meetmomenten als de veranderingen in mentale gezondheid tussen de meetmomenten waren verschillend tussen deze groepen. Op basis van het patroon van mentale gezondheidsscores zijn de klassen in te delen als (op volgorde van afnemende grootte):

  1. Lichte toename, lichte afname
  2. hoog stabiel
  3. lichte afname, lichte toename
  4. constante afname
  5. constante toename
  6. grote afname, grote toename.
Uit de resultaten blijkt dat een relatief stabiel en hoog niveau van mentale gezondheid het meest voorkomt: 85,2% van de steekproef valt binnen deze drie grootste groepen met geen of slechts minimale fluctuatie. Dit komt overeen met het beeld dat stabiele mentale gezondheid de norm is. Uit de resultaten blijkt echter ook dat er toch grote individuele variatie is, zoals blijkt uit de overige drie klassen, waartoe 15% van de steekproef behoort. Blootstelling aan schokkende gebeurtenissen vergrootte de kans om tot verschillende minder stabiele groepen te behoren ten opzichte van de kans om tot de meest stabiele groep te behoren, terwijl baanverlies slechts de kans vergrootte om tot een minder stabiele groep te behoren. Daarnaast is het effect van blootstelling aan schokkende gebeurtenissen groter dan van blootstelling aan baanverlies. De resultaten laten daarnaast zien dat andere factoren van invloed zijn in het bepalen van ontwikkelingen in mentale gezondheid dan blootstelling aan deze twee stressoren. De resultaten kwamen niet altijd overeen met de verwachtingen. Implicaties van het onderzoek worden besproken.

2015

EU Economic Governance and Greece

EU Economic Governance and Greece

  • April 22nd, 2015

Speaker

  • Eleni Balamoti, is PhD researcher at ReflecT, TLS. 

Summary

Since the outbreak of the financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis, the European Union has been trying to effectively respond to it by enhancing the EU Economic Governance. This has launched a new era in the EMU institutional framework, leading to stronger fiscal consolidation, stricter economic and budgetary surveillance and new enforcement mechanisms. At the same time, a number of Member States have been put under financial support schemes, accompanied by strict conditionality rules and deeper monitoring.

One of the Member States receiving financial assistance and undergoing strict adjustment programs since 2010 is Greece. Greece presents a highly interesting research subject, since it is a country to which new rules of EU Economic Governance have first been applied, having noteworthy social and political side-effects.

The lunch seminar will examine the case of Greece and the impact the new EU Economic Governance framework has had on the social conditions, labour protection scheme, political arena and democracy in the country, trying to conclude how economic governance and social governance can go hand in hand 

How Highly-skilled and Flexible Workers Maintainand Develop their Employability

How Highly-skilled and Flexible Workers Maintainand Develop their Employability

  • February 11th, 2015

Speaker

  • Caroline Ruiner
    is senior researcher at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. As a sociologist and economist she is involved in interdisciplinary research projects. Her research focuses on new employment relationships especially of highly-skilled flexible workers in knowledge-intensive industries, psychological contract and organizational justice as well as the effects of increasing flexibility and challenges for the Human Resource Management.

Summary

Highly-skilled workers are increasingly employed flexibly in knowledge-intensive industries like IT, media or consultancy. In view of the (more) often changing employment relationships, the maintenance and development of the workers’ employability is critical to success. But since they are not or only fixed-term integrated in organizations, they are not addressed in the organizations’ Human Resource Management and the related personnel development. Against this background, it is the aim of this paper to analyze how highly-skilled flexible knowledge workers maintain and promote their employability. The empirical findings stem from a qualitative interview study that was conducted in Austria and Germany.

2014

The position of labour migrants in the Netherlands

The position of labour migrants in the Netherlands

  • January 21st, 2014

Speaker

  • Conny Rijken
associate professor at Intervict specialized in migrant vulnerabilities in EU and national law. Tesseltje de Lange is a senior researcher at the Department of Social Policy and Labour Law. She specializes in EU and national migration policies and migrant rights. Lisa Berntsen joins the project team as post-doc in 2015 to research the position if undocumented migrant workers’ rights in the Netherlands.

Summary

Labour migration to the Netherlands, both from within the EU and from Third Country Nationals, has become an intrinsic part of the Dutch labour market. Some labour migrants use the free movement of workers, the freedom to provide services or work in the Netherlands as highly skilled workers whereas others work without a working permit and some even without a valid residence permit or on shady labour contracts. Especially the latter are vulnerable for abuse and exploitation, although they contribute substantially to the Dutch economy and labour market. The imbalance between the treatment of (irregular) migrants and their contribution to the Dutch economy is subject of the current research. The research focusses on the ‘downside’ of the Dutch labour market with emphasis on the position of the labour migrant. It aims to contribute to improve the position of labour migrants through the identification and explanation of labour rights and human rights problems. This aim is included in the following central research questions: How can labour law challenges in a free market economy within the EU be balanced with the protection of the labour and human rights of (undocumented) labour migrants?

In their presentation Conny Rijken and Tesseltje de Lange will focus on the imbalance in EU social policy and migration policy and present their study of recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) case-law, illustrating how the European legislator and the ECJ often fail to strike a balance between the EU's  internal market paradigm and it's the human rights paradigm.


The influence of organizational change on psychological contracts

The influence of organizational change on psychological contracts: a contextual approach

  • June 11th, 2014

Speakers

  • Charissa Freese
    is senior researcher “New employment relationships” at Reflect and Human Resource Studies of Tilburg University. Charissa studies organizational change from the perspective of the psychological contract, which can be read in her doctoral thesis (2007) “Organizational change and the dynamics of psychological contract” and in joint publications with Ph.D. candidates Sjoerd van den Heuvel and Sjoerd van der Smissen.
  • Sjoerd van der Smissen
    is director at Deloitte and external Ph.D. student at Tilburg University, supervised by René Schalk and Charissa Freese. The study that is being presented is part of his doctoral thesis.

Summary

Organizational change is a hot topic. In current turbulent times restructuring is essential for virtually every organization. A lot has been written about the effects of organizational change on employees, with concepts like “resistance to change” or more neutral “attitude towards change”, sometimes resulting in blue prints on how to implement change or a typology of “change personalities”. Little attention has been given to the fact that organizations have different change histories and employ different kinds of employees, which could affect how employees react to change.

In their presentation Charissa Freese and Sjoerd van der Smissen discuss the effects of these different organizational contexts. In the Seminar they will present a multi method study of 3379 respondents of seven organizations. The data show the importance of the internal context (e.g. culture of the organization) and the external context (e.g. pressures from competition) in explaining the reactions of employees to change processes in the organizations.


De kwetsbaren

De kwetsbaren

  • April 16th, 2014

Speaker

  • Will Tinnemans
    (schrijver, mediatrainer, eindredacteur en dagvoorzitter). Deze maand kwam zijn 3e boek uit over wat we 'de onderkant van de arbeidsmarkt' noemen. Na eerdere titels ‘Onzeker bestaan’ en ‘Voor jou tien anderen’, beschrijft hij in ‘De kwetsbaren’ de problematische situatie van mensen met een lichamelijke of psychische handicap op de arbeidsmarkt.

Summary

Om mensen met een lichamelijke of psychische handicap een eerlijke kans op de arbeidsmarkt te bieden, heeft de overheid wetten en regelingen ingevoerd die arbeidsgehandicapten soepel naar regulier werk moeten begeleiden. Diezelfde overheid kiest bij aanbestedingen rücksichtslos voor de laagste prijs, waardoor bedrijven met hun relatief dure arbeidsgehandicapten in dienst het nakijken hebben. Welwillende ondernemers kunnen niet op concurreren tegen gesubsidieerde sociale werkplaatsen. Bedrijven met veel arbeidsgehandicapten blijken bij aanbestedingen in het nadeel ten opzichte van bedrijven met ‘gezond’ personeel. Werkgevers nemen afscheid van laagopgeleiden; werklozen nemen hun werk over omdat de uitkeringsinstantie dat eist, als 'tegenprestatie' met behoud van uitkering. Zo bijt de overheid in haar eigen staart: regelingen om kansarme, laagopgeleide arbeidsgehandicapten naar regulier werk te begeleiden werken vaker als rem dan als glijmiddel.

Will Tinnemans, (2014), De kwetsbaren: Verdringing aan de onderkant van de arbeidsmarkt, Uitgeverij Nieuw Amsterdam, Amsterdam (boek hier te bestellen).