Research cluster


The cluster name and program of research reflects the fundamental belief that employees need to be treated and treat each other with dignity, respect, and fairness. It represents a clear departure with traditional organisation-centric notions that de-humanise employees, treating them as mere instruments for realising financial gains. Instead, it adopts a human-centric approach, in which workplaces and work are viewed as opportunities for individuals to experience a sense of purpose, meaning, and dignity in their life. Humane workplaces are certainly not a given, however. Indeed, global developments such as rapid technological developments in AI and the current COVID-19 pandemic have considerable potential to de-humanize workplaces and employees’ experience of their work. These developments clearly testify to the timeliness of the cluster’s substantive research focus, and its importance for both research and practice.

Program of research

The cluster’s program of research is situated within the fields of organisational behaviour and human resource management and is comprised of three substantive themes:

  • Social justice: this theme is based on a fundamental belief that employees need to be treated and treat each other with dignity, respect, and fairness. In advancing understanding of social justice within the workplace, cluster members study a variety of phenomena, including (but not limited to): trust, justice, leader-member exchange, perspective-taking, and perceived organisational support.
  • Wellbeing: this theme is based on the realisation that, besides economic reasons and reasoning, employees also engage in work because it allows them to experience meaning, joy, and thriving. In advancing understanding of this theme, cluster members examine both positive manifestations of wellbeing, eg job satisfaction, commitment, and engagement, and negative manifestations, eg burn-out, stress, strain, and insecurity.
  • Empowerment: this theme is based on the notion that employees have a fundamental need for agency, autonomy, and freedom at work. This allows them to have a positive impact on others, shape their own jobs and how they underpin their jobs with an organisational fit, and initiate innovation and change for the benefit of the organisation. Under the umbrella of this theme, cluster members study a variety of organisational phenomena, including (but not limited to): vertical and shared leadership, self-determination, participative decision-making, voice, innovative behaviours, and reflexivity.

In addition, the program of research consists of three cross-cutting characteristics that span across substantive themes:

  • Multilevel/dynamic perspective: in studying the above-mentioned themes, the cluster adopts a multilevel and dynamic meta-theoretical lens, which recognises that rather than operating in a vacuum and being static, organisations and the work units residing within them are dynamic, complex, open systems, characterised by continuous change and embeddedness within multiple collective arrangements.
  • Methodological rigor: the cluster seeks to achieve high standards for methodological rigor of their research by adopting multi-method, mixed-method and/or multi-study approaches in their primary studies, and by adopting research synthesis approaches, such as narrative reviews and meta-analyses.
  • Actionable knowledge: the cluster actively seeks out possibilities for its research to inform practice by focusing on organisational factors that are under the direct control of managers and practitioners, and by developing research-informed, organisational interventions that can make a positive impact in the workplace and society as a whole.

Engagement project: Improving health professional regulation

Collaborative partners: General Osteopathic Council (UK), Professional Standards Authority (UK), Department of Health (UK)

The project highlights the importance of ‘relational regulation’ in effectively regulating health professional registrants. The project was commissioned by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) to develop its regulatory system for over 5,000 registrants. The project worked closely with the executive team of the Council, engaged over 5,000 registrants, hosted workshops to deliver the project findings, and collaborated with the Professional Standards Authority and Department of Health to develop wider insights for other healthcare regulators.


  • The GOsC used the findings and recommendations to develop a new regulatory system.
  • The new system has reduced the number of fitness to practise hearings.
  • The regulator also changed its approach to audit as a result of this project, using it as an opportunity develop and support registrants.
  • It expanded the evidence base on the what works and why in professional regulation, especially the role of ‘formative spaces’.
  • The Professional Standards Authority adopted the project recommendations on a preventative approach to regulation, both reducing the costs of regulation and reducing harm to patients.

Cluster members

The cluster is composed of a core group of outstanding scholars, as evidenced by their publication track records, past and current editorial positions at top-tier Management journals, their successful attraction of significant (competitive) research funding, awards received in recognition of the quality of their papers, review services, and/or career trajectory, and invited fellowships. Members have a shared commitment to ACU's research intensification mission, and bring complementary skill sets and knowledge to the Cluster in terms of substantive expertise, research methods, publishing, governance, funding, and HDR supervision. The cluster members are:

  • Associate Professor Bart de Jong – Cluster leader –
  • Professor Wayne Hochwarter – Overseas member and Honorary Fellow
  • Associate Professor Mindy Shoss – Overseas member and Honorary Fellow

Selected publications

  • Audenaert, M., Carette, P., Shore, L., Lange, T., Waeyenberg, T. V. & Decramer, A. (2018). Leader-employee congruence of expected contributions in the employee – organization relationship. The Leadership Quarterly, 29, 414-422. ABDC A*
  • Babaloa, M. T., Greenbaum, R. L., Amarnani, R. K., Shoss, M. K., Deng, Y., Garba, O. A., & Guao, L. (2020). A business frame perspective on why perceptions of top management’s bottom-line mentality results in employees’ good and bad behaviors. Personnel Psychology, 73, 19-41.ABDC A*
  • De Jong, B. A., Gillespie, N., Williamson, I., & Gill, C. (In Press). Trust Consensus Within Culturally Diverse Teams: A Multistudy Investigation. Journal of Management. ABDC A*
  • Eisenberger, R. W., Rockstuhl, T., Shoss, M. K., Wan, X., & Dulebohn, J. (2019). Is the employee-organization relationship dying or thriving? A temporal meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104, 1036-1057. ABDC A*
  • Gabriel, A., Koopman, J., Rosen, C., Arnold, J., & Hochwarter, W. (in press). Are coworkers getting into the act? An examination of emotion regulation in coworker exchanges. Journal of Applied Psychology, 105, 907-929. ABDC A*
  • Greer, L. L., De Jong, B. A., Schouten, M. E., & Dannals, J. E. (2018). Why and When Hierarchy Impacts Team Effectiveness: A Meta-Analytic Integration. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103, 591-613. ABDC A*
  • Hochwarter, W., Ferris, G., Rosen, C., Ejaz, A., Jordan, S., & Maher, L. (2020) Thirty years and growing: Review and identification of research challenges in perceptions of politics research. Journal of Management, 46, 879-907. ABDC A*
  • Knight, A., Greer, L. L., & De Jong, B. A. (2020). Start-Up Teams: A Multidimensional Conceptualization, Integrative Review of Past Research, and Future Research Agenda. Academy of Management Annals, 14, 231–266. ABDC A*

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