Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing(WOW) and Griffith Business School (GBS) researchers have been awarded funding by the Centre for Workplace Leadership(CWL)–a Federal government initiative based at the University of Melbourne–dedicated to increasing workplace productivity by assessing and building the capacity of small and medium enterprise through frontline leadership, performance and job quality.

Associate Professors Keith Townsend and Ashlea Troth and Dr Rebecca Loudoun’s project will focus upon frontline managers (FLMs)–distinct from senior and middle managers–in the Australian education, healthcare, public service, hospitality, and retail sectors to identify the full range of roles they perform, and to determine the extent to which their responsibilities comprise, what are traditionally, supervisory/ lower management roles.

As observed by Hutchinson and Purcell (2006), the team highlights how:

“leadership functions of FLMs have received limited attention beyond recognising that they have a critical role to play in the leadership domain…Our project aims to determine the extent of leadership required by Australian FLMs and the associated training and development needs associated with this changing role.”

WOW’sDr Stephanie Schleimer, and International Business and Asian Studies colleague, Associate Professor John Rice‘s researchwill investigate how leadership in the healthcare sector can also guide technological innovation and its implementation, help to reduce business risks, and enable more effective management as a consequence of change.

Says Stephanie and John of their healthcare focus:

“[It is] a technology-rich environment that is facing significant, externally driven, change. We focus on th[is]… context due to the importance that leadership plays for the increasingly collaborative and team-based approaches required between interlinked key personnel and patients. The ways that healthcare professionals individually and in teams integrate and implement technological and organisational innovations is at the heart of patient care… Indeed, leading hospitals today take a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, drawing upon the skills and knowledge of a diverse team of healthcare workers with wide expertise and complementary skills and knowledge.”

Both projects were awarded funds following a competitive assessment round with five other research partner-institutions of the CWL. They will offer theoretical and empirical contributions to the academic management literature as well aspractical strategies for assessing and improving leadership programs and organisational performance.

Visit the Centre for Workplace Leadership‘s website for further information.

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