Header Image

Wilmar Schaufeli

Work & Organisational Psychology

Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands and KU Leuven, Belgium.

Occupational health in the 21st century; about work engagement


Despite its name, occupational health is traditionally concerned with ill-health and unwell-being.

That is, it focuses almost exclusively on the negative aspects of employee behavior in organizations and is concerned with damage, disease, disorder and disability. Since the emergence of positive psychology this traditional negative approach is supplemented by an emphasis on human strength and optimal functioning in organizations.

This key-note focuses on work engagement, one of the key-concepts of positive occupational health psychology that is defined as a positive state of fulfillment that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. In this address the concept of work engagement is discussed, and a state-of-the art overview is presented of research findings on the topic.

Special attention is given to interventions to promote work engagement, both at the individual as well as the organizational level. By doing so the practical relevance of work engagement is illustrated for a 21st century positive occupational health psychology.

Short Bio

Wilmar B. Schaufeli is full professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands (since 1994), and distinguished research professor at KU Leuven, Belgium (since 2014).

In addition, he is also visiting professor at Loughborough Business School, UK, and Jaume I Universitat, Castellon, Spain. He received his PhD from Groningen University (1989) and was affiliated as assistant professor of clinical psychology at that university as well (1978-1989). From 1989-1994 he was associate professor for Work and Organizational psychology at Nijmegen University. His main research field is occupational health psychology. In 2014 he was awarded ‘Highly Cited Researcher’ by Thomson Reuters in recognition of ranking among the top 1% of researchers in the field of psychology/psychiatry (profile page: www.wilmarschaufeli.nl).

Dr. Schaufeli is a fellow of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, a licensed occupational health psychologist, and also works part-time as an organizational consultant (www.3ihc.nl).


Work and Organisational Psychology