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Our faculty members conduct research on a variety of organizational issues, approaching the study of organizations and those who comprise them from psychological and sociological perspectives. Below are samples of ongoing research projects.

Research Project 1 - Safe Science

Ruthanne Huising is an organizational ethnographer who is currently studying the collaborative development of new biosafety and security regulations for academic, industry, and diagnostic laboratories across Canada and their implications for scientific productivity and innovation, organizational compliance, and the nascent biosafety occupation. Her project brings together research on socio-technological systems, professions, and fundamental science with questions of accountability and responsibility as well as compliance with government regulations. Through an extended period of fieldwork using interviews and observation, Huising expects to contribute to greater understanding of a new Canadian regulatory-design process dealing with organizational obligations and prohibitions related to human pathogens and toxins.

Huising, Ruthanne, and Susan S. Silbey. (2013), “Constructing Consequences for Non-Compliance in Academic Laboratories,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. v.649, pp.157-177.

Huising, Ruthanne and Silbey, Susan S. (2011), “Governing the Gap: Forging Safe Science through Relational Regulation,” Regulation and Governance, v.5, no.1, pp. 14–42.

Research Project 2 - Beyond Warm Bodies

Lisa Cohen uses qualitative and quantitative methods to answer questions about the structure of jobs: why are certain tasks bundled into and across jobs and why are certain jobs bundled together in organizations; and how does this matter for employees and organizations? One emergent finding in this work is that hiring processes influence the design of jobs in potentially unexpected and unexplored ways. When managers recruit and select employees, they often do more than put warm bodies into pre-existing places. Cohen has received a four-year SSHRC Insight Grant for a research project that will further explore these issues. In this project, her research team will conduct interviews and observations in entrepreneurial organizations to open a window into these broader influences of the hiring process. This work will build on and contribute to theory in the areas of hiring, job design, and entrepreneurship.  

"Whose Jobs Are These? The Impact of the Proportion of Female Managers on the Number of New Management Jobs Filled by Women versus Men," Administrative Science Quarterly

"Assembling Jobs: A Model of How Tasks Are Bundled Into and Across Jobs," Organization Science 

Research Project 3 - Authenticity and Leadership

Patricia Hewlin applies multi-methodological approaches to study the engagement and disengagement of authenticity, which is behavior that involves acting in a manner consistent with one’s internal feelings and values. Through field surveys, experiments, and interviews among leaders and employees across multiple industries in the US and Canada, Hewlin addresses the impact of leader behavior on subordinates’ choices to engage in inauthentic expression such as suppressing divergent views and pretending to embrace organizational values. She also investigates the impact of inauthentic behavior on work performance. Hewlin’s research project is advancing scholarship in leadership, social influence, and self-presentation in the workplace. She seeks to better equip organizational leaders with respect to fostering work environments that encourage authenticity and, consequently facilitate innovation, organizational learning, and employee well-being. 

Organizational Behaviour Seminar Series

Date Time Speaker
November 1, 2013 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Christine Beckman, University of California, Irvine
December 6, 2013 TBD Christine Bataille, McGill University
February 7, 2014 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Robin Ely, Harvard Business School
February 28, 2014 TBD Hye Yeon Gong, McGill University
March 28, 2014 TBD Sungchul Noh, McGill University
April 4, 2014 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Kathy Phillips, Columbia University
April 25, 2014 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Susan Silbey, MIT

For more information about the seminar series, please contact Linda Foster at: linda [dot] foster [at] mcgill [dot] ca.

Members of the Organizational Behaviour discipline are also actively involved in two research centres. Learn more about the Business and Management Research Centre and the Centre for Strategy Studies in Organizations.

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