Working the gig economy: The organisation of digital platform work
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (2018-20): Australians are increasingly working through online digital platforms which connect them with enterprises or consumers seeking specific services. This project investigates the organisation of platform work from the perspective of both workers and the intermediaries they use to find work. The project will contribute to knowledge of workforce transitions and shifting work/home boundaries and inform the development of appropriate labour regulation. Paula McDonald; Robyn Mayes; Penny Williams; Andrew Stewart; Damian Oliver.
Women's financial literacy and multi-level marketing businesses
Financial Literacy Australia Grant (2018-20): This project seeks to understand the level of financial literacy and knowledge that consultants possess in relation to running a multi-level marketing (MLM) business and to develop resources to improve their financial literacy and assist potential consultants to make informed decisions about entering into an MLM scheme. Deanna Grant-Smith; Laura de Zwaan.
Evaluation of a job coaching model for at-risk, young job-seekers
Commercial Research (2018-19): The Sticking Together Project aims to demonstrate how an evidence-based coaching service can dramatically lift the success rates of employment placements for young people. The project assists young jobseekers (aged 18 to 25 years) who were experiencing complex or multiple barriers to employment, through a coach support model, which focuses on non-vocational skills development, and the provision of intensive assistance to address other barriers to employment, such as home, health, or relationship challenges. Kathy Moore; Paula McDonald.
Leadership in higher education teaching and learning support: Global partnerships
Trade and Investment Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund, Advance HE and QUT funded (2017-18): As one of the largest global higher education markets, China has a growing focus on enhancing and benchmarking teaching quality against internationally recognised standards. Professor Cathcart led academics from the 10 Queensland universities in a teaching and learning collaboration between Queensland and Chinese universities. Project outcomes included sharing of innovative learning and teaching practices, development of communities of practice, and more than 50 academics from Chinese universities achieving recognition as Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Abby Cathcart; Ian Davis; Bree Hurst.
Identifying effective strategies to grow and sustain a professional early years workforce
Australian Research Council Linkage grant (2014-18): Growing a qualified, engaged and professional ECEC workforce is a current policy priority in Australia and internationally. This large-scale national study of the Australian ECEC workforce provides new and timely insights into factors that enable and impede educator engagement and retention in centre-based ECEC services. Taking into account individual, workplace and systemic influences, the study provides much needed evidence to inform a more strategic approach to workforce development. Karen Thorpe; Sue Irvine; Paula McDonald; Jo Brownlee; Jennifer Sumison.
Karen Thorpe; Sue Irvine; Paula McDonald; Jo Brownlee; Jennifer Summison
Everyday sexism: A new workplace survey
Commissioned research from Victorian Male Champions of Change (2016): The project developed a rigorous survey designed to measure how diverse organisations are tracking in relation to everyday sexism—a significant dimension of gender inequality. The survey enables the collection of experiential data on a range of sexist behaviours (by men and women) in the workplace, including organisational and bystander responses to everyday sexism. For more information on using the survey in your workplace, please contact Paula McDonald or Robyn Mayes.
Transitions from education to work for young Australians
Australian Research Council Future Fellowship grant (2013-16): This project asks how youth in different social locations (e.g., class, gender, ethnicity, geographic region) conceive of their rights and responsibilities in employment, the extent to which they can enact their capacities, and how they anticipate their future in the formal economy, relative to other life domains. The project informs local, state and national education and employment policies and community led strategies which promote enhanced opportunities and outcomes for young people. Paula McDonald.
Customising work through manager-employee exchange
Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2012-15): This project explored, through 300 interviews in finance, defence and community workplace settings how managers and employees customise the terms and conditions of standardised employment arrangements. The research generated, for the first time, evidence of the frequency and nature of requests made by employees to their line managers for a wide range of formal (enshrined in HR policy) and informal (ad hoc, short-term, often undocumented) types of workplace flexibility. Paula McDonald; Keith Townsend; Abby Cathcart; Penny Williams; Melinda Laundon.
Sexual harassment in Australia
Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (2010-14): Despite legal prohibition, sexual harassment is a persistent workplace issue with significant costs for individuals and organizations. New insights and contributions generated through the research include evidence of harasser tactics; bystander interventions; a critique of the effectiveness of conciliation as a form of alternative dispute resolution; the nature and causes of ‘atypical’ sexual harassment; the psychological consequences of sexual harassment; and deficiencies in how organisations typically manage complaints of sexual harassment. Paula McDonald and Sara Charlesworth.
Widening participation or widening the gap? Equity in postgraduate study
National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Grant: Drawing on selected higher education statistics, this research explores equity trends in participation in postgraduate study in Australia, mapping enrolment and completion trends in relation to 5 key equity groups of postgraduate students: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; low socio-economic backgrounds; disability; regional and remote Australia; and domestic students from a non-English speaking background. Deanna Grant-Smith; Robyn Mayes.
With a strong social justice theme, we seek to inform and engage in public debate. The following are some examples of our work in this area.