Coffee Break Workshop on Leading Change in Communities Experiencing Economic Transition

The third Coffee Break Workshop was held on 15 November 2023. Prof Andrew Beer, Executive Dean of the University of South Australia Business School, presented on “Leading Change in Communities Experiencing Economic Transition”.

Professor Beer and colleagues researched community perspectives on place leadership after the closure of an automotive plant in South Australia. Examining community attitudes toward authority figures during transitions, it identifies influential roles and individuals and investigates the origins of leadership efficacy. Drawing on structural conditions in Australian politics, the workshop highlights community awareness of power dynamics but acknowledges discontent with leadership effectiveness. Advocating for empowering local leadership and meeting long-term expectations, Prof. Andrew Beer and colleagues propose a more positive perception of leadership during disruptive change.

This workshop addresses how local leaders can navigate major disruptions like industry shutdowns. Emphasising diverse leadership responses based on authority and community connection, it advocates for tailored approaches. Senior government leaders focus on economic recovery, social service providers respond to local needs, and community-based leaders strengthen social networks, fostering resilience in affected communities.


Andrew Beer is the Executive Dean of UniSA Business.  He comes to this role after working previously as the Dean of Research and Innovation, at the UniSA Business School.  Before commencing with UniSA in 2016, Andrew worked at The University of Adelaide and Flinders University.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide and a PhD from the Australian National University. His research interests include the operation and functioning of Australia’s housing markets (including the provision of housing for persons with a disability), the drivers of regional growth, structural change within the economy, and the impacts of an ageing population.  He is currently undertaking research in four major areas: the outcomes of the closure of the Australian automotive industry; the cross-national analysis of the leadership of places; the quality and condition of Australia’s housing stock; and the use of services and housing by Australia’s ageing population.  Currently, he is collaborating with Professor Markku Sotarauta of Tampere University, Finland as a joint editor on the Handbook of City and Regional Leadership (Edward Elgar) and is in the process of completing a Policy Expo for the Regional Studies Association on place-based policy.


The recording of the presentation can be viewed on the EPRC’s YouTube page here.

Future NICE CBWs will include experts from academia, policy, industry and other organisations, with the aim of sharing knowledge on the just transition.

If you would like to attend future CBWs, email the contact in this post to join our mailing list.

Share Event: