Studying human behaviour in the workplace
Amy Templeman is working towards her Master of Organisational Psychology, researching job insecurity, emotional regulation, and feelings of authenticity at work.
“I knew after I first graduated that I wanted to pursue a postgraduate degree in Psychology, but it wasn’t until I had spent a few years gaining some work and life experience that I discovered my passion for Organisational Psychology.
“The world of employment is constantly changing, and I find studying human behaviour within a work context particularly captivating. Many of us will spend a significant portion of our lives at work, so seeking out the different ways we can solve workplace problems and improve the wellbeing and performance of organisations and employees alike is of great interest to me.
“Choosing where to complete my postgraduate studies was a bit of a no-brainer! Only a handful of Universities in Aotearoa provide a Master of Organisational Psychology programme. Additionally, The University of Auckland is well-ranked at both a national and international level, I wanted a postgraduate degree that people around the world would immediately recognise as a reputable qualification. Knowing some of my lecturers from my undergraduate studies was another bonus, as was being able to stay relatively close to my family in Waikato.
I find studying human behaviour within a work context particularly captivating. Many of us will spend a significant portion of our lives at work, so seeking out the different ways we can solve workplace problems and improve the wellbeing and performance of organisations and employees alike is of great interest to me.
“Industrial and Organisational psychology applies scientific knowledge and psychological principles to workplace issues, focusing on the intricate dynamics between individuals, groups, and organisations. Research emerging in this field allows us to understand why we display certain behaviours at work, what changes might enable employees to be more satisfied and productive, and how organisations can improve their performance and success.
“My research focuses on job insecurity, emotional regulation, and feelings of authenticity at work. The COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly changing job market of the 21st century undoubtedly causes many individuals to fear change to (or the loss of) their jobs, particularly for those within different minority groups and those who perceive themselves to have less power in their organisations.
“I am interested in how this job insecurity prompts individuals to regulate and control which emotions they present when interacting with other organisation members, such as colleagues, supervisors, and leaders, and whether this leads to the individual feeling more (or less) like "themselves", or simply, authentic.
“It's hard to choose my favourite part of the programme! I enjoy the range of people I have met across my studies, and having the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. I also appreciate that the programme itself is relatively small, and so I have been able to form close friendships with my cohort. These connections have undoubtedly made my study all the more enjoyable, and significantly enhanced my learning experience.
“The supervisors in the programme are truly amazing - we receive a tonne of support and guidance around academic writing and data analysis, and it is something I know all the students in the programme genuinely appreciate.
“I will complete my Masters in June 2022, and I am considering continuing my research with a PhD in Organisational Psychology with the University of Auckland.
“My long-term plan is harder to nail down – Organisational Psychology has such a wide range of future job prospects – however, I can imagine myself continuing on to more research-based work or into a management consultancy role.
“Regardless of where I end up, I know that I will be able to put the skills and knowledge I have gained in the Master of Organisational Psychology programme to use on a daily basis.”