Research in management

Research that matters is a key element of AUT Business School's Management department. Knowledge generated by our staff aims to foster inclusive and future ready organisations. We seek to make a meaningful contribution to organisations and employees that positively impacts the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community in New Zealand and abroad. Our research is conducted in partnership with stakeholders, researching issues that are important, and engaging with academic and public audiences.

Our academics research in the areas of organisation and management studies, sustainability, human resource management and employment relations, diversity, careers and wellbeing. Being highly diverse in terms of sub-discipline areas and research approaches, our department currently incorporates several research themes, including aged care, employee engagement, organisational newcomers, ethics, gender and careers, ethnicity and organisations, sustainability, meaningful work, and organisational relationships.

Current and recent research projects


Professor Jarrod Haar, Dr Nimbus Staniland and Dr Peter McGhee are conducting a study of 2000+ New Zealand employees, including over 500 Maori and 100 Pacific peoples, examining factors that enhance wellbeing, including work, work-life balance, careers and life.

Innovative Directions for Leadership Development and Research

Led by Dr Irene Ryan with Dr Barbara Myers in collaboration with Leadership New Zealand (LNZ). This project provided an opportunity for the alumni of LNZ to reflect on the learning from the leadership development programme and application to their career trajectory.

Understanding the impact of the 2017 Equal Pay Equity Settlement

Associate Professor Katherine Ravenswood and Dr Julie Douglas, in collaboration with the Caring Counts Coalition of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, are investigating the impact of the 2017 Pay Equity Settlement on both employees and managers in residential aged care, home and community care and the disability sector.

Sustainability Officers: Making a difference or reinforcing the status quo?

Professor Marjo Lips-Wiersma has explored the experiences of sustainability officers in five different countries. Findings show that organisational structure has a significant effect on the extent to which they can do their job in addition to credibility, CEO support and resources.


Professor Edwina Pio focused on transdisciplinary learnings which have as their core eco spirituality or the sacredness of the planet, from an Eastern and Western vantage point to investigate meaningful entwined relationships between humans, the fragile earth and organisations.

Stress and Organisational Change

Dr Roy Smollan researched the causes and consequences of stress for employees in a District Health Board before, during and after an organisational change. The most stressful phase was found to be the transition, when anxiety was heightened by uncertainty over the outcomes.

Māori Cultural Factors in Human Resource Management

Professor Jarrod Haar is leading a Nga Pae funded project examining the role of Human Resource Practices and their influence on employee work outcomes and wellbeing, and how these might be tailored specifically to Māori employees.


Examples of just some recent peer reviewed academic journal outputs published by academic staff:

  • Cooper-Thomas, H. D., Stadler, M. J., Park, J. H., Chen, J., Au, A. K. C., Tan, K. W. T., Paterson, N. J., & Tansley, S. (2019). The Newcomer Understanding and Integration Scale: Psychometric evidence across six samples. Journal of Business and Psychology.
  • Haar, J., Roche, M., & Brougham, D. (2018). Indigenous insights into ethical leadership: A study of Māori leaders. Journal of Business Ethics.
  • Harris, C., Myers, B., & Ravenswood, K. (2017). Academic careers and parenting: Identity, performance and surveillance. Studies in Higher Education, 44(4), 1-11.
  • Lamm, F., & Lips-Wiersma, M. (2018). A disaster waiting to happen: Silently silencing stakeholders at the Pike River Coal Mine. Journal of Industrial Relations, 60(4), 560-583.
  • Lips-Wiersma, M.S., Haar, J. and Wright, S. (2018). The effect of fairness, responsible leadership and worthy work on multiple dimensions of meaningful work.  Journal of Business Ethics.
  • Morrison, R. L., & Smollan, R. K. (2020). Open plan office space? If you're going to do it, do it right: A fourteen-month longitudinal case study. Applied Ergonomics, 82,
  • Rasmussen, E., Bray, M. & Stewart, A. (2019). What is distinctive about New Zealand’s Employment Relations Act 2000? Labour & Industry, 29(1), 52-73.
  • Ravenswood, K., Douglas, J. & Haar, J. (2018). Physical and verbal abuse, work demands, training and job satisfaction amongst aged-care employees in the home and community sector. Labour & Industry, 27(4), 302-318.
  • Skilling, P., & Tregidga, H. (2019). Accounting for the 'working poor': Analysing the Living Wage Debate in Aotearoa New Zealand. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal.
  • Smollan, R., & Morrison, R. (2019). Supporting others through stressful organizational change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.
  • Staniland, N. A., Harris, C., & Pringle, J. K. (2019). ‘Fit’ for whom? Career strategies of indigenous (Māori) academics. Higher Education.

Reports and industry projects

  • Haar, J., Ka'ai, T., Ravenswood, K., & Smith, T. (2019). Ki te tahatū o te rangi: Normalising te reo Māori across non-traditional Māori language domains. Auckland, New Zealand: Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. Retrieved from
  • Ravenswood, K. & Douglas, J. (2018). Workplace health and safety in the Home and Community Care sector: A literature review prepared for the Home and Community Health Association.
  • Douglas, J. & Ravenswood, K. (2018). Work's broader risk factors. Safeguard, Issue March/April.
  • Ravenswood, K., & Douglas, J. (2017). The New Zealand Aged Care Workforce Survey 2016. New Zealand Work Research Institute. Retrieved from
  • Morrison, R., & Smollan, R. (2018). Living with open plan: A 20 month follow up on the Meredith Connell office move.  Auckland, New Zealand.

Research centres and groups

The Faculty has strategically invested in high-performing research concentrations that can build strong relationships with external stakeholders, create pathways to impact, generate external research income, and attract high-achieving postgraduate research students.  Several Department staff are actively engaged in research institutes and centres, with much of their research activity conducted in conjunction with these three groups:

Student research

Supervising research students at master's and doctoral level is an essential dimension of our work. We encourage our students to become accomplished researchers in topics that make important contributions to theory and practice. We also help them to disseminate their findings through presenting at scholarly symposia and conferences and submitting to appropriate publications.

A sample of current and recent postgraduate student research projects:

  • Paulette Brazzale - Humanising change at work: Investigating how people deal with working in changing organisations.
  • Shirin Brown - Diversity in local board representation on Auckland Council: The member experience.
  • Yashika Chandhok - The role of gender and culture in business negotiations: A thematic-synthesis study. Master of Business. Awarded August 2019.
  • Tanya Ewertowska - Young New Zealand workers’ experiences of non-standard work and employment in New Zealand.
  • Kahlia Finch - An examination of the experiences of organizational restructuring on the working lives of older women.
  • Azka Ghafoor - Exploring employee creativity behaviours at work: The impact of organizational, psychological and work factors.
  • Chris Griffiths - Tempered radicals fostering inclusion in New Zealand manufacturing industries.
  • Diana Lorenzo - Beneficiary engagement in social entrepreneurship: Perspectives on social value creation through the lens of care ethics.
  • Le Vinh Nguyen - Leadership competencies of hotel frontline managers and their effects on subordinate turnover intentions: A comparative study of New Zealand and Vietnam.
  • Damian Treanor - Employment Relations Act’s first 20 years: Understanding the ERA and its associated processes and outcomes through particular theoretical and empirical lenses.
  • Karishma Prasad - The undoing of gender by senior Female leaders in New Zealand’s ICT industry
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