Origins of ENOP

In Paris, on March 10 - 12, 1994, ENOP held its 14th Annual Symposium. The thirteen years of ENOP's existence and work, which from its outset has been supported by the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, deserve a look back on its achievements and a look forward towards its future challenges. Permanent Secretariat of ENOP at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme:

Anna Rocha Perazzo

ENOP entered the scene of international social scientific organizations at a meeting in Windsor Park (Great Britain) of some 25 professors of Work and Organizational Psychology (W/O) from East and West European universities. It understood itself as a small and loosely knit network of colleagues. However, it had forerunners. Based on the initiative of Charles de Wolff (University of Nijmegen), an even smaller group of W/O psychologists had informally met over a period of several years to discuss professional and scientific matters of common interest. This group, with the assistance of the Dutch Foundation for the Study of Developments in European Industrial Psychology, also invited to the founding meeting of ENOP in Windsor Park.

The motives for the creation of ENOP grew out of an acute awareness that the progress of European integration began to pose challenges both for scientific inquiry as well as professional practice which called for renewed efforts in information exchange and concerted European action also by academics in the field of W/O psychology. This problem orientation implied from the very beginning that the search for solutions could not be confined exclusively to monodisciplinary traditions but had to be open to transcend received disciplinary borders and paradigms (cf. Ref. 16). This principle was to be borne out in program activities. The formation of ENOP also formed part of a European wide trend in the 70ies and 80ies of social sciences to develop a more genuine European orientation in research and academic exchange (Ref. 8). In this context it was natural that ENOP members actively cooperated in the formation of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) , founded in 1991, and became involved in editing the European Work and Organizational Psychologist, the official organ of EAWOP and edited jointly under auspices of EAWOP and the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP).

ENOP in 1993 consists of some 40 professors in W/O Psychology from 17 East and West European countries. Its wide range of scientific activities goes far beyond the limited membership. ENOP is facilitated by a small administrative support structure and modest but critical program support provided by the Maison des Science de l'Homme. Supplementary sources for program activities are sought to implement ENOP's program which is decided during an annual plenary "Business Meeting". A seven member Coordinating Committee (CoCo) meets bi-annually to ensure the implementation of decisions by the plenary meeting. Neither charter nor representational roles (president or similar functions) exist. Membership is linked to a respective university position in W/O Psychology and active involvement in ENOP programs. The implementation and realisation of ENOP's various program elements is carried out in the spirit of collective responsibility, and yet, with drastic decentralization, i.e. various members take on operational functions depending on their interests and competence.


Updated  February 1996