Ishbel McWha-Hermann Headshot

Lecturer in International HRM

+44 (0)131 651 5466


I teach in the area of HRM and IHRM with a particular interest in issues of social justice and diversity. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh I worked for two years as Research Associate at Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute (EDI). In this role I undertook research into improving the employment experiences of individuals with disabilities. Prior to this, my research work focused on the application of industrial and organisational psychology to the international development arena. In particular, I have studied the importance of relationships between local and foreign workers in lower-income contexts, and the impact of disparate salaries on those relationships, ultimately informing the success of capacity development and poverty reduction initiatives. My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals within both the international development and psychology arenas. I have lived and worked in numerous different countries, including India, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and the UK.

In 2010 I was awarded a SIOP Presidential Celebration Coin for Science and Practice for my work on Project ADDUP, a multidisciplinary and international research project which examined the impact of local-expatriate salary disparities on the performance and motivation of workers across six lower-income countries. I was a founding member of the Global Task Force for Humanitarian Work Psychology, and was inaugural Chair of the Global Organisation for Humanitarian Work Psychology (GOHWP). In July 2012 I was appointed as an inaugural SIOP Representative to the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

Research Taxonomy

Research Interests

My research interests include the HR policies and practices of international NGOs, organisational justice, humanitarian work psychology, sustainable HRM, corporate social responsibility, workplace diversity, intergroup relations and teamwork.

I am particularly interested in working with students on the following topics:

  • characteristics of actors within the international aid and development sector, including relationships between volunteers, expatriates and host country national staff
  • fairness and reward in international work contexts, particularly using social comparison theory
  • all aspects of organisational justice, particularly including deontic justice in international and cross-cultural contexts
  • diversity and inclusion at work, particularly related to employees with disabilities
  • HRM policies and practices of international NGOs
  • HRM policies and practices related to long term international volunteers

Research Area