The ambition of this research group is to use practice-based research to support organisations in creating, organising and maintaining decent work opportunities. We strive to contribute to economic self-reliance and self-esteem, in particular for people who occupy a vulnerable position on the labour market.

Lines of research within the research group

Our ambition is to contribute to an inclusive society by way of conducting practice-based research. How can organisations and municipalities best support people who occupy a vulnerable position on the labour market, in such a way that they are able to (re)gain full and durable participation?

With this line of research, we aim to support employers in creating such inclusive and valuable work opportunities. To this end, we are looking into what is needed to make work meaningful for both the employer and the employee. We also give explicit attention to the position of refugees on the labour market, and to people who are (temporarily) in a vulnerable position due to psychological complaints or psychiatric problems.

The world of labour is undergoing rapid change. Technological developments and the flexibilisation of the labour market are placing demands on employees to develop new skills. Organisations are facing the challenge of ensuring that their employees can continue to function without becoming overworked, while simultaneously achieving the desired results.

This line of research focuses on social innovation in organisations, while remaining attentive to mental health and the human dimension in work. We are studying ways in which to innovate and change organisations and work processes, with the aim of both maintaining high productivity and nurturing (mentally) healthy employees who are able to continue to develop their skills.



The research group collaborates with students and lecturers from the Institute for People & Business and the Institute for Social Work.

We use the results of our research in education for the Human Resource Management (HRM) programme, including for the minor ‘Inspired employees, healthy organisations’ and for the graduation studio ‘Workload in healthcare’. The knowledge obtained from our research helps students to become better professionals. The research group also contributes to the redesign of HRM programmes and the development of new master's and post-bachelor's programmes, such as the Master Community Development and the Master Data Driven Business.

Man and woman talking in a bike shed Marjdan Seighali

“Employers are looking for good employees and qualified candidates are looking for work. But how do they find each other? We have decades of experience with this question, yet research into what really works is limited and fragmented. Together with the research group, we aim to develop practical and substantiated tools and knowledge to ensure that refugees are able to find work, remain employed and further develop their skills. Everyone benefits from this in the end.”

Mardjan Seighali Director of UAF


To realise our ambitions, we collaborate with various employers and organisations; they are indispensable for creating and sustaining inclusive work. These include:

  • The Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten (Foundation for Refugee Students) UAF, which co-finances the special research group ‘Promoting sustainable labour participation of refugees’
  • Various social enterprises and other partners from the Groei in impact (Growth in impact) project, including University of Applied Sciences Windesheim, management consultancy firm Berenschot, Start Foundation, the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, Social Enterprise NL, and the Social Impact Factory.
  • Breed Platform Arbeid
  • CARPE partners (Horizon 2020 COSIE project)

Our professors and researchers

Leendert de Bell | Researcher | Organising Decent Work

Leendert de Bell

Professor Decent Work Show profile
Josje Dikkers

Josje Dikkers

Professor Decent Work Show profile
Joost van Andel 2

Joost van Andel

Researcher Decent Work Show profile
Linda Bakker | Researcher | Decent Work

Linda Bakker

Researcher Decent Work Show profile

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Monique Cillessen

  • Senior Management Assistent