Productivity growth is regarded by most governments as the prerequisite to improved living standards. While views diverge on the matter of how best to boost productivity, it is generally accepted that enhancing productivity is necessary for improved economic performance. There are many determinants of productivity, including the health and skills of the workforce, the capacity to innovate in a knowledge economy, and how those factors are maximised through economic and other policies. However, these macro factors alone appear not to account for the relative economic performance. Consequently there has been an increasing interest in the role of the individual enterprise in shaping national productivity.

However, it remains unclear which way causality runs - do good working arrangements lead to high performance, or are good working arrangements only possible because of economic success? When interested in productivity, one must not simply be interested in what appears to be associated with improving the relationship between inputs and outputs. One must be interested centrally in what it is about workplaces and the contexts in which they operate which determines economic success. Hence, there is a wealth of research to be conducted to better understand the means for improving workplace performance. The WRC's expertise in this area is closely linked to our research into the changing dynamics of workforce development and the impact of the labour standards in the workplace.


Equity Fellowships Evaluation 2013

Client:  Equal Opportunity Unit, University of Sydney

This report presents the findings from the evaluation of the 2012 Equity Fellowships, administered by the University of Sydney. The fellowships are focused on equity of opportunity and are intended to assist particular groups of academic staff, such as women ready to seek higher level academic promotion, those who have or previously experienced a significant disability, and those whose careers have been interrupted by sustained primary caring duties, to enhance, develop, or re-establish their research careers. Based on semi-structured interviews with fellowship recipients, the evaluation offers some broad insights about the effectiveness of key operational elements, and establishes the ongoing need and importance of the Fellowship schemes.

Evaluation of the Thompson, Brown and Laffan Fellowships 2012

Client:  University of Sydney

This study evaluates the Thompson, Brown and Laffan Fellowships, administered by the University of Sydney. These findings form part of a three phase evaluation spanning 2009-2012. The Thompson, Brown and Laffan Fellowships are all designated Equity Fellowships', intended to assist particular groups of academic staff to enhance, develop, or re-establish their research careers, such as where they have been affected by caring responsibilities, or significant disabilities.

2005 Employee Survey 2006

Client:  Suzanne Grae

For this project, WRC developed a staff survey to ascertain the attitudes and opinions of Suzanne Grae employees across a range of indicators, such as job satisfaction, workloads and training.

Make it Work -Employer of Choice 2012

Client:  AgriFood Skills Australia

The WRC undertook a formative evaluation of the Make It Work (MIW) initiative, including research underpinning the development of the Employer of Choice concept. The research describes the rationales, decision processes and current programs that have underpinned the MIW initiative, and evaluates what and whose needs the program is attempting to fulfil, and how MIW is going about this work. Finally, it situates the MIW program within the existing field of local economic and employment development policy. This addresses the question of how lessons from the MIW programs can be used in other regional employment and economic development initiatives. A key aspect of this involved the evaluation and refinement of the Employer of Choice survey.