by Katja Mierke, Dominic-Nicolas Gansen-Ammann, Wera Aretz


Societal change, new technologies, and an ever growing global network have led to an enormous acceleration and intensification of education and work life. Reforms in the German school and University system bring along that the same curriculum has to be acquired in less time, since high school years have been cut down to eight, and University programs follow the international bachelor-/master-system. In the world of work, new role patterns and permanent, sometimes rapid organisational changes accompanying globalisation, diversification, fast growth and crises challenge the personnel’s flexibility to a massive extent. Permanent availability due to modern means of communication further increase pressure of expectation on executives and employees. On the one hand, this dynamic development provides an enormous potential for innovation and unfolding creativity, on the other hand, people face demands that touch or even exceed their stress limits. The consequences, – sick leaves, psychological and physiological stress symptoms, up to burn-out and permanent drop-out – not only strain individuals and their subjective well-being, but are of course just as relevant for employers, macro – economics, and society as a whole.
This force field is reflected in the contributions of our current issue that take different perspectives on the area of changing education and changing organisations, of achievement culture and stress:
Simon Pfleging and Claudia Gerhardt: Burned-out students – The dangers of stress post Bologna Reform [Ausgebrannte Studierende – Burnout-Gefährdung nach dem Bologna-Prozess].
In their large survey study, the authors assessed in how far the prevalence of burn-out symptoms among students has changed after Bologna reforms as compared to the „old“ system, and which coping strategies students use. In a similar scope, the second article focusses on relationships and the interplay between subjective stress, self-efficacy, locus of control and the use of functional and dysfunctional coping strategies among students.
Bettina Frost and Katja Mierke: Stress and Coping Among Students: Functional and Dysfunctional Strategies and Further Influencing Factors [Stresserleben und Stressbewältigung bei Studierenden. Funktionale und Dysfunktionale Strategien und weitere Einflussfaktoren].
In a further original contribution, effects of organisational change at work provide the central issue: Based on a qualitative empirical study, the authors point out which role social values and a common cultural background play when departments are merged, plus, how such a process should be shaped in order to allow cultural synergies to unfold in a positive way:
Pernille Stroebaek and Joachim Vogt: Cultural Synergy and Organizational Change: From Crisis to Innovation
The articles published in our special section Science-Practitioner-Transfer are located in the field of organisational achievement culture, and flexibilisation of career profiles, respectively: Heidbrink and Brenner present a scientifically grounded procedure to assess high performance cultures in organizations, and report first experiences with test applications.
Marcus Heidbrink and Stephanie Brenner: Measuring High-Performance Culture – Construction, Improvement, and Firts Tests oft he HPO-Analyzer [Messung von Hochleistungskultur: Kostruktion, Optimierung und Erprobung des HPO-Analyzers].
Along with changes in learning and working conditions and the transformation of traditional professional biographies, part-time study programs become more and more popular, as these offer additional qualification without quitting the labor market. Budik and coauthors empirically assessed how graduates of these study programs are perceived by human resource managers, and how their perceptions depend, among others, from company size:
Katharina Budik, Christine Cremerius, Timo Förster, Barbara Lier, Sebastian Lorenz, Kathrin Teichmann, and Patrizia Thamm: Part-time vs. full-time study programmes: do human resource managers have a preference? [Beurteilung eines berufsbegleitenden Studiengangs durch Personalverantwortliche].
The current issue closes with a contribution in our section Methods of Applied Business and Media Psychology, in which the authors point out methodological problems in media- and advertising research that go back to a confounding of response measures, and suggest a solution:
Jens Woelke and Steffen Kolb: When media treatment determines ‘true’ recognition memory and response bias at the same time. Using item-response analysis to detected ‘blended’ causes and effects in media psychological research [Wenn Mediendarbietungen Antwortleistung und Antwortdisposition gleichzeitig bestimmen. Ursache-Wirkungs-Konvergenz als Problem der medien- und werbepsychologischen Forschung und Item-Response-Analyse als ein Lösungsvorschlag].

We hope to hereby offer an interesting and versatile portfolio of contributions to our readers.

Cologne, June 2013
Katja Mierke, Dominic-Nicolas Gansen-Ammann, and Wera Aretz