14 Social, Work and Organizational Psychology
Social psychology investigates cognitions, experiences and behaviour of humans in the social context. Work- and Organizational Psychology focuses on the theory, conditions and consequences of work.
The department of Social, Work and Organizational Psychology connects these areas of interest and aims to contribute to the creation of human oriented and efficient police functions. Bases for this work are social psychological knowledge (e.g., on communication, group processes, social perception and social identification, as well as on knowledge from the field of work and organizational psychology (e.g., leadership, connections between work-related stress and health, organizational development, personnel development and personnel selection).
From a psychological perspective we focus on central fields of police work: the interaction with citizens, the interaction between leaders and their team, and interactions within teams.
During the police-citizen interaction, the police are required to provide an excellent security service. Central tasks of leaders in a police context are motivating team members and guaranteeing effective teamwork.
Which environment has to be created to ensure that these tasks can be accomplished successfully? Which working conditions are beneficial, which are obstructive? How can goals and requirements of the police organization, leaders, employees and citizens be taken into account and combined?
The department of Social, Work and Organizational Psychology tackles these questions by investigating possible connections and causes and offers strategies and concepts to apply in practice.
The aim of our work is the enhancement of work results, increased job satisfaction, motivation, health and performance of members of the organization and an enhanced satisfaction of the public with the service provided by that organization.
Strategies are interventions on individual levels such as psychological personnel selection, performance appraisal, potential appraisal and training of social and emotional skills. On an organizational level possible interventions are measures for the improvements of organizational climate, the service orientation of the organisation, error management culture, and the human orientated design of functions and tasks.
Head of Department
The research focus of the department of Social, Work and Organizational Psychology is on the aspects of police work which are central from a psychological perspective: interactions between police officers and the public, between leader and team and within teams.
In the research project "Security as a Service" the organizational and personal environments for a citizen-centred and service oriented police work are examined.
Cooperation projects with national and international partners are envisaged.
The research project "Emotional work in the service sector" aims at exploring the effects of emotions at work on health and the wellbeing of employees, the efficiency of work processes and the perception of service quality. In cooperation with the police of Lower Saxony, the regulation of emotions of police officers in the interaction with citizens and the influence on citizen satisfaction is examined.
In a research project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Fund, emotional regulation processes in "simple" service occupations (e.g., in the field of healthcare and retailing) are examined. Findings from this research project are to be transferred in the context of police work.
In the research project "Emotions in leader-team interactions and teamwork" the role of rules for the handling of emotions (e.g., the rule that leaders should avoid negative emotions in interactions with team members), the role of emotional competencies in social interactions and the inspiring working of expressed emotions in teamwork and organisations are explored.
Further research projects in the field of Social, Work, and Organizational Psychology are to be planned in cooperation with members of the DHPol, the police services of the Länder (= German Federal states) and possible third-party funds.
The teaching of the department of Social, Work and Organizational Psychology focuses on imparting theoretical and methodological knowledge as well as on the reflection and the application of these matters in the context of police work. Students learn to develop and explore practice oriented research questions.
The teaching concept includes active participation of students and the creation of a learning context where skills can be acquired and applied. Senior police officers have the possibility to learn about their strengths and areas to improve and reflect their role and self understanding.
The concept aims at developing new knowledge which can be transferred and applied in the working practice of the new senior police officers.
"Police Management" (Courses Organization Theory and Personnel Management: total 53 LVS, lectures, seminars and case studies in the fields of Organizational Culture/Organizational Climate, Performance Appraisal, Personnel Selection)
"Criminality - Phenomenon and Intervention I" (Courses Subjective and Objective Security and Prevention of criminality as a societal task: total 18 LVS, lectures, seminars and panel discussions with experts in the field of subjective security from a psychological perspective, methodological aspects in the measurement of subjective security and fear of crime, surveys, evaluation of the project „Voluntary patrol duty (Freiwilliger Ordnungs- und Streifendienst)".