Professor Michael Hess is an academic in the School of Business at UNSW Canberra.
Professional and Teaching Experience
Professor Hess came to UNSW@ADFA after a career in Australian academic institutions. His most recent appointment was as Professor of Management in the University of Tasmania where he was one of the founding members of the Australian Innovation Research Centre. Prior to that he was Reader in the Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management and Director of Graduate Studies in Development Administration at the Australian National University. Professor Hess has also held tenured appointments at the University of New South Wales and the University of Western Australia.
Professor Hess has taught courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Strategic Management, International Business Management, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Labour History.
Professor Hess has longterm research interests in economic development and community participation as well as in Business and Labour History.
He is currently involved in research projects on:
- recovery after the Crisis on Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and how various sectors of the community are participating in this;
- the development of the 'community agenda' and social innovation in public management; and
- business and labour history in regional economies.
Professor Hess began his research career in the field of industrial relations with a focus on ‘developing’ economies. His interest in industrial relations included work on the development of industrial organisations and has been extended to an interest in the history of both business enterprise and union organization. These interests continue with projects on the history of business and labour currently focused on Tasmanian cases where issues of regional development have particular significance.
For the last decade Professor Hess has researched new practices in public sector management and especially those arising at the interface between governments and communities. This work has concentrated on understanding how community focused approaches can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery. This research is distinguished by its focus on unpacking the theoretical underpinnings of rapidly changing public management practices. Collaboration with practitioners has been a central part of it and it has feed into policy considerations in several Australian State governments.
A major aspect of Professor Hess’s research experience has been in the supervision of higher degree research candidates and mentoring younger academics. Assisting early career researchers to develop projects which can be successfully completed within formal qualifications, for publication or for research grant application remains one of his most worthwhile academic activities.