Innsbruck Group on Critical Research
in Work- and Organizational Psychology (I-CROP)


Priv.-Doz. Dr. Thomas Höge

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Severin Hornung

Dr. Christine Unterrainer

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang G. Weber

Critical Mission:

I-CROP was founded in December 2018 during a research meeting at the University of Innsbruck’s Institute of Psychology, hosted by the Applied Psychology Unit I. The meeting was inspired partly by a pioneering paper by Matthijs Bal and Edina Dóci in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology as well as our interest to support and participate in present and future activities of the initiative on the Future of Work and Organizational Psychology recently started by these scholars within the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology.

An important broader objective of the group relates to finding ways to strengthen, develop, and better integrate existing critical approaches in our own research by establishing a line of research that is explicitly dedicated to critical approaches and perspectives in work and organizational psychology (w/o-psychology).

Specifically, responding to the academic debate of the contribution by Bal and Dóci (2018), our primary research interest in I-CROP focuses on the influences of neoliberal ideology in contemporary workplaces and in w/o-psychology as a scientific discipline.


  • I-CROP´s general mission is the promotion of critical reflections on the role of the economic and societal conditions for psychological aspects in the world of work and research on the world of work.
  • I-CROP is convinced that uncritical approaches to w/o-psychology, which neglect, downplay, or deny the fundamental importance of the economic and societal system (including societal values, norms and beliefs) in shaping psychological processes at work and their scientific investigation, are, by themselves, ideological, serving the particular interests that benefit from these unquestioned conditions.
  • I-CROP is convinced that a value-free w/o-psychology is not possible. However, researchers are asked to disclose the values and interests guiding their scientific work.
  • I-CROP´s values are radical-humanist. Our research is exclusively dedicated to improve prosociality, ethics, personal development, health and well-being, democracy and justice.
  • I-CROP is dedicated to advancing humanistic values to counter the dominating logics of neoliberal ideology, such as fostering individuation instead of individualization, solidarity instead of competition, and emancipation instead of instrumentality.
  • I-CROP´s conceptualization of “critical” and “critique”, much like the ideas it adopts regarding the character and effects of ideology in general, are strongly inspired by the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory (e.g., Adorno, Horkheimer, Fromm, Marcuse, Habermas).
  • I-CROP is explicitly dedicated to strengthening the links between critical social theory and empirical research in w/o-psychology.



Bal, P. M. & Dóci, E. (2018). Neoliberal ideology in work and organizational psychology. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(5), 536-548. DOI: 10.1080/1359432X.2018.1449108

Critical Projects:

  • Research on the role of (neoliberal) ideology at the workplace (e.g., developing measures for analyzing neoliberal beliefs)
  • Research on the role of (neoliberal) ideology in w/o-psychology (e.g., critical analysis of potential ideological flaws in common constructs, models and theories; empirical investigations of potential ideological influences on the practice and character of w/o- psychology as scientific discipline).
  • Research on forms of democratic organizational structures and their individual, organizational and societal outcomes. This critical research line has a long tradition in the Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Innsbruck.
  • Developing a critical textbook on w/o-psychology (editor: Wolfgang G. Weber)

Critical Papers & Talks:   

  • Selected papersof I-CROP members
  • Selected talksof I-CROP members


  • 13th May 2019
    Invited Talk and Workshop with Prof. Matthijs Bal at the University of Innsbruck, Institute of Psychology:
    "Neoliberal Ideology in Work and Organizational Psychology: Assessing Workplace Fantasies and Alternatives"
    Talk: 17.15h; Innrain 52; HS 5 3/4
  • 29th May 2019
    Future of Work and Organizational Psychology Day
    Turin, Italy
  • 31st May 2019
    Panel Discussion: Exploring the Space for Critical Work and Organizational Psychology
    At EAWOP 2019 in Turin, Italy
    Facilitator: Prof. Matthijs Bal;
    Panelists: Prof. Wolfgang G. Weber, Prof. Gazi Islam, Dr. Severin Hornung, Dr. Edina Dóci, Dr. Nathan Gerard.

  • 21st Septmeber 2021
    Pre-Conference Workshop: "Das Problem an der Wurzel packen" (Getting to the root of the problem) - Intergration of critical theories and methods into one´s own research practice.
    Authors: Laura Röllmann, Severin Hornung, Thomas Höge
    At 12th Conference of the Section "Work, Organizational, & Economic Psychology" of the German Psychological Society in Chemnitz, Germany
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