(List #102)5 Ways Business Schools Are Exploring The Future of Work

How business schools are shaping the discussions on what work will look like in the future, and why this matters

(List #102)5 Ways Business Schools Are Exploring The Future of Work
Photo by Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

This week, List explores how business schools are shaping the discussions on what work will look like in the future, and why this matters.

1.         The Changing Workplace

Work.Work.Work is a podcast about the modern workplace that launched in 2023 at Melbourne Business School in Australia. The first season examines the legacy effects of the pandemic on the way people are working today, featuring experts and everyday Australians in each episode. For example, episode two, Sweatpants. Check! Half-mullet. Check!: The casualisation of workwear in the age of remote working, explores the post-pandemic definition of professional workplace attire and how this has been experienced differently by women and men. The podcast is a project of the Work Futures Hallmark Research Initiative, an interdisciplinary research unit from the University of Melbourne that aims to further our understanding of how the future of work is changing.

2.         The Four Day Work Week

The University of Technology Sydney in Australia worked with Unilever for the world’s longest Four-day Work Week trial. This work challenged long-held notions of the four-day work week (4DWW) to reveal how working smarter can significantly enhance a company’s productivity, financial performance and workforce health and wellbeing.   The 18-month project provided the strongest evidence base to date in support of reduced hours and identified critical success factors to facilitate wider adoption of the 4DWW across other settings and industries. Subsequently, the Australian government recommended implementation of a 4DWW trial for public servants to evaluate the impact on productivity, health and wellbeing, workplace gender equality as well as the impact on the distribution of unpaid care across genders.   

3.         Money in the Spotlight

At Barcelona School of Management, Culture Week is an annual event offering activities and talks relating to a particular topic. In 2023, the focus was on the concept of money, “that is, the most fluid and penetrating object imaginable, according to classic economics.” This particular theme was chosen because the school felt that many of their studies have money as their focal point, sometimes without realising it and thus it was important to explore the topic itself in more depth. In response, the event invited three experts from different disciplines and with very different perspectives to explore how they view “money” today and moving forwards. 

4.         Creating Culture

The annual Berkeley Culture Connect Conference allows students to connect with senior executives from organizations that are innovating in creating cultures that yield competitive advantage and leading academics who are pioneering new ways of conceptualizing and measuring culture and its consequences for individual, group, and organizational success. The theme last year was Future of Work, in particular focused on exploring different hybrid work models implemented across different industries. 

5.         Enacting Purpose

The Enacting Purpose Initiative is a multi-institution partnership between the University of Oxford, the University of California Berkeley, BCG BrightHouse, EOS at Federated Hermes and the British Academy, University of Melbourne Business School and HEC Paris. They aim to establish best practice purpose governance, by engaging leading businesses and investors. The partnership also explores and offers resources on how to measure purpose within an organisation. The output of this initiative has also contributed to the British Academy's 'Future of the Corporation' work.

 Thanks for following and have a great week.