Employer-employee relations: problems, performance and wellbeing

A three year ARC Discovery Project will seek, in part, to identify the effects of deteriorated employer-employee relations on organisation performance and worker wellbeing.

A team of researchers from Griffith University, Georgia State University (US) and the University of Toronto (Canada) will spend the next three years digging deep in tothe state ofemployer-employee relations in Australian enterprises, and the breadth and depth of the problems within them.

One of 17 Australian Research Council Discovery Projects awarded Griffith University for funding commencing in 2014, Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing (WOW) Chief Investigators Professor Adrian Wilkinson and Associate Professor Michael Barrywere awarded $255 566 for their Project, ‘Taking the Pulse at Work:Employer-Employee Relations and Workplace Problems in Australia Compared to theUnited States‘.

Delving into topicsonly lightly covered by research to date, the team will conduct an in-depth analysis of the cooperative versus adversarial climate of Australian workplaces; the type and intensity of the problems experienced by managers and employees; and identify theeffects that deteriorated relations have on the organisations’ performance and worker wellbeing. The team will also undertake assessments of managers’and employees’ strengths and shortcomings.

Similar surveys conducted in the US will offer a benchmark against which the Australian experience can additionally be gauged. The team, as a consequence, hopes to deliver Australian firms, unions and policymakers an up-to-date and nationally relevant account of the state of employer-employee cooperation within an international context.

Partner Investigators of the Project include Professor Bruce Kaufman, Georgia State and WOW adjunct member, and Associate Professor Rafael Gomez (Toronto).