New study on work and well-being in South East Asia

Birkbeck academics recently travelled to Bangkok for the first meeting of the Work and Well-being Research Project in ASEAN member states...

Dr Linda Trenberth and Dr Andreas Liefooghe recently travelled to Bangkok for the first meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Work and Well-being Research Project. The project will study people’s relationships at work and their impact on performance and well-being in the member states of the ASEAN.

The study will involve employees and managers from the education, health, tourism and manufacturing industries and looks at a variety of different areas related to well-being at work. In particular, it focuses on experiences at work which may be positively or negatively associated with well-being, such as repeated hints that you should quit your job; persistent criticism of your work; threats of violence; physical or verbal abuse and having allegations made against you.

ASEAN countries have recently set up a network to improve working conditions and in 2011,Thailand passed the first Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Act, which specifically refers to psychosocial hazards for the first time.

Dr Trenberth said: “This research is very timely given the attention that is now being paid to employment and well-being in the ASEAN states. It is a unique opportunity for Birkbeck researchers to conduct research in uncharted and difficult areas. Our research will to improve our understanding of behaviours at work and the impact of leadership on those. We believe that the findings will be relevant well beyond the ASEAN area.”

The first meeting was attended by representatives from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore. The second wave of the study will include Burma, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.