The Quality Jobs and Quality Care Project

Quality jobs and quality care


To assist aged care providers to improve job quality with work practices, that will not only enhance the lives of their workers, but also the older Australians they care for.

About the project

Care workers are highly valued by the people they care for and there is strong demand for their services. Care workers constitute a low-paid, part-time, female workforce; workers report satisfaction with their jobs but dissatisfaction with their pay, work demands, and work hours. more...

Finding a way to improve the work practices and job quality of the people who care for our older Australians is, therefore, imperative for a number of reasons. First, it has a decided impact on the lives of these individuals and their families. But it also has an effect on the sustainability of this burgeoning industry, as it struggles to attract care workers to cover the needs of an ageing society. Ultimately, however, if we can improve the workplace for care workers, they will be able to create a happier, healthier and more fulfilling situation for the people they care for at home, in the community, or in residential care.

To find out more and to download our relevant publications, visit the project website.


Chief investigators:  Professor Sara Charlesworth and Associate Professor Deb King (Flinders University).
Project Leader: Jacquie Smith
Research Fellow: Sue Jarrad
Senior Research Fellow: Natalie Skinner
Funding source: 2013-2016 grant under the 2013 Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants Fund, Department of Health.
Industry partners: Helping Hand in SA, Brightwater Care Group in WA, Hammond Care in NSW and United Voice.


Behind the Scenes


To explore the paradigm shifts and sticking points of diversity management.

About the project

Employing a diverse workforce can be very positive for an organisation, leading people to be more engaged and perform better. In a previous research project on the topic, Making Diversity Work, the difference between whether diversity is an asset or a liability largely hinged on how the situation was managed. In this follow-up, we go ‘behind the scenes’ to show how you can initiate diversity and manage it positively to reap the rewards. more...

First, the positive factors that can motivate an organisation to adopt a more diverse workforce will be examined, whether they’re driven internally (such as the mindset of the leaders) or externally (such as regulatory forces).

In the second stage, the negative forces will be investigated: the internal inertia and group resistance that can sometimes create ‘sticking points’.

The third stage will consider what role a ‘champion’ can play by promoting the policies and practices that will help shift the paradigm.

To find out more about this project, read the product information sheet here or email Professor Carol Kulik (carol.kulik@unisa.edu.au) or Professor Isabel Metz (i.metz@mbs.edu).


Chief Investigators: Professor Carol Kulik (School of Management) and Professor Isabel Metz (Melbourne Business School).
Industry partners: The 100% Project and the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable.


Changing Contexts: Impacts on Organisations, Teams, Employees and Clients


To examine how organisations, teams and individuals should adapt to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.

About the project

It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. But there is another: the inability of organisations to cope with it. Indeed, global surveys reveal that about 70% of change initiatives fail. And that includes even the most advanced, large-scale change models because human resource management practices and the impact of the social context are usually not adequately considered. more...

Context is everything. Current changes in human resource management practices, the composition of teams and the pressures of the daily work environment will be investigated in this three-year project funded by an Australian Research Council grant.

Changes in context be examined at multiple levels to determine how they impacts an organisation’s processes and effectiveness, the adaptability and performance of teams, the wellbeing and performance of its employees, and, ultimately, client service.

The findings can help organisations, managers and employees understand the process and implications of various workplace changes better, enabling them to manage change to produce more positive outcomes.


Chief investigator: Professor Cheri Ostroff.