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Professor Paula McDonald

QUT Business School,
Management

Personal

Name
Professor Paula McDonald
Position(s)
Professor of Management
QUT Business School,
Management
Discipline *
Business and Management, Sociology, Psychology
Phone
+61 7 3138 5318
Fax
+61 7 3138 1313
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
ORCID iD
Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)

Professional memberships
and associations

Work/Industry Futures Research Program, QUT Business School Work and Family Policy Roundtable http://www.workandfamilypolicyroundtable.org/ International Labour Relations Association http://www.ilo.org/public/english/iira/ Psychologist registration with the Health Practitioner Regulation Agency http://www.ahpra.gov.au/ Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/

Keywords

Employment Relations, Social Policy, Sociology of work, Workplace Discrimination and Harassment, Public/private boundaries, Social Media in employment, Youth education to work transitions, Work in the digital economy

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Paula McDonald is Professor of Work and Organisation and Director of the Work/Industry Futures Research Program in the QUT Business School. Paula’s research adopts an interdisciplinary, systems-level approach, addressing complex problems in workplace settings, including finance, defence, policing, community services, government and education.

 

Paula has been awarded 6 major competitive research grants ($M1.8 funding) from the Australian Research Council, including an ARC Future Fellowship (2013-16). She has disseminated her work widely including in three international edited books and over 60 academic journal articles. She has had visiting appointments at Strathclyde University (Glasgow), the University of Manchester, Queen Mary University (London), Lund University (Sweden) and Cornell University (New York).

 

Paula communicates her research to non-academic audiences through media engagement and is regularly invited to deliver seminars to industry and end-users. She currently manages several large, ongoing research projects and mentors and supervises early career academics and PhD and Masters by research students on a range of employment relations topics. She is an elected staff member on QUT Council (2017-20).

 

Prior to an academic career, Paula held clinical and research roles in child and adolescent psychiatry, medical education, primary care and public health. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK, a member of the National Work and Family Roundtable, and a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paula McDonald.

Teaching

Teaching Areas

  • Research methods
  • Research ethics
  • Human resource management
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Professional development

Teaching and learning is a socially-situated practice and one in which student diversity is an important consideration. The approaches and strategies used in my teaching are framed by four broad philosophies: (1) that scholarly learning requires sustained engagement with bodies of knowledge derived from diverse disciplinary perspectives; (2) a focus on connecting phenomena of interest at different analytic levels (regulatory, organisational, individual); (3) engagement between students and teachers is enhanced through imparting relevant, pragmatic experience gained through practice in the field; and (4) a need to understand the current employment, educational or practice environment in which students seek to participate. These philosophies are closely connected with my strong engagement in research and the research-intensive academic roles I have undertaken over more than a decade. My teaching has comprised the supervision of many higher degree research students at the Honours, Masters and PhD level, career mentoring for early career academic staff, delivering capacity building seminars in academic and organisational environments and coordinating research methods coursework units.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paula McDonald.

Experience

Over the past 10 years, Paula has worked closely with organisations in the public, private and community sectors on a range of collaborative research projects which advance social justice at work. Currently, she is exploring the social dimensions and impacts (e.g., income uncertainty and employment insecurity) of new technologies and automation. This includes an emphasis on the ‘contested terrain’ of social media at work and also how digital platforms are (re)shaping work, industry and the professions.

In the field of youth employment, Paula is working on a project which addresses the supports required by young, disadvantaged job-seekers to find and stay in employment. Another of her recent research projects was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Employment and constituted the first national study of the prevalence and nature of unpaid work in Australia. Paula’s research on education to work transitions for young people builds on an earlier ARC Linkage grant which examined how school students aged from 13-16 understood and negotiated their formative experiences of paid work. The findings of the research informed the development of an employment toolkit for young people and school curriculum development in the area of employment relations.

In the field of workplace discrimination and harassment, Paula has worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission on their review of pregnancy discrimination, parental leave and return to work; and on their 2008 and 2011 prevalence studies on workplace sexual harassment and a related Code of Practice for Employers. She currently sits on an expert panel for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s review into sexual harassment and predatory behaviour in Victoria Police. Paula has conducted invited seminars on discrimination and sexual harassment to the Qld Public Safety Portfolio, College of Sports Physicians, Victoria Legal Aid and the Australian Human Rights Commissioners Agency.

Recently, Paula worked with the Suncorp group, the Australian Defence Force, and several small community organisations, exploring how customised flexible work arrangements are taken up in these different organisational settings. She has conducted keynote speeches on flexible work for the Independent Education Union, Westpac and St. George Banking groups, and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. A previous ARC Linkage project identified the barriers and enablers of workplace flexibility policy usage and developed a comprehensive program that addressed under-utilisation in two Qld public sector departments.

In the field of education, Paula is working on an ARC Linkage grant with Prof Karen Thorpe, the Qld Dept of Education, Training and Employment, Goodstart Childcare and C&K examining professionalism, engagement and training in the early childhood education and care workforce. Paula has successfully completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course. Prior to an academic career, Paula worked in a range of clinical and research roles in the health sector, including at the Royal Brisbane and Children’s Hospitals, the Men’s Support and Advisory service, the Brisbane North Division of General Practice and Queensland Medical Education Centre at the University of Queensland. She is a registered psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paula McDonald.

Publications

For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
2017
Details
Commissioned to write expert report for Legal Aid Queensland for case of sexual harassment taken to the Fair Work Commission
Type
Advisor/Consultant for Industry
Reference year
2017
Details
Expert adviser to the review of sexual harassment and drug abuse in the University of Sydney Colleges conducted by LizBroderick Consulting
Type
Advisor/Consultant for Industry
Reference year
2017
Details
Expert adviser to the Australian Human Rights Commission / Universities Australia Review into sexual harassment and sexual violence on Australian university campuses (Respect.Now.Always).
Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2017
Details
Invited international academic adviser to the Employment Relations and Equality Institute, Manchester University Business School
Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2017
Details
Invited expert panel member (one of four) to the Review into Sexual Harassment, Sex Discrimination and Predatory Behaviour in Victoria Police, conducted by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Type
Membership of a Statutory Committee
Reference year
2017
Details
Elected staff member representative to QUT Council.
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2016
Details
Invited keynote address to the National Conference of sports physicians titled: "Not just bad apples: Sexual harassment in sports medicine", Gold Coast.
Type
Recipient of a Nationally Competitive Research Fellowship
Reference year
2016
Details
ARC Future Fellowship (20113-16)
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Leone Warne Memorial Award for the best paper at the 2015 Defence Human Science Symposium, Sydney.
Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2015
Details
Expert witness: Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women in an investigation into sexual harassment in the federal workplace.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Young people and work: pathways to industrial citizenship
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
FT120100635
Start year
2012
Keywords
Employment ; Vulnerable Workers; Young Workers; Youth Pathways
Title
Identifying effective strategies to grow and sustain a professional early years workforce
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP140100652
Start year
2014
Keywords
Early Childhood Education And Care; Professional Identity; Workforce
Title
Customising Work through Manager-Employee Exchange
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP120101560
Start year
2012
Keywords
Customised Work Arrangements; Flexible Work; Right To Request; Social Exchange; Ideosyncratic Deals; Employment Relations
Title
Sexual Harassment in Australia: Contexts, Outcomes and Prevention
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP1093442
Start year
2010
Keywords
Sexual Harassment; Employment; Gender and Organisation; Anti Discrimination Law
Title
Social Citizenship and Employment for Secondary School Students
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0774931
Start year
2007
Keywords
social citizenship at work; youth employment; education; school to work transition; industrial relations;
Title
Bridging the Gap between the Provision and Utilisation of Work-Life Policies
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0455074
Start year
2005
Keywords
employee relations; work life balance; flexible work arrangements; work life culture; work life policies;

Supervision

Current supervisions

  • The Perceived Fairness of Employee Reward Systems at a Large Finance Organisation
    PhD, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Abby Cathcart
  • Employability Strategies Used by Creative Industries Graduates
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Abby Cathcart
  • Project Leadership: Executives' role in bridging the gap between organisational strategy and project implementation
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Abby Cathcart
  • Engaging with the Australian diaspora in Hong Kong
    Masters, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Robyn Mayes
  • Mining Company Engagement with Universities: a CSR Approach
    Masters, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Robyn Mayes, Dr Deanna Grant-Smith
  • How does technology enabled work portability affect the spillover between work and life
    Masters, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Glen Murphy

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)