Progressive leadership practices are a vital ingredient in business performance, including productivity and profitability, according to a two-year study launched today at the Prime Minister's Jobs Forum in Canberra.

The report Leadership, Culture and Management Practices of High Performing Workplaces: The High Performing Workplace Index, was produced by The Society for Knowledge Economics - a team of researchers from UNSW, Australian National University, Macquarie University and the Copenhagen Business School.

The collaboration involved 78 Australian companies and more than 5,600 employees in the services sector.

The lead researcher, Dr Christina Boedker, from the Australian School of Business at UNSW said: "High performing workplaces are up to 12 per cent more productive, and three times more profitable than their peers.

"Leaders of high performing workplaces prioritise people management, involve their people in decision making processes, are more responsive to customer and stakeholder needs, enable their staff to fully utilise their skills, and instill a sense of pride and feelings of being valued throughout their workforce," Dr Boedker said.

The research was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations as part of the Workforce Innovation Program.

Media contact: Julian Lorkin, ASB Media Office | 02 9385 4293