Not Just Part Time, Not Just Women: Challenging the Myths of Flexible Work

Challenging the Myths of Flexible Work

This innovative research challenges some of the myths surrounding flexible work. The project reconceptualises flexible work arrangements to explore the diverse and complex ways in which managers and employees customised the terms and conditions of standardised employment arrangements. It has had wide and varied impact on policy development, public debate and organisational practices. Direct beneficiaries of the research include a large finance sector organisation, the Australian Defence Force and several government inquiries. Policy impact is demonstrated through the use of research findings in various policy development round-tables and government inquiries, including in the Productivity Commission’s Workplace Relations Inquiry Report. The research has shaped training and employment practices in finance, community and Defence organisations.


  • Townsend, Keith, McDonald, Paula, Cathcart, Abby (2017) Managing flexible work arrangements in small not-for-profit firms: The influence of organisational size, financial constraints and workforce characteristics International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28 (14), pp.2085-2107.
  • Skinner, Natalie, Cathcart, Abby, Pocock, Barbara (2016) To ask or not to ask? Investigating workers' flexibility requests and the phenomenon of discontented non-requesters Labour and Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 26 (2), pp.103-119.
  • Smith, Natalie, McDonald, Paula (2016) Facilitating sustainable professional part-time work: A question of design? Journal of Management and Organization, 22 (2), pp.205-223.