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Graham Evans

First Name: Graham
Surname: Evans
Department Dept of Marketing and Management
Supervisor(s): Professor Paul Gollan , Dr Alison Barnes

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Paper Title

Do Individual Statutory Agreements promote flexibility in Australian industrial relations?

Abstract

Previous research has been mixed in its findings of whether Individual Statutory Agreements (ISAs) promote or repress levels of flexibility for workers and employers. However, very little research has been produced on the impact on workplace flexibility of the current form of ISA available under the Fair Work Act 2009, Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs). For this reason, it is intended to re-examine the theoretical approach of John Budd of the need for industrial relations systems to balance the competing needs of efficiency, equity and voice in order to be optimally sustainable. While the theoretically paradigm Budd attempts to draw is based on his studies of global examples, including the Australian IR system, much is generalised and in need of much more specific testing and re-examination The research seeks to achieve its aims by focusing on the respective types of flexibility sought by workers and their managers who are working on both SIAs (AWAs and IFAs) as well as collective instruments (Awards and Enterprise Agreements). Through a mix of survey instruments, workshops and case studies, it is proposed to test the model of Budd published in Employment with a Human Face: Balancing Efficiency, Equity and Voice (2004) and expand on this to develop a theoretical model within the Australian context with specific reference to the impact of SIAs. Such a theoretical model would seek to explain if economic concepts of labour flexibility can accurately predict the types of flexibility sought at the workplace by Australian workers and their managers.