Sharon Parker

Professor, ARC Laureate Fellow, BSc W.Aust. , PhD Sheff.

  • The University of Western Australia (M261), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


Sharon K. Parker is an ARC Laureate Fellow, a Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the UWA Business School, University of Western Australia and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sheffield where she was previously Director at the Institute of Work Psychology. She is a recipient of the ARC’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Award, and the Academy of Management OB Division Mentoring Award. Her research focuses particularly on job and work design, and she is also interested in employee performance and development, especially their proactive behaviour. She has published more than 75 internationally refereed articles, including publications in top tier journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and the Annual Review of Psychology on these topics. Sharon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology. She is an Associate Editor for Academy of Management Annals, a past Associate Editor of the leading organisational psychology journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and she has severed on numerous editorial boards. Professor Parker has attracted competitive research funding worth over $13,000,000, and has worked as a researcher and consultant in a wide range of public and private organizations. She is Chair of the UWA Academic Promotion Committee.

Funding overview

2016-2017 $268,240 Success In the Operating Theatre: Multidisciplinary Pre-Operative Briefings For Efficiency, Patient Safety, and Staff Engagement. WA Department of Health, State Health Research Advisory Council (SHRAC), CI’s Parker, S.K., Rammohan, A., Hamdorf, J., Flemming, A.F.S., Leung, Y., Griffin, M.

2015- 2019 $334,100 Work design matters: The dynamic interplay of work and person factors. Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, DP150103312, CI’s Parker, S.K., Dunlop, P.D., Parkes, K.R., Straker, L.M.

2014- 2017 $340,000 Not-for-profit work sector learning. Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, LP140100245. CI’s Flatau, P. R., Parker, S. K., Wenzel, R., Sanders, K., Bednall, T. C., Hems, L. C., Lyden, A.

2014-2015 $2,500 UWA Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Awards

2013- 2014 $97,0000 “Thanks, but no thanks”: Mitigating leaders’ negative responses to challenging proactivity. Australian Centre for Leadership. CIs: Liao, J. and Parker, S. K.

2014 $25,300 “Impact of IM4DC activities for university providers”, IM4DC Action Research Grant. Griffin, M., Parker, S.K., Wang, Y.L., Andrei, A., Jorritsma, K.

2014 $51,750 “Evaluation of Impact - A proposal to support the review of IM4DC educational programs'. IM4DC Action Research Grant . Griffin, M., Parker, S.K., Wang, Y.L., Andrei, D., Jorritsma, K.

2014 $51,750 "Tracer Studies: evaluating longer term impact of IM4DC programs”. IM4DC Action Research Grant. Griffin, M., Parker, S.K., Wang, Y.L., Andrei, D. Jorritsma, K.

2012-2014 $1,000,000 Various externals research funds and applied consulting fees as part of the UWA Accelerated Learning Laboratory (eg from BHP Billiton; Wesfarmers; BGC; IM4DC).

2013 $51,750 “Evaluation of Impact - A proposal to support the review of IM4DC educational programs”. IM4DC Action Research Grant. Griffin, M., Parker, S.K., Wang, Y.L., Jorritsma, K. Andrei, D

2013-2016 $290,000 Wise proactivity: Making the right things happen in the right way. Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. DP130104814. Role: Sole Chief Investigator.

2012 $29, 568 “Facilitating Accelerated Developing During IM4DC Short Courses”. IM4DC Action Research Grant. Parker, S.K. & Wang, Y.L.

2011-2014 $600,000 Establishment of the Australian data archive: an integrated research facility for the social sciences and humanities. Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LE110100049). Prof Deborah A Mitchell (CI) & other academics from UWA, ANU, University of Melbourne, UQ, UTS. Role: Co-Investigator.

2011-2014 $870,032 Building individual and collective proactivity in performance-critical work contexts. Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

2010 $240,000 Evaluation of Community Investment Strategy in the Pilbara for major resource company in conjunction with the Centre for Social Impact. Role: Chief Investigator.

$480,000 Accelerated Learning Laboratory funding from the University of Western Australia Vice Chancellor’s Fund ($240,000; the UWA Psychology Department ($120,000), and the UWA Business School Future Fund ($120,000). Role: Co-Chief Investigator.

2008 £45,000 Partner investigator in project led by Dr Carol Borrill on Work Stress in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. Role: Co-Investigator.

£10,500 from E.ON Retail for project on proactive work behaviour. Role: lead consultant.

£10,000 from Creative Sheffield for recruitment project: Role: lead consultant.

2007- 2011 AUS$212,000 Partner- investigator on ARC Linkage Grant with Dr Markus Groth (Chief Investigator), Dr S. McCarthy, and Ms A. Thornton. Promoting well-being and performance of health-care professionals. Industry Partner: Prince of Wales Hospital.

2003-2006 AUS$240,000 Co- investigator with Prof MA Griffin (CI), Dr A Rafferty, Prof John Cordery, and Prof Phyllis Tharenou on project funded by the Office of Employment Advocate. Individual work place agreements. (DP0346405).

2003-2006 AUS$214,000.00 Chief and sole investigator on Discovery Project Grant. Motivating employee proactivity by redesigning the work context (DP0346405).

2003-2006 AUS$255,000.00 Chief Investigator on Linkage Grant with Dr MA Griffin, Dr CM Mason and Dr J Barling. Unraveling Leadership Development: Evaluating outcomes, contrasting interventions, and exploring processes (LP0347788) Industry Partner(s): Queensland Health Pathology and Scientific Services; Department of Industrial Relations

1999-2002 AUS$150,000.00 Associate investigator on SPIRIT project with Dr MA Griffin & NL Jimmieson (Chief Investigators, Qld Univ. of Technology) and Dr PM Hart and Dr A Neal. Understanding organisational health: Aligning employee well-being and work group effectiveness (C10024003). Industry Partner: Main Roads, Qld Office of Public Service

1998-2001 £90,000 Self-management teams and employee safety: Joint funding from UK Health & Safety Executive Offshore Division and BP Oil, Scotland. Chief Investigator.

1999-2001 £63,000 Minimising the psychosocial risks of team working and new ways of working: UK Health and Safety Executive. Chief Investigator

1998-2000 £48,000 Interventions to reduce stress at work: Conversion of research studies into practitioner case studies. UK Health and Safety Executive. Chief Investigator.

1994-2001 £100,000 Co-funding (direct) from industrial partners.

1994-1997 £240,000 Organizational interventions to reduce the impact of poor work design. 3 year project. Health and Safety Executive. Chief Investigator.

Previous positions

2006-2009 Director, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield; Professor of Work Psychology.
2005-2006 Associate Dean (Research), AGSM, The University of New South Wales, Australia
2004-2006 Professor, AGSM, The University of New South Wales, Australia
2000-2004 Associate Professor, AGSM, The University of New South Wales, Australia
1999-2000 Senior Lecturer, AGSM, The University of New South Wales, Australia
1994-1999 Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK
1993-1994 Research Scientist, MRC/ESRC Social and Applied Psychology Unit, University of Sheffield, UK
1989-1991 Research Associate, School of Management/ Department of Psychology, Curtin University, Western Australia.

Teaching overview


Teaching experience includes the development and delivery of courses and topics in organisational psychology, organisational behavior, and research methods to undergraduate, masters students, executives, and PhD students in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia.

In 2012/3 I introduced an innovation within the flexible MBA program to promote student learning and their effectiveness as a leader: “LAUNCH”. This is a voluntary personal development program involving raising self-awareness via rigorous assessments, feedback, and experiential learning. Over 120 students have participated in the program so far; many describing it as the most valuable course they carried out during their MBA. Example testimonials include:

I found LAUNCH to be a fantastic experience that gave me a far greater appreciation and understanding of myself, my strengths and my interests; as well as building strong inter-personal connections with my cohort based on gaining a greater understanding and appreciation of them, their strengths and their interests.

I just wanted to say thanks so much for your efforts with Launch. I really enjoyed it and am so grateful I was able to take part in it. It was incredibly valuable for me and so affirming. I can't imagine my MBA journey without this unit. Thanks!

It was a wonderful experience and I am both honoured and grateful to have been involved.

Additional voluntary teaching in 2012-3 includes:
• Teaching on the Psychology Organizational Development course (2012, 2013)
• Teaching on the Centre for Social Impact, Leadership unit (2011,2012)
• Graduate Research Co-ordinator Role (ended May 2013)
• Teaching on the Psychology, Research Methods course (2012, 2013)
• Leading for Proactivity Executive Education programs (UWA Executive Education, Australian Institute of Management, Bankwest, etc)
• UWA Staff and Organisational Development taster ‘leading for proactivity’ module
• UWA Leadership Development for Women workshops: Leadership Development Profile feedback

Previous teaching (illustrative) includes:

• Advanced Management Program, UWA Masters students.
• Organisational behavior module on the Masters in Occupational Psychology.
• Academic Director, EMBA, Graduate Certificate of Change Management (an on-line specialist change programme for managers and executives). Responsible for overall academic content of the course, marketing, and industry liaison.
• Course Lecturer, Executive MBA, Executive Year, Strategic Management II.
• Course leader, Redesigning the Organization, Graduate Certificate of Change Management. Responsibilities include developing and updating course material, co-ordinating and managing tutors, and designing and overseeing assessment procedures.
• Facilitator for Redesigning the Organisation, Graduate Certificate of Change Management. Responsibilities include: coaching students through the materials, carrying out teleconferences, providing on-going feedback, and assessment.
• Supervision of PhD and masters students (see below)

Additional teaching (illustrative) includes:

- Presenter on Executive Program, Managing People for Performance.
- Co-Presenter/ Co-Organizer: 'Developing Effective Coaches'. 1-day Training Workshop for EMBA coaches, with follow-up de-briefing sessions (ratings available).
• Co-Presenter/ Co-Organizer: 'Developing Effective Coaches'. 1-day Training Workshop for Full-time MBA coaches (ratings available).
• Sessions on 'High Performance Teams', Senior Management Workshop for GPEA/ RACGP Session on 'Designing & Developing Effective Organizations', AGSM Executive Development Programme organised by the International Labor Organization.

Teaching includes supervision and lecturing on the Masters in Occupational Psychology course at the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield (1990-1998; 2007-present) on a range of topics, including: job design, leadership, research methods, diversity, assertiveness, negotiation skills, learning & development, and organisational change. Responsibilities included module organising, course development, and delivery. I have also been invited to teach MBA students from various universities (e.g. Birkbeck College, Queens University). Past short-term contract lecturing positions include:

• Occasional lecturer (Undergraduate Occupational Psychology, Psychology Department, University of Sheffield) (1997-8)
• Part-time lecturer (Information Technology, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield-Hallam University) (1994)
• Short-term visiting lecturer (Hong Kong; Occupational Psychology, Cheltenham Gloucester College of Higher Education, International Centre for Advanced Studies) (1994)
• Part-time lecturer (Masters Students, Research Methods, Food and Leisure Management Department) (1993-1994)

I have also carried out part-time tutoring roles in the earlier stages of my career, such as running 1st year Psychology laboratory tutorials at the University of Sheffield (1990-1991); tutoring Research Methods and Statistics at Curtin University, (1989-1990); and tutoring undergraduate students in Occupational Behavior, Food and Leisure Management Department, Sheffield-Hallam University, (1993-1994).
Recent Committee Work

UWA Academic Promotions Committee (2014-ongoing)
Multiple selection committees, UWA Business School / UWA Psychology Department
UWA Research Committee (2012 – 2014)
International Committee, UWA Business School (2010-2012)
Research Development Awards for Humanities and Social Sciences, UWA (2011)

Supervision of PhD and Masters Students

Current PhD students
Francesco Cangiano (1st supervisor)
Joseph Carpini (1st supervisor)
Zijun Cai (1st supervisor)
Patrick (Ian) Boudville (co-supervisor)
Rachel Percy (co-supervisor)

Successful Masters by Research completions
Shen-Yang Lin (2015) “Understanding the psychological processes of innovating from failure”

Successful PhD completions as supervisor:
Andrea Steele (co-supervisor)
Chiahei Wu (1st supervisor) 2013 [Recipient of the BHP Billiton PhD Prize]
Tom Calvard (1st supervisor)
Uta Bindl (1st supervisor)
Nick Turner (1st supervisor)
Catherine Collins (1st supervisor)
Judith McCormick (1st supervisor)
Carolyn Axtell (1st supervisor)


Proactive behavior at work
Self-efficacy & employee development
Staff well-being & active mental health
Job and work design including job enrichment, empowerment, and team work
Organizational change & development
Perspective taking

Research expertise keywords

  • Job And Work Design, Innovative Work Practices, Team Work
  • Future Of Work
  • Employee Work Stress, Mental Health, Well-Being
  • Employee Proactivity And Innovation
  • Employee Job Performance
  • Work design
  • Mental health
  • Proactivity
  • Leadership


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