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Centre for Transformative Work Design
Innovative research. Informed leaders. Inspired workers.

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Good work design makes life better

Good work design means workers have moderate demands (e.g.,
reasonable work loads) combined with positive aspects of work such as job autonomy, social contact, and task identity.


Our vision in the Centre is to transform work, through work design, to
create better lives for workers, better results for organisations, and better outcomes for all in society.

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Key Research Streams

1. Future work challenges

What is the role of work design in delivering the benefits (or mitigating against the detriments) of radical change occurring in work and society?

2. How work design transforms individuals

What is the role of work design in accelerating individual learning and development, including enhancing brain plasticity and preventing cognitive decline? Which work designs optimize psychological growth across the lifespan?

3. How does work design transform teams and organisations?

How can work design enable coordinated agility within and across
teams to achieve teams that are both efficient and innovative?


4. The antecedents of good work design

How do we achieve good work designs in organisations? What
knowledge, skills, and attitutes do stakeholders need to actively
design good work?


5. Organisations and the mature workforce

Against the backdrop of an aging workforce, what work designs and
cultures support attract and retain mature workers?


6. Healthy Work

How does work design affect employees’ mental health, work stress,
and well-being, both in the short term and in the longer term?

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Research spotlight: The dull job effect

Our new research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (2019) has found that managers and professional employees with dull and boring jobs are more likely to design jobs for their colleagues that are:

  • Demotivating

  • Disengaging

  • Low Skill

  • Repetitive


A series of three studies assessed how people design jobs for others as well as how their personal backgrounds contributed to these decisions.


A key insight suggested that individuals who designed poor jobs were more likely to lack autonomy in their own role.


This research suggests that poor work design does not happen in isolation, rather, it can create a ripple effect. If organisations wish to remain innovative, agile and high performing, it’s critical they equip themselves and their managers with the tools to design better work.

Centre Director

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Sharon Parker

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