About this Research Project

The Centre for Workplace Leadership is all about bridging the gap between theory, research and practice to deliver knowledge that works. To ensure the knowledge really does work we conduct research in real-world situations using case studies to demonstrate how effective leadership practices can drive productivity and to highlight organisations demonstrating exemplary workplace leadership. The learnings from these case studies can then be applied to other organisations.

“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” – Albert Einstein

The case studies

In 2014, we conducted six demonstration case studies with Australian manufacturing SMEs as part of the High Performance Manufacturing Workplaces Study, commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Industry. The best-practice cases in this study demonstrated that High Performance Work Practices (HPWPs) can be tailored to suit the individual workplace context, and no one system looks the same.

For the 2015 Gender Equality Strategy Project, commissioned by the Department of Employment, we completed a series of ten case studies to examine how organisations could be supported to take a more sustainable approach to gender equality. Each case study highlighted a particular issue that can be applied to a range of workplaces. The observations from the case studies provide general direction for other organisations interested in pursuing a more long-term strategic approach to gender equality.

In 2016, the Centre produced a range of case studies as part of the Making Flexibility Work Project, investigating organisations with successful flexible work arrangements (FWA). This project was initiated following the Australian Government’s new legislation under the Fair Work Act to encourage formal flexible workplace strategies and the ‘right to request’ FWA in certain circumstances. The cases look at how a variety of organisations across different industries have introduced FWAs.

In addition to the above we have also conducted cases on individual organisations that are doing things differently, for example, Atlassian’s values led culture and Marque Lawyers’ unconventional approach to practising law.

Why it matters

At the Centre, we are dedicated to producing research and leadership development that is practical, relevant and accessible to Australian managers and organisations across all industries, regions and workplace sizes. Case studies are an invaluable tool in research to help see how theories can be applied in the real-world situations.

In practical terms, our case studies aim to show how effective leadership practices across a range of issues can drive productivity. We hope you find case studies to help you in your workplace.


If you would like to find out more, or if you are interested in having the Centre for Workplace Leadership study your workplace, please contact us.


Team Members

Avatar of Antonia Mochan Antonia Mochan
Leadershift Project Manager
Avatar of Dr Deborah Towns Dr Deborah Towns
Research Associate
Avatar of Jacob Workman Jacob Workman
Manager, Education and Programs (2014-2016)
Avatar of Dr Jesse E. Olsen Dr Jesse E. Olsen
Senior Research Fellow
Avatar of Katriina Tahka Katriina Tahka
Avatar of Laura Good Laura Good
Avatar of Sally Orpin Sally Orpin
Communications and Marketing Officer (2015-2016)
Avatar of Simon Corcoran Simon Corcoran

Partner Organisations

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  • Diversity Partners Logo


Find Out More

Avatar of Sally Orpin
Avatar of Dr Jesse E. Olsen