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Occupational and Business Psychology in the Community

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Time: 5.00pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Kingston Business School building, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB
Price: free
Speaker(s): Jan Maskell, Phillipa Coan, Jan Levy and Stuart C. Carr

Occupational and Business Psychology in the Community

This is the fourth event in the Kingston Business School occupational and business psychology 'Engaging with the Profession' series. This quarterly networking and discussion series will seek to address key issues in our profession and provide a vital opportunity for discussion, development and networking to students and practitioners alike.

This event will provide a deeper insight and understanding into how occupational and business psychology can influence and impact key corporate social responsibility (CSR) topics including sustainability and even poverty. The evening will end with networking, drinks and nibbles.

Event speakers

  • Dr Jan Maskell (MBPsP MCIPD AIEMA), Appreciative Learning, Going Green Working Group (DOP)
  • Dr Phillipa Coan, Business Psychologist and Doctoral Researcher, Socio-Technical Centre, Leeds University Business School
  • Jan Levy, Managing Director, Three Hands
  • Stuart C. Carr (BSc, Phd, FRSNZ), Poverty Research Group, School of Psychology, Massey University


  • 6.00pm - Networking, tea and coffee
  • 6.30pm - Welcome and introduction
  • 6.40pm - Can we accelerate environmental behaviour change? Dr Phillipa Coan
  • 7.00pm - Engage and Change: Occupational Psychologists' role in facilitating Corporate Responsibility, Dr Jan Maskell
  • 7.20pm - Experiential learning: blending CSR with corporate goals, Jan Levy
  • 7.40pm - From CSR to Decent Work:  Anti-Poverty Wage Psychology, Stuart Carr
  • 8.00pm - Networking and drinks

Speaker abstracts

Can we accelerate environmental behaviour change?

This presentation will outline key findings from a recent PhD project which investigated the extent to which we can accelerate environmental behaviour change by causing spillover or behavioural chain reactions across an individual's multiple social settings. Three core studies were carried out in major organisations in the oil and gas and manufacturing industries which combine both qualitative and quantitative research methods. After briefly outlining the research context, Phillipa will reveal the top level findings before discussing the practical implications for both organisations and government.

Engage and change: Occupational psychologists' role in facilitating corporate responsibility

Occupational psychologists can, through their understanding of people and behaviour, offer meaningful models, theories and practical methods to facilitate the engagement challenges facing sustainability and corporate responsibility professionals.

Corporate responsibility is the action organisations take, over and above legal requirements, to manage economic, environmental and social impacts, achieved through engaging with employees, suppliers, customers and the community.

Following our recent survey of corporate responsibility professionals exploring their current and future areas of importance and challenge, the 6E's model has been applied to pro-environmental behaviour change in organisations.

Experiential learning: blending CSR with corporate goals

Jan Levy, Managing Director of Three Hands, will discuss how we can use experiential learning to influence behaviour at work. He will not, however, be talking about learning through internal business projects or raft-building in the Lake District; he will be talking about learning through real projects, in real communities, designed to benefit non-profit partner organisations.

Blending corporate social responsibility, leadership development, teambuilding, culture and employee engagement, these projects provide participants with new insights on themselves and others. Drawing on case studies built up over the past ten years, Jan will discuss what makes a great project and how to make the learning stick, so that it makes a difference to people in the workplace, and beyond.

From CSR to decent work:  Anti-poverty wage psychology

In theory, CSR is the antithesis of Ambrose Bierce's cynical definition of corporations: "an ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." In practice, people are often cynical of CSR itself – seeing it as a smokescreen to continue exploiting people and planet for profit. In research, evidence shows CSR boosts profits, reputation and recruitment – all gains for the corporation not the community. Research it seems has done corporate bidding; "C"sr not c"S"r…

Work psychology is contributing to cSr. A basic example is Anti-poverty wage psychology. At the top of the wages pyramid, the International Labour Organisation (or "ILO") has presented an evidence-based case for less organizational inequality with CEO salaries. At its middle, we have evaluated alternatives to "dual salaries" for expatriate professionals versus host country nationals.  At its foundation, evidence-based advocacy is making a Social case for the "Living Wage" in countries like NZ and the UK.

This interactive meeting will briefly review antipoverty wage psychology and discuss the nexus between CSR and Professional Social Responsibility.

Speaker biographies

Dr Phillipa Coan (MSc, PhD)

Dr Phillipa Coan is a Business Psychologist working in the areas of organisational change, innovation, behaviour change and environmental sustainability for both public and private sector organisations. She is particularly interested in tackling climate change by applying psychological principles to the design of practical interventions. Over the last few years, Phillipa has balanced her consultancy work with completing a PhD in environmental behaviour change for which she has won local and national awards. Phillipa is a member of the British Psychological Society's (BPS) Division of Occupational Psychology and sits on various green groups including the BPS Going Green Working Group as well as a World Universities Network called GROW (Greening Organisations and Work), an international network of universities and businesses that focus on promoting green behaviour at work.

Dr Jan Maskell, (MBPsP MCIPD AIEMA), 

Jan is an independent business psychologist and environmentalist. She works to develop individuals, managers and organisations using a strengths based approach. Developing change programmes, policies, procedures, campaigns, training, coaching and facilitation she encourages the application of the 6Es model for sustainable development.

She has worked in private, public and third sectors as a practitioner and academic. With a first career in building design she has subsequently developed her interests in people and planet. Her main concerns are how, at personal and organisational levels, how to apply the science and practice of psychology to pro-environmental behaviour.

Jan Levy, managing director, Three Hands

Jan Levy is managing director of Three Hands, an organisation that creates high impact, real-life projects and partnerships designed to address business needs and benefit communities, hand in hand. He had an ‘ah-ha' moment about the role of business in society when volunteering in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2000 and has been pursuing it ever since – on his MBA at IESE Business School, Barcelona, during three years at Business in the Community and, since 2005, at Three Hands, where he works at the interface of CSR and learning & development – including regularly designing and running experiential learning projects for organisations such as Nationwide, British Gas, Aimia and Lloyds Banking Group. Jan is a contributor to HR Magazine and Guardian Sustainable Business.

Stuart Carr (BSc, Phd, FRSNZ)

Stuart Carr is professor of work psychology and director of Professional Training at Massey University, New Zealand/Aotearoa. Formerly head of psychology at the University of Malaŵi and Australia's Northern Territory University, Stuart has held visiting scholarships at Universitas Indonesia, Srinakharinwirot University, UNESCO, Bocconi University, Tshwane University of Technology, and Valencia University (Erasmus Scholar). He coordinates the interdisciplinary Poverty Research Group, and co-led Project ADDUP, a multi-sector cross-country DFID/ESRC-funded study of remuneration diversity and poverty reduction. Stuart has consulted widely in for and not profit sectors, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. His books are among the first to examine poverty reduction from the perspective of work psychology. His latest book is Anti-Poverty Psychology (2013).

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Taslim Tharani


Directions to Kingston Business School building, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB: