A study of organisational justice and participative workplace change in Australian higher education

Weller, Stephen Adrian (2009) A study of organisational justice and participative workplace change in Australian higher education. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis explores employee participation in the management of workplace change through an organisational justice framework within the context of the Australian Higher Education (HE) sector. The thesis examines the extent to which the Australian HE sector makes provisions for participative workplace change, the extent to which participants within the sector perceive participative workplace change as providing fairness, and practices that can facilitate and foster participative workplace change. The provisions for participative workplace change are examined through a longitudinal study of enterprise bargaining agreements across all public universities in Australia for the period of 1997-2006. The research findings identify a decline in both the degree and form of employee participation in workplace change across this decade. The perceptions of participative workplace change are examined through an altitudinal survey of management and union executives within all public universities in Australia. The research findings identify considerable divergence between management and union executives in relation to employee participation, workplace change and organisational justice. The practices for participative workplace change are examined through twenty semi-structured interviews with management and union executives drawn from amongst the respondents to the attitudinal survey. The research findings identify areas of convergence around organisational justice dimensions and workplace change practices between management and union executives. The thesis concludes that it is a combination of fair processes and fair interactions which are most effective in facilitating workplace change and fostering employee participation in the Australian HE sector and which in turn are seen to be able to contribute to shared perceptions of organisational justice.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/2028
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > RFCD Classification > 330000 Education
Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Keywords Workplace change, Australia, higher education, Employee participation, organisational justice, participative change
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