Esteemed acknowledgement of contribution to employment relations research

Associate Professor Keith Townsend

The contribution of WOW’s Associate Professor Keith Townsend to the field of labour and employment relations (ER) research was acknowledged recently through his award as second runner up of the International Labor and Employment Relations Associations’ (ILERA) Luis Aparicio Prize.

“As most of my research is conducted…in the [human resource management] HRM territory, I feel privileged to have been considered for an award like this. It is humbling as there is a wonderful group of researchers in this field around the world,” says Keith.

With many years’ experience working with ER practitioners and a long held commitment to serve the members of the Industrial Relations Society of Queensland (IRSQ) and Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA), Associate Professor Townsend’s research has addressed issues such as working time (i.e. hours of work), employee voice and enterprise bargaining, including through various research consultancies for government departments in these areas.

Keith also acknowledges the important role that mentoring and a strong research culture takes in contributing to a field and building up to awards like this:

“I’ve been mentored by some excellent ER scholars in the past — Adrian Wilkinson, David Peetz, Janis Bailey, for example, and that has provided me with an opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experiences to a range of research students and research fellows. [In doing so], my primary goal…is [to] have my students as excited about the opportunities in this area as I am: [it’s] great to work in, do research in, and I hope that my students will be excited about the opportunities they have throughout their careers. My experience as a Research Fellow and subsequent [academic] member of WOW has also provided a great opportunity for me to not only bring scholars with international reputations to my community, but for me to have exposure to a high quality of international scholars that the Centre invites every year.”

The Luis Aparicio Prize is awarded for contributions to research in labour and employment relations
The Luis Aparicio Prize is awarded for contributions to research in labour and employment relations

ILERA links academic and policy making labour and employment relations communities, and oversees national IR and ER associations. Its subject matter also aligns with International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions; the ILO also host ILERA’s Secretariat . The late Luis Aparicio Valdez was president of ILERA between 2003-2006. The Luis Aparicio Prize is for scholars with less than ten years experience since their PhD submission.