CPOW’s research is organised within and across five themes that act as a focusing mechanism and provide a collaborative research environment to support cross-disciplinary research.
Gender, Equality and Diversity
Theme leader: Meagan Tyler
Examines structural and institutional inequalities in work and organisations, including those based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, class, and location, and investigates how they are created, reinforced and resisted. Our emphasis on diversity encourages new understandings of existing challenges to further positive social change and business innovation. Our research builds on the concept of a fair society that protects and promotes equal freedom and substantive equality for all.
Working lives: uncertainties and futures
Theme leader: Fiona Macdonald
Explores the changing nature and political economy of work and employment and the character of jobs and working lives. We investigate gender and inequalities at work, changing relationships between paid and unpaid work, new forms of work and the impacts of informal and precarious work. We also conduct research into labour processes, skills for work, work regulation, management and managerialism, migration in regional and global labour markets and labour history. Our focus is on improving working lives and well-being through access to decent work.
Political Economy of Socio-Economic Change
Theme leader: Peter Fairbrother
Explores economic and social change, taking into account the state, market and society, as well as new systems of governance. We develop understandings of significant economic transitions as complex social, political and policy undertakings. One aim is to explore how forms of political power are developed, allocated, articulated, used and changed.
Our analyses aim to facilitate humane change processes and provide nuanced interventions that account for community diversity and the different impacts and experiences of change experienced by people based on a wide range of factors such as their gender, ethnicity, ability, age, socioeconomic status, health, education, location, and proximity to the change being undertaken. The fragmented, disruptive and uncertain futures in this changing world are considered in applied ways, involving knowledge translation with end-users.
Digital Business, Work and Life
Theme leader: Stan Karanasios
Examines the interaction between digital technology and individuals, organisations, industries and the wider society. Our interests include how technology adds value to organisations; the opportunities and challenges afforded by digital disruption; how technology can advance environmentally and socially responsible practice; and, how technology can create agency and transform organisations and communities. We specialise in research that can lead to impact for organisations, as well as communities and society, and inform government.
Organisation and Financialisation
Theme leader: Mike Rafferty
Brings new perspectives to issues such as transitions from old to new economies; the role of technology and the growth of the platform economy; sustainable organisational practice; and governance and risk management. We focus on the growing political power of corporations in the context of privatization and the neo-liberal political economy. We study new financial products and risk management tools as they emerge and become features of the modern organisation.
We study individuals, households, communities, workers and employers, in relation to privatization; globalisation of international business and services; use of new climate and disaster related risk management decision support, business planning and insurance; and the application of digital technologies throughout supply chains. These processes impact on the need and forms of labour both directly and indirectly. Difficult questions relating to governance and the associated power relations thus become central to our research.