Professor Maria Karanika-Murray

Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology

School/Department: Business, School of



I am a Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at the School of Business. Before joining the University of Leicester in November 2022 I was at Nottingham Trent University (2009-2022) and the University of Nottingham (2001-2009). I obtained by MSc in Occupational Health Psychology and PhD in Applied Psychology at the University of Nottingham. My PhD focused on the use of non-linear analytical approaches for strengthening the methodology of risk assessment for psychosocial risks in the workplace. I teach mainly on research methods and work and organizational psychology.

My main research focuses on well-being and performance. I have delivered over £2 million of funded research for the Economic & Social Research Council, European Commission, European Agency for Safety & Health at Work, British Academy, Ministry of Defence, and industry partners, among others. I have written widely for academic researchers, policy-makers, and practitioner audiences and am active in bringing different stakeholders together to bridge research and practice in well-being and performance. My research has appeared in a number of published news Media for professionals and researchers. I was honoured with the Human Relations Paper of the Year Award 2020 for my work on understanding presenteeism.


My research focuses on work, well-being, and performance. There are three main strands to my work:

  • Presenteeism – for example, I have developed and tested theoretical models to explain presenteeism behaviour, including the health-performance framework of presenteeism and the decision-making model of presenteeism.
  • The links between well-being and performance – on this topic, my research has focused on range of work behaviours, the role of context, climate for motivation, mechanisms of the well-being and performance relationship, leadership and individual and team resilience, among others.
  • Organisational health interventions and intervention evaluation – for example, I have researched how to develop and implement successful organisational-level interventions, including policy interventions, with an emphasis on methods to effectively evaluate organisational interventions especially via process evaluation.

See Publications for relevant outputs.

My focus is on substantive theory development using an integrative lens that combines basic and applied psychology, organisational behaviour, and management, as well as cognate areas such as systems theory, ergonomics, health psychology, sports psychology, and programme evaluation among others. To support accurate research, I have developed and validated relevant measures. In my research I use quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches.


Selected publications in the last few years are listed below. Contact me for a full list or for additional information.

Journal articles

  1. Biron C, Karanika-Murray M, & Ivers H (2022). Towards the validation of a presenteeism typology — A proof-of-concept study. Frontiers in Psychology.
  2. Karanika-Murray M, & Ipsen C (2022). Guest editorial: Reshaping work and workplaces: Learnings from the pandemic for workplace health management. International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
  3. Parsons V, Wainwright E, Demou E, & Karanika-Murray M (2022). Exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the development and delivery of OH research during the pandemic period. Occupational Medicine.
  4. Karanika-Murray M, Van Veldhoven M, Michaelides G, Baguley T, Gkiontsi D, & Harrison N (2022). Curvilinear relationships between age and job performance and the role of job complexity. Work, Aging & Retirement.
  5. Biron C, Karanika-Murray M, Ivers H, Salvoni S, & Fernet C (2021). Teleworking while sick: A three-wave study of psychosocial safety climate, psychological demands, and presenteeism. Frontiers in Psychology.
  6. O’Connor DB, Aggleton JP, Chakarabati D, Cooper CL, Creswell C, Dunsmuir S, Fiske ST, Gathercole S, Gough B, Ireland JL, Jones MV, Jowett A, Kagan C, Karanika-Murray M, Kaye LK, Kumari V, Lewandowsky S, Lightman S, Malpass D, Meins E, Morgan BP, Morrison Coulthard LJ, Reicher SD, Schacter DL, Sherman SM, Simms V, Williams A, Wykes T, & Armitage CJ (2020). Research Priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: A call to action for psychological science. British Journal of Psychology.
  7. Van Dijk H, Kooij D, Karanika-Murray M, De Vos A, & Meyer B (2020). Meritocracy a Myth? A multilevel perspective of how social equality accumulates through work. Organizational Psychology Review.
  8. Karanika-Murray M, & Biron C (2020). The health-performance framework of presenteeism: Towards understanding an adaptive behaviour. Human Relations.
  9. Ruhle SA, Breitsoh, H, Aboagye E, Baba V, Biron C, Correia Leal AC, Dietz C, Ferreira A, Gerich J, Johns G, Karanika-Murray M, Lohaus D, Løkke A, Lopes SL, Martinez LF, Miraglia M, Muschalla B, Poethke U, Sarwat N, Schad H, Steidelmüller C, Vinberg S, Whysall Z, Yang T (2020). “To work, or not to work, that is the question” — Recent trends and avenues for research on attendance behavior. European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology.
  10. Karanika-Murray M, Michaelides G, & Wood S (2017). Job demands, job control, psychological climate, and job satisfaction: A cognitive dissonance perspective. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness.


  1. Karanika-Murray M & Cooper C. (2020). Navigating the return-to-work experience for new parents: Maintaining work-family well-being (Eds). Routledge.
  2. Christensen M, Saksvik PØ & Karanika-Murray M (2017). The positive side of occupational health psychology. Springer.
  3. Karanika-Murray M & Biron C (2015). Derailed organizational interventions for stress and well-being: Confessions of failure, solutions for success (Eds). Springer.
  4. Biron C, Karanika-Murray M & Cooper C (2012). Improving organizational interventions for stress and well-being: Addressing process and context (Eds) Routledge.

Book chapters

  1. Whysall Z, Karanika-Murray M & Chen H (2023). Understanding the process of decision-making for presenteeism behavior: An integration and conceptual model. In: L Lapierre & C Cooper (Eds), Cambridge Companion to Organizational Stress and Well-Being. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Karanika-Murray M, Biron C, Hervieux V, Whysall Z & Chen R (2021). Managing presenteeism to optimise health and performance. In T Wall, C Cooper & P Brough (Eds), The SAGE Handbook of Organisational Well-being. Sage.
  3. Karanika-Murray M & Cooper C (2018). Presenteeism: An introduction to a prevailing global phenomenon. In C Cooper & L Lu (Eds), Presenteeism at Work. Cambridge University Press. Karanika-Murray M, Hasson H, Von Thiele Schwartz U & Richter A (2017). Improving employee wellbeing through leadership development. In C Cooper & M Leiter (Eds), Routledge Companion to Wellbeing at Work. Routledge.
  4. Karanika-Murray M & Oeij PRA (2017). How can work and organizational psychologists fortify the practice of workplace innovation? In: PRA Oeij, D Rus, and FD Pot (Eds), Workplace Innovation: Theory, Research and Practice. Part of series 'Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being'. Springer.
  5. Biron C & Karanika-Murray M (2015). Process evaluation for organizational stress and well-being interventions: Implications for theory, method, and practice. In: S Palmer & K Gyllensten (Eds), Psychological Stress (Vol 3: The Management of Stress). SAGE Publications.
  6. Karanika-Murray M & Biron C (2013). The nature of change in organizational health interventions: Some observations and propositions. In: G Bauer & G Jenny (Eds), Concepts of salutogenic organizations and change: The logics behind organizational health intervention research. Springer.
  7. Karanika-Murray M (2010). Work and health: Curvilinearity matters. In J Houdmont & S Leka (Eds). Contemporary occupational health psychology: Global perspectives on research, education, and practice. Wiley-Blackwell.


  1. Hadlington L, Karanika-Murray M, Gardner S, Binder J & Slater, J (2022). Exploring Public Perceptions and Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence in Defence Research report HS1.041 to the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, UK.
  2. Karanika-Murray M, Mutale G, Bailey D & Brown S (2022). Evaluation of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) chatbot with Trent Psychological Therapy Services. Nottingham Trent University.
  3. Dhondt S, Preenen P, Oeij P, Corral A, Isusi I, Totterdill P & Karanika-Murray M (2014). European Company Survey: Construction of the Workplace Innovation index and selection of companies. Report No. TNO 2014 R14131 to the European Foundation for Living & Working Conditions. TNO, Netherlands.
  4. Karanika-Murray M & Michaelide G (2013). The workplace makes a difference: Principles of Workplace design for employee well-being (Vol2.0). Nottingham.
  5. European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (2012). Training teachers to deliver risk education – Examples of mainstreaming OSH into teacher training programmes. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. EU: A Äyräväinen, P Krauss-Hoffmann, M Sieland-Bortz, A Wilmes, C Brück, S Dontas, E Katagi, A Daikou, A Mlodzka-Stybel, A Brzozowski, R Gervais, M Karanika Murray, A Kouvonen, YY Vida Wong.
  6. European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (2010). Mainstreaming OSH into business management. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. EU: Z Pawlowska, L Eeckelaert, L Lisner, A Stautz, C Bruck, W Leistner, P Kopankiewicz, S Gabriel, M Warchhold, M Pęciłło, M Karanika-Murray, A Kouvonen, T Cox, J Vorne, M Liuhamo, M Nores-Korkeamaki, O Honka, L Eeckelaert, R Op De Beeck, D De Merich, RL Gervais.
  7. Cox T, Karanika-Murray, M Griffiths A, Wong YYV & Hardy C (2009). Developing the management standards approach within the context of common health problems in the workplace: A Delphi study Research Report RR687 to the Health & Safety Executive. Sudbury: HSE Books.


I have supervised eight Doctoral candidates to successful completion and am currently co-supervising five candidates at Nottingham Trent University. Most of my students have published their work in peer-reviewed academic journals.


  • Dawn Bailey “Workplace early interventions in relation to common mental health problems” 2022
  • Dimitra Gkiontsi “The role of perceived workplace characteristics for older workers’ workability in the UK context” 2022
  • Vida Douglas “A mixed method study of staff well-being in the context of Higher Education” 2021
  • Robert Werner-de-Sondberg “Well-being among public and private sector personnel – A comparative study across four English police services” 2019
  • Filipa Calado “Gambling and gaming among youth: Passion or addiction?” 2019
  • William van Gordon “Buddhist-derived meditation and mindfulness approaches for wellbeing and effectiveness at work: A mixed-methods investigation” 2017
  • Sami Alzhrany “The impact of internet usage on family functioning and psychological well-being in Saudi Arabia” 2017
  • Suzanne Ross “The psychology of leadership talent: How leadership talent enacts success and why some leaders derail” 2017

I am open to supervising research on topics related to well-being and performance at work, including a focus on the individual and the organisation, topics on organisational psychology and management, and using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods.


I currently teach research methods at the University of Leicester School of Business. I have taught on all topics related to occupational psychology, occupational health psychology, and applied psychology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have developed flagship teaching on work-based practice and employability.

Press and media

I am happy to talk to the Media on topics related to well-being and performance at work.


I am currently Section Editor for Work, Industrial & Organizational Psychology in Cogent Psychology; Associate Editor in Organizational Justice, Diversity and Equity, for Frontiers; Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Stress Management; Associate Editor in Workplace Interventions for the International Journal of Workplace Health Management; and Editorial Board Member for Occupational Health Science.

I have served as guest editor for the International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, and Stress & Health.

I have acted as ad-hoc reviewer for over 18 academic journals in the field of occupational and organizational psychology, management, occupational health, and general psychology, and am regular reviewer for academic publishers.

I am regular reviewer of funding applications for the Economic & Social Research Council, the European Commission, and the European Research Council. I have supported the Medical Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research as reviewer, and have provided expertise to the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (guidance on Workplace health: Management practices), and the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work.


Researcher award, 2022, Nottingham Trent University

Recipient of the Human Relations Paper of the Year Award 2020 with Caroline Biron (Laval University) for: Karanika-Murray & Biron (2020). The health-performance framework of presenteeism: Towards understanding an adaptive behaviour.

Nominated as Outstanding Postgraduate Research Supervisor (one of three), 2020 Nottingham Trent University Students’ Union

Outstanding researcher award, 2014, Nottingham Trent University

Research Enhancement Award, 2007, University of Nottingham

PhD scholarship, 2002-2007, University of Nottingham

Media coverage

Selected articles, mentions, and contributions in the last few years include:

Financial Times: Interviewed for article The end of sick days: has WFH made it harder to take time off? | Financial Times (, 2022; re-published in Expansión, Spain as “Has telecommuting ended sick days?” and Valor Econômico, Brazil as “Por que as viagens de trabalho estão começando a parecer férias?”

YouTube “The Health-performance framework of presenteeism” with Caroline Biron, 2021

HR Magazine “Why presenteeism isn't necessarily a bad thing” with Hiujun Chen and Zara Whysall, 2021

Global-Watch: Interviewed for research brief “Can presenteeism be good for health and performance?”, 2020

BBC Radio 4: Interviewed by broadcaster Mishal Hussain on parents’ support needs at work, 2020

The Independent “Striking the balance: How to support parents as they go back to work” with Sir Cary Cooper, 2020

HR Magazine “How initial differences in opportunities and rewards can shape a person’s prospects in the workplace”, 2020

Where Women Work: Interviewed for article “Workplaces differences shape careers”, 2020

The Conversation “Five ways to support new parents returning to work during the pandemic” with Sir Cary Cooper, 2020

Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, Ministry of Defence: Interviewed for PORTA (People: Opportunities, Threats & Radical Approaches) newsletter on “Health, Wellbeing & Disruption from New Technology” (vol. 1, issue 1), 2020

British Psychological Society: Interviewed for The Psychologist Guide to… Retirement, 2019

International Labour Organisation, World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2019, “How to turn good intentions into successful action: Developing and implementing initiatives to address safety and health at work” with Caroline Biron, 2019

HR Zone “What can organisations do to stop older workers disengaging from the workforce?”, 2017

BBC Radio Nottingham: Interviewed on stand-up desks, 2016

BBC Radio Nottingham: Interviewed for the Morning Show on the Workage European Commission project, Dec 2016


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2015

Level 3 Award in First Line Management, 2009, Institute of Leadership & Management

Chartered Psychologist, 2007, British Psychological Society

PhD in Applied Psychology, 2007, University of Nottingham

Associate of the Higher Education Academy, 2006

Level A Certificate of Competence in Occupational Testing, 2004, British Psychological Society

MSc in Occupational Health Psychology, 2001, University of Nottingham

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