Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations research stories

Mapping social investment, environment, activities and outcomes at Asia Pulp and Paper (APP)

Investigators: Prof. Nava Subramaniam, Dr. Fara Azmat, Dr. Yuka Fujimoto and Mr. Matthew Tukaki (Sustain Group)


Moving from supplier to supplier of choice in Australian manufacturing networks

Investigators: This project is a joint collaboration between Dr Samir Gupta (Monash University), Professor Michael Jay Polonsky (Deakin University), and Veolia Environmental Services

Project summary: This project aims to investigate how competency-based value co-creation evolves within integrated supply relationships that are where external firms provide organisational solutions rather than transactional type exchanges. The research involves interviewing multiple decision makers in supply relationships across approximately 20 large organisations across Australia involved in aluminium production, cement manufacturing, glass manufacturing, steel production and energy generation. We will be examining heavy industrial supply relationships related to complex services such as refractories (i.e. resurfacing blast furnaces) and industrial services (associated with high pressure water cleaning, vacuum trucks, waste removal, etc.), which are frequently critical path activities (i.e. essential for the operation of the client firm). In addition the project interviews managers of the supply firm that are responsible for the ongoing operation and development of supplier relationships

The research focuses on the ways that firms collaborate to create value (co-creation) identifying the critical factors that facilitated and inhibit this process from both the supplier and customer perspective. Effective co-creation will result in sustainable long term organisational relationships, thus creating competitive advantage for firms better able to operate collaboratively.

A study of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malaysia

Investigators: Prof. Doren Chadee and Dr. Banjo Roxas

Project summary: This study investigates the environmental sustainability strategies and practices of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malaysia. This study examines the nature, extent, barriers and facilitators of sustainable business strategies and practices of firms in order to mitigate the negative effects of business operations on the natural environment. This study involves a large-scale survey of 600 owners-managers of business enterprises in the manufacturing and service sectors in Malaysia. The study addresses important theoretical and empirical research gaps about environmental sustainability in small firms in a developing country setting by contributing to the debates about climate change and the role of government, business and industries in environmental sustainability.

Sustainability practices in the Indian hotel sector

Investigator: Dr. Ambika Zutshi


The Harvest Trail: Employment and workplace health and safety amongst international backpackers working in the horticultural sector

Investigator: Dr. Elsa Underhill

Project Summary: This project aims to develop an understanding of the employment and occupational health and safety (OHS) experience of international backpackers performing harvesting work in Victoria and Tasmania. International backpackers are important in the Australian 'guest worker' labour market, particularly horticulture where there is heavy reliance on these workers to undertake harvesting work. Such work is typically poorly paid and performed under arduous conditions. It is unattractive to local labour, creating labour scarcity around picking perishable goods. In 2005, the Australian government introduced a scheme known as 'The Harvest Trail' to encourage backpackers into the horticulture sector. The scheme offers backpackers a strong inducement by giving an automatic one year extension on their working visa in return for 88 days of harvesting work performed during their first year in Australia. At first glance the scheme appears to be a creative win-win situation. However, agriculture is the most hazardous of all industries in Australia, and the OHS protection offered to transient labour more generally is often poor. This study seeks to document backpackers' OHS and employment experience, and develop recommendations upon how the problems they encounter may be overcome. The study involves multiple methods to reach workers who are itinerant and difficult to access. These include focus groups and semi - structured interviews with a range of stakeholders: farmers, contractors, government OHS agencies, and unions in regional areas; and an online survey of international backpackers working in horticultural. CSaRO has provided Dr. Underhill, a member of the 'Employee Health and Well-Being' cluster of CSaRO, with a grant to carry out the online survey segment of this research project.

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