Management and Marketing - Research Publications

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    The Ageing Workforce: Policy Dilemmas and Choices
    Gahan, P ; Harbridge, R ; Healy, J ; Williams, R (WILEY, 2017-12-01)
    Population ageing is profoundly challenging the institutions and systems that organise paid work, healthcare, and retirement. A major response to these challenges has been to encourage older workers to remain longer in employment, thereby extending the period of ‘productive life’ in which they are net contributors to government revenue. Yet this strategy depends on a range of micro-level adjustments, about which relatively little is known. These include how willingly older workers and employers adjust their attitudes and practices, and what types of policies facilitate these adjustments. In this paper, we critique the major policy responses to workforce ageing in Australia to date, and consider further measures to improve recruitment and retention of older workers. We argue that a more holistic policy response will require better evidence about ageist employment barriers, late-career transitions, and older workers’ job performance. We outline a research agenda to improve evidence and policy in these areas.
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    Does Procedural Justice Increase the Inclusion of Migrants? A Group Engagement Model Perspective
    Adamovic, M ; Gahan, P ; Olsen, JE ; Harley, W ; Healy, J ; Theilacker, M (Academy of Management, 2018-07-09)
    Workforces have become more culturally diverse due to globalization, skilled labor shortages, aging societies, and hardships in developing countries. One critical challenge associated with managing a culturally diverse workforce is ensuring inclusion. Migrant workers often experience discrimination, social exclusion, and lower organizational identification. Further attention is required to address these challenges and create inclusive workplaces for migrants. We integrate research on migrant workers with research on the group engagement model to create a model for understanding and enhancing migrant worker inclusion. We test our model using data drawn from employees in a large-scale survey of Australian workplaces. The results of our multilevel moderated mediation analysis indicate that, consistent with the group engagement model, a procedurally fair work environment tends to increase organizational identification, which in turn is associated with higher levels of work engagement. Importantly, our results also indicate that procedural justice climate is more important for migrant than for native workers. Our work has clear implications for practice. Organizations should establish a procedurally fair work environment in which cultural minorities experience consistent and unbiased policies and procedures, are able to express their opinions, and participate in decision-making.
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    Leadership at Work: Do Australian leaders have what it takes?
    Gahan, P ; Adamovic, M ; Bevitt, A ; Harley, W ; HEALY, J ; Olsen, J ; Theilacker, M (Centre for Workplace Leadership, The University of Melbourne, 2016)
    Fuelled by the resources boom, the Australian economy has enjoyed an unprecedented 25 years of economic growth, more than doubling in real terms over that period. But, now, the Australian economy is slowing. Productivity is sluggish, employment growth is weakening, and consumer confidence is faltering. Many economists are now predicting an extended period of slow economic growth and recovery. Organisations need to adapt and adjust to this unfolding reality, improve productivity and reduce costs. However, this is just one of a number of critical challenges that Australia faces. Slower economic growth globally has intensified competitive pressures. The rate of technological change is accelerating and is having increasingly disruptive consequences. Automation is destroying jobs at a faster pace and is beginning to hollow out middle-skill jobs across sectors as diverse as manufacturing, professional services and financial services. Technological advances are leading to an unprecedented rate of innovation in products and services, creating new sources of competitive pressure – as well as enormous potential for future growth, profitability and cost reduction. Technology is spawning a new class of business models, which are disrupting established ways of working and doing business – from Uber in the taxi industry, AirBnB in accommodation services, and the emerging FinTech sector, to the spread of online training in education services and an array of service providers able to offshore increasingly complex work. At the same time, organisations have contended with a seismic shift in the competitive and regulatory environment - from competition policy and consumer protection, to the decentralisation of industrial relations and enterprise bargaining. These fundamental changes in the way organisations organise and compete will impact Australian workplaces of all shapes and sizes – small and large, private and public, for-profit and not-for-profit, and across industries. If Australia is to maintain national competitiveness and generate growth and jobs, organisations need to navigate through a phase of increased uncertainty and ambiguity, disruption and change. To survive, organisations need to innovate and adapt, and to develop new capabilities and new sources of growth. A critical question is whether Australian organisational leaders are ready to meet these new challenges. Or whether the extended period of economic growth driven by the resources boom has made Australian organisational leaders complacent and unprepared for the future? Have Australian organisations invested adequately in their leadership and management capabilities to navigate through these complex and uncertain times? If not, will these various changes have adverse and lasting effects on future growth and prosperity? These questions have informed the surveys developed for this study.
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    Leading from the Frontline: Developing Leader Identity and Leadership Self-Efficacy among Frontline Managers.
    OLSEN, J ; Butar, I ; Gahan, P (Centre for Workplace Leadership, The University of Melbourne, 2016)
    Frontline managers are responsible for the supervision of non-managerial employees and overseeing day-to-day operations in general. They are often directly involved in employee recruitment, training, and performance management and are critical to implementing practices and innovations that enhance productivity (Ahmed, Shields, White, & Wilbert, 2010; Brewer, 2005; Kraut, Pedigo, McKenna, & Dunnette, 1989; Purcell & Hutchinson, 2007; Risher, 2010). Frontline managers in the service industry are no exception, and should receive more attention as the service industry expands. We therefore designed a research study based in a large organisation in the food service industry. Through this study, we sought to understand what factors relate to the important concepts of leader identity and leadership self-efficacy at the frontline. We first provide some background on these concepts, as well as a number of potential determinants. We then describe the methodology of our study, followed by the findings and their implications.
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    Developing Leaders in Business Schools: A Case Report on First Year Student Leaders
    OLSEN, J ; Butar, I ; Gahan, P ; Harbridge, R ; Van Woonroy, B (Centre for Workplace Leadership, The University of Melbourne, 2016)
    Developing leadership capabilities in young people comes with the territory of being in a business school. The Faculty of Business and Economics at The University of Melbourne offers a First Year Leaders Forum on a voluntary basis to all students. Centre for Workplace Leadership researchers surveyed two groups of first year students – those who took part in the Forum, and those that chose not to. The survey was administered immediately before the Forum and repeated six months later. Testing for four leadership competencies and two leadership attributes, they established that the intervention in the form of the Forum, improved first year students motivation to lead. Further they found that those who joined student groups or associations, volunteered or had served internships demonstrated higher levels of motivation to lead. The study showed that even small interventions can develop leadership attributes and as a result increase the levels of motivation to lead.
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    The Rise and Rise of Enterprise Bargaining in Australia, 1991-2011
    Gahan, PG ; Pekarek, A (Taylor & Francis Australasia, 2012)
    Collective bargaining and agreement-making has been an established part of Australia's arbitral model of industrial relations since its inception. Although the significance of bargaining and agreement-making has varied considerably over the course of the twentieth century and across different sectors, it nonetheless remained a secondary component of the formal system of wage determination until the 1980s. From the mid-1980s, however, new wage-fixing principles and legislative changes have paved the way for enterprise bargaining as the primary mechanism through which wages and conditions of employment have been determined, evolving towards a predominance of enterprise-level collective agreements. The aim of this paper is to describe the major institutional reforms intended to promote enterprise bargaining and to review the major trends in agreement-making over the course of the last twenty years in particular. The data show that, while enterprise-level agreement-making has become an entrenched feature of the Australian system, it is not at all clear that it has involved the spread of collective bargaining as the term is normally understood.