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2007 Graduate Student Scholarship Winner

Marissa S. Edwards, a doctoral candidate in the Business School at the University of Queensland in Australia, knew she had a dissertation topic when she read a story about patients of a surgeon in a local hospital who suffered serious post-operative complications, including some who died. As the story unfolded, it became apparent that some hospital staff members had expressed their concerns but others chose to remain silent.

“I wanted to investigate the role of emotions and organizational climate in employees’ decisions to report or remain silent about serious wrongdoing,” said Edwards, whose adviser is Neal M. Ashkanasy.

“My qualitative research to date indicates that experiencing or observing wrongdoing is a highly emotional event for most people, triggering a complex decision-making process involving a series of emotions, cognitions, and job attitudes. I am designing a survey to investigate these emotions and the role of climate more specifically,” she said.

 Edwards completed an honors degree in psychology at Queensland but focused on I-O after listening to the intern experiences of a medical student friend. “I became interested in stress and coping in organizational settings and expanded from there,” she said.

After graduation, she plans to do volunteer work in a developing country and then pursue an academic position that will allow her to teach and build on her research interests in emotions and decision making.

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