The Massey People, Organisation, Work and Employment Research group (MPOWER) researches the management of people in the workplace and organisations with a view to empowering people and organisations to perform.

MPOWER is a cross-campus, cross-college and cross-institution research group to enhance, promote and build on Massey’s expertise in the management of people in the workplace and organisations.

The group seeks to:

  • profile Massey’s people management research internally and externally
  • increase Massey’s attractiveness as a base for academic research and preferred choice for post-graduate study in people management
  • enhance market research activities and expertise through research connections and collaboration
  • foster inter-/trans-disciplinary connections, relationships and research collaboration with external stakeholders
  • gain funding through external research grants, contract research and partnerships.

Our core research areas

MPOWER’s research focuses on:

  • human resource management (HRM)
  • employment relations (ER)
  • people management and performance
  • equality, culture and diversity
  • employee engagement, health and well-being.

Research areas can be analysed through different analytical lenses, such as Māori, gender, leadership, critical management and cross-Pacific perspectives and mixed methodologies.

Human Resource Management

Our leadership team and Executive board members

Meet the team leading MPOWER at Massey University.


“We are always looking for HR or people management-related research to refine our HR advice and training.”
Angela Atkins

Director, Elephant HR. President (Auckland branch), HRINZ

“MPOWER is an exciting new hub that will enable post-graduates to access information and interact with people relevant to their area of research. MPOWER will also provide a forum for collaboration to help address key issues faced by New Zealand organisations.”
Lindsay Eastgate

Massey School of Management post-graduate (ER)

“With MPOWER, we can collaborate on projects where we have more power together - plus events, seminars, conferences, etc.”
Tim Bentley

Former Director. New Zealand Work and Research Institute, AUT

Research and training projects

Current and recent research and training projects include:


Factors influencing work addiction

This study involves 50 countries and is led by Polish researchers and funded by the National Science Centre in Poland.

Prof. Jane Parker will conduct the NZ leg of the project, involving a survey of employees on micro-, meso- and macro-influences on their work engagement and addiction. Cross-national outputs will include the NZ data.

Varieties of industrial relations systems

In this ongoing study, MPOWER researchers examine the key characteristics and dynamics of different nations' industrial relations systems in order to benchmark and compare their character and progress.

The fieldwork draws on cross-national, quantitative datasets and qualitative materials.

Research team: Profs. Jane Parker, Bernd Brandl, Valeria Pulignano and Patrice Jalette, Assoc-Profs Nazim Taskin and Fiona Edgar, Mr Andrew Barney, Dr Annie Zhang, Kerem Ceylen, and Boem Deng.


Worker autonomy and collective action

This MURF-supported (Massey University Research Fund) study investigated the facets of worker autonomy and propensity for collective action in NZ workplaces.

Research team: Prof. Jane Parker and Assoc-Prof. Nazim Taskin.

The role of managers in progressing gender equity, diversity and inclusivity

In NZ public service agencies, focusing on Māori and Pasifika

In this one-year funded study, MPOWER researchers undertook interviews with expert informants and others across three public service agencies to assess managers' role in progressing gender equity with particular regard to female Māori and Pacific employees.

The project fieldwork informed the development of a gender equity index for the sector and developed an online network for data on gender equity and its discussion.

Research team: Prof. Jane Parker, Assoc-Prof. Janet Sayers, and Drs. Shirley Barnett and Amanda Young-Hauser. The research team is also looking to involve additional countries in the project, with a view to producing comparative academic and professional outputs.

Governance study

MPOWER researchers collaborated with Professors Andrew and Nada Kakabadse (Henley Business School, UK) on governance surveys of key industry sectors including higher and tertiary education, sports management and charities.

The New Zealand and other country findings formed the basis of comparative study outputs.

Research team: Profs Jane Parker and Jim Arrowsmith, Dr Nazim Taskin.

Chinese students and career aspirations

This project examined large-scale survey data to assess Chinese tertiary students' desires and needs in the workplace.

Research team: Prof. Dr Jens Mueller, Profs Jim Arrowsmith and Jane Parker, Dr Nazim Taskin, and Dr Dennis Poh Wah Lee (Shantou University).


Women's career aspirations study (II)

MPOWER researchers used recent, nationally-representative survey data to examine the nature of career success for women in NZ, as well as the barriers and facilitators of career progress for women.

Research team: Drs Nazim Taskin and Jeff Kennedy, Prof. Jane Parker.

Gender equity in NZ public service agencies

MPOWER researchers from Massey, Victoria University of Wellington and AUT examined the role of middle managers in progress gender equity initiatives in NZ public agencies.

Seventy managers and staff were interviewed in four key agencies, with the study forming part of a larger study involving Australia.

Research team: Dr Noelle Donnelly, Prof. Jane Parker, Drs Julie Douglas and Katherine Ravenswood.

Living Wage in NZ

This major Marsden fund-support project spanned three years and considered the Living Wage in NZ across a range of stakeholders, using surveys, cases and interview inquiry and 'town hall' type meetings.

Research team: Profs Stu Carr, Darrin Hodgetts, Jane Parker, Jim Arrowsmith and Jarrod Haar, Dr Siautu Alefaio-Tugia and Amanda Young-Hauser.

Management Capabilities Index (NZ)

The Institute of Management NZ (now Institute of Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand (MLANZ) commissioned MPOWER researchers to undertake a literature review and pilot study which informed the updated MCI 2013 survey.

The researchers also produced a survey report based on the NZ MCI 2018 survey findings and developed a journal manuscript based on an extensive literature review and cross-national MCI survey data.

Research team: Prof. Jane Parker, Drs Fatima Junaid and Nazim Taskin.

Management development study

This MPOWER-Critical Management Studies Special Interest Group study was part-funded by the School of Management and examined the roles and impacts of HR and line managers via an online survey.

Research team: Dr Damian Ruth, Prof. Jane Parker and Jane Halteh.


Political economy policy analysis training of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretar

Profs Jane Parker and Jim Arrowsmith ran a training course on policy analysis for PIFS policy analysts and other staff in Suva, Fiji. As well as powerpoint and interactive sessions, they provided a comprehensive resource book for use in and outside the course.

Women's careers and aspirations study (I)

MPOWER, in collaboration with Convergence Partners (executive recruiters): survey of women's careers and aspirations.

Summary findings and recommendations

Escaping the low skill, low pay, low commitment and low performance work cycle

This MPOWER project involved survey, case and interview research in four sectors (health, retail, manufacturing and not-for-profit) in New Zealand to explore how both productivity and employee engagement can be enhanced by better people-management practices.

Research team: Profs Jim Arrowsmith and Jane Parker, and Drs Nazim Taskin, Shane Scahill and Fatima Junaid.

Executive Education Study

MPOWER researchers collaborated with the Institute of Management New Zealand (IMNZ) and the Knowledge Exchange Hub at Massey on a nationwide study of executive education (EE).

A national survey in 2017 focused on: the scale of EE in NZ; characteristics of executives and others using EE training providers; the kinds of subjects on which firms are keen for their executives to receive training; and key training delivery modes.

Summary of headline findings


The Warehouse Group

MPOWER researchers worked with TWG on the design and roll out of a survey of TWG staff, gathering information about perceptions on career paths, opportunities and challenges.

Following a pilot among senior management at TWG, the survey was issued to all TWG staff. A draft report was prepared and some survey respondents opted to take part in follow-up survey and focus group interviews in October. The initial report was extended to include the results from this latter activity.

Living Wage Research

A multi-disciplinary team of cross-College and cross-campus MPOWER researchers undertook a University-funded study of the Living Wage (LW) in New Zealand.

The MPOWER team produced a series of journal articles and papers from this project, as well as presented survey and case study findings to the HR Institute of New Zealand's HR Executive Forum, Diversity Works (formerly the EEO Trust) and at the Living Wage Movement of Aotearoa New Zealand AGM.

Project findings have also been presented at the British Universities Industrial Relations Association Conference in the UK, the Labour, Employment and Work (LEW) Conference in Wellington and the Australia and NZ Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference.

Research team: Profs. Jane Parker (School of Management, Albany), Stuart Carr (School of Psychology, Albany) Jim Arrowsmith (School of Management, Albany) and Jarrod Haar (AUT University), Dr Christian Yao (Victoria University of Wellington).


Nauru Employment Policy

Professors Jim Arrowsmith and Jane Parker were funded by the ILO to undertake a situational analysis to inform the development of a new National Employment Policy in Nauru.

The study involved desk research and in-depth interviews in Nauru with key representatives from Ministries, line government, and other agencies. A report was presented in Nauru by Prof. Arrowsmith in September 2015.

This project was the latest in a series of ILO policy-oriented studies that translated into journal articles, published reports, collaboration among Massey researchers, and teaching materials for HR and employment relations classes at Massey and the University of the South Pacific.

MPOWER expertise by discipline (indicative)

Learn about the specialists working across MPOWER's five main areas of research.

MPOWER events

MPOWER hosts events throughout the year. In addition MPOWER co-host events with other institutions and organisations like HRNZ and the Centre for Labour, Employment and Work (CLEW) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Being an MPOWER member allows you to gain access to these events for free or at a reduced cost. To become a member, email the MPOWER coordinator Jane Parker.


MPOWER newsletter

MPOWER's newsletter offers MPOWER members a chance to read about recent and upcoming events.

The newsletter highlights current research information, projects and collaborations, and enables MPOWER affiliates to advertise forthcoming events or research needs.

Join the MPOWER mailing list to receive the latest newsletter.


Coming up

  • Prof. Mike Bresnen (Machester Metropolitan University, England) will visit MPOWER and Massey University in November 2022. He will give a public lecture.
  • Prof. Patrice Jalette (University of Montreal, Canada) will be an international academic visitor to MPOWER/Massey University in late 2022/early 2023.
  • Dr Katy Jones (Manchester Metropolitan University, England) will be an international academic visitor to MPOWER/Massey University in late 2022/early 2023.
  • MPOWER members will present living wage research at the ADAPT International conference in Bergamo, Italy on 24-26 November.

Previous highlights


  • Dr Wahab Shahbaz and Prof. Jane Paper received the 2022 Labour and Industry Best Paper (Research Insights) Award, presented at the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) Conference at the University of Sydney (online) in February.
  • Prof. Jane Parker (MPOWER co-director) chaired the 2022 HRD National HR Summit in Auckland (online) on 7 April.


  • Prof. Jane Parker presented on the living wage at the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) World Congress (online) and on gender equity in the public service at the World HR Congress in Sri Lanka (online).


  • Researchers from MPOWER, the Ending Poverty and Inequality Cluster (EPIC) in Massey University's School of Psychology, and the School of Management at AUT won the research team category of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) 2019 NZ HR Awards. Their application centred around their major Marsden-funded project on the Living Wage in New Zealand. The stream and overall winners of the awards were be announced at the HRINZ Award Dinner at the SkyCity Convention Centre on 28 February.

    See photos of the event
  • Distinguished Visitor, Prof. Christian Welz, of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, (Eurofound) was a guest at Massey from February-March 2019.

    Visit Eurofound


  • MPOWER researchers presented their work-in-progress for their Marsden-funded project on the Living Wage in NZ to the Living Wage Movement of Aotearoa NZ, 25 July.

    LWMANZ 2018 powerpoints.pptx (1,899 KB)


  • MPOWER co-director, Prof. Jane Parker was the recipient of the HRINZ 2017 NZ HR Award - HR Researcher of the Year. Another MPOWER researcher, Professor Jarrod Haar (AUT) received the award in 2016.


  • MPOWER researchers presented in sessions and a plenary session on the Living Wage at the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) Conference in Leeds, UK, June.


  • MPOWER-TWG The Warehouse Group (TWG) and MPOWER launched their research collaboration partnership.
  • MPOWER researchers, Profs Jane Parker and Jim Arrowsmith, were funded by the ILO to provide a situational analysis of employment (policy) in Nauru.

    Nauru employment policy project (3,427 KB)

MPOWER in the media


Parker, J. and Taskin, N. 2018. The long and winding road: women’s career experiences and aspirations. Te Mohiotanga (CDANZ journal), 17 April

MPOWER publications and outputs

As at early 2022:

Alakavuklar, O. (2022). [Book review] In praise of democratic market socialism in the 21st Century. Organization, published online before print. doi: 10.1177/1350508420928525 (forthcoming).

Alefaio-Tugia, S., Andrews, M., Afeaki-Mafileo, E., Satele, P., Carr, S., Haar, J., Hodgetts, D., Parker, J., Arrowsmith, J., Young-Hauser, A., and Jones, H. (2022). Shifting the Poverty-Lens for Sustainable Livelihoods: A Pasifika Perspective on A Living Wage. In Tū Rangaranga, Massey University Press.

Almond, P., Edwards, T., Kern, P., Kim, K. and Tregaskis, O. (2021). Global norm-making processes in contemporary multinationals. Human Resource Management Journal, 1–19.

Amoah, P. and Eweje, G. (2021). Barriers to environmental sustainability practices of multinational mining companies in Ghana: an institutional complexity perspective. Corporate Governance.

Arrowsmith, J. (2022). Four entries (Annualized hours, Overtime, Shift work, Working time) in A. Wilkinson and S. Johnstone (eds.) Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management. Cheltenham and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. 2nd edition.

Arrowsmith, J. (2022). HR Trends: HRNZ Member Survey, 2021. Wellington: Human Resources New Zealand.

Asad, M., Aizaz Zafar, M. and Sajjad, A. (2022). The Impact of Supervisory Communication Apprehension on Subordinates' Job Performance: An Empirical Study in Pakistan. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business. 9(32).

Barton, R., Béthoux, E., Dupuy, C., Ilsøe, A., Jalette, P., Laroche, M., Navrbjerg, S. and Larsen, T. (2021). “Understanding the dynamics of inequity in collective bargaining: Evidence from Australia, Canada, Denmark and France”, Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 27(1): 113-128.

Bechter, B., Braakmann, N., and Brandl, B. (2021). Variable Pay Systems and/or Collective Wage Bargaining? Complements or Substitutes? Industrial and Labor Relations Review 160(1): 43-64.

Brandl, B. (2021). The cooperation between business organizations, trade unions, and the state during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative analysis of the nature of the tripartite relationship. Industrial Relations (

Brandl, B. (2021). Trust as the cement in the employment relationship? The role of trust in different workplace employment relations regimes. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 8(1): 80-96.

Franke, L. and Pulignano, V. (2022). Labour control and commodification strategies within a food delivery platform in Belgium, Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities; University of Westminster.

Haar, J., Nguyen, R. and Brougham, D. (2022). Support Perceptions, Organisational Citizenship Behaviours, and the Mediating Role of Cultural Wellbeing: Are Effects Stronger for Ethnic Minority Workers? The New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations.

Jalette, P. and Barton, R. (2021). Stratégies des multinationales pour reconfigurer le périmètre de l’entreprise et l’aire de la négociation collective en Tasmanie, Négociations, 35: 89-105.

Muszyński, K., Pulignano, V., and Marà, C. (2022). Product markets and working conditions on international and regional food delivery platforms: A study in Poland and Italy. European Journal Of Industrial Relations.

Parker, J. and Alakavuklar, O. (2022). Union collective action, social movement unionism and worker freedom. International Labour Review.

Parker, J. and Donnelly, N. (2022). Historical developments in the gender pay gap in Aotearoa New Zealand: A longitudinal employment relations critique. Labour History, (forthcoming).

Parker, J., Donnelly, N., Sayers, J., Young-Hauser, A., Barnett, S., Paea, S. and Loga, P. (2022). Women’s Equity Progress in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Public Service. In H. Conley and P. Koskinen Sandberg (eds) Handbook on gender and Public Sector Employment, Edward Elgar (forthcoming).

Plester, B., Kim, H., Sayers, J. and Carroll, B. (2022). “Show us what you’ve got”: From experiences of undoing to mobilizing agentic vulnerability in research. Gender, Work and Organization. 29(1), 58-78.

Pulignano, V. and Morgan, G, (2022). The Social Foundations of Precarious Work: The role of unpaid labour in the family. Faces of Precarity: Critical Perspectives on Work, Subjectivities and Struggles. Bristol University Press.

Sajjad, A. (2022). Beyond shareholder value: a framework for stakeholder governance. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society. (book review).

MPOWER awards

MPOWER Research Excellence Award (Massey University academics and post-graduates only)

The award will be given to the person who submits the strongest award application as judged by a panel comprising MPOWER academic researchers and senior industry representatives.

The strength of a project will be assessed by:

  • its relevance to MPOWER's scope of research (i.e. people and work management studies) in New Zealand and/or overseas;
  • its theoretical and/or methodological robustness;
  • the robustness of the applicant's case for how funds will be spent to progress the study.

To be eligible, applicants need to be planning to lead or co-lead a proposed or current project, and an MPOWER member. Applicants may also be in receipt of concurrent funding from other sources.

Award information

To apply:

Complete and return the award application form

Questions about the award or application process can be emailed to

Other MPOWER awards (Massey University students only)

MPOWER offers several other awards each year. These are presented at the Massey Business School Academic Excellence Awards.

Learn about MPOWER's associates, partners and research group links.


Being an MPOWER member allows you to gain access to events for free or at a reduced cost. To become a member, email the MPOWER coordinator Jane Parker.

Contact us