"Like Alfred Adler, I was deeply impacted by how
leaders and the systems they create could stifle
or elevate the human spirit."
-Patrick O'Neill, Ph.D.
Program Director, Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an insatiable fascination with the human psyche, or what the Greeks defined as our “animated spirit”. I entered the workforce as early as I could because I was curious to know how people spent most of their waking lives and how much of their spirit showed up at work. Like Alfred Adler, I was deeply impacted by how leaders and the systems they create could stifle or elevate the human spirit. I wondered how our world would change if people’s minds, hearts and spirits were fully engaged in something that didn’t feel like work. Discovering organizational psychology as an undergraduate was a pivotal moment in my life. Here was a field dedicated to discovering and mobilizing what gives life to individuals, teams and organizations. I had found my vocation or, in the words of Frederick Buechner, “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
I have since invested myself in studying, teaching, and applying the science and principles of psychology in the workplace. My research had me investigating the psychological dynamics of organizational change, the role of emotions in organizational behavior, and the deeper dimensions of transformational leadership. In my professional practice, I partnered with business leaders to strengthen their organizational cultures, build thriving teams, and develop their leadership capacity. These experiences strengthened my belief in the integral role of science in distilling the truth about human behavior at work. By understanding why people behave as they do in organizations leaders can more accurately predict and influence behavior in a positive way. Prediction and influence are the delicious fruits of science.
I have also come to believe that the acquisition of knowledge and skills in organizational psychology alone will not produce the organizations we wish to see in our world. The deeper work of leadership development must be given as much attention in our educational programs. On this developmental path, students will need a safe and courageous learning environment to discern a leadership “quest” aligned with their core values and strengths, face and inquire into their self-limiting beliefs, develop intuition to balance their rational analysis, and engage in authentic dialogue.
Now more than ever, I am convinced that these communities of purpose we call organizations will ultimately set the agenda for our planet’s future. As the Director of our M.A in Organizational Psychology program, I’m committed to developing future leaders equipped with the technical competence to build more effective human systems and willing to act authentically and courageously in community with others to build a future of work that reflects our highest aspirations. If we are successful, our graduates will feel a deeper connection to their animated spirit, engaged in a vocation they love, and creating futures worthy of their own commitment and the full commitment of others. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity I have to co-create such an extraordinary program with our faculty and staff.
Please e-mail or call me (604-482-5521) if you have questions or would like more information about me.
- Ph.D., Organizational Psychology, Curtin University, Western Australia
- M.A., Organizational Psychology (with distinction), Curtin University, Western Australia
- B.A., Psychology, University of British Columbia
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
- Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (CSIOP)
- Academy of Management (AOM)
- Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
- British Columbia Human Resources Management Association (BCHRMA)
- British Columbia Organization Development Network (BCODN)
- European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP)
- Canadian Evaluation Society (CES)
- O’Neill, P., & Sevastos, P. (2013). The development and validation of a new job insecurity measure (JIM): An inductive methodology. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(3), 338-349.
- O’Neill, P. B. (2014). Can positive affect protect us from job insecurity? Testing a causal model. Paper presented at the 2014 Canadian Psychological Association conference symposium “Positive psychology at work: Thriving in the face of organizational challenges and opportunities.”
- O’Neill, P. B. (2013). Testing a causal model of job insecurity and job satisfaction: Do dispositions matter? Paper submitted for presentation at the 2013 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology conference.
- O’Neill, P. B. (2011). Job insecurity and psychological well-being: A dimension-specific meta-analysis. Paper presented at the 2011 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology conference.
- O’Neill, P.B. (2009). Key Leadership Competencies for the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC): A foundation for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. Paper presented at the 2009 Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment conference.
- O’Neill, P.B. (2008). Leveraging Diversity in Competency Profile Development. Paper presented at the 2008 University of Ottawa Leadership Diversity Conference.
- O’Neill, P. B. (2006). Job insecurity and employee well-being: How important are positive and negative affectivity? Paper presented at the 2006 Canadian Psychological Association conference.