The Quality of Jobs: Theoretical Reflections and a Practical Proposal


The Quality of Jobs: Theoretical Reflections and a Practical Proposal

Conference Room, Woodward Conference Centre
185 Pelham Street


The quality of jobs has become a major interest in policy as well as academic debates. Much is now known about its characteristics, patterns and determinants. But two issues now require attention. The first is the relationship between job quality and deeper sets of interests. Just what elements of a job do people value and why, and to what extent is a good job for one person a cost for another? These questions will be discussed in relation to the idea of capabilities. The second issue is how job quality might be improved. Many possible levers have been identified but these tend to operate at the level of a whole country. Specifics at the level of the firm are less clear. The small firm, which accounts for a large proportion of private sector employment, has been neglected. Using the discussion of interests, different types of small firm will be identified, leading to different priorities in relation to job quality and different resulting policy implications.

This symposium was developed jointly by the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne, and Monash Business School, Monash University, to recognise and highlight the outstanding contribution to industrial relations by Professor Emeritus Joe Isaac AO, FASSA. He has long been one of Australia’s most distinguished scholars and practitioners in the broad field of workplace relations.


  • Professor Paul Edwards
    Professor Paul Edwards, University of Birmingham