WHO'S CARING FOR OUR AGED CARERS?
The Quality Jobs and Quality Care Project
To assist aged care providers to improve job quality with work practices, that will not only enhance the lives of their workers, but also the older Australians they care for.
About the project
Care workers are highly valued by the people they care for and there is strong demand for their services. Care workers constitute a low-paid, part-time, female workforce; workers report satisfaction with their jobs but dissatisfaction with their pay, work demands, and work hours. more...
Finding a way to improve the work practices and job quality of the people who care for our older Australians is, therefore, imperative for a number of reasons. First, it has a decided impact on the lives of these individuals and their families. But it also has an effect on the sustainability of this burgeoning industry, as it struggles to attract care workers to cover the needs of an ageing society. Ultimately, however, if we can improve the workplace for care workers, they will be able to create a happier, healthier and more fulfilling situation for the people they care for at home, in the community, or in residential care.
To find out more and to download our relevant publications, visit the project website.
Chief investigators: Professor Sara Charlesworth and Associate Professor Deb King (Flinders University).
Project Leader: Jacquie Smith
Research Fellow: Sue Jarrad
Senior Research Fellow: Natalie Skinner
Funding source: 2013-2016 grant under the 2013 Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund, Department of Health.
Industry partners: Helping Hand in SA, Brightwater Care Group in WA, Hammond Care in NSW and United Voice.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SEX IN RETIREMENT?
Ageing Agenders Project
To compare and contrast the relative prospects for men and women heading into retirement.
About the project
Every week, about a thousand Australians retire. In 2014, one news survey found over one-third of over-50s has less than $100,000 in superannuation. That’s cause for alarm with an ageing population. But, to date, no-one has explored how those figures divide by sex. Are the same women who fought for equality at work about to experience inequality in retirement? more...
The Australian Research Council awarded a linkage grant to undertake this analysis to compare and contrast just how Australians are facing retirement by gender. We will be weighing people’s key economic resources (their work income, superannuation, aged pension and other assets) against the demands they face. For example, with more women in the workforce, are they the ones under pressure to work longer to care for ageing relatives?
Chief investigators: Professor Barbara Pocock, Professor Carol Kulik, Professor Sara Charlesworth (RMIT) and Doctor Lyndall Strazdins (ANU).
Partner investigators: Doctor Carla Harris and Catherine Wood from partner organisations the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (formerly the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency) and Women in Super.
CAN WE AGREE TO DIFFER?
Behind the Scenes
To explore the paradigm shifts and sticking points of diversity management.
About the project
Employing a diverse workforce can be very positive for an organisation, leading people to be more engaged and perform better. In a previous research project on the topic, Making Diversity Work, the difference between whether diversity is an asset or a liability largely hinged on how the situation was managed. In this follow-up, we go ‘behind the scenes’ to show how you can initiate diversity and manage it positively to reap the rewards. more...
First, the positive factors that can motivate an organisation to adopt a more diverse workforce will be examined, whether they’re driven internally (such as the mindset of the leaders) or externally (such as regulatory forces).
In the second stage, the negative forces will be investigated: the internal inertia and group resistance that can sometimes create ‘sticking points’.
The third stage will consider what role a ‘champion’ can play by promoting the policies and practices that will help shift the paradigm.
Chief Investigators: Professor Carol Kulik (School of Management) and Professor Isabel Metz (Melbourne Business School).
Industry partners: The 100% Project and the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable.
WHO'S TRULY ON BOARD WITH GENDER DIVERSITY?
Top-to-Bottom Talent Management
To explore the impact of institutional pressure on the management of organisational gender diversity.
About the project
Women constitute almost half of the total workforce in Australia. Yet, in 2010, about 92% of all executives or board members of the 200 largest publicly listed companies were men. This over-representation prevailed despite more than 25 years of equal-opportunity employment legislation, a shrinking labour market and the accumulating empirical evidence that economic growth is associated with women participating in the workforce. more...
In December 2009, the Australian Securities Exchange sought to address this imbalance with a requirement for publicly listed companies to report on their gender diversity plans and progress at all levels. Almost immediately, this had an impact: by 2012, 22% of new board appointments were women.
The question remains, however: what will be the long-term effects? Funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant, this three-year project examines the impact of the ASX regulations and where they might lead. For example, while many ASX-listed organisations are undoubtedly embracing gender diversity, are others engaging in mere ‘window-dressing’? And what of smaller organisations outside the control of the ASX? Will they be inspired to utilise the female workforce more fully or dismiss gender disparities as a ‘big-company’ problem?
To find out more about this project, read the project information sheet here. A detatiled summary of the project's findings to date can be found here; an update will be provided in 2017. Alternatively, email Professor Carol Kulik for more information.
Chief investigators: Professor Carol Kulik (School of Management) and Professor Isabel Metz (Melbourne Business School).
Industry partners: Aegis and the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR A CHANGE
Changing Contexts: Impacts on Organisations, Teams, Employees and Clients
To examine how organisations, teams and individuals should adapt to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.
About the project
It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. But there is another: the inability of organisations to cope with it. Indeed, global surveys reveal that about 70% of change initiatives fail. And that includes even the most advanced, large-scale change models because human resource management practices and the impact of the social context are usually not adequately considered. more...
Context is everything. Current changes in human resource management practices, the composition of teams and the pressures of the daily work environment will be investigated in this three-year project funded by an Australian Research Council grant.
Changes in context be examined at multiple levels to determine how they impacts an organisation’s processes and effectiveness, the adaptability and performance of teams, the wellbeing and performance of its employees, and, ultimately, client service.
The findings can help organisations, managers and employees understand the process and implications of various workplace changes better, enabling them to manage change to produce more positive outcomes.
Chief investigator: Professor Cheri Ostroff.
A Big Data-Theoretic Approach to Quantify Organisational Failure Mechanisms in Probabilistic Risk Assessment
To build social and organisational factors into models of technological system risk in order to better be able to prevent accidents and failures
About the project
What caused the meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima, the deaths of the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle crews, the fatal Bhopal gas leak and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? It is now widely recognised that the culture, climate and leadership of the organisations contributed significantly to these disasters. The social system failed before the hardware did. more...
It is therefore critical to be able to detect such weaknesses in an organisation in order to prevent catastrophic accidents and maintain public health and safety.
Engineers routinely use probabilistic risk assessment to assess the likelihood of something going wrong with complex engineering, such as an airliner or a nuclear power plant. Traditionally, these models have focused on equipment problems and human error. In this five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, we will dig further into the underlying problems in an organisation’s safety culture, collaboration mechanisms, training systems and performance management and integrate them into probabilistic risk models.
Chief investigators: Professor Cheri Ostroff with Dr Zahra Mohaghegh from the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, and Associate Professor Catherine Blake with joint appointments in the Departments of Computer Science and Medical Information Science (both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).