A/Prof Andrew Yu

Q&A with Associate Professor Andrew Yu

“What does your role involve?”

My role at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) involves teaching and research. I also serve as the co-Director of PhD Program in the Department of Management & Marketing where I advise, train, develop, and look after PhD students.

I teach a number of subjects in our degree programs that deal with the psychology of people in the workplace and helping organisational decision-makers design practices to manage their human capital. These subjects are at the Master's level and the doctoral (PhD) level.

My research is along the broad topics of Organisational Behaviour (OB) and Human Resource Management (HRM), though for each project the focus is a lot more specific. These have included the topics of diversity and inclusion, employee well-being, family supportive policies/practices, team dynamics, leadership, social hierarchy, work-family boundaries, and job performance.

“What do you enjoy most about your position?”

One of the most enjoyable parts of my position is having the opportunity to teach and interact with motivated students about tough issues that surround ‘management’ topics, which inherently contain a degree of uncertainty and ambiguity. Because the courses that I teach all require critical thinking and problem-solving, I truly enjoy helping students achieve that ‘Aha!’ moment that teachers look for.

“Tell us about your background?”

That’s a tough question to answer easily in a short amount of space! Perhaps students can discover how complicated (and hopefully interesting!) my background is if they take one of my subjects!

“Tell us about something you are currently researching?”

A good number of my research projects are currently related to diversity and/or work-family issues, both of which are tough issues that organisations continue to grapple with. One of the research projects that has been super interesting (probably because I experience it myself) is related to the psychology of aging and how our view of work-life balance issues evolve over our lifespan.

Another research project that I am currently working on with a doctoral candidate is trying to understand how our off-work ‘recovery’ experiences can help or hinder how easily we get back into the ‘flow’ of work when we return from breaks, including shorter (e.g., weekends) vs. longer (e.g., annual leave).

“What is something your students have taught you?”

Oh my. My students teach me every semester about how to stay agile and adapt my communication style so that I can communicate effectively with people from so many different cultural backgrounds, life experiences and personalities! Just when I think I have figured it out for one class of students, the semester is over, and the next class comes in with a whole new and different set of dynamics!

“What advice would you give to your younger self?”

I know it probably sounds cliché, because I thought so when I was my ‘younger self.’ I would tell a younger version of myself to learn to focus more on the present and not the future. I think that going through the ups and downs of the ‘learning process’ is more valuable than achieving the reward or outcome. In other words, going through the journey is often more important than simply reaching the destination.

“If you were not an academic, what would you like to do?”

Be an astronaut or maybe something like a Space Ranger (you know, like Buzz Lightyear). I can still dream right?

A/Prof Andrew Yu

Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour & Human Resource Management