Professor Karen Becker - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Professor Karen Becker

PhD Qld.UT., GCertHE Deakin, MBA C.Sturt., BBusMgt(HRM) Qld.UT

  • Head, USC Moreton Bay
  • Professor of Management
+61 7 5459 4641
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Professor Karen Becker

Professor Karen Becker has been researching and teaching management and development of people in the workplace for over 15 years. Prior to this, she worked in corporate human resource management and consulting roles. Her mix of industry and academic experience gives her an applied approach to her work and she has a passion for bridging the gap between universities and industry.

Karen’s research focuses on workforce development, unlearning, innovation and change in the workplace, looking at these issues as they apply to individuals, in organisations and across industries. Her research projects have been funded by the public sector, cooperative research centres and directly by industry partners. Karen is widely published in her field in journals such as the Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Project Management and the Journal of Management Education (for a full list of publications refer to the USC Research Bank).

Karen has taught a range of HRM and Management courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and has also supervised research higher degree students to completion in a variety of areas including change management, leadership, communication, blended learning and e-learning, and workplace safety governance.

You can also visit Karen at:

Professional memberships 

  • Member US Academy of Management
  • Graduate Member Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
  • Justice of the Peace (Qualified)

Research grants

Grant / Project name Investigators Funding body  Year(s)
Civilian careers for military veterans: Navigating the transition Becker, K, McCormack, M & Abell, D Perpetual IMPACT funding A$30,000 2019-2020
Tolerance of ambiguity in the workplace: a 360 degree survey O’Connor, P & Becker, K Innovation Connections Grant (Enterprise Connect & Change 2020) A$89,476 2017-2018
Developing the tolerance of ambiguity questionnaire and exploring the role of habits in embracing ambiguity O’Connor, P & Becker, K Innovation Connections Grant (Enterprise Connect & Change 2020) A$61,379 2016-2017
The Future of Work: How prepared are we? Becker, K & Bradley, L Davidson Consulting A$21,070 2014-2015
Developing a Management Excellence Framework Irmer, B & Becker, K [non-profit organisation] A$17,216 2014-2015
Workforce related risk profiling Becker, K & Bish, A Air Energi $55,738 2014
Developing a project-based people risk framework Becker, K. Researcher in Business Grant (Enterprise Connect & Air Energi) A$90,906 2013-2014
Developing a Management Excellence Framework Becker, K & Bish, A [non-profit organisation] A$26,513 2013
Collaborative e-learning for rail Becker, K, Fleming, J., Jamieson, K, Sawang, S & Newton, C CRC for Rail Innovation A$301,047 2010-2013
Scoping the potential for e-learning in rail Becker, K & Fleming, J CRC for Rail Innovation A$20,000 2009
Developing a capacity framework for leadership and management development Stehlik, T, Short, L, Davies, L & Becker, K CRC for Rail Innovation A$254,496 2008-2011
A Regional Skills Audit Tool Miles, R., Hyland P., Soosay C., & Becker K. Department of State Development and the Institute for Sustainable Regional Development A$100,073 2006-2007
Requirements of North Australian managers of minimum and preferred entry qualifications and post-appointment training Acutt, B, Windeknecht, K & Hyland, P AIM (Qld) and MG Employment Services A$10,000 2003-2004

Research areas

  • Workplace learning and development,
  • Workforce attraction and retention
  • Employee engagement
  • Change management
  • Leadership development

Teaching areas

  • Human resource management (performance management, learning and development, managing change, recruitment and selection, strategic HRM)
  • Leadership and Management
  • Research methods

Professor Karen Becker’s specialist area is human resource management, and in particular, learning and development, workforce attraction and retention, employee engagement, change management, performance management and leadership development

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