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Workforce Employability and Sustainability


EAWOP Small Group Meeting
New frontiers in employability research:
How to build a sustainable workforce?

28 and 29 June, 2018
Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Pascale M. Le Blanc (Contact person)
Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Beatrice I.J.M Van der Heijden
Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for this European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) sponsored Small Group Meeting  (SGM) on workforce employability and sustainability.

Previously developed employability models are currently challenged in this so-called ‘Era of The Sustainable Career’ (De Vos & Van der Heijden, 2015; Van der Heijden & De Vos, 2015) that is characterized by dynamic societal and economic changes, and by substantial evolutions in the world of work. Longitudinal employability research that explores the dynamic relations between work and work behaviour (cf. De Lange et al., 2006), and the diversity of intra-individual, short term as well as long term change trajectories across time  (see for example De Jonge & Dormann, 2006; Martin & Hofer, 2004) is needed. Although there are life-span theories available - e.g., Super’s Life-span Life-space conceptual framework (1957, 1963), Vondracek’s Developmental-Contextual model (Vondracek, Lerner, & Schulenberg, 1986), and Carstensen’s Life-span Socio-emotional Selectivity theory (1998) - there is a lack of innovative theory-based studies that explore and explain intra-individual developmental changes in employability and sustainable careers, as well as their antecedents and consequences over time. That is to say, more in-depth psychological research on employability and sustainable careers is needed to formulate recommendations for 'life-span aware’ Human Resource Management (HRM) policies and practices, at the societal, the organizational, the job-, and the individual level.

In addition, this SGM also focuses on the consequences of employability and sustainable careers at the organizational level. An important (research) question e.g. is how workforce employability/sustainability relates to organizational resilience.

We are calling for proposals for oral presentations at this Small Group Meeting. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Different ways of conceptualizing (sustainable) employability;
• Employability of specific groups (e.g., graduates, unemployed);
• Implications of new technologies for workforce sustainable employability;
• Cross-cultural differences in employability and sustainable careers’ research and outcomes;
• Age-related changes in process variables (e.g., future time perspective and motivation) and/or experiences at work that explain intra-individual changes in employability across time, and how these changes impact on sustainable careers (Bajor & Baltes, 2003; Baltes, Staudinger & Lindenberger, 1999);
• Intra-individual changes in employability and sustainable careers across life stages, and their antecedents and outcomes;
•  Specific HRM strategies and interventions (e.g., task design, team staffing, training, etc.) designed to facilitate employability and sustainable careers;
• The ‘employability management paradox’, i.e. the fact that investing in the employability of your employees might also make them more attractive for competitors;
• Challenges and/or benefits of age diversity in teams and working organizations in the light of employability and sustainable career issues;
• Mediating and/or moderating mechanisms of age effects (e.g., future work time perspective, perceived self-efficacy, etc.) on employability and sustainable career outcome variables;
• Studies providing more information on methodology and statistical procedures that are specifically designed to capture intra-individual developmental change trajectories across time, such as latent growth curve analysis or time series analysis;
• Research using hybrid designs (e.g., multi-group, cross-lagged panel designs) aimed at differentiating between age, period, and cohort effects;
• Intra-individual changes in perceived employee-employer (e.g., psychological contract) relationships over time in relation to employability, sustainable careers, and outcomes. This includes intra-individual changes in reactions to job insecurity caused by (threats of) loss of long-term employment relations or even multiple experiences of such (threats of) a loss.
• Workforce employability/sustainability and organizational resilience.

Other proposals for relevant contributions in the field of (research on) employability and sustainable careers are very much welcomed too. It is possible to discuss an idea for presentation by contacting Pascale Le Blanc ( or Beatrice Van der Heijden (

Meeting format, location and date
The meeting is a Small Group Meeting. The aim is to foster extensive discussion, cross-fertilization of ideas, and research collaboration. In total, there will be around 25 participants at the meeting. Each paper will be presented plenary to the entire meeting. In addition, there will be two keynotes by prof. Mel Fugate (University of South Australia, School of Management) and by prof. Georges Romme (Eindhoven University of Technology, School of Industrial Engineering).

The meeting will be over two days on 28 and 29 June 2018, and will be held at the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Eindhoven can very well be reached by plane, train, or car. It has good access to Europe through Eindhoven Airport, and there are direct train and bus connections to Schiphol Airport. We are in contact with several nearby hotels to provide accommodation at a reduced price for the participants.

Participation costs
Participation in the Small Group Meeting is free of charge; there is no participation fee. Participants will be offered coffee/tea and lunch during the meeting days, as well as 1 dinner (on Thursday night). However, participants will have to pay themselves for their travel and (hotel) accommodation.

Those who are interested in participating are asked to submit an abstract with a maximum of 500 words (excl. references) before 15 January, 2018 to and to .

The abstract can report original empirical research, theoretical development, a review, or methodological advancements. Those who submit an abstract are required to provide full name, institution, discipline, position, and contact information. They will be notified about acceptance/rejection by 1 March, 2018.

Participants will be invited to submit their papers to a special issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (EJWOP).