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Meet our visitor, Professor Fred Zijlstra

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

We miss our visitors here at the Centre!

Each year, we host a number of international scholars to collaborate with CTWD researchers and help advance work design research. This year, our visitors had to unexpectedly return to their home countries after their stay was cut short due to the pandemic.

It was sad to see our talented visitors leave and we can't wait for them to return. In the meantime, we have put together a "Meet our Visitors" series, where we interviewed our past visitors and get to know them better.

Meet Professor Fred Zijlstra. He is the Head of IO Psychology at Maastricht University and Director of the Centre of Expertise Inclusive Organisations.

We asked Fred on what he thinks about the following topics, and about himself:

⭐️Tell me a bit about yourself?

I am from the Netherlands, and work at Maastricht University, and am here in Perth for my sabbatical leave. In my free time I want to see a bit more of Australia than just Perth. So, after exploring the city I travelled around South, North, East, and even a bit to the West (Rottnest Island).

⭐️What will you do / are you doing at CTWD / FOWI?

At FOWI I’m working on a book, and probably one or two papers, describing how work design not only affects peoples motivation to work; but in fact, also relates to the social security system of a country. Work design determines who has access to the labour market and who has not.

⭐️What does the future of work look like to you?

Digitalisation of work will have even greater effects than it has now, and this will make work

more complex and (mentally) demanding, and even ‘absorbing’. So, we need to think about its countermeasures: how can we wear off the increasing demands of work, and ensure that in the future everybody will be able to participate, and that life is still worth living.

⭐️If you were a book or a movie, what would it be?

I don’t think of myself as a book or movie, but a movie that I would want everybody to see is: “Sorry we missed you” by Ken Loach. This movie shows us what kind of society we live in, and what it means when Amazon, Alibaba, and Uber are getting more powerful; because we buy everything on the internet.

⭐️One thing not many people know about you?

I love sailing, preferably sea sailing. I did a lot of dinghy sailing as well, even won prizes, when I was a bit younger.

We welcome visits from organisational psychology researchers from all around the world. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please visit

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