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Analysis and Comment (24)

Leaving a sour taste. Tesco struggles to find a value proposition. Leaving a sour taste. Tesco struggles to find a value proposition. StefZ

A wicked blueprint for tackling Tesco’s woes

Imagine taking over the reigns of a firm which only a few years ago was regarded as one of the best run companies in the UK, but now routinely posted declining market share, moribund profits, and mounting…
Taking the heat. Moyes exits. Taking the heat. Moyes exits. Peter Powell/EPA

Don’t blame Moyes for Man Utd woes: the buck stops at the top

Patience at Manchester United has run out. David Moyes has been sacked possibly sooner than was expected, but entirely predictably given the huge financial pressures that were looming if the team continued…
Why do company leaders get a different level of training to frontline managers? Why do company leaders get a different level of training to frontline managers? www.shutterstock.com

Productivity push should focus on frontline managers

Australia has more than two million registered businesses, and at least equally that number of actual places of work. These range from one and two person workplaces to groups of 100 people plus. These…
Australia’s poor leadership record must be addressed if we want to improve productivity. Australia’s poor leadership record must be addressed if we want to improve productivity. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why Australian workplaces need much better leaders

Over the last decade, Australia has experienced a productivity slump. Our long-term productivity growth ranks well below the OECD average, and significantly below that enjoyed by leading economies. However…
Do I look like I need leading? Do I look like I need leading? Linda Tanner

Why autocratic bosses are a dying breed

The idea that everyone wants leadership and wants to be led is a popular one, especially among corporate CEOs, but how true is it? Recent political events in Ukraine and Thailand should focus business…
Can anger in the workplace be beneficial? Can anger in the workplace be beneficial? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The upside of anger: why workers should express their emotions

Anger has traditionally been considered an emotion to be avoided at work as it is often linked to a lack of personal control. Anger at work is often seen as unprofessional; an uncontrolled response linked…
Straight-laced no more, the Zappos office is getting a makeover. Straight-laced no more, the Zappos office is getting a makeover. TechCocktail

Goodbye to bosses? Zappos is biting off more than it can shoe

Imagine a company without managers, structure or even job titles. Sounds like a fantasy of some anarchist collective? Think again, the Las Vegas-based online shoe retailer Zappos which is entirely owned…
Research shows channeling the best ideas into new products takes a systematic process. Research shows channeling the best ideas into new products takes a systematic process. atomicShed/Flickr

Innovation pays, but only when it’s everyone’s job

Innovation pays, and the benefits are even greater when organisations develop “systematic innovation” capability, according to a recent study by The University of Melbourne and the Australian Institute…
AusMake pursued Corporate Social Responsibility in a number of technical ways that supported its economic goals. AusMake pursued Corporate Social Responsibility in a number of technical ways that supported its economic goals. Shutterstock

How CSR transforms pursuit of profit into moral mission

Recent discussions have explored the ways Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) might work in the interest of business. Countless academic articles have also celebrated the connection between positive…
Human resource managers will often shy away from hiring overqualified employees, but research shows that they can be an asset. Human resource managers will often shy away from hiring overqualified employees, but research shows that they can be an asset. Shutterstock

Survive or thrive? Overqualified a matter of management

Overqualified workers are often seen as the pariah of human resources but these employees can be a constructive or a destructive influence on your business, depending on the way they are managed. In my…
Using social media to screen job candidates is a common practice, but recruiters should be wary of the pitfalls. Using social media to screen job candidates is a common practice, but recruiters should be wary of the pitfalls. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Social media puts HR ethics under the spotlight

Social media has definitely changed the game for job-seekers and recruiters. Traditionally, HR recruiters placed an advertisement, sifted through the responses, and interviewed the shortlisted candidates…
From hire to liar: honesty is not always the best policy in workplace negotiations. From hire to liar: honesty is not always the best policy in workplace negotiations. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Sweet little lies: how men and women use deception in negotiations

Negotiations, by their nature, tempt individuals into an ethical slide. Even the most principled negotiator would consider it acceptable to withhold some information from an opponent, just as a self-protective…
No dearth of talent here… but Australia could learn from the Olympics how to attract the best global skilled workers. No dearth of talent here… but Australia could learn from the Olympics how to attract the best global skilled workers.

Searching for an olive branch in the global war for talent

Last year, thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries competed in the London Olympics. The International Olympic Committee had no difficulty attracting the world’s leading sporting talent because…
There are vast opportunities for firms to improve productivity at the enterprise level. There are vast opportunities for firms to improve productivity at the enterprise level. Image from www.shutterstock.com

How individual firms can solve the ‘productivity paradox’

Commentators are urging government and others to do whatever they can to improve productivity in Australia because it is a key driver of prosperity, living standards and national wealth. While recent reports…
Aesthetics are becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace. Aesthetics are becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace. flickr_thinkpanama

Beauty and the business: why looks increasingly matter at work

Looks matter, both in our social and working lives. We want to look good and our employers expect us to look good, or at least want us to look a particular way. This requirement is a double-edge sword…
In today’s world, businesses have to find new ways to tackle wicked problems. In today’s world, businesses have to find new ways to tackle wicked problems. luxamart

Wicked problems and business strategy: is design thinking an answer?

Obesity. Climate change. Brain drain. Tax havens. War in Afghanistan. All have been described as “wicked problems”. UC Berkeley scholars, Rittel and Webber, coined the term in 1973 when they were reacting…
Toyota’s decision to escort redundant workers off-site using security guard caused “undeserved harm” and may also have undermined morale and potentially affected productivity. Toyota’s decision to escort redundant workers off-site using security guard caused “undeserved harm” and may also have undermined morale and potentially affected productivity. AAP

Is the Toyota way the only way?

UPDATE: Workers for transport company 1st Fleet were handed redundancy notices when they arrived for work this morning, after the company ceased trading. Are we seeing something of this same attitude recently…
The way tourism companies in the Blue Mountains engage in corporate social responsibility changes depending on whether they are owner-managed or not. The way tourism companies in the Blue Mountains engage in corporate social responsibility changes depending on whether they are owner-managed or not. Flickr/nosha

Corporate social responsibility: how active is the Australian tourism industry?

“Corporate social responsibility” (CSR) isn’t just a term used by blue chip corporations to give them a more caring image. It’s a principle being adopted by thousands of small and medium-sized tourism…
Thinking outside the box will help managers get the best out of their employees. Thinking outside the box will help managers get the best out of their employees. swambo

Embracing the unknown is the key to tapping workplace talent

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Therefore, managers need a formal, cascading set of KPIs (key performance indicators), KPTs (key performance targets), and annual performance reviews to keep…
People all around the world feel powerless. This has left our institutions ineffective. People all around the world feel powerless. This has left our institutions ineffective. diegodiazphotography

Do we have the power to overcome our ‘learned helplessness’?

To what extent are we encouraged to think of ourselves as free and self-determining individuals, whilst in reality being restricted both overtly and insidiously by our institutional frameworks? If this…
Small-business owners need to recognise the particular needs of their staff and customers. Small-business owners need to recognise the particular needs of their staff and customers. AAP

The secret to running a successful small firm? Mind your own business

Why do some small firms survive and prosper, while others don’t? When you put this question to a business consultant, academic or even an experienced business person, their biases show immediately. The…
Emergency services workers face high levels of stress in their jobs. Emergency services workers face high levels of stress in their jobs. AAP

Workplace stress is manageable, if we understand it properly

The holiday period can be a stressful time for many of us, even when we do have time off work. Many people will work over the holidays, and be called into difficult or tragic situations, particularly our…
Christmas office party revellers: don’t let any of these people update their Facebook right now. Christmas office party revellers: don’t let any of these people update their Facebook right now. AAP

Spreading the festive smear: why managers should take social media seriously

As Christmas party season approaches, many will begin turning their attention to the office party. While some may focus on concerns about the venue and cost-cutting measures (in the current economic climate…
Amid endless uncertainty, organisations need to plan for a broad variety of future scenarios. Amid endless uncertainty, organisations need to plan for a broad variety of future scenarios. mrskyce

Can businesses really plan for the future? Introducing ‘scenario thinking’

We are currently faced with a seemingly endless list of global and local uncertainties. What will the global financial markets do tomorrow, next week, or next month? What is the reality of climate change…

Research Briefs (2)