We invite you to share and discuss insights on the challenges and opportunities of working with diversity in social systems (teams, organizations, multiparty systems). It should come as no surprise that diversity is at the core of this year’s conference, as Romania is a country in which (historically) many dimensions of social diversity coexist. Although the topic for this year is the diversity of social systems and we particularly welcome papers on related topics, the conference is inclusive and welcomes research on teams and teamworking without disciplinary or methodological restrictions. Papers will be presented in parallel sessions organized around similar topics. The 23rd edition of IWOT features three keynote speakers who will tackle the challenges of diversity in social systems from different angles: Professor Astrid Homan (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Professor Sandra Schruijer (TIAS Business School & Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and Professor Smaranda Boroș (Vlerick Business School, Belgium).
Astrid Homan is Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam and in her research she explores how groups can effectively perform and work together. Within this broad theme, Astrid has addressed a number of different topics, such as the role of group diversity, and potential moderators, such as leadership, emotions, reflexivity, regulatory focus, and personality. Next to this work on groups, she is also interested in coordination between people in terms of power dynamics and leadership. Currently Astrid serves as the editor in chief of Organizational Psychology Review and she is member in the editorial boards of several top tier management and applied psychology journals. Her research published in journals like Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Science, is impactful and highly cited. At the 23rd edition of IWOT Astrid will give a keynote: “The challenges of working in and with diverse teams”.
Sandra Schruijer is Professor of Organizational Psychology at TIAS Business School and Professor of Organization Science at the Utrecht University School of Governance, Utrecht University and she teaches in the domain of interorganizational conflict and collaboration, organizational change and development and leadership. Her research aims to understand the social dynamics of multiparty collaboration, such as the role of diversity, trust and conflict. Her research uses a variety of research methods and designs and was published in journals like International Journal of Action Research, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology and Group Dynamics. Sandra heads Professional Development International, an institute that organizes professional development programmes and consults organizations and managers with respect to collaboration and large-scale change. At the 23rd edition of IWOT, Sandra will give a keynote titled: “Developing multiparty collaboration: A group dynamics approach”.
Smaranda Boroș is Professor of Intercultural Management and Organizational Behavior at Vlerick Business School, and her research interests focus on team dynamics (especially conflict in teams, group emotional intelligence, team creativity and effectiveness), diversity in teams, gender and management and finally organizational and group identification. She has published papers on these topics in journals such as the British Journal of Management, the British Journal of Social Psychology, the International Journal of Conflict Management, Social Psychology, the Journal of Managerial Psychology, the International Journal of Psychology and Group Dynamics. She has an extensive experience in executive education and coaching and worked in several countries on embedded management development interventions. At the 23rd edition of IWOT, Smaranda will give a keynote titled: “From ‘me’ to ‘we’ or from ‘we’ to ‘me’? Tensions of social identity and change across cultures”.
Smaranda Boroș will also be hosting the workshop “The third entity: developing empathy through systemic thinking“, dedicated to practicians. Empathy is a crucial asset in interpersonal relations. While most research and especially organizational interventions focus on individual empathy (i.e., manifested from one individual to another), systems thinking shifts this focus to group level. In this workshop, we explore through applied techniques how both groups and individuals can benefit from practicing empathy towards the system as a whole.