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Organisational Psychology Research Group

The Organisational Psychology Group (OPG) members

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: employee selection and assessment; diversity in the workplace, including gender equality; employee well-being and resilience; individual differences; mindfulness-based interventions in workplace settings and the 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). For further details of the course please see MSc in Organisation Psychology.

Recent achievements and news

Members of the Organisational Psychology Group have recently published books, numerous research articles and high profile reports that have influenced government stakeholders and policy-makers. For example, Dr Lara Zibarras and her colleagues have produced a new core text for students working in the area of occupational/organisational psychology:

Lewis, R. & Zibarras, L.D. (2013). Occupational and Organisational Psychology: Integrating Theory and Practice. London: Sage Publications.

Meanwhile, Dr Paul Flaxman has co-authored a book-length manual that describes the use of a mindfulness-based behaviour therapy for improving mental health in workplace settings:

Flaxman, P.E., Bond, F.W. & Livheim, F. (2013). The mindful and effective employee: An acceptance and commitment therapy training manual for improving well-being and performance. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Sealy, R., Turner, C. & Vinnicombe, S. (2013). Women on Boards: Benchmarking adoption of the 2012 Corporate Governance Code in FTSE 350. Cranfield School of Management, UK.

Sealy, R. & Vinnicombe, S. (2013). The Female FTSE Board Report 2013: False dawn of progress for women on corporate boards? Cranfield School of Management, UK.

Further details on OPG members

Dr Lara Zibarras conducts research that falls into two broad areas: 1) employee selection and assessment; and 2) sustainability in the workplace. She has recently completed a research programme focusing on high stakes selection and assessment (2011-13), which explored a number of different methods (e.g. situational judgement tests) and theoretical concepts (e.g. fairness and political validity). Dr Zibarras is also building a research profile in the area of pro-environmental behaviour at work. She has directed research funded by the Richard Benjamin Trust to examine the role of psychological theories in explaining why employees engage (or don't engage) in pro-environmental workplace behaviours (2011-12). This year (2013) she secured funding to develop a psychometric measure to explore the attitudes and social norms underlying 'green' behaviour.

Dr Paul Flaxman conducts research in two broad areas: 1) exploring predictors of employees' ability to recover from work during their leisure time; and 2) implementation and evaluation of mindfulness-based interventions in workplace settings. Paul and his research collaborators are exploring predictors and the impact of worrying and ruminating about work during non-work time. Paul has also conducted a number of research trials that have established the effectiveness of workplace interventions based on the latest development in cognitive-behavioural therapy. Paul's recent research has been supported by consecutive grants awarded by Guy's and St. Thomas' Charitable Trust. Paul maintains close collaborations with several NHS trusts and a local branch of Mind (the mental health charity).

Having working as an organisational consultant for many years, Antonio Pangallo recently returned to take up a research and teaching position within the Organisational Psychology Group. Antonio's research focuses on the emerging construct of employee resilience. He is in the process of developing and analysing a new psychometric instrument that is being used to assess predictors and consequences of psychological resilience in emotionally demanding occupations, such as palliative care. Antonio also recently conducted a comprehensive methodological review of resilience measures. Alongside this research, Antonio continues to work as a senior consultant to numerous organisations and shares his extensive field experience with students enrolled on City's MSc in Organisational Psychology.

The Organisational Psychology Group is supported by two full-time PhD researchers (both funded by University bursaries). Sonja Carmichael is examining predictors of worrying and ruminating about work during evenings, weekends and vacations. Lucie Zernerova is conducting research into the impact of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions on employees' well-being and behavioural effectiveness.

Ross McIntosh, Damian Mullins and Jaimie Persson are research associates working with Paul Flaxman, primarily on a research project funded by the British Academy which is exploring wellbeing and work recovery in teachers. As part of the research they are designing and delivering interventions based upon Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. These interventions are designed to build personal resilience. They are also conducting qualitative research interviews to explore the impact of the training.