THIS BLOG

MP120111AH2_029-1I am Tom Cox: I am an organizational psychologist of some experience broadly specialising in occupational health issues relating to work, health and the sustainability of working life. One of my current concerns is cancer survivorship and work engagement. I hold Chairs at three universities. My primary affiliation is with Birkbeck University of London where I hold the Chair of Occupational Health Psychology & Management and where I am Director of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL) in the School of Business, Economics & Informatics. I am also heavily involved in the METIS Collaboration as its Co Director. METIS is hosted at the University of Aberdeen by the Academic Urology Unit in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine & Dentistry. I hold an Honorary Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at that University. Last but not least, I have an Emeritus Chair in Organizational Psychology at the University of Nottingham in the Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology, School of Medicine.

images-2Hopefully, I am a productive researcher. I have had about 5000 citations (so far) of my more substantive publications with a h-index of 37 and an i10-index of 98. Since the beginnings of my partial retirement  in 2010, I have managed an h-index of 25 and any i10-index of 53 (Google Scholar).

This is my personal and work blog. The Blog shares news of my current research, my professional activities, some of my other interests outside of sport and my travels. It also copies in my Twitter accounts which are focused on Economic & Political News and Occupational & Public Health News and RSS feeds in my areas of interest. The Blog incorporates material from The OHP Review originally published as an online guide to Occupational Health Psychology.

The blog has achieved over 15,600 hits. Recently, the top 10 countries, by hits,have been the UK, USA, Brazil, Canada, Itlay, Australia, Ireland, Germany and Sweden. The blog also seems to have some appeal in countries such as Latvia, the UAE, Cyprus, Iceland, Serbia and Croatia!

The BLOG ADDRESS is: http://www.proftcox.com.
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APRIL: ESRC SEMINAR ON CANCER & EMPLOYMENT

FIRST ESRC DISCUSSION SEMINAR ON CANCER & EMPLOYMENT: THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PERSON WITH CANCER AND THEIR FAMILY

Unknown-3The first Discussion Seminar in our ESRC Seminar Series on Cancer & Employment was held, as planned, on Tuesday 21st April in the Institute of Medical Science, University of Aberdeen and hosted by the Academic Unit of Urology. Our thanks go to Dr Sara MacLennan and Sarah Murdoch (Academic Urology Unit (AUU), Aberdeen) who organised the meeting. It was well attended attracting many of the key people and organisations in NE Scotland concerned with dealing with the issues associated cancer and employment.

images-3The seminar focused on three things: (1) better understanding these issues through the lens of those with cancer and their families, (2) translating our current knowledge into policy and practice (broadly defined) and (3) identifying gaps in our current knowledge that hinder moving quickly from research into action. Framing this seminar, and those that will follow in the series, is a desire to build a network of interested and informed colleagues who will work together to promote the area and to build capability by encouraging and mentoring those early in their careers. At this early stage in the project’s development, a network of some 50 people is emerging.

IMG_2273The morning session was introduced by Dr Sara MacLennan who gave a short presentation on the ESRC Seminar Series project. She then gave an informed overview of some of the likely issues based on her own research in the NHS Grampian region with a focus on the SCOT-PAIS: Better Ways Initiative that is funded by UCAN and Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland. She then introduced the guest speakers: Dr Gail Eva (Clinical Sciences, Brunel) and Dr Fehmidah Munir (Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough) both respected researchers in psychosocial oncology. They illustrated the area, our knowledge of it and its challenges with reference to their own research. The three presentations will be made available through the AUU website and will also be accessible through the website of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL), Birkbeck University of London.

The afternoon session, chaired by Professor Tom Cox (CSWL, Birkbeck University of London) was given over to group discussions which proved lively, constructive and informative as witnessed in the final feedback and plenary session.

The later feedback on the seminar itself was uniformly positive and very encouraging. The information gleaned during the day and the learning points to be taken from the meeting will be discussed by the Managing Team and then discussed in the second Development Seminar. The second Discussion Seminar will be held in Newcastle on 9th July and will look at the issues involved in cancer and employment from the economic perspective. Further information from: Dr Heather Brown (Institute of Health & Society, University of Newcastle: heather.brown@newcastle.ac.uk).

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APRIL: COLLABORATION MEETING

MEETING OF CSWL BIRKBECK & AUU ABERDEEN ON APPLIED RESEARCH & POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION

bbkA one-day meeting was held on 14th April at Birkbeck University of London between its Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL), School of Business, Economics & Informatics, and the Academic Urology Unit (AUU),Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen. The focus of this meeting was to discuss a strategy for promoting collaboration in research and postgraduate education in areas of shared interest.

UnknownThe morning session was introduced by Professor Tom Cox (CSWL, Birkbeck)with a brief presentation on CSWL, its structure, interests and involvements. He also provided an outline of The METIS Collaboration which is a core shared interest of CSWL and AUU. The morning session focused on developing an explicit joint research strategy but also on the possibility and likely nature of a joint involvement in postgraduate education.

Following a brief buffet lunch hosted by Professor Philip Dewe, the after noon session was introduced by Dr Sara MacLennan (AUU, Aberdeen). She presented an overview of the SCOT-PAIS project which is led by AUU but involved CSWL. The afternoon session focused on shared interests and research on cancer survivorship and, in particular, its relationship to work engagement. There was discussion of progression of the jointly held ESRC Seminar series award: cancer and employment. New areas of interest and new funded projects were also discussed.
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APRIL: NEW PUBLICATION

LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE ACROSS TWO HIERARCHICAL LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP: CONCURRENT INFLUENCES ON WORK CHARACTERISTICS AND EMPLOYEE PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH.

twst20.v027.i04.coverOur empirical paper on Leader – Member Exchange (LMX)  has now been published  in Work & Stress (TF Informa). The journal’s impact factor is: 2.14.  It is ranked 18th out of a 181 applied psychology journals. 

The paper can be cited as:

Karanika-Murray, M., Bartholomew, K.J., Williams, G., and Cox, T. (2015). Leader-Member Exchange across two hierarchical levels of leadership: Concurrent influences on work characteristics and employee psychological health. Work & Stress, 29,57-74.

My particular thanks go to Maria Karanika-Murray for persevering with this paper and crafting it through to publication. I would also like to thank our other colleagues at Nottingham Trent and East Anglia Universities who were involved.
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APRIL: 12th CONFERENCE EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY

12th CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN ACADEMY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY (EAOHP) TO BE HELD IN ATHENS 2016

timthumbThe 12th Conference of the EAOHP is to be held in the Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens from 11th – 13th April 2016. A Call for Papers will open on 18th May 2015.

1404981186The 11th EAOHP Conference was held in Birkbeck University of London, hosted by the centre for Sustainable Working Life, School of Business, Economics & Informatics. It proved to be one of the EAOHP’s largest and most vibrant conferences and there is every reason to believe that the 2106 Conference in Athens will also be that successful.

Further information may be found at: www.eaohp.org.
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MARCH: ESRC SEMINAR SERIES: UPDATE

ESRC SEMINAR SERIES ON CANCER AND EMPLOYMENT ~ SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVES: DISCUSSION SEMINARS

8-2754esrc-logoWe are pleased to announce the dates for the first two Discussion Seminars in our ESRC funded Seminar Series on Cancer and Employment. This Seminar series is organised through The METIS Collaboration.

Unknown-1The first Discussion Seminar will be held in the University of Aberdeen on 21st April and will focus on the Perspectives of the Person with Cancer & Their Family. Contact: Dr Sara MacLennan (Academic Urology Unit, Aberdeen University: s.maclennan@abdn.ac.uk).

The expert speakers, who will introduce and stimulate the planned discussion, will include: Dr Fehmidah Munir (Loughborough University), Dr Gail Eva (Brunel University) and Dr Sara MacLennan (Aberdeen University).

Dr MacLennan will introduce the discussion. She will outline the issues that appear to challenge those with cancer and their families with regards work engagement and that might be addressed in that discussion.

fehmidah-munir-smDr Munir will speak to “Returning to work following cancer treatment does not always result in normality”.

Dr Eva‘s title is “Your problem does not fit my solution – the mismatch db377ccdc1729e6222d03252c8468bc5_400x400between people’s needs and the support on offer “.

There are only a handful of places still available for this seminar. Those interested must contact Dr Sara MacLennan immediately.
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Claremont_Tower_and_Bridge,_Newcastle_University_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1761154The second Discussion Seminar will be held in the University of Newcastle on 9th July and will concern the Labour Market & Economic Context to Employment of those with cancer. Contact: Dr Heather Brown (Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University : heather.brown@ newcastle.ac.uk).

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Arrangements
Both seminars will start mid morning and will close mid afternoon. Each of the discussion topics (seminars) will be introduced with commentary by two speakers well versed in the area.

All will be welcomed but registration is essential as light lunches will be provided: please contact the appropriate person. There will be a maximum of 30 participants for each seminar.

Objectives
The first objective of a Discussion Seminar is to identify and better understand the issues that arise for and from the employment of those with cancer from a particular perspective or in a particular context (as above). The second objective is to discuss the state of current knowledge and how that might be usefully translated into policy and practice. The third objective is to identify existing knowledge, policy and practice gaps and start to build an overall Forward Agenda for the area.

FURTHER INFORMATION will be made available through this Blog over the coming weeks and also through the websites for the Universities of Aberdeen and Newcastle and that of the Centre for Working Life, Birkbeck University of London.

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MARCH: NEW RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS

TWO RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS MADE TO THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE WORKING LIFE

imagesWe are very pleased to announce two new researcher appointments to the Centre for Sustainable Working Life, School of Business, Economics & Informatics, Birkbeck University of London: Dr Gianina-Iona Postavaru and Dr Magda Marczak. Their Selection Panel was chaired by Professor Tom Cox and also included Dr Juliet Hassard and Catherine Griffiths with advice and support from Professor Philip Dewe.

UnknownFormerly, a Researcher with the Applied Health Psychology Research Group and the Centre for Abuse & Trauma Studies, Middlesex University, Dr Postavaru holds a double PhD in Psychology & Social Sciences (University of Loughborough & Alexandru Ioan Cruz University, Romania) and a Masters in Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy (Alexandru Ioan Cruz University, Romania). She has professional experience in supporting those with cancer in Romania and has ben involved in research on breast cancer survivorship and life disruption in both the UK and Romania. She has published in this and other related areas. Gianina is a member of the Red Cross Romania and of the National Federation of Patients with Chronic Medical Conditions in Romania. She will be working with Professor Tom Cox and his colleagues in the Centre and with Dr Sara MacLennan, Academic Urology Unit, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, through The METIS Collaboration. One focus of her work will be the ESRC funded Seminar Series on Cancer & Work Engagement.

05453b4Currently a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Coventry University, Dr Marczak holds a PhD in Applied Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Psychology (Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham) and a Masters in Organisational Psychology & Vocational Guidance (University of Lodz, Poland).  She has varied professional experience in clinical psychology and in health and social care. Her research currently focuses on cyber bullying with a strong interest in the management of health and safety at work. She has published on cyber bullying. Magda is a member of the British Psychological Society and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. She will be working with Dr Juliet Hassard and her colleagues on our projects funded by the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work and related issues.

Both Gianina and Magda have contributed to teaching on research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and have published in this area.

We are very pleased to welcome to our growing team at Birkbeck University of London.
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MARCH: HONORARY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

DR SARA MACLENNAN IS AWARDED AN HONORARY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP BY BIRKBECK UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

SMacDr Sara MacLennan, who helped found The METIS Collaboration and who is now its Co Director, has been awarded an Honorary Research Fellowship by Birkbeck University of London to support her work with the Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL) in its School of Business, Economics & Informatics. She is the first Honorary appointment made by the College to CSWL.
aberdeen_uniFormerly an Associate Professor of Health Psychology in the WHO Institute of Work, Health & Organisations, University of Nottingham, Sara is currently Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology in the Academic Urology Unit in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. She is also Operations Director of UCAN (an Aberdeen based urological cancer charity). She was educated at the University of Liverpool (BSc) and Nottingham University Medical School (PhD). She is well published in the areas of cancer treatment, cancer survivorship and also occupational health psychology.

Sara holds joint research grants on cancer survivorship and work engagement with Professor Tom Cox, CSWL, funded by Macmillan in Scotland, by UCAN and by the ESRC. She is also supporting CSWL’s developing interests in the effects of breast and of head and neck cancers on working life.
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MARCH: THINGS THAT CANCER SURVIVORS AND THEIR GPS MAY NOT KNOW

The MUHC (McGill University Health Centre) super hospital in Montreal, Monday December 8, 2014.
The MUHC (McGill University Health Centre) super hospital in Montreal, Monday December 8, 2014.Vincenzo D’Alto / Montreal Gazette

Gen Chaput, a physician at the McGill University Health Centre who oversees the Cancer Survivorship Program, says cancer survivors, their families and even their physicians are often unaware of the risks and side-effects they face in the months and years after treatment.

Prostate cancer accounted for 21 %of the cancers diagnosed in Canada in the 10-year period ending Jan. 1, 2009. Breast cancer was the second-most common cancer, accounting for 18.8 % of cancer, followed by colorectal cancer (12.5 %), lung cancer (4.7 %) and melanoma (4.7 %).

The good news is that 64 % of cancer survivors in Canada are alive five or more years after their diagnosis.

50 % of cancer survivors suffer after effects of their cancer treatment, including leukemia, loss of libido, heart and lung diseases, higher risk of melanoma, decreased bone density and increased risk of osteoporosis.

Common issues of cancer survivors: anxiety and depression; cognitive loss; pain; sexual dysfunction; fatigue and depression; sleep disorders; need for immunisation and infection prevention; importance of exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

70 % of survivors express high levels of fear that the cancer will come back.

40 % of cancer survivors who had chemotherapy treatment reported memory problems, particularly in the first year after treatment.

5-10 % of cancer survivors have chronic severe pain.

Surprisingly, 15 % of cancer survivors still smoke.

Sources: Gen Chaput, “Caring for Cancer Survivors in Family Medicine”; Statistics Canada; NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines

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MARCH: SURPRISING HONOUR

MOST INFLUENTIAL LIVING WORK & ORGANISATIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS 2015

TC2The Human Resources MBA website has announced its 2015 list of the world’s 30 most influential Work & Organisational Psychologists who are alive and active. I am amazed and honoured to find myself ranked 16th and ahead of my dear colleague Sir Cary Cooper who was ranked 17th. I am not sure who determined these rankings or how but would thank them for their vote of confidence.
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FEBRUARY: ANOTHER EVENTFUL WEEK

INTERVIEWS, THEATRE & ESRC SEMINAR SERIES

The last few days of the penultimate week of a cold and blustery February were, once again, eventful and marked by two important events that together bore witness to the progress of the Centre for Sustainable Working Life. The first was an Interview Panel for a Researcher position within the Centre and the second was the first Development Meeting for the Centre’s ERSC Seminar Series project on Cancer and Employment: Social Science Perspectives. In between, to relax, Sue and I went to see The Commitments at the Palace Theatre London.

UnknownJust after the Xmas and New Year break, the Centre advertised on-line for a new position as a Researcher in Occupational Health Psychology and received over 40 applications from which, after great consideration, a short list of 5 candidates was agreed. I chaired the Short Listing Panel which was also attended by Professor Philip Dewe and Dr Juliet Hassard. The subsequent interviews were held in the College in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. I chaired the Selection Panel which was also attended by Dr Juliet Hassard and Catherine Griffiths. All 5 candidates did well at interview and the Panel  has been faced with a difficult choice. Its decision will be announced this week (w/k beginning 23rd February).

8-2754esrc-logoThe day after the Selection Panel, the first Development Meeting of the Centre’s ESRC Seminar Series project was held in the College in Russell Square, Bloomsbury. The Meeting, co-chaired by Professor Tom Cox and Dr Sara MacLennan, was effectively a meeting of the Steering Group which will oversee, reflect on, discuss and develop the Discussion Seminars. The Steering Group is multi-disciplinary across the social and related sciences, and currently numbers some 22 members. 13 attended its first meeting with 2 more joining by teleconference. During the morning session, the meeting reviewed the current planning for the Discussion Seminars, identified and discussed key points of their management. The subsequent afternoon session was a lively discussion of the current landscape for cancer and employment stimulated by 3 short presentations covering the individual perspective (the person diagnosed with cancer) (Dr Sara MacLennan), the organisational perspective (Professor Tom Cox) and the economic and labour market perspectives (remotely by Dr Heather Brown). The meeting provided an excellent start for the Development Seminars both in terms of team building and substantive content.

Unknown-1During the evening between the Interview Panel and the ESRC Seminar Series meeting, Sue and I went to the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, to see The Commitments ~ a musical based on the book by Roddy Doyle and film by the same name. It was an excellent production and one to be recommended especially for those who love soul and rock and roll in an Irish (Dublin Southside) context. The musical merged seamlessly into a concert of roll and roll favourites which brought the audience to its feet. Purely by chance, we sat next to an Israeli Sports Journalist who had been in the UK to cover a Liverpool match and who was taking some R & R before returning to Tel Aviv: an interesting conversation during the Interlude.
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