About this Research Project




Visit the new website: www.sal.workplaceleadership.com.au

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne is undertaking the Study of Australian Leadership (SAL).

Evidence linking the quality of leadership to organisational performance has grown significantly since the turn of the century and now demands a re-evaluation of leadership capability in the Australian context. SAL will be the first such study in Australia since 1995 (Karpin Report), and one of the largest studies of its kind in the world.

Through SAL we seek to understand current and future challenges facing Australian organisations, and the capacity of their leaders to meet these challenges. The findings will fill an important gap in our understanding of how leadership can influence productivity, innovation and Australia’s long-term competitiveness. The results will establish a benchmark for effective leadership and inform future Australian government policy.


Vital insights

SAL will collect the insights and experiences of senior managers, front line managers and employees from 2,500 workplaces across Australia.

It will answer:

  • What makes an effective leader?
  • How can Australian leadership and management be improved?
  • What are the links between management capability and workplace performance?



For more information on participation, please read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.


This project has received clearance from the University of Melbourne Human Ethics Committee. HREC no: 1442681

Australian Government Statistical Clearing House Approval Number: 02417 – 02


Team Members

Avatar of Prof Peter Gahan Prof Peter Gahan
Research Associate
Avatar of Angus McDonald Angus McDonald
Research Manager (2014-2016)

Project Leaders

Avatar of Prof Peter Gahan
Research Associate
Avatar of Angus McDonald
Research Manager (2014-2016)

SAL will shape the way Australian governments address business challenges faced by leaders for years to come.

Avatar of Professor Peter Gahan
University of Melbourne


Why should I take part in the study?

By taking part in the Study, your insights will benefit leaders across all Australian organisations. It is paramount that the results represent all industries and workplaces, which is why your contribution is so important. Conclusions drawn from the Study will be of great significance to Australian organisations at a time of considerable change and uncertainty about the future. Whether you are a managing director or frontline supervisor, participating in this study will also be a useful way to reflect on your leadership capability and your future as a leader and manager.

What’s in it for me?

All senior manager respondents will receive first access to the findings. If your organisation participates in all components of the Study you will:

  • Receive a customised report that benchmarks your organisation against other similar organisations; and
  • Go into a draw to win management training at the University of Melbourne.

As thanks for their time, employees who complete the survey will go into a draw for one of 10 $1000 VISA pre-paid gift cards. If they complete the survey within one week they will also go into the draw to win an extra $500 VISA pre-paid gift card. There is a total of $15,000 to be won.

What is involved?

The research team will be collecting insights from:

  • Managers
    During a short telephone interview questions will focus on organisational structure, operating environment, challenges and approaches to leadership and innovation, and business practices that relate to organisational performance.
  • Employees
    Through the completion of an online (or paper) questionnaire, questions will focus on understanding the culture and practices of their workplace.

We estimate that each response will take no more than 20-25 minutes.

Whilst your contribution is important to the Study, it is voluntary.

Is the information I provide safe and confidential?

Yes, All research is conducted in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles. Any information you provide will remain confidential, used for the specific purposes of this research, and reported ensuring individuals and organisations are not identified.

The research has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Ethics Committee. HREC no: 1442681

Visit the following links for more information, Managers or Employees

Who is carrying out the survey?

The Social Research Centre has been contracted to collect information for this study.

The Social Research Centre is an independent and fully accredited research company who specialise in undertaking social policy research on behalf of academic institutions and government organisations. You can find out more here: http://www.srcentre.com.au/

Who can participate in SAL?

An invitation pack has been sent out to a selection of Australian businesses. If you have been selected, a representative will contact you shortly to schedule an interview. By participating in the study you will help to ensure that this study is as accurate and as informative as possible, and is representative of all Australian workplaces.

Funding Partner

  • Department of Employment Logo


Supported By

  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Logo
  • Australian Industry Group Logo
  • Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce Logo
  • Consult Australia Logo
  • Master Builders Australia Logo


Find Out More

Avatar of Prof Peter Gahan
Avatar of Angus McDonald