Research projects


Research on Extending Working Lives, 2014-2018

The aim of this project is to conduct longitudinal research on the determinants of Extending Working Lives (EWL) beyond the age of 50, with a focus on the interface of different domains: workplace and health, family and workplace; area and individual. The project leaders are prof. Jenny Head and dr. Mai Stafford. Please see the website for more information.

I am currently studying chronic health and working conditions among older workers, and investigate how modifiable working conditions can contribute to longer working lives, even for older workers with (chronic) impairments. I collaborate with J Head, S Stansfeld, E Carr and B Xue.

Sustaining Employability (NWO-TOP), 2014-2018

In the project Sustaining Employability we study employability from three angles: the government, the organization and the individual. We aim to answer questions such as which policies do governments offer and how do they affect organizational policies and practices? Which organizational policies and practices are implemented and how are they expected to enhance individuals’ employability? How is individuals’ employability actually affected by governmental and organizational policies and practices? And how do individuals sustain their employability? Together with Conny Roobol, Jules Coenders, Hans Pruijt, Ferry Koster and Pearl Dykstra we are working towards an integrated framework of sustaining employability.

Ontstaan en preventie van burnout (Causes and prevention of burnout), De Burcht research grant, 2014-2016

Nederlandse samenvatting: In Nederland wordt een toenemend aantal mensen ziek met burnout. Volgens TNO hebben er in 2014 rond 14% van de werknemers burnoutklachten. In dit project dat door de Burcht – het wetenschappelijk bureau voor de vakbeweging – is gefinancierd, heb ik onderzocht 1) welke kenmerken in de arbeidsorganisatie burnout veroorzaken en 2) hoe burnout kan worden voorkomen. Om deze vragen te beantwoorden heb ik dossiers van het Bureau Beroepsziekten (FNV) geanalyseerd. Deze dossiers bevatten omvangrijke informatie over de arbeidsomstandigheden, de leidinggevende, de preventiemaatregelen van organisaties en mogelijke interventies op individueel en organisatie-niveau. 

English summary: In this project, financed by de Burcht – the scientific institute of the labour union movement -, I investigate possible causes of burnout and measures to prevent this psychological syndrome. In the Netherlands an increasing number of workers report complaints indicating burnout. As figures of TNO show, about 14% of all workers have complaints comparable to burnout. I answer the following questions: 1) how characteristics of the task organization and organizational structure cause burnout and 2) how can burnout be prevented? To address these questions, I study ‘worst cases’, i.e. files of workers who are work disabled because of they have a burnout. Those files provide rich insights into workers’ work environment, the behavior of their line managers, the organizational prevention policies and the possible interventions at the organizational and individual level.

Determinants of Retirement Decisions in Europe and the United States, 2012 – 2016

(Collaborators: MZES: Mannheim Center for European Social Research) 

Despite recent policy reforms to prolong working life – often summarised under the concept of ‘active ageing’ – older workers’ employment has increased only moderately and their labour market integration remains deficient. One obstacle for raising old-age employment has been a limited understanding of older workers’ employment vs. retirement decisions and of the different ‘drivers’ that influence them. The project will analyse older workers’ retirement decisions and their complex set of determinants in 11 European countries, Japan and the U.S. (for more information, see link).

Institute Gak, Social Security in 2025, Part 2, 2010-2014

As part of the Social Security in 2025 Gak-project I conducted the research for my doctoral thesis “Should I stay or should I go? A workplace perspective on older persons’ labour market participation”. In my dissertation I study labour market participation of older workers from both the workplace and the employers’ perspective. I answer the questions: How do workplace characteristics prolong older workers’ labour market participation? And how do employers keep their older workers employable?

Neujobs, 2011-2015

NEUJOBS is a research project financed by the European Commission, under the 7th Framework Programme. The objective is to analyse future possible developments of the European labour market(s) under the main assumption that European societies are now facing or preparing to face four main transitions that will have a major impact on employment, in particular for some groups in the labour force or sectors of the economy.