Future of Work, Organising and Enterprise
The way we work is changing. Technological advancement is challenging organisations to reconsider how they do things and how the workforce is being forced to adapt. Such change raises significant questions about our understanding of, and relationship to work; and also offers opportunities for social innovation and progress towards more inclusive society and organisations.
1. New forms of work, organisations and the corporation
The debate on the future of work is one that captures imagination. Exemplified by recent interest around the emergence of the gig-economy and the impact of AI on the volume but also the very nature of work, we have only started to define the contours of this future. CBSI researchers conducted early work on new organisational forms as part of our investigations into the future of organisations and the corporation. This has led to on-going projects on the experience of workers in the gig-economy that will offer unique reflections on the societal impact of on-going transformations and market disruptions. The transdisciplinary approach of CBSI – with members from all faculties at UTS – is especially suited to tackle such a vast topic.
2. Inclusion through work and organisations
Inclusive social structures and economic systems are key to success in our post-modern society. CBSI members are actively involved in research that examines how innovative perspectives on work and organisations can contribute to more inclusive and equitable societies, and how these impact on health and wellbeing. Research topics include workplace participation and segregation and new forms of inclusion – for example for women, indigenous people, people with disability, migrants and refugees and people from the LGBTIQ community. Our research also includes the contribution of entrepreneurship to inclusion and also more radical critical research regarding the perpetuation of inequalities in our society.
3. Leadership and capabilities to foster social and business innovation
The way we conceive of leadership has evolved considerably in the past decades from hierarchical leader-follower representations towards more distributed and developmental forms. The future of work debate has taken these perspectives further. In an environment where specific technical skills are becoming less important compared to more adaptable capabilities such as complex problems solving or critical thinking, the nature of leadership competencies may change. In particular, calls have been made for more ethical, value centric leadership and decision making in organisations that can foster innovation – combining business progress with social justice and sustainability.
Working in the disrupted economy
CIs: Associate Professor Sarah Kaine, Huon Curtis, Professor Emmanuel Josserand, Dr Damian Oliver, Michael Walker
The aim of the research is to examine the experience of work in the 'sharing economy', (in particular ridesharing services) and contribute to an understanding of the impact and desirability of this 'flexibility' on the drivers themselves. The outcome of the research will be national data on the characteristics and impact (actual and perceived) of working for Uber rideshare services in Australia. The research will assist researchers to better understand organizational strategies and income volatility in rideshare platforms, a new area of the economy that is rapidly developing and which challenges traditional understandings of the employment relationship.
Disability Entrepreneurship in Australia - ARC Linkage Grant 2016
CIs: Professor Jock Collins; Professor Simon Darcy; Dr. Megan Stronach
The project seeks to explore the nature of disability entrepreneurship in Australia. Participants are entrepreneurs with disability, that is, people with disability wishing to become entrepreneurs, or those who have developed their own business in the past.
Enforcing Labour Standards in Supply Chains through Multi-Stakeholder Frameworks
CIs: Associate Professor Sarah Kaine; Professor Emmanuel Josserand; Dr Michael Rawling; Associate Professor Valerie Gay; Martijn Boersma;
This research explores the potential of multi-stakeholder initiatives to ensure improvement and enforcement of labour standards throughout supply chains. It specifically examines the development and implementation of the Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF). CAF is an independent multi-stakeholder initiative comprised of representatives from across the cleaning supply chain – including institutional investors, property owners, facility managers, cleaning companies, cleaners, employee representatives and industry associations.
- Regional High Performance Network
Project CIs: Associate Professor Renu Agarwal; Professor Roy Green; Professor Don Scott-Kemmis; Professor Emmanuel Josserand; Dr Helena Heizmann
This innovative, peer-based developmental program aims to build leadership and management capability in regional Australia through 12 peer-learning groups where participants took part in six 90-minute peer-learning sessions. The research investigates the use of technology as an enabler to facilitate peer learning. Instead of looking to transfer discrete skills from a trainer to a participant, the RHPN sought to determine whether leadership capabilities could be built by fostering learning among peers.
LeaderShift Capability Framework - Grant from the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne
CIs: Professor Emmanuel Josserand; Associate Professor Renu Agarwal; Professor Roy Green
The LeaderShift Capability Framework is a new 360° questionnaire to assess the leadership capabilitiesof Australian executives and managers. It builds on and extends existing models of leadership in three main ways:
- LeaderShift adopts a new, integrative approach to classifying and conceptualizing leadership skills/behaviors as capabilities:
- It incorporates dimensions that relate to the increasing importance of leader/follower relations in the literature; and
- It measures capabilities that enable the leader to function effectively in increasingly complex circumstances.