Business School lecturer wins prestigious dissertation prize

A University of Sussex Business School lecturer has won a prestigious international prize for his dissertation on how good supportive healthcare management can indirectly lead to better outcomes for patients.

Dr Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, a senior lecturer in organisational behaviour and human resource management at the University of Sussex, won the Outstanding Paper Based on a Dissertation Award in the Health Care Management Division at the 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management earlier this month.

Dr Ogbonnaya’s dissertation, ‘Perceived Managerial Support, Work engagement, and Patients Experience of Service Quality in Healthcare’, uniquely applies a business management theory linking employee satisfaction to customer loyalty and performance to the NHS.

The research looked at the links between perceived managerial support, employee engagement and patient outcomes using data from NHS Trusts in England.

Dr Ogbonnaya said: “I’m thrilled to be recognized for my sole-authored research on the important role of workplace support in promoting healthcare workers’ engagement and the quality of services that patients receive.

“We now know that healthcare workers who perceive their supervisors and senior managers to be supportive are more likely to endorse organizational values, perform well, and provide respectful services that meet patients’ preferences.

“I’m very grateful to the Academy of Management Health Care management Division for acknowledging my work and honouring me with an Outstanding Paper award.”

A committee of experts judged Dr Ogbonnaya’s work to be the best paper based upon a dissertation ahead of entries from around the world.

It comes with a cash prize of $500 and a plaque which was awarded to Dr Ogbonnaya at a ceremony in Chicago on Monday 13 August organised by the Academy of Management, which was founded in 1936 and has grown to be the preeminent professional association for management and organization scholars with 20,000 members from 120 countries.

Dr Ogbonnaya was born and raised in Nigeria before moving to England to study for his Master’s and PhD. He joined the University of Sussex at the start of the month; his research areas include employment relations, high-performance work systems, job quality, wellbeing, and organizational performance.

He said: “This research relates to the work I am doing for the Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme, part of the Economic and Social Research Council funded What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

“The programme brings together the best evidence on what works to improve the wellbeing of people, workplaces, and communities across Britain.

“I have been involved in research that examines the benefits of good people-management practices for performance and wellbeing in both private and public sector organizations. With an analysis of NHS Trusts in England, we show that supportive work environments are characterised by happier and more productive workers.”

Main photo – Dr Chidiebere Ogbonnaya collecting his Outstanding Paper Based on a Dissertation Award at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

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