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Our research projects

To increase knowledge about inclusive organisations, we organise and guide a variety of development and research projects.

icoon arbeidsvermogen

Assessment & monitoring of work capacity and workplace learning

This dissertation maps out how the work capacity of people with limited work capacity can be measured, and how their development during work can be monitored. The target group is a very diverse group of people with a large variety of competencies that do not match the labor market requirements. For that reason, they often cannot find and keep work independently. This research focuses on identifying the psychological and personal characteristics of this group of people, which are characteristics known in science as important predictors of work behavior and task performance. This research is of added value because now the work capacity of the target group can be mapped out with validated measures, in contrast to mapping out their bio-medical incapacity that still prevails within social security. This research has resulted in the validation of the Maastricht Work Capacity Monitor (MW©M), an instrument that can facilitate not only the inclusion but also the development during work of the target group, thus ‘to go beyond inclusion’.

Read more in the disseration:

Inclusion and beyond. Assessment and monitoring development of the work capacity of people with limited work capacity

Re-integration without borders

In this research project, subsidised by ZonMw (a Dutch organisation promoting healthcare research and innovation), CIAO researches the added value of using an innovative approach to re-integration into different organisations. After a long period of sick leave, re-integration is often unsuccessful. The goal of the innovative approach is a higher success rate for re-integration, which in turn would result in retaining more people in the labour market.

For our research, we compare the innovative approach as implemented in three healthcare organisations to the standard approach to re-integration into another organisation. Re-integration consultants within these organisations are pivotal to the innovative condition. The accompanying research explores what the innovative approach to re-integration can teach us.

Caring instead of cleaning

Cleaning is hard work, which is why the absenteeism rate is high among cleaners. Returning to their own profession is often impossible and re-integrating into different work proves difficult as their capacities don’t match work supply. This leads to permanent unemployment for people who still have valuable potential to work. In times of labour shortages, this underutilisation of labour potential is a missed opportunity.

The healthcare sector is dealing with a shortage of qualified healthcare personnel. Ideally, these qualified professionals should be able to focus on tasks they are specifically qualified to do. However, in actual practice they perform a lot of tasks that don’t require any healthcare qualifications at all, thereby underutilising their labour potential as well.

This project applies Participative and Inclusive Work Redesign (IWR) in the healthcare sector. We hope to bring to light how and to what degree the IWR approach may help boost re-integration in a different sector of work (‘proof of concept’).

Sustainable employability

We perform research to find out which factors influence working people’s sustainable employability. Sustainable employability is defined as someone’s ability to function well at work and within the labour market long-term. People should not be harmed by their work. How, though, is sustainable employability determined, and how can it be improved?

More information may be found here:

Caught somewhere in time: Conceptualizing, measuring, and predicting sustainable employability 

Workplace inclusion of mentally vulnerable people

Mentally vulnerable people are less likely to have paid jobs when compared to the rest of the population. Individual Placement and Support (IPS) has proven to be an effective intervention when guiding these people towards regular jobs. Whereas IPS focuses on the individual and their trajectory (supply driven approach), IWR, Inclusive Work Redesign, focuses on the inclusive organisation by designing work in such a way that it fits people who are unable to participate in the current labour market (demand driven approach). By performing research, we want to gain more insight in clients’ experiences and examine whether combining IPS and IWR will contribute more to sustainable employment, work-related skills and recovery for this group of people than IPS alone.

icoon welkom

Inclusive organisations

For most Dutch organisations, their primary reason to (re)design work for people who are unable to participate in the current labour market independently is to meet the criteria of the ‘Banenafspraak’. Later on, it often turns out that social innovation provides added value to the organisation in more ways than one. Several pilots have shown that results vary by organisation. By doing research in the field, we try to gain insight into the critical factors that determine the success of these kinds of social innovation.

You may read the most recent publications concerning inclusive organisations here:

icoon team


We perform research to find out which factors influence whether an employee who is unable to participate in the current labour market independently will be socially accepted within a group of colleagues. What is acceptance, how should we define it? Which factors influence acceptance (at work)?

More information may be found here:

Factors Affecting the Acceptance of People with Disabilities at Work: A Literature Review 

icoon ondersteuning

Organisational climate

We perform research to figure out which conditions need to be met to let people who are unable to participate in the current labour market independently participate optimally. Sustainable employability for both this group and people already working is high on our agenda as well. We ask questions like: which building blocks are most useful for increasing workplace inclusion? Which factors are most likely to lead to sustainable integration?

More information may be found here:

Stress Impact

Stress Impact is a research study of Long Term Absence (LTA) from work due to stress related health problems.

Mental and behavioural disorders are currently in some countries (e.g. United Kingdom, The Netherlands) the most frequently mentioned reasons for long-term absence from work, and responsible for about a third of all long-term absenteeism (UK: DWP statistics, Nov. 2002). Stress is probably the most important underlying problem in this diagnostic category. Workers on long-term absence as a result of stress have a very low probability of returning to work. Current rehabilitation and return to work models are often developed on the basis of mainly physical conditions and as a result are ineffective in responding to the needs of workers experiencing long term absence as a result of stress related psychological problems.

This project focused on people who are long term absent from their work because of stress related mental health complaints.

Read more: Stress Impact