Robyn is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in the Management Discipline Group. Robyn joined UTS in 2003 and has taught extensively on the domestic HRM program and in Shanghai. Before transitioning into academia Robyn worked in corporate HR roles and has also worked in the public health sector. Robyn’s research has examined contemporary and emergent issues in the management of human resources, with particular emphasis on the labour turnover, work-life balance and occupational stress.
Can supervise: YES
Human Resource Management, Strategic Human Resource Management, Employment Relations
Shields, J, Brown, M, Kaine, SJ, Dolle-Samuel, C, North-Samardzic, A, McLean, P, Johns, R, O'Leary, P, Plimmer, G & Robinson, J 2015, Managing Employee Performance and Reward Concepts, Practices, Strategies, 2, Cambridge.
This new edition has been substantially updated and revised by a team of specialist contributors, and includes: • an increased focus on employee engagement and the alignment between the organisation's goals and the personal goals of ...
Exit interviews are often considered to be a powerful tool for providing information to monitor and analyse employee turnover. The main objective of this study was to analyse the exit interview procedure adopted by a large professional publishing organisation. In doing this the effectiveness of the exit interview process was examined as a tool for employee voice on departure from an organisation. The exit and voice components of the 'Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect' model were used to determine the efficacy of the exit process. The results indicate that despite the praise awarded to exit interviews for employees to voice their dissatisfaction, the exit interview process may not be as effective in practice as we have been lead to believe.
O'Neill, MS & Johns, RE 2009, 'How a welfare approach to maternity has facilitated low workforce participation rates for Australian women of child-bearing age', International Employment Relations Review, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 53-72.
Australia is only one of two OECD Countries that has no legislated universal paid maternity leave scheme. It also ranks eighth lowest in the OECD for the workforce participation rate of women of child-bearing age. This paper examines why consecutive Australian governments have opted to provide a welfare approach to the issue of maternity rather than encourage and embrace womens workforce participation by providing legal entitlements within an employment relations context. The paper examines the history of welfare and paid maternity leave in Australia through an institutional framework in which society, politics and the economy become the bases for the argument. By using this framework for the examination, the paper aims to provide an understanding for the comparatively low workforce participation rate of women of child-bearing age observed within Australia.
This paper aims to investigate if the 'high-performance paradigm' and a Unitary Strategic HRM approach of WorkChoices has brought about new forms of employer-worker relationships within Australian universities. In the context of these developments, this paper will first set out to examine the literature to help explain the transition of Australiaâs industrial relations system. The paper will then proceed to outline the qualitative research design before reporting and discussing the results gathered through the undertaking of semi-structured interviews with Human Resource Managers/Directors and/or representatives from Australian universities as well as acclaimed academics within the field. The results highlight that whilst WorkChoices did bring forth a new form of work practice, the new practice did not necessarily promote innovative HRM practices nor did it encourage or cultivate new forms of employer-worker relationships within Australian universities
Johns, RE, Teo, ST & Harrington, K 2007, 'Pick Me! Perceptual Differences of Graduate Recruitment and Selection Methods', Employment Relations Record, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-10.
This paper reports the findings from a study which examines the adoption of recruitment and selection methods for graduates in Australia by examining the differences and similarities in the perceptions between graduate recruiters and recent graduates. The study reveals that a wide range of selection methods are used to recruit graduates into Australian firms and that if recruiters wish to attract the best graduates, they should be well-versed in the way these potential recruits perceive the usefulness and importance of recruitment and selection methods.
Moore, TS, Johns, RE & Johnson, CS 2006, 'Work-life Balance: Experiences of Women in the Australian Construction Industry', International Employment Relations Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 67-77.
Considerable changes in Australian lifestyles and the relationship between work and family life over recent decades have lead to the progressive entry of women into the workforce. Their increased numbers in the workplace have led many women to have a stronger voice to demand benefits to help them balance their work and life responsibilities. The accompanying shifts in the traditional roles of men and women have raised new issues for employers. In an effort to meet the changing needs of todayâs workforce, many organisations now implement work-family or work-life programs. While women in the workforce face various barriers the primary focus of this paper is on the conflicting demands of career and family life for women in male dominated industry of construction. The paper will draw on exploratory research to examine the career barriers faced by women in the Australian construction industry and compare them to those identified in the literature by women in the British construction industry (eg Fielden, Davidson, Gale and Davey 2001; Gale 1994). The paper puts forward Australian results that support the research findings in Britain that claim that despite lack of work-family or work-life programs women who choose to work within the industry are highly satisfied with their choice.
Johns, RE & Johnson, CS 2005, 'The usefulness of exit interviews and employee surveys in understanding employee turnover', Employment Relations Record, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-10.
Shields, J & Johns, RE 2016, 'Managing for engagement' in Shields, J (ed), Managing Employee Performance and Reward: Concepts, Practices, Strategies, Cambridge University Press, Victoria, pp. 18-52.
This second edition offers a comprehensive coverage of employee performance and reward, presenting the material in a conceptually integrated way.
Teo, ST & Johns, RE 2008, 'Recruiting' in Clegg, S & Bailey, J (eds), The International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, Portland, OR, pp. 1359-1361.
Dalton, BM, Jang, H, Jung, K & Johns, RE 2009, 'Destination Australia: Working conditions of Korean women working in the entertainment and sex industry', Proceedings of the 9th PERA Conference - Workforce Planning in Times of Crisis and Change, Pacific Employment Relations Association Conference, Pacific Employment Relations Association, Adelaide Australia, pp. 32-54.
The experience of women working in the sex and entertainment industry is an issue central to feminism, social and human rights movements, and ongoing political debate. Although now an area of scholarly research the clandestine nature of this industry makes research challenging and means many aspects remain unknown. In this paper, the researchers examine the working conditions of Korean women working in the sex industry in Australia. The paper reports on recent trends in patterns of migration and draws attention to the fact that increasing numbers of Korean women are utilising =working holiday` visas to work in the sex and entertainment industry and that under Australian law this practice is essentially legal. The paper also examines the nature of their service in the sex industry and details the conditions of their employment. Findings from this study aim to inform recommendations to policy makers in relevant government and non-government community service organisations.
O'Neill, MS & Johns, RE 2009, 'The history of welfare and paid maternity leave in Australia', IERA 2009 17th Annual Conference: Book of Proceedings, International Employment Relations Association Conference, International Employment Relations Association, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 172-196.
Australia has a long tradition of providing women with welfare payments that correlate with maternity and having children. Since 1912, consecutive Australian governments have opted for welfare payments as opposed to opting for legislating universal paid maternity leave. This paper examines the history of welfare and paid maternity leave in Australia by examining the role maternity related welfare and paid maternity leave have played in the Australian context. Consideration is given to the implications maternity related welfare and paid maternity leave have had from the social, political and economical paradigms. The paper concludes that while it is clear that the provision of maternity welfare payment to families presents some obvious benefits, such as lowering infant mortality, maternity welfare does not take into account the implication that having a child can have upon women in paid employment and womens `dual responsibilities.
Johns, RE & Ng, S 2009, 'Taking international students seriously', IERA 2009 17th Annual Conference: Book of Proceedings, International Employment Relations Association Conference, International Employment Relations Association, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 126-144.
With Australia an attractive and highly sought after educational destination for many international students, consideration should be given to the difficulties experienced by this important student cohort. This paper aims to identify classroom teaching strategies and techniques that can assist in making study at an Australian university a more positive experience for international students from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESBs).
Johns, RE 2007, 'Human Resource Practitioners' Perceived Usefulness of the Exit Interview Process', The 9th International Human Resource Conference, International Human Resource Conference, Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia, pp. 1-8.
This paper aims to gauge Australian HR practitionersa level of awareness and their perceived usefulness of the exit interview process in gauging job satisfaction, commitment and voluntary labour turnover. The results indicate that while a majority of respondents are aware of the benefits of conducting exit interviews many struggled in analysing and utilizing the valuable information generated through the process. It is hoped that through this study that the researcher can not only shed further insight into HR practitionersa perceptions of the exit interview process.
Johns, RE 2007, 'Reflections On The Development And Delivery of an Undergraduate Module That Introduces Students To The World Of Enterprise Negotiations', The 7th Annual Pacific Employment Relations Association Conference, 14-16 November 2007, Caloundra,, Univeristy of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
This paper reflects on the experience of developing and teaching a new undergraduate module in the subject Managing Employee Relations at the University of Technology, Sydney. The module aims to give business students who are generally in their second year of a three year undergraduate business degree majoring or sub-majoring in Human Resource Management a rounded experience of enterprise negotiations. Students are required to produce a collective enterprise agreement based on their analysis and research of the needs of a fictional organisation. While concerns were raised that this may be an overly ambitious task since most if not all the students are completely new to enterprise negotiations and are concurrently learning the fundamentals of employee relations. The paper discusses the institutional and educational pressures that led to the conception and development of such a demanding module. It describes the process that lead to the development of the module and explains the support mechanisms that have been developed to make it possible for students to succeed. Results are presented that indicate the module succeeds in several ways. It lays a useful practical foundation for later studies and work. It gives scope and encouragement for students to excel and this support mechanism helps weaker students to exceed their own expectations by acquiring skills and understanding that they may think at first are beyond their reach. The paper closes by summarizing the key lessons learned by the authors, which includes insights into the use of formative assessment to motivate students, and greater willingness to experiment.
Johns, RE & Johnson, C 2007, 'The Usefulness of Exit Interviews in Understanding Voluntary Labour Turnover in a Professional Publishing Firm', Conference Proceedings 2007 British Academy of Management - Management Research, Education and Business Success: is the future as clear as the past?, British Academy of Management Conference, British Academy of Management, Coventry, UK, pp. 1-12.
While various researchers have put forward complex models to aid in understanding and managing the process of voluntary labour turnover for many firms it is the exit interview that often provides the only relevant and practical method for understanding the phenomenon. This paper set outs to find out how useful the exit interview is in understanding the voluntary labour turnover. To do this the researchers have undertaken an exploratory case study within a professional publishing firm that has business operations within five countries throughout the Asia Pacific region. By investigating the usefulness of the exit interview, at the single case firm, it is anticipated that the paper will be able to shed light on not only the usefulness but also the legitimacy of using exit interviews for understanding voluntary labour turnover.
Johns, RE & Johnson, CS 2006, 'Building a career in building: Carerr trajectories among women in the Australian construction industry', Proceedings of the 14th Internaitonal Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, Internaitonal Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, pp. 224-235.
Across the globe womens participation in the paid workforce has increased exponentially over the past 30 years. This is no less evident than in Australia where there has been a momentous rise womens participation. In 1964 women comprised 28 percent of total employment in Australia; by January 2004, this had increased to 44 percent (Equity Statistics Australia, 2004). Despite this momentous rise, women still remain under-represented in managerial roles, tending to be clustered in administration and service roles (Palmero, 2004). Women are also increasingly highly educated, and are academically outperforming their male counterparts in university exams, even in subjects with a higher proportion of males enrolled (Palmero, 2004). Yet the starting salaries of female graduates are on average lower than the starting salaries of male graduates.
Johns, RE & Singer, JL 2007, 'Don't Just Say Goodbye; it doesn't have to end this way: investigating the exit interview process within Australian organisations', International Employment Relations Association (IERA) 2007 'Working Lives, Working Choices' 15th Annual Conference, International Employment Relations Association Conference, International Employment Relations Association, Canterbury, New Zealand, pp. 1-9.
Exit interviews are often portrayed as a good way of identifying a variety of human resource related issues, ranging from undesirable turnover rates to poor supervision. This exploratory study aims to gauge the extent to which Australian organisations are utilizing exit interviews as well as determine HR practitionersâ perceived usefulness of the exit interview process. The results indicate that while a majority of responding organisations carry out exit interviews and that HR practitionersâ are aware of the benefits associated with the exit interview process, many struggle in analysing and utilizing the valuable knowledge and insights captured. It is hoped that through this study that the researchers can not only shed further insight into HR practitionersâ perceptions of the exit interview process but also put forward valuable recommendations that can assist organisations and HR practitionersâ in gathering and utilizing the knowledge and insights captured during the exit interview process in a more constructive and strategic manner.
Moore, TS, Johns, RE & Johnson, CS 2006, 'Work/Life balance: Experiences of women in the Australian construction industry', Proceedings of the 14th Internaitonal Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, International Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, pp. 37-46.
Around the world womens participation in the paid workforce has increased exponentially over the past 30 years. This is no less evident than in Australia where there has been a momentous rise in womens participation. In 1964 women comprised 28 percent of total employment in Australia; by January 2004, this had increased to 44 percent (Equity Statistics Australia 2004). Despite this momentous rise, women still remain under-represented in managerial roles, tending to be clustered in administration and service roles (Palmero, 2004).
Nguyen, V & Johns, RE 2006, 'Gazing over Rough Terrain: A Review of Australia's New Industrial Relations Landscape', Proceedings of the 14th Internaitonal Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, Internaitonal Employment Relations Conference, Family-Friendly Employment Policies and Practices: An East-West Perspective on Work-Life Balance, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, pp. 228-235.
Australias industrial relations system, like the New Zealand system, for much of the twentieth century has been operating under the arbitral model, that is the arbitration institution played a central role in determining outcomes where the parties were unable to determine them themselves or where the outcomes determined by the parties would be against the public interest (Peetz 2005b). This system is in contrary to the bargaining system employed by most other industrialised nations (Peetz 2005b). In the 1990s, with increasing demands and pressures for Australia to maintain its competitive advantage on the global scale, it was deemed necessary to readapt the industrial relations systems and deregulate the labour market. These changes were considered necessary if Australia was to shift and develop into a more flexible and productive nation. This new movement of industrial relations reforms came initially in 1996, with the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (WR Act). The WR Act involved some compromise between the Coalition government and the Democrats. It introduced registered individual contracts in the forms of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). These AWAs were to be subjected to the no disadvantage test (NDT) which was to be applied by the new statutory authority known as Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA). The intention of the NDT was to ensure that AWAs leave employees no worse off than what they would be under their current relevant award.
Nguyen, V & Johns, RE 2006, 'Sydneysiders' Reactions to the Changes in the New Industrial Relations Regime', 6th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association Adelaide, Australia, 15-17 November 2006, The 6th Annual PERA Conference - Emerging Issues in Employment Relations, University of South Australia, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-18.
Australiaâs new Industrial Relations (IR) reform package, WorkChoices, which officially began on the 27th of March 2006 foreshadowed significant change in Australianâs IR system. Though the new changes are merely an amendment to the previous Workplace Relations Act 1996, the changes are nevertheless radical. The government envisages that through these changes it will be able to make Australia more competitive in the global market. The objectives of the legislation are to create more jobs and increase the overall standard of living for Australian workers. The aim of the paper is to firstly examine previous empirical and analytical research in the field of IR within Australia in an effort to understand the future direction of IR, it then goes on to present the findings of a questionnaire conducted by the researchers on the initial reactions of Sydneysiders towards the recent changes. The results reveal that a majority of Sydneysiders regard WorkChoices as damaging for not only their own employment terms and conditions but for the future prospects of the Australian workforce in general.
Johns, RE 2006, 'Exit interviews: Strategic tool or deceptive process.', Asian management: Convergence and divergence, Asia Academy of Management Fifth Conference: Asian Management: Covergence and Divergence, Asia academy of management, Tokyo, Japan.
Johns, RE 2006, 'Exit interviews: strategic tool or deceptive process?', Management: Pragmatism, Philosophy, Priorities - Proceedings of the 20th ANZAM Conference, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Yeppoon, Australia, pp. 1-15.
Teo, ST, Harrington, K & Johns, RE 2006, 'Perceptual differences in graduate recruitment and selection in Australia', Management: Pragmatism, Philosophy, Priorities - Proceedings of the 20th ANZAM Conference, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Yeppoon, Australia, pp. 1-11.
Johns, RE & Wright, SA 2005, 'Classroom teaching strategies for international students', Teaching, Learning and Research in Institutions and Regions - Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Pacific Employment Relations Association, Yeppon, Australia, pp. 148-158.
Johns, RE 2004, 'The effectiveness of exit interviews in reducing employee turnover.', Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the International Employment Relations Association: "Regionalism and Globalisation - The Challenge for Employment Relations", Annual Conference of the International Employment Relations Association, IERA, Yeppoon, Australia, pp. 215-219.
Johns, RE 2003, 'Why do employees quit: a case study of the complexities of labour turnover', Regulation, De-regulation and Re-regulation: The Scope of Employment Relations in the 21st Century, Annual Conference of the International Employment Relations Association, International Employment Relations Association, Greenwich, UK, pp. 379-389.