The Good Bloke in Contemporary Australian Workplaces: Origins, Qualities and Impacts of a National Cultural Archetype in Small For-Profit Businesses
Chris Taylor, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Taylor at his Dissertation Defense.
L-R: Dr. Tony Lingham, Committee Member, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Chair, Dr. Stephen Bygrave, Committee Member.
- Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Tony Lingham, Ph.D., Committee Member
Stephen Bygrave, Ph.D., Committee Member
Australia, Authenticity, Factor Analysis, Employee Engagement, Gender in the workplace, Good Bloke, Leadership, Structural Equation Modelling
This study explored the nature and significance of a common but widely misunderstood phrase encountered in Australia: The Good Bloke. Underlying this enquiry was awareness, based on the researcher’s personal and professional experience, that the idea of a Good Bloke powerfully influences individual perceptions of leaders in Australian small-to-mid sized for-profit firms. The study commenced with an exploration of the origins and history of the phrase, tracing it to the 1788 arrival of a disproportionately male Anglo-Celtic population was composed significantly of transported convicts. The language and mores of this unique settler population evolved for two centuries based on relationships, primarily among males, where Good Bloke characteristics were key to success and survival. This research entailed a qualitative phase leading to a detailed quantitative analysis. The qualitative Phase 1 included semi-structured interviews and focus group research to broadly identify ostensible characteristics and qualities of the Good Bloke. A survey was administered to 354 Australians. Results were subjected exploratory and then, confirmatory factor analysis, yielding three main factors of a Good Bloke: being relatable, fair/inclusive, and affable. A major additional finding was that while both men and women manifest these qualities, the Good Bloke still has an inherently gendered nature, a legacy of Australian history. A second survey of 301 Australians from small to medium enterprises was followed by structural equation modelling to explore the connection between Good Bloke factors and employees’ experiences of engagement, satisfaction, and commitment. Implications are discussed for the Good Bloke ideal’s continuing relevance, including appreciation of differential impact on gender and other categories that make many contemporary Australians less readily perceived as Good Blokes. I conclude that the term Good Bloke can have a constructive role in Australian culture. The key challenge is exploring how the positive nuances associated with the term become incorporated into the development of future generations whilst acknowledging and addressing the term’s limitations, in order to support fuller and more meaningful inclusion in Australian business and society. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohiolink ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Taylor, C. G. (2019). The Good Bloke in Contemporary Australian Workplaces: Origins, Qualities and Impacts of a National Cultural Archetype in Small For-Profit Businesses. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/506
Applied Behavior Analysis Commons, Australian Studies Commons, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations Commons, History of the Pacific Islands Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Literature in English, Anglophone outside British Isles and North America Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods Commons, Modern Languages Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other History Commons, Other International and Area Studies Commons, Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures Commons, Social and Cultural Anthropology Commons, Sociology of Culture Commons
Chris Taylor, Ph.D.
ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0002-6757-4637
Christopher Taylor is the Managing Director of Apricus Australia a wholesale trade and distribution business focussing on supplying renewable energy products to the energy and plumbing trade across Australia. The business was launched in 2003 and has evolved over the past fifteen years to be the preferred supplier of solar hot water solutions to the preeminent plumbing wholesalers across Australia. The business has been recognised for its excellence in terms of product development, leadership practice and business culture. In 2008 the business was was a finalist in the Telstra Business awards (micro-business award category). In 2009 the business was recognised in the same awards as a finalist in the Telstra innovation awards and the MYOB small business category. the same year the business was ranked 4th nationally in the Smart company smart50 awards, ranked 31 in the BRW fast starters in 2009 and 7th in the BRW fastest growing companies in Australia, Fast 100 in 2010. In 2012 the business was recognised for its innovation in the BRW most innovative companies awards and was awarded the supplier of the year by the Australian wine industry association.
Prior to launching Apricus Australia, Christopher worked as a consultant for twelve years in Australia, Asia and the United States. During this time he developed a diverse range of specialist service offerings in leadership and culture development to three distinct market segments:
In addition to consulting services Christopher was an adjunct lecturer with the Graduate School of Management at the University of Western Australia where he lectured in a range of leadership units on the Singapore, Manila, Shanghai and Perth campuses. He was part of a core team of faculty that worked on the senior command development programme for senior officers with the Singapore Armed Forces for nine years.
Christopher is married with three boys. Christopher is a seventh generation Australian hence his interest in the notion of the Good Bloke, a construct that has driven the evolution of the cultural practice of the business he leads.