EAWOP Small Group Meeting

Resource-oriented interventions at work:

Designing and evaluating interventions to promote well-being and performance


Call for Papers (Closed)

July 15th -17th, 2013

University of Heidelberg, Germany


Organizers: Alexandra Michel, Deirdre O’Shea, and Annekatrin Hoppe


Conference Theme

In this small group meeting, we aim to advance best practice in the design and evaluation of resource-oriented interventions in the workplace. Resources are defined as “objects, personal characteristics, conditions, or energies that are valued by the individual or that serve as a means for attainment of these objects, personal characteristics, conditions, or energies” (Hobfoll, 1989; p. 516).  Typical examples of resources that have been examined in the work context include:

  • Personal resources, including psychological capital (Luthans, Avolio, Avey & Norman, 2007), vitality (Ryan & Frederick, 1997), work engagement (Hakanen, Perhoniemi, Toppinen-Tanner, 2008), regulatory resources (Muraven, Tice & Baumeister, 1998), and recovery experiences (Sonnentag, Binnewies, and Mojza, 2008).
  • Social resources, including emotional support (DeLongis, Folkman & Lazarus, 1988) and work-family interpersonal capitalization (Ilies, Keeney & Scott, 2011).
  • Job resources including social support from colleagues, supervisor support, autonomy, task variety, feedback (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007; Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004) and resources derived from the physical features of the work environment (Vischer, 2007).

The aim of this small group meeting is two-fold. Firstly, we aim to examine how best to design resource-based interventions, and secondly, we aim to examine how best to evaluate such interventions.  In order to achieve this, we are interested in examining the following questions:

  • What resources are the optimal ones to fuel with such interventions?
  • Are there optimal designs for such interventions? For example, how long should such interventions be?
  • Are there specific population groups (i.e. vulnerable groups, high stress groups) who benefit the most from specific interventions?
  • How are resource-based interventions best evaluated?  How long should we expect the effects of such interventions to last?
  • Going forward, how can current research and evaluation designs be improved upon to capture psychological changes that occur as a result of these interventions?


To examine these questions, we will focus on the following two themes:


Theme 1: Designing Intra-individual and inter-individual interventions

Typically, interventions in the workplace have been divided into organizational level interventions or individual level interventions (Briner & Reynolds, 1999). In this small group meeting, we move away from this simplistic dichotomy to focus specifically on the resources that individual interventions can enhance or restore. As such, this SGM focuses on the following levels:

  • The intra-individual level, i.e. interventions aimed at changing the ways in which people think, behave, manage emotions, and manage motivation (e.g. coaching, training in stress management, time management, positive psychology, coping strategies, recovery training etc.)
  • The inter-individual level (e.g. between dyads, between multiple individuals, including teams and dyadic, work-family interactions such as work-home cross-over etc.)


Theme 2: Evaluating interventions - short-term and long-term effectiveness

The second theme focuses on effective methods and tools that can be used to capture the effectiveness of resource-based interventions. Psychological interventions pose a challenge in terms of evaluation, as oftentimes, we are trying to capture elusive concepts such as behavior change or small effects in affectivity, for example.  This is an issue that is not new in the literature (e.g. Cox, Karanika, Griffiths & Houdmont, 2007; Nielsen, Randall, Holten & Gonzalez, 2010; Nielsen, Taris & Cox, 2010), but represents an ongoing methodological problem as the field moves forward.  Some advances have been made in terms of experimental, quasi-experimental and diary research methods (e.g. DeJoy et al., 2010; Demerouti et al., 2011; Emmons & McCullough, 2003), as well as through meta-analytic findings (e.g. Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009).  However, there is significant scope to develop this area to a greater degree.

Submissions to this SGM could cover, but are not restricted to these example topics.

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