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EAWOP Award to professor Robert Roe, first president of EAWOP


EAWOP Award for the life long career contribution awarded to professor Robert Roe, first president of EAWOP

Address presenting the award to Prof. Roe at the closing ceremony of the XV EAWOP Congress Mastricht, May 28th, 2011).

By José M. Peiró, former President of EAWOP.

Dear colleagues, dear friends, Dear Robert

It is for me a great honor and pleasure to present prof. Robert Roe in this occasion when the Executive Committee of EAWOP, has decided to recognize his outstanding contribution, all along his really fruitful career, to the Development Work and Organizational Psychology in Europe as a science and as a profession and to its social identity and institutionalization.

It is a large number of contributions from Robert Roe that are now recognized. I think we all agree that European Work and Organizational Psychology would not have reached its current development without the contributions, direct and indirect, of Robert Roe. He played a crucial role in the institutionalization of our discipline in Europe during the last decades of the 20th century, through ENOP and EAWOP. His contribution has been outstanding

- During the last three decades of the 20th century, he made an amazing contribution to strengthening the identity of European Work and Organizational Psychology, improving the education of its professionals, contributing to the research in several areas, promoting scientific and professional communication, and setting the standards to guarantee the quality of the professional practice.

In many ways, Robert has contributed to increase the human and social capital of the profession and science in our discipline. He greatly contributed to developbonding social capital and networks all across Europe and stimulating the relationships as well as bridging social capital among European scholars and professionals and those from other regions of the world. He also created connections across disciplines, scientific approaches and research and professional roles.

It would be impossible here to analyse these contributions in the different areas where he has been active and fruitfully productive.

His research has been seminal in many ways in central fields of our discipline such as selection, motivation, work activity, new technologies, Time in work and organization, performance and well- being, etc.

He often made relevant contributions inspiring others research and challenging the established approaches. Looking at his invited addresses in many congresses it is not difficult to see it: “Less variables, more time”, work psychology as a fundamental science, more direct scores analysis less variance and covariance, or challenging the meaning of cross cultural analysis, less talking and more doing in professional practice. Often, after his keynote in different international congresses I met people that said that his contributions were really inspiring and challenging for them.

His contribution has also been outstanding in the education area: Since the beginning of ENOP he was involved in the elaboration of the European reference Model for WOP. He was also involved in the organization of the European Summer Schools on New technologies and work. He has been deeply involved in the development of The Europsy Certificate in its different stages and during the last period as President of EFPA.

Let me also to thank him on behalf of the consortium of universities organizing the European Erasmus Mundus Master program because he has made enormous contributions for the success of the cooperating every year in our Winter school and serving as President of the Advisory Committee.

Given that we are here in the 15 EAWOP Congress it is important to pay special attention to his essential contribution for the existence and development of these congresses. He was the president of the First North West European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology held at Nijmegen in 1983 and he continued in the group that took the responsibility ot organize it every two years. During the Vth Congress held at Rouen, in 1991 he was elected the first President of the EAWOP and he provided strong support, together with Karel de Witte, Secretary of EAWOP to organize the VIth (Alicante, 1993) and the VII (Gyor, 1995) Congresses, at that time already the Congress of the EAWOP.

It is interesting to note that first it was the Congress and then the Association. This is a sign of a collective project excellently leaded. In the creation of EAWOP the contribution of Robert has been essential. Without any doubt we can acknowledge him as the founder of EAWOP. I still remember the four round tables that a group of people had during the 1989 and 1990 to prepare the design and statutes of EAWOP and its launch. You probably have noticed that EAWOP was designed in a way that promotes several important values: 1) The balance between individual and Organizations (constituents), integrating different groups and associations from a large number of countries; 2) the cooperation between scientists and practitioners, 3) the respect and value of different perspectives and approaches from different countries and regions of Europe, 4) the culture of appreciation of the contributions and value from the different groups of psychologists in different regions and 5) a culture that places strong emphasis in identifying and acknowledging the contributions of different groups

Specially, at the beginning of the nineties he put a great effort to create links and bridges between eastern and western countries (See the Chapter on Psychology in Eastern European countries published in the International review of I/O psychology). He also impelled in our association an attitude of open dialogue with associations in other regions of the world (IAAP, SIOP, ...).

His contribution was also remarkable in the launch of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology in Cooperation with IAAP and making it the Official journal of EJWOP. And he has continued being supportive all along of the existence of EAWOP till present

You will agree with me that his contributions for more than 30 years have produced excellent and outstanding outputs in many different areas. But those of us that who have had the luck of working with him in different projects (by the way a large number of people) also know other type of contributions that we appreciate very much. We learned from him how to promote group work and cooperation by creating the conditions where all the participants feel valuable, valued and willing to contribute to the common objective. His style of leadership is flexible and respectful at the time that enables commitment and involvement in the group members. His dedication, engagement and generosity have often been an example and a driving force for the rest of the group. Building trust is one of his ‘secrets’ to getting relational psychological contracts between the members of the group and his very sensitive and kind ways of empowering people has created great synergies among the participants in the projects.

I also would like to outline his orientation toward the future, his proactive attitude and his visionary approach. Entrepreneurship (not only in business but also in the social context) is featured as the ability to identify seminal ideas and their value for future outcomes. It is also defined as the capacity to raise resources and stimulate others’ willingness to contribute with their resources and cooperation. In my view, Robert Roe is a social entrepreneur.

In occasions, such as the present one, where an Association wants to honour one of its most outstanding members, it is important that those who contribute to this event provide it with sense and meaning, not just to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of the person honoured, but also to point out important social values he has followed in his personal and social life. These contributions and values may serve to inspire the activities of other people in their efforts toward new achievements and social developments.

Many thanks, Robert for all your contributions. We look forward for more in the future.