Conference Speakers
Maree Roche

School of Psychology, University of Waikato

Talk Title:

The positive leader – Organisational and individual benefits

Talk Description:

Greater understanding of the importance of leaders’ wellbeing is required; not only to support leaders’ at work, but because leader’s are charged with supporting and enabling positive employee and organisation outcomes, paradoxically, however they work in an environment of increasing stress and pressure. Current literature suggests the depleted leader is unable to support and enable positive outcomes. We know that Leaders’ emotions impact on followers' performance and wellbeing (Sy, Côté, & Saavedra, 2005), and impacts on followers overall perception of leadership effectiveness (Hambrick, Finkelstein, & Mooney, 2005; Li, Schaubroeck,, Xie, Keller 2018). However, while leaders remain the central source of positive influence on followers, their wellbeing, as a way to resource their positive leadership has “almost escaped attention” in the leadership literature (Barling & Cloutier, 2017, p. 394). This presentation will cover the importance of resourcing leaders to enable greater wellbeing for themselves, their employees and their organisations. As well as being central, and positive psychological resources, this presentation also demonstrates how these positive psychological resources, including mindfulness, psychological capital and self –determination theory, may aid future research projects, as well as enhance wellbeing at work.


Dr Maree Roche is currently Convenor of Organisational Psychology, School of Psychology and Co-Director of the Leadership Unit for New Zealand Institute of Business Research, Waikato Management School. Maree’s research and consultancy spans three clusters of positive psychology that intersect. These are (1) positive leadership psychology (2) employee wellbeing /positive psychology at work and (3) cross cultural and indigenous, particularly Māori leadership and employee wellbeing, from a Māori /kaupapa perspective. These clusters can be examined separately however they are connected themes. For example, in examining Leadership, Maree has examined how leaders positive psychological resources are contagious in organisations, and impact positively on employee wellbeing at work. Largely her work examines Self Determination Theory, Mindfulness and Psychological Capital of Leaders and Employees. Maree’s research has highlighted to international audiences, the value of understanding and resourcing, psychologically, leaders and the importance of this for employees and organisations as they navigate today’s complex and difficult business environments.


©2018 by the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology.