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Mark Stuart

This chapter reviews the interests that may be served and the benefits that may accrue from training and development for different stakeholders. It often appears that training and development serve common interests and deliver benefits for all. Employees, citizens, employers, representative bodies (such as unions) and the state all have an interest in training and development and the acquisition and deployment of skills. Heavily influenced by the tenets of human capital theory, policy discourse largely assumes that different parties will be willing to invest in training and development for clearly derived gains. For the state, human capital formation contributes to economic growth, prosperity, social inclusion and community cohesion. For employers, investment in training contributes to the efficiency, adaptability and commitment of their human resources and, ultimately, an organisation’s competitive position. For individuals, training, learning and the acquisition of skills can improve job prospects, career progression and lifetime earnings. These assumptions are interrogated.

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Mark Stuart and Miguel Martínez Lucio

Open access

Simon Joyce and Mark Stuart

To date, an over-emphasis of control in platform work research has led to platform worker resistance being correspondingly downplayed and under-theorised. This chapter aims to redress the balance. Through an application of labour process theory, we demonstrate that patterns of platform worker resistance are linked to particular platform management methods of control. Theoretically, we argue that the control-resistance dynamic within capitalist labour processes means that specific management control measures are likely to generate corresponding patterns of worker resistance. Empirically, we show how patterns of platform worker resistance are driven and shaped in response to particular aspects of platform control methods. Consequently, labour process theory provides an explanation for the nature and dynamics of platform worker resistance, as well as its scale and persistence.

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Simon Joyce and Mark Stuart

This chapter examines the contrasting approaches of mainstream and grassroots unions to organising platform workers. The advent of platform work posed a series of challenges to trade unions, and many commentators predicted that organising such workers would be impossible. Nevertheless, collective organisation has grown rapidly among platform workers - although, often outside established, mainstream trade unions. Instead, a wave of radical, grassroots unions have made the running with impressive energy, determination and "organisational creativity" (Vandaele 2021). Where mainstream unions have had success, it has tended to be where platform workers have legal status as employees. Yet, it is still early days, with union organisation still evolving. We argue that if mainstream unions are to make greater progress in organising platform workers - as with other types of precarious employment - it will require a process of learning from the organisational innovations and methods of grassroots unions.

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Ioulia Bessa, Chris Forde and Mark Stuart

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Greg Hearn, Stuart Cunningham, Marion McCutcheon and Mark David Ryan

Is the creative economy only an urban phenomenon? Creative employment data and Gross Regional Productivity (GRP) were analysed for 487 local government areas (LGAs) in Australia. Total creative employment correlates strongly with GRP for all categories of creative occupation. Creative intensity – that is, the number of creatives relative to total employment – increases with size of GRP, except in the visual arts. However, there are differences in regions varying according to population, GRP and remoteness. The creative intensity of digital and marketing occupations correlates with GRP across all regions, excluding very remote areas. Creative intensity of media, art and architecture occupations has a more diverse relationship with GRP across Australia. These empirical results are exemplified via qualitative case studies of three diverse LGAs. In the future, there may be surprising niche opportunities for non-urban creative work, but in general, growing LGAs are more prospective.