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Lynette McCurdy

School of Management
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
The influence of tribal, commercial and community aspirations on strategic human resource choices, decisions in indigenous organisations

Research Description
My PhD expands on my master’s research by examining how strategic human resource management (SHRM) appears in indigenous organisations in both Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally through comparative case studies. The PhD research will specifically investigate the influence of complex multiple tribal, commercial and community aspirations and responsibilities on human capability and capacity within indigenous organisations. Thus, the PhD falls within the management subdisciplines of human resource management and indigenous organisation theory. The doctoral research will extensively explore aspiration-based decision-making and the resource-based view of SHRM, which focuses on people being key to competitive advantage and how to best manage non-tribal expertise while growing tribal talent. My masters research showed that capacity and capability building issues appear to be significant challenges for Aotearoa New Zealand’s iwi (tribal), rūnunga (council) and hāpu (subtribal) organisations. Unless these issues are urgently addressed, there are risks of cultural dilution, disenfranchisement and lost opportunities in Māori and other indigenous groups to the detriment of indigenous and other economies and global diversity. My research aims to articulate how indigenous organizations manage the complexities related to the depth and breadth of aspirations across their communities and their organizations.

Research Importance
There are gaps in the SHRM field relating to indigenous organizations and how they set and manage their strategies and priorities. Māori partners to the research to date say the research is important to them as a tool to assist in building stronger organizations that remain true to their values.

Research Benefit
Improving the understanding of how and why aspirations influence priorities will assist indigenous organizations to build capability and capacity systems that ultimately benefit their people and their communities. Supporting stronger, sustainable organizations in turn supports diversity and creates opportunities for different groups to work effectively together to benefit all communities.

Personal Description
I moved from Australia to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1995 and have built a career in business and management. I chose to study both my MBS and my PhD at Massey because of the depth of expertise in the School of Business and it's great to have a university of Massey's reputation on my doorstep.

Associate Professor Paul Toulson
Dr Jason Mika
Associate Professor Janet Sayers