Well-being at Work (WWK)
Kingston (WWK) Research Group
The WWK Research Group aligns its research activities with a focus on psychological well-being for individuals at work. This is a key organisational, societal, economic and government priority both within and beyond the UK. Members of the WWK team are mostly chartered and/or registered Psychologists, often combining academic careers with professional practice. WWK is regularly involved in applied organisational-based research, and is interested in developing collaborative relationships with industry, organisations, students and other academics.
WWK is primarily interested in investigating antecedents to well-being in the areas of leadership, the application of new communication technology, work-life balance, counselling/therapeutic interventions, and positive and applied social psychology. Our research is focused on building theory within these domains, but with a firm practitioner thread that allows contributions towards policy initiatives and recommendations to individuals, organisations and society on how to improve occupational health and well-being at work. Members of the group are involved in the MSc Occupational and Business Psychology and MSc Leadership and Management in Healthcare teaching teams, and often integrate student research with our own activities – applying academic rigour, professional practice and knowledge development under a well-being at work agenda.
Please click on the links below to find out more about the team, our research and publications on our staff profile pages:
Dr Emma Russell MSc PhD CPsychol AFBPsS FHEA, Research Group Co-ordinator
Dr Joanna Yarker MSc PhD Psychol
Dr Hans-Joachim Wolfram PhD CPsychol
Dr Lilith Arevshatian MSc PhD
Dr Rachel Lewis MSc PhD CPsychol
Dr Louisa Pavey MRes PhD
Taslim Tharani, PhD Student
Alison Price CPsychol AFBPsS, PhD Student
Dr Stephen Gourlay BA MA PhD
Dr Ally Memon
All members of the WWK have a central research interest in psychological well-being. Current and recent research activity includes:
‘Improving strategies to deal with email at work: a longitudinal analysis of strategy change interventions and the impact on well-being and performance’. Three-phase, longitudinal, collaborative research project with Loughborough University, conducted within three large UK organisations.
‘Examining the processes involved in assessment centre methodology that predict success in overseas volunteers’. Longitudinal study with a large international charity. Relating success to virtual vs face-to-face methods, different AC competencies and different AC exercises, plus pre and post ‘assessors’ conference’ ratings.
‘Linking pathological strategies for dealing with email and smartphone communication technologies to perceived job efficiency, well-being and personality’. One-year two phase study funded by Richard Benjamin Trust.
Looking at BME student attainment gaps and well-being at Kingston University.
‘Sustainable Management Development’. Second phase of research following from research published in 2014 on ‘Developing managers to manager for sustainable employee engagement, health and wellbeing’ (http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/research/developing-managers.aspx). This research takes a multi-method approach and aims to refine the checklists and guidance produced in 2014 and to develop further practical tools.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’. A longitudinal three phase research project, sponsored by IOSH, in collaboration with UEA. The aim of the project is to establish the parameters of good occupational safety and health leadership in work contexts characterised by distributed working.
‘Fighting flab or fighting stigma?’ Research using the evidence based practice model to explore organisational initiatives, narratives and discrimination around obesity. Research takes the perspective that in the future obesity will become a protected characteristic (much like ethnicity and mental health) and seeks to gain insights on this from historical learnings from other protected characteristics. Work will be conducted in collaboration with the Work Foundation and funded by a consortium of organisations and policy makers.
“Non-conscious processes in Health Promotion”: A series of studies examining how to enhance the effectiveness of health promotion information.
‘Exploring psychological interventions to foster authentic leadership’: PhD research consisting of a longitudinal intervention study, aiming to compare and evaluate two approaches to developing authentic leadership. (GTA Faculty Funding awarded)
Development of a scale to measure email addiction; linking measures of email addiction to work-life boundary management style and measures of well-being. PhD Research (Faculty Funding awarded)
We welcome active collaborations to undertake organisational-based research.
Please contact Emma Russell (or any of the WWK members directly) if you are:
- an organisation looking to fund research into understanding how to promote well-being amongst your employees
- a fellow academic interested in a similar research strand
- a media organisation interested in an academic perspective on well-being at work issues
- a prospective PhD student with a good first degree in Psychology, looking for supervision in the area of well-being at work. Bursaries and studentships are provided for exceptional applicants
- interested in sponsoring our research activities
Call: 0208 417 5929