MCom (research), PhD
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Karin has taught a number of units for the School of Management, primarily in the areas of industrial relations and human resource management. She has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate units, and has been involved in the School of Management's international programme in China. Karin's current teaching responsibilities include the following units:
*Note: change of surname from Dowling October 2011
Karin has had a varied professional career, bringing a strong background in practice to her research and teaching. During her career, Karin has worked with the labour movement, as a small business owner/ manager and most recently as a consultant to small business in Tasmania. She was a senior trade union official for more than ten years, negotiating, advocating and organising with the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (Victoria), Community and Public Sector Union (SPSF Branch Victoria), Health and Community Services Union (Tasmania) and the National Tertiary Education Union (Tasmania). Karin successfully started and managed two small businesses in the Tasmanian construction industry and, since transitioning to academia, has continued to consult to business and government on a project basis in the areas of HR, IR and business development.
Karin's doctoral research employed Classic (Glaserian) Grounded Theory to investigate how male MNC subsidiary employees evaluate the work-life interface. The substantive theory that emerged from this study challenges prevailing time and resource-based definitions of the work-life construct and places an episode-centred process of organisational identification (OID) at the heart of employee experience.
She is currently collaborating with colleagues at the University of Tasmania on an institutional grant funded project that integrates psychological and philosophical perspectives on understanding organisational change and justice. In response to recent calls for more qualitative research in this field (cf. Oliver, Statler & Roos 2010), Karin is also exploring the ethical dimensions of the dynamic, processual, and temporal activities associated with organisational identity. This area of inquiry is particularly focussed on the processes of, and interaction between, identity formation at the individual, organisational and community levels.
Karin is also currently collaborating with Professor David Adams of the Australian Innovation Research Centre (AIRC) on a project investigating the potential social impact of economic diversification in Tasmania. This project investigates a range of questions including the social impact of economic diversification in regional areas, the role of community engagement in the process, issues of social inclusion and community identity that arise from economic diversification and the potential social capital requirements of communities transitioning to new industry sectors.
Karin will be working with Emeritus Professor Frank Burchill of Keele University (UK) on research reviewing the implications of the Australian Fair Work Act for future developments in joint partnership and consultation. A component of this work is a comparison of partnership programmes in the UK and Australia, supplemented by an analysis of the broader Australian labour relations context and opportunities for new approaches to consultation.
Most recently, Karin has joined Dr Natalie Brown (TILT) as co-researcher on a project designed to investigate challenges, barriers, and enablers to academic staff moving into the HELT research area. It aims to provide insights into how academics engaging in HELT can be better supported as they negotiate challenges to their disciplinary identities.
Potential postgraduate research candidates and scholars with interests in these or related areas of study are encouraged to contact Karin to discuss opportunities for supervision and/or research collaboration.
Authorised by the Head of School, Management
6 March, 2013