Astrid Homan, professor of Organisational Psychology
Dr A.C. Homan (b. 1979) has been appointed professor of Organisational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG).
Astrid Homan’s research focuses on how groups can perform and collaborate effectively. She looks at topics such as how leadership, power and hierarchy can influence group processes. A major focus of her research is diversity in teams, and how you can take advantage of group diversity. She is also interested in the role of norm violating behaviour in the acquisition of power and how morality plays a role in the development of hierarchical structures.
Managing demographic change at work
As professor, Homan will be focusing on the challenges which demographic change will pose for organisations. The tensions and problems in today’s society which coincide with demographic developments (such as immigration and ageing) also affect our working lives. Important themes are, for example, the effective cooperation of people with very different backgrounds and the creation of a workforce which reflects society on all hierarchical levels. One topic Homan will focus on in the context of these themes is the stimulation of effective non-prototypical leadership. People have a typical image of an effective leader, and an important research question is how individuals who do not meet that image can climb the hierarchical ladder, and how they can be encouraged to apply for management positions.
In addition, differences are not always managed equally well, and in this context, Homan will continue her research into uncovering the conditions under which diversity training and other diversity initiatives are effective. Finally, there are several ways in which the skills of leaders and staff to effectively deal with diversity can be developed. In her research, several types of these skills will be identified in order to inform organisations (as well as training programmes) on how these skills can be developed and stimulated.
Homan also provides training in the area of group processes, leadership and power in the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Research Master’s degree programmes in Work and Organisational Psychology.
Homan has worked at the UvA since 2012, as senior university lecturer from 2014. She was a visiting professor at the Columbia Business School in New York and at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2015, Homan received an Aspasia scholarship, an initiative of the Ministry for Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, NWO) and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (Vereniging van universiteiten in Nederland, VSNU), to stimulate the flow of excellent female university lecturers to the level of senior university lecturer or professor. She acquired several grants, including a Research Talent Grant from the NWO and a Mozaïek grant (in 2010) for her research into the under-representation of ethnic minorities in leadership positions. She has published many articles in reputable scientific journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal and Perspectives on Psychological Science.