Professor Deborah Blackman is the Head of School, and a member of the Public Service Research Group, in the School of Business at UNSW, Canberra.
Deborah's research interests include Public Sector Policy Implementation, Systems Level change, Employee Performance Management, Organisational Learning; Soft Knowledge Management; Organisational Effectiveness; Psychological Contract; and Governance. She publishes extensively in international journals such as Public Administration Review, Management Learning, Management Decision and the Journal of Knowledge Management and is invited to present her work at conferences across the world. In 2016 she coedited the book: Blackman D., O'Donnell M. and Teo S. (eds.), 2016, Human Capital Management Research, Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Development, IAP Information Age Publishing, USA, http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Human-Capital-Management-Research.
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: understanding the impact of system complexity on effective long-term crisis recovery, investigating the current state and future impact of middle manager capability on the Australian public service, and how to create more effective performance management conversations.
Deborah was the lead researcher on a joint collaborative project with the Australian Public Service Commission entitled the “Strengthening the Performance Framework”. The result was a new framework for diagnosing the effectiveness of a performance management system and the tool is being used in a range of contexts and organisations. Past research projects include: an ARC grant considering Whole of Government from which she developed a new diagnostic model to support effective joined-up working; working with Professor Stephen Sarre to establish lessons that can be learnt for future pest invasions from the Fox Eradication Programme undertaken in Tasmania; and an ARC project where her role was the application of HR practices in order to enhance Court Safety.