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Personal profile


I'm a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, at Macquarie University. I completed my PhD at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, focusing on the dynamics of psychological contracting at work.

Before becoming an academic, I worked in various human resource/organisational development roles in the Queensland public sector. This included managing graduate programs, succession management, recruitment and selection, workforce diversity management, managing mentoring and networking programs, and facilitating training and development workshops for staff from graduate through to more senior management levels.

My industry background means I always aim for my research to have impact: for scholarship (to contribute to a body of knowledge); and for the people and organisations I'm researching (to help them understand something better or do something better).

Research interests

In my research what fascinates me is how people behave, particularly in work contexts. Why do people who work in the same organisation, the same team and in similar roles have such different experiences of the workplace? Why and how do these experiences change over time? How can research help employers and employees construct meaningful and fulfilling work lives to benefit both parties? I'm also increasingly focusing on how people engage with ever-more sophisticated forms of technology in the workplace. What does it mean for us to work with artifically intelligent entities? What does (and could) our exchange relationship look like with non-human work colleagues?

I'm also passionate about social change, explored through the lens of social innovation, and how people and organisations can work to solve such 'wicked problems' as homelessness, youth unemployment, poverty, and many other challenging and interlinked issues. This leads me to research with not-for-profit organisations and the public sector to better understand how to foster ongoing and sustainable innovation for social good in these 'front line' organisations.

As a result, my primary research interests span two areas (organisational behaviour and innovation), linked by a focus on the behaviour of people. My first research stream investigates individuals’ experiences at work and the employee-employer exchange relationship through the lens of the psychological contract, and the second stream explores individuals’ roles in innovation processes and how people navigate cultural, political and power dynamics to achieve innovative outcomes. The latter research stream, particularly, involves taking an action research approach and working closely with industry and sector partners to create impactful research outcomes. I have published my work in leading journals such as the Journal of Organizational BehaviorR&D Management and the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

Areas of research expertise (existing and emerging):

  • Psychological contracts
  • Dynamic processes and the role of time in organisations
  • Sensemaking
  • Technology in the workplace
  • Social innovation
  • Innovation champions and promotors
  • Collaborative innovation arrangements

Areas of methodological expertise

  • Quantitative (longitudinal surveys)
  • Qualitative (interviews, case study, narrative)
  • Action research

Research student supervision

Another exciting part of being an academic is the chance to work with the 'next generation' of researchers. I look to work with higher degree research (HDR) candidates who are curious, questioning, willing to learn, grow and adapt, and have a passion for the research they are looking to undertake. What else will sustain you over the three years of your research project?! I also seek candidates who are willing and able to meaningfully engage with the industry and sector partners they collaborate with in their research. As academics, our research needs to have impact and for management scholars this often means working closely with our partner research sites to, at the very least, feed back what it is that we are learning about their practices to help them achieve their goals. I have been humbled to be awarded for excellence in higher degree research student supervision.


What I love to research I am also fortunate to teach. In my courses my aim is always to challenge my students to become 'sharper' thinkers: to be critical, analytical, ethical and evidence-based management practitioners and leaders in whatever post-university path they take. I've taught courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, across traditional and blended learning formats, in the areas of organisational behaviour (leadership, organisational structure and design, introductory management), human resource management (diversity management, industrial relations) and innovation (managing people for innovation). It has been an honour to be awarded for excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.

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Research Outputs

  • Making sense of an interconnected world: How innovation champions drive social innovation in the not‐for‐profit context

    Molloy, C., Bankins, S., Kriz, A. & Barnes, L., 8 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Product Innovation Management.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    A narrative approach to psychological contracts

    Bankins, S., 31 May 2019, Handbook of research on the psychological contract at work. Griep, Y. & Cooper, C. (eds.). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 377–396 20 p. (New horizons in management series).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Activities

    • 1 Oral presentation