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Professor Daniel Nyberg

Professor

Newcastle Business School (Management and Organisational Studies)

Serious business

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.

Daniel Nyberg

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.”

More about Daniel's Career

Related links

Serious business

From the politics of global warming to the economics of democracy, Professor Daniel Nyberg is seeking to understand how corporations responsibly – or not so res

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Career Summary

Biography

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. 


Qualifications

  • 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

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Political Activities
  • Discourse
  • Foundations of Research
  • Politics
  • Power
  • Research Methods

Languages

  • Swedish (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
150303 Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement 25
150310 Organisation and Management Theory 50
160806 Social Theory 25

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Professor University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Wright C, Nyberg BD, Climate change, capitalism and corporations: Processes of creative self-destruction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 254 (2015) [A1]
Citations Scopus - 1

Chapter (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
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)
2011 Grant D, Nyberg D, 'The View from Organizational Studies: A Discourse-Based Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility and Communication', The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility, Wiley-Blackwell, U.K. 534-549 (2011) [B1]
DOI 10.1002/9781118083246.ch27
Citations Scopus - 1
Show 1 more chapter

Journal article (20 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 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]
DOI 10.1177/1350508414563526
2016 Murray J, Nyberg D, Rogers J, 'Corporate political activity through constituency stitching: Intertextually aligning a phantom community', Organization, 23 908-931 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1350508416640924
2016 Nyberg, Wright C, 'Performative and political: Corporate constructions of climate change risk', Organization, 23 617-638 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1350508415572038
Citations Web of Science - 2
2014 Nyberg D, Sewell G, 'Collaboration, Co-operation or Collusion? Contrasting Employee Responses to Managerial Control in Three Call Centres', BRITISH JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, 52 308-332 (2014)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2012.00920.x
Citations Scopus - 3
2014 Wright C, Nyberg D, 'Creative self-destruction: corporate responses to climate change as political myths', ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, 23 205-223 (2014)
DOI 10.1080/09644016.2013.867175
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 4
2014 Nyberg D, Sveningsson S, 'Paradoxes of authentic leadership: Leader identity struggles', LEADERSHIP, 10 437-455 (2014)
DOI 10.1177/1742715013504425
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2
2013 Nyberg D, Wright C, 'Corporate corruption of the environment: sustainability as a process of compromise', BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 64 405-424 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/1468-4446.12025
Citations Scopus - 15Web of Science - 12
2013 Nyberg D, Spicer A, Wright C, 'Incorporating citizens: corporate political engagement with climate change in Australia', ORGANIZATION, 20 433-453 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1350508413478585
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 15
2013 Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, Whiteman G, 'Future imaginings: organizing in response to climate change', ORGANIZATION, 20 647-658 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/1350508413489821
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 10
2013 Wright C, Nyberg D, De Cock C, Whiteman G, 'Voices from the front lines of the climate wars', ORGANIZATION, 20 743-744 (2013) [C3]
DOI 10.1177/1350508413489940
2012 Sewell G, Barker JR, Nyberg D, 'Working under intensive surveillance: When does 'measuring everything that moves' become intolerable?', HUMAN RELATIONS, 65 189-215 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0018726711428958
Citations Scopus - 16Web of Science - 11
2012 Wright C, Nyberg D, 'Working with passion: Emotionology, corporate environmentalism and climate change', HUMAN RELATIONS, 65 1561-1587 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0018726712457698
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 11
2012 Wright C, Nyberg D, Grant D, '"Hippies on the third floor": Climate Change, Narrative Identity and the Micro-Politics of Corporate Environmentalism', ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 33 1451-1475 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0170840612463316
Citations Scopus - 19Web of Science - 17
2012 Nyberg D, ''You Need to be Healthy to be Ill': Constructing Sickness and Framing the Body in Swedish Healthcare', ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 33 1671-1692 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0170840612457615
2012 Nyberg D, Wright C, 'Justifying business responses to climate change: discursive strategies of similarity and difference', ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A, 44 1819-1835 (2012) [C1]
DOI 10.1068/a44565
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10
2009 van Gestel N, Nyberg D, 'Translating national policy changes into local HRM practices', PERSONNEL REVIEW, 38 544-559 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1108/00483480910978045
Citations Scopus - 14Web of Science - 10
2009 Nyberg D, 'Computers, Customer Service Operatives and Cyborgs: Intra-actions in Call Centres', ORGANIZATION STUDIES, 30 1181-1199 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1177/0170840609337955
Citations Scopus - 43Web of Science - 34
2009 Nyberg D, Mueller F, 'Strategic cultural change and local discourses: The importance of being different', SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, 25 146-156 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.02.002
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 3
2008 Nyberg D, 'The morality of everyday activities: Not the right, but the good thing to do', Journal of Business Ethics, 81 587-598 (2008) [C1]

This article attempts to understand and develop the morality of everyday activities in organizations. Aristotle's concept of phronesis, practical wisdom, is utilized to describe t... [more]

This article attempts to understand and develop the morality of everyday activities in organizations. Aristotle's concept of phronesis, practical wisdom, is utilized to describe the morality of the everyday work activities at two call centres of an Australian insurance company. The ethnographic data suggests that ethical judgements at the lower level of the organization are practical rather than theoretical; emergent rather than static; ambiguous rather than clear-cut; and particular rather than universal. Ethical codes are of limited value here and it is argued that by developing phronesis members of the organization can improve their capacity to deal with this ethical complexity. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9530-1
Citations Scopus - 20
Wright C, Nyberg D, 'An Inconvenient Truth: How Organizations Translate Climate Change into Business As Usual', Academy of Management Journal,
DOI 10.5465/amj.2015.0718
Show 17 more journal articles
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 3
Total funding $448,231

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
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700529
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON Y

20141 grants / $145,000

Climate change and risk: Exploring the corporate construction of climate change as risk in different industry settings$145,000

Climate change is one of the most pressing risks facing humanity. However, the way in which climate change is framed as a risk is also critical in shaping the forms of subsequent actions. The project’s overall aim is to understand how businesses construct climate change as risks and the effect these constructions have on business and society. The project will: a) develop a new risk based model in explaining corporate engagements with climate change, b) build research networks of academics and practitioners to enhance the research capacity of private and public organisations, and c) inform evidence based public policies for the national and international governmental bodies. This project commenced 2014 and terminated 2015 due to my relocation to Newcastle University.

Funding body: European Commission, European Union

Funding body European Commission, European Union
Project Team

Daniel Nyberg

Scheme Marie Curie Career Integration Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20111 grants / $190,000

Sustainable organizational change: Australian business responses to climate change$190,000

Australian businesses are expected to play a leading role in the fight against global warming. This project will generate new insights into how, though organisational change initiatives, Australian corporations are responding to the issue of climate change, as well as the sustainability of these initiatives.

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team

Daniel Nyberg

Scheme Discovery Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.75

Current Supervision

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
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News

Professor Daniel Nyberg

Nyberg Professor of Management

June 5, 2015

New Professor of Management

Professor Daniel Nyberg

Position

Professor
IR/Management
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Focus area

Management and Organisational Studies

Contact Details

Email daniel.nyberg@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 49217923
Fax (02) 4921 6911

Office

Room SR 234
Building Social Science
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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