Dr Mei-I Cheng

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort, University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 207 8777

E: mcheng@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

An occupational psychologist by background, Dr Cheng has researched widely in the field of competency and behavioural change within project and organizational contexts. Her research has included collaborative work with a range of construction and aerospace firms exploring innovative ways of enhancing individual and team performance amongst professional and managerial workers.

Her research papers have won awards, including a special ‘Citation of Excellence’ award, the highest award that Emerald bestows and Gold Medal - Winner of Innovation Award by The Chartered Institute of Building.

Publications and outputs 

  • Materialistic values, brand knowledge and the mass media: Hours spent on the Internet predicts materialistic values and brand knowledge
    Materialistic values, brand knowledge and the mass media: Hours spent on the Internet predicts materialistic values and brand knowledge Rai, Roshan; Chauhan, C.; Cheng, M. Materialism can be seen as the importance people attached to material goods, as well as the belief in the desirable symbolic importance goods have (e.g., to status, human happiness etc.). And the media has often been associated with materialistic values. The current study investigates the relationship between some traditional forms of mass media (television, newspapers and magazines), and a newer form of mass media: the Internet. Using self-report measures, 195 participants indicated how many hours a day they spent watching television, reading newspapers/magazines, and using the Internet. It was found that hours spent using the Internet was positively associated with materialistic values as measured by the Aspiration Index. Using a more concrete task, hours spent using the Internet and materialistic values were significantly predictors of participants’ ability to identify brand logos. This provides evidence that materialistic values, as well as specific knowledge of brands, can be associated to Internet usage. Perhaps surprisingly, however, television viewing was negatively associated with materialistic values. In the current research, the Internet (a newer form of mass media) was more strongly associated with greater materialistic values and the ability to identify brand logos than older forms of mass media. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Burnout, self-efficacy and exposure to violence on life satisfaction of clinical mental health staff
    Burnout, self-efficacy and exposure to violence on life satisfaction of clinical mental health staff Hancock-Johnson, E.; Cheng, M. Objectives / Purpose / Background: To investigate factors influencing the psychological wellbeing of clinical staff in a secure mental health hospital; this study investigated the role of exposure to violence, burnout, and self-­efficacy on life satisfaction of clinical staff working in a secure mental health hospital, using the Job Demands-­Resources Theory as a theoretical framework. Design / Background / Key points: To examine the relationships between the studied variables, a cross-­‐sectional questionnaire study was conducted. The exhaustion domain of burnout was investigated as a mediator between exposure to violence and life satisfaction, whilst disengagement domain of burnout was investigated as a mediator between self-­efficacy and life satisfaction. Self-­efficacy was investigated as a moderator between self-­efficacy and life satisfaction. Methods / Conclusions: Using purposive sampling, eighty-six participants were recruited to complete self-­report scales, through online or paper surveys. Mediation effects were analyzed using a bias-corrected bootstrap and a Sobel test. Moderation analysis using ordinal least square path analysis was performed. Results / Conclusions: Exhaustion significantly predicted life satisfaction but exhaustion did not mediate the relationship between exposure to violence and life satisfaction. Self­efficacy significantly predicted life satisfaction. Disengagement did not mediate self­efficacy and life satisfaction. Self-­efficacy did not significantly moderate the relationship between exposure to violence and life satisfaction. Conclusions: Person-­directed burnout interventions should be employed to reduce the adverse effects of burnout on life satisfaction, and self-­efficacy should be promoted, to enhance life satisfaction in clinical staff. The study is limited by an over-representation of nursing staff, and restricted generalizability to other settings. Future Job Demands-Resources Theory research should investigate predictors of life satisfaction in clinical staff.
  • Implementing a new performance management system within a project-based organization: A case study
    Implementing a new performance management system within a project-based organization: A case study Cheng, M.; Dainty, A. R. J.; Moore, D. R. Purpose: Effecting fundamental change in organizational practices and techniques is extremely problematic, particularly regarding human resource management (HRM) issues. A study exploring implementation of a new performance management system for improving individual project manager performance is presented. Methodology/Approach: The paper presents the findings of longitudinal research, carried out within a major construction organization, within which a new performance management system was developed and implemented. It analyses the ways in which resistance to change was manifested, and explores the actions necessary to circumvent barriers to its use as an organizational transformation tool based on a review of change strategies in other industries and sectors. Findings: Barriers to implementing new performance solutions stem from a lack of senior management commitment and support, ingrained working practices and an absence of appropriate training interventions. These are relatively straight forward to overcome within a robust implementation framework. Research limitations/implications: The empirical work upon which the assertions are based is grounded within a single case study. Further work is required to validate the findings within other firms. Practical implications: The posited approach provides a practical implementation methodology which may be transferable to other project-led organizations. Originality/value of paper: The practical implementation methodology proposed provides a point of departure for companies considering strategies for successfully implementing performance management tools.
  • A Multifaceted Performance Excellence Framework for Project-Based Organizations
    A Multifaceted Performance Excellence Framework for Project-Based Organizations Cheng, M.; Dainty, A. R. J.; Moore, D. R. Project-based working has become increasingly prevalent in many industries and sectors. However, it present a particular challenge in terms of managing and assessing the performance of those involved, as outcomes are often the product of complex patterns of involvement from a wide range of stakeholders. This paper reports on research which has attempted to overcome this difficulty through the development of a multifaceted performance excellence framework for project managers. The framework is based around three interrelated components of managerial performance excellence: role-focused performance excellence criteria, job-focused task-task competences and person-focused attribute-based competencies. This hybrid approach to performance management provides an evaluative framework adaptable for a variety of applications, including recruitment, development and training, succession planning and deployment. It offers an innovative alternative to normative competence based approaches, which arguably do little to engender performance excellence within dynamic project-based sectors.
  • A Comparison of the Behavioural Competencies of Client and Production-Focused Project Managers in the Construction Sector
    A Comparison of the Behavioural Competencies of Client and Production-Focused Project Managers in the Construction Sector Dainty, A. R. J.; Cheng, M.; Moore, D. R.
  • Towards A Multidimensional Competency-Based Managerial Performance Framework: A Hybrid Approach
    Towards A Multidimensional Competency-Based Managerial Performance Framework: A Hybrid Approach Cheng, M.; Dainty, A. R. J.; Moore, D. R. Purpose – To report on the development of a new, more balanced approach to managing the performance of key employees in project-based organizations. Design/methodology/approach – Following the establishment of the role-based criteria for performance excellence through focus groups and subsequent factor analysis, performance profiles of a range of superior and average performing managers were compiled. These were based on behavioural event interviews (BEIs) from which job, person and role-based aspects were derived. The final performance model was validated through assessments with an expert panel of HRM specialists. Findings – This research has developed and demonstrated the potential of a more holistic approach to managing performance which includes reference to the job requirements, personal behaviours and the role context. It was found to be particularly suitable to measuring managers’ performance in dynamic team-based environments. Research limitations/implications – The empirical work upon which the new performance framework is based was derived from a limited study within two construction organizations. Future work will explore the applicability of the approach within other organizations and industries. Practical implications – Applying this framework to key HRM activities has the potential to improve the ways in which companies manage, develop and retain their key managerial resources. Notably, they should be able to engender a more participative, developmental approach to the HRM function, thereby helping to ensure sustained performance improvements in the future and improved resource usage effectiveness. Originality/value – The paper presents the basis for a completely new performance management paradigm which embeds managerial competence/competency in a way which more accurately reflects the realities of managerial practice
  • Competency-Based Model for Predicting Construction Project Managers Performance
    Competency-Based Model for Predicting Construction Project Managers Performance Dainty, A. R. J.; Cheng, M.; Moore, D. R. Using behavioral competencies to influence human resource management decisions is gaining popularity in business organizations. This study identifies the core competencies associated with the construction management role and further, develops a predictive model to inform human resource selection and development decisions within large construction organizations. A range of construction managers took part in behavioral event interviews where staffs were asked to recount critical management incidents, decisions and actions from which their key competencies could be identified. By delineating the sample according to their levels of performance measured against a range of role-specific performance criteria, the competencies defining superior management performance could be determined. These were then used to construct a logistic regression model from which manager’s performance can be predicated. The validated results reveal that ‘self-control’ and ‘team leadership’ are the most predictive behaviors underpinning effective project management performance. The paper explores the potential role and application of the framework to underpin human resource management decision making with regards to recruitment, performance management, succession planning and resource allocation.
  • What makes a good project manager?
    What makes a good project manager? Cheng, M.; Dainty, A. R. J.; Moore, D. R. Cheng lead author (80%+).
  • The differing faces of managerial competency in Britain and America
    The differing faces of managerial competency in Britain and America Cheng, M.; Dainty, A. R. J.; Moore, D. R. Research on managerial competence has been narrowly focused and confusing in its terminology. In particular, a disparity has emerged between the definitions and assessments of competence developed in the USA and the approaches adopted in the UK. In this paper it is argued that each perspective is incomplete and therefore lacking as a comprehensive frame for understanding both managerial competence and the management of performance. Furthermore, they have failed to deal with issues of the dynamic environment and the widely different contexts for managerial performance, particularly with regard to identifiable cultural differences. This paper aims to paint a more complete picture of “competence” by subjecting it to conceptual analysis. An examination of its contemporary use identifies both conceptual and practical flaws. Accordingly, an alternative approach is posited which places emphasis on those issues critical to achieving desired enhancements in management performance.

Click here for a full listing of Mei-I Cheng's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Employee Turnover Behaviour
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Organisational Commitment
  • Performance Management
  • Job Stress
  • Behavioural Change
  • Group Mind
  • Job Competency
  • Organisational Learning
  • Organisational Change
  • Organisational Strategic Initiative Implementation
  • Team Work
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Psychological Contract
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organisational Citizenship Behaviour
  • Human Resource Management in Project Based Environments.

Areas of teaching

  • Work Psychology
  • Personality and Intelligence
  • Psychology in Context
  • Further Research Methods for Psychologists
  • Intercultural Business Communication (MSc)
  • Psychological Well-being (MSc).

Qualifications

PhD, MSc, BSc in Psychology.

Courses taught

  • Work Psychology
  • Personality and Intelligence
  • Psychology in Context
  • Further Research Methods for Psychologists
  • Intercultural Business Communication (MSc)
  • Psychological Well-being (MSc).

Honours and awards

2005 Citation of Excellence (Emerald) for:

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J & Moore, D R (2005). What Makes a Good Project Manager? Human Resource Management Journal, 15(1), 25-37. ISSN 0905-5395.Dr Cheng has received international recognition by some of the world’s leading management experts. The article was awarded a ‘Citation of Excellence’ by Emerald, a leading English language publisher of academic and professional literature in the fields of management and library and information management.

Each year Emerald selects some of the world’s top names in management to independently judge articles from the top 400 international management journals. Just 50 of the 15,000 papers assessed are singled out by the panel for a special ‘Citation of Excellence’ award, the highest award that Emerald bestows.

2002-2003 Gold Medal: Winner of Innovation Award A research paper competition ran by The Chartered Institute of Building.

2002 Outstanding Research Performance.Awarded by Loughborough University.

1997-2000 ORSAS Dr Cheng was the award holder for the Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS) of Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom.

Conference attendance

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M and Moore, D R (2006). What Makes an Effective Project Manager? Findings of a Four-year Program of Research', Proceedings of the ASCE/CIB 2nd Speciality Conference in Leadership and Management in Construction, Songer, A, Chinowsky, P and Carillo, P M (Eds), Grand Bahama Island, pp 116-123, ISBN 0 9707869 1 3.

Moore, D R, Dainty, A R J. and Cheng, M (2003). Improving Performance Through Integrated Project Team Constituency. System-based Vision for Strategic and Creative Design, Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Structural and Construction Engineering, Bontempi, F (Ed) , Rome, Italy, pp. 2191-2196, ISBN 90 5809 599 1.

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M and Moore, D R (2003). A Critique of Management Competence Development in the UK: Does the Higher Education Sector Produce Effective Construction Managers? Proceedings of CIB BEAR Conference, Salford, pp 47-57.

Ferguson, E & Cheng, M (2000). The Prediction of Employee Turnover. Proceedings of BPS Occupational Psychology Conference, The British Psychological Society, pp 12-16.

Key research outputs

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J, & Moore, D R (2005). What Makes a Good Project Manager? Human Resource Management Journal, 15(1), 25-37. ISSN 0905-5395.

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J, & Moore, D R (2005). Towards A Multidimensional Competency-Based Managerial Performance Framework: A Hybrid Approach. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20(5), 380-396, ISSN 02698-3946.

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J, & Moore, D R (2002). The Differing Faces of Competency in Britain and America. Journal of Management Development, 22(6), 527-537. ISSN 0262-1711.

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M, & Moore, D R (2005). A Competency-Based Model for Predicting Construction Project Managers’ Performance. ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 21(1), 2-9. ISSN 0742-597X.

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M, & Moore, D R. (2005). A Comparison of the Behavioural Competencies of Client and Production-Focused Project Managers in the Construction Sector. Project Management Journal, 36(2), 39-48, ISSN 8756-9728/03

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M, & Moore, D R (2004). A Competency-Based Performance Model for Construction Project Managers. Construction Management and Economics, 22(8), 77-88. ISSN 0144-6193.

Dainty, A R J, Cheng, M, & Moore, D R. (2003). Redefining Performance measures for Construction Project Managers: An Empirical Evaluation. Construction Management and Economics, 21(2), 209-218. ISSN 0144-6193.

Moore, D R, Cheng, M, & Dainty, A R J. (2002). Competence, Competency and Competencies: Performance Assessment in Organisations. Work Study: A Journal of Productivity Science, 51(6), 314-319. ISSN 0043-8022.

Moore, D R, Cheng, M, & Dainty, A R J. (2003). What Makes a Superior Management Performer: the Identification of Key Behaviours in Superior Construction Managers. CIOB Research Competition Winning Paper.

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J, & Moore, D R. (2007). A Multifaceted Performance Excellence Framework for Project-Based Organizations. International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management, 7(3/4), 254-275. ISSN 1465-6612.

Cheng, M, Dainty, A R J, & Moore, D R. (2007). A Practical Implementation Model for Organizational Strategic Initiatives: A Case Study. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 561, 60-75. ISBN 1741-0401.

Externally funded research grants information

£11,230,  Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China  "The Spillover-crossover Effects of Workplace Incivility" (with Prof Yu Yan, Wuhan University and Dr Zhiqing Zhou, Florida Institute of Technology)

£22,460, National Natural Science Foundation of China  “Building An Emotion-based Multilevel Model of Workplace Incivility: The Spiralling effect of incivility " (with Prof Yu Yan, Wuhan University and Dr Zhiqing Zhou, Florida Institute of Technology).

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