Employee-employer relations and workplace challenges in UK, USA, Australia


Awarded up to $298,000 USD, the research team will study employee-employer relations and workplace challenges in the United States, Australia and the United  Kingdom . The topic is manager and employee views on the state of HR and employee relations and, in particular,what are seen as the most important challenges, opportunities, and issues for company workforce management currently and over the next decade (2015–2025).

Two important dimensions are to determine to what extent managers and employees have similar vs. divergent views on the future of their work and on the nature, cause and solution of HR problems and to what extent they judge HR/ IR relations as cooperative and productive vs. conflictive and inefficient. This emphasis on the employee relations dimension of HR goes back to the early IRC philosophy that companies perform better when HR management has successfully aligned the interests and attitudes of the two sides and successfully motivated employee trust and commitment.


Summary Report - "Taking the pulse at work: Employer-employee relations and workplace problems in Australia compared to the United States"

However it also echoes recent research and practice, which emphasizes the need for considering the application of many behavioural and other social policy responses to the needs of companies and the desires of the workforce, particularly as the role of technology continues to transform the nature of work and how it is performed. This last point is an important issue for it is expected that both companies and talented employees will have different views about the work relationship and how worker affiliation with jobs vs. projects vs. technology will evolve. This is already evident in many industries where technology is disrupting business models and the ways members of the workforce engage to perform their respective roles.

Funded by Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc. (the Foundation or IRC 2015–2016).

Chief investigators

  • Professor Michael Barry (Griffith University) - m.barry@griffith.edu.au
  • Professor Bruce Kaufman (Griffith University and Georgia State University, USA)
  • Professor Adrian Wilkinson (Griffith University)
  • Associate Professor Rafael Gomez (University of Toronto, Canada)

More information

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