With a spirit of innovation, Curtin infuses outstanding research with industry, business and government partnerships. We push the limits of understanding, solving problems for industry and society, and inspiring local, national and global communities.
Programs of Research
All research programs within the Faculty of Business and Law are underpinned by ethics, responsibility and sustainability:
- How organisations can plan for the future of work and the workplaces of tomorrow
- Developing evidence-informed economic and social policy
- Understanding how brands can better engage with consumers
- Ensuring a sustainable housing future for Australians
- Identifying ways organisations can improve their governance, financial systems and sustainability
- The sustainable development of tourism in Australia and around the world
- Blockchain and digital disruption
- Innovation in higher education
ERS Research Industry Collaborations
Collaboration with industry partners and government agencies is essential to catalyse conversations about Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. Notable ERS partnerships include:
- Volunteering WA (Professor Kirsten Holmes)
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency (projects with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre)
- Shelter WA (Professor Steven Rowley and Dr Amity James)
- Amana Living Aged Care (Dr Graham Ferguson)
- Argyle Diamond Mine (Professor Helen Cabalu)
ERS Research Institutes, Centres and Clusters
The Faculty of Business and Law undertakes high impact research through various research entities which supports the achievement of a number of Sustainable Development Goals.
- Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
- Centre for Research in Applied Economics (CRAE)
- Curtin University Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (CUOGIC)
- The Centre for Transformational Work Design (CTWD)
- Health Economics Cluster
- John Curtin Institute of Public Policy (JCIPP)
- The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE)
- Tourism Research Cluster (TRC)
- Women in Social and Economics Research Cluster (WiSER)
Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre
The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre is an independent economic and social research organisation, which focuses on key economic and social issues that contribute to the wellbeing of West Australian families, businesses and communities.
Future of Work Institute
The Future of Work Institute (FoWI) promotes productive and meaningful work as essential foundations of a healthy economy and society. FoWI’s researchers focus on how people contribute to and benefit from new knowledge and practices, and their mission is to support thriving people and organisations in the digital age.
ERS Research spotlight
Some of the high impact research being undertaken by our academics is highlighted below:
Creating and sustaining a strong future for volunteering in Australia
- Professor Kirsten Holmes – School of Marketing
- Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal, Macquarie University
- Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney, Griffith University
- Professor Lucas Meijs, Erasmus University
- Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Flinders University
- Student – (now Dr) Christel Mex, Flinders University
This project sought to answer the question of how to increase social participation by converting non-volunteers to the benefits of volunteering. In Australia today, communities and governments are increasingly dependent on volunteers to build social capital and deliver an increasing range of services.
This project created new theory by examining three levels of analysis: the micro level of the individual volunteer or non-volunteer; the mezzo level of the volunteer-involving organisation; and the macro level of society. This innovative approach developed two tools to help volunteer-involving organisations. The first tool – the convertibility tool – calculated an individual’s likelihood of volunteering. The second tool – the recruitability tool – assessed a volunteer-involving organisation’s recruitment and retention strategy and provided resources for reorienting that strategy. Both tools are freely available online. The tools were disseminated through workshops with end-users and through state volunteering peak body websites.
Volunteering underpins many of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 11, in strengthening communities. However, globally and within Australia volunteers are essential in providing health services (Goal 3), education (Goal 4), supporting democracy (Goal 16), and increasingly in drawing attention to the need for climate action (Goal 13).
Global Production Networks and Worker Representation in Myanmar
- Associate Professor Htwe Htwe Thein – School of Management
This project will generate important new knowledge about Myanmar’s growing integration into global value chains (otherwise known as ‘global production networks’) and the impact of this on employment relations and the well-being of workers. Project findings will provide a strong evidence base for government policies and socially responsible business practices that promote sustainable and equitable economic development in this rapidly evolving nation.
This Australian Research Council-funded project is the first major study of its kind and aims to:
- Assess the impact of Global Production Networks on worker voice and representation in Myanmar’s garment manufacturing sector
- Consider the relationship between industry development and labour standards
- Explore the implications of the Myanmar case for our understanding of worker well-being in late-industrialising countries
- Consider the influence of international organisations and corporate social responsibility initiatives
We plan to gather this information by interviewing representatives of a broad range of stakeholders, including government, worker and employer associations, civil society organisations, international clothing brands/buyers, suppliers and the International Labour Organization. The managerial relevance and policy impact of the research will be supported by stakeholder engagement workshops and other outreach activities to communicate and discuss the key findings.
Traditional Owner and Neighbouring Community Readiness Assessment for Mine Closure: The Case of Argyle Diamond Mine (Research Project)
- Professor Helen Cabalu – School of Economics, Finance & Property
- Dr Amma Buckley – School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities
- Professor Michael Dockery – Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre
Although the Argyle Diamond Mine is the largest diamond producer in the world by volume, due to the low proportion of gem-quality diamonds it is set to close by 2020. Mine closure and the impact of payments cessation on seven Traditional Owner (TO) family groups and five neighbouring communities is not clearly understood.
The overall aim of the study is to identify these knowledge gaps to enable Argyle and the Gelganyem Trust to develop more targeted intervention and mitigation strategies to be included into the closure planning process. The study also addresses key concerns regarding the TO families’ and communities’ reliance on Argyle, including:
- To understand and analyse the range of impacts relevant to both TOs and communities across the issues of income, mobility, skills, and alternative work options with mine closure and payments cessation;
- To ascertain the extent of preparedness for mine closure by TOs and communities and explore options for income and employment generation in order to sustain their communities into the future; and
- To investigate indirect impacts to TOs and communities from closure beyond mining payments cessation.
Argyle pays benefits to TOs and neighbouring communities. With mine closure, these benefits will cease. TOs and communities may not be adequately prepared for the direct and indirect impacts of the forthcoming mine closure. The degree of awareness and preparedness of TOs and neighbouring communities of the implications of the mine closure is variable and inconsistent. This study is expected to have a positive impact by identifying economic drivers and opportunities that could potentially provide pathways (and generate community-based jobs) to communities’ and families’ sustainable future.
Vulnerable Consumer Research – Revealing the lived experience of consumers
- Dr Graham Ferguson – School of Marketing
The purpose of Your Voice Research is to reveal the priorities and needs of underserved consumers in Australia. Many consumer’s needs are stereotyped, and some suffer from being considered a burden, despite each individual having a unique set of needs that reveal possibilities for improved wellbeing, better living conditions and new contributions. Mapping those needs and understanding what drives consumers reveals what really matters to them, and helps identify how to better deliver against their needs. The Your Voice Research team works with industry, government and research partners to reveal the stories of often overlooked consumers, bring their needs to the forefront and change services based on these needs. The aim of the research is to enhance wellbeing of consumers while removing stereotypes and help underserved Australians lead better lives.
A data collection team of three and research team of three are currently undertaking four demand-driven projects in the aging consumer services and disabled consumer services space.