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PhD Projects

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Noémie Brison

Supervisor : Gaetane Caesens

The PhD project aims at examining the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational dehumanization. It further seeks to identify the explaining mechanisms and the deleterious consequences of this relationship for employees as well as for organizations. It also aims at studying how employees belonging to minorities experience ostracism in organizational settings. 


Sarah Dekeyser

Supervisors : Vanessa Hanin and Gaëtane Caesens

In Europe and worlwide, the attrition rate among teachers is rising. One of the key determinants underlined is level of burnout. This PhD project focuses on the factor of pre-service teachers' occupational stress and burnout. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, the project aims to shed lights on the emotional competencies that influence level of stress, anxiety, and burnout during the practicum in pre-service teachers' curriculum.

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Gül Beril Kimilli

Supervisor : Corentin Hericher

In the contemporary landscape of corporate social responsibility and ethical conduct, the behavior of organizations carries substantial weight, not only in terms of their financial success but also in shaping their relationships with stakeholders and the wider society. An area of particular interest and concern is Corporate Social Irresponsibility (CSiR), where organizations engage in actions that violate moral standards, potentially causing harm to stakeholders. Understanding employees' emotional and behavioral responses to CSiR is essential, as it can influence their perceptions of the organization's behavior and, in turn, their own attitudes and behaviors towards their workplace. However, employees do not always react consistently or predictably to instances of CSiR, and various theoretical lenses are needed to elucidate this complexity. This doctoral project will explore the complex dynamics of employees' responses to CSiR, investigating the factors that influence the emotional and behavioral responses. Moreover, the study will employ three psychological theories: Construal Level Theory, Attribution Theory, and Cognitive Dissonance Theory, to examine the intricate interplay of psychological distance, the frequency and predictability of CSiR, and the internal conflicts employees may experience when responding to CSiR.

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Gaëlle Leman

Supervisors : Annalisa Casini, Vincent Yzerbyt

While a large body of literature has documented workplace discrimination against women or homosexual individuals, limited attention has been given to the experience of homosexual women. This PhD project aims to study, from and intersectional perspective, the impact of stereotypes and prejudices on discrimination against lesbians. Specifically, it investigates employability judgment, taking into account the gender-type and the level of power of the occupation. Moreover, this thesis seeks to evaluate the moderating role of the observers' characteristics as well as the prescriptive dimension of stereotypes (i.e., backlash effect) in relation to the targets' gender expression.

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Charlotte Rodriguez Conde

Supervisors : Florence Stinglhamber, Nele De Cuyper, Hans De Witte

During the Covid-19 pandemic, employers made extensive use of short-time work (STW) compensation schemes (sometimes called “temporary unemployment”). In Belgium alone, more than one million workers were affected by STW at the peak of the crisis. Because such a measure saves jobs and alleviates deprivation of financial resources in the short term, it is usually considered beneficial for employees with overall positive outcomes on job attitudes and well-being. Yet, STW may have a dark side. First, it may be a disruptive event that indicates a threat to employment and employability. Second, it may trigger feelings of being instrumentalized by the organization and undermine the relationship between the organization and employees on an ongoing basis. Accordingly, the PhD project aims to investigate the bright and dark sides of STW and the impact of this policy instrument on job attitudes, well-being, and career-related outcomes in the long term.


Emma Sarter

Supervisor : Annalisa Casini

Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the PhD project is centered on the study of transphobia, that is to say the “stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination directed toward individuals that are or are perceived to be transgender” (Morrison et al., 2017, p. 1). Emma is also interested in both the causes of this phenomenon and its consequences on trans* people’s well-being and self-perception. 


Aside from the main project, Emma work on the construction of a scale measuring emotions and behaviours that cisgender people are likely to adopt when interacting with trans* individuals in daily life situations. 

Finally, a smaller part of my work consists in giving trainings to professionals who regularly interact with trans* clients or patients and aim to develop a more inclusive practice. 

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