Sarah Bankins



Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I'm a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, at Macquarie University. I completed my PhD at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, focusing on the dynamics of psychological contracting at work.

Before becoming an academic, I worked in various human resource/organisational development roles in the Queensland public sector. This included managing graduate programs, succession management, recruitment and selection, workforce diversity management, managing mentoring and networking programs, and facilitating training and development workshops for staff from graduate through to more senior management levels.

My industry background means I always aim for my research to have impact: for scholarship (to contribute to a body of knowledge); and for the people and organisations I'm researching (to help them understand something better or do something better).

Research interests

My research focuses on understanding how people can have meaningful and positive experiences at work.

I currently focus on how people engage with sophisticated technologies in the workplace. What does it mean for us to work with artificially intelligent technologies? How will jobs change, how will work change, how will our skills change? How do people respond to AI making decisions that impact them, in contexts including human resource management and healthcare? This work also takes an ethical focus to understand how organisations can implement AI ethically and responsibly to best meet the interests of multiple stakeholders.

Areas of research expertise (existing and emerging):

  • Psychological contracts (the employee-employer relationship)
  • Artificial intelligence in the workplace
  • Ethical and responsible AI
  • Collaborative and responsible innovation

Areas of methodological expertise

  • Quantitative (longitudinal surveys, experiments)
  • Qualitative (interviews, case study, narrative)
  • Action research

Research student supervision

Another exciting part of being an academic is the chance to work with the 'next generation' of researchers. I look to work with higher degree research (HDR) candidates who are curious, questioning, willing to learn, grow and adapt, and have a passion for the research they are looking to undertake. What else will sustain you over the three years of your research project?! I also seek candidates who are willing and able to meaningfully engage with the industry and sector partners they collaborate with in their research. As academics, our research needs to have impact and for management scholars this often means working closely with our partner research sites to, at the very least, feed back what it is that we are learning about their practices to help them achieve their goals. I have been humbled to be awarded for excellence in higher degree research student supervision.


What I love to research I am also fortunate to teach. In my courses my aim is always to challenge my students to become 'sharper' thinkers: to be critical, analytical, ethical and evidence-based management practitioners and leaders in whatever post-university path they take. I've taught courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, across traditional and blended learning formats, in the areas of organisational behaviour (leadership, organisational structure and design, introductory management), human resource management (diversity management, industrial relations) and innovation (managing people for innovation). It has been an honour to be awarded for excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Queensland University of Technology

B. Business / B. Economics, The University of Queensland

Graduate Certificate in the Practice of Tertiary Teaching, University of Newcastle

External positions

Associate Editor - Group and Organization Management

1 Jul 2020 → …


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