The Centre for Institutional and Organisation Studies (CIOS) researches the differential growth and development of societies across time and place. The aim is to understand how socially beneficial exchange is organised through legal, political, economic and social institutions and organisations.
The Centre studies the evolution and attributes of a society's institutions, which are the formal laws and regulations, and the informal mores, values systems and beliefs, which govern economic, political and social exchange. The formal laws and regulations encompass the criminal legal system, contract law, judicial decisions, the common law, and the enforcement of economic and political regulations. The informal institutions are trust-based and social value systems that encourage and protect exchange.
Organisations comprise business firms, unions, the judiciary, political parties, pressure groups, families, nongovernmental and not-for-profit bodies, religious groups, educational bodies and international bodies (UN, World Bank and IMF).
The Centre evaluates how organisations operate subject to the formal and informal institutions, which both facilitate and constrain the behaviour of organisations. For example, multinational firms operate subject to host and home country government laws and regulations and the host and home society's values that set expectations about the firm's behaviour.
Finally, the Centre studies the internal operations of economic-political-social organisations. For example, the Institute investigates how the performance of firms is organised through human resource management practices; internal cooperation and competition; managerial leadership; and the firm's history. The aim of the Institute is to:
- Support policy makers in understanding how policies, regulations and laws (from deregulations to new forms of partnerships between for-profit and non-for-profit actors) translate into the creation, evolution, operation and performance of organisations;
- Help managers in the business, legal, government and nongovernmental sectors assess and improve the performance of their organisation, such as export performance or regional networking;
- contribute to the understanding and operation of organisations within their institutional settings, including the role of trust and cooperation, whether in the operation of multinational firms in China or domestic firms in Australia;
- Understand the responses of households, firms and communities, especially in transitional economies, to institutional and organisational change;
- Understand the management, regulation and performance of financial, political and economic organisations; examine the case for deregulation of public utilities and the health sector and the operation and performance of public-private partnerships.