Dr Elaine O'Brien

Elaine O'Brien


Management & Marketing
University College Cork
Cork University Business School

[email protected] ORCID profile


Elaine O’Brien is a Chartered Psychologist (BPS) and lecturer in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at University College Cork (UCC).  She holds a BSc(Hons) Occupational Psychology (University of Ulster),  MSc Organisational Psychology (UMIST) and PhD from UCC.   Prior to joining UCC Elaine gained considerable industrial experience in both public and private sector organisations.  She has worked as a HR manager in an NHS hospital trust and as a HR & Management Development Consultant.  In the latter she developed and delivered a range of bespoke management development & assessment programmes for all levels of management from supervisory to senior management.  She was also involved in competency profiling, job evaluation and the development of assessment centres for use in succession planning in organisations from a range of industry sectors.  Her current research interests lie in the area of Emotion at Work, Team Resilience, Psychological Capital and Employee Engagement. Recent engagement with industry includes an examination of diversity, inclusion and engagement practices in a leading multi-national company. Elaine's work is published in high ranking Journals including Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Business Ethics and International Journal of Human Resource Management.‍


Research Domains

  • Emotional Labour  
  • Employee well-being and engagement
  • Human resource management & development
  • Organisation Behaviour  
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  • 2019 - Resilience (Thesis Primary Supervisor)
  • 2019 - Engagement (Thesis Co-Supervisor)
  • 2023 - Psychological Capital and the Family Business (Thesis Co-Supervisor)
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Journal article

Year Publication
2019 O'BRIEN, E., LINEHAN, C. (2019). Problematizing the authentic self in conceptualizations of emotional dissonance. Human Relations, 72 (9). doi:10.1177/0018726718809166. Details
2018 O'BRIEN, E., LINEHAN, C. (2018). The last taboo?: surfacing and supporting Emotional Labour in HR work. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29 (4), 683-709. doi:10.1080/09585192.2016.1184178. Details
2016 LINEHAN, C., O'BRIEN, E. (2016). From Tell-Tale Signs to Irreconcilable Struggles: The Value of Emotion in Exploring the Ethical Dilemmas of Human Resource Professionals. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3040-y. Details
2014 O'BRIEN, E., LINEHAN, C. (2014). A Balancing Act: Emotional Challenges in the HR Role. Emotional Challenges in the HR Role. Journal of Management Studies. doi:10.1111/joms.12098. Details

Book chapter

Year Publication
2019 LINEHAN, C. (2019). Performing the ‘Ideal Professional’. Work, Working and Work Relationships in a Changing World (pp. 37-55). Routledge. Details


Year Publication
2022 MURPHY, L., DUGGAN, C., O'BRIEN, E., LEKA, S. (2022). The Metamorphosis of Intangible Resources into Tangible Assets - Developing Microlevel Psychological Capital to Drive Family Firm Sustainability. International Family Enterprise Research Academy.
2021 MURPHY, C., MURPHY, L., O'BRIEN, E., LEKA, S. (2021). Three shades of grey matter – Family, business, family business. International Family Enterprise Research Academy.
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