Our research

Women working in an office

Our research team are experts in areas at the intersection of organisational success and social impact. We focus on a number of distinctive research streams:

Wellbeing

Wellbeing in the workplace is a key research interest of WBRC members. Wellbeing is linked to various outcomes such as workplace productivity and it has important wider implications for individuals and society as a whole.

In particular, the WBRC is interested in investigating the role of physiology in relation to workplace performance, as well as the potential impact of retirement age on wellbeing.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Today’s organisations are doing more than just making money or providing services. They are often engaged in helping the societies in which they operate.

Our research looks at the employee’s role in this endeavour – how they view CSR, how they engage in their organisation’s CSR, and how they generate CSR from the bottom-up.

Job purpose / crafting

Our researchers are dedicated to investigating different factors that can lead to positive individual and organisational outcomes at the workplace. Job crafting is a relatively new concept, focusing on the individual actions that employees can take to create a more satisfying and meaningful job for themselves. 

Through crafting their jobs, employees can proactively alter the task, relational, and cognitive dimensions of their job. Task crafting involves changing the nature of one’s job tasks, and/or the amount of time, attention and energy allocated to certain duties. Relational crafting involves altering when, how and/or with whom employees interact with while executing their jobs. 

At last, cognitive crafting concerns the changes in the way employees perceive the different aspects (eg task, relationships) of their jobs. Through job crafting, employees can empower themselves to make their job “their own”, and it has been linked to a number of positive individual outcomes, such as increased job satisfaction, productivity, and work engagement.

Juggling multiple goals

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in different directions? Or trying to work on lots of varied tasks which compete for your time? Or simply working on things that you don't feel are worthwhile?

Our research into how we juggle multiple goals examines all of these dilemmas.

We look at how we can help people to engage in important but lower priority tasks at work (such as pro-environmental behaviour), when people are likely to feel conflict about their work and what they might do about it, and how we can best motivate people.

Resilience

Our researchers are interested in improving current understanding and measurement of organisational resilience, in both for-profit and non-profit organisations.

Their research seeks to help organisations improve their ability to deal with potential threats and uncertainty, and also actual disruptions, so that changes in their operational, regulatory, and/or economic environments do not cause operational down-time, or threaten their ability to achieve their purpose. The research is important given the increase in prevalence and range of threats experienced by organisations.

A range of aspects within organisations contribute to organisational resilience; from employees’ behaviour, their inter-personal interactions, to an organisation’s strategy and ways of organising systems and people.

We are also interested in personal resilience and the extent to which it can help employees deal with workplace adversity and instead thrive in the workplace.

Employee proactivity

In today’s global economy, organizations face complex environments that require rapid responses to changing external environments. To succeed within these increasingly uncertain operating environments, in addition to adapting to changes, employees can proactively respond to challenges to improve the work environment or themselves.

For example, to face the anticipated challenge and industry trends, employees can create, introduce, and apply new ideas at work. They can make constructive suggestions to improve the work environment.

Employees can also be proactive to advance their careers, for example, by actively building relationships with colleagues, seeking information and feedback from supervisors and senior colleagues for how to do jobs well, or negotiating job contents to fully utilize their skills and interests.

However, not all employees are willing or able to take the initiative at work. Why some employees are more proactive than others?

What makes some people more likely to initiate positive change within their organizations? What supervisors, team managers, and organizations can do to promote employees’ proactivity?

Whether being proactive can always bring benefits to the individual and the team or organization? We conduct research to address these questions.

Work and Personality Development

Can work experiences shape our personality? If so, how? An increasingly prominent research line over recent years has started to indicate that personality is not fixed and it even changes in middle and late life.

Work experiences have been proposed as triggers to drive personality change because what we do in our daily jobs shapes our beliefs and behaviors every day, and who we are in the long run. We are interested in the role of work experiences in shaping personality change.

Using longitudinal data over multiple years, we have found that job autonomy, time demands, job satisfaction, job stress, and chronic job insecurity are factors associated with personality change. More studies will come to unpack how work can drive personality development.