Dr Helen Louise Delaney

PhD, BCom (Hons) First Class, BCom and BA Conjoint


Helen Delaney (nee Nicholson) completed her PhD at the University of Auckland then undertook a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Department of Business Administration, Lund University, Sweden. She is now a senior lecturer in the Department of Management and International Business at the University of Auckland. Helen is a member of the editorial collective of the journal ephemera: theory & politics in organization.

Research | Current

Helen's research and teaching focuses primarily on the sociology of work and critical perspectives towards organisations. Helen is currently working on three long-term research projects:

Power to the people? A comparative study of workplace reform in New Zealand

This project, funded by a Marsden Fast-Start Research Grant, explores how forms of employee participation  may influence democratic and social life in New Zealand. Through historical, longitudinal and qualitative case studies, the project will explore the realties and tensions of implementing workplace participation initiatives in public and private sector contexts. Professor Nigel Haworth (University of Auckland) and Professor Catherine Casey (University of Leicester) are valued members of the research team.

The life of measures: A study in the social and organizational impact of leadership psychometric instruments

Alongside colleagues Nick Butler (Stockholm University) and Sverre Spoelstra (Lund University), this project continues our research into the politics of producing and commercializing scientific knowledge. Funded by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council), this project examines the ‘double life’ of psychometric measures in the often contrasting worlds of academia and business.

Identity and work

Helen has an enduring interest in how worker’s selves are shaped in and through work. Her research explores the impact of popular discourses, such as leadership, authenticity, and postfeminism, on worker identities. 

Teaching | Current


2016 MGMT 223 Understanding Work and People
2015 MGMT 223 Understanding Work and People
2014 MGMT 223 Understanding Work and People
2013 MGMT 223 Understanding Work and People
2012 MGMT 211 Understanding Organisations
2012 MGMT 314 Critical Issues in Organisations
2011 MGMT 211 Understanding Organisations
2010 MGMT 314 Contemporary Issues in Organisations
2009 MGMT211 Understanding Organisations
2009 MGMT724 Leadership
2008 MGMT202 Innovation and the Entrepreneur
2007 MGMT101 Organisation and Management


Postgraduate supervision

Helen is currently supervising the following students:

Majoreen Amankwah, PhD thesis entitled 'Job quality: The perceptions and strategies of New Zealand workers'

Laura Harvey, PhD thesis entitled 'Examining the complexities of workplace partnership in a public health sector setting'

Elena Obushenkova, PhD thesis entitled 'The influence of smartphone attitudes and behaviours on key workplace relationships'

Betty Ofe-Grant, PhD thesis entitled 'Smashing through the ‘brown glass ceiling’: Exploring perceived barriers of career advancement for Sāmoans working in Aotearoa, New Zealand'

Nicola Russell, PhD thesis entitled 'Exploring the social construction of employee engagement through discourse analysis'


  • 2014 Recipient of Marsden Fast-Start Research Grant (2015-2017)
  • 2014 Research Excellence Award, University of Auckland Business School
  • 2012 Recipient of Wallander Post-Doctoral Research Grant, Sweden
  • 2011 PhD thesis awarded place on Dean's List
  • 2008 New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Scholarship
  • 2008 Universitas 21 Doctoral Mobility Scholarship
  • 2008 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
  • 2007 Enterprise Scholarship (Tertiary Education Commission)
  • 2005 Senior prize in English
  • 2005 Senior prize in Management Studies

Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of work
  • Gender, power, and identity at work
  • Critical organisation theory
  • Critical approaches to leadership and leadership development
  • Sociology of knowledge production
  • Qualitative research methods

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member of the editorial collective of the journal ephemera: theory & politics of organization

Member of the Lund University Management and Organisation Studies Group

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Spoelstra, S., Butler, N., & Delaney, H. (2020). Measures of Faith: Science and Belief in Leadership Studies. Journal of Management Inquiry, online first10.1177/1056492620901793
  • Casey, C., & Delaney, H. (2019). The effort of partnership: Capacity development and moral capital in partnership for mutual gains. ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY10.1177/0143831X19883007
  • Butler, N., Delaney, H. L., & Spoelstra, S. (2018). Risky business: Reflections on critical performativity in practice. Organization, 25 (3), 428-445. 10.1177/1350508417749737
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40654
  • Sullivan, K., & Delaney, H. (2017). Does God want female entrepreneurs to have it all?. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/10/23/does-god-want-female-entrepreneurs-to-have-it-all/. Related URL.
  • Sullivan, K. R., & Delaney, H. (2017). A femininity that 'giveth and taketh away': The prosperity gospel and postfeminism in the neoliberal economy. Human Relations, 70 (7), 836-859. 10.1177/0018726716676322
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34873
  • Butler, N., Delaney, H., & Sliwa, M. (2017). The labour of academia. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 17 (3), 467-480. Related URL.
  • Butler, N., Delaney, H., & Spoelstra, S. (2017). The Gray Zone: Questionable Research Practices in the Business School. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 16 (1), 94-109. 10.5465/amle.2015.0201
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33276
  • Butler, N., Delaney, H. L., & Spoelstra, S. (2016). The grey zone: How questionable research practices are blurring the boundary between science and misconduct. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/grey-zone-how-questionable-research-practices-are-blurring-boundary-between-science-and. Related URL.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 4113
New Zealand

Web links