Personal details

Dr Penny Williams
QUT Business School,
Discipline *
Business and Management
+61 7 3138 0895
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Mgt) (Queensland University of Technology), Bachelor of Commerce (Griffith University)

Professional memberships
and associations

flexible work, digital economy, platform work, human resource management, digital capabilties, graduate employment, organisation support

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


Penelope Williams (Penny) is a lecturer in the School of Management with whose research explores the changing nature of work.  Her research interests span work in the gig economy, flexible work arrangements, the impact of technology on work and workers, casual and precarious employment and digital capability/employability skills for university graduates. Penny has over 15 years in corporate HR and strategic consultancy roles, working across public and private sectors, nationally and internationally. She is an experienced workshop facilitator with a depth of knowledge in workforce planning, and strategic HRM, and has undertaken industry based research projects addressing the structure and effectiveness of HR, and planning for future workforce needs.  Her background underpins her current research into how work is changing, with a focus on the challenges that technology, digital platforms and new modes of employment present for organisations, individuals and wider society.  Penny lectures in the QUT Business School, and has been the recipient of a QUT Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award for her teaching practice, as well as a Grand Finalist in QUT’s Sessional Teaching and Reflection Showcase for the creation of innovative and effective teaching practices. Penny is a member of Australian Human Resources Institute and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

This information has been contributed by Dr Penny Williams.


Penny’s teaching has comprised unit coordination, lecturing (in-person and online), tutoring and workshop facilitation at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, and the supervision of higher degree research students. Her teaching areas are in Management and Human Resource Management, including strategic HRM.

Penny is an experienced presenter and workshop facilitator who has delivered workshops on workforce planning and analytics for government, industry and QUT graduate school of business.  Penny developed and delivered a series of video lectures on Professional Presentation skills which have been used to support international students and sessional academics new to Australia.

Teaching Awards

  • QUT Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award 2017
  • QUT Sessional Teaching and Reflection Showcase, Grand Finalist 2016
This information has been contributed by Dr Penny Williams.


Prior to her current position as Lecturer in the School of Management at QUT, Penny was a post-doctoral research fellow on an ARC Discovery and cross-institutional project team examining the prevalence and characteristics of digital platform work in Australia. This current project explores how digital platforms organize and control work, the extent and nature of gig work in Australian and the associated economic, social, regulatory and policy implications.  This project has been informed by the findings from Penny’s prior study into technological disruption in the Australian photographic industry.

Extending her interest in technology and work, Penny has also worked on a cross-institutional, Australian Technology Network Universities project aimed at enhancing graduate employability by developing a model for teaching digital capabilities in higher education.

Penny’s research on organizational support for flexible work arrangements uncovered the critical role of senior management in signaling support and the various structural and cultural mechanisms that constrain the implementation of flexible work arrangements in organizational settings. From the individual perspective, Penny’s research addresses the potential financial and social impacts of working flexibly. Outcomes from this research have been published in International Journal of Human Resource Management, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resource Management , Financial Planning Review and Employee Relations.

Penny’s research has been presented at national and international conferences, been published on industry blogs and magazines, and has informed submissions to the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers, and the Victorian government Inquiry into the On-Demand Workforce.

Recent Projects

  • Working the Gig Economy – the experience of platform workers
  • Australians and the Gig Economy – National Prevalence Survey
  • Developing digital capabilities in university graduates
  • Developing professional presentation skills in business students
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Workshop Facilitiation – HR metrics & Workforce Planning


This information has been contributed by Dr Penny Williams.


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