Dr Rashpal K. Dhensa-Kahlon
Dr Rashpal Dhensa-Kahlon is a Lecturer in Work and Organisational Psychology, and Programme Director of the MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology, in the Department of People and Organisations. She received her PhD in Employment Relations & Organisational Behaviour from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Surrey. She joined Surrey Business School in May 2016, and prior to this, spent just over one year at Aston Business School (UK). Dr Dhensa-Kahlon is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
Dr Dhensa-Kahlon's research interests lie primarily in the area of well-being and recovery at work. Specifically, she explores how those who perceive themselves to be victims of workplace injustice, broken trust and mistreatment can recover from their experience. She has recently explored the role of talk and humor in recovery. Her work has been published in the Academy of Management Journal and Personnel Psychology.
Prior to her PhD, Dr Dhensa-Kahlon worked in banking and consulting. She has a keen interest in assessment centre methodology and psychometrics, and, surveying and reporting on work engagement and unconscious bias. She is a qualified user of various tests and is BPS Level A and B qualified.
Dr Dhensa-Kahlon was on maternity leave: July 2014-January 2015; March-December 2018.
Affiliations and memberships
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)
Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
Programme Director, MSc Occupational and Organisational Psychology,
MBA (FT//PT) Organisational Behaviour, Negotiation
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.
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.
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.