Research themes

Gender equity and organisations

This theme examines gendered power relations and identities as related to organisations and organisational life and how gender equality can be advanced through policy and practice change.

Theme leaders: Dr Bronwyn Coate and Dr Leila Afshari

Recent publications in this theme

Person operating a film camera outside

Dr Bronwyn Coate’s study in the Australian Journal of Management finds inequitable power dynamics behind the camera on Australian film sets from gender discrimination to racism, sexism, ageism, ableism and homophobia. The study recommends the need for policymakers, guilds and trade unions to work collaboratively to set and enforce standards of workplace equality and respect.

Person smiling and scrolling on their phone outside
Associate Professor Lauren Gurrieri explores equitable, diverse, and inclusive (EDI) advertising in the Journal of Advertising. Dr Gurrieri finds that there is an opportunity to expand the conceptualisation of inclusive advertising to include a greater focus on impacts, acknowledging and building on vital work examining representation and identity categories and storytelling.
Treasury building

Dr Leonora Risse examined gender responsive budgeting as part of a research project to examine how government expenditure decisions and tax revenue settings can affect men and women in different ways. Dr Risse’s work has influenced changes in legislation and policy in Victoria including the establishment of a Gender Responsive Budgeting Unit in Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

Two people playing volleyball at the net

How does the “psychological contract” impact women’s sport? Research by Professor Tracy Taylor in Sport Management Review finds it can lead to power imbalances that force many athletes to accept exploitative conditions just to play in the league, in the hope conditions change in the future.

People playing netball on court outside

How can a capabilities perspective advance persistent health inequalities? Research by Associate Professor Lauren Gurrieri in Sociology of Health & Illness discusses the capabilities necessary for low SES mothers’ recruitability to leisure time physical activity. She finds these are contingent on mothering practices, which are shaped by gendered and heteronormative cultural conventions

People training for soccer on field

A systematic review of literature on women’s professional sport leagues in Sport Management Review by Professor Tracy Taylor finds a dominance of research from the USA, Australia, and some European countries, the prevalence of mainstream theories in sports sociology, marketing, and management, and the expectation for women's sports to embody diversity and social change.

City street at night filled with advertising screens

Associate Professor Lauren Gurrieri introduces a feminist pedagogical approach to marketing education in the Journal of Marketing Management. Through a problem-based learning assessment task and feminist praxis, Dr Gurrieri’s work guides educators in how students can be engaged to investigate, critique and transform the ethical and social implications of advertising’s treatment of gender.

Huddle of sport team wearing blue shrits and white caps

Professor Tracy Taylor explores the rise of women’s professional sports leagues in Journal of Sport and Management. Dr Taylor’s research discusses whether gendered organisational practices impact athletes’ experiences and how/whether these practices are being challenged by the entry of women into these organisations. Findings show that management need to create cultures of belonging and development pathways for female professional athletes.

Person conducting holding baton

In her work for the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Dr Bronwyn Coate finds that in the opera industry, women are strongly underrepresented in conductor, director and designer roles. Dr Coate’s research finds that women are also negatively impacted by Australia’s existing policy landscape.

Impact case studies

Person using laptop with code holograms around them

Associate Professor Lena Wang, in collaboration with RMIT Centre for Cyber Security Research & Innovation (CCSRI), COSC and a multi-disciplinary team of academics with backgrounds in cybersecurity, organisational psychology, economic, management and human resources examined female representation in Australia’s cyber security workforce. The study found that when stakeholders cooperate (such as employers, professional organisations, industry groups, educators and the media) they can foster a more inclusive culture and shift stereotypical perceptions about the sector.

View from behind a person wearing a hat and backpack looking at blurred out city

Associate Professor Lauren Gurrieri, in partnership with the ShEqual action coalition, examined gender equality in advertising to address the portrayal of gender in advertising and how those portrayals contribute towards violence against women. Dr Gurrieri’s analysis provided evidence that the way gender is portrayed in advertisements had a strong, negative impact on women and contributes towards a culture of violence against women.

Health, wellbeing and organisations

This theme explores how organisations can promote and improve health and wellbeing as well as organisational responses to health and social problems.
Theme leader: Professor Cameron Duff

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Impact through Insight: Cameron Duff

Cameron Duff is interested in the health and social problems of cities, which aligns strongly with the health, wellbeing and organisations theme. Through his research he hopes to enable the design of systems which will coordinate services effectively, and ultimately provide better support to those in need.

Recent publications in this theme

Nurse carrying a clipboard

Professor Cameron Duff and Associate Professor Lena Wang investigates burnout amongst Australian cancer nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic in Health Care Management Review. Patient aggression, workload, emotional demands, and abusive peers and managers were reported as distinct job demands, whereas job significance and supportive peers who demonstrated leadership, along with task variety, are identified as job resources.

Two peole sitting on road wearing activewear, fitness watch and heart rate monitor

Research in the European Journal of Information Systems by Dr Argho Bandyopadhyay investigates the growing significance of digital health and fitness communities for promoting individuals’ health and wellbeing. The study finds that emotional engagement and being recognised by digital health and fitness communities influence members’ intention to stick with the community.

Person sitting on couch looking at their phone

Dr Haiying Kang and Professor Joe Jiang explore the negative effect of workplace ostracism on employee thriving in Applied Psychology. They find that employee organisation-based self-esteem strengthened not only the negative relationship between workplace ostracism and thriving, but also the indirect effect of workplace ostracism on creative behaviour.

Person wearing coat and face mask looking depressed

Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo investigates gaps among Australian Long COVID support services in Public Health Reviews. Dr Figueiredo found that the majority of Australian services provided multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs with service models generally consistent with international and national guidelines. 

Person in front of whiteboard training a group

In his work for Human Resource Management Journal, Professor Timothy Bartram and his team conduct three studies to develop the first scale of anti-violence human resource management practices. The measure includes the three dimensions of management of violent incidents, anti-violence training and environmental security.

Person smiling working on laptop surrounded by other colleagues

Perceived career plateau is the point at which people feel that further career advancement is unlikely to occur. In a new study in Human Resources Management, Professor Joe Jiang considers how work-role overload relates positively to work–life conflict when employees have a high level of emotional stability. His findings provide new insights into how human resource management professionals may intervene to prevent employees from perceiving career plateau.

Two people sitting on chairs reading their CVs

CVs and interviews are major tools for evaluating workers. But for neurodiverse workers, the process of translating indicators of performance into words can be biased. Research by Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak in Human Resource Management Journal explores how technology may be used to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Such technology includes the neutralisation of biases during interviews, the development of digital support for physical and mental wellbeing and the facilitation of different cognition modes.

Two business people writing in notebook

Dr Sehrish Shahid's paper published in Personnel Review finds that supporting workers’ mental health is required to help company-assigned expatriates sent on international assignments. The paper proposes mental health-supportive International human resource management interventions to address the potential failure of expatriates' psychological adjustment.

Person wearing scrubs and mask holding vaccine vile

What are the factors which influence hesitancy to having the COVID-19 vaccine? Associate Professor Lauren Gurrieri explores mothers’ vaccine hesitancy in Critical Public Health and finds fear of being a ‘bad mother’ and anticipated guilt about failing to be a ‘good mother’, are experienced by mothers striving to meet societal expectations of intensive mothering though their vaccination decision.

Person in front of a monitor smiling to camera in a trendy cafe

Professor Joe Jiang examines the effect of work–life conflict on job performance via employee wellbeing in Personality and Individual Differences. The study shows that extraverted employees experience more health impairment and performance decline than introverted employees when encountered with work–life conflict.

Construction worker carrying a giant pin

Dr Prue Burns and Dr Marco De Sisto examine the power of Human Resource Management (HRM) to change public attitudes toward the employment of formerly incarcerated people. The research, published in Human Resource Management Journal, tested two interventions to explore whether HRM can reduce public stigma toward the employment of formerly incarcerated people.

Three business people smilng around a table with a laptop

In an industry report, Professor Timothy Bartram and his team examine the current state of the Human Resource (HR) profession in Australia, especially in consideration of the significant impact that COVID-19 pandemic has had on the profession. The report finds several important HR capabilities for the next five years, including: leadership and change management, strategic workforce planning, communication skills, and empathy and emotional intelligence.

Person standing in front of a conference table with group of people looking towards them

Dr Saidma Ahmad explores the management of workplace bullying in the International Journal of Conflict Management. The study finds that when leaders focus on the needs of others, this helps in lessening employee exposure to workplace bullying.

Person smiling and wearing VR headset

Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak investigates how digital technologies are linked with diversity and inclusion (D&I) in Human Resource Management Journal. Dr Walkowiak finds the role of emotion recognition technologies and virtual reality in supporting mental wellbeing represents a promising research avenue for D&I programmes.

Three business people smiling at table with dashboards and ipads

Professor Joe Jiang explores how managers can build and maintain a thriving workforce in Applied Psychology. Dr Jiang’s research finds that managers should understand that in addition to traditional practices such as job designs, training, and rewards, boosting high activated positive affect can be a cost-effective way to build and maintain a thriving workforce.

Young person sitting bedside of elderly person in bed and holding their hand

Professor Tim Bartram and Dr Matthew Walker investigate anti-violence human resource management in the aged-care sector published in Personnel Review. Their findings show that workers who trust their managers are less cynical about anti-violence human resource management practices.

Person wearing activewear wearing a fitness watch and looking at their phone

Dr Argho Bandyopadhyay explores users’ intention to continue using digital health and fitness communities in the European Journal of Information Systems. The study finds that different socio-emotional factors influence participant’s continued engagement as well as how members perceive the presence of the community.

Impact case studies

Bird eyeview of houses

Professor Cameron Duff, in partnership with The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) explored the most effective ways of tailoring and delivering housing supports for individuals leaving rehabilitation and other institutional settings. This research finds housing transition supports ought to be integrated more effectively into discharge planning in psychiatric inpatient care for individuals at risk of (or already experiencing) housing insecurity.

Two people talking to each other whilst holding pens and coffee cup

Dr Louise Byrne and Associate Professor Lena Wang explored the full lifecycle of the lived experience workforce – from recruitment, implementation and retention, to overall global needs and the broader implications for colleagues and leadership within and beyond the mental health sector. The outcome of this work has been the development of the Queensland Framework for the Development of the Mental Health Lived Experience Workforce.

Three people wearing winter business clothes walking and chatting outside

Dr Louise Byrne has produced the National Lived Experience Workforce Development Guidelines which provide practical guidance and strategies to ensure collective lived experiences workforces are developed within settings that understand, value and support the work to be sustainable and effectively reform mental health care.

Positive ageing and organisations

This theme considers how older people can be supported within and through organisations to be connected and contribute to society and the economy.

Theme leader: Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo

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Shaping Connections

Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo is the Co-founder and Director of Shaping Connections. This program provides insights, research outcomes, collaborative opportunities, workshops and resources to industry to assist with bridging the technology gap and social isolation in older Adults. It is a significant contributor to Dr Figueiredo’s work and leadership in the positive ageing and organisations theme.

Recent publications in this theme

Young person helping elderly person with something on laptop

Research by Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo, Dr Torgeir Aleti  and Professor Mike Reid in the Journal of Services Marketing establishes guidelines for co-design that can be used for customers experiencing vulnerability.

Elderly person opening front door of house

In a chapter for Measuring, Understanding and Improving Wellbeing Among Older People, Dr Sarah Sinclair explore how good housing design and location are central to supporting ageing well. Dr Sinclair found “liveable homes” with design features that increase mobility, accessibility and independence reduce the need for dependence on public services.

Child and elderly person playing video games

Research in the Australasian Marketing Journal by Dr Torgeir Aleti, Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo and Professor Mike Reid finds that when older consumer ask for help with using technology from children and grandchildren, this can lead to conflict and frustration. Research findings show that older adults are adopting strategies such as reciprocity, self-socialisation and outsourcing that enable them to become digitally competent consumers.

Three people laughing together outside

Professor Mike Reid explored the influence of biosocial, psychological and cognitive factors on proactive health and well-being behaviours of midlife women in Health Promotion Journal of Australia. The findings show that  midlife women who held positive perceptions of the ageing experience were more likely to be highly proactive and maintain positive mental health and physical functioning in comparison to those who held negative associations with ageing.

Young person with their arms around elderly person both looking at laptop

Dr Torgeir Aleti, Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo and Professor Mike Reid investigated who older Australia adults would most likely turn to for advice about information and communication technology (ICT) if they needed help using or fixing an ICT device. The findings, published in Environmental Research and Public Health reveal that older consumers tend to rely on younger family members and younger friends are seen as the most valuable second-option agents.

Person looking at their phone outside

In a study published in Environmental Research and Public Health, Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo, Professor Mike Reid and Dr Torgeir Aleti explored the perceptions of information and communication technology risks by older adults. This study indicated the promising application of the scenario personarrative method in participatory activities with older adults, indicating the benefits of persona enrichment and scenario mapping for understanding the information and communication technology (ICT) practices and perspectives of those in later life.

Impact case studies

Two people both looking at a file document

RMIT and the University of Third Age (U3A) Network Victoria have collaborated on the Shaping Connections program. Led by Dr Bernardo Figueiredo, the program aims to improve social and digital connectedness in older adults. Findings include the discovery of the value of peer-to-peer learning and the power of working with individual “social connectors” within communities. This insight has helped U3A to steer activities away from large computer classes and towards peer-to-peer mentoring.

Multicultural inclusion and organisations

This theme explores issues of inclusion and exclusion for culturally and linguistically diverse people, migrants, refugees and indigenous communities in workplaces and for organisations.

Theme leaders: Dr Alvedi Sabani and Dr Haiying Kang

Recent publications in this theme

Group of four people gathered around a laptop

A study by Professor David Fan in the Journal of Management Studies helps to explain Indian firms' rapid international growth through a range of measures including amalgamation, ambidexterity and adaptabilities. The study finds that Indian multinational enterprises flexibly adapt to external contexts by integrating home institutional leverage and host-country linkage, which benefits their sustained capability building.

Person holding a mobile phone and receipt

Associate Professor Bernardo Figueiredo examines how tactics in the #MyBlackReceipt movement support the flourishing of a digital enclave in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. Dr Figueiredo identifies five tactics that racialised market actors employ to foster digital enclaves and enhance market participation: legitimizing, delimiting, vitalizing, manifesting, and bridging.

Two students talking to each other

Dr Pauline Stanton’s work in the Australasian Journal of Management argues that despite the aspirational strategies and good intentions of Australian universities, the embedded nature of colonisation and institutional whiteness must be identified and challenged for First Peoples to take their rightful place in the universities.

Person holding another person's hand in support

An expatriate's psychological adjustment significantly affects his or her performance and commitment to remain until their international assignment is completed. Dr Sehrish Shahid’s paper published in Personnel Review finds that mental health is an antecedent paramount to psychological adjustment and proposes mental health-supportive international human resource management interventions.

Person's arm choosing wine in an aisle

Dr Argho Bandyopadhyay’s work in the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics explores brand equity and consumers’ willingness pay more for wines from renowned regions. The study found the significance of both the rational and emotional paths of consumers in making wine consumption choices.

Impact case studies

Headshot of person smiling

Dr Margaret Heffernan has worked extensively with Aboriginal Health Workers and Indigenous women in Victoria and remote parts of central Australia. Dr Heffernan’s research found that early human papillomavirus (HPV) education resources developed for the Northern Territory were not culturally or linguistically appropriate for the Central Australian population. The study and subsequent initiatives empowered health professionals, particularly Aboriginal Health Workers with proven processes and specific evidence-based cultural resources about HPV prevention and immunisation and resulted in some of the highest levels of HPV vaccine uptake globally among adolescent females and males.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.