Public lecture

The trials and tribulations of entering a tournament workplace: The case of new Members of...

IAS Visiting Fellow Professor Helena D Cooper-Thomas delivers a seminar on their research, fully titled "The trials and tribulations of entering a tournament workplace: The case of new Members of Parliament" - 

Workplace tournaments are characterized by competitive environments where individuals vie for resources and advancement. Tournaments are particularly prevalent at senior levels, yet little is known about how elite newcomers experience and respond to such adversarial contexts. To address this gap, we conducted qualitative research with new members of New Zealand’s Parliament, drawing on interviews and media case studies. Our findings shed light on both the key tournament challenges faced by elite newcomers and how these newcomers use promote and protect reputational strategies to navigate such challenges. We also show that the most successful tournament newcomers develop sophisticated patterns of reputational strategy use early on. Our research raises intriguing questions about the practical implications of exposing elite newcomers to workplace tournaments. Is “trial by fire” an efficient process for forging effective performers, or does it unnecessarily burn up those who could have contributed?

Arrivals from 11:45 am for a 12:00 noon start. For those joining in-person, lunch will be served after the seminar from 1:00pm.

This event is hybrid format, please use the required booking button at the bottom of the page to choose either in-person or online attendance.
(Please note that in-person spaces are limited and booking is required, so we can manage numbers for catering and also the space inside International House)

By booking a place at this event, attendees agree to behave in a respectful manner such that everyone feels comfortable contributing as they wish. The IAS reserves the right to eject anyone who does not abide by this policy.

IAS seminars are typically recorded, minus any Q&A sessions at the end, again to encourage contributions. The recordings are then uploaded to our website on a Fellows bio page and/or Programme page, along with our IAS YouTube Channel. If you are not able to attend a seminar live, please do still register as we will email everyone who registered to let them know once the recordings are made available.

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