University of Otago
Te Whare Wananga o Otago Department of Management
Te Whare Wananga o Otago  

Dr Paula O'Kane

Paula O'KaneBSc PhD PGDCHEP (Ulster) FHEA
Senior Lecturer

Room: Commerce 619
Tel: +64 3 479 8181
Fax: +64 3 479 8173
Skype: paulaokane

Paula has been teaching and researching for over 10 years in both the UK and New Zealand. She is primarily interested in how technology impacts how we work, from the way we communicate to how we ‘do’ work. This extends into how work might look in the future and how we use conversations as effective performance management tools. Paula is an expert in the qualitative analysis tool, NVivo hosting both training and workshops throughout the world. Paula completed her PhD in organisational communication at the University of Ulster before taking up an academic position in Ulster (2005-2010). Her PhD explored the role of technology in Organisational Communication. 

Read about Paula's research, with other colleagues from the Department, about the future of work in 'Dateline Dunedin 2063' page 34 of the Otago Magazine 36.

Read the Future of Work Research Centre report, Future of Work: Dunedin and the blog that contains the latest news, reports and presentations from this research team in the department.

Read the article in The Star, Dunedin.

See the report, The Future of Work: Dunedin discussed in the ODT.

Future of Work

Teaching responsibilities

Paula’s teaching responsibilities include:

Other responsibilities

Paula’s other responsibilities include:

  • Director Human Resource Management major & minor
  • Course advisor and approver

Research interests

Paula’s current research interests fall across five broad areas:

  • The use of technology for communication within organisational settings, with specific focus upon the use and efficacy of social media.
  • The future of work
  • Performance management practices
  • The transfer of training from the classroom to the workplace, which considers how educators and other stakeholders can make training more effective for the individual and their organisation.
  • The role of computer-aided qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) within the research process.

PhD Opportunities

Paula is seeking research students along the broad areas of:

  • Organisational Communication
  • Social Media
  • Performance Management (from a HR Perspective)
  • Workplace Well-Being and Work-Life balance


Paula is currently supervising the following students:


Iftikhar Alam - How social media has brought about a paradigm shift in organizational communication: An analytical study of New Zealand’s organizations. (Supervisors: Paula O'Kane, Fiona Edgar)

Esther Ngocha-Chaderopa - Narrating stories of migrants working as careworkers in New Zealand. (Supervisors: Bronwyn Boon, Fiona Edgar, Paula O'Kane)

Wan Noraini Wan Mansor -The Settling-in Experience of International PhD Students’ Trailing Partners within New Zealand (Supervisors: Steven Grover, Paula O'Kane) - under examination

Recently completed

Fa Martin-Niemi (2013). Developing new knowledge in organisations: Engagement with virtual social networks in problem solving. (Supervisors: Bronwyn Boon,Paula O'Kane, Richard Greatbanks)


View Paula's publications