NWO grant for prof.dr. Annelies van Vianen and dr. Edwin van Hooft
January 30, 2014 - Prof.dr. Annelies van Vianen and dr. Edwin van Hooft (University of Amsterdam) received a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the Open Research Area program, for their international project 'WORKOUT: Self-regulation when out of work'. Other participants in the grant are prof.dr. Connie Wanberg (University of Minnesota, USA) en pro.dr. Ute Klehe (Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany).
Unemployment represents one of the worst stressors that people encounter in their working lives, having negative financial and mental-health consequences for individuals and being a costly burden for society. Due to volatile economic development, unemployment spells are increasingly inevitable for many workers. Research aimed at understanding barriers to successful job search and high-quality reemployment is important to individuals, to professionals providing job-search services, and to governments. Job search is a demanding act of self-regulation. It requires the setting and pursuit of goals, the regulation of emotion and behavior, and the ability to persist when things get difficult. Extant research documents structural, process, and content approaches to self-regulation, but these approaches have rarely been integrated. Further, self-regulation has been mostly studied as a static phenomenon. Essential knowledge about the evolution of self-regulation over time is lacking. Also, prior research has paid little attention to external/contextual as opposed to intra-individual factors that could impact the initiation and development of self-regulation. Our proposed research addresses these key shortfalls in studies on self-regulation during unemployment. We build and test theory on self-regulation during unemployment in four integrated subprojects: (1) a cross-national investigation of the impact of system-based unemployment insurance benefits on initiation, development, and consequences of job-search behaviors; (2) research on self-regulatory responses to setbacks and rejections; (3) the study of career adaptability as a source for self-regulation and reemployment quality; and (4) examining the causes, content, dynamics, and outcomes of procrastination as a form of self-regulation failure. We combine innovative methods such as experience-sampling and diary designs with lab and field experiments. Besides scientific products we will provide interventions that advance self-regulation during unemployment. This WORKOUT-project will deliver a step change in scientific knowledge of self-regulatory processes and effects, contribute to the effectiveness of employment counseling, and ultimately improve unemployed individuals lives.