New leader envisions international status for WRC
“My bold long-term vision is for WRC to become Finland’s leading producer of work research and internationally well-known. We still have a ways to go, but the collective multidisciplinary expertise at Tampere University is a solid foundation,” Mäkikangas says.
At the beginning of February 2021, Mäkikangas started in the post of associate professor of work research and leader of WRC.
According to Mäkikangas, work research should, as a rule, be multidisciplinary, because using the perspective of only one discipline would be incomplete. According to Mäkikangas, WRC provides good conditions for the multidisciplinary study of working life issues.
Mäkikangas’s vision is to broaden the scope of scientific fields represented at WRC and to gather all work researchers from the Tampere Universities community under the same umbrella.
“This will enable WRC to make new scientific openings,” Mäkikangas explains.
The development of working life has been WRC’s leading research theme, and Mäkikangas wants to continue this tradition by investing in internationally high-level research. This will also improve WRC’s visibility and relevance as a producer of cutting-edge work research in Finland and internationally.
Work stress and occupational well-being as research topics
Mäkikangas is a docent of work psychology who was employed by the University of Jyväskylä for 15 years, for example, as senior assistant of work and organisational psychology and an Academy of Finland Research Fellow. For the past three years, she has worked as university lecturer at Tampere University.
Mäkikangas has studied work stress and occupational well-being especially from the perspective of positive psychology. Her main research interests have included, for example, individual resources, exhaustion and recovery, work engagement and its predictors, and the development of work through tuning. At present, Mäkikangas is researching occupational well-being and the factors maintaining it in telework in the research project ‘Safely Remotely – Occupational Well-Being and its Management in Telework’, funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (2021–2022).