Associate Professor Martijn Boersma
BA, MA, MSc (Cum Laude), PhD
A/Prof Boersma's research focuses on the intersection of business and society, including areas such as modern slavery and human trafficking, business ethics and sustainability; corporate governance and corporate social responsibility; and employment and industrial relations. He has made a substantial contribution to the advancement of knowledge across these areas based on sustained academic output over an extended period. A/Prof Boersma has a record of successfully obtaining competitive research funding. Projects include "Improving the Regulation of Modern Slavery and Access to Remedy: Learning from Experience" (2021 -2023), funded by the Federal Governments' National Security and Criminal Justice Program; “Strategies for improving labour conditions within the Australian cotton value chain” (2019 – 2022), funded by the Cotton Research Development Corporation; and “Enforcing Labour Standards in Supply Chains through Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration” (2018-2021), funded by the Australian Research Council.
- Modern Slavery
- Human Trafficking
Research interests and current projects
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
- Business Ethics and Sustainability
- Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Employment Relations and Industrial Relations.
- "Improving the Regulation of Modern Slavery and Access to Remedy: Learning from Experience" (2021 - 2023)
- “Strategies for improving labour conditions within the Australian cotton value chain” (2019 – 2022)
A/Prof Boersma is currently supervising several Doctoral projects focused on the social responsibilities of business. He is available to supervise in the following areas:
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
- Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Nolan, J. & Boersma, M. (2019). Addressing Modern Slavery. UNSW Press.
- Boersma, M. & Klettner, A. (2023 – Expected). Workers’ Capital and Sustainability. In Clarke, T. (Ed.), Routledge Companion to Corporate Sustainability.
- Boersma, M. (2023 – Expected). Modern Slavery and Climate Change. In Clarke, T. (Ed.), Routledge Companion to Corporate Sustainability.
- Boersma, M. (2022 – forthcoming) Organisational Legitimacy and Legitimising Myths. In Godwyn, M. (Ed.), Research Handbook on the Sociology of Organizations, Edward Elgar.
- Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2019). Global Corporations and Global Value Chains: The disaggregation of corporations? In T. Clarke, J. O’Brien, & C. R. T. O’Kelley (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Corporation (318–365), Oxford University Press.
Journal articles and proceedings
Editor: Journal special editions
- Boersma, M. & Nolan, J. (2022). Modern Slavery and the Employment Relationship: Exploring the Continuum of Exploitation. Journal of Industrial Relations 64(2).
- Boersma, M. & Nolan, J. (2022). Modern Slavery and the Employment Relationship: Defining the Continuum of Exploitation. Journal of Industrial Relations, 64(2), 165 – 176.
- Boersma, M., Josserand, E., Kaine, S. & Payne, A. (2022) Making Sense of Downstream Labour Risk in Global Value Chains: The Case of the Australian Cotton Industry. Journal of Industrial Relations, 64(2), 200-222.
- Rawling, M., Kaine, S., Josserand, E. & Boersma, M. (2021). Multi-Stakeholder Frameworks for Rectification of Non-Compliance in Cleaning Supply Chains: The Case of the Cleaning Accountability Framework. Federal Law Review, 49(3), 438-464.
- Boersma, M., & Nolan, J. (2020). Can Blockchain Help Resolve Modern Slavery in Supply Chains? AIB Insights, 20(2), 1-4.
- Kaine, S., & Boersma, M. (2018). Women, work and industrial relations in Australia in 2017. Journal of Industrial Relations, 60(3), 317–336.
- Boersma, M. (2018). Between Norms and Practice: Civil Society Perspectives on the Legitimacy of Multistakeholder Initiatives to Eliminate Child Labour. Business, Strategy and the Environment, 27(5), 612- 620.
- Boersma, M. (2017) Changing Approaches to Child Labour in Global Supply Chains: Exploring the Influence of Multi-stakeholder Partnerships and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 40(3), 1249 – 1274.
- Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2015). The Governance of Global Value Chains: Unresolved Human Rights, Environmental and Ethical Dilemmas in the Apple Supply Chain. Journal of Business Ethics, 143 (1), 111-131.
- Chelliah, J., Boersma, M., & Klettner, A. (2015). The Role of a National Regulator in Developing Solutions to Governance Challenges in The Not-For-Profit Sector. Journal of Developing Areas, 49(6), 449-458.
- Klettner, A., Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2014). Strategic and Regulatory Approaches to Increasing Women in Leadership: Multilevel Targets and Mandatory Quotas as Levers for Cultural Change. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(3), 395–419.
- Klettner, A., Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2014). The Governance of Corporate Sustainability: Empirical Insights into the Development, Leadership and Implementation of Responsible Business Strategy. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(1), 145–165.
- Klettner, A., Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2013). The impact of soft law on social change- Measurable objectives for achieving gender diversity on boards of directors. Australian Journal of Corporate Law, 28(2), 138–165.
- Klettner, A., Boersma, M., & Clarke, T. (2012). Women in leadership. Keeping Good Companies, 64(11), 648 – 654.
- Boersma, M., Bedford, D., & Johns, Katie, J. (2020). The Role of Market Devices in Addressing Labour Exploitation: An Analysis of the Australian Cleaning Industry. Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics.
- Boersma, M., Bedford, D., & Johns, Katie, J. (2019). A Proactive Approach to Addressing Modern Slavery through Strategic Transparency. Alternative Research Perspectives in Business Disciplines, Sydney.
- O’ Brien, E., Coneybeer, J. & Boersma, M. (2019). Investor activism: voting with their share portfolio? Political Organisations and Participation, Canberra.
- Klettner, A., Clarke, T. & Boersma, M. (2019). Corporate responsibility and financialisation in the international banking sector: the limits of current governance systems. European Academy of Management, Lisbon.
- Dalton, B. & Boersma, M. (2018). Inhabiting parallel universes: the differing world views of impact investors and nonprofits and implications for building impact investment markets. 46th ARNOVA Conference, Austin.
- Boersma, M. (2018). Can Blockchains Help Redress Labour Abuses in Supply Chains? Management Challenges and Theoretical Implications. 20th IESE Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, Barcelona.
- Klettner, A. & Boersma, M. (2018). Women in Corporate Leadership: An International Comparison of Regulatory Strategies. Gender Work and Organisation Conference, Sydney.
- Logue D. & Boersma, M. (2017). Platforms for the People? Public Entrepreneurship in Interstitial Fields. Academy of Management, Proceedings 2017 (1), 13124, Atlanta.
- Boersma, M. (2016). Beyond Codes of Conduct: Exploring the Role of Strategic Human Resource Management in Remediating Child Labour in Global Supply Chains. 19th IESE Symposium on Ethics, Business and Society, Barcelona.
- Logue, D. & Boersma, M. (2016). Social Innovation in Interstitial Spaces: The Case and Unintended Consequences of Civic Crowd Funding. Latin America and European Meeting on Organization Studies (LAEMOS), Santiago.
- Clarke, T. & Boersma, M. (2016) The Governance of Global Value Chains: The Internationalisation and Intensification of Accumulation and Exploitation. European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium, Rotterdam.
- Boersma, M. (2015). Sustainable Finance: Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance of Banks. 27th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics, London.
- Chelliah, J., Boersma, M. & Klettner, A. (2015). Governance Challenges for Not-for-Profit Organisations: Empirical Evidence in Support of a Contingency Approach. Australasian Conference on Business and Social Sciences 2015, Sydney.
- Clarke, T., J Chelliah, A Klettner, M Boersma (2014). Governance challenges for not-for-profit organisations: empirical evidence in support of a contingency approach. Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Sydney.
- Klettner, A., Boersma, M. & Clarke, T. (2014). Advancing Women in Leadership: Multi-Level Targets and Cultural Change. Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Sydney.
In the media
- 2020 ABC Afternoons (Live) Wage Theft at Coles
- 2018 ABC News (Live) Apple Fine: Tech giant fined $9million for breaches of consumer law
- 2018 ABC The Business Financial Services Royal Commission: AMP Boss gone, calls for chair to resign
- 2020 ABC News Radio (live) Wage Theft at Coles
- 2020 2SER (live) The Rise of Wage Theft Scandals, Will They Ever End?
- 2019 ABC Radio National (Live) Are You Supporting Slavery Without Knowing It?
- 2019 ABC Radio Afternoons (Live) Interview with Myf Warhurst about book “Addressing Modern Slavery”
- 2019 6PR (Live) Modern Slavery in Major Australian Brands Exposed
- 2018 2SER Budget Extra: On Industrial Relations with Martijn Boersma
- 2016 ABC News Radio The 2022 World Cup Tarnished by Labour Exploitation in Qatar
- 2016 2SER Legislation to Combat Slavery and Trafficking in Supply Chains
- 2013 2SER Corporate Reporting on Labour Standards and Supply Chains
Print / Online
- 2022 SBS Pacific Islander farm workers demand justice after claims of 'modern slavery'
- 2022 Independent Australia Modern slavery should not be weaponised
- 2021 The New Daily On modern slavery, we need moral leadership rather than market morality
- 2021 The New Daily From fresh produce to seafood, supermarkets are under pressure to stamp out modern slavery
- 2021 The New Daily From Xinjiang to the Olympics: Why do companies find it so difficult to choose between profit and principle?
- 2021 The New Daily Take the profit out of slavery by holding companies to account for human rights abuses
- 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Paradox of the social license to operate
- 2020 The New Daily ‘Bullying’ clothing companies are asking struggling suppliers for discounts
- 2020 The Conversation The real economic victims of coronavirus are those we can’t see
- 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Australian companies need to take modern slavery seriously
- 2019 Lawyers Weekly Modern slavery laws – what do they mean for your business?
- 2019 The Conversation Can Blockchain help to break the chains of modern slavery?
- 2019 The New Daily Message to Coles, Woolworths: Act now to end modern slavery
- 2019 The Equal Times The long and winding road to respecting workers’ rights in supply chains
- 2018 SBS The Feed Opinion: 'Corporate Social Responsibility' Is a Band-Aid for a Broken System
- 2017 The Conversation How to stop businesses stealing from their employees
- 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Australian government slow to respond to supply chain labour exploitation
- 2016 The Conversation Companies prefer ticking boxes to breaking the glass ceiling
- 2016 Pro Bono Australia Australian Government Must Protect Vulnerable Workers in Supply Chains
- 2016 Australian Financial Review Andrew Forrest calls on government to lead regional response against slavery
- 2015 The Conversation Australia's banking four pillars wobbly on sustainability record
- 2015 The Guardian Australian fashion retailers have supply chains that risk exploitation, audit finds
- 2015 The Guardian Cracking down on migrant workers isn't how to hold supermarkets to account
- 2014 Pro Bono Australia Tackling the Myths Around Child Labor
- 2013 The Conversation Global supply chains link us all to shame of child and forced labour
- 2013 The Conversation Mind the gap: company disclosure discrepancies not sustainable
- 2020+: Member of the Australian Universities Procurement Network (AUPN) Modern Slavery Program Academic Advisory Board
- 2018+: Member of Cleaning Accountability Framework Certification Committee
- 2014 - 2015: Member of the Federal Attorney-General ’s Department Supply Chains Working Group
- 2022 - Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network - Invited to speak about the new modern slavery programs at UNDA and about the report ‘paper promises’
- 2021 - Australian Human Rights Commission and Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce - Topic: Sharing experience in research and teaching responsible business and human rights at business school in Australia
- 2020 - BAD Sydney Crime Writers Festival - Invited to speak about book “Addressing Modern Slavery”
- 2020 - Adelaide Writers Festival - Invited to speak about book “Addressing Modern Slavery”
- 2019 - Organ Transplants and Crimes Against Humanity in China: an Australian Issue - Public event organised by International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China
- 2019 - Eradicating Modern Slavery from Catholic Supply Chains Conference - Event organised by the Catholic Archdiocese in Sydney
- 2015 - UTS Think: Responsible Supply Chains - Public lecture organised by UTS Business School
- 2014 - Ethical Supply Chains - Public event organised by Anti-Slavery Australia
- 2021 - Monash MBA Alumni Thought Leadership Series - Invited to speak about book “Addressing Modern Slavery”
- 2020 - Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility –Report Launch - Expert speaker at webinar as part of report launch “Labour Hire & Contracting Across the ASX100”
- 2020 - NSW Legal Scholars Association Conference - Invited to speak about modern slavery.
- 2019 - A practical guide to the Modern Slavery Regime - Event for practitioners organised by Anti-Slavery Australia
- 2019 - Multistakeholder Initiatives in Addressing Labour Abuses in Supply Chains Internal seminar at Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- 2018 - The Use of Blockchain in Supply Chains to Address Modern Slavery Internal seminar at The Iconic
Funding and awards
- "Improving the Regulation of Modern Slavery and Access to Remedy. Learning from Experience", funded by the National Security and Criminal Justice Program ($177,741)
- "Strategies for improving labour conditions within the Australian cotton value chain", funded by the Cotton Research Development Corporation ($127,351)
- "Enforcing Labour Standards in Supply Chains through Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration", funded by the Australian Research Council ($230,000)
- 2020: UTS Distilling Research Impact Initiative ($7,500 of in-kind support to showcase research);
- 2020: The Centre for Business and Social Innovation – Research Impact Award
- 2018:UTS Postgraduate Business Prize for Excellence in Teaching
- Payne, A., Boersma, M. et al (2022 – Forthcoming). Critical labour conditions in the cotton value chain. Queensland University of Technology and University of Technology Sydney.
- Sinclair, A., et.al (2022). Paper Promises? Evaluating the impact of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act. Business and Human Rights Resources Centre & Australian Human Rights Law Centre.
- Boersma, M. Do No Harm? (2017). Procurement of Medical Goods by Australian Companies and Government. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation & The Australia Institute.
- O’Brien, B. & Boersma, M. (2016) Human Rights in the Supply Chains of Australian Businesses: Opportunities for Legislative Reform. The Australia Institute and Catalyst Australia.
- Boersma, M. G Lynch, JA Schofield (2014). Child Labour: Everybody’s Business. Catalyst Australia Submissions to Government Inquiries:
- Nolan, J. & Boersma, M. (2021). Submission to the Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced by Uyghur Forced Labour) Bill.
- Boersma, M. & Nolan, J. (2020) Submission to “National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-24: Public Consultation”
- Kaine, S., Josserand, E., Rawling, M., Boersma, M. & Johns, K. (2020) “Inquiry into unlawful underpayment of employees’ remuneration”. Economics References Committee.
- Nolan, J. & Boersma, M. (2019) Submission to Inquiry into Modern Slavery Act 2018 and Associated Matters. Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues, Parliament of NSW
- Kaine, S., Rawling, M., Josserand, E., Boersma, M., Johns, K. & Ryan, R. (2018). Commonwealth Senate Education and Employment Committee 2018, “Submission to Inquiry into the Exploitation of General and Specialist Cleaners Working in Retail chains for contracting or subcontracting cleaning companies”.