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CPOW’s research is organised within and across five themes that act as a focusing mechanism and provide a to support cross-disciplinary research.

Working Lives: Uncertainties and Futures

Theme Leader: Fiona Macdonald

Explores the changing nature and political economy of work and employment and the character of jobs and working lives. We investigate gender and inequalities at work, changing relationships between paid and unpaid work, new forms of work and the impacts of informal and precarious work. We also conduct research into labour processes, skills for work, work regulation, management and managerialism, migration in regional and global labour markets and labour history. Our focus is on improving working lives and well-being through access to decent work.

Gender, Equality and Diversity

Theme Leader: Meagan Tyler

Examines structural and institutional inequalities in work and organisations, including those based on gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, class, and location, and investigates how they are created, reinforced and resisted.  Our emphasis on diversity encourages new understandings of existing challenges to further positive social change and business innovation. Our research builds on the concept of a fair society that protects and promotes equal freedom and substantive equality for all.

Political Economy of Socio-Economic Change

Theme Leader: Peter Fairbrother

Explores economic and social change, taking into account the state, market and society, as well as new systems of governance. We develop understandings of significant economic transitions as complex social, political and policy undertakings. One aim is to explore how forms of political power are developed, allocated, articulated, used and changed.

Our analyses aim to facilitate humane change processes and provide nuanced interventions that account for community diversity and the different impacts and experiences of change experienced by people based on a wide range of factors such as their gender, ethnicity, ability, age, socioeconomic status, health, education, location, and proximity to the change being undertaken. The fragmented, disruptive and uncertain futures in this changing world are considered in applied ways, involving knowledge translation with end-users.

Digital Business, Work and Life

Theme Leaders: Vanessa Cooper & Elizabeth Tait

Examines the interaction between digital technology and individuals, organisations, industries and the wider society. Our interests include how technology adds value to organisations; the opportunities and challenges afforded by digital disruption; how technology can advance environmentally and socially responsible practice; and, how technology can create agency and transform organisations and communities. We specialise in research that can lead to impact for organisations, as well as communities and society, and inform government.