Professor Daniel Nyberg
Newcastle Business School (Management and Organisational Studies)
- Phone:(02) 49217923
From the politics of global warming to the economics of democracy, Professor Daniel Nyberg is seeking to understand how corporations responsibly – or not so responsibly – engage with society and the environment.
Professor Daniel Nyberg is tackling some of the most pressing and complicated problems in the world. Indeed, delving deep into the unknowns of everything from climate change and capitalism to the intricate relationship between industry and government is ‘business as usual’ for the business researcher, who takes an interdisciplinary approach to his studies on the activities of corporations.
“These are some of the biggest threats facing humankind,” he affirms.
“How could you not be interested?”
Under watchful eyes
Daniel’s research career began in 2005, when he undertook a PhD at the University of Melbourne. Largely considered an ethnography, the three-year probe sought to observe the different levels of control exercised by key personnel in call centres across Australia.
“Some years ago, most or all workplaces used to have supervisors who would stand over employees’ shoulders telling them what to do and what not to do,” he says.
“When their backs were turned, other staff could easily work a little bit slower or take a short rest break.”
“There is nowhere to hide or slack off in call centres, however, because supervisors are listening in to phone conversations and can see on their screens exactly what people are saying and doing every minute of every day.”
Also reflecting on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Digital Era in this “extreme scenario,” Daniel looked to understand the value and implications of control from multiple angles.
“Electronic video surveillance now means workers are observed around the clock – they don’t know when or where so they always have to behave,” he explains.
“Advancements in technology have similarly allowed us to get closer to our tools.”
“Those in call centres regularly work with their computers, for example, rather than towards them.”
“They wear headsets and often repeat exactly what is written on the monitor – there are no deviations.”
Shifting the onus
Daniel relocated to The Netherlands after receiving his award in 2008, signing on to pioneer further research on corporate control and responsibility at Radboud University. The Swedish native specifically focused on defining the “not-so-easily defined” during his stint abroad, leading a project on long-term sickness absence in the workplace.
“The goal was to identify how organisations deal with employees who are burnt out or stressed or ill due to their jobs,” he recalls.
“This work was on the back of new policies that were implemented right across the continent.”
Exploring a number of social welfare programs and policies throughout the enquiry, Daniel concedes his findings were a very “mixed bag.”
“Perhaps not so surprisingly, I discovered that a lot of countries in Europe manage long-term sickness absences through ‘activation,’” he reveals.
“Basically, this assumes that it is the responsibility of the individuals themselves to ensure they recover and return to work as quickly as possible.”
“It is my belief, however, that you need to be healthy in order to deal with an illness – if you are employed within an organisation and work makes you sick and it is your job to get better, there is limited room for you, the employee, to move, as you cannot change how your organisation operates.”
“So we can liberate people to take care of themselves but we also need to liberate them in the workplace.”
E is for eco-conscious
Daniel spent the next four years at the University of Sydney and then the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, turning his attention to corporate responses to climate change. He also published a book on it in September 2015.
“I wanted to know how businesses deal with this issue internally, such as through the design and delivery of green products and services, as well as how they deal with it in the industry, such as with carbon offsets, and how they deal with it in the public debate,” the bilinguist elaborates.
“It’s important to understand what corporations are doing in order to mitigate and/or minimise its effects.”
“We also need to have knowledge about what they’re doing so we can regulate their activities.”
Moving to the Hunter in April of last year to become a Professor of the University of Newcastle’s Business School, Daniel again looked to expand his research focus.
“I’m currently exploring how corporations influence democracy,” he states.
“The clearest example is the Labor Government’s super profit tax proposal of 2010, which the mining industry vehemently opposed.”
“Even though it spent $22 million doing so, calculations by the Australian Financial Review suggest it saved $10 billion by agreeing to a truce with then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard.”
“So, you can see it’s often much easier and cheaper for corporations to deal with public policies than it is for them to deal with their processes.”
Daniel Nyberg is Professor of Management at Newcastle Business School and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney. His research investigates how global and societal phenomena are translated into local organisational realities. He is currently pursuing this on projects relating to how corporations respond to climate change, the politics of ‘fracking’, and corporate political activities influencing public policy. He has led major research projects funded by the European Commission and the Australian Research Council, and published in international journals including: Organization Studies, Organization, Human Relations, Environment and Planning: A, British Journal of Sociology, and British Journal of Industrial Relation. Daniel has a forthcoming book later this year (with Professor Chris Wright at Sydney University): Climate change, capitalism and corporations: Processes of creative self-destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Research Expertise
My main research interest is investigating how organizations take part in negotiating and shaping how we, as individuals, organizations, and societies, respond to global or societal phenomena. I am pursuing this research interest on projects relating to how corporations respond to climate change, the politics of fracking, and corporate political activities influencing public policy. The empirical projects are based on public documents and interviews, mainly using a discursive approach. Central to my diverse range of research interests is displaying power relations within and between organizations, and engendering moral or ethical business practice.
- PhD, University of Melbourne
- Bachelor of Social Science, Stockholm University - Sweden
- Master of Human Resources Management, University of Western Australia
- Master of Social Science, Stockholm University - Sweden
- Climate change
- Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility
- Corporate Political Activities
- Foundations of Research
- Research Methods
- Swedish (Fluent)
Fields of Research
|150303||Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement||25|
|150310||Organisation and Management Theory||50|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Professor||University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Book (1 outputs)
Wright C, Nyberg BD, Climate change, capitalism and corporations: Processes of creative self-destruction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 254 (2015) [A1]
Chapter (4 outputs)
|2015||van Gestel N, Nyberg BD, Vossen E, 'Institutional logics and micro-processes in organizations: A multi-actor perspective on sickness absence management in three Dutch hospitals', Managing change: From health policy to practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, UK 55-70 (2015) [B1]|
|2014||Nyberg BD, Nicholson H, 'Critical ethnography', Critical Management Research: Reflections from the Field, Sage, London 63-80 (2014)|
|2014||Nyberg BD, Grant D, 'Organizational discourse and communication', The Routledge Handbook of Language and Professional Communication, Routledge, New York 193-206 (2014)|
|Show 1 more chapter|
Journal article (20 outputs)
De Cock C, Nyberg, 'The possibility of critique under a financialized capitalism: The case of private equity in the United Kingdom', Organization, 23 465-484 (2016) [C1]
Murray J, Nyberg D, Rogers J, 'Corporate political activity through constituency stitching: Intertextually aligning a phantom community', Organization, 23 908-931 (2016) [C1]
Nyberg, Wright C, 'Performative and political: Corporate constructions of climate change risk', Organization, 23 617-638 (2016) [C1]
|Show 17 more journal articles|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||3|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20171 grants / $113,231
Hunter Water Research Secondment$113,231
Funding body: Hunter Water Corporation
|Funding body||Hunter Water Corporation|
|Project Team||Professor Daniel Nyberg, Darren Cleary|
|Type Of Funding||Other Public Sector - State|
20141 grants / $145,000
Climate change and risk: Exploring the corporate construction of climate change as risk in different industry settings$145,000
Funding body: European Commission, European Union
|Funding body||European Commission, European Union|
|Scheme||Marie Curie Career Integration Grant|
|Type Of Funding||External|
20111 grants / $190,000
Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)
|Funding body||ARC (Australian Research Council)|
|Type Of Funding||Aust Competitive - Commonwealth|
Number of supervisions
Total current UON EFTSL
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2015||PhD||An Empirical Analysis of the Relevance and Value of Western Models of Corporate Governance to Non-Western Cultures||PhD (Accounting & Finance), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle||Principal Supervisor|
|2014||PhD||The Influence of CSR Practices on Employees' Perceptions of the Organisation.||PhD (Management), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
June 5, 2015
New Professor of Management
Professor Daniel Nyberg
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law
Management and Organisational Studies
|Fax||(02) 4921 6911|
Callaghan, NSW 2308