Campus hosts successful Industrial and Organisational Psychology Research Day
The Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology (IOPS) - within the Faculty of Humanities at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), recently hosted a very successful Research Day on the campus.
This year’s IOP Research Day was coordinated under the auspices of the Optentia Research Focus Area and represented the second instalment of this annual event designed to showcase the variety of research activities being conducted within the department. The day attracted researchers with similar areas of interest from other South African universities including: North-West University (Vaal); University of the Western Cape (UWC); University of Stellenbosch (US); University of Pretoria (UP); University of Johannesburg (UJ); University of the Witwatersrand (WITS); University of Cape Town (UCT) and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).
During the event, various speakers took to the podium to share with the audience their diverse and prominent research projects. The topics raged from Organisational Behaviour and Psychology, Leadership; Positive Psychology; Occupational Health and Well-being; Emotional Intelligence; Personality, etc.
Since the research day’s inception in 2015, the key objective of the day is to provide a platform from where academics and researchers can showcase their work and also engage in discussion with their peers and other institutions of higher learning. In a nutshell the research day offers participants the opportunity to share new innovative approaches to research as well as the opportunity to foster future research collaborations.
Through this initiative, the department is responding to a call made by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in 2012, urging more inter-institutionary research amongst universities to further promote the development of South Africa’s knowledge based economy. Most international funded institutions also require inter-institutional as well as international collaboration in order to be considered for future grants.
According to Prof Llewellyn van Zyl, the originator of the day, the purpose of the research day is to create a conducive environment in which researchers can elaborate on the various niche areas they busy themselves with and to determine whether there are similarities and variances with regards to current and future research projects.
“In an effort to increase national collaborations amongst universities, it is imperative that all similar subjects and departments should share their expertise and research development plans,” says Prof Van Zyl.
In her address, the campus rector (acting), Prof Linda Du Plessis gave the guests an overview of the campus and its role within the broader higher education sector. She also highlighted several challenges facing the sector. The importance of conducting innovative and relevant research remains, according to Prof Du Plessis, the heartbeat of any university. “Cutting edge research is one of the pillars of our institution”, said Prof Du Plessis and added that researchers are the frontrunners in the race to the future.