Our research

Our research

The Centre for Workforce Futures brings an innovative multidisciplinary and problem-focused approach to research focused on work, workforce and workplace, with application to public policy, industry and the community.

The Centre’s research focuses on two overarching questions:

  • What are the current and emerging challenges and opportunities for the creation of decent work today and in the future?
  • What public policies and management strategies can foster decent work, along with sustainable and inclusive workplaces in modern societies and economies?

The Centre aims to address these questions by undertaking research to influence policy debate and provide policy and strategy solutions for governments, business and not-for-profit organisations.

Key issues

Faced with emerging forms of work, technology, disruptive business models and social, economic, environmental and demographic dynamics on a global scale, the Centre for Workforce Futures is dedicated to undertaking problem and solution focused research that investigates the following critical issues:

  1. The impact of national and international historical, economic, social, demographic, technical and environmental factors on the organisation of work and employment, workplace cultures, management, leadership and the health and well-being of working people and working life in Australia and globally
  2. Changing workforce knowledge and skill needs in response to digital disruption (due to emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity, automation, Internet of Things) and their implications for the location of work, education, training and inter-generational resilience
  3. Diversity at work and beyond, including government, business and not-for-profit employer approaches to and management of immigration, changing patterns of employment, labour force participation and inclusion of women, men, Indigenous Australians, varied cultural and identity groups, migrants and refugees of all ages and abilities
  4. Changing approaches to innovation, regulation and supply chain management in industry and transport as a key enabler for sustainable economic growth and safe employment in Australia and overseas.

Each issue is associated with a distinct pillar comprising 2 Leaders (champions) and Core Members of the Centre who share interests and who collaborate on research activities, projects and publications.

Our Four Research Pillars

Please visit Our four research pillars.

The Centre’s broader membership

The Centre’s collaborative hub includes broader Macquarie University members from all Departments in the Macquarie Business School (including Honorary Professors and Honorary Adjuncts), as well as numerous other Departments and Faculties at the University.

It also includes Associate Members from other universities in Australia and in other countries, and also from external public, private and not-for-profit organisations.

Core Members, Macquarie University Members and Associate Members have expertise in the disciplines of: Accounting, Actuarial Studies, Demography, Economics, Employment Relations, History, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, International Business, Labour Law, Linguistics, Management, Marketing, Media and Cultural Studies, Medical Informatics, Organisation Studies, Operations Management, Philosophy and Sociology.

The Centre adopts a holistic research paradigm for investigating work, workforce and workplace that encompasses paid and unpaid work, caring and co-operative work across a range of critical areas, including:

  • Employment and its regulation (including pay and profits)
  • Environmental impacts on jobs
  • Gig Economy and the impact of disruptive business models
  • Globalisation, industrialisation and deindustrialisation
  • Immigration and immigrant employment
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Occupational change, professions and career development
  • Skilling and learning
  • Supply chains
  • Technological innovation and change in the workplace and organisations
  • Value creation
  • Work and workplace organisation
  • Workforce demographics and planning
  • Workforce diversity and its management (including age, ancestry, culture, dis/ability, gender and sexuality).
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