NTU Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology, Maria Karanika-Murray, explains how workplace differences shape careers


Workplaces differences shape careers says NTU Assoc. Prof.

Workplaces differences shape careers says NTU Assoc. Prof.

 August 26, 2020

Associate Professor in Occupational Health Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, Maria Karanika-Murray, writes for HR Magazine exploring how initial differences in the workplace can shape a person’s career prospects.

"Major crises such as economic austerity and the current pandemic have aggravated existing vulnerabilities across several domains of life. Over time, such crises can have a snowball effect," writes Maria.

Maria is one of a group of academics who have studied how social inequality accumulates and how initial differences in opportunities and rewards can shape a person’s prospects in the workplace.

Her work has found that meritocracy is often a myth - getting ahead in the workplace is not always based on merit. She has also identified how HR practitioners can play a key role in decelerating the growth of inequality.

"Is career success a choice or a privilege?" writes Maria. "Some would argue that it is a choice and that success is based on how we apply our competencies. But choice does not happen in a vacuum."

Through her collaborative research, Maria identified nine different mechanisms that can promote the accumulation of inequalities, including stereotypes, erroneous attributions of status/competencies, differences in social capital, and structures that result in unequal access to opportunities and rewards by benefiting specific groups (e.g. ‘winner-take-all’).

Read the full article here.

An important focus on health, well-being and workplace success

Maria is an applied psychologist specialising in occupational health psychology (MSc, PhD, University of Nottingham).

While completing her PhD, Maria was employed as a researcher at the University of Nottingham. She joined Nottingham Trent University in 2009 and works as an Associate Professor.

Her research focus is on health and well-being, organizational health interventions (intervention evaluation), presenteeism, work addiction and aging.

Her research has been funded by government, Research Councils, Europe, charities and industry - and she has published extensively.


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