Prof. Deirdre O'Shea, F.Ps.S.I., C.Psychol.Ps.S.I., is Associate Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology in the Department of Work and Employment Studies at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. She is a Fellow of the Psychological Society of Ireland and a Chartered work and organisational psychologist.

She currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the European Association of Work & Organizational Psychology (www.eawop.org). She is a member of the Board of Delegates (EAWOP representative) of the Alliance for Organizational Psychology (AOP; https://alliancefororganizationalpsychology.com/), and Chair of the AOP conference subcommittee. The AOP is a federation of work, industrial and organisational psychology societies from around the world (IAAP Div 1, EAWOP, SIOP, CSIOP) with a remit to expand the application, contribution and impact of work and organisational psychology to society and to improve the quality of work life, and the effectiveness of individuals and organisations.

Deirdre's research interests include: psychological resource-based interventions, self-regulation, work motivation, emotions and emotion regulation, trust, proactive behaviour, occupational health psychology, and voice and silence in the workplace, amongst others. As a work and organisational psychologist, she is interested in examining these topics in the context of work in its broadest sense, including employment, entrepreneurship, sporting organisations and political fora.

Together with her colleagues, she received the 2017 Best Paper Award in the European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, awarded by the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) and sponsored by the Centre for Creative Leadership.
She is involved in various national and international collaborative research projects investigating these topics and has received research funding from the Higher Education Authority (2022), Health Research Board (2020-2021), Erasmus+ (2016-2018), the Irish Research Council (2014-2016), Enterprise Ireland (2008, 2009), and European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (2013), amongst others. She has also received funding for teaching related activities from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (2014).

Deirdre has published her research in outlets such as: the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Work and Stress, Applied Psychology: An International Review, Personality and Individual Differences, and European Journal of Work & Organisational Psychology, amongst others. In 2015, she co-edited a special issue in the Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology (Vol. 88, Issue 3) on the topic of resource-based interventions in the workplace. Deirdre was a member of the Scientific Committee for the European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology (EAWOP) Congress, held in Dublin in May 2017. She additionally co-organised an EAWOP Small Group Meeting in 2013.

Deirdre completed her PhD and M.Sc. in Work & Organisational Psychology from Dublin City University in 2011 and 2005 respectively, and her B.Sc. in Psychology from University College Dublin in 2002. She received a DCUBS research scholarship to complete her PhD research, which received a Highly Commended Award (Management and Governance Category) in the 2012 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards.

Deirdre has lectured at the University of Limerick, Dublin City University, Oscail (National Distance Education Centre) and the Centre for Talented Youth in Ireland (CTYI). She has been an international visitor at University of Valencia, Spain (2022), EM Business School Strasbourg, France (2022), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (2016, 2018), Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (2012, 2017, 2018), University of Mannheim, Germany (2017), University of Guelph, Canada (2014, 2015), University of Pavia, Italy (2019), Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago (2014), and the University of Heidelberg (2013).

Deirdre is currently supervising 10 PhD research scholars, and has previously supervised 7 to completion. She has supervised over 100 taught masters dissertations, and additionally supervises a number of undergraduate final year projects on occasion.

Research Interests

For more information on publications and research, please see the following:

ORCID ID

ResearchGate profile

Google Scholar profile

Current Research Interests and Projects:
As a work and organizational psychologist, my broad focus is on the application of psychological principles to various applied settings. My research focus lies primarily at the level of the individual, and fundamentally, I am interested in topics that promote the self-management skills of individuals, and contribute to their achievement, well-being and/or optimal functioning, including:

  • Work motivation, self-regulation and proactive and adaptive behaviours
  • Psychological resource based interventions to enhance motivation, well-being and performance behaviours
  • Occupational health psychology, including positive psychology and resilience
  • Emotions and emotion-regulation, both intra- and interpersonal emotion regulation
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Silence and voice in the workplace
  • Interpersonal processes and behaviours, including trust, incivility and aggression

Examples of current research projects are outlined below. At times, there are opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to join research projects for the duration of their dissertation. Interested students should contact: deirdre.oshea@ul.ie

Looking at the Bright Side of Work (BSOW)This international research project investigates the ways in which the experience of work can be enhanced. It uses psychological interventions to enhance the psychological resources of employees, exploring the intersection of self-regulation and popular approaches such as positive psychology, mindfulness and coaching. Research published by the international BSOW group received the 2017 Best Paper award in the European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology. This project was funded by the Irish Research Council (2014).

Getting ahead versus getting along: Investigating how gender stereotypes are contributing to gender equality in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).
Funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), this project is investigating the consequences of stereotyping 'female' and 'male' roles in academia, and how it contributes to underrepresentation in senior roles in HEIs. Drawing on theory and research on gender role stereotypes, the research examines the lack of fit between the 'getting ahead' performance criteria associated with excellent and academic advancement, versus the 'getting along' performance expectations for female academics, even if such expectations are less valued for advancement. The findings will point to specific actions that HEIs can take to redress this imbalance.

Interpersonal emotion regulation and trust in leaders
Critical to public acceptance of, and adherence to, the advice and decisions of medical and political leaders in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is that citizens trust in these individuals and their communications. Compliance with requests and policies that necessitate personal cost and sacrifice is the behavioural outcome of a complex internal psychological dynamic, but the process is significantly influenced by the perceived trustworthiness of the leader making the appeal. Thus, in this project, jointly funded by the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council, we investigate the emotion regulation strategies used by national leaders and look at how they influence perceived trustworthiness and motivate compliance with COVID 19 restrictions.

Publications

Bryan, C., O’Shea, D. & MacIntyre, T. (in press). Stressing the relevance of resilience: A systematic review of resilience across the domains of sport and work. International Review of Sport & Exercise Psychology, doi: 10.1080/1750984X.2017.1381140

 

Clauβ, E., Hoppe, A., O’Shea, D., Michel, A., Gonzalez-Morales, M. G. & Steidle, A. (2018).  Promoting personal resources and reducing exhaustion through positive reflection among caregivers, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 23(1), 127-140.  doi: ocp0000063

 

Pogrebstova, E., Craig, J., Chris, A., O’Shea, D. & Gonzalez-Morales, M. G. (2018). Exploring daily affective changes in university students with a mindful positive reappraisal intervention: A daily diary randomized controlled trial. Stress & Health, 34, 46-58. doi: 10.1002/smi.2759

 

O’Connell, B. H., O’Shea, D. & Gallagher, S. (2017). Feeling thanks and saying thanks: A randomized controlled trial examining if and how socially-oriented gratitude journals work. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(10), 1280-1300, DOI:10.1002/jclp.22469

 

Steidle, A., González-Morales, M. G., Hoppe, A., Michel, A. & O’Shea, D. (2017).  Energizing respites from work: A randomized controlled study on respite interventions.  European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 26(5), 650-662. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2017.1348348

 

Strauss, K., Parker, S. & O’Shea, D. (2017).  When Does Proactivity Have a Cost? Motivation at Work Moderates the Effects of Proactive Work Behavior on Employee Job Strain. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 100, 15-26, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2017.02.001