Joy Love - PhD researcher

Joy Love - PhD researcher


Joy Love - PhD Researcher
                      Joy Love - PhD researcher


I am a PhD student at Flinders University’s school of psychology, with broad corporate and community experience. I am interested in both research and practice and have a passion for understanding human behaviour in groups contexts—including in organisations, and social, economic and political systems—and in implementing changes for more effective organisational results and better social justice outcomes in society.  

Linking my PhD research with the Equal Opportunity Commission (Commission) (With Commissioner Dr. Niki Vincent as an adjunct supervisor) has allowed me to conduct research with organisations that the Commission is involved with which are undergoing organisational change based on social justice themes.  This has strengthened the value of my research through gathering data in real settings, which in turn will further inform research that has a direct benefit in practical contexts.  

Vision thinking and identity formation for leadership

My PhD research investigates how vision thinking can be effectively applied or responded to by leaders, in a range of leadership contexts. Vision thinking is positive prospection related to a collective – it is when people imagine positive futures for their group, or organisation. The research investigates the psychological processes involved in vision thinking and examines how vision thinking in interaction with others may lead to outcomes that promote positive collective change. Leadership and collective change are inextricably linked - leadership is about motivating people to pursue collective goals.  Leadership, therefore, is an important context for vision thinking aimed at collective change.  

A focus of the research is on how vision thinking may build a shared identity within a group or organisation. Research over the last decade has emphasised that a shared identity among the led collective, and a leader who represents himself or herself as a prototype of that shared identity, are key ingredients of successful leadership, and hence for leading change. Other outcomes of interest, for leading collective change, include motivation, efficacy and facilitating emotions.  

My research involves conducting correlational studies in the social psychology laboratory at Flinders University, running studies online, and surveying participants in organisations. The correlational studies are designed to understand more about the presence and effectiveness of vision thinking as it exists or is applied for adopting anti-discrimination practices. The studies investigate the extent, context and form of vision thinking that organisation members engage in; whether engagement in vision thinking is related to members’ identification with the goals of the anti-discrimination initiative and the group promoting the initiative; and members’ commitment, motivation, and efficacy for adopting the organisational change.

Education and awards:
  • Bachelor of Engineering Mechanical (Hons), Monash University
  • Bachelor of Commerce, Monash University
  • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons), Flinders University
  • Master of International and Community Development, Deakin University.
  • University Medal for my undergraduate and Honours year performance in the Bachelor of Psychology (Hons)
  • Comalco scholarship (1998)
  • May Mills scholarship for women (2015)
  •  Australian Post Graduate Award scholarship (2016-2018).