Dr Helena Dorothy Cooper Thomas

BSc (Hons), MA, PhD, C. Occ. Psych., Reg. Psych.

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Honorary Academic


I completed my BSc (Hons) at Durham University, UK, my MA at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and my PhD at the University of London. My current main service contribution to the University is as Director of Postgraduate Studies in Industrial, Work, and Organisational (IWO) Psychology. I am actively involved in organisational psychology activities in New Zealand, such as supporting ionet and the Auckland IO Special Interest Group, sitting on on the NZ Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal as a registered Psychologist, and instigating and co-organising the NZ Organisational Psychology Conference (2012,2013, 2014). Internationally, I collaborate with colleagues across various countries, and contribute to knowledge through conferences and journals, including being on the editorial boards of two key journals (Journal of Managerial Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology).


Research | Current

My research interests focus on employee attitudes and behaviours, and employee-employer relations. I research in the areas of newcomer adjustment and organisational socialisation, the development of the psychological contract and person-organisation fit, organisational engagement, stress and bullying, and upward influence.

I have published in a number of respected applied psychology, organisational behaviour and human resources journals, and presented my research at various international conferences. In 2013 I co-edited the book "Relationships in organizations: A work psychology perspective" (with Dr Rachel Morrison at AUT University). I have provided consulting to a range of private and public sector organisations. I enjoy working collaboratively with students and colleagues, and with a range of employees and other stakeholders in participant organisations.

I recently completed an interview-based study with MPs new to New Zealand’s Parliament between 2011 to 2014. A report on this research can be downloaded below.


Teaching | Current

I teach on IWO Psychology courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level (Psych 322, Psych 730, Psych 760, Psych 761).


Four students produced high quality white papers in Psych 761 Organisational Psychology. The links for these are posted below.


Postgraduate supervision

I supervise a range of postgraduate students (Honours, Masters, PhD, PGDipAppPsych), often co-supervising with colleagues in other departments within the University.


2014: Best journal paper award for Cooper-Thomas and Wright (2013), Journal of Managerial Psychology

2013: Best Full Paper Award for Cooper-Thomas, Stadler, and Paterson (2013) in the Research Methods stream of the British Academy of Management Conference

2012: William A. Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for Chen, Ployhart, Cooper-Thomas, Anderson, and Bliese (2011) from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology for the best refereed journal publication in the field of industrial and organizational psychology during the past full year

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Member of the NZ Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
  • Associate Editor of the Journal of Managerial Psychology
  • Consulting Editorial Board of the Journal of Business and Psychology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Cooper-Thomas, H. D., Paterson, N. L., Stadler, M. J., & Saks, A. M. (2014). The relative importance of proactive behaviors and outcomes for predicting newcomer learning, well-being, and work engagement. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84 (3), 318-331. 10.1016/j.jvb.2014.02.007
  • Malik, A., Cooper Thomas, H. D., & Zikic, J. (2014). The neglected role of cultural intelligence in recent immigrant newcomers’ socialization. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 14 (2), 195-213. 10.1177/1470595813507245
  • Cooper-Thomas, H., Gardner, D., O'Driscoll M, Catley, B., Bentley, T., & Trenberth, L. (2013). Neutralizing workplace bullying: The buffering effects of contextual factors. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28 (4), 384-407. 10.1108/JMP-12-2012-0399
  • Morrison, R. L., & Cooper Thomas, H. D. (Eds.) (2013). Relationships in organizations: A work psychology perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Pages: 303. 10.1057/9781137280640
  • Cooper-Thomas, H. D., & Wright, S. (2013). Person-environment misfit: The neglected role of social context. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28 (1), 21-37. 10.1108/02683941311298841
  • Cooper Thomas, H. D., & Burke, S. E. (2012). Newcomer proactive behavior: Can there be too much of a good thing?. In C. Wanberg (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Socialization (pp. 56-77). New York: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199763672.001.0001
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24306
  • Cooper-Thomas, H. D., Anderson, N., & Cash, M. L. (2012). Investigating organizational socialization: A fresh look at newcomer adjustment strategies. Personnel Review, 41 (1), 41-55. 10.1108/00483481211189938
  • Cooper-Thomas, H. D., & O'Connor F (2011). Psychologists working with organisations. In F. Seymour, S. Blackwell, J. Thorburn (Eds.) Psychology and the law in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 235-254). Auckland, NZ: The New Zealand Psychological Society.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24065