Skip to Content

Alison Barnes

Alison Barnes Dept of Business
  • Position: Senior Lecturer - Department of Marketing and Management
  • Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Hons First Class), PhD (UNSW)

Contact Details

Areas of Expertise

  • Decline in traditional misbehaviour like strikes, more individual responses like taking time off etc
  • How employees are affected by office space. Open plan, visual surveillance
  • Developing trends around future of work — what work will look like in the future

Profile

Dr Alison Barnes joined the Department of Marketing and Management at Macquarie in 2010. She has conducted research into the service industry and trade unions, employee behaviour and skill recognition, and the gender pay gap. Alison was awarded a PhD from the University of NSW. Her thesis investigated the impact of working conditions (shift work, casual employment and regional considerations) on call centre employment. Alison is particularly interested in employee resistance and trade union strategy.

Research grants

Commissioned Research and Research Grants

  • 2013, 'Union Campaigning in a Changing Environment', Faculty of Business and Economics, $5000 Research Starter Grant (with Dr Nikki Balnave). 
  • 2013, 'Member-based organisations and social media technologies ' Macquarie University Development Grant, $35,104.00 (with Dr Nikki Balnave and Dr Louise Thornthwaite ). 
  • 2010-13, 'Investigating the impact of precarious employment and contracting chains on aviation safety, security and occupational health and safety' , Transport Workers Union of Australia Grant ($15,000) and Macquarie University Enterprise Partnerships Scheme Pilot Research Grant ($15,000). Project Team: Professor Lucy Taksa (Lead CI), Dr Alison Barnes (CI), Dr Chris Baumann (CI), Professor Peter Anderson (PI), Julie Zetler, (PI).
  • 'Pay and Employment Equity: Development of a methodology for better recognition of the skills in service work', Pay and Employment Equity Unit, Department of Labour, Wellington, New Zealand ($143,000 AUD).

Research Team

  • Coordinator: Dr Anne Junor, Deputy Director, Industrial Relations Research Centre. University of New South Wales
  • Dr Alison Barnes, Lecturer, School of Management, University of Western Sydney
  • Dr Ian Hampson, Senior Lecturer, School of Organisation and Management, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Robyn Ogle, Senior Lecturer' Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University
  • Dr Meg Smith, Lecturer, School of Management, University of Western Sydney
  • Dr Peter Ewer, Director, Labour Market Alternatives
  • Ms Gemma Piercy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato
  • 2007, 'Trade union Strategy and the use of the Media in the Work Choices Era', University of Western Sydney Seed Grant ($5,918 AUD).

Publications

journal toggle icon open Refereed Journal Articles

  • Barnes, A. and Balnave, N. (2015), 'Back to grass roots: Peak union councils and community campaigning', Economic and Labour Relations Review, 26 (4): 577-595.
  • Barnes, A. and Markey, R. (2015), 'Evaluating the organising model of trade unionism: An Australian perspective', Economic and Labour Relations Review, 26 (4): ):513- 525
  • Barnes, A., MacMillian, C. and Markey, R. (2013), 'Maintaining Union Voice in the Australian University Sector: Union Strategy and Non-Union Forms of Employee Participation', Journal of Industrial Relations, 55 (4): 565-582. 
  • Baldry, C. and Barnes, A. (2012), 'The Open Plan Academy', Work, Employment and Society, 26 (2): 228-245.
  • Barnes, A. and Lafferty, G. (2010), 'The Fair Work Act: As Good as it Gets?', Economic and Labour Review, 21 (1): 1-12.
  • Hampson, I., Junor, A. and Barnes, A. (2009), 'Articulation Work Skills and the Recognition of Call Centre Competencies in Australia', Journal of Industrial Relations, 51 (1): 45-58.
  • Junor, A., Hampson, I. and Barnes, A. (2008), 'Beyond Emotion: Interactive Service Work and the Skills of Women', International Journal of Work, Organisation and Emotion, 2 (4): 358-373.
  • van den Broek, D., Barnes, A. and Townsend, K. (2008), 'Teaming Up: Teams and Resistance in Call Centres', Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (2): 257-269.
  • Barnes, A. (2007), 'The Construction of Control: The Impact of the Physical Environment on the Development of Resistance and Accommodation Within Call Centres', New Technology Work & Employment, 22 (3): 246-259.
  • Barnes, A. (2007), 'Australian Unions in 2006', Journal of Industrial Relations, 49 (3): 380-393.
  • Barnes, A. (2007), 'Australian Union Strategies in an Era of Radical Conservatism', Perspectives on Work, Labour and Employment Relations Association, Summer, 42-48.
  • Barnes, A. (2006), 'Trade Unionism in 2005', Journal of Industrial Relations, 48 (3): 369-383.
  • Barnes, A. (2004), 'Diaries, Dunnies and Discipline: Resistance and Accommodation to Monitoring in Call Centres', Labour and Industry, 14 (3): 127-138.
  • Barnes, A. and Fieldes, D. (2000), "Monday I've got Friday On My Mind" - Working Time in the Hospitality Industry', Journal of Industrial Relations, 42 (2): 535-550.

books toggle icon open Books

Edited Books:

  • Barnes, A. and Taksa, L. (ed) (2012), Rethinking Misbehaviour and Resistance in Organizations, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, Vol. 19, Emerald, UK.

Book Reviews:

  • (2009), Review of Bramble, T. (2008), Trade Unionism in Australia: A History from Flood to Ebb Tide, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, for Economic and Labour Relations Review, (forthcoming).
  • (2006), Review of Peetz, D. (2006), Brave New Workplace: How Individual Contracts are Changing Our Jobs, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, for International Journal of Employment Studies, 14 (2): 103-105.
  • (2002), Review of Van Gyes, G., De Witte, H. and Pasture, P. (eds) (2001), Can Class Still Unite? The Differentiated Work Force, Class Solidarity and Trade Unions, Aldershot, Ashgate, for Journal of Industrial Relations, 44 (4): 601-603.

chapters toggle icon open Book Chapters

  • Barnes, A. and MacMillan, C.I. (2015), 'The Difficult challenge faced by hybrid employee voice in the Australian university sector ', in Gollan, P., Kaufman, B., Taras, D. and Wilkinson, A. (eds), Voice and Involvement at Work: Experience with Non-Union Representation, Routledge: New York.
  • Balnave, N., Barnes, A., MacMillan, C. and Thornthwaite, L. (2014), 'E-Voice? How Network and Media Technologies are Shaping Employee Voice', in Wilkinson, A., Donaghy, J., Dundon, T. and Freeman, R. (eds), Handbook of Research on Employee Voice, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 439-454. 
  • Barnes, A. (2012) 'Customer Service work and the Aesthetics of Resistance ', in Barnes, A. and Taksa, L. (eds), Rethinking Misbehavior and Resistance, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, Vol. 19, Emerald, UK, 181-208. 
  • Barnes, A. and Taksa, L. (2012), 'Introduction – Misbehavior in the Air', in Barnes, A. and Taksa, L. (eds), Rethinking Misbehavior and Resistance, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations book series, Vol. 19, Emerald, UK, ix-xxiii.
  • Barnes, A. (2006), 'Trade Unionism in 2005' in Hall. R, (ed), Industrial Relations: A Current Review, Sage London; 74-88.

reports toggle icon open Consultancy Reports

  • Junor, A.,  Hampson, I.,  Barnes, A., Smith, M,. Ewer, P., Piercy, G. and Ogle, K.R. (2008), Spotlight: A Skills Recognition Tool. Research Report. New Zealand Department of Labour Pay and Employment Equity Unit, Wellington (110 pp.).
  • Junor, A., Hampson, I.,  Barnes, A., Smith, M,. Ewer, P., Piercy, G. and Ogle, K.R. (2008), Spotlight: A Skills Recognition Tool. The Spotlight Series
  • Folder 1. Spotlight: A Skills Recognition Tool. Introduction for Managers
    • Booklet 1A. Introducing Spotlight
    • Booklet 1B. Spotlight: Purpose and Value Added
    • Booklet 1C. Spotlight: Basic Concepts
  • Folder 2. Spotlight Guide: Adding Value to Job Descriptions (8 booklets)
  • Folder 3. Spotlight Guide: Adding Value to Recruitment and Selection (7 booklets)
  • Folder 4. Spotlight Guide: Managing Performance and Careers (4 booklets)
  • Folder 5. Spotlight Resources: Toolkit Items.

conference toggle icon open Conferences and Presentations

  • Balnave, N., Barnes, A. and Thorthwaite, L. (2016), 'Trade Union Renewal: Preliminary Findings of a Survey on Trade Unions and Social Media Use', 30th AIRAANZ Conference, Sydney, Australia- NSW.
  • Barnes, A. (2016). 'Labour Transnationalism: Old strategy, new tricks?', 30th AIRAANZ Conference, Sydney, Australia- NSW.
  • Balnave, N. and Barnes, A. (2015), 'Back to Grass Roots: Peak Councils and Community Campaigning', Fighting against war: Peace activism in the twentieth century, 14th Biennial National Labour History Conference, Queen's College, University of Melbourne, 11-13 February.
  • Barnes, A. and Balnave, N. (2015), 'From the Webbs to the web: social media and the struggle for union renewal', Social Media Workshop, Macquarie University, 8 March.
  • Balnave, N. Barnes, A, and Thorthwaite, L. (2014, November). Member-based Organisations and Social Media: Experiences of Trade Unions and Employer Associations. Co-operatives and Mutuals Teaching and Research Conference, Sydney, Australia- NSW. University of Sydney, 19-20 November. (Invited paper)
  • Taksa, L., Barnes, A. and Holley, S. (2014) 'On Borrowed Time: Restructuring, labour hire and its impact on Qantas employees' lives, incomes and security prospects' presented before the 2nd International Conference Reconstructing Fairness: the Contested Terrain of Fairness and Decency at Work, 12 September 2014, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester
  • Barnes, A., Holley, S. and Taksa, L. (2014), 'Permanent insecurity: The relationship between labour hire workers and permanent employees in the aviation industry', 28th AIRAANZ Conference, Melbourne, February. 
  • Thornthwaite, L., Barnes, A. and Balnave, N. (2014), 'The implications of social media for work and employment relations', 28th AIRAANZ Conference, Melbourne, February. 
  • Balnave, N. and Barnes, A. (2014), 'Campaigning in a changing environment', 28th AIRAANZ Conference, Melbourne, February.
  • Barnes, A., Thornthwaite, L. and Balnave, N., (2013), 'Using social media: the experiences of trade unions and employer groups', Work, Employment and Society Conference, Warwick University (UK), September.
  • Barnes, A. and Macmillan, C. (2012), 'Maintaining Union Voice in the Australian University Sector: Union Strategy and the Development of Hybrid Forms of Voice', Symposium on Employee Involvement and Participation, Griffith University, August. 
  • Thornthwaite, L. and Barnes, A. (2012), 'Social Media at Work', 26th AIRAANZ Conference, Gold Coast, February.
  • Barnes, A. and Ingersoll, L. (2009), 'A Spotlight on IR: Media and Union Strategy in Australia', 15th International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA) World Congress, Sydney, August.
  • Baldry, C. and Barnes, A. (2009), 'The Open Plan Academy', 27th International Labour Process Conference, Edinburgh, April.
  • Barnes, A. (2008), 'Implications and potential of union media campaigns', Panel on Industrial Relations: Gaps and Opportunities in the' Rudd Era. 7th Australian Society of Heterodox Economists Conference, Sydney, December.
  • Hall, R. and Barnes, A. (2008), 'Getting from 'Fun' to 'Function': the Functions of, and Attitudes Towards, Managed Fun at Australian Workplaces', 26th International Labour Process Conference, Amsterdam, March.
  • Barnes, A., Junor, A. and Hampson, I. (2007) Beyond emotion: Interactive service work and the skills of women, Paper written for the 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference, Gender, Work and Organisation, Keele University 27-29th June.
  • Ellis, V. and Barnes A. (2007), '(Not) Working Nine to Five: what a way to make a living', 25th International Labour Process Conference, Amsterdam, April.
  • Barnes, A. (2006), 'Resistance and Accommodation in Call Centres: Towards Collective Awareness' in G. Treuren (ed), Emerging Issues in Employment Relations: Proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Adelaide, November.
  • van den Broek, D., Barnes, A. and Townsend, K. (2006), 'Teaming Up: Teams and Resistance In Call Centres', Australian Centre for Research in Employment and Work (ACREW) Conference, 1-19, Prato, Italy, July.
  • Barnes, A. (2005), 'Smooth Operators', in D. Mortimer and G. Stewart (eds), Teaching, Learning and Research in Institutions and Regions - Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Yeppoon, Queensland, November.
  • Hampson, I., Junor, A. and Barnes, A. (2005), 'And Now We Still Don't Have It': Job Evaluation, Poorly Specified Skills and Pay Equity' in D. Mortimer and G. Stewart (eds), Teaching, Learning and Research in Institutions and Regions - Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Yeppoon, Queensland, November.
  • Lyons, M. and Barnes A. (2005), 'The Taming of the Screw? The Employment Relations of Correctional Officers' in D. Mortimer and G. Stewart (eds), Teaching, Learning and Research in Institutions and Regions - Proceedings of the 5th Annual Conference of the Pacific Employment Relations Association, Yeppoon, Queensland, November.
  • Barnes, A. (2004), 'The Impact of the Built Environment on Resistance and Accommodation in Call Centres', 2nd National Call Centre Research Conference, Institute For Regional Studies, Monash University, August.
  • Barnes, A. (2004), 'The Construction of Control: The Impact of the Physical Environment on the Development of Resistance and Accommodation Within Call Centres', 22nd International Labour Process Conference, Amsterdam, April.
  • Barnes, A. (2004), 'The Organisation of Exhaustion', in M. Barry, and P. Brosnan (eds), New Economies: New Industrial Relations - Proceedings of the 18th AIRAANZ Conference, Volume 2 – Refereed Papers, Noosa, 3-6 February, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Barnes, A. (2003), 'Statistics and Self: Technology, Resistance and Accommodation in Call Centres', Call Centre Research Conference Proceedings, Newcastle, 7 November, Employment Studies Centre, University of Newcastle.
  • Barnes, A. and Fieldes, A. (2000), "Monday I've Got Friday On My Mind" - Working Time in the Hospitality Industry', in J. Burgess and G. Strachan, Research on Work, Employment and Industrial Relations 2000 – Proceedings of the 14th AIRAANZ Conference, Volume 1 – Refereed Papers, Noosa, February 2000, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand.

Invited Papers/Presentations

  • 'Union campaigning in a changing environment', Employment Relations symposium, University of Western Sydney, 28 November 2013 (with Nikki Balnave). 
  • "All that's solid melts into air": impact of labour hire on permanent work in aviation', Flying high, flying low? Exploring research opportunities in the aviation sector, Inaugural Aviation Symposium: 29 November 2013 (with Sasha Holley and Lucy Taksa). 
  • 'The Plight of Hybrid Employee Voice in the Australian University Sector', : Contemporary Trends, New Critical Perspectives, Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics, Symposium on Working in Australia, Macquarie University, 19-20 February, 2013 (with Craig McMillan). 
  • Paper: 'Unions and Employer Associations', in panel 'Unions and Employers: New Roles and Relations?', 31March – 1 April, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and University of Sydney Business School, Work and Employment Relations in Australia: An Era of Change, A symposium in honour of Professor Russell Lansbury, 2011.
  • "Better services for a better state",  Work and  Employment  Relations in Australia: An Era of Change', Symposium in honour of Professor Russell Lansbury, Academy of Social Sciences, Sydney  University, 2011
  •  'Smooth Operators: misbehaviour and resistance in call centres', Workplace (Mis)Behaviour – cause and response, Macquarie  University Symposium, 2010
  • Macquarie University Sociology Seminar Series, Semester 2, 2006
'The WorkChoices Battle: is the Union Campaign succeeding? Three Views from the University and the Labour Movement', with Sally McManus, Secretary, Australian Services Union NSW and Alison Peters, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Unions NSW.
  • University of Western Sydney Rising Star Seminar Series, 2006
Presentation to UWS Alumni: 'Negotiating Australian Workplace Agreements in Your Early Career'.
  • National Tertiary Education Union, University of Western Sydney, 2007

    'WorkChoices and the tertiary education sector' with John Robertson, Secretary, Unions NSW.

Affiliations / activities

Professional Affiliations

  • Executive committee member of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ, elected 2014).
  • Editorial Committee member of The Economic and Labour Relations Review

Professional Activities

Alison serves on various committees at Macquarie University such as the Department of Marketing and Management Research Committee. She has recently been elected to the   Macquarie University Consultative Committee.

Editorial Duties

  • Guest co-editor (with Prof Raymond Markey), (2015) Economic and Labour Relations Review, 26 (4), special edition arising from 20th anniversary of Organising works symposium (Organised in conjunction with Unions NSW and the Australian Council of Trade Unions Organising Centre) held at Unions New South Wales.

phd supervision toggle icon open PhD Student Supervision

  • Evans Graham; 'The Role of Statutory Employment Arrangements in Influencing Job Satisfaction in the Australian Financial Sector" (Principal Supervisor Dr. Alison Barnes and Associate Supervisor, Dr. Con KorKofingas)
  • Alfred Presbitero; 'Testing the generalisability of an Australian model of organisational development in the collectivist culture of the Philippines'.(Principal Supervisor, Dr. Alison Barnes and Associate Supervisor Dr. Peter Langford)
  • Yousef Alnamlah; 'An Examination of Muslim Religious Practices in the workplace and their implications for Management' (Principal Supervisor Prof. Lucy Taksa and Associate Supervisor, Dr. Alison Barnes)

honours supervision toggle icon open Honours Supervision

  • Kendall Strachan - 2007 2nd Class, Div 1 - Swimming in Unknown Waters: Exploring the Nature of the Relationship between Coach and Athlete within the Australian Swimming Industry (Principal Supervisor Dr Nikki Balnave and Associate Supervisor, Dr. Alison Barnes)

Media Mentions

Research Interests

  • Workplace architecture and the built environment
  • Trade union strategy 
  • Employee resistance, misbehaviour and accommodation

Teaching Interests

Alison has taught human resource management, industrial relations, and management at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Teaching and Lecturing

2010

  • Lecturer and Tutor, HRM307 Strategic International Human Resource Management (undergraduate course) MQ

2009

  • Lecturer, Managing People at Work (undergraduate course), Session 1 and 2, UWS;
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Contemporary Issues in Employment Relations (postgraduate course), Session 1, UWS;
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Workplace Management Dynamics (postgraduate course), Quarter 3, UWS.

2006-07

  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Contemporary Issues in Employment Relations (postgraduate course), Session 1, UWS;
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Dynamics of Workplace Management (postgraduate course), Session 1 & 2, UWS.

2005

  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Contemporary Issues in Employment Relations (postgraduate course), Session 1, UWS;
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Dynamics of Workplace Management (postgraduate course), Session 1 & 2, UWS;
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Advanced Seminar Series (honours course), Session 1, UWS;
  • Tutor, Managing People at Work (undergraduate course), Session 1, UWS.

2004

  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Advanced Seminar Series (undergraduate course), Session 2, UWS;
  • Lecturer, Managing People at Work (undergraduate course), Session 2, UWS;
  • Tutor, Foundations of Management (undergraduate course), Session 1, University of Sydney.

Editorial Duties

  • Guest co-editor (with Prof George Lafferty), Economic and Labour Relations Review, special edition arising from Fair Work Act Symposium held at UNSW, August 2009 (forthcoming).
  • Guest co-editor (with Prof George Lafferty),International Journal of Employment Studies, special edition arising from AIRAANZ, February 2010 (forthcoming).
  • Co-editor (with George Lafferty and Nicola Balnave) the proceedings from the 24th  annual conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ).

Completed Postgraduate Research Students

  • Eun-Kyung Seo; 'Impact of Cultural Values and Equity Sensitivity on Employees' Perceptions of Workplace Equity, Job Satisfaction, Commitment and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour ' Master of Philosophy of Human Resource Management (Macquarie University 2012, Associate Supervisor Cynthia Webster)
  • Arif Nehan; 'Workplace Spirituality: A Case Study of a Taxi Cab Company' Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods (Sole Supervisor)