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2010 Seminars

22nd Feb 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Sasha Holley, Work and Organisational Studies and Graduate School of Government, PhD Candidate

Title: Buying Social Justice through Public Procurement? Labour standards for contracted cleaners in New South Wales public schools

Since the privatisation of government cleaning services in the early 1990s, Australian contracted cleaners are increasingly poorly managed, undervalued and earn minimal wages as employers compete for contracts in a 'race-to-the-bottom'. The inclusion of social justice provisions, such as required labour standards, in government procurement contracts is a possible solution to the problem that the procurement or outsourcing itself introduced. In July 2009 the Australian Government issued a statement acknowledging that it has a 'role as a model purchaser to encourage good practices from its suppliers', with particular mention of low-paid workers such as cleaners. This presentation discusses how these measures could make use of public procurement to improve or uphold labour standards.

26th Feb 2010 - 03:30 pm


Speaker: Sharna Wiblen, Work and Organisational Studies, PhD Candidate, 1st Defence of Thesis

Title: Capable Capabilities: The Appropriation of E-HR for the Management of Talent

The argument that an organisation needs to manage its human capital assets has a long history.  However changes in demographic patterns, the 'war for talent', talent shortages and several other factors have today combined in a manner which further encourages organisation's to identify, recruit, maintain and develop individuals who are deemed 'talent' through talent management policies and processes. The importance of talent management has further prompted senior executives to not only state that "our people are our greatest asset" but to undertake tangible strategic actions that embody these claims. The ability to effectively conduct talent management can benefit from the introduction of technology and the number of organisations that are adopting information technology to support and enhance policies, processes and activities are increasing. This presentation forms part of a thesis defence that addresses the way in which Sharna will seek to explore in-depth the relationship between talent management and E-HR (Electronic Human Resources)

5th Mar 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Karen Reeves, Work and Organisational Studies PhD Candidate, 1st Defence of Thesis

Title: Redefining the Provider Role: Career Prioritisation and the Emergence of the Female Primary Earner Family

Warren's (2007) conceptual review of  "breadwinning" outlines four conceptualisations of the term: "breadwinner" as  main financial provider, "breadwinner" as main labour market participant, male  "breadwinner" as ideology, and male "breadwinner" as masculine identity. These  four conceptualisations highlight the two key strands within breadwinner  literature - the distinction between the enactment of the breadwinner role and  the normative element of breadwinning as a "special male responsibility"  (Potuchek 1992). The term "breadwinner" becomes problematic given the  increasing labour force participation of women such that the majority (63%) of  Australian households are now categorised as dual-income (ABS 2009) and include  a variety of breadwinning arrangements. When both partners engage in paid work  and contribute to the family's finances the concept of breadwinning requires  re-examination, particularly in how to disentangle the practice of breadwinning  from breadwinner ideology.

One way in which the concept can be re-examined is to study  those households who have completely de-coupled "breadwinning" from a normative  male ideal and can be considered female primary earner families. There is no  Australian census data which directly measures households where the female is  the primary (or sole) earner but from comparable overseas data they are  estimated to be between 1.8% and 3% of the population and constitute an  increasingly observed trend, labelled in the Washington Post as the "rise of  wives" (January 2010). In studying these women, and their partners, this  research aims to conduct a conceptual re-examination of "breadwinning" and its  continued relevance for the Australian workplace and family. The particular  research question is what organisational and workplace factors facilitate or  constrain the emergence of breadwinner-reversal couples as a new breadwinning  arrangement for the 21st century?

26th Mar 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Melissa Slee, Work and Organisational Studies, PhD Candidate

Title: Learning to Navigate Enterprise Bargaining: The NTEU and 'Round One'

Discussant: Associate Professor John O'Brien, University of New South Wales
This research paper is part of a larger project towards a PhD thesis which asks the question: how did the NTEU build the knowledge capital required to respond to the introduction of Enterprise Bargaining to higher education and to negotiate subsequent rounds? This paper takes a slice of the larger project to focus on the formation of the NTEU and 'round one' of enterprise bargaining. The goal is to chart key innovations, their origins and to map the flow of information and identify key individuals and groups engaged in this process. Using the NTEU's archived minutes and memos from this period (1993-95) this paper enlists the insights of activity theorists in the field of knowledge management as a framework to analyse the process by which knowledge has been created and shared in the NTEU. This study is a novel approach to the study of trade union organisation. It contributes to the current union renewal literature by combining traditional approaches to the study of trade unions with the observations of research in the field of knowledge management and social network theory to generate a visual representation of the development of knowledge communities.

21st Apr 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Dr Ian Roper, Middlesex University

Title: Future trends in the regulatory reform of work-life balance in the UK

This paper will provide an overview of the development in state interventions aimed at supporting work-life balance rights for employees in the UK. It will overview the origins of the 'New Labour' policy framework - which is rooted in the pre-existing policy framework, influenced by the ambiguous relationship with the European Union and presented in a way intended to emphasise a 'business case'. A brief review of the author's previous findings, in relation to the 'business case' rationale, will be made before providing an overview of the current position is in relation to employee rights and where the main political parties are on the issue on the eve of a general election.

6th May 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Shamika Almeida, Work and Organisational Studies, PhD Candidate

Title: Employer evaluations of immigrant IT and accounting professionals: A case of skill underutilisation

Discussant: Dr Ian Roper, Middlesex University

Existing literature suggests that the skills of accredited, permanent immigrants in Australia remain underutilised in the labour market. This is attributed to four key reasons: the lack of recognition of overseas based qualifications, employer reluctance to hire immigrants who do not yet have host country work experience, the lower levels of immigrant English language skills, and the exclusionary social attitudes and fears about immigrants that result in discrimination and prejudices within the hiring process. Most of this research has been survey based and conducted from either an immigrant capability or policy focus. Although employers play a central role in the social incorporation of immigrant labour, little is known of employer's evaluations of immigrant skills. In light of this gap in the scholarship, this paper aims to make a contribution through a regionally specific case study of employers, to examine how occupationally specific candidate criteria influences the employer's evaluation at the pre-entry phase. The paper finds some, but not complete, resonance with existing literature and but also finds that employers are more inclined to favourably evaluate immigrant computing professionals than accounting professionals. 

26th May 2010 - 12:30 pm


Speaker: Chi Quynh Do, Work and Organisational Studies, PhD Candidate

Title: The Challenge from Below and the Transformation of Industrial Relations in Vietnam

Discussant: Associate Professor Nick Wailes, The University of Sydney

Vietnam has been in transition from a socialist command economy to a market economy for the last 20 years. Despite these political economic changes, the industrial relations system remained largely intact until a recent explosion of informal worker activism. Rank-and-file workers who have been poorly represented by the official unions have been able to organise effective collective actions to bargain with the employers for higher wages and better working conditions. This challenge from below has forced provincial governments to adjust their IR approach and at the same time to push for institutional reform at the national level. Informal worker activism and provincial appeal for reform have become the most important stimulus for the transformation of the national IR system. The paper, therefore, proposes an integrated approach which builds on the strategic choice framework while drawing threads from economic theories on institutional change and regionalism to studying the process of IR transformation in Vietnam.

7th Jun 2010 - 03:00 pm


Speaker: Elisabeth Kirkby, Work and Organisational Studies, PhD Candidate

Title: Will we ever learn from history? The impact of economic orthodoxy on the Great Depression in Australia; and how economic orthodoxy led to the Global Financial Crisis of 2007

The central question underpinning this research is will WE EVER LEARN FROM HISTORY?? The research examines the Great Depression of the 1930s in Australia, and, using insights gain to assess the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) to protect investors from the pitfalls of unregulated shadow banking.? Autobiographical and biographical research has been undertaken in the archives of the Bank of England, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the National Archives.? The reports of Royal Commissions, Boards of Enquiry and Cabinet documents have been examined as well as texts by historians and economists, including, J.M.Keynes, J.K.Galbraith, C.B.Schevdin, D.Copland, L.Giblin,? S.Boehm, E.Shann, R.Sayers, S.Macintyre, A.Millmow, R.McKibbin, G.Patmore, N.Ferguson, R.Mckibbin,? R.Garnaut, and J.Stiglitz.? Preliminary findings show that covert pressure from the Bank of England, in particular the influence of Sir Otto Niemeyer, were backed by leading Australian business men, and by Sir Robert Gibson, the Chairman of the Board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.? The Global Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008 led to the fear of another world depression, and to instability in Europe and America (Anglosphere), as well as Australia.? E Commerce and internet communication mean that world financial trends are influenced twenty four hours a day, seven days a week which has? led to a reappraisal of modern capitalism by writers such as Paul Krugman,? Peter Temin, and David Blanchflower. There? are now many critics of the Internaional Monetary Fund, the World Bank and leading Wall Street financial institutions. It is not the purpose of the research suggest how financial markets and institutions should be regulated, but to present evidence showing that regulation is necessary.? The social cost of economic failure is too great as the least privileged members of society never benefit from an economy dominated by 'clever money'

6th Aug 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 11, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Professor Jonathan Morris, Professor of Organisational Analysis Cardiff Business School

Title: 'My Brilliant Career': Boundaryless Organisations and Unstable Careers.

20th Aug 2010 - 12:00 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, Economics and Business Building (H69)

Speaker: Amin Samman, University of Birmingham

Title: The Great Credit Crash? Financial Journalism and the Return of the Past, 2007-2009

Amin Samman is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham. He holds a BSc in Economics from University College London and an MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. He is currently co-editor for the Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies.

His dissertation, '(Re-) imagining the crises of global capital', uses the financial crisis of   2007-2009 to explore the relationship between narrative and history in the global political economy. His general research interests include: Constructivist   and Cultural Political Economy approaches; Ideology and Discourse Analysis; Philosophies of History; and Historiography.

RSVP to or call 9036 7198 by Wednesday 18th August

10th Sep 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Professor Chris Wright, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies

Title: The Micro-Politics of Climate Change: Role Identity and Institutional Entrepreneurship Amongst Green Corporate Change Agents.

1st Oct 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

Speaker: Dr Darl Kolb, Associate Professor of Management and IB, University of Auckland Business School

Title: Connectivity and Team Performance: Preliminary Findings from a Global Study of Distributed Teams

6th Oct 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Room 498, Merewether Building (H04)

Speaker: Aparna Joshi, School of Labor and Employment Relations in the University of Illinois

Title: Differences, Dissimilarity, & Diversity: Applying a Multilevel Lens to Organizational Research

Bio: Dr. Aparna Joshi  is an Associate Professor at the School of Labor and Employment Relations in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the U.S.A. Her work focuses on multilevel issues in workplace diversity, gender issues in science an engineering, collaboration in global and distributed teams, generational issues in the workplace, and international and cross-cultural management. Her work in the area of gender dynamics in engineering work groups was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant (in the U.S.).  Her research appears in top-tier journals such as Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Organization Science. Aparna's work has received the Academy of Management's Saroj Parasuraman Award in 2010, the Dorothy Harlow Distinguished Paper Award in 2006 and 2008, the Ulrich-Lake Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Human Resource Management Journal, and the Academy of Management's Best Dissertation Award (Gender and Diversity in Organizations division) and has also been featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer, USA Today, and the Times of India. She currently serves as the Co-Editor for the annual review series Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management and is on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

RSVP to or call 9036 7198 by Thursday 30th September

11th Oct 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 6, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Professor Stephen Perkins, University of Bedfordshire and Cass Business School

Title: Braverman, Mills, and me: Socially constructing an intellectual and experiential journey across three decades, via privatisation and internationalisation in 'a corporate life' informing reflections and interpretations in a business-facing Academy

5th Nov 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 7, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Dr Stefan Sveningsson, School of Economics and Management Lund University

Title: Leadership - fantasy or reality?

24th Nov 2010 - 12:30 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 7, Darlington Centre

Speaker: Dr Joe O'Mahoney, Research Fellow Advanced Institute of Management and Lecturer Cardiff University

Title: Institutional changes in management consulting industry: commodification, work intensification and innovation