Professor Linda Trenberth is Griffith Business School’s Dean of the Academic portfolio. She also gets some research in from time to time in the areas around organisational psychology! We spent five minutes with Linda to learn at little more about her work around bullying, stress and coping at work…
What are you working on at the moment?
…[A] newcomer project with colleagues in New Zealand and the UK in conjunction with the [Office of] HRM [human resource management]…at Griffith. The project is looking at newcomer experiences of the working environment at Griffith, their experience and strategies used to settle into their role, and a second survey looks at their learning about their role, work-related outcomes and overall thoughts about their job. This project will help Griffith with their induction of new staff with feedback on staff experience transitioning into their new role at the University and advance theory in this year around onboarding.
I continue to work with colleagues in New Zealand in the area of workplace bullying where the focus is now on interventions and where our research has moved to.
I am also continuing my work in the stress and coping area.
Are there ongoing or emerging trends in your field/s of research?
The major trends in all [these] areas are around interventions: exploring work stress, workplace bullying and even newcomer research from theory to intervention captures the very nature of what we do as researchers and practitioners.
Are there challenges in your field/s in trying to bridge the gap between research, practice and policy?
In the case of our work in New Zealand on Workplace Bullying the research had a specific impact through the contribution the final report made to understanding the nature and prevalence of psychosocial hazards in New Zealand workplaces which was acknowledged by the Minister of Labour, Hon Kate Wilkinson on October 25 2011.
Since the public release of the report, the data in the report has had three main uses: highlighting the importance of psychosocial issues in workplaces, contributing to the decision to include psychosocial workplace hazards as a priority area for the Occupational Health Action Plan to 2013, [and] as an initiative of New Zealand’s Workplace Health and Safety Strategy.
The report has also led to an on-going association between the authors of the research report and the analysts within the Ministry who are writing…guidelines on workplace bullying in New Zealand, with further contributions from [my colleagues and I]… [The] data… [is being] used as one of the main factual bases for [these] guidelines… [The] data…will be available [through these guidelines] to Health and Safety Inspectors, Health and Safety professionals, Unions and employer groups, as well as presenting practices for preventing and dealing with bullying at work.