Dean's Master Class: research theme 'Work'

April 9, 2015

Event Information

Type: Master Class

Date: April 9 (Thursday) 2015

Time: 12.15 - 17.00 (walk-in lunch 12.15 - 12.45)

Location: EUR Woudestein campus (map, pdf), Van der Goot building (M), room 'Aberdeen' (M3-03).

Enrolment: free for Graduate School members
(before Thursday, April 2)


Telephone: +31 (0)10 40 82607

The third edition of the Dean's Master Class will focus on the research theme 'Work'. Professor and Graduate School Dean Liesbet van Zoonen has again chosen a theme which cuts across disciplines and asked four distinguished EUR scholars, from three academic fields, to present their research on the theme. Those four disciplines are: Media and CommunicationPsychology, Public Administration and Sociology.

The master class is a highly interactive event, consisting of a combination of presentations, discussions and assignments. During the afternoon, PhD students will work in groups towards presenting a draft research proposal on 'Work'. The best proposal will be awarded 'The Dame'; the Dean’s Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence.

Read the retrospective of the first master class for an impression of the afternoon’s set-up.

The Dean’s Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence was awarded to Anil Kumar Palakodeti (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies), Andrea Reina-Tamayo (Psychology) and Qiaomei Yang (Public Administration).

Speakers Dean's Master Class on 'Work'

Associate Professor Erik Hitters

Media and Communication

Erik Hitters is Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Industries at the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has co-founded and is director of ERMeCC, the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture.

Title presentation: "Creative labour: work in the creative industries"

The question of labour in the media and creative industries has been little explored in the media, communication and cultural studies and the sociology of culture. Due to the recent attention for the 'creative industries', there is renewed attention for the nature of creative work. The assumption is that creativity requires different working conditions than "regular" work. Creative industries' policies seem especially focused on the increase of creative employment, based on expanding the conditions for symbolic creativity. In response, a number of analysts have pointed to serious problems with regard to jobs and professions in these industries, such as uncertainty and 'precariousness'. 

In this lecture we will critically assess the specificities of creative labour, the conditions under which it may thrive and identify possible drawbacks to creative employment.

Required reading:
Hesmondhalgh, D. & Baker, S. (2010). 'A very complicated version of freedom': Conditions and experiences of creative labour in three cultural industries. Poetics, 38.1: 4-20.
Available online

Marise Ph. Born is Professor of Personnel Psychology and Chair of the Institute of Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is also Endowed Professor of Industrial and Personnel Psychology at VU University Amsterdam.

Title presentation: "Prediction of work performance: expert judgment or mechanically?"

This presentation focuses on a classic theme within personnel psychology: should the prediction of work performance during personnel selection be done by expert judgment or mechanically? In other words, is a subjective or an objective combination of scores of applicants into a prediction more valid? A recent meta-analysis on this contest  will be discussed with implications for the practice of personnel selection.

Required reading:
Kuncel, N. et al. (2013) Mechanical Versus Clinical Data Combination in Selection and Admissions Decisions: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98.6: 1060-1072.
Available upon registration

Associate Professor Laura den Dulk

Public Administration

Laura den Dulk is Associate Professor of Public Administration. Her main area of expertise is cross-national research regarding work-life policies in organisations in different welfare state regimes. Since 2010, she has been became editor of the international journal Community, Work and Family

Her current research interests include the role of managers, work-life balance support in the public sector and the social quality in European workplaces. She participated in various EC research projects, for instance: 'Quality of life in a changing Europe' (QUALITY), and 'Gender, Parenthood and the Changing European Workplace: young adults negotiating the work-family boundary' (TRANSITIONS).

Required reading:
Abendroth, A. & Dulk, L. den (2011). Support for the work-life balance in Europe: the impact of state, workplace and family support on work-life balance satisfaction. Work, employment & Society, 25.2: 234-256.
Available online

Ferry Koster is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Endowed Professor of Innovative Collaboration at TIAS School for Business and Society (Van Spaendonck Chair).

Title presentation: "Work and the welfare state"

In the field of comparative welfare state studies, researchers tend to focus on the macro level (e.g. social policies organised through the government) and the micro level (e.g. individual welfare state support). Interactions between employers and employees, constituting the meso level, have been largely ignored in this literature.

In this lecture, I will show how (formal and informal) relationships between employers and employees may be relevant for understanding welfare state developments.

Required reading:
Koster, F. & Paskov, M. (2014). Institutions, employment insecurity and polarization in support for unemployment benefits. Journal of European Social Policy, 24.4: 367-382.
Available online