Dr John Buchanan
14 July 2010 08:24:15
Qualifications: BA (Hons), LLB, Grad Dip Econ (ANU), PhD (Syd)
Prior to his appointment at the WRC (acirrt), John was employed for seven years in the Australian Public Service. During this period he worked on issues as diverse as public sector job creation and local employment initiatives, the employment impact of cuts in barrier protection and labour dimensions of microeconomic reform. Between 1988 and 1991 he was part of the team that undertook the first Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (AWIRS).
His last position on the APS was as Director, Policy Research, in the Commonwealth Department of Industrial Relations. John also worked briefly for the trade union movement as a researcher examining the issue of performance pay amongst white collar, public sector employees.
Since joining the WRC John has lead a large number of research teams that have examined a wide range of issues concerned with the changing nature of work.
Until recently his major research interests has been the demise of the classical wage earner model of employment and the role of the state in nurturing new forms of multi-employer co-ordination to promote both efficiency and fairness in the labour market. Building on this research, he is now devoting special attention to the evolution of the labour contract, working life transitions and the dynamics of workforce development.
He was one of the authors of Workplace Research Centre’s (then known as acirrt) 1999 book, Australia at work: just managing? And one of the co-authors of Fragmented Futures: New Challenges in Working Life published by Federation Press in 2003. These texts provide an overview of the restructuring of work in Australia since the 1970s. His most recently co-authored book is Safety in Numbers: Nurse-patient ratios and the future of health care, published by Cornell University Press in 2008.