GOHWP is delighted to announce that Leo Marai, one of our earliest members and a seasoned professional in humanitarian work psychology, has recently obtained his PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the School of Business & Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea in Papua New Guinea. Leo’s dissertation is titled: “Dual Salaries in Papua New Guinea: Exploring their Links to Perceived Justice, Motivation and Wellbeing.” He was supervised by Professor David Kavanamur of School of Business & Public Policy, University of Papua New Guinea, and Professor Stuart Carr from School of Psychology, Massey University in New Zealand. One of his thesis external examiners was Professor Adrian Furnham of University College London.

With Leo’s permission, we are including a brief form of the abstract of his dissertation below.  Interested readers can reach out to him at leomarai – at – yahoo – dot – com for a copy of the full document.

The present study explored the concept and practice of dual salaries in Papua New Guinea, where local workers are remunerated less than international workers despite often performing identical jobs and having equivalent human capital. The “double de-motivation” hypothesis predicts that dual salaries will de-motivate both locally- and internationally-remunerated skilled employees, but the hypothesis has never been fully explored in the context of Papua New Guinea before. In particular, possible mediators and moderators of the linkage between remuneration type and de-motivation, such as the perceived justice and occupational propinquity (defined as psychological proximity) among workers on the job, along with other outcomes such as health and wellbeing, remain unknown.

The thesis concludes by presenting a new model of dual salaries. It adds to existing knowledge by revealing (a) that remuneration type (local, international) predicted injustice, de-motivation and mobility intentions among local workers; and also double de-motivation among international and locally-remunerated workers in a new country context; (b) that de-motivation mediated between remuneration type and justice; (c) that remuneration type predicted negative wellbeing; (d) that negative wellbeing mediated between remuneration type and de-motivation more than following from de-motivation; and (e) that occupational propinquity added separately and directly to injustice and de-motivation.

We congratulate Leo and applaud his work on dual-salary systems, one of the critical issues in the field. We are sure that this marks the beginning of many more years for him of productive research and practice in HWP.