Dr Zhou Jiang joined the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing in early 2016. Although his interests are broad, and span continents(!), Zhou’s research primarily considers the areas of career development, organisational behaviour, and wellbeing. We spent five minutes with him to learn a little more…
In what area/s does your current research interests lie?
…I investigate a variety of different career/ vocational psychological states (e.g., self-efficacy), and their antecedents and consequences for current and future workforces. My research into organisational behaviour is mainly about justice and its effects on employees’ attitudes and behaviours, with a focus on cross-cultural differences. I am also interested in [the] wellbeing (e.g., job and life satisfaction) of different human groups – establishment of the links between these areas is one of my research goals.
What are you working on at the moment?
Collaborating with colleagues from Australian and Chinese universities, I have been working on projects to explore plateau issues in career development processes, and developing/verifying situation-specific career-relevant scales in Asian countries….
Are there ongoing , or emerging, trends in your field/s of research?
For example, in the field of career development, from my own view, the roles of personality traits have been studied extensively; for instance, there is an ongoing investigation regarding how to solve career decision difficulties considering individuals’ personalities. One emerging area in the past decade is the roles of emotions in dealing with career-related issues. Recently, the adaptation process has been argued to be important to ensure quality career/ vocational experiences, and I guess this would also continue remain a trend in the near future.
Have there been major developments or key findings that have directed the trajectory of the research?
The recent emergence of a few new career theories has informed…substantial research. For example, Savickas’ career construction theory has significantly impacted this area by reframing the person-environment interaction in career processes and by emphasising the importance of career adaptability in life-long career development. A few new scales developed in alignment with this theory have been verified in many countries within just five years and these have been significantly driving the career research across the world.
Finally, are there challenges in your field/s in trying to bridge the gap between research, practice and policy?
Almost all my research to some extent builds on practical issues. My research into career development always has implications for managers and/or career counsellors in designing employee development programs and/or counselling interventions. As with career development, my research in others areas like organisational behaviour, human resource management, and wellbeing is also largely practice-driven and help improve the welfare of both the organisation and the employee.