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Institut d'Investigació en Psicologia dels Recursos Humans,  del Desenvolupament Organitzacional i de la Qualitat de Vida Laboral (Community Psychology Research Institute)

On 30 January 2008, the Governing Council of Universitat de València (UV) aproved the creation of Institut d'Investigació en Psicologia dels Recursos Humans,  del Desenvolupament Organitzacional i de la Qualitat de Vida Laboral (Community Psychology Research Institute). This project is intended to foster research from an academic setting to improve both quality of life and working environment organisation.

With this kind of proposals, launched by Universitat de València, by creating an institution with this features. This not only ensures promoting and encouraging psychological research, but also supports the application of knowledge and tools that psychology can provide in many different areas of society such as labor life quality and improving the functioning of organisations in the field of work.

Research in Working Psychology and Organisations in our country has become dominant, in the last decades, in universities departments and, frequently, in relatively small groups in its beginning. During the last years, research groups have been shaped and established in a large number of universities about this issue. Projects subsidised by competitive calls have been undertaken and also doctoral thesis. In addition, the publication level is increasing, as has been proved in various publications on collaboration with professor Munduate about the development of Psychology of Work and Organisations in Spain.

However, current demands, network cooperation with the european research centres and the strong competition in obtaining resources requiere big research units and enough critical mass to deal projects of certain importance in the multidisciplinar context and in various areas, and, also, in the scientific field: basic research, research and development, evaluation and provision of services in other companies. Moreover, this requires to create qualified contexts for training the researchers in the quality programmes. It also needs international projection.

These are the main functions of a University Institution that intends to provide a friendly and quality interface with the required potential for the generation and transference of knowledge. This need is also present in the working environment and in the companies, in the aspects most directly related to people that integrate them and their organisational system. In view of this fact, and taking into account the development conducted in this field in our university, its governing body has seen the need to create an Institute of this kind.

Community Psychology Research Institute aims to have greater scope of action together with other newly created measures. Psychology of Organisations and Work Research  Unit, that was created more than 25 years ago, has currently more than 20 full time researchers, various technicians and 12 research interns. Furthermore, has a long background in cooperation with a teacher’s group in Methodology of Behaviour Sciences.

This unit constitutes the basis of the creation of IDOCAL (Community Psychology Research Institute). It was known by  the  Valencian government (Generalitat Valenciana) as an excellence research group nearly a decade ago. The unit has been coordinating, for more than five years, the Interuniversity Doctoral Programme in Work and Organisation Psychology developed with other 4 spanish universities (Barcelona, Complutense de Madrid, Sevilla and Jame I) that has work since the beginning with the distinguised Quality reference from the Ministry of Education and Science. It has earned the recognition of the European Union with the approval of the Master Erasmus Mundus in Psychology of Work,  Organisations and Human Resources, coordinating a consortium comprised of other 4 european universities (Barcelona, Bolonya, Coïmbra and Paris 5). The National Commission for Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education and Science supported a project Consoledir Eix C (for 5 years), what entails a recognition of the research quality and new challenges in the research activity.

Now, with this new Institute, other groups, that also have an extensive and qualified research experience, integrated into a joint project. Thus, we rely on a research group in Psychobiology of the stress, another one related to the development of professional careers and vocacional counselling and a third about market research with a wide research activity in the quality of services and client satisfaction.  With this enhancements, we have a group of more than 50 researchers, whereof 15 are in the training stage through doctorate programmes introduced in the Institute. Among the actions considered to continue or begin we should emphasized the development of various ongoing research project and, alternatively, the research strategy plan implementation for the first four years.

On the other hand, the establishment of the Master Erasmus Mundus has continued and also the new Doctoral programme, that incorporated the European convergence guidelines and the new legislation on the matter. Thirdly, it was established a system which allows boosting the research and development to handle the companies demands and other institutions with which the Community Psychology Research Institute has cooperative relationship. Finally, it aims at consolidation international relations.

The challenge of creating joint degrees, together with the need to strengthen the network collaboration with the other research centres from the european countries and other parts, are aspects that the Institute will devote attention.

With regard to the research, for the next four years, Community Psychology Research Institute poses the following research areas, each consisting of various financed projects:  1) Strategy and management of organizational change, 2) environment in the organisations, 3) working groups and information and communication technologies, 4) diversity in working units, 5) safety culture in highly reliable sociotechnical complex systems , and 6) quality of service, client relationship and user satisfaction.