A year or so back, I wrote a short piece in a book that the School of Business, Economics & Informatics, (Birkbeck University of London) put together to mark Professor Phillip Powell’s resignation from his post as its Dean. It was entitled ‘The Three Musketeers’ and briefly described how three of us (Professor Philip Dewe, Vice Master, Professor Phillip Powell, Dean, and me (Tom Cox)) came together to set ambitious plans for a new School-level research centre with a new professional doctorate. Their focus was (and remains) occupational health, psychology and management. Phillip Powell continued to guide and support this adventure after Philip Dewe had to leave Birkbeck for health reasons eventually going home to New Zealand. I concluded my piece by saying that there was then going to be just one Musketeer left (me). The breaking news now is that there will soon be no Musketeers left as I am also resigning from BBK with effect from 2nd October 2020. I leave after nearly 10 years of service having achieved the initial goals of the Three Musketeers.
I was educated at Latymer Upper School, London, and at the University of Nottingham where I eventually joined the academic staff. After 41 years service, I retired from the Chair of Organisational Psychology in 2012.
During my time at Nottingham, I became Head of what was then the Department of Psychology (1994-1998). In 1999, I established the Institute of Work, Health & Organisations as a new international postgraduate research school. The Institute was formally recognised by the WHO as a Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health. I stood down as its Founding Director in 2010 and took a year’s sabbatical before retiring from the University in 2012 to join Birkbeck University of London as its new Chair of Occupational Health Psychology & Management. I resigned from Birkbeck in 2020.
I was awarded a CBE in the New Years Honours List 2000 for services to occupational health. This award was largely related to my role in the development of the Management Standards approach to work-related stress and psychosocial risks to employee health. The following year, 2003, I was made an Honorary Fellow of both the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (Dublin) and of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. In 2008, I was presented with an award for a Distinguished Contribution to Occupational Health Psychology jointly by the American Psychological Association, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the US Society for Occupational Health Psychology.
In 2012, I was awarded an Honorary Chair in Psychosocial Oncology by the University of Aberdeen and an Emeritus Chair by the University of Nottingham.
I founded the journal Work & Stress in the late 1980s with my colleague, Professor Phillip Dewe, and stood down as its Managing Editor some 27 years later at the end of 2013. I remain its Emeritus Editor.
You can find more information on me and my connections on Linkedin and see me on You Tube.
View my Alec Rodger Memorial Lecture "Resilience, People, Organisations and their Communities" on YouTube.
The Centre for Sustainable Working Life (CSWL) was formally established in the School of Business, Economics & Informatics at Birkbeck University of London on 25th June 2013.
I remain its first Director. Professor Phillip Dewe was its Deputy Director until his retirement in 2015. The future of the Centre is currently under review after being moved to the Department of Organisational Psychology.
I hold an Honorary Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at the University of Aberdeen. This position supports my role in the METIS Collaboration which is an initiative of the Academic Urology Unit in the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine & Dentistry.
METIS is concerned with the psychosocial, organisational and economic perspectives on the patient’s journey through cancer. It is also concerned with the rerad across from our knowledge of cancer survivorship and work to other long term conditions. My contribution is currently in relation to cancer survivorship, working life and work participation.
It has been funded by UCAN, Macmillan in Scotland, NHS Grampian and the ESRC.
At present, METIS is based around a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen and Birkbeck University of London.
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