Organisational Psychology Research Group
Welcome to the Organisational Psychology Research Group
Our academic staff apply knowledge of organisational psychology to innovative research questions in areas relating to occupational health, selection and assessment, career development, and mindfulness in the workplace. We work directly with organisations, conducting research and consultancy to help make the most of people and practices at work.
The Organisational Psychology Group is focused on producing high impact research that is rated as internationally excellent or world leading. The group benefits from expertise in the following applied areas:
- mindfulness-based interventions in workplace settings
- employee selection and assessment
- coaching and career development
- diversity in the workplace
- employee well-being and resilience
- individual differences
- promotion of pro-environmental behaviour at work
As well as producing research in these areas, the group delivers a highly successful and long-standing MSc in Organisational Psychology which attracts some of the best applicants from within the UK and from overseas. Graduates of this course have gained employment as organisational consultants and researchers and operate in a variety of sectors. Reflecting the research profile of the group, several recent graduates from the MSc course have received prizes for research excellence from the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Association for Business Psychology (ABP). For further details of the course please see MSc in Organisation Psychology.
We are a specialised academic research group, focused on research and consultancy in organisational psychology.
Dr Julia Yates Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology and MSc Programme Director
Dr Paul Flaxman Reader in Occupational Psychology
Dr Lara Zibarras Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology and Deputy MSc Programme Director
Dr Lynsey Mahmood Lecturer in Organisational Psychology
Dr Jutta Tobias Mortlock Lecturer in Organisational Psychology
Dr Jennifer Gerson Lecturer in Organisational Psychology
Sylvia Bogan (supervisor Dr Paul Flaxman)
Silvia’s research interests focus around the effects of mindfulness-based emotional regulation on employees’ heart rate variability. This includes relations between trait mindfulness and the psycho-physiological reactions to work-related stress and cardiovascular health. Silvia is also involved in studies investigating work recovery, sleep quality and the impact of emotional suppression during experimentally induced stress-periods.
Shannon Horan (supervisor Dr Paul Flaxman)
Shannon's research interests centre around employee psychological and physical well-being and leisure time recovery. This includes perfectionism in the workplace and the psycho-physiological reactions to work-related stress. Shannon has been involved in projects investigating teachers’ experience of a half-term break and the impact of personal resilience training on employees.
Natalia Mladentseva (supervisor Dr Lara Zibarras)
Natalia's research interests centre around psychometric assessments, entrepreneurship and workplace precariousness. Natalia’s current project is a collaboration with a UK-based micro-lending company and focuses on the development of a psychometric measure of creditworthiness.
She has a BSc in Psychology from UCL (2016) and an MSc in Organisational Psychology from City, University of London (2017).
Lucie Zernerova (Supervisor Dr Paul Flaxman)
Dr Sonja Newman (2017) Perfectionism in the workplace: Examining the influence of perfectionistic characteristics on employees' work day and respite experiences. (Supervisor: Dr Paul Flaxman)
Dr. Antonio Pangallo (2014) An Exploration of the Meansure of Resilience in Palliative Care Workers. (Supervisor: Dr Lara Zibarras).
Dr Claire Stone
We started the year off with a bang! Huge congratulations to Lucie and Shannon who submitted their PhD thesis at the start of January. Their supervisor, Paul, was extremely proud of all the hard work that went into both projects, and that both researchers were able to get their finished theses in a week after the Christmas break!
Julia recently gave a keynote address at the National Norwegian Career Guidance Conference in Oslo. She talked on the topic of career coaching.
Lynsey was invited by BusinessFourZero to talk at their annual New Year Camp on the topic of high performing teams and how organisational identity might impact team performance.
Welcome to our newest team member Dr Jennifer Gerson, who joined us in early December.
My research interests are in the areas of well-being and cyberpsychology. I completed my PhD at City in 2018. My thesis investigated how individual differences in personality, social comparison, and patterns of social media use were associated with how people interact with Facebook, and in turn, how this was related to their subjective well-being. Cyberpsychology is still a fairly new discipline within the psychology world, but is becoming more and more relevant as many aspects of our day-to-day lives now take place online. After my PhD, I worked at the University of Warwick studying the mental health and well-being of PhD students and academics. This is a fascinating area, as academics tend to be the people designing studies, not taking part in research as participants, so there isn’t much research on their well-being.
- Congratulations to current student, Diego Gonzalez Madrid, who received two City University Students Union Leadership awards recently. Diego was nominated by his fellow students for the Bonze Carrot Award for having made a "substantial and sustained contribution well beyond the call of duty to the Students' Union and the student community at City, University of London." He also won the Leadership Award for completion of the leadership academy during his time as course rep for the MSc in Organisational Psychology. A fantastic achievement- well done, Diego!
- We are delighted to hear that recent alumnus Lauren May was awarded the ABP student prize 2019 for her dissertation titled: “A Juggling Act: Exploring the lived experience of working whilst caring for a family member with dementia through interpretative phenomenological analysis”. Lauren was among only seven students chosen for the awards from Organisational Psychology MSc programmes in the UK. Congratulations Lauren!
- Dr Lynsey Mahmood spoke to BBC radio 5Live about identity and belonging in relation to the new book by Michael Fuller, the first black police commissioner in the UK. Read the article.
- Dr Jutta Tobias spoke to BBC radio 4 Farming today programme about “Veganuary” and how to bring passionate vegans and stout meat-eaters to talk more & fight less during Veganuary. Read more about the interview.
- Dr Lara Zibrarras recently published a new book on “Selection and Recruitment in Healthcare Professions”How we recruit future healthcare professionals is critically important, as the demand for high quality healthcare increases across the globe. This book questions what the evidence tells us about how best to select those most suited to a career in healthcare, ensuring that the approaches used are relevant and fair to all who apply. The editors of this collection take a comprehensive look at the latest research surrounding recruitment and selection into healthcare roles. Each chapter is authored by leading experts and, using international case material, the practical implications for workforce policy are explored. They review the key stages in designing effective selection systems and discuss how best to evaluate the quality of selection processes. Evidence from role analysis studies as well as the effectiveness of different selection methods including aptitude and situational judgment tests, personality assessment and interviews are examined. Chapters also cover approaches to student selection and recruitment for postgraduate trainees through to senior appointments. Finally they highlight contemporary issues in recruitment, including the use of technology, selecting for values, candidate perceptions, coaching issues and how best to promote diversity and widening access. Find out more.
Dr Julia Yates new book 'The Career Coaching Toolkit' is available now. The book provides a practical guide to 34 effective and relevant career coaching techniques to help practitioners encourage, stretch and clarify their clients' thinking.
We are on Twitter! The OPG can be found @City_OrgPsych. Follow us for up-to-the-moment news and info from the team.
- Dr Jutta Tobias joined our team in January 2018.
- Congratulations to MSc graduates (2017) Charlotte Hermans and Natalia Mladentseva for prize winning dissertations.
- Charlotte was awarded the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology student prise 2017, for her dissertation entitled: “Developing the HERO within change: A qualitative exploration of a psychological capital intervention in the context of organisational change”
- Natalia won an ABP student dissertation prize for her dissertation: “Employee-driven workplaces: Exploring the mechanisms behind career adaptabilities, job crafting, and work engagement”
- Nursing Time reported Dr Paul Flaxman’s work on ACT for resilience in the workplace focusing on nurses’ mental health.
- Dr. Lara Zibarras has recently secured a fully-funded 3-year PhD position beginning October 2017 (funding amount £66,000) from Oakam. The aim of this research is to develop a psychometric measure of “trustworthiness” to assess the likelihood that people will pay back loans. The ultimate aim of the psychometric measure is to diminish the dependency on the human underwriter and increase the reliability of the loan process.
- Dr Paul Flaxman and collaborators run an ACT in the workplace workshop.
- In January 2017 two new members joined the OPG, Dr Julia Yates, who will take up the position of Programme Director for the MSc, and Dr Lynsey Mahmood.
Here’s what they had to say about their interests:
Julia: “My particular area of interest is career choice. I spent the first 15 years of my career as a coach, trying to help various kinds of people – at schools, at university and in organisations, to make good career choices, but often felt that I wasn’t able to help people enough. I decided to change the focus of my work to teaching and research with the aim of finding better ways to do it. I’m currently writing a book which identifies and describes 50 evidence-based techniques which have been shown to be effective in career conversations, with the aim of broadening the range of tools at the disposal of career coaches. My own research is really taking the field back to basics, as I’m trying to explore the factors that make one occupation more appealing than another. This is taking me down all sorts of interesting paths – I never realised that shoes could be so influential in people’s careers!”
Lynsey: “I recently finished my PhD at the University of Kent, where I studied the impact of brief mindfulness interventions on social judgements. I am particularly interested in the application of mindfulness and social psychology theory to organisational settings, especially for reducing bias. Other lines of research that I am working on look at links between organisational identity, motivation and employee behaviour. I recently looked at this in the context of virtual or home based working, which is becoming a real trend for organisations now, so there is a lot of interesting work to be done there! I am also interested in student perceptions of employability skill development, and how students differ to employers in their expectations of skill development and preparedness for work”