We are delighted to kick off our 2016 Faculty Profile series with Professor Vivien Lim.
Prof Lim has been with Business School for over twenty years. She started as a Senior Tutor with the Department of Management & Organization. She became our first female full Professor in 2014. She is also Deputy Head of the department and Director of the Women in Leadership Program.
She is well-received by her students, and has received numerous teaching awards. As a three-time winner of the Annual Teaching Excellence Award, she has been placed on the University’s Teaching Honour Roll.
Prof Lim is a leading scholar in the areas of job insecurity, cyberloafing, information technology and work and workplace misbehaviour, and has received numerous research awards at both faculty and international levels. She was the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Psychology: An International Review.
We caught up with her:
Some of my favourite/significant memories here are…
A significant milestone was when I was awarded the NUS Overseas Scholarship in the 1990s to pursue my PhD studies in the University of Pittsburgh. Having the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people broadened my perspective and changed my view of the world.
During that time, unemployment was rampant in Pittsburgh due to the closure of steel plants. I became interested in unemployment and job insecurity, and how it impacted families. My research in this area has received international recognition.
Another significant moment was my first teaching assignment at School of Computing. Then, there was no internet nor IVLE – everything had to be done offline. Each week, I dashed to Science Faculty to collect handouts, then rushed back to LT 27. As you can imagine, it was a stressful experience for a young new PhD.
That first experience in managing a large class also taught me two key lessons: 1) that teaching is not only about mastering and imparting knowledge; (2) it is also about leadership, teamwork and managing people, both students and colleagues.
Outside of work
I like to read, and watch movies. I love comedies as they celebrate life and provide the laughter much needed to counteract the stresses of life. My favourite is “Just for Laughs” – it is definitely the pause that refreshes, especially when the day has not gone very well. It reminds us to learn to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously.
If I received a $50,000/$500,000 grant to pursue an interest,
I would use it to extend my current work on commuting by focusing on the correlates of active commuting and its impact on school, work and well-being. One of the major contributors to diseases and poor health is physical inactivity. Active commuting such as biking or walking offers a relatively easy way to integrate physical activity into daily life.
I would run my own race. My advice to students – Do not let others define who you are. Run your own race, set your own pace and goals, and strive to improve on your personal record. It is important to know yourself – your limitations and your strengths. Play to your strengths.
Remain teachable to fortify and expand your strengths. There is always something to be learnt from every person, encounter and class, even bad ones.
My all-time favourite book is …
“One Thousand and One Nights” (“Arabian Nights”). This story demonstrates the powerful resilience of the human spirit, how the courage and ingenuity of a young woman can overcome prejudice and cruelty. Through her riveting tales about love, greed, and jealousy – unfolded over 1001 nights –Shahrazad managed to entertain, outsmart and change the prejudiced heart of a king. The book also serves to remind us of the power of storytelling in transforming hearts and minds.
Two random facts about myself
I experienced my first (and hopefully last) layoff when I was a student. My friends and I were engaged for three months to conduct surveys and interviews. We managed to achieve the target in a month, and were still told that our services were no longer needed. On hindsight, we were naive to think that being efficient would make the company want to retain us for longer.
I am a foodie with a weakness for pineapple tarts. Some years back, I bought (half a dozen jars of) pineapple tarts from almost every pastry shop along Jonker Street in Malacca.
Describe yourself in three words.
I am work in progress.