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Professor Paula McDonald

QUT Business School,
Management

Personal

Name
Professor Paula McDonald
Position(s)
Professor
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 LinkedIn
Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Queensland University of Technology)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Director – Work/Industry Futures Research Program, QUT Business School
  • Invited Member – Work and Family Policy Roundtable
  • Invited Member – International Labour Relations Association
  • Psychologist – Registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Senior Fellow – Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Invited Member - UC Berkeley Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Group
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. Her research addresses the profound social implications arising from a globalised, ‘collaborative’ economy. Topics span: work in the digital economy; education to work transitions; public/private boundaries; socio-legal aspects of workplace discrimination; and social media in employment.

Paula has published over 90 academic journal articles, books, chapters and industry reports. She has been awarded seven Australian Research Council grants including a Future Fellowship from 2013-16; five as lead investigator.

Paula’s work has actively shaped public debates in her areas of expertise through extensive media engagement, leadership of scholarly and public symposiums, and invited seminars to research end-users.

Prior to an academic career, Paula held clinical and research roles in child and adolescent psychiatry, medical education and public health. She is a registered psychologist and a senior fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paula McDonald.

Teaching

Teaching Areas

  • Research design and methods: quantitative and qualitative
  • Research and professional ethics
  • Sociology of work
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Professional and career development

Teaching Philosophy:  Teaching and learning is a socially-situated practice. The approaches and strategies used in my teaching are framed by four broad principles: (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 aligned with the research-intensive academic roles I have undertaken since completing my PhD in 2004. My teaching has comprised the supervision of many higher degree research students at Honours, Masters and PhD levels, career mentoring for early career academic staff, delivering capacity building seminars in academic and organisational environments, and coordinating and delivering research methods coursework units.

This information has been contributed by Professor Paula McDonald.

Experience

Over the past 15 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 in and beyond the workplace. Currently, she leads an ARC Discovery which examines the economic, socio-spatial and work organisation dimensions of labour sourced through digital platforms and the implications of this for Australian regulatory and policy responses. Also in the field of technology and work, Paula’s research has addressed the ‘contested terrain’ of social media. This includes how workers and managerial agents understand, manage, and negotiate tensions between personal and professional behaviours on social media platforms, and the magnitude of concerns about privacy, professionalism, autonomy, and regulation.

Paula’s ARC Future Fellowship adopted interdisciplinary perspectives from employment relations and youth studies to ask how young Australians conceive of their rights and responsibilities in employment, the extent to which they can enact these capacities and immunities, and how they anticipate their future engagement in the formal economy, relative to other life domains. In this field, Paula has also published widely on unpaid work and internships, including being an author of the first Australian prevalence study commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Employment. Her current work relevant to youth transitions addresses the supports required by young, disadvantaged job-seekers to find and stay in employment. This builds on an earlier ARC Linkage grant which examined how school students aged 13-16 understood and negotiated their formative experiences of paid work.

Paula is one of Australia’s foremost experts on workplace sexual harassment. Since 2011 she has worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission on successive national reviews and prevalence studies and related codes of practice for employers. Currently, she is the academic member of an expert panel for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s review into sexual harassment and predatory behaviour in Victoria Police (2016-18). Paula has conducted invited seminars on sexual harassment to the Qld Public Safety Portfolio, Australasian College of Sports Physicians, Victoria Legal Aid and the Australian Human Rights Commissioners Agency. She is an invited member of the University of California Berkeley global Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Group.

Paula’s experience in higher education governance is reflected in her election and appointment to key university-level committees including QUT Council; UHREC; Academic Misconduct panels; Research Degrees Committee; ERA Research Quality groups (FoR codes 15 and 16); and the Promotions Committee. 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 Australian Human Rights Commission / Universities Australia Review into sexual harassment and sexual violence on Australian university campuses (Respect.Now.Always).
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
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
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
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
Working the Gig Economy: The Organisation of Digital Platform Work
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP180101191
Start year
2018
Keywords
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
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
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;
Title
Work-Life Balance in the Construction Industry: Innovative Strategies for Improving Employee Well-Being and Performance in Project Management Teams
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0560581
Start year
2005
Keywords
Worl-Life Balance; Work-Life Conflict; Construction; Work Hours

Supervision

Current supervisions

  • Just Rewards: Perceived Fairness, Transparency and Employee Reward Systems
    PhD, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Abby Cathcart
  • Employability Strategies Used by Creative Industries Graduates
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Abby Cathcart
  • Engaging with the Australian diaspora in Hong Kong
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
  • How does technology enabled work portability affect the spillover between work and life
    Masters by Research, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Glen Murphy

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)