As the public purpose sector reflects on the past three years, overwhelmingly, the topics of fatigue, burnout, productivity, mental health and wellbeing keep getting raised. In partnership with IPAA Victoria’s People and Culture CoP, IPAA Victoria has launched a new content series dedicated to wellbeing. The series will reflect on this period of uncertainty, consider what still might need to change when it comes to wellbeing and explore the components of an open, positive and empowering workplace.
In a two-part episode on our Public Sector Perspectives podcast, IPAA Victoria met with two leading Australian researchers, Professor Deborah Blackman and Dr Fiona Buick, who both work with the Public Sector Research Group at the University of New South Wales (Canberra).
Some of the research that Deborah and Fiona mentioned in the show:
Motivation & Lifestyle: The Key To A Flourishing Life – 17 minute presentation by Professor Richard M. Ryan, one of the leading international experts on motivational research and co-developer of Self-Determination Theory
Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being – influential paper by Professor Richard Ryan and Professor Edward Deci
Life skills that help you hold onto wellbeing and What does the latest research show about happiness? – two minute presentations by Professor Carol Ryff
Thinking In Systems by Donella Meadows (Chapter 5 is highly recommended by Professor Blackman)
Professor Deborah Blackman Deborah's research interests include Public Sector Policy Implementation, Systems Level change, Employee Performance Management, and Soft Knowledge Management. Deborah researches knowledge transfer in a range of applied, real world contexts. Her primary interest is using philosophical and systems explanations to understand why things do not work when theory implies that they should.
From these enhanced understandings, new theories and applications can be developed to support the implementation of change or reform. The common theme of her work is developing effective knowledge acquisition and transfer in order to improve organisational effectiveness. Current research projects include: hidden value in a system; understanding the impact of system complexity on effective long-term crisis recovery, maximising the value of secondments, and how to create more effective performance management conversations.In 2021 she coedited the book: Blackman D.(ed.), 2022, Handbook on Performance Management in the Public Sector, Edward Elgar.
Dr Fiona Buick Fiona Buick is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW, Canberra (Australia). Fiona’s research focuses on how to build capacity to achieve desired outcomes in the public sector, with specific emphasis on the role of human resource management, organisational culture and middle managers. Fiona was recently the lead researcher on the project “Flexible Working in the Australian Capital Territory Public Service”, and the “Building effective system-wide disability research capacity in Australia: Where are we now and how do we get to where we need to be?” research projects.
Previous projects have explored well-being within the Australian Public Service (APS), structural change in the APS, management capability in the Australian Public Sector, the role of performance management in enabling high performance in the APS, and the role of organisational culture on inter-organizational working in the APS.
Public Sector Perspectives is a podcast produced by IPAA Victoria, the professional association for people who work in and with the public purpose sector in Victoria.