Maike Debus, professeure assistante


Université de Neuchâtel
Institut de Psychologie du Travail et des  Organisations
2e étage, bureau E220
Rue Emile-Argand 11
CH - 2000 Neuchâtel
Tél. + 41 32 718 1322
E-mail : maike.debus@unine.ch


For news archive, click here.


May 2024: New paper on impression management and career success accepted

Employees use impression management tactics to influence their image at work. In this two-study paper, we used latent profile analysis to better understand the relationship between the use of five impression management tactics in combination—ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification, intimidation, and supplication—and multiple indicators of objective career success (i.e., salary, promotions, and supervisor-rated reward recommendations) and subjective career success. In Study 1, we found that the highest levels of salaries and promotions (reflecting objective career success) were associated with a passive use of IM (i.e., employing all five IM strategies at low frequency). In contrast, the highest level of subjective career success was associated with a positive use of IM (i.e., a pattern employing the three positive strategies ingratiation, self-promotion and exemplification at higher levels). In Study 2, we found positive use of IM to be associated with the highest level of supervisor-rated reward recommendations (followed by passives with the second highest reward recommendations). Our findings highlight the importance of viewing objective and subjective career success as qualitatively different constructs and suggest benefits of employing passive impression management use for objective career success.


Debus, M. E., Ingold, P. V., Gross, C., & Bolino, M. C. (in press). Reaching the top? Profiles of impression management and career success. Journal of Business and Psychology.


March 2023: New paper on job search published​

Unemployment is a critical life event and a highly stressful experience for individuals. We examined what helps unemployed job seekers to increase their job search intensity and to be more successful in getting invited for job interviews. We surveyed 89 unemployed job seekers four times over six months and examined intra-individual fluctuations in contextual resources (i.e., networking behaviors and social support) as well as personal resources in the form of job search self-efficacy (i.e., a person’s belief to be successful in obtaining employment). We find that higher levels of networking behaviors and job search self-efficacy are beneficial for increasing job search intensity. Moreover, we find that networking behaviors and job search self-efficacy are also positively related to the number of job interviews obtained and indirectly related through job search intensity for networking behaviors. Interestingly, high levels of either networking behaviors or job search self-efficacy could compensate for low levels of the other resource when predicting job search intensity and the number of interviews obtained.


da Motta Veiga, S., Debus, M. E., Wilhelmy, A., Ambühl, M., Hasler, K., & Kleinmann, M. (2024). Contextual and personal resources in unemployed job search: An intra-individual perspective. Applied Psychology: An International Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12540


February 2023: New paper on future directions in job insecurity research published​

Due to ongoing turbulences in labor markets (e.g., digital transformation, economic crises) many individuals around the globe are concerned about their future job permanence. Thus far, research on job insecurity has mainly focused on how individuals react to job insecurity as well as contemporaneous personal and situational factors that affect reactions to job insecurity. To move job insecurity research forward, first, we suggest adding a systemic perspective. In particular, we suggest to consider individuals' nestedness in family and relationship systems, thus looking into how individuals' job insecurity affects close others (i.e., [romantic] partners, family members) and how close others affect individuals' experience of and reactions to job insecurity. Second, we suggest adding a lifespan perspective that considers individuals’ earlier personal and career experiences. In particular, we argue that past life experiences can influence the likelihood of people experiencing job insecurity later in life and how they respond to later experiences of job insecurity.


Debus, M. E., & Unger, D. (2024). Disrupting the social and time vacuum: A systemic and lifespan perspective on job insecurity. Applied Psychology: An International Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12536


2011 PhD, University of Zurich
2008 Diploma in Psychology (Dipl.-Psych., M.Sc. equivalent), Technical University of Braunschweig

Academic positions

Since 2/2021 Assistant professor, University of Neuchâtel
2020 - 2021 Assistant professor, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
2014 - 2020 Senior research and teaching associate, Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Zurich
2011 - 2013 Research and teaching associate, Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Zurich
2008 - 2011 Doctoral student, Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Zurich

International research visits

2014 Visiting researcher, Portland State University, School of Business Administration
2010 Visiting researcher, Washington State University, Department of Psychology
2006 Research internship, Institute for Social Research (ISR) and Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan

Key research areas

Economic stressors (specifically job insecurity and overqualification at work)

Resources and recovery from work

Impression management at work

Editorial activities

Editorial board memberships: Occupational Health Science, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior

Journal reviewer: Applied Psychology: An International Review, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being Career Development International, Društvena istraživanja, Economic and Industrial Democracy, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, German Journal of Human Resource Management, Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Personnel Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Occupational Health Science, Organization Science, Safety Science, Stress & Health, Work & Stress

Scientific outreach & media reports (recent)

Interview with Deutschlandfunk (with podcast) about work stress and meaningfulness (11/2022), available here

Interview with Augsburger Allgemeine on «Quiet quitting» (9/2022), available here

Interview on work experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic with HR Today, 11/2021, available here

Interview on procrastination at work with Bilan, 2/2021 available here

Report on Gross, Debus, Liu, Wang, & Kleinmann (2020) on I/O At Work, available here

Interview on the future of work with myHEALTH, 11/2020, available here

Interview on remote leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic with Beobachter, 8/2020, available here

Third-party funding

See here for a complete list

Selected publications

A full list of my publications can be found on Libra, ResearchGate or Google Scholar.

  • Debus, M. E., Körner, B., Wang, M., & Kleinmann, M. (2023). Reacting to perceived overqualification: Uniting strain-based and self-regulatory adjustment reactions and the moderating role of formal work arrangements. Journal of Business and Psychology, 38(2), 411-435. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-022-09870-8
  • Luksyte, A., Bauer, T., Debus, M. E., Erdogan, B., & Wu, C. H. (2022). Perceived overqualification and collectivism values: Implications for work and non-work outcomes. Journal of Management, 48(2), 319-349. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206320948602
  • Di Lascio, E., Gashi, S., Debus, M. E., & Santini, S. (2021). Automatic recognition of flow during work activities using context and physiological signals. 9th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACII52823.2021.9597434
  • Gross, C., Debus, M. E., Ingold, P. V., & Kleinmann, M. (2021). Too much self-promotion! How self-promotion climate relates to employees' supervisor-focused self-promotion effectiveness and their work group's performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 42(8), 1042-1059. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2547
  • Debus, M. E., Unger, D., & Probst, T. M. (2021). Dirty work on the COVID-19 frontlines: Exacerbating the situation of marginalized groups in marginalized professions. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 14(1-2). https://doi.org/10.1017/iop.2021.33
  • Gross, C., Debus, M. E., Liu, Y., Wang, M., & Kleinmann, M. (2021). I am nice and capable! How newcomers' self-presentation to their supervisors affects their socialization outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(7), 1067-1079. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000817
  • Debus, M. E., Sonnentag, S., Deutsch, W., & Nussbeck, F. W. (2014). Making flow happen: The effects of being recovered on work-related flow between and within days. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(4), 713-722. https://doi.org/10.1037/A0035881
  • Debus, M. E., Probst, T. M., König, C. J., & Kleinmann, M. (2012). Catch me if I fall! Enacted uncertainty avoidance and the social safety net as country-level moderators in the job insecurity–job attitudes link. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(3), 690-698. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027832