Centre focus: The Workplace Behaviour Research Centre

Workplace Behaviour Research Centre

Professor Chia-Huei Wu is Director of the Workplace Behaviour Research Centre, and Chair in Organisational Psychology. He studies proactive behaviour, personality development, work design, overqualification and employees' subjective well-being.

Charles Thackrah Building

The Workplace Behaviour Research Centre (WBRC), established by organizational psychologists at Leeds University Business School, is an interdisciplinary research centre. Members of the WBRC study individuals’ behaviour in the workplace and provide data-driven insights, practical knowledge and solutions that help organisations gain clarity and direction for how to grow their success and their social impact.

The objective of the centre is to understand, intervene and manage workplace behaviour at the individual, interpersonal, team and organisational level. This is done by conducting high-quality research, developing intervention programmes, and transferring knowledge for generating impact.


We investigate and generate knowledge

WBRC takes responsibility for advancing the understanding of workplace behaviour. The centre has a strong research diversity and capacity. Members in the centre study various subjects, including work motivation and behaviour, individual employment and development, leadership and workplace relationships, job and office design, work stress and resilience, and occupational health and well-being, to name but a few. Members also collaborate with scholars from different disciplines for projects on environmental behaviour, coach and sports psychology, social entrepreneurship, etc.

Since 2015, centre members have published over 120 journal articles. Based on the Academic Journal Guide by the Chartered Association of Business Schools, 30% of our published articles are in four-star journals, and 20% in three-star journals. Members’ work has appeared in journals such as: Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Human Resource Management, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behaviour, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, among others. During the same period, members also contributed to 26 book chapters and numerous conference presentations and blog reports.

We care and make an impact

WBRC conducts intervention studies to promote individuals’ motivation, behaviour and performance in the workplace. Members offer consultancy and advice focusing on the subjects we research and teach. Our expertise is based on a three-way linkage:

  1. Investigate - We conduct rigorous, robust research to define and understand the people and the organisation.
  1. Learn - We lead interactive, collaborative workshops that mix research findings, academic expertise and insights from like-minded practitioners.
  1. Develop - We partner with organisations to develop and launch sustainable solutions to deliver impact.

We develop and cultivate young scholars

WBRC contributes to teaching and developing the next generation of thinkers. We help deliver undergraduate modules including organisational behaviour, leadership, and research methods. We contribute to Masters programmes, including MSc Business Psychology, and MSc Organizational Psychology. We also offer doctoral training to develop the next generation of scholars on organizational behaviour, psychology and management.


Research seminar series

The WBRC research seminar series provides an opportunity for scholars studying workplace behaviour to share their research programmes or latest research. Supporting the research diversity in the centre, we regularly invite scholars studying different topics to share their work and findings. For those who are interested in workplace behaviour research, please do join us.

Launching the 20/21 seminar series, I delivered a presentation on employees’ knowledge sharing on online platforms within organisations. Next in the series, Dr Tara Reich, King's College London, presented her research on interpersonal mistreatment at work. Later we will be hearing from Professor Karen Niven from the University of Manchester, Professor Yasin Rofcanin from the University of Bath and Dr Anja Van den Broeck from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) who will be sharing their research.

Visit our events page for information about upcoming events. You can also find a list of previous events on the website.

Impacts on Business

In 2020, we have delivered three sessions to date, discussing how lockdown, due to the COVID19 outbreak, has affected business and organisations and how we can cope with a new way of working:

  • Dr Matthew Davis, Associate Professor in Organizational Psychology, has presented key findings from pre-COVID-19 research concerning homeworking - what this work arrangement means for employees’ work-life balance, wellbeing, autonomy and motivation.
  • Dr Helen Hughes, Associate Professor, discussed the role of remote healthcare systems in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • And Kerrie Unsworth, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, discussed how to use goal hierarchies to understand our individual situation and to identify new ways forward.      

These webinars are available to watch on the Business School’s YouTube channel.

“Meet the Editor” sessions

We invite journal editors to share information about their journals and advice for publications. The session is particularly designed for doctoral and early career researchers in organisational behaviour and psychology to understand different journals and seek advice from editors. For example, we have invited the chief editor of Journal of Management, Professor Brian Connelly, to introduce the journal and share tips on how to prepare manuscripts for top management journals.


WBRC works with scholars, organisations, institutes and funding agencies locally and globally. We look forward to collaborating with academic and industrial partners to advance knowledge about workplace behaviour, and to apply knowledge to address problems and improve practices in the workplace.

If you are interested in collaborating with us or would like find out further information, please contact me: Professor Chia-Huei Wu, Director of WBRC, (c.wu4@leeds.ac.uk).

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