Going to a new place: Rethinking work in the 21st century

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In her contribution on international work and management, labour geographer Susan McGrath-Champ describes the experience of an expatriate manager setting up a plant in China as ‘going to a new place’: an abrupt and challenging shift in experience that is at once cultural and spatial, driven by the forces reshaping international capital and work organisation. Rethinking Work argues that work researchers must also explore new territory – engaging with challenging analytical categories to explain the rapidly evolving and multi-dimensional realm of 21st-century work. The multidisciplinary nature of Work and Organisational Studies (WOS) at the University of Sydney has stimulated an innovative analysis of work, industrial relations, human resource management, organisations and management. Rethinking Work is a product of this diverse and collaborative research environment. Drawing on expertise in strategic management, discourse and narrative analysis, organisational theory, labour and business history, labour geography and the study of unions, gender and human resource management, the contributors reject a narrowly conceived approach to the study of work and employment relations. Work and workplace issues must be sensitive to the historical and contemporary context of management decision-making and organisational behaviour if they are adequately to explain and understand the internal and external forces that drive action and choice. Rethinking Work reflects recent changes within the areas of industrial relations, human resource management and organisation studies. Many of the contributors formerly worked in the Department of Industrial Relations, established by pioneering industrial relations academic Kingsley Laffer in 1953.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking work
Subtitle of host publicationTime, space and discourse
EditorsMark Hearn, Grant Michelson
Place of PublicationCambridge; Melbourne
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780511814624
ISBN (Print)0521617596, 9780521617598
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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