Promoting sustainable cooperation and social safety by monitoring organizational culture from the outside in

- the perspective of the labour authority

Inappropriate behavior in the workplace, such as bullying, aggression, violence, discrimination or sexual intimidation, as well as excessive work pressure, can lead to numerous physical, psychological and social complaints.

There is increasing attention to how the culture of organizations and leadership influence the experiences of social safety of employees. The Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA), a government agency responsible for monitoring policies on working conditions and compliance with labour laws and regulations, joins this effort in investigating and supervising the psychosocial workload (PSA) of employees, and what employers can do to combat PSA. Through this, the NLA aims to influence the culture within organizations through its supervision so that this leads to positive effects on the PSA of employees and their experiences of social safety.

The NLA is looking to improve its instruments to test employers' policies to combat PSA among employees. This has provided insight into the current state of affairs, but it has not yet been made sufficiently clear what is needed to improve any problem areas. It is also unknown how both organizations and supervisors can check whether measures intended to improve social safety actually have the desired effect.

In this project, together with the NLA, we examine how a diagnosis of bottlenecks and possible solutions can be provided for organizations with regard to social safety. Which elements of leadership development and 'culture' in the workplace are important? How can you reliably determine where things are not going well and why? What will it take to change that?




This PhD project is partly funded by the Netherlands Labour Authority and the project is part of the Sustainable Cooperation (SCOOP) program. The SCOOP program was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) in the context of its 2017 Gravity Programme.