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BSc PhD PGDCHEP (Ulster) FHEAPaula_O'Kane_image

Senior Lecturer
Room: OBS 711
Tel: +64 3 479 8181
Skype: paulaokane

Paula has been teaching and researching for over 10 years in both the UK and New Zealand. She is primarily interested in how technology impacts how we work, from the way we communicate to how we 'do' work. This extends into how work might look in the future and how we use conversations as effective performance management tools. Paula is an expert in the qualitative analysis tool, NVivo hosting both training and workshops throughout the world. Paula completed her PhD in organisational communication at the University of Ulster before taking up an academic position in Ulster (2005-2010). Her PhD explored the role of technology in Organisational Communication.

Read about Paula's research, with other colleagues from the Department, about the future of work in 'Dateline Dunedin 2063' on page 34 of the Otago Magazine 36.

Read the Future of Work Research Centre report (PDF, 2.4MB), 'Future of Work: Dunedin', and visit the blog that contains the latest news, reports and presentations from this research team in the department.

Teaching responsibilities

Paula's teaching responsibilities include:

Other responsibilities

Paula's other responsibilities include:

  • Director Human Resource Management major & minor
  • Course advisor and approver

Research interests

Paula's current research interests fall across five broad areas:

  • The use of technology for communication within organisational settings, with specific focus upon the use and efficacy of social media.
  • The future of work
  • Performance management practices
  • The transfer of training from the classroom to the workplace, which considers how educators and other stakeholders can make training more effective for the individual and their organisation.
  • The role of computer-aided qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) within the research process.

PhD Opportunities

Paula is seeking research students along the broad areas of:

  • Organisational Communication
  • Social Media
  • Performance Management (from a HR Perspective)
  • Workplace Well-Being and Work-Life balance

Current Supervisions

Paula is currently supervising the following students:


Wan Noraini Wan Mansor -The Settling-in Experience of International PhD Students' Trailing Partners within New Zealand (Supervisors: Steven Grover, Paula O'Kane) - under examination


Fa Martin-Niemi (2013). Developing new knowledge in organisations: Engagement with virtual social networks in problem solving. (Supervisors: Bronwyn Boon,Paula O'Kane, Richard Greatbanks)


Sarfo, C., Zhang, J. A., O'Kane, C., & O'Kane, P. (2024). Perceived value of microfinance and SME performance: The role of exploratory innovation. International Journal of Innovation Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.ijis.2024.02.003 Journal - Research Article

Zainal, N., Ott, D. L., & O'Kane, P. (2024, January). From policy to practice: Exploring the influence of HR policy on female leadership aspirations. Verbal presentation at the 5th Human Resources International Conference (HRIC): Common Good Human Resource Management, Dunedin, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Bennett, H., McCracken, M., O'Kane, P., & Brown, T. (2023). The elusiveness of strategic HR partnering: Using paradox theory to understand tensions surrounding the HR business partnering role. Human Resource Management Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1748-8583.12538 Journal - Research Article

O'Kane, P., Ott, D. L., Smith, A. D., & Brown, T. C. (2023). Understanding computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software as a tool to enhance systematic literature reviews in human resource development [Instructor's corner]. Human Resource Development Review, 22(2), 291-307. doi: 10.1177/15344843221144668 Journal - Research Other

Hill, A. D., McKenny, A. F., O'Kane, P., & Paroutis, S. (2023). Introduction to methods to improve our field. In A. D. Hill, A. F. McKenny, P. O'Kane & S. Paroutis (Eds.), Methods to improve our field: Research methodology in strategy and management (Vol. 14). (pp. 1-4). Bingley, UK: Emerald. doi: 10.1108/S1479-838720220000014001 Chapter in Book - Research

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