Project

IMPRESS-Improving management competences on Excellence based Stress avoidance and working towards Sustainable organisational development in Europe

Goal: See Web page: http://www.excellence-in-stress-management.eu.
The purpose of the European project IMPRESS is to enable business professionals to gain a perspective on work related stress issues. This includes how they impact in all aspects of the business including management style, cost of absenteeism, work organization and organizational structure, work-life balance, demographic changes, the upgrading of unskilled and skilled workers, information overflow, stress caused by poor fit with physical and mental health issues.
The major focus is on how young people have to be prepared in order to sustain their health and their employment until retirement in an economic situation where changing employers and sectors is becoming part of a regular employment history.
The objectives of the project are to develop and validate an innovative toolset allowing identifying and dealing with stress related issues in organizations and to support them with new training materials in solving the identified problems.
IMPRESS will incorporate this educational model into existing programmes for (young) professionals who work closely with personnel systems as well as for existing practitioners.

Date: 1 November 2017

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Rita Berger
added 3 research items
Digitalisation entails positive and negative consequences for employees. In a longitudinal, randomized control group design over 14 days (N = 95 participants), we piloted and expected each of three app-based interventions to positively influence general well-being, well-being related to information and communication technology (ICT), and recovery compared to the control group with no intervention. The meditation intervention significantly increased general well-being (satisfaction) and recovery (detachment) compared to the control group but did not reduce general stress. The cognitive-behavioural intervention significantly increased general well-being (less stress). The informational intervention however increased the general stress level. No intervention changed the level of ICT-specific well-being. Thus, classic stress interventions conveyed via ICTs (app-based) may be effective for addressing classic stress symptoms, but not yet for new forms of stress. Future research should investigate structural differences between classic stressors and new kinds of ICT-related stressors to identify starting points for new types of interventions.
Research on workplace cyberbullying (WCB) is still scarce and needs verification. This study addressed the indirect influence of positive and negative leadership on WCB via perceived role stressors and negative team climate. The main goal is to test the applicability of the work environment hypothesis and job demands–resources model for WCB on a cross-sectional sample of n = 583 workers in Germany (n = 334) and Spain (n = 249). We tested multiple mediation models, and findings revealed that negative (passive-avoidant) leadership increased role and team stressors and thereby WCB exposure, whereas positive (transformational) leadership decreased the same stressors and thereby reduced WCB exposure. No cross-cultural differences were found, indicating portability of the results. This study highlights the explanatory factors for WCB at individual and team level and emphasizes the role of managers as shapers of the work environmental antecedents of WCB in the emergent digitalized working world. Theoretical implications and future research avenues are discussed.
Presenteeism is the behavior of working with ill-health. Due to associated productivity losses and substantial transmission risks during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, presenteeism is gaining increased attention in occupational psychological research. To understand the complexity of this phenomenon, research on contextual influences is needed. Our study investigated positive leadership behavior (transformational leadership, TFL) and negative leadership behavior (passive-avoidant leadership, PAL) as social-contextual predictors, next to stress. We hypothesized that in countries with high masculine values, presenteeism is more likely to occur. Our study involved 979 employees from the different cultural contexts of Germany, Ireland, Latvia and Spain that answered an online questionnaire. Results displayed prevalence ranges between an average of 3.93 days (Ireland) to 22.11 days (Spain) over the last 12 months. In all countries, higher job stress was associated significantly with higher levels of presenteeism. Correlational analyses of leadership behaviors showed mixed results: Negative correlations between TFL and presenteeism were only significant in Germany and Spain, positive correlations between PAL and presenteeism were only significant in Germany and Latvia. This study questions the influence of masculine values and emphasizes the importance of leader-follower quality in presenteeism research.
Rita Berger
added a research item
Telework from home is increasing. Employees are connected to each other through digital means, cyberbullying (CB) is also increasing. CB has only recently been researched in work settings and organizations (WCB) and is becoming more prevalent. WCB can impair employees’ health seriously and more as traditional bullying. This can be observed in diverse countries. However, cross-culturally validated instruments are scare, but needed. Furthermore, more information about the role of leadership styles in the relation between the WCB and health outcome such as satisfaction and turnover intention is required to be able to manage this phenomenon in organizations. Aim: to adapt and validate a workplace cyberbullying (WCB) questionnaire for Spain and Germany, to investigate laissez-faire (LF) and transformational leadership (TFL) as predictors for WCB, using the work environment hypothesis, to investigate possible differences in Spain and Germany. Conclusion: Leadership behavior is still key for deterring online bullying actions. Role ambiguity and cyberbullying seem to be closely related.
Rita Berger
added a research item
Presenteeism, i.e. the behaviour of working with ill-health is gaining increased attention in occupational psychological research due to associated productivity losses. More research is needed around interpersonal factors and cross-cultural aspects to understand its complexity. Leadership behaviour has been expected to exhibit the strongest interpersonal associations with presenteeism: positive leadership behaviour in the form of transformational leadership (TFL) and negative leadership in the form of passive-avoidant leadership (PAL) behaviour as contextual predictors in our study, next to stress. Building on the hypotheses that in countries with high masculine values presenteeism is more likely to occur, this study investigated the prevalence of presenteeism in Germany, Ireland, Latvia and Spain. Based on a cross-sectional study design, 979 workers completed a validated online survey. Statistical analyses included mean comparisons and rank-correlational analyses. Cultural comparisons based on the Hofstede model were applied theoretically. In line with previous research, the job demand of high job stress and PAL trumped the job resource TFL in accounting of affect symmetry and the psychological tendency of greater power of bad events over good ones. This study questions the influence of masculine values and emphasizes the importance of leader-follower quality in presenteeism research.
Rita Berger
added a research item
Abusive supervision impacts employees’ emotions negatively and creates feelings of shame and fear. But it remains unclear how daily employees’ positive and negative emotions are affected and if they can recover. Applying the affective event theory and job demands-resources model we hypothesized that daily abusive supervision influences employees’ positive and negative emotions fluctuation over the day, recovery after work, and employee emotions the next morning. Two daily surveys were answered by 52 Mexican employees for ten days providing 347 registers in the morning and 255 in the afternoon. Hierarchical linear modeling shows alteration of positive and negative emotions in the afternoon and next day, and a positive effect over recovery in relaxation, mastery and control restoring positive emotions. However, negative emotions cannot be recovered for the following day. Additionally, we found effects of predictive variables, as the days of the week go by, positive emotions in the afternoon and negative emotions in the morning decrease. Gender shows for men a more negative effect on positive emotions in the afternoon, next morning and on mastery-recovery. Marital status revealed effect over married individuals incrementing the four recovery dimensions, increasing positive emotions, and reducing negative emotions in the afternoon and next morning. Tenure has an effect over abusive supervision, the longer employees in the company, more likely they suffer abusive supervision. We show how employees restore positive emotions after daily recovery and that negative emotions cannot be recovered for the following day; revealing how abusive managers cause emotional damage to employees every day.
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
The increasing spread of digital technologies and respective consequences for the way we live, work, and communicate can evoke feelings of tension and discomfort. This so-called digitalisation anxiety is related to existing and future technologies, includes the process of digitalisation in everyday life, and refers to multiple levels (the individual, organisations, and society). Existing scales measuring technology-related fears due not adequately reflect these features. Therefore, we developed the German version of the Digitalisation Anxiety Scale (DAS). Having generated items based on a qualitative interview study (Study 1, n = 26), we demonstrated the DAS’s factor structure, internal consistency and construct validity in Study 2a (n = 109) and test-retest reliability in Study 2b (n = 30). In Study 3 (n = 223), the scale’s structure was confirmed and correlates of digitalisation anxiety were examined. The final version of the DAS consists of 35 items with a four-factor structure (societal triggers for digitalisation anxiety, triggers related to interaction and leadership, triggers within oneself and triggers resulting from the digitalisation implementation process). Digitalisation Anxiety had negative relationships with well-being and performance. The scale allows practitioners and researchers to measure and benchmark individuals’ levels of digitalisation anxiety, and to track changes over time. The scale can inform interventions aiming at reducing digitalisation anxiety and stress resulting from digitalisation.
Section 2 aims at teaching basic occupational psychology principles in the context of stress and resilience at the workplace, as well as the ability to integrate stress management into the Excellence Model in an innovative and value-adding manner. At first, industrial and organisational psychology principles are integrated into the global topics of sustainability and the promotion of decent work for all. It will be shown that an excellence management approach based on the blueprint Agenda 2030 and on the sustainable development goals of the United Nations is synergetic with the objective of sustainable, comprehensive quality and occupational health. Subsequently, common and emerging psycho-social risk factors at work will be highlighted as well as the transformative role of modern organisations in developing resource-rich working conditions to promote resilience and health among employees, teams and supervisors. Practical categorisations of stress factors and resources that shape personnel’s experiences will be outlined to summarise the state-of-the-art-knowledge of work-, organisational, and personnel psychology. For integration purposes, a scientific systemic model for the assessment of organisational behaviour and intangibles at work and for the intervention for the quality of human resources called the Human System Audit (HSA), will be introduced to align the topics of stress management and excellence. Core aspects of the HSA are based on the interaction of the organisational environment and structure with intangible psychological and psycho-social processes of individuals, groups, and of the organisational system that are taking place in an organisation and are impacting the quality of the human resources. Finally, conceptual innovative alignments between the psychological human resource perspective of the HSA and the direction and execution deployment factors of the new EFQM model will be exemplified. Part 2 thereby bridges the gap between conventional total management approaches based on excellence and organisational psychology perspectives for occupational stress and health.
Inga Lapiņa
added an update
Paper "Interrelation of Process Management and Employee Stressors in Organization" published and presented at the conference: The 25th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI 2021) at Orlando
 
Rita Berger
added a research item
Personal stress has an enormous impact on organizational and employee performance. This book introduces the web-based diagnostic tool IMPRESS, which provides employees, managers and HR professionals with information about potential stress factors. The book describes the underlying methodology for this integrated approach and presents the tools and learning modules to support the methodology. A series of case studies from pilot implementations in companies and universities illustrate the application of the approach in a variety of work environments. The book is based on an international research project for a holistic approach to stress prevention by combining Human Systems Audit with the European Excellence approach as promoted by the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and the EFQM Excellence Model. This approach is intended to contribute to organizational development that supports effective employee stress management.
Rita Berger
added a research item
As nonessential workers are working from home and connected to colleagues through means of computer technology, cyberbullying, which has only recently been investigated in workplace settings, is likely to become more prevalent. Organizations are also reconsidering work structures that would keep workers remote. Workplace cyberbullying (WCB) can have a detrimental impact on victims' mental health, more than traditional face-to-face bullying. However, there is a dearth of validated assessments to monitor WCB for use in different countries. The Cyberbullying Behavior Questionnaire Short version (CBQ-S) from Jönsson et al. is a validated short scale that seems simple and practical enough to integrate in widely applied multiscale employee surveys. Previously, the CBQ-S has been only validated in Sweden (in the Swedish language) and United States (in English). This study performs a construct validation of the CBQ-S in Spain (in Spanish) and Germany (in German), to equip businesses and organizations operating in those countries with an effective valid tool to measure WCB. Two hundred nine German and 249 Spanish workers (N = 458) participated in a cross-sectional survey. Exploratory and multiple-group confirmatory factor analyses suggested a one-dimensional structure of the scale, supporting configural invariance; metric and partial scalar invariance was also supported. Latent means differences revealed significantly higher mean scores for the Spanish sample (Cohen's d = 0.61). WCB correlated positively with workplace bullying, supporting concurrent convergent validity. WCB also correlated positively with role conflict, role ambiguity, bullying in general, stress, turnover intention, and negatively with job satisfaction, indicating criterion validity.
Inga Lapiņa
added an update
Conference paper: Interrelation of Process Management and Employee Stressors in Organization
 
Inga Lapiņa
added a research item
One of the biggest challenges in today's rapidly changing world is stress and its impact on employees. Sense of time urgency, anxiety, problems, and stress at work can lead to serious employee health problems and burnout. Process management has always been an important part of every organization and is necessary for the organization to be successful, so it is important to study how the organization's quality system and process approach affect the performance of employees and the company as a whole. The aim of the research is to evaluate the interrelation of process management and employee stressors, as well as the impact of quality management on stress reduction in the organization. This paper includes surveys` data analysis of the research project "Improving management competencies on Excellence based Stress avoidance and working towards sustainable organizational development in Europe-IMPRESS".
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
In the article Decent Work and Work Engagement: A Profile Study with Academic Personnel (10.1007/s11482-019-09780-7) written by Graça, Pais, Mónico, dos Santos, Ferraro, & Berger.
Purpose: Cyberbullying (CB), is a complex phenomenon that has only recently been investigated in workplace settings (Kowalski et al., 2018; Oksanen et al., 2020). Face-to-face bullying has already been acknowledged as being one of the most severe psycho-social risk factors at work, recent research suggests that CB at work might have an even more detrimental impact on the victims’ mental health (Coyne et al., 2017). Prevalence numbers range widely across countries, and predictive factors of CB at work also remain inadequately identified (Kowalski, 2018). Contributions: (1) Based on Eurofounds’ classification (Eurofund, 2015) of countries regarding awareness and policies for bullying, prevalence of perceived CB in 4 European countries will be assessed and compared. (2) Building on Leymann’s work environment hypothesis of bullying (1996), the study scrutinizes how the perception of specific work environmental factors might play predictive roles for perceived cyberbullying victimization. Based on previous research, it was hypothesized that traditional bullying, team climate, perceived role stress, and passive-avoidant leadership behavior are factors strongly linked to CB. Originality/Value: We push the borders of scientific knowledge on CB at work further and provide empirical evidence that Leymann’s work environment hypothesis of bullying (1996) holds also for CB at work.
Rita Berger
added 3 research items
In particularly challenging times of steadily increasing numbers of burnout in European workplaces, we propose in the frame of the IMPRESS project (Project reference: 588315-EPP-1-2017-1-ES-EPPKA2-KA funded by Erasmus Plus) an innovative curriculum for HEI students in organizational psychology focusing on excellent stress management. Young people entering the labour market have to be prepared to sustain their health in a stressful and economic situation where changing employers and sectors is becoming part of a regular employment history. This is currently even more present in times of the COVID-19 pandemic that changes work requirements including much more remote work. Future Human Resource practitioners need to understand the importance of fostering employee well-being as pillar of organizations' competitive advantage, talent attraction and retention, and employee performance. The proposed curriculum is based on results of an online survey that found similar work-related stress factors in four countries (ES, DE, IR, LV) showing the high need of European companies for Human Resource Management competences related to occupational health, thus arguing for a unified HEI curriculum proposal. Following the scientist-practitioner model, HEIs as well as practitioners of the above-mentioned countries developed a curriculum including assessment and excellence-related competences for stress-management based on online tools. As a first pilot has been carried out with Bachelor students of Organizational Psychology, a fine-tuned theory-seminar package was developed and run in a Bachelor course for psychology students of Organizational Behaviour. The developed learning material covered a) a self-assessment, b) theoretical knowledge about state-of-the-art research on occupational stress management, c) a problem-based role-playing scenario, and d) a real case study for student teams. An evaluation of the competences, the self-assessment, learning material, and case study showed satisfactory results. The IMPRESS project is a prime example of how to integrate innovative applied tools into HEI curricula as both learning medium and future working tool. Moreover, all training materials can be deployed virtually and have interactive components such as knowledge quizzes and group work.
In times of steadily increasing numbers of burnout in European workplaces, we propose in the frame of the IMPRESS project (Project reference: 588315-EPP-1-2017-1-ES-EPPKA2-KA) a common assessment and intervention program for HEI students in occupational psychology focusing on excellent stress management. The program is based on results of an online survey that found similar work-related stress factors in the four participating countries. Following a scientist-practitioner model, HEIs as well as practitioners of these countries developed a training offering assessment, intervention and excellence-related competences for stress-management using online tools. A first pilot was carried out in the Bachelor of Psychology, subject Organizational Behavior (UB) with 18 bachelor and 10 Master students using an online assessment tool, seminars and case studies. Evaluation of the competences acquired, and the seminars and case studies showed satisfactory results. KEywoRds Stress management, blended learning, global workplace, HEI, assessment, intervention. objectives The objective of the EU project is to enable HEI and business professionals to gain a perspective on work related stress issues. This includes how they impact all aspects of the business including management style, cost of absenteeism, work organization and organizational structure, work-life balance, demographic changes, the upgrading of unskilled and skilled workers, information overflow, stress caused by poor fit with physical and mental health issues. One major focus is on how young people have to be prepared in order to sustain their health and their employment until retirement in an economic situation where changing employers and sectors is becoming part of a regular employment history. The intention of the project is to develop and validate an innovative toolset allowing identifying and dealing with stress related issues in the organisations and to support them with new coaching and training materials in solving the identified problems. The project aims to incorporate this educational model into existing programmes for (young) professionals who work closely with personnel systems. An alternate implementation would be as a standalone programme for existing practitioners. The particular objectives and the results are: 1. Develop a concept-based self-evaluation 2. Develop an education module based on experiences in industry that equips professionals working in industry with the necessary knowledge and skill sets needed
Group Development (GD) is an important variable when researching and evaluating what makes teams successful. We analyzed the psychometric properties of the originally Spanish GD questionnaire with German participants. 501 team members and 104 team leaders, 18 to 65 years old, from a German research organization answered an online survey composed of the GD questionnaire and items related to other group processes of democracy, mutual trust, team spirit, and interest in the team’s tasks. Results confirmed the unidimensional factor structure of the translated Spanish version for the German GD construct. Internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity were good. The German GD correlated as expected to other constructs, and it showed concurrent validity with respect to the team members’ motivation and interest in team tasks (r = .79, p < .01). We recommend using the GD in German samples to measure team processes that are highly relevant for team effectiveness.
Rita Berger
added a research item
This article in the journal Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. (GIO) presents a qualitative study which aims at conceptualising digitalisation anxiety. The increasing spread of digital technologies has consequences for how we live, work, and communicate. Alongside positive opportunities, digitalisation also involves risks and can lead to negative reactions such as anxiety. We conducted 26 interviews examining the psychological roots of digitalisation anxiety. We found that the digitalisation megatrend evokes anxieties related not only to individual or organisational changes, but also broader societal considerations. Based on our results, we suggest interventions that could help organisations, teams, and individuals cope with the triggers of digitalisation anxiety in order to improve people’s feelings and experiences related to digitalisation.
Rita Berger
added a research item
This study analyses the relationship between Decent Work and Work Engagement in Portuguese and Brazilian higher education teachers/researchers, and aims to identify distinct emergent profiles resulting from the relationship between these variables. The sample is composed of 749 participants and data was collected online, in both Portugal and Brazil, using the Decent Work Questionnaire (DWQ) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Results of multiple linear regressions showed that Decent Work dimensions positively predict Work Engagement in all its three dimensions (Vigor, Dedication, and Absorption). Profiles of workers regarding Decent Work dimensions were created using cluster analysis. Differences regarding Work Engagement and its respective dimensions were analyzed through a MANOVA. The results help organizations to apply new strategies and policies to promote higher levels of decent work, especially the Opportunities dimension to make their workers feel more engaged with their work. Limitations and directions for future research are considered.
Rita Berger
added a research item
Following the call of recent reviews on leadership and well-being, the purpose of this study is to examine how and when two contrasting leadership styles, transformational leadership (TFL) and passive-avoidant leadership (PAL), are related to employees’ anxiety and thereby either promote or inhibit employees’ well-being. Using the prominent job demands-resources (JD-R) model as a theoretical framework, we propose that the relationship between leadership behavior and anxiety is mediated by organizational job demands, namely, role ambiguity (RA), and job resources, namely, team climate for learning (TCL), as well as moderated by autonomy as important job characteristic. A sample of 501 knowledge workers, working in teams in a German research and development (R&D) organization, answered an online survey. We tested moderated multiple mediation models using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results demonstrated that the relationships between TFL as well as PAL on the one hand and anxiety on the other hand were fully mediated by RA and TCL. Job autonomy moderated the quality of the leadership–job demand relationship for TFL and PAL. This paper contributes to understanding the complex relationship between leadership and followers’ well-being taking into account a combination of mediating and moderating job demands and resources. This is the first study that examines the effects of TFL and PAL on well-being taking into account the job demand RA and team processes and autonomy as resources.
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
Purpose: Stress can have severe consequences for organizations’ human and economic capital. Survey results of European polls on safety and health at work show an increasing level and relevance of stress at work (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2013, 2014). Studies in the digitalized work environment which integrate classic as well as “new” stressors emerging from work 4.0 and at the same time investigate cross cultural differences are not yet existing. This is why a questionnaire based on a theoretical model by Reif, Spieß and Stadler (2018) and also taking into account Demerouti and Bakkers (2011) Job Demands–Resources model was developed and tested in four countries. Design/Methodology/Approach/Intervention: The questionnaire included 123 items on stressors (task, working conditions & workflow, team climate & cooperation, roles & responsibilities, attitudes & behaviors, organizational climate & communication), resources (control & clarity, leadership & social support), negative outcomes (illness & strain), and positive outcomes (engagement & satisfaction). 979 employees participated in the survey. We applied ANOVA to examine the country-specific influence and Post-hoc t-Tests to compare individual countries. Results: The factor ‘country’ explained a significant part of variance regarding illness and strain, all resource categories and most of the stressor categories. Limitations: Future research should test and validate the questionnaire in further countries and consider branch-specific differences. Research/Practical Implications: Differences in the evaluation of stressors and resources and in the relationship between stressors/resources and outcomes across countries show that stress-related interventions and resource trainings need to consider cultural backgrounds. Originality/Value: We offer a new categorization of stressors and resources, building on previous research and stress models but also consider new stressors related to digitalization. Results can help to derive practical interventions to manage stressors and to develop resources.
Purpose: Stress can have severe consequences for organizations’ human and economic capital. Survey results of European polls on safety and health at work show an increasing level and relevance of stress at work (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2013, 2014). Studies in the digitalized work environment which integrate classic as well as “new” stressors emerging from work 4.0 and at the same time investigate cross cultural differences are not yet existing. This is why a questionnaire based on a theoretical model by Reif, Spieß and Stadler (2018) and also taking into account Demerouti and Bakkers (2011) Job Demands–Resources model was developed and tested in four countries. Design/Methodology/Approach/Intervention: The questionnaire included 123 items on stressors (task, working conditions & workflow, team climate & cooperation, roles & responsibilities, attitudes & behaviors, organizational climate & communication), resources (control & clarity, leadership & social support), negative outcomes (illness & strain), and positive outcomes (engagement & satisfaction). 979 employees participated in the survey. We applied ANOVA to examine the country-specific influence and Post-hoc t-Tests to compare individual countries. Results: The factor ‘country’ explained a significant part of variance regarding illness and strain, all resource categories and most of the stressor categories. Limitations: Future research should test and validate the questionnaire in further countries and consider branch-specific differences. Research/Practical Implications: Differences in the evaluation of stressors and resources and in the relationship between stressors/resources and outcomes across countries show that stress-related interventions and resource trainings need to consider cultural backgrounds. Originality/Value: We offer a new categorization of stressors and resources, building on previous research and stress models but also consider new stressors related to digitalization. Results can help to derive practical interventions to manage stressors and to develop resources.
Rita Berger
added an update
The fifth IMPRESS project meeting was hosted by the team of Janis Mazais from Riga Technical University. The consortium assembled for discussing the results of previous actions and the next steps to successfully disseminate the project insights into practice.  
 
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
This paper presents a description of Human System Audit (HSA), as an integrated proposal for the assessment of intangibles, for quality assessment in excellence models and, in general, for diagnosis and intervention in the human system in organizations, as well as for research on organizational human behaviour. The HSA consists of a theoretical model, a battery of instruments, and a system for management control. The article also describes some applications of HSA to human resource
Rita Berger
added an update
IMPRESS project. Under the slogan 'Excellence & Resilience building through the IMPRESS Self-Assessment Tools', practitioners from various industries engaged vigorously in an insightful training course held by IMPRESS Project Partners and EFQM Licenses Advisor & Trainer and Psychology scientists. The participants were shown how to boost the mental health of their employees by smoothly implementing the IMPRESS Self-Assessment into European Excellence Models of auto evaluation. 
 
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
The the aims of this study are to analyze the psychometric properties of the Philippine (N=308) and German (N=200) version of the Human System Audit Transformational Leadership Short-scale (HSA-TFL Short-scale) and to identify whether transformational profiles are similar or different in Germany and Philippines. In todays’ global environment the number of multinationals in organizations increases and straighter trade relations between countries. This produces the companies’ need for short leadership instruments that are scientifically designed, quick to apply and in a global environment of reliable use. Factor structure, convergent and criterion validity as well as transformational profiles were analyzed for Germany and Philippines, important economies in their regional’s economic block, that faced a considerable growth on their relations. Results indicate that HSA-TFL Short is a reliable instrument (α = .90) with a one-factor structure and good convergent validity for both countries. Criterion validity was different in both countries and sensible to the cultural context. The transformational profiles, using the MLQ-5X, showed differences for both countries. The study provides empirical evidence for the validity of the HSA-TFL Short-scale.
Task uncertainty is a key factor in teamwork research. This study analyzed the psychometric characteristics of the Spanish Model of Group Tasks Uncertainty (MITAG) in two German samples. The participants (501 team members and 104 team leaders from a German research organization) answered the MITAG together with selected items from the German Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) and the instrument Ambiguity facets of work (Ambiguitätsfacetten der Arbeit, AfA). Confirmatory factor analysis did not reproduce the original 4-factor structure in the German sample, although the 3 newly identified factors unclarity of goals, new situations, and non-routine resemble the original factors. Results showed sound internal consistency and confirmed the convergent and discriminant validity of the new factors. The MITAG offers a concept-based short scale for researchers and practitioners.
Rita Berger
added an update
Improving mental health at work: IMPRESS Stress Management training course rolled out in Riga, Latvia, 7-9 October 2019. 
IMPRESS project. Under the slogan 'Excellence & Resilience building through the IMPRESS Self-Assessment Tools', practitioners from various industries engaged vigorously in an insightful training course held by IMPRESS Project Partners LMU and EFQM Licenses Advisor. The participants were shown how to boost the mental health of their employees by smoothly implementing the IMPRESS Self-Assessment into European Excellence Models of auto evaluation. 
For more information, visit our website: http://www.excellence-in-stress-management.eu/
 
Rita Berger
added an update
The 19thconference of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) from 29thof May to 1stof June in Turin, Italy was dedicated to the topic “Working for the greater good – Inspiring people, designing jobs and leading organizations for a more inclusive society”. It was addressed to people with academic background mainly from different areas of psychology where research in the area of work and organizational psychology is discussed.
In a poster with the title “Cultural differences in the perception of stress” by Erika Spieß, Julia Reif and Katharina Pfaffinger from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Rita Berger and Jan Philipp Czakert from the Universidad de Barcelona we presented analyses of data from the first IMPRESS stress survey with regard to country specific effects and therefore also contributed to the dissemination of project results in an academic surrounding. The topic fits perfectly in the mission of the conference as it also makes it possible to incorporate culture and country specific differences in interventions and therefore contributes to a more inclusive society which takes into account country specific differences. We experienced interesting and fruitful conversations about potential future collaborations and opportunities for further research.
Katharina Pfaffinger and Rita Berger
 
Rita Berger
added an update
Just to draw your attention to the award our IMPRESS project received:
IMPRESS project awarded with accessit prize in the 8ª Edición de los Premios Mutualia (Spain) the 14th of November 2018. In the context of the 8ª Edición de los Premios Mutualia (Spain), IMPRESS project was presented and awarded with accessit prize in the field of Innovative projects: https://lnkd.in/gMHA8Ax
 
Rita Berger
added an update
On November 10th 2018, Prof. Erika Spieß was invited as speaker at the 18th“Münchner Wissenschaftstage” (Munich Science Days) which is a four day event with different events and offers for a broad target audience ranging from children to adults who are interested in science. This year’s main topic was “Working environments – Ideas for a better future” and Prof. Spieß was talking about digitalization as poison and also introduced the IMPRESS project as well as first results of our Stress Assessment Prototype Survey. There was a high interest in the topic and the discussion that followed the talk of Prof. Spieß was very vivid and stimulating: http://www.excellence-in-stress-management.eu/category/news/
 
Rita Berger
added an update
The 6th and 7the of September the IMPRESS project consortium celebrated successfully the third project meeting at the University of Barcelona. The IMPRESS project is funded by the Erasmus+ programe of the European Union (588315-EPP-1-2017-1-ES-EPPKA2-KA) under the Knowledge Alliance K1
The aims of the meeting were:
- to look on the first survey results
- to design the intervention framework
It is foreseen to publish soon the first public results.
 
Rita Berger
added a research item
Technology is reaching all areas of our lives. The fact that technology is already part of our daily routine causes that people have to adapt to these changes quickly, and to keep up with these fast advances of the ICT's, people have to update their knowledge and skills, and it can produce technostress. Studies have found that technostress has a negative impact on both the health of people and their productivity. The present work aims to identify the emergence of technostress among administrative staff. 294 administrative employees from the University of Barcelona answered the standardized Media Use questionnaire that measures usage frequency, media skills, technostress, socio-demographic factors and feelings on media usage. The socio-demographic variables age, gender, and skills were analyzed to find out whether these variables, as some previous literature had suggested, had some influence on the technostress perception. The results in our case showed that there is no significant difference in perceiving technostress between men and women. At the same time, we found that older people perceive more technostress than young people and that with increasing level of IT skills the participants perceived less technostress. The results are an important piece of information for the human resources departments. They indicate possible ways to fight technostress such as to invest into courses or trainings for the employees, to the older ones in the first place.
Rita Berger
added an update
Stress avoidance at work and sustainable organizational development in European company: New web page:
 
Rita Berger
added 8 research items
The world of work and organizations has undergone a radical transformation in recent years: nowadays there are much more uncertainty. The organizational response has been to design more sophisticated organization based on teams. But not all the tasks require teamwork and not all workgroups are really teams. In this paper, we review the research we have been doing to clarify how to understand the tasks group uncertainty, the level of group development that can meet the teams and how the fit between each other (the larger tasks uncertainty can be approached better in teams) is central to the team effectiveness. We also offer guidelines for professional intervention in order to design and manage effective work teams.
This study aimed to clarify the validity of the short scale of Transformational Leadership used by the Human System Audit (short HSA-TFL). The need of today’s enterprises for combined assessment of transformational leadership and quality-related performance in wider contexts requires short instruments based on scientific research. Convergent, construct and criterion validity of the short HSA-TFL were analyzed. Comparison of the short HSA-TFL with the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X) showed high convergent validity. Exploratory factor analysis with hospital workers in Spain (N=625) showed the single factor structure of the Spanish version of the HSA-TFL. Confirmatory factor analysis using three further samples of hospital workers (N= 776) from different european countries confirmed a single factor. As regards criterion validity, the results indicated that the short HSA-TFL is positively related in all four countries to subjective performance. In sum, the results provide empirical evidence for the validity of the short HSA-TFL scale.
The aim of this research is to examine the psychometric properties of a Spanish version of the Human System Audit transformational leadership short-scale (HSA-TFL-ES). It is based on the concept of Bass developed in 1985. The HSA-TFL is a part of the wider Human System Audit frame. We analyzed the HSA-TFL-ES in five different samples with a total number of 1,718 workers at five sectors. Exploratory Factor Analysis corroborated a single factor in all samples that accounted for 66% to 73% of variance. The internal consistency in all samples was good ( α = .92 - .95). Evidence was found for the convergent validity of the HSA-TFL-ES and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. These results suggested that the HSA-TFL short-scale is a psychometrically sound measure of this construct and can be used for a combined and first overall measurement.
Rita Berger
added an update
Rita Berger
added an update
Kick-off meeting for the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances 2017 projects that was held in Brussels on the 30th January 2018 together with the “thematic cluster meeting” held in Brussels the 31st January and 1stFebruary.
 
Rita Berger
added a project reference
Rita Berger
added 2 research items
Purpose Healthcare employees have challenging working conditions that can lead to stress and health problems. Researchers have long established a link between nurses' role stressors and work-­‐related strains, but there is little literature on the effects of social support with the occupational stressors and strains at international level. The aims of this study are: to examine the association between role stressors, strain, supervisor and coworkers social support in different cultures and whether there are cross-­‐cultural differences in the buffer effect of different types of social support. Design/Methodology. 379 nurses across U.S., Germany, and Spain answered questionnaires on role conflict, anxiety, turnover intention and supervisor and coworkers' social support. Results showed positive correlation between role conflict, anxiety and turnover intention in all three countries. Regression analysis revealed a significant buffer effect for supervisor support in the U.S.; no type of social support had a buffer effect in Germany, and only coworker support was found had a buffer effect in Spain. Limitation. Results should be tested in diverse countries and with longitudinal design to get a deeper knowledge on the role of culture and causal inferences. Research/Practical Implications. Results suggest, that the stressor strain relationship is the same in all three countries, meanwhile coping show cross-­‐cultural differences in what type of social support acts as moderator in the stressor-­‐strain relationship. Originality/Value. This study increases existing knowledge on social support in organizations in regards to occupational stress indicating that depending on the culture organizations benefit from focusing on diverse types of social support.
Aim: To examine the extent to which leadership styles: transformational or laissez-faire, invariantly set the tone for the stressors nurses in Spain and USA perceive, as well as the strains (anxiety and turnover intention) they report. We hypothesized that laissez-faire leadership has a positive relationship and transformational leadership has a negative relationship with strains. Furthermore, we expected that role overload would mediate the leadership style-strain relationship. Paper-pencil questionnaires were administered to 500 nurses twice with a 2-month separation in Spain and a 4-week separation in the USA. Results support both hypotheses, thus providing greater insight into how the leadership style impacts nurses’ perceived work demands and well-being.
Rita Berger
added a project goal
The purpose of the European project IMPRESS is to enable business professionals to gain a perspective on work related stress issues. This includes how they impact in all aspects of the business including management style, cost of absenteeism, work organization and organizational structure, work-life balance, demographic changes, the upgrading of unskilled and skilled workers, information overflow, stress caused by poor fit with physical and mental health issues.
The major focus is on how young people have to be prepared in order to sustain their health and their employment until retirement in an economic situation where changing employers and sectors is becoming part of a regular employment history.
The objectives of the project are to develop and validate an innovative toolset allowing identifying and dealing with stress related issues in organizations and to support them with new training materials in solving the identified problems.
IMPRESS will incorporate this educational model into existing programmes for (young) professionals who work closely with personnel systems as well as for existing practitioners.