Sydney academics recognised for workplace health and wellbeing research

A team of researchers at the University of Sydney Business School have been recognised in the inaugural Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) awards for innovation and excellence in research.

Led by Associate Professor Helena Nguyen and Associate Professor Anya Johnson from the Discipline of Work & Organisational Studies, the team has pursued an applied research agenda, working to enhance the wellbeing and performance of healthcare professionals through changing work practices, leadership and culture.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown how much Australians rely on a robust and well-resourced healthcare system. But due to an ageing population, funding cuts and the current pandemic, they are facing enormous challenges that threaten their mental health and overall wellbeing,” said Associate Professor Nguyen.

The work of the research team exemplifies our business not as usual strategy, and our commitment to research that is future-oriented and engaged.

Professor Greg Whitwell, Business School Dean

Since 2005, the research team including Dr Karyn Wang and Dr Shanta Dey from the Business School, Professor Sharon Parker (Curtin University) and Professor Markus Groth (UNSW) have conducted over 25 research projects involving over 10,000 participants to ultimately improve the workplace wellbeing of those on the frontlines.

Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, said: “The work of the research team exemplifies our business not as usual strategy, and our commitment to research that is future-oriented and engaged. I’m incredibly proud of their achievements and extend my sincere congratulations to them.”

The inaugural ABDC network awards celebrate innovation and excellence in Australian business schools and there were 58 award entries in total.

Judged by a panel of experts from professional management, international education, teaching and learning and research networks, they commented on the project: “This project is less traditional but delivers substantial value and represents really impactful partnering both with non-academic sector stakeholders and across universities (with participants from three universities involved).

“The project is pertinent given the pressures that COVID-19 has placed on the healthcare system and the pressures that medical professionals are under at the moment.”

Fresh from their success in the ABDC awards, this week Associate Professors Nguyen and Johnson were part of the team of investigators who secured $389,000 from the Australian Research Council. Working with a multidisciplinary team, they will investigate when, why and how well people regulate others’ emotions.

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