Dr Rashi Dhensa Kahlon

Dr Rashpal K. Dhensa-Kahlon

Lecturer (Department of People and Organisations)
PhD Employment Relations & Organisational Behaviour (LSE); MSc Social & Organisational Psychology (LSE); BSc Psychology with Literature (University of Surrey)
+44 (0)1483 686362
48 MS 03
49MS03 (please email for appointment)


Affiliations and memberships

Fellow of The British Psychological Society
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)
Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development



MD Baer, RK Dhensa-Kahlon, JA Colquitt, JB Rodell, R Outlaw, DM Long (2015)Uneasy Lies the Head that Bears the Trust: The Effects of Being Trusted on Emotional Exhaustion, In: Academy of Management Journal58(6)pp. 1637-1657 Academy of Management

The construct of feeling trusted reflects the perception that another party is willing to accept vulnerability to one’s actions. Although this construct has received far less attention than trusting, the consensus is that believing their supervisors trust them has benefits for employees’ job performance. Our study challenges that consensus by arguing that feeling trusted can be exhausting for employees. Drawing on Stevan Hobfoll’s conservation of resources theory, we develop a model in which feeling trusted fills an employee with pride—a benefit for exhaustion and performance—while also increasing perceived workload and concerns about reputation maintenance—burdens for exhaustion and performance. We test our model in a field study using a sample of public transit bus drivers in London, England. Our results suggest that feeling trusted is a double-edged sword for job performance, bringing with it both benefits and burdens. Given that recommendations for managers generally encourage placing trust in employees, these results have important practical implications.

DM Long, MD Baer, JA Colquitt, CR Outlaw, RK Dhensa-Kahlon (2015)What will the boss think?: The impression management implications of supportive relationships with star and project peers, In: Personnel Psychology68(3)pp. 463-498 Wiley

Although impression management scholars have identified a number of tactics for influencing supervisor evaluations, most of those tactics represent supervisor-targeted behaviors. This study examines the degree to which employees form supportive relationships with peers for impression management purposes. In so doing, we explore this intriguing question: Will employees gain more from forming supportive relationships with “stars” (i.e., top performers who are “on the fast track” in the organization) or “projects” (i.e., “works in progress” who need help and refinement to perform well)? We examined this question in 2 field studies. Study 1 included 4 sources and 2 time periods; Study 2 included 2 sources and 3 time periods. The results showed that supportive relationships with both stars and projects seemed to represent impression management opportunities, insofar as they predicted supervisor positive affect and perceptions of employee promotability. Impression management motives only predicted supportive relationships with stars, however, not projects. Relationships with projects were driven by prosocial motives not concerns about managing images. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of our results for the managing of impressions and peer relationships.

RK Dhensa-Kahlon, JA Coyle-Shapiro (2014)Anticipatory (in)justice in Organisations, In: S Oreg, A Michel, RT By (eds.), The Psychology of Organizational Change: Viewing Change from the Employee’s Perspective(8)pp. 173-194 Cambridge University Press
M.D. Baer, J.B. Rodell, Rashpal K. Dhensa-Kahlon, J.A. Colquitt, K.P. Zipay, R. Burgess, R. Outlaw (2018)Pacification or aggravation? The effects of talking about supervisor unfairness, In: Academy of Management Journal61(5)pp. 1764-1788 Academy of Management

Many employees feel a general sense of unfairness toward their supervisors. A common reaction to such unfairness is to talk about it with coworkers. The conventional wisdom is that this unfairness talk should be beneficial to the aggrieved employees. After all, talking provides employees with an opportunity to make sense of the experience and to “let off steam.” We challenge this perspective, drawing on cognitive-motivational-relational theory to develop arguments that unfairness talk leads to emotions that reduce the employee’s ability to move on from the unfairness. We first tested these proposals in a three-wave, two-source field study of bus drivers (Study 1), then replicated our findings in a laboratory study (Study 2). In both studies, we found that unfairness talk was positively related to anger and negatively related to hope. Those emotions went on to have direct effects on forgiveness and indirect effects on citizenship behavior. Our results also show that the detrimental effects of unfairness talk were neutralized when the listener offered suggestions that reframed the unfair situation. We discuss the implications of these results for managing unfairness in organizations.

JA Coyle-Shapiro, RK Dhensa-Kahlon (2011)Justice in the 21st Century Organization, In: K Townsend, A Wilkinson (eds.), Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations(19)pp. 385-403 Edward Elgar