We have ways of making you...Implementation of frontline management in the Western Australian minerals and energy industry

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Management




Barratt-Pugh, L., & Watson, M. (2003). We Have Ways of Making You. 6th Australian VET Research Association Conference. The Changing Face of VET: 6th Australian VET Research Association Conference. Sydney, Australia.


Western Australia's minerals and energy industry is a ve1y significant, broadly spread industry that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, often in isolated regions. The industry makes a significant investment in management development and is constantly looking for opportunities to offer company-based learning that meets regulato1y imperatives and the challenges of location diversity. The national evaluation of the Frontline Management Initiative (Barratt-Pugh & Soutar 2002) suggests that management development is pivotal in forming workplace learning. This paper builds upon that work and details research into the practices and impact of frontline management development in the minerals and energy industry of Western Australia (Barratt-Pugh & Watson 2002). Using the voices of practitioners, the paper provides an in-depth view of the current development of frontline managers in the Western Australian minerals and energy industry and tells of the outcomes for managers, organisations, and their business. Finally the paper comments on the paradox experienced by managers seeking to extend their managing self within a system that mandates their achievement of defined management qualifications, and reflects on the brokerage role being played by The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia in negotiating the complexity of these emerging learning patterns, relations and spaces.

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